Korean Beauty Products Simply Translated


fish pedicure

Ever since Seoul’s invention of the BB Cream, Western eyes have been focused on the latest beauty trends to enter the market from South Korea.  From the outrageous fish pedicure treatment (no thanks!) to the newest innovations in skincare…  Here are my top 3 Picks of Korean Beauty Products, and how you can try a simple translation of them here, without using all your frequent flyer miles!


korean oil cleanserOil Cleanser:  Most people have not yet embraced the idea of an oil cleanser, especially if you have oily skin.  The truth is, it does feel slightly oily upon application, since you apply it directly to dry skin.  Once you rinse with warm water, it is refreshing and lives skin feeling dewy clean.

burts bees cleansing oilMy Translation:  Burt’s Bee’s Cleansing Oil, which retails for about $16.  It gently cleanses skin with Coconut and Argan Oils, and is even safe to remove eye makeup since it is Ophthalmologist Tested!  I love this stuff.  I use a few pumps and rub it into my skin a couple of minutes before I get into the shower.  I repeat – LOVE this.



cushion compact


Cushion Compact Foundation:  This spongy makeup filled compact is on every beauty editors list to try.  Here is what I know – It is very user friendly, great for travel and touch ups, and leaves a flawless finish.  The downside is that I find it very unsanitary to use and reuse a damp makeup sponge on your face.  That’s just me, of course.


beauty blenderMy Translation:  My dear old friend, the Beauty Blender!  Use it damp to apply your foundation and get the same flawless application.  Travel Tip – You can load it up with foundation and keep it in a Ziploc for reapplication.  It may not be as glamorous looking, BUT you can wash it out and have a fresh application each time!




korean skinfood-black-sugar-maskSkin Food Exfoliating Scrub:  If you don’t know this already, you will now!  Never use a salt based scrub on your body or face.  It is EXTREMELY drying and harsh on your skin.  The Korean Beauty Market has known this for years.  This sugar scrub leaves your skin feeling truly nourished and supple.


My Translation:  Make your own at home!  Mix about 1 cup of brown sugar to a half a cup of extra virgin olive oil.  Then add a little squeeze from 1 lemon and viola!  The brown sugar exfoliates without drying, the lemon cleanses, and the olive oil is the perfect moisturizer.  This is pure magic to use all over your body, but steer clear of the face on this one.

brown sugar lemons olive oil




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Melissa McNamara
Melissa’s passion for makeup artistry began over 25 years ago when she discovered the art of making women look and feel beautiful. That experience has shaped a long career working behind the scene at magazine shoots, at fashion week and leading seminars teaching artistry techniques. Her 10 years as an artistry educator delivers real-life experience and hands-on expertise. Melissa has her own makeup artistry school and teaches women one-on-one, and group workshops how to discover their beauty from the inside out. Melissa is the co-creator of The Hollywood Beauty Detective’s 10 Legendary Looks, and designed the makeup for each look.
Melissa McNamara

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