Korean Beauty Secrets I Learned in Seoul, by Chriselle Lim

Updated 06/24/19

These days, being a multihyphenate is practically a requirement for running a successful blog—but Chriselle Lim, creator of The Chriselle Factor, was one of the first. Stylist, trendsetter, outfit-inspirer…and now a new mom, lifestyle icon, and beauty authority (you may have seen her recent videos with Estée Lauder), Lim is an influencer in the ultimate sense of the word—which is exactly why we’re thrilled to announce her as our newest Byrdie contributor! Each month, she’ll be sharing all of her beauty favorites—from the best beauty tips she picked up on her travels (and trust us, there are a lot) to the new products she’s currently coveting. For her first column, we asked her to share a photo diary of her recent trip to Seoul, along with the buzzy treatments she tried and trends she picked up while she was there. Enjoy!

Courtesy of Chriselle Lim

Hi Byrdie readers! 

As most of you know, I am a Korean American living in Los Angeles, but I do make an effort to visit Seoul, Korea, at least once a year. Besides the yearly visit to the grandparents, I find myself being completely inspired by the culture, food, technology, street style, and of course beauty innovation. I recently went on a girls’ trip with Alicia Yoon of Peach & Lily during Seoul Fashion Week, and needless to say, it did not disappoint. I left with a belly filled with Korean street food (and jeans that were too tight), a suitcase filled with beauty products, and glowing skin! So, for my first column as a Byrdie contributor, I wanted to share with you some of the beauty secrets I discovered while I was in Korea, innovative products I recently discovered, and some unseen photos and selfies from my trip! Keep scrolling for my official Korean beauty diary!

Courtesy of Chriselle Lim

First stop was at the Shangpree Spa, getting the famous Korean Rubber Mask! It’s also known as the “Modeling Mask” in Korea. They painted my face (including the eyelids) with this thick green paste that was incredibly cooling. Besides the fact that you kind of look like Shrek for a good 40 minutes, the green paste eventually turned into this rubbery texture that they peeled right off… almost like play dough! 

Courtesy of Chriselle Lim

A full 90 minutes of skin heaven along with a full-body massage and air bag circulation for your legs to promote weightless and glowing skin. You can find out more about the treatment in this post about five of my favorite Korean spas.

Courtesy of Chriselle Lim

Here’s a photo of my best friend, Linette, and I immediately after they peeled off the mask. No makeup, no filter… just pure, hydrated, dewy skin! There was not a dry patch in sight! It brought instant hydration to the skin. It looked as if I’d had gallons of water and been hanging out in the sauna all day. Glowing skin for days!

Courtesy of Chriselle Lim

One of the most exciting things during my Korea trip was meeting and getting my makeup done by the most famous celebrity makeup artist in Korea, KowonHye. She not only does all the top A-list celebrities in Korea but is also responsible for the dewy skin movement there. Not to mention she’s the sweetest and most humble woman alive!

Courtesy of Chriselle Lim

She gave me a Korean “makeover,” as the Koreans do their makeup a bit differently. It’s all about creating a “youthful” look. For example, she got rid of my arched brows and replaced them with the infamous thick straight Korean brow, explaining straight brows give a more youthful look. Instead of the traditional eyebrow pencil, she used a sketching pencil from the art store (yes, I’m talking about the pencils that you get from Aaron Brothers for a dollar or less). She said that the sketching pencil allows you to build and layer on the thickness without darkening the eyebrows in color. It applies much lighter than your traditional pencils and allows you to make mistakes and still build on top of it. Another big tip? Contouring horizontally instead of diagonally, as the former will make your face look smaller. I also learned three more Korean makeup tips while I was there!

Courtesy of Chriselle Lim

I do have to say I felt and looked a bit younger after the shoot. I was getting tons of compliments on how “youthful” I appeared. This was a photo from my shoot with Elle Korea.

Courtesy of Chriselle Lim

You can never leave Korea without getting your nails done! Seoul is known for its nail art, and I was finally able to visit Unistella, which is one of the most famous place for nails in Korea. All of the celebrities and K-pop stars go here, and I’m glad I was able to finally check it out. I decided to go with a funky design but something more neutral so I could match all of my outfits.

Here I’m headed to the KYE fashion show wearing a full KYE outfit. Since I’d been doing more natural makeup while in Seoul, I decided to throw on a deep burgundy lip to complete my look. Still rocking my thick straight Korean eyebrows!

Courtesy of Chriselle Lim

A shot of my entire outfit!

Courtesy of Chriselle Lim

First, no, that is not my daughter, but how well dressed is this baby? One thing that really stood out to me during Seoul Fashion Week was the amount of well-dressed babies! It was so inspiring and gave me a look into the future of attending shows with my daughter, Chloe, one day!

Courtesy of Chriselle Lim

And of course no trip is complete without a girl-squad photo! Here I’m with my closest friends. Left to right. Linette Kim of DearLinette.com, Kahi Park (popular K-pop star in Korea), Dani Song, and Aimee Song of Song of Style. The only person missing is Alicia from Peach & Lily.

Courtesy of Chriselle Lim

I recently discovered a line called Lady & Skin during my trip, and it is all made out of roses. I’m currently obsessed with these Rose Eye Patches (a must for anyone who suffers from dark under-eyes like I do).

Courtesy of Chriselle Lim

And of course the famous sheet masks! Along with sleeping masks, there is something called the sheet mask. It’s pretty much a cloth that has been soaked in the most hydrating serum that you place over your face for about 20 to 30 minutes. I usually do this at night before I go to bed while I check emails. Unlike clay and other types of masks, these sheet masks can be used every day. My two current favorites are the snail moisture mask and egg cream mask!

Courtesy of Chriselle Lim

There is something called essence that Koreans apply before their moisturizer. It adds an extra layer of moisture and prepares the skin for the moisturizer. I made sure to stock up on a few before leaving Korea!

Courtesy of Chriselle Lim

Another thing Koreans are obsessed with is something called the “sleeping pack.” You apply this clear sleeping mask after your essence and moisturizer and wear it overnight. It’s truly magical what a sleeping mask can do for your skin overnight. I never go to sleep without one.

Courtesy of Chriselle Lim

Korea is the one place I will always bring an empty suitcase with me. It’s the one place I will bring back more beauty products than what I came with. Not only does the country have the most innovative technology and formulation for skincare, but the products are incredibly affordable as well. A girl can never have enough sheet masks, essences, and serums!

What do you want Lim to talk about in her next column? Sound off below!

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