Hey Charlotte! It's so lovely to have you in my interview series about Kbeauty bloggers on Instagram! Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?
Oh god that’s a difficult question! Um, well I guess I could start with my skin? It’s VERY dry, some acne, and rosacea so I struggle with redness. I’m also obsessed with sheetmasks, and a massive foodie who loves to travel.
Recent trips have included South Korea twice (mostly for the Korean beauty expo which was so much fun!), Japan and Taiwan, and I usually go to Hong Kong once a year as we have family there. All of these trips allowed me to haul rather epically and I’m guilty of using mine, my partner’s, his mum’s and his sister’s husbands luggage allowance. I’m pretty lucky to have such accommodating family!
A couple of years ago I co-organised some meetup events for Kbeauty fans in the UK which were big successes, lots of lovely companies sponsored us with various products for gift bags and people attended from all over the UK. As part of the organising process I set up a whatsapp chat group and christened us #fellowshipoftheskin and to this day we all chat constantly – they’re an awesome bunch of people!
Your Instagram is a great place for UK skincare enthusiasts to get some ideas for their next KBeauty purchase. How did you discover the world of KBeauty?
Thank you! Hmmm I first came across kbeauty in about 2007 I think? I saw a great review on youtube for a Missha bb cream, Hada Labo lotion (although that’s technically Japanese beauty!) and Laneige all around the same time and was drawn into the well hydrated, glowy world of Asian beauty! The next time I went to Hong Kong I trawled the shops and went a bit mad buying a bunch of random products. I then discovered Memebox who used to ship mystery kbeauty themed boxes and spent far too much money. Some worked well, some didn’t, but luckily for me (and my wallet) they stopped shipping to the UK! Anyway I’ve been hooked ever since and I’m much more selective now!
What was it that got you obsessed with Kbeauty?
KBeauty and Asian beauty products in general just seemed to be so innovative with exciting new ingredients and really effective formulations for a much lower price point compared to a typical western skincare product.
The philosophy also hooked me – treating your skin with love (and hydration!) rather than the all out warfare with harsh spot treatments I was used to. Western routines at that time were very much, cleanse, tone (think an extra cleansing step with an alcohol based toner on a cotton pad), and moisturise. Kbeauty is more about a personalised approach to what your skin needs, and a multi step routine to achieve results, which really resonated with me!
Since discovering KBeauty, how has KBeauty changed you?
Well, I’m obviously much more in tune with my skin and its needs now, but I think the biggest change for me has been the self care aspect actually. I have an auto immune condition that really reacts badly to stress, and having an elaborate skincare routine is just a great way for me to wind down and take some time. Whatever else is going on in life, there’s always sheetmasks! One of the symptoms of my condition is actually incredibly dry skin so it’s like killing two birds with one stone – I feel less stressed and my skin isn’t so dry it hurts!
What's your everyday morning skincare routine? What are your go-to products?
Hmmm my am routine can really change depending on what I have going on that day. If I’m short on time, I really love bi-phase products - serums and mists with a hydration and oil element that you usually shake to combine (saves time AND pretty to look at!), topped off with an emollient cream. At the moment I really love the Roundaround Oil Infused Water for this.
If I have more time, I use multiple layers of toners, serums, essences and an oil, then a sheetmask to help absorption without leaving much residue on the skin since that doesn’t play well with makeup. Good am masks I’ve used are pretty much all Naruko and My Scheming masks (both Taiwanese brands). I always make sure I finish off with a sunscreen with an spf of at least 50 – at the moment I’m using Healavie which is lovely and light.
What's your everyday makeup routine like? What are your go-to products?
I’m obsessed with the Age 20’s Cover Pacts and must have bought at least 12 over the last few years. It’s not a cushion but a pressed serum mixed with foundation, it doesn’t look at all heavy once applied but leaves a great glow. Since it also contains some skincare it works really well on my dry skin, and the packaging is also so pretty! I usually wear this with some eye makeup (eyeshadow, liner and mascara), and sometimes a lip product depending on how I’m feeling.
I’m a touch evangelical about this product, but Clio Lip Oil Tints are legit INCREDIBLE for dry lips! I’ve never been able to wear lip colour since after five minutes my lips would be so dry the product would be flaking off, but these tints manage to be both moisturising and have seriously longlasting colour! I have about 10 different shades of this one product and would happily never wear any other lip colour.
What's your night time skincare routine? What are your go-to products?
My typical evening routine is double cleanse, retinol/chemical exfoliation product, about 5 layers of different toners, a vitamin c product, about 6 essences, serums and ampoules, then a non occlusive oil like rosehip, squalene or camellia followed by a sheetmask or two (or three if I’m brutally honest). Depending on how my skin feels after this, I may mist, add a bit more serum, then moisturise and use a sleeping pack on top, and a great balm for my lips like the Laneige Lip Sleeping Pack. If I’m super tired or not feeling well, I’ll do a ‘bed routine’ which involves cleansing with these great oil infused Biore wipes (they even remove sunscreen), a pad product like the Neogen Cica pads or the Unbound Lab Hibiscus Smoothing Pads, a mist or two (I LOVE the CNP Laboratory Propolis mist which has a really fine aerosol mist and gives great propolis glow), and a sleeping pack like the History of Whoo Gonjinhyang Neck and Face Pack or the Sulwhasoo Overnight Revitalising Mask.
If you were to recommend 5 Kbeauty products for a friend who's never tried KBeauty before, what 5 products would they be?
I’m always chatting kbeauty and most people are super curious about it. I usually recommend a starter routine of a decent cleansing oil (I usually recommend the Kose Speedy Softymo or Biore), second cleanser, a serum or cream tailored to their skin concerns, a sunscreen (the easily accessible Biore Watery Essence is always a good bet) and a bunch of sheetmasks. This usually follows with me giving them various sheetmasks to try out which people are usually very excited to try!
Is there any Kbeauty product (skincare or makeup) that is currently on your wish list?
A few! I’m currently lusting after the Vely Vely Artemisia Essence, the Sioris A Calming Day Ampoule, the Enature Mugwort Relief Cream-poule and the By Wishtrend Vitamin C Serum (I thank Shereen @thewayofthesnail for the last one!). There’s plenty more I’d love to try and I’m trying not to think about them too much as I already have a huge stash to get through!
Any tips for aspiring KBeauty influencers?
Don’t worry too much about what everyone else is doing, just do what works for you. If you’re passionate about what you’re doing it’ll show through. Also, be genuine! People can usually tell a faker and it impresses no one.
This or that
Skincare or makeup – skincare!
Pizza or hotdogs – pizza for sure
Netflix or Cinema – Neither, I use a different streaming service from home
Early bird or night owl – night owl
Summer or Winter – probably winter as I don’t do well in heat!
Fill the gaps
Fav Korean dish – Spicy Tteokbokki or chicken cheese dakgalbi
Fav Kpop band – I’m embarrassed to admit I don’t listen to kpop!
Fav spot in the world – No one place, but I love discovering new, beautiful places when I travel.
Fav item of clothing now – Probably my ripped jeans, they’re so comfortable.
Fav song – Sigala Say You Do. Actually anything by Sigala.
Fav movie – I can’t choose! I think the funniest film I’ve ever seen is The Full Monty or Baseketball, but I love anything with Dwayne Johnson in.