I thought it might be fun to talk about how I got into KBeauty in this blog post. So today I'm going to take you on a little journey with me.
So my story begins in 2008. At this time point, I was just a sixth form student about to go to a fancy university in London. Before uni was about to start, I decided to go on a summer trip to Seoul.
You might be wondering why I chose specifically Seoul right? Well I should probably mention that I was really into this Kpop boy band called Super Junior back then. They're like BTS but 10 years back. I thought just being in the same city as them would somehow bring me closer to them! So weird, I know! lol
It was a lovely country and I'm glad I visited. The culture was amazing. The food was incredible. The people were kind and gracious. But the funny thing is I didn't know anything about KBeauty back then.
I kind of stumbled into KBeauty by accident. One day I decided I needed to buy some pajamas to bring back home with me. So off I went to the main shopping district called Myeongdong to buy those comfy pajamas.
Anyway, the thing about KBeauty is that the branding and packaging is so cute! So while I was on the hunt for my pajamas, I started to notice these beauty shops that were dedicated to skincare and makeup. It really grabbed my attention. I'd see all these gorgeous rows of pastel coloured beauty products inside those shops. They just looked like sweet shops!
So I start exploring these beauty shops and I was quite literally blown away by the amount of choice there was. They had so many unique colours, ingredients and formulations that I just hadn't seen in the UK. I remember the first KBeauty shop I stepped into was The Face Shop. I couldn't read Korean so I didn't really know how to choose the products so it took me a while to actually decide what to get. But I do remember buying a green colour correcting fluid by them and a brightening foam cleanser. I explored the other shops too like Missha and Etude House and again, I was like amazed by the selection of products they had. I remember getting a coral pink blusher by Etude House and some other bits from Missha.
Anyway, I remember being back in the UK and finally getting to experiment with my mini haul. I really loved my stuff but the problem was I was back in the UK and couldn't go to Myeongdong. Anyway, I use up my little KBeauty collection and that's it for my mini KBeauty obsession.
Fast forward to 2009 and I'm watching beauty vloggers on YouTube talk about KBeauty. And back then, it was only Michelle Phan and Bubzbeauty who were on it. But again, since I wasn't based in Seoul, their recommendations weren't really something I was able to act on. I couldn't buy those products because they just didn't have them here in Superdrug or Boots.
Back then, I just basically fell for the marketing tactics by the magazines and big beauty brands when it came to skincare. If it was listed in a magazine, I'd actually believe that that was a product worth buying. There wasn't really reviews from other beauty bloggers back then. There wasn't really a way for me to do a cross check between publications and what real people thought.
I was also sucked into the whole 3 step cleanse, tone and moisturise by Clinique. I believe I used the L'Oreal version of that routine though due to my student budget you see!
It was also in 2009 when I was on a summer trip to Vietnam. Although they didn't have any KBeauty there, I was able to explore some Thai skincare and I was impressed by that too actually. It's not really 'skincare' but I recall getting bitten a lot by mosquitos and one of my relatives bought me a small bottle of Soffel from the market. I did buy mosquito repellent cream from the UK with me but the formulation was really sticky and greasy. It also smelt bad! So I didn't really use it! Anyway, this Soffel worked so well for me. I liked it because firstly it was a light formula and sank into my skin like a moisturiser and secondly, it had a lovely floral fragrance to it! These experiences got me thinking that there might be more skincare alternatives out there.
Ok, so back to KBeauty!
2010 - 2014
Between 2010 and 2014, I had a couple of friends who'd regularly travel to Hong Kong so I was able to get my Asian Beauty fix from them! However, the stuff I would buy was pretty much the same thing, face sheets and bb creams. I didn't really know what to get because I wasn't based there. I did know that I loved trying a new product and finding out if it was going to be my new favourite! I also loved that these products couldn't be bought here in the UK which meant that not many people knew about it. It kind of made the experience a bit more special. It's like discovering an indie band and you know there's only like 1,000 other fans. That's how it felt.
Ok, so flash forward again to 2015. And this year, I had to take some really strong medication to maintain my autoimmune condition. I read the side effects of this medicine and it said that my skin was going to be more sensitive to the sun and obviously there's dangers related to sun exposure as we all know. Obviously, I wanted to protect my skin so that's when I started to look at sun screens that I could use under my make up.
I bought some sun screens in the UK but they were so greasy for me. They were too thick and left a white cast on my face. It didn't feel like it was absorbed either. And not only that, the highest spf I could find (in which the formula was light) was 30. I wanted to get a higher spf of 50 but I just couldn't find a suitable one for me.
That's why I started to see if KBeauty had any sun screen alternatives. And to my delight, it did! I found this Missha Essence sun screen and I loved how light it was. My only issue is that I didn't like the fragrance of that particular one. But it started me on a journey of finding something else that would work for me.
I feel like when it comes to a lot of things, you have to sacrifice something to get something else. For example, if you want something that's going to work for your skin, you need to pay a premium for it. But when it comes to KBeauty, I don't feel that way. I feel like it gets a lot of things right: the products work well, they feel good on me, it makes me feel special and the price is good. And that's why I really love KBeauty.
If you liked my skincare story, you can check out and follow me (@emberryx) on Instagram here