Seven Korean Beauty Trends I Wish Would Come To The UK

This year I’ve really been struggling to get excited about the beauty industry. Although there are more launches than I know what to do with, the majority are either extensions or reinventions of something that already exists, or drill down to essentially ‘just another face cream’. After so many years of continual innovation and more trends than you could shake a stick at, it’s a hard situation to get your head around – especially when it’s your job to write about beauty. I’ve just been writing an article for Cosmetics Business (a trade magazine) about my beauty lethargy, and as part of my research I was looking at what was going on in other parts of the world that was so much more exciting than what was happening on UK shores. We may have been adopting Korean ideas and big trends over the last couple of years, but they extend to the rather safe and relatively dull products by Korean standards; why aren’t we getting the cool and exciting stuff?! After perusing the sites (and to be honest the English articles I can actually read,) I’ve found seven trends and innovations I would love to see on UK shores… Come on Big Beauty Brand, sort it out!

BUBBLE MASKS
These lightweight face masks utilise the power of ‘reactive technology’ to bubble up when applied to the face, infusing the skin with oxygen for an immediate hit of radiance. Essentially the ingredients react to the natural oils or heat of the skin, causing a bubbling reaction that not only feels super tingly and a touch pleasant, but looks cool too. Bubble masks would definitely inject some much needed fun into the face mask market, and encourage consumers young and old to get on board with the benefits of a great treatment. I’ve tried one before and loved every minute; it’s a regime we’d all embrace wholeheartedly – because skincare can be fun too!
In the meantime, try: PoreTox Fruit Soda Bubble Mask £4.00

CUSHION BLUSHERS
Half cream half gel, these blushers help to create a super natural and long-lasting colour result on the cheeks. The formulas tend to be incredibly blendable and much more flattering than a harsh powder or stain, making them perfect for ‘no makeup makeup’ looks. Models Own launched their own version via a limited edition collection last year (read my feature here,) but I’ve yet to see them anywhere else. Come on Makeup Revolution, you know you want to…
In the meantime, try: Much Real My Cushion Blusher £11.40

EGG WHITE SKINCARE
You’ve heard the old wives tale that says applying egg whites to your face brings out your inner glow? Well the Koreans have taken that one step further by infusing whole skincare lines with the benefits of egg – and not even in a novelty way. From moisturisers and masks, to treatments and mousse-like concoctions, they’ve got it all covered. Could this be the hot skincare ingredient of 2018? You heard it here first…
In the meantime, try: Too Cool For School Egg Mellow Cream £22.80

SPLASH MASKS
A mega trend in Asia thanks to their time saving abilities, ‘splash masks’ are essentially a fluid that can be mixed with warm water and splashed onto a clean complexion and then patted to aid absorption. It turns a fifteen minute ritual into a quick ten second job, infusing skin with goodness without overloading. Perfect for those with more sensitive skins (you don’t get the dry feeling or crunchy texture that’s hard to clean off,) I can see these taking off if enough brands get behind them like they did sheet masks.
In the meantime, try: Blithe Soothing & Healing Green Tea Splash Mask £43.00

FACE BLURRERS
A combination of a moisturiser, SPF and primer, these also provide a ‘blurring’ effect on the skin that conceals imperfections and ensures a flawless finish. I’m all over one-step skincare products and feel like this could be big news if it launched in the UK. BB Creams became popular because they were so easy and face blurrers offer the same benefit: wack it on and you’re done. A handful of Western brands have tried similar things, but nobody has yet to corner this market and launch something that’s truly as ingenious.
In the meantime, try: Etitude House Face $18.00

COMPACT SUNBLOCKS
So many of us apply sunscreen in the morning underneath makeup, but then actually need a top-up throughout the day. It’s impossible to do so without removing your makeup or, worse, messing it up by trying to apply over the top; although spray SPFs have had limited success in the UK, they’ve not really garnered the attention they perhaps should’ve. The Asian market is far more concerned with sun protection than us, so it’s unsuprising to see that they’ve created something to get around this – a compact sunblock that looks, feels and applies like a compact powder. So when you say you’re off to ‘powder your nose’ you can also be topping up your sunscreen.
In the meantime, try: Hera UV Mist Cushion $45.00

EXFOLIATING WATER GEL
With one bottle of the leading brand sold every 12 seconds in Japan, water exfoliators are big news for a reason. They apply just like a melting gel to skin, gently stripping away the bad but leaving all the good, meaning they’re suitable for even the most sensitive of skins. Traditional exfoliators can be harsh and cause irritation (while gentle acids aren’t always suitable for those with sensitive or eczema/rosacea/psorasis,) but this seems to be the solution for everything. I want some. I need some. Somebody get on this stat?
In the meantime, try: Cure Natural Aqua Gel £24.29

Which of the seven big Korean trends would you love to see over here? Have you discovered any others that you wish were available on our high streets?

PS: Because these products aren’t really available in the UK yet I can’t take any photos of them. So enjoy a picture of my face instead. Lolz.

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Stop Telling Us To Get Off Our Phones

How many of us will ever be able to recall a time without mobile phones? They’ve become such a scarily integrated part of our lives that I think we’d collectively struggle to go about our daily business without one. My first mobile phone was about the size of a house brick and by a brand I don’t even think still exists; it weighed about as much as a small child and could do little other than make and receive calls to the few people that also had a mobile phone (namely my mum.) When I discovered it could actually send text messages (even though they were only twenty characters long and took about ten minutes to write,) it was a revolution! Within a few years mobiles had evolved, the prices had reduced and Nokia realised there was potential to turn this new gadget into a fashion accessory: I think I spent more money on new fascias than I did outfits back then. Not only could we spend hours playing Snake, but we wasted away our evenings texting our mates about all the things we could’ve probably just waited to chat about the next morning. That was, until we ran out of credit and had to buy a phone card on the way into school.

Back then a mobile phone was seen as a luxury, not a necessity, and you could easily leave it in your bag for the entirety of a day without even glancing at it. Now, it’s slightly different; our phones have become the modern Filofax, hosting everything about our lives we need to manage them effectively (calendars, contact details, emails, banking) alongside every app imaginable to keep us occupied (games, mindfulness, shopping, podcasts.) Chuck in a few social networks into the mix and it’s no wonder we’ll be the first generation to get turkey neck and arthritis in our fingers from overuse of an iPhone. Since they were launched back in the 1980’s, there’s been a total revolution in the way we use our devices. No longer are they a way of maintaining communication, but a way of helping to run our lives; in a modern world smartphones allow us to answer an email on the go or get a head-start on that presentation, as much as they allow us to share what we’re having for dinner. Personally speaking, my phone is my life; as a self-employed businesswoman it allows me to work wherever and whenever I need to, while maintaining essential social connections that (quite simply) stop me from cracking up. So why are we so unfairly judged by others for using one?

Let me tell you a story… A couple of months ago my Nan was about to undergo a much needed hip replacement. My mum lives a few hours away and my aunt is a carer who works long shifts, so it fell to me to ensure she attended her pre-op appointments and got to hospital when she needed to be there. While she was having her bloods taken I was in the waiting room catching up on emails and monitoring my social media accounts, when two other visitors started a rather rude conversation in front of (and obviously directed at) me about the fact that ‘the younger generation’ didn’t know how to talk to people because they were so engrossed in their phones. What I wanted to say, but refrained from doing so, was this: “I’m self employed and I’m currently managing my business from this device. An iPhone is not the devil; it allows me to accompany my grandmother during an anxious time, without having to jeopordise my income. It allows me to be with her over the next week so she’s never alone, continuing to maintain relationships that are essential to my career, but also ensures I can update loved ones as to her condition and progress. Stop judging what you don’t understand, because I don’t judge you for your inability to be open-minded.”

Over the last week or two I’ve seen increasing amounts of conversation from my peers around the judgement they’ve received for being on their phones in public. Danielle Peazer recently tweeted: “Sat waiting for a train and a man literally just interrupted my day to ask ‘why would you do without your phone’ because I was using it.” She went on to say: “Well sir I happen to run 90% of my business from my phone. I may not be wearing a suit or sat at a desk, but I’m working fucking hard.” Kellie from Big Fashionista continued: “I get this on the school run. The LOLLIPOP MAN, was going, You are always on your phone. I replied, I’ve been up since 6am working on this phone and it means I CAN walk my child to school, I’m lucky.” Our smartphones are devices that, yes, can be irritating when your dinner date refuses to stop checking Facebook or snapchatting their coffee, but they are also essential part of a whole generation’s working life.

My phone is my business; if I’m on it I’m either replying to emails, updating my social media accounts, checking my calendar or actually attempting to manage a conversation with loved ones. I’m neither playing Candy Crush, stalking people on Facebook or reading The Lad Bible. (Much anyway.) My income relies on the fact I can work whenever and wherever I need to, and also includes sharing snippets of my life to those of you that are interested; it would be impossible to do that without my phone. So many media stories focus on the damaging effects of smartphone useage (sleep deprivation, back and neck pain, anxiety, hand cramp, concentration issues,) but none of them focus upon the freedom and flexibility they have brought those of us that need to work from them. When sitting on the train or waiting in the Starbucks queue I do feel guilty for being on my phone and am very aware of those eyes looking at me, more so from much older generations than my peers, which makes me anxious about doing so in public. That’s not ok.

Smartphones allow working mothers to put their children to bed before getting back to emails; they allow digital influencers to make a living from creating content and doing what they love; they allow us the freedom to take a few days out of the office without losing track of a big project; they allow us to manage our lives effectively and efficiently while experiencing new things; they allow us to connect with those that are precious to us in an instant, sharing news or just saying hello when that’s needed most. When has that ever been a bad thing? So, dude on the train, in the hospital or Kellie’s lollipop man: don’t judge what you don’t understand and don’t make us feel bad for simply trying to make a living. We’re all just grafting, but in different ways.

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Why Sephora Skipping the UK is No Big Deal

Why Sephora Skipping the UK is No Big Deal

They say good things come to those who wait and apparently us Brits have not only been patient but also on our best behaviour, as not one but three long awaited U.S exports will be hitting the shores and shelves of our little cluster of islands in a matter of weeks. With so many of the once hard to come by brands setting up shop on our fair isles, you can somewhat understand why more and more British beauty consumers are non-plussed about Sephora skipping out on our territory.

Perhaps the most exciting and eagerly anticipated news within the beauty world is that Glossier is branching out and into the UK (I imagine it will be a case of ordering online rather than a physical stockist) as announced on the brands Twitter earlier this month. The downside is there is no exact date but I’d imagine it will be sooner rather than later as up until now it has always been a case of “watch this space”. Until the launch date is announced you could bribe a U.S friend or family member to send you products, book flights to New York (like I need an excuse) or if course patiently construct a product wish list.

Why Sephora Skipping the UK is No Big Deal

Buxom is once again back in the U.K via Debenhams and I for one welcome it with open arms. Unlike other UK expansions, Buxom have brought their entire range to the British shores which includes lipstick, eyeshadow, bronzer and more. I’ve mentioned it before but I truly believe that there is no lipstick more comfortable than the Buxom Big & Sexy Bold Gel Lipstick – I personally prefer the matte finish but I can attest that once you purchase one tube there’s no going back. Where said tube of mine happens to be currently residing is anyone’s guess but trust me when I say this is easily one of the most underrated beauty products of all time.

Why Sephora Skipping the UK is No Big Deal

Last but not least, E.L.F is taking another run at the U.K market via Superdrug (and online), from the 3rd of May. You may recall around five years ago E.L.F was the budget beauty brand of choice for many a blogger and for some reason best known to those more curious than I, it was pulled. Last Summer I did hastily purchase a good few items in NYC – mainly because I could – and I will say that on the whole the brand can be a little hit and miss. I find they do cream textures better than they do powders but there is no denying that for budget brushes they are pretty unbeatable and I do think that their new-ish skincare additions could offer luxury ingredients and technology at a low cost.

Sephora who? Am I right? I’m kidding of course but it is great to see more brands expand properly into the U.K. Who do you think will be next? I’m hoping Lorac and maybe the odd Cover Girl collection may be made available here – I realise the latter is a pipe dream given we have Max Factor but I would argue that Cover Girl feels more youthful in message than its sister brand?

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Why Giving Up Make Up For Lent Has Changed Everything

Why Giving Up Make Up For Lent Has Changed Everything

In March, I embarked on a spending ban in aid of raising money for Christian Aid, a few days prior to that I did purchase a lot of make-up with next to no thought to what I was doing – in the moment, I wrote it off as a much needed expense for my job never mind the fact that I already owned half of what I bought in various disguises – basically it was the nude lipstick that broke this camels back. If ever there was a time to reevaluate my shopping habits it was in that moment, and when approached with the idea of giving up make-up for Lent at the aid of a charity the timing couldn’t be more perfect. The idea of letting down those in need would prevent me from ever straying of course and wither I raised 50p or £500 (my page is here) I would be happy in the knowledge that I am at least trying to do something beneficial for others, rather than adding another unused lipgloss to my already groaning pile.

Why Giving Up Make Up For Lent Has Changed Everything

I’d be lying if I said I found the concept of giving up make-up shopping for 40 days (and nights – the nights are when the temptation to online shop seems all the more alluring) was without its challenges – the Bobbi Brown Havana Nights collection has been whispering and now shouting my name for the last few weeks and there is also a few new Too Faced products that I have coveted for quite some time now. Then again, isn’t there always something new to grab your attention and before you’ve as much as dipped an eyeshadow brush into your newly purchased palette, there is something as equally glossy and exciting launched to grab your attention and thus the circle is never ending. For the record it is of no business nor interest of mine how you spend your money but as things goes, the never ending accumulation of quickly disregarded make-up was weighing heavy on my conscience as I began the challenge for Christian Aid.

Why Giving Up Make Up For Lent Has Changed Everything

Over the last 40 days I have learnt that I will forever be enticed and excited by cosmetics – and of course accept that this is part and parcel of my vocation – but will now only purchase products after much deliberation. There are a hundred and ten million (maybe…maybe there’s more) beauty blogs out there, all with their own well formed opinions, I don’t need to be the one that reviews every single beauty product – in fact wouldn’t it be nice if I added a human element to this site, a few tales from beauty insiders and such? I have also began questioning myself, asking if I really need another matte lipstick or if I am suffering from fear of missing out (F.O.M.O) – something in the past that I have let dictate not only beauty purchases but technology and on occasion the odd pair of shoes.

Lent may be over (and to an extent I am relieved) but going forward I will be donating once a month to Christian Aid – even if it just the price of one eyeshadow, every little helps. You can find out more about how you can get involved here – link.



This is a sponsored and collaborative post.

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