The Rise of Korean Beauty & Meeting Influencer Jenn Im At Beautycon Festival L.A.

On July 15th, I had the opportunity to attend Beautycon Festival L.A. and to say that it was incredible would be a complete understatement. With beautiful floral walls, swinging chairs and a pink carpet, the event was certainly impressive, featuring over 100 brands, such as COVERGIRL and KYLIE COSMETICS. There were also over 200 talents in attendance, including Mrs. Kim Kardashian West herself. It was makeup heaven for all lovers of the beauty industry and I was lucky enough to be a part of such a special day. 

One area that caught my eye was the section “K-Town Korean Beauty,” labeled on a huge, brightly lit sign that hung from the ceiling. Growing up as a Korean-American, I struggled with matching my features to the standards of beauty that seemed to headline my society. There were not many Korean beauty influencers during my elementary school years, and thus, I often compared myself with the beautiful blonde women posing in lipstick and shampoo advertisements, none of whom shared my tan complexion and Asian hair type. Finding your own version of true beauty can be difficult, especially as a child, and the way I looked at myself was heavily impacted by the environment I lived in. Then, Asian-American women like Jenn Im, Michelle Phan and Lindy Tsang (“Bubz”) began to emerge on Youtube. I discovered their channels when I was in middle school, and these three women in particular really played a significant role in boosting my confidence and helping me find self-love. Watching their videos, whether it be on fashion, hair, or life advice, has continued to inspire me to embrace my Asian features.

At Beautycon L.A., I was able to meet Jenn at the JOAH Beauty booth!! I was so excited. She was so adorable and sweet, complimenting me on the dress I wore and even thanking me for coming out. “JOAH” stands for “I like it” in Korean and the store is inspired by K-beauty. "Rooted in Korean culture, it’s a philosophy that respect for skin comes first, and what you put on your face really counts. K-beauty also represents all that is best…the finest ingredients, groundbreaking formulations, superior quality and exceptional performance! At JOAH, K-beauty philosophy is at the core of our makeup, and we are thrilled to be the first to bring it to cosmetics!” From the title of its brand to the ingredients that are used, JOAH has fully integrated the Korean culture into their mission. 

Another booth I checked out was FACETORY. They offer kits that are designed to accommodate specific skin types. I was pleasantly surprised by the detail and attention that are placed into each box.  My skin is on the oilier side so I got a box full of products that are supposed to lessen the oils. The kit was assembled in such cute packaging, and when I opened it, there was a card that said, “The time has come to finally say goodbye as we bring you these 7 masks containing amazing ingredients to control your excess oils and keep your skin fresh!” Thank you FACETORY, I can’t wait to try them on! Bye bye my oils, you will not be missed.

Landing International’s booth aka the K-Beauty Oasis showcased products from various brands such as COSRX, PureHeals by Nature Village, SKIN&LABUNPA, KEEP COOL, and Thank You Farmer. Landing International is an online marketplace where global brands and retailers are featured. They work with over 60 brands and nearly 100 leading U.S. beauty retailers!! They gave out gift packages full of face masks, creams, cleansing foams and eye patches. I’ve actually used COSRX pimple patches before and they’ve been pretty effective in decreasing the size of my bigger pimples. I got a selfie with Landing International’s Creative Director, Tiffany Lee. She hosted a brief panel with popular K-beauty vlogger, Edward Avila

The last booth I checked out was AMOREPACIFIC. It was hard to miss, with its gorgeous blue floral wall. This company is devoted to becoming the “Asian Beauty Creator.” Something I found intriguing about AMOREPACIFIC is the fact that they harvest and handpick their own green tea leaves right on the Pacific Isle of Jeju, off the coast of Korea, to create the potent antioxidant, polyphenol EGCG. They treat their formulas with the absolute most care, in order to ensure the highest quality for their customers. 

 

The vision of Beautycon is to “challenge traditional standards and redefine what beauty means.” And with the movement of redefining beauty comes the necessity to recognize diversity in the beauty industry. The little 8-year-old girl I once was would never have grown to appreciate her features that made her unique without the encouragement of other Asian-American women. Which is why I’m so delighted to see the Korean beauty market on the rise. No one should have to feel limited from feeling beautiful, whether with makeup or without. Thank you Beautycon L.A. for having me!