Korean Beauty

My affair with Korean beauty began in 2015, when I moved from South Africa to South Korea in search of adventure. Since then, I’ve incorporated this multi-faceted skincare regime into my every day, and come to appreciate the high quality ingredients that work for my skin.

I’ve covered Korean beauty from all angles – from kindergarten skincare to the best sunscreens for hiking in the desert and cycling cross-country, to my experiences with peeling gels, skin redness, fast healing and reaching 30. I’ve examined the growing feminist movement in South Korea, and why many women have taken to smashing their makeup as a statement.

Click on one of my published articles below.

Climate Change: How I Adjusted My Skincare Routine to My New Life in the Desert

When a beauty writer switched cities and continents for a new home (for the second time!), she discovered that of the many adjustments in her new life, her skincare regimen also needed some serious tweaking to deal with arid desert conditions. Thankfully, when it comes to hydration for her new skincare routine in the desert, Korean beauty is all over it.


My 30s Are Nearly Here — Here’s How I’m Going to Upgrade My Skincare Game

As a K-beauty writer saying farewell to my 20s, here’s how I’m going to face the next decade armed with next level skincare in my 30s.


Redness Giving You the Blues? Why It Happens & What To Do About It

If your complexion is suffering from redness, it could be cause for concern — or simply a gentler approach to skincare. Here’s what you need to know.

Redness, red skin, skin care

Will Smashing Your Makeup Set You Free? These Korean Women Hope It Will — and More

Some South Korean women are losing their lipsticks and lopping off their locks in the hopes of not just some personal freedom but of eliciting a fundamental shift in the way Korean society views beauty standards, the gender gap, and women in general. Is this the start of a revolution? Contributor Megan Bursey talks to three women in the Escape the Corset movement.


These Are the 10 Things I Learned While Working & Living in Korea

After three years living in Korea, a self-described “farm girl” from South Africa came away with quite a few lessons, most of which — not surprisingly — involve beauty and food. Here, she shares the wealth. (And spoiler alert: It’s important to always eat your kimchi!)


All the Korean Celebs Are Wearing Matte Lips This Fall — Why YouWant to, Too

Jun Ji Hyun did it for YSL. Park Shin Hye for Mamonde. And when Song Hye Kyo wore the Laneige lip bar in the hit Korean drama Descendants of the Sun, it sold out in just four days. Clearly, Korean celebrities have immense power when it comes to marketing beauty products. And if what they’re wearing this fall is any indication, then you better get those matte lips primed and ready to kill.


I Tried the Full Body Scrub at a Korean Bathhouse — Why I Love the Pain

The ultimate in head-to-toe beauty may be found at a Korean jjimjilbang, a Korean sauna or bathhouse. Just be ready to bare it all for some hardcore exfoliation, as one newbie discovered. Here’s why she loves the pain and goes back for more.


I Went Away for the Weekend & Only Used Beauty Samples — and Survived

When you go away for the weekend, you don’t have to leave your multi-step skincare routine behind. Why not make good use of Korea’s freebie generosity and use beauty samples to pack lighter and smarter for weekend trips? I tried it, and this is what I found.


This Is How I Became a K-Beauty Convert

Can a girl from the South African countryside, who grew up using rooibos and baobab on her skin, find (skincare) love in the urban sprawl that is Seoul? Her journey to becoming a K-beauty convert.


This Explains Everything: In Korea, Kindergarten Skincare Is a Thing

Koreans are known for their meticulous approach to skincare, and this approach is often fine-tuned well before puberty strikes. A kindergarten teacher in Korea witnesses firsthand how her young students practice healthy skincare habits at a very early age.


I Tested 2 Korean Sunscreens While Long Distance Cycling — Here’s What Happened

There are better ways to spend one’s brief holiday than mounted firmly upon a very rigid road bike, with four days’ worth of clothing and snacks stashed in heavy duty compartments and a 633-km journey ahead. At least I got to test some Korean sunscreens while cycling long distance — and live to tell about it.


What My Korean BFF Taught Me About Beauty Changed My Skin Forever

We all get by with a little help from our friends, and no beauty tip should ever go unappreciated — especially when they’re from a Korean BFF who just happens to be a makeup guru.


I Went From Seoul to Tokyo & the Beauty Scene Could Not Be More Different

Seoul and Tokyo may be just a couple hours’ flight apart, but when it comes to their beauty aesthetic, they might as well be on different planets. Here’s what one Korea-based writer discovered about the Tokyo beauty scene on her jaunt to Japan.


What Happened the First Time I Tried Snail & Other Unfamiliar K-Beauty Ingredients

For many skinficionados, snail is nothing new. But remember the first time you had sushi? The thought of fish flesh? Raw?! That’s what snail slime may sound like to a K-beauty newbie. Here, one Korean beauty convert recalls when she first tried snail mucin and some other unfamiliar K-beauty ingredients at the time. Did she — and more importantly, her skin— survive?