All over the world, South Korean beauty products now seem to be all the rage—from sheet masks to meticulous ten-step skincare routines, it’s definitely one of South Korea’s most popular exports. Aside from K-Pop, that is! It’s clear that the world is obsessed with South Korean cosmetics, and it’s easy to assume that women from South Korea all have perfectly stocked vanities and stick to their intense makeup and skincare routines each day.
But let’s be real—the kind of routines that are being popularized are pretty expensive and time-consuming. Not everyone wants to invest that kind of time and money into their appearance. But with the popularity of South Korean cosmetics, women there are definitely feeling some serious pressure to look a certain way, and there’s a growing expectation that they need to look perfect before they walk out the door.
View this post on Instagram
Werbung | Slowly working my way through #abnewyearstashchallenge 😆 Day 11 was Sheet Masks 🧖🏻♀️ I like using sheet masks when I have some time to relax or to give my skin an extra hydration boost, but tbh I’m far away from using them daily (or even regularly lol)... I think sheet masks are nice little helpers with hydration, but not absolutely necessary for an effective skincare routine... and I would NEVER ever pay the prices for which many of them are sold in Germany omg! 😱 Seriously, why are the cheapest Korean sheet masks so ridiculously over-priced over here?! @sephoradeutschland @douglas_cosmetics For example: You get 1 mask of TonyMoly’s I’m Real line (which isn’t really great btw) for less than 1€ in Korea, but here, they are sold for 6€ per piece. That’s definitely going beyond anything you could call a normal markup for imported goods or anything like that... 🙄 . Anyway, you can see my current sheet mask stash in the pic - some favorites are placed in the front. I have included the price paid for each of these fyi 😉 @innisfreeofficial Bija Cica Mask (2.30€) @klairs.global Rich Moist Soothing Tencel Sheet Mask (2.30€) @bringgreen_official Avocado Fresh Mask (1.50€) @bentoncosmetic Snail Bee High Content Mask Pack (1.90€) @drjart Ceramidin Facial Mask (3.10€) @labno__official Camellia Deep Moist Mask (1.90€) @round.lab Dokdo Mask (3.90€) All Natural - Organic Mask Sheet Houttuynua Cordata (1.20€) @isntree_official Hyaluronic Acid Deep Moisture Water Mask (2.30€)
Appearances definitely carry a lot of weight in South Korea—in fact, the country has earned the title of “plastic surgery capital of the world,” with 22% of South Korean women saying that they have had plastic surgery. It is also one of the top ten beauty markets in the world—no surprises there! From social media to billboards, women are surrounded by advertisements for beauty products.
There’s an increasing number of women in South Korea who are getting tired of it, and they’re rebelling and reclaiming the bare-faced look. The movement is called “Escape the Corset,” and everyone from YouTube beauty gurus to women’s groups on college campuses are getting in on it. The first Sunday of every month, women are encouraged to resist the urge to buy anything that supports the beauty industry and go all natural. That means not purchasing clothes, makeup, skincare, haircare, or even going to a spa or getting a haircut. Instead, the goal is to put all that time, money, and effort towards other things.
There’s no doubt that makeup and skincare can be a lot of fun—it can be a way to express yourself creatively, and who doesn’t love getting dolled up for a big night out? But it can also be easy to fall into the idea that you have to wear makeup and have perfect skin at all times, and no one needs that kind of pressure.
What do you think of the idea behind “Escape the Corset?” Let us know in the comments!
All featured image credit goes to BecBoop. You can check out the blog and learn more about Korean skincare here!