[Lee Na Wen]

When it comes to Beauty, there’s no doubt that the Koreans have been hitting all the right notes light years ahead of others in recent years. From the bustling streets of MyeongDong to the nooks and crannies of Itaewon, what are the outstanding features of these mesmerizing Korean ladies that’s worth mimicking? Let us point you in the right direction to get ahead of the beauty game plan with what’s trending in Korea right now, so rev up your engines to own them all, pulling yourself closer to the benchmarks set by the Unnie and Noona of the Beauty nation.

Back to basics with brows and lashes

The basic philosophy of Korean beauty is to naturally enhance features to more aesthetically pleasing proportions and not overt exaggeration. When it comes to brows, a slightly round to almost straight shape that follow the natural curvature of your brow bone is preferred over a dramatic arch. Go easy on your tweezers and keep your brows naturally full and well-groomed by tidying up the stray hairs for a fresh and youthful look that transcends all ages.

For lashes unless you’re born with them, ditch those long spidery falsies and ‘open’ up your eyes with an extra coat of mascara on own natural lashes. To boost your confidence in doing so, lash serums are quickly gaining a cult following as a trial and tested way to give you a helping hand. Forget about old wives myth such as Vaseline and petroleum jelly as they give you nothing more than a greasy pillow. The key to seeing results from serums is simple consistency! Some of the most highly rated options include Revitalash, Lashfood and Latisse, touted to lengthen lashes by stimulating growth and strengthening existing follicles, adding more curve and improving shine with polymers and silk proteins. When used regularly, lash serums should be incorporated as part of your daily eye care regime, nourishing eyelashes to encourage a longer life cycle and therefore fuller and sexier looking eyelashes, being ‘naturally attractive’ has never been easier!

Read more: Dark Eye Circles: Is There Really a Cure? 

The new matte look

While previously we are always on the topic of the “dewy no makeup look” that dominated major runways from Milan to Paris seasons past, the ongoing Korean trend gearing for world domination is heading back to matte looking skin, albeit in an all new interpretation from what we previously know of it.

In a nutshell, excessive shine looking like you just stepped down from the treadmill is out, so it’s about time to throw out those sparkling reflective dusting powder that you’ve grown accustomed to. Going matte doesn’t mean thick and cakey if you’re trending the Korean way, but more light and airy with a non-grease, shine-free feel to let your naturally well-hydrated skin show through.

“To transform an aging complexion from drab to fab, Rejuran DNA Resurgence is a no downtime, 30 minute complexion savior available that you should certainly consider.” Says Dr. Low Chai Ling, medical director of the SW1 Clinic (who also founded The Sloane Clinicin 2003) “By delivering salmon DNA extracts (polynucleotides) into your skin via this simple, ingenious therapy, this treatment helps to repair and rejuvenate your skin cells from within.”

The positive effects of Rejuran are seen about 3-5 days post treatment, with most patients reporting an improvement in brightening, lifting, elasticity and overall appearance of their complexion. Be the cover girl you always wanted to be with this scientifically proven, fuss-free modality, rocking the streets from Gangnam to Rio without a need to cover up with excessive makeup that distracts from your innate beauty.

Read more: Best Facials in Singapore: 5 Treatments That You Must Try

See lasers as medical facials

The Koreans are often a step ahead in the Beauty game as they are very receptive to approaching skincare in a comprehensive manner to have all grounds covered. Engaging in not just home care and spa treats alone, regular visits to a trusted dermatologist or aesthetics physician of equal footing for medically proven laser treatments or injectables is perhaps the missing puzzle that sets her beauty quotient way above her counterparts. “In Korea, most women are gunning for 100% absolutely flawless and pristine skin, and seeking professional help to address their skin issues is not seen as a chore or high maintenance.” Says Dr. Low Chai Ling, medical director of the SW1 Clinic, who had pursued advanced medical training in many places including Seoul. “The priority to decrease hyperpigmentation and increase skin “translucency”, with skin tightening and acne scars treatment coming in as close seconds.”

To address not one but all of the above skin woes mentioned, the new kid on the block for aesthetics light and lasers therapy is the Picosecond technology, and expectedly so, Picosecond lasers are currently the most adored in game-changing Seoul. As second generation lasers (after nanosecond lasers such as Revlite and Medlite) which hit the skin in super short pulses (a picosecond is a trillionth of a second), the laser can go strong where it’s directed, without harming normal surrounding skin and causing collateral damages.

SW1’s Pico Smooth treatment uses the Pico Discovery laser in a skin smoothening protocol specially designed by their team of dedicated medical professional, ensuring maximal benefits with minimal downtime. Tailored to the specific needs of different individuals, specific settings dictating specific intensities are customized to generate controlled damage at a specific depth beneath the topmost layer of the skin, stimulating collagen and elastic tissue production with appreciable improvement in skin pigmentation and uneven discoloration as an added bonus.

As opposed to traditional CO2 lasers and even newer fractionated CO2 lasers commonly used in skin resurfacing treatments targeting acne scars and photo-damaged mature skins, Picosecond lasers do not depend on induced heat generated for reach its therapeutic goals. The Picosecond technology allows the use of light as the unfiltered, direct energy source by virtue of its speed of delivery, achieving similar, or perhaps even better end results; with comparably lowered risk of possible side effects such as hyper or hypopigmentation, often a limiting factor in type and/or intensity of laser treatments in darker skinned Asians.

The post treatment downtime might be long at first glance, but the mechanism of high, albeit “controlled” impact actually translates to worse looking but shortened recovery period, largely manageable when one is made aware.

Read more: Ironing Things Out with Acne Scars

Oppa ‘nose’ best

Be it naturally gifted or otherwise, most Korean ladies are sporting noses that look best on any face of Asiatic descent. Be it clever makeup techniques, surgical correction or by non-surgical medical aesthetics means, subtle enhancements made to the proportions and 3D angles of the nose will make a huge difference, and the Koreans seemed to have Hydrid-rhinoplasty addresses what’s lacking once and for all, nose threadlifting is an alternative to Nose Fillers that’s growing in popularity over the past 2 to 3 years for those on the lookout for non-surgical modalities that delivers. By utilizing 100% bio-degradable PDO threads, the Infinity Nose Threadlift can be divided into two parts, nose bridge elevation and nose tip augmentation, creating a harmonious outcome that isn’t jarringly conspicuous of having “works done”. Besides being able to achieve a higher and sharper nose bridge without unnatural widening, this fuss-free lunchtime procedure is able to lift the tip to make it sharper in a manner that nose filler can’t, reducing the size of the nasal ala at the same time for a more refined looking nose. However, this is by no means an indication that nose filler is a replaceable treatment that’s on its way to obscurity. Conversely, it plays a pivotal role in total nasal beautification of selected cases more suited for the 3D Nose Lift, smoothing out unevenness of the surface of the nose (such as a hump) which is something that’s beyond the abilities of threads.

Read more: The Top 3 Best Beauty Upgrades for 2018

The universal appeal of ‘V’

It is not difficult to see why a V-line face is one of the most sought after feature from Gangnam to Barbados. While the word ‘face lift’ by any means,be it the traditional surgical way or via non-surgical options such as thread lift usually conjure up images of a middle aged or elderly woman with a falling face, the Koreans are looking at it and embracing the technology in a different manner. Instead of waiting out till a certain time in life to check in to a surgery for a complete overhaul, younger Korean women are smartly tackling the first signs of aging to stop Time in its tracks.

One of the major breakthroughs in Medical Aesthetics that’s fast gaining a cult following is the newer generation of shorter facial threads that can be better manoeuvred, featured in the series of Infinity Instalift lunchtime facelift treatments performed by the trained physicians from the SW1 Clinic (formerly The Sloane Clinic),allowing partial facelifting for selected area(s) that need to be fixed. The Infinity Neck Threadlift beautifully addresses some of the most telling signs of aging, tackling sagging neck skin and double chin to restore jawline to more youthful and desirable proportions.

Depending on the amount of skin laxity, more or less threads (usually 4 to 8) are inserted to give the best outcome. There are little to no downtime and generally, it shouldn’t prevent from returning to work after a day or two. Slight swelling secondary to the anesthetic injections made for the procedure to be almost pain-free can last between 6 to 24 hours. As with all procedures that involved needles and injections, small pin-prick marks and bruises can happen at times. However, as these are usually placed on the underside of the jawline, visibility is much reduced unless closely scrutinized.

Read more: Facial Thread Lifts: The Pros and Cons


Dr. Low Chai Ling who founded The Sloane Clinic in 2003 is currently the medical director @ the SW1 Clinic, fulfilling her aspiration for a one-stop aesthetics destination that cater to both non-invasive cosmetics dermatology and cutting edge plastic surgery, addressing all possible beauty woes without prejudice and limitations.SW1’s philosophy is “Empowering the world one face at a time. Live Your Dreams.” 

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