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How an Esthetician’s Husband Turned Her on to K-beauty

Hello, my name is Coco Park, and I am a Korean beauty enthusiast. I really wanted to write K-beauty addict, but “addict” would imply something negative, and Korean beauty has done nothing but improve my life and take me on a fantastic journey!

A little about me: I’m the beauty journalist behind The Beauty Wolf blog, and I traveled a long road to get me where I am today.

Originally from a tiny town in the South, I made my escape as soon as I was of age. It felt like I was a reverse salmon, swimming upstream as far away from my birthplace as I could get, rather than toward it. Because I was very much into high fashion and makeup, I didn’t quite fit in, so I kept moving to increasingly larger and farther away cities until I finally found my place.  Well, places. I go back and forth between New York City and Montreal. It’s like I’m adverse to roots or something.

I eventually got my esthetician license and worked as a professional makeup artist for many years. I was always current on what was up and coming in the beauty world and pretty much thought I knew it all, and then I met the man who would become my husband.

That sounds like a weird segue but I swear it’s pertinent! You see, my husband is Korean American, born in NYC and raised in New Jersey. When things started getting serious, he took me home to meet the parents. Inside their bathrooms I saw all manner of gorgeous beauty products I’d never heard of before! I felt like a hungry dog at a butcher shop and every shiny package was like a juicy steak I just had to try.

Later that week, when we were driving around a Korean shopping area I spotted some cosmetics stores and I made a beeline toward them. As soon as I entered the doors, that was it. I was hooked.

The quality of ingredients, the packaging, the newness—heaven!

If I remember correctly, my first purchases were a BB cream, a cute little blush pot, and a lipgloss. I could not believe what a step up BB cream was from my old tinted moisturizer. The dewy light finish it gave was so radiant and effortless.

“Dewy” and “radiant” are common themes in Korean beauty, and I could not be happier. I never did like the powdered down, ultra matte look. Personally, I’m all about the glow!

And glow I did (without any help from makeup!) once I discovered Korean skin care too. With my background as an esthetician, embarking on a K-beauty journey was a natural progression for me. I’m pretty well versed in ingredients and what they can do, so I was blown away when I started inspecting the labels on my fabulous new products. The incredible ingredients completely transformed my skin once I committed to a full regime.

Some of the skincare superstars that got me on board are fermented ingredients (Korean cosmetic companies’ version of organic products), the now ubiquitous snail slime, and good ol’ argan oil.

I’ve written about it before but the truncated version is my skin was dry, irritated, acne-prone, and a mess. Since then, I’ve gone from that to healthy, hydrated, clear skin.

Since entering the K-beauty world I’ve found so many great products on my journey, both makeup and skin care alike. It’s what prompted me to start my blog, so that I could share them all. I can’t imagine starting my morning without…

  • Banila Co Clean It Zero This cleansing balm is simultaneously incredibly tough on grime and yet gentle on skin.
  • Missha First Treatment Essence, I once ran out of this essence and went a month without using it. Never again! My glow came back almost immediately once I got another bottle.
  • Benton Snail Bee High Content Mask. This little mask, with its natural ingredients, simultaneously soothes and wakes up my skin.
  • Whamisa Organic Flowers Water Cream. One of my new favorites. It works for both my skin type (dry) and my husband’s (oily). It’s light and nourishing, I love it!

My only regret in all of this is not finding what are now my holy grail products sooner. All those years and money wasted on inferior lotions and potions … If only I’d known there was a whole new world out there just waiting for me to discover it!

All that matters now is that it’s a huge part of my life, and my skin thanks me for it. And that, folks, that is why I’m a Korean beauty enthusiast!

For those of you maybe just starting out and intimidated by the ideal of a whole big new regime, one tip is to look for already curated collections and cult favorites — a lot of places take out the indecision and fear factor of starting your skincare journey with pre-packaged sets.

If you want to take the plunge and try some products out individually, you don’t have to go it completely alone. There are so many great blogs to use as resources these days. If there’s a product you’re curious about, chances are it’s been reviewed by multiple people.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s go treat ourselves at the sink!

Love and beauty,
Coco Park 😉

Coco Park, a.k.a. The Beauty Wolf, is on the prowl for beauty in all its forms including, but not limited to, makeup, art, and hip-hop. She’s a cityslicker from the South living in Montreal with her family. Catch @thebeautywolf on Instagram.

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