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Favorite Asian Beauty Products and Inspiration at NYFW SS16

Editor’s note: We’re delighted to welcome some seriously fresh and fun individuals to THE KLOG. Beauty writer Sable Yong gives us a peek backstage at New York Fashion Week.

As a beauty editor, fashion week is a gauntlet of cramped backstage areas as you elbow your way to an interview with a makeup and nail artist as well as hair stylist, while also trying to catch a glimpse of whichever supermodel du jour is being prepped backstage. Product junkie that I am, I tend to hang back and scope out all the products on the makeup tables, some labels taped over to disguise any non-sponsored product being used, and some nondescript tubes indicating a not-yet-released product being test-driven.

I was psyched to spot a handful of Asian skin care products backstage.

It’s not super common to have a skincare sponsor at New York Fashion Week but more and more I’ve been noticing that doing a little pre-makeup skin treatment really enhances the models’ complexions— especially if the look of the show is something like “dewy youthful skin,” which it often is. After sheet-masking myself every night for a week (challenge accepted, Charlotte!), I can personally attest that going out of your way to pamper your skin really does make a difference.

That said, some of my favorite NYFW beauty looks for Spring and Summer 2016 were Asian-inspired (unsurprisingly from the handful of Asian-American designers showing) or incorporated some Korean beauty products backstage.

Getting dewy backstage. [Image courtesy: Dr. Jart]

Dr. Jart’s Dermasks, Ceramidin Gel Cream, and Dermaclear Micro Water were used on the models at Suno and Opening Ceremony. Naturally, both shows had makeup maestros from NARS create a “dewy, radiant glow” on the models.

After all that sheet-masking and thorough moisturizing, the NARS team was probably like “Cool, thanks for doing all the legwork, Dr. Jart!”

Gorgeous skin sets the stage for more dramatic makeup at Betsey Johnson. [Image courtesy: Belif]

It was really cool to see that Betsey Johnson’s show had Korean skincare brand, Belif making sure the models’ skin was fully moisturized, using their True Cream Aqua Bomb. The makeup was a literal rainbow of color on their faces, but why should well-hydrated skin only be relegated to “natural beauty” looks?

Glitter and well moisturized skin give this look an ethereal glow. [Image courtesy: Rachel Scroggins]

One look that literally made me gasp was at Nicopanda. Makeup artist, Maki Ryoke for MAC created this amazing glittery complexion by gently blowing glitter in the models’ faces. But how does glitter just stick ever so gently onto the skin? It takes a very well moisturized-to-the-point-of-slightly-sticky complexion.

Wei Beauty provided that canvas using a not-yet-released sheet mask with essence, Five Sacred Grains Rapid Glow Liquid Milk and their Lotus Blossom Hydra-Lock Oil-Free Gel Cream at Nicopanda as well as Kate Spade.

A graphic pop of silver evokes gardens of Japan at Tadashi Shoji.

A graphic pop of silver evokes gardens of Japan at Tadashi Shoji. [Image courtesy: Sable Yong]

Tadashi Shoji’s makeup look, though you may not realize it upon seeing it, was inspired by “old memories and gardens of Japan.” Makeup artist Pep Gay created a beautifully luminescent complexion before using lash glue to affix a stripe of silver foil under the models’ eyes, kind of like tinsel eyeliner. I love anything shiny but I love it even more when executed minimally with big impact. Again, not sure what Japanese gardens have silver lines in them but I’m not harping on it because this looks so cool!

Not to mention, it’s easily wearable IRL, considering all you need is lash glue and those metallic nail-striping foils. Go forth and stripe your eyes in tinsel!


Tough poses a nice contrast to ladylike at Thom Browne. [Imagecourtesy: MAC Cosmetics]

The aggressively avant-garde makeup look at Thom Browne by Sil Bruinsma for MAC was described as “geisha school girl,” which … okay, I guess? I mean, upon first impression, I see this girl kind of teenage goth rebel version of Queen Amidala heading to a ’90s rave (while possibly skipping school too?).

The middle-stripe of the lip and whited-out skin is a nod to traditional geisha makeup but you’re really reaching here, Sil. I applaud the spooky, tough-girl look though, especially at such a “lady” show like Thom Browne.


Iconic Wu Red mixed by makeup artist Yadim. [Image courtesy: The Cut] 

Speaking of lady, I love a bright red lip on an otherwise bare face—which is exactly what the look was at Jason Wu. Other than some Maybelline concealer and brow mascara, makeup artist Yadim mixed two unreleased Maybelline Color Sensation Vivid Matte Liquids in Rebel Red and Berry Boost (as well as some mystery Maybelline powder pigments on top) to create this velvety graphic lip color that almost looked like it jumps off the face. Yadim called the concoction, “Wu Red”, and if you know anything about cult red lip colors (ahem, Ruby Woo), MAC might have a serious drugstore contender come 2016 once these are released.

Sable Yong is a beauty writer, living in Brooklyn. She’s a skin care product junkie and eyeliner enthusiast with a penchant for anything rock and roll. She’ll go days without washing her hair but will never ever leave the house without sunscreen. Go figure. Witness all this confusing glory on Instagram and Snapchat via @sabletoothtigre.  

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