“If it works in Korea, it will work in other countries.”
The passion for K-Beauty is soaring across the world. The cosmetics industry in Korea has been advancing to meet the high demands of Korean consumers who prioritize reasonable but efficient consumption. This has helped the industry to successfully penetrate the global market. The standard for beauty differs across generations and eras, where it even differs by individuals within the same generation. What was the thing that could help Korea get the upper hand in the global beauty industry where it is well known that satisfying the taste of each and every consumer is difficult?
Basically, the success of K-POP and K-Drama in the overseas markets worked as a great supporter. People around the world began to have an interest in the make-up styles of Korean stars, and as they differed from the method that was deemed to be the mainstream in each country, the demand for trendy K-Beauty soared. Besides, as the efficacy of nature-oriented and oriental ingredients proved to be true, the rising demand seems to have no ceiling. Also, while various Korean beauty brands are beginning to export their products to other countries, foreign visitors to Korea are lining up to buy them here themselves. They are posting photos of their purchases on their Social Media, which has even become a new type of content.
However, as traveling to Korea has become limited due to the coronavirus, overseas fans are instead looking for videos related to K-Beauty on channels such as YouTube. And as contents related to the industry, such as make-up, styling, and losing weight, are growing in number, the publishing industry has joined the trend by producing relevant books as well. Below are publications related to K-Beauty that both Korean and overseas readers may find interesting.
You can do it, too! : Skin Care/Make-up
<Pony’s Stylish Make-Up Book>, <DIY Natural Cosmetics>, <Changing My Face with My Own Hands>
In the skincare and make-up areas, among all other K-Beauty publications, books written by famous beauty YouTubers and stylists are popular. They are typically titled after the name of the writer, such as <Pony’s Stylish Make-Up Book (Login)>, <Shinbia’s Magical Make-Up (Jungwon Munhwa Publishing)> and <Kim Hwalran’s Make-up Beauty (Miho)>. Among them, <Pony’s Stylish Make-Up Book (Login)> is a book that popular YouTuber and make-up artist Pony provides tips for finding the perfect make-up that goes well with your face. The copyright of the book was sold overseas, including China, Taiwan, Thailand, and Indonesia, even before the book was published, proving the power of Hallyu (Korean Wave) once again by becoming a bestseller, and sparking the so-called “Pony Syndrome.”
In Korea, too, books about aromatherapy and nature-oriented cosmetic products are gaining popularity. For example, <DIY Natural Cosmetics (Kyunghyang BP)> is written by Bubblebank (Jung Seon-Ah), who is a pharmacist, and an aromatherapist, where she introduces recipes for all the cosmetic products that we need in daily life. Meanwhile, <Natural Soap and Cosmetics (Nike Books)>, with the sub-title “Aroma Therapy and Massage for Moms and Kids,” provides 120 easy-to-follow recipes for those with sensitive skin that want to have customized soap and cosmetics that suit their skin type.
Home care and self-care are other keywords found in this field. Some books introduce methods you can follow at home while saving time and money spent at relevant care centers outside. For example, <Changing My Face with My Own Hands (ThinkSmart)> guides you to massage your face yourself by subdividing the parts of the face. Also, <Skin Master Winnie’s How to Make Your Skin Soft (Wisdom House)> provides essential knowledge and principles you must know to keep healthy skin in a Q&A format.
A Book Teacher For You : Losing Weight/Exercise
<5-Minute Body Care by Physical Gallery>, <30-Day Diet Challenge: Natural Food, Plant Food>, <Switch-On Diet for Losing Fat>
Areas related to losing weight and exercise are also popular in K-Beauty. Books written by popular Youtubers have reached the top bestsellers’ list. For example, <5-Minute Body Care by Physical Gallery (Sigongsa)> written by Physical Gallery, a Youtuber, consists of medical and physical health experts, who introduce simple stretching and exercising methods with pictures under the sub-title “62 killing stretches that makes you healthy from the bottom to the top.” Meanwhile, expert Park Seo-Hee, who majored in physical education, helps beginners to easily learn the basic principles of exercise by recommending efficient 5-minute, 10-minute, and 20-minute stretching programs through her book <Stretching is Just Enough (Leescom)>. Also, books about Pilates, which is currently trending in Korea, are sought by readers. For example, <Sophia’s Pilates Home Training (Leescom)> helps readers to easily learn how to do Pilates that improves your body’s muscular strength, endurance, and flexibility.
“Diet” cannot be ruled out when talking about losing weight. Lee Young-Hoon, the writer of <Miraculous Diet (Dream Book)>, talks about the low-carbohydrate and high-fat diet that he studied as a doctor in this book. Also, <Rami’s Perfect Diet Recipe (Gilbut)> written by nutritionist Rami (Lee Bo-Ram), who ranked first in a body-building bikini contest, is popular in this field. This book introduces how to lose weight while not harming your body and also smart diets. Meanwhile, <30-Day Diet Challenge: Natural Food, Plant Food (Book 21)> by a popular YouTuber Ogongsam (Oh Young-Se) has become an issue as it introduces the WFPB diet (Whole-Foods, Plant-Based diet), which is currently a big trend in the US, to Korean readers with the sub-title “miraculous diet: eat as much as you like, and still lose weight.”
Also, some books written by experts in this field, such as doctors, pharmacists, and professors, talk about how to get healthy beauty. For example, <A Book to Read When You Think Your Body Isn’t Like Before (Wisdom House)> written by two professors of Seoul National University talks about how to reduce pain and lose weight without hard work. They explain how lack of exercise affects our bodies and how we can get healthy again by investing 10 minutes a day. Also, <Remodeling Your Joints (Vita Books)> is a book where an orthopedist kindly talks about how to get rid of pain and fix twisted joints by exercising. Meanwhile, Youtuber Jenny talks about reasons why you always fail losing weight and secrets to anti-aging through her book <Your Way of Losing Weight is Wrong (Cloud Nine)>. Another popular book is <Switch-On Diet for Losing Fat (Luminous)>, which is about the progress and results of a project conducted by a doctor who treats obese patients. Professor Park Yong-Woo, the writer of the book, has written multiple books until today and has published a book <The God of Losing Weight> in Taiwan as well.
Boundless World of K-Beauty Publications
<Beauty’s UP Make-Up Written Test>, <I Believe in Myself Today Again>, <For Those Curious About Cosmetics>
To become a professional in fields such as hair styling and managing cosmetics manufacturing in Korea, one must obtain a national certificate through exams. There are books that will help you get prepared for those exams such as <Beauty’s UP Make-Up Written Test (The Baeoom)>, <Hypass to Skin Care Specialist (Crown)>, <All About Written Exams for Hair Stylists and Nail Artists (Sungahn Dang)>, and <2-Week Challenge for Cosmetics Manufacturing Manager (Eduwill)>. These books provide video lectures and mock exams, along with basic theories.
There are also books where popular beauty celebrities in Korea talk about their life in an essay, apart from merely taking care of their skin and getting prettier by losing weight. For example, Chahong, a world-renown hair designer and a beauty expert, talks about the secret to becoming beautiful by introducing not only cosmetics products but also habits to build for inner beauty. Readers are able to understand and love themselves by looking deep into both their looks and insides through her book <Things that Make You Beautiful (Seedpaper)>. Jung Saem-Mool, the first generation beauty contents creator in Korea, announced <I Believe in Myself Today Again (Business Books)> this June with the sub-title “Jung Saem Mool’s Self-Make-up for Life.” It talks about her story of becoming a front liner of K-beauty, which has become a must-read book for readers who wish to do “make-up” for their life to make it brighter.
Also, monthly magazines that introduce the recent trend for fashion and hair style such as <Beauty Plus (The Book Company)> and books about styling such as <Self Hair Styling by Short-Haired MyoJung (Cypress)> and <Fashion and Shoes for Ordinary Days (Nexus)> are published in the market. There are also books that offer basic knowledge for those new to this field. For example, <For Those Curious About Cosmetics (Changbi)> provides basic information for teenagers to wisely use cosmetics products. At the same time, <Personal Color Book Written by a Professional Consultant (Eduway)> helps readers to find their own charm by using personal colors alongside styling and make-ups.
K-Beauty is leading the Korean Wave in overseas markets along with K-POP and K-Drama. Also, with “healing,” “self-management,” and “health” that have become an overall trend in Korea, its characteristics are gradually changing. A generation that only emphasizes outer beauty has passed. Readers are now looking for a beauty that is sustainable and is not harmful to their bodies.
Even though people are limited from carrying out outdoor activities due to the pandemic, they instead have the opportunity to take care of themselves while staying at home. It is certainly a difficult time, but why don’t we take a deeper look into our outer and inner selves with tips and guides suggested by the K-beauty publications and find healthy beauty?
Written by Choi Ha-Yeong