Hey Bailey (@freakinthesheetmask), I love your IG username and your page is full of amazing KBeauty! Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?
Hi! I’m 27, from the USA, and I love cats. I’ve been in Korea for a little under 5 years teaching English and I studied abroad for a semester in Korea as well before that. I studied photography in college and I like drawing, painting and baking. I am pretty unaccomplished at baking though. I've been really fortunate to be able to travel a bit and I'm blessed with two cats, Tony and George.
I see that you're based in Korea so you get access to all the KBeauty before it hits Europe and the US. Did you discover your love of KBeauty while there?
Yes, I discovered kbeauty here in Korea. I didn’t really think about skincare or have much of a routine when I was in high school or college, and I moved here right after I graduated in early 2014. I think that's pretty much when kbeauty first peaked in popularity on the English-speaking internet, my Facebook become oversaturated with articles about lengthy 12-step Korean skincare routines and lists of unique kbeauty ingredients like snail mucin. I'd never considered skincare much before that and suddenly, everything was literally at my fingertips being just steps from the shops carrying all these products. I made a list for an item corresponding to each step and went shopping pretty quickly after discovering the phenomenon and the rest was history.
What's a typical day for you in Korea?
I work fulltime as an English teacher to pre-schoolers and elementary school students 5 days a week. I don't live in Seoul, I'm in Daegu which is a city in the south surrounded by mountains. There's lots of scenic nature spots, great shopping and cute cafes so I spend my weekends checking those out with my husband. We also do a lot of normal home stuff, like binge Netflix and entertain our cats, were not really in a tourist mindset in our day-to-day lives.
What was it that got you obsessed with Kbeauty? (e.g. price, quality, packaging)
There’s a lot appealing about skincare in general I think, beyond the self-care element it's quite thrilling to have a science experiment on your face and having it go well. There's a lot of aspects readers certainly are aware of which sets kbeauty apart from western counterparts. For me, the combined elements of affordability and accessibility plus the beauty philosophy of layering a variety of products based what you feel your skin needs leads to a kind of mentality that you really never can have too much skincare, and that would explain my obsession.
What's your everyday morning skincare routine? What are your go-to products?
On weekdays I generally go for micellar water, a few layers of watery toner and mist, a soothing serum, and emulsion or lighter moisturizer. I’m kind of obsessed with the more watery spectrum of products, i.e. micellar water, toners, and mists. I go through them really quickly. My favorite micellar water at the moment is OsequeDermalBright Cleansing Water because it works really well and miraculously does not irritate my eyes at all. I’m a huge fan of this one Japanese toner from HadaLabo called Gokujyun Medicated Face Conditioner which has gotten almost impossible to source in Korea but it’s a lovely soothing and hydrating option. It’s marketed for acne prone skin but I think everyone could benefit from it. There’s a lot of mists out there but right now I’m enjoying a particularly moisturizing one from a brand born in Daegu called Dessert Table, it’s called Bio Label Mist Recipe and it has a lot of centellaasiatica water in it which is one of my favorite ingredients right now.
What's your everyday makeup routine like? What are your go-to products?
I love makeup, I don’t post about it a lot because my instagram is more skincare focused but I wear makeup almost every day and I change it up often. I love to use a BB cushion, the Lirikos Glow Cover Cushion is amazing. I have also been using the Dr.Jart BB Cream Silver Label often as it has a nice glowy finish but lasts well on my combo skin. I use Club Clio Kill Black Pen Liner almost daily which is pretty much a perfect product and so useful if you like winged liner like I do. I don’t use only Korean makeup though, I prefer western brands’ powders and mascara. And always, lots and lots of mascara.
What's your night time skincare routine? What are your go-to products?
Night time routine for me means actives and masking. Always double cleanse, I love starting with the Bonair Blue Smoother cleansing oil to get all my makeup off. I start my post cleansing routine with actives like BHA or AHA and I wait 20 minutes after I use anything pH sensitive like that. The rest of my routine is about sizing up what my skin needs. Sometimes, it feels a bit thirsty so I slap on more layers, other times it is congested or breaking out so my routine is more minimal.
As I mentioned, I love layering toners, and I’ve been using COSRX Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence as well as a rotation of other serums lately. The iUnik Tea Tree Relief serum has also been one I keep coming back to lately because I love Tea Tree and Centella Asiatica. I love capping my night time routine with a sleeping pack, especially a gel sleeping pack like the CNP Lab Propolis Deep Moisture Pack, I've used several tubes.
If you were to recommend 5 Kbeauty products for a friend who's never tried KBeauty before, what 5 products would they be?
It’s gotta be a good SPF like the Earth’s Recipe Sun Gel, a solid second cleanser like the COSRX Good Morning Mild pH cleanser, the Huxley Good Night Sleeping Pack, a first essence like the Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence and under eye gels like the Jayjun Green Tea Eye Gel Patches. A mix of essential and indulgent.
I'm slightly envious of the range of KBeauty you've got in your beauty stash. But is there any Kbeauty product (skincare or makeup) that is currently on your wish list?
Absolutely. My appetite for trying new products seems boundless. Off the top of my head, I want to try the A by Bom Eye Serum, the Commleaf Skin Relief Soothing Toner, Lagom Gel to Water Cleanser, and anything from Femmue. I know there's more. I also really want to try more from Hanyul, I've gone through a few of their products and they're awesome and it's a super affordable brand.
We want to know even more about you!
Skincare or makeup
I think most skincare bloggers would say skincare care but honestly if I HAVE to choose its makeup just because I love the artistry of it. I’m glad this is just hypothetical.
Tea or Coffee
Coffee is essential life source for teachers.
Netflix or Cinema
Not leaving my house is optimal so Netflix.
Early bird or night owl
My true self is a night owl.
Fill the gaps
Favourite Korean dish
DwaejiGuk Bap or Samgyeopsal
Favourite Kpop band
I mostly listen to oldies and my favorite old school Kpop jam has got to be Bada by Yupi. It’s pure 90s nostalgia with the saccharineflavour of Kpop. If you want to listen, I recommend searching on Youtube in Hanguel;유피바다.
Fav spot in the world
Hong Kong is really cool.
Fav item of clothing now
My bathrobe forever.
I couldnt really choose but The Chipmunks version of The Macarena lifts my spirits when my 4-year old students and I dance together.
Milo and Otis