Shilajit: Your Body’s New and Intimidating Best Friend

Trends are constantly changing and let’s be honest, they’re getting weirder and weirder. Remember when charcoal started appearing as a skin care ingredient? If you thought that was odd, brace yourself, because the latest health trend has a consistency similar to black tar. But as they say, don’t judge a book by its cover!

Shilajit, which means “conqueror of mountains” or “destroyer of weakness” in Sanskrit, is found in the Central Asian mountains around places such as Pakistan, Tibet and the Himalayas. This organic mineral substance has been used in ancient times for its anti-aging benefits and as a medicinal herb to help the body resist stress and trauma.

Because of its minerals and high content of fulvic acid, Shilajit is known for being used as an an aphrodisiac (as it enhances energy and stamina), used to detoxify, and it supports urinary and menstrual functions as well as your immune system and metabolism.

Courtesy of Yahoo Beauty.

Courtesy of Yahoo Beauty.

Courtesy of buyhimalayanshilajit.com.

Courtesy of buyhimalayanshilajit.com.

So how can we use this tar-like substance today? Don’t worry, you won’t have to rub this dark goo on your face. Shilajit can be found in detox supplements, in facials and other spa treatments, or even consumed as a “shot.” Because of its many nutrients and anti-aging properties, it is the new go-to product not only for beauty, but for overall wellness.

Our verdict? Even though this substance has numerous health claims that would attract both men and women, I’m not sure I would give Shilajit a try just yet. Ingesting black goo would already be difficult to overcome, but perhaps a relaxing facial would be a better option.

What are your thoughts on this new trend? Would you be willing to try it or stick with your original beauty and health routine?

 

Feature image courtesy of fluorideprotection.org.

Japan’s Latest Beauty Trend May Have You Looking Sick

Admit it. We’ve all experienced our fair share of beauty and fashion trends that may have seemed attractive at the time, but looking back, you wonder what you were possibly thinking. For me, it was those odd leather belts with long fringes, colorful plaid shorts and teased hair that would probably make Snooki proud.

Japan is no stranger to quirky and bold fashion and beauty trends. For instance, their latest Harajuku make up trend has girls looking like adorable dolls … who seem to be running a high fever.

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Japan_RinRinDoll

This latest beauty trend is called “Me no shita chiiku” or “under eye blush.” The flushed feature creates a sickly appearance, which also consists of pale skin, puffy under eyes and a signature large doll or puppy dog eyes. However, the goal isn’t to look sick, but youthful, like the natural flush that appears after playing outside in the sun.

“Flushed cheeks are usually associated with young people.” RinRin Doll tells Yahoo Beauty. “The higher blush placement favored by Harajuku girls makes cheeks appear round and youthful.”

Japan is not the only country where youthfulness is ideal. In Korea, celebrities favor the illusion of under eye bags called “Aegyo Sal,” which gives the illusion that your eyes are constantly joyful and smiling.

These trends differ greatly from the current beauty trend in the United States where contouring and highlighting for slim, chiseled and smoldering features are in. What do you think about the youthful beauty trend? Do you prefer this over the contouring trend, which gives a more mature appearance?

 

All photos courtesy of RinRin Doll.

 

[VIDEO] 100 Years of Korean Beauty in One Minute

 

STORY BY REERA YOO

In the latest episode of its 100 Years of Beauty web series, YouTube channel Cut highlights the evolving beauty trends of North and South Korea.

The video begins with Korea’s beauty standard of the 1910s, when Korea was under Japanese colonial rule. According to the video, Korean women of that era preferred to have ornamented hairstyles and natural makeup, with pale skin, natural brows and no contouring.

Once the video hits the 1950s, beauty standards become divided not only by decade but also by region. After the Korean War, North and South Korea had extremely polarized standards of beauty because the two countries adopted different economic systems.

Robin Park, the researcher for the video, said that the North’s standards of beauty were based on a woman’s ability to work and contribute to society. As a result, North Korean women used minimal products, and makeup trends in North Korea remained almost unchanged from 1959 to the early 90s. Meanwhile, South Korea mirrored Western or Japanese beauty trends and experimented with various makeup products.

As of 2015, South Korean beauty standards emphasize bright, clear skin and accentuating natural features. The final South Korean look in Cut’s video, however, seems to embody the sexier style of K-pop stars, such as CL and Hyuna, instead of an average present-day South Korean woman.

You can learn more about the research behind the looks below:

 

This story was originally published on iamkoream.com 

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Modern Day Women Transform Into Historical Beauty Figures

Societal ideals of beauty are constantly shifting. For instance, a recent ambition for many women in the United States is no longer looking like a thin runway model. Instead, many want to look healthy and strong while embracing curves (think Beyonce). We like big butts and we cannot lie! Of course, ideals of beauty vary from culture to culture.

Buzzfeed took three women from different ethnicities and transformed them into historical figures that represented the cultural beauty of that specific time. The results? Beautiful transformations and makeup looks! Check out the video below:

Despite how entertaining the video was, I’m left wondering what exactly are the components of these traditional beauty looks? What’s the cultural and historical significance?

Let’s take a peek back into history.

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Traditional Indian Beauty
The first woman in the video expresses that she is Hindu and “everything that Indians do has a meaning or culture to it.” This concept is also reflected in their ideals of beauty. Women, and sometimes men, wear “kajal” which is essentially eyeliner. It’s believed that wearing kajal would strengthen their sight and protect the wearer from bad luck.

What about the dots? Although the makeup artist took a creative route with this look, the dots represents the traditional “bindi.” The bindi is a dot between the eyebrows and is worn for spiritual and religious purposes. It comes in many shapes, sizes and colors, but it is traditionally red, which represents love and honor.

 

 

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English Beauty from the Elizabethan Era
The second woman is of English, Irish and Scottish descent and is transformed into an Elizabethan beauty. During this time period, Queen Elizabeth strived to display a pure “Virgin Queen” image. This meant a white complexion, red cheeks and red lips. If women were able to achieve this look, this also signaled a high status.

 

 

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Chinese Beauty from the Tang Dynasty
Finally, the third woman in the video shares that she is an “ABC” or “American-born Chinese.” During the Tang Dynasty, there was prosperity. As a result, women who were more plump were considered beautiful because they were able to live a comfortable and relaxed lifestyle.

I love that bold lip color, don’t you? Lips were considered to be the sexiest part of a woman, so what better way to draw attention to them than wearing a bold color? Women in the Tang Dynasty would even dye their lips to achieve that cherry hue. But one thing hasn’t changed. For women in China smooth, light skin sans imperfections has been considered beautiful for thousands of years.

 

 

What’s traditionally beautiful in your culture? We would love to hear about them!

 

 

Feature image courtesy of BuzzFeed.

The Real Sleeping Beauty Secret From Asia: Sleep Masks

 

Didn’t double cleanse last night? Cell phone chin acne getting you down? Irritating redness from [pick one: indoor heating, brisk winds, too much alcohol] running amok? You may not be able to address all your skin care woes with one product, but these get pretty close: sleep masks. Call them sleep masks, night packs or overnight masks — in our overrun, hyper-busy, never-offline world, these beauty wonders can cover a multitude of sins.

We all know that nighttime is the best time for skin care repair. “Sleep is a time when the metabolic rate increases along with the production of skin cells, while the breakdown of proteins needed for cell growth and repair decreases,” says Diane Nakauchi of Japan-based skin care brand Koh Gen Do. “You can’t replace nighttime sleep with daytime hours as the energy required for tissue repair cannot be fully utilized due to other body organs’ energy needs in life support during the day.”

A sleep mask is the last thing you put on your face before sleeping. It has a higher concentration of “sealing” ingredients (which often are not suitable to wear under foundation as it may affect the wear of the foundation), says Nakauchi, which helps to seal in moisture, preventing moisture loss during the night as your nighttime skin care ingredients work overtime to repair skin.

Different sleep masks address different issues, so find one that works for you. Some of our favorites:

 

Koh Gen Do Night Moisture Mask

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This sleep mask is a light gel, which sinks into skin fast. Despite its light feel, the mask uses a skin-identical ceramide formulation that gently wraps the skin to prevent moisture evaporation during the night. Encapsulated vitamins, A, C & E are released when applied to penetrate deeply into the skin cuticles. Three types of antioxidant-rich red and brown algae not only help to detoxify, condition, soften and aid collagen production, but the red algae is known for its anti-microbial effect that helps to fight blemishes.

 

 

Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask

 

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This sleep mask from Korean luxury skin care line Sulwhasoo offers soothing creaminess that sinks in well. Hyaluronic acid, the key to skin hydration, and walnut extract promotes long-term moisturization overnight, while white mulberry extract minimizes redness and irritation.

 

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Kate Somerville Age Arrest Hydrating Firming Mask was developed on the principles of Asian sleep masks, a final step in your PM regimen, sealing in other products, while adding additional firming and hydrating benefits. While the texture is thicker than most night creams, it melts into skin, great for dry skin needing a boost during the cold winter months.

 

Kate Somerville Retasphere Micro Peel

 

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For a more active nighttime mask, this sleep mask is a leave-on micro peel which gently infuses skin with pure retinol through its RetAsphere Smart Release™ Carrier System. A combination of 10 percent glycolic acid and lactose also helps to resurface skin. Use this powerhouse every other night.

 

La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Skin Mask 

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With its signature caviar extract — rich with vitamins, nucleic acid, phospholipids and proteins to boost skin’s long-term firmness, as well as omega-3s which boost the antioxidant level of defense in the skin and improve the skin’s barrier function — this sleep mask firms skin, while its natural exfoliation enzyme technology smooths and softens. The melt-in formula reduces skin’s trans-epidermal water loss at night and helps skin eliminate cells damaged during the day. This one’s so potent, you use it one to three times a week.

 

Bioelements Oil Control Sleepwear

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Have oily skin? There’s even a sleep mask for you. Ironically, oily skin is sometimes the product of lack of hydration. This mask, made with a “dream team” formula of calcium, retinol, peptides and vitamin E, is made for combination to oily skin and works while you sleep to control oil as it smoothes the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

 

Introducing Moonshot: The Must-Have Cosmetic Line From YG Entertainment

 

YG Entertainment, the company that brought big names like Big Bang and 2NE1 to international audiences, is now taking on the cosmetic scene! Coming from one of the pioneers that put Kpop at the forefront of music, the line can only be appropriately called “Moonshot.”

The concept of Moonshot draws inspiration from Apollo 11’s successful landing on the moon in 1969, when a dream became reality. The line is intended for those who aim for the moon and for those who strive to be trendsetters — that’s quite apparent in the collection. The line’s bright, vivid colors boldly standout in comparison to the soft pastel colors that have been trending lately in South Korea.

Moonshot's Power Duo collection

Moonshot’s Power Duo collection. Photo courtesy of moonshot-cosmetic.com

Moonshot currently has their Flagship Store open in Seoul, but recently they released their online store. However, for those of us who can’t read Hangul, we’ll have to wait until Moonshot debuts their English website in January 2015.

We can’t wait for Moonshot to start shipping internationally!

Stick Extreme, a multi-use item for your eyes, cheeks, and lips

Stick Extreme, a multi-use item for your eyes, cheeks, and lips. Photo courtesy of moonshot-cosmetic.com.

Multi-use powder mousse to add some sparkle to your look. Photo courtesy of moonshot-cosmetic.com.

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Photo courtesy of moonshot-cosmetic.com.

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All photos courtesy of Moonshot Cosmetics.

The Newest Asian-Inspired Skin Care Products You Can’t Live Without

 

The good thing about all that competition out there for the latest and greatest in skin care and makeup is that companies are coming up with some pretty amazing advances to help us look our best. Here, the newest innovations in skin care that I can’t live without:

 

 

 

THE DAY MASK

 

la mer day mask

 

Just out this month, the latest innovation in La Mer’s collection of covet-worthy products is an Asian-inspired day mask. Called the eight-minute miracle, the creamy formula contains the line’s signature algae-based Miracle Broth, as well as a plumping ferment featuring elastic kelp and a purifying ferment with glacial kelp. Just apply a generous amount on the face after your serum, and wipe off the excess after eight minutes. Follow with moisturizer and sunscreen. Call me crazy, but from day one, that niggling line by my mouth all but disappeared. Actually, just call me hooked. La Mer The Intensive Revitalizing Mask.

 


THE FINISHER

 

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The premier Korean brand Sulwhasoo is leading the way for skin care around the world. Their newest product fits in the soon-to-be mandatory “finisher” category, first introduced in Korea last year. Their Luminature Essential Finisher, launching in the U.S. this month, is the last skin care product you use before makeup to seal in the benefits and effectiveness of all previous treatments. Like a primer, it allows your skin to “eat” (as they say in Korea) your makeup well, so that foundation sinks in for a flawless finish (as opposed to sitting on top and settling into lines and pores). Unlike most primers, its unique green tea-ginseng complex (one bottle contains the equivalent of five ginseng roots and 110 cups of green tea) increases collagen, slows melanin production and enhances radiance, hydration and clarity with consistent use. Sulwhasoo Luminature Essential Finisher.

 


THE V-LINE SERUM

 

clarins v line

 

Clarins’ Shaping Facial Lift products, the French line’s top-selling collection in Asia, was created to accommodate the Asian preference for a V-line face shape (a narrow jawline, a pointed chin). Luckily for us in the States, Clarins now has a new V Contouring Serum that not only contours but also relieves the puffiness that comes with a diet rich in fat, salt and sugar. Incorporate the Asian-inspired massage technique (the insert shows you how) for proper lymphatic drainage essential in a tighter, firmer visage. Clarins Shaping Facial Lift Total V Contouring Serum.

 

This story was originally published in Audrey’s Fall 2014 issue. Get it here.

 

 

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Fall Eye Makeup Tutorial To Compliment All Eye Shapes

 

Fashion isn’t the only thing to change with every passing season. Makeup trends also change to match and compliment a season’s color, weather and feel. This past spring and summer, eye shadows of popping hues such as purple and aquatic and even lighter gold shades were a major hit during catwalks and on the streets.

This fall is all about seductive and flirtatious shadows that spreads throughout your entire eyelid with a good amount of moist and gloss. Today, we’ll take a look at different hues of eye shadows that complement different eye shapes.

 


 

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Single Eyelids – Burgundy

For those of you with single eyelids like Ga-In, you should try on the burgundy shadow to bring more emphasis towards the eyes. Whether you’re opening or closing your eyes, this hue will add a mysteriously beautiful look that fits perfectly during fall.

 

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First, apply a burgundy pearl shadow all over the eyelid as well as the under-eye region.

 

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Next, add a Champaign colored shadow above the burgundy eyelid and blend it to create a slight gradation.

 

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Add a touch of pink or white pearl shadow on the middle of the eyelid and the under-eye region to bring a three dimensional effect.

 

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For a more defined look, draw a winged liner with burgundy pencil eyeliner and finish the look by applying dark mascara.

 

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Double Eyelids – Orange

Orange is the perfect hue that creates a softer look for those with big double eyelids. Just the right amount of orange shadow will bring a rejuvenating effect like it does to Ko Joon-Hee, without the need of any additional products.

 

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Apply a beige-toned eye shadow all over the eyelids.

 

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Follow up the beige with a line of a darker toned coral shadow right above the eyelid.

 

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Mix up the red and brown shadows to create a more natural gradation and, starting from the bottom of the top eyelid, apply an orange shade halfway. You may also use any shine or glitter that you see fit.

 

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With black eyeliner, create a thin winged eye and make the final touch with black mascara.

 

 


–STORY BY MICHELLE KIM
All photos courtesy of http://tvdaily.asiae.co.kr and http://blog.naver.com

3 Ways To Upgrade Your Skin Care Regimen, Korean Style

 

Your skin feeling a little … meh? Are you bored with your basic skin care regimen of wash, moisturize, sunscreen? Or have you been fairly diligent about your skin care routine, but feel like the results have plateaued and need a little boost?

Well, look no further than to the skin care experts of the world — Korean women. They’ve nailed the 17-step skin care regimen, made BB cream a household name and mastered the no makeup-makeup look. In fact, they’re so far advanced in their skin care, they make us Americans look like Neanderthals.

Thankfully, we’ve got three easy ways for you to upgrade your skin care regimen. Make these switches and you’re bound to get some of that glow back into your complexion.

 

1. Bored with BB cream? Try the AIR CUSHION.

 

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When Korean cosmetic brand Dr. Jart+ debuted its BB cream to the U.S. market in 2011, it caused a sensation. Every cosmetic company rushed to put out its own version of BB cream and every alphabetic permutation thereof (CC and DD, anyone?). Now there are BB creams at every price point and in a much wider range of shades. But women in Korea are so beyond BB cream at this point; they’re obsessed with something even better (and no, it’s not EE or FF).

Enter the Air Cushion. The first one, Color Control Cushion Compact Broad Spectrum SPF 50+, was introduced by venerable Korean brand AmorePacific last year, but didn’t really take off. This summer, however, with all eyes on Iope (the Korean cosmetic line was featured prominently in the hit K-drama My Love From the Stars), their Air Cushion XP just exploded.

Inspired by a sponge-like “parking stamp,” the Air Cushion solved the problem of having to reapply sunscreen every two to three hours for effectiveness. Press on the sponge with a special ruby cell puff, which holds 1.6 times more water than a synthetic latex puff, and simply “stamp” (don’t smear or rub) on the liquid sunscreen onto your face, on top of your makeup. Since it’s tinted, the product blends in well even if you have foundation or powder. And a bonus: the Air Cushion imparts a perfectly mul gwang (“water sheen complexion” — that chok chok wet look Korean stars favor) look with one application.

Wanna try it out for yourself? Check out some of our favorites here.

 

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2. Toner too tight? Switch to a HYDRATING LOTION.

 

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A hydrating lotion — sometimes called “skin lotion” or just “lotion” — is different from the toner that we here in the States may have grown up with: that harsh, alcohol-based liquid we swept over skin with a cotton ball to wipe off any residual makeup that our cleanser may have missed. Rather, “lotion” is a post-cleansing hydrator, usually applied by sprinkling into hands and pressing the palms over the face to ensure proper penetration. Not only does it hydrate, it preps skin so that subsequent treatments can more effectively penetrate skin’s top layer, allowing all those expensive serums and creams to work more effectively with less.

Lucky for us in the States, we  don’t have to fly to Korea to get a hydrating lotion onto your bathroom shelf. Asian skincare companies available in the States already have a hydrating lotion in their line, and recognizing the brilliance of Asian skincare products, a number of non-Asian companies are coming out with their own versions. With a broad price range, these lotions are something everyone can get on board with. Check out some of our favorite hydrating lotions at all price ranges here.

 

 

3. Mask feeling meh? Go for a HYDROGEL MASK.

 

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When we think of old-school masks, we may think of thick, green-colored goo that we smear on our face while we wait for it to dry into a crusty mess. But that’s so 1980s. In Korea, sheet masks elevated the mask game, with cotton masks made to fit your face, complete with eye, nose and mouth cut-outs, infused with all manner of skin care ingredients. Apply for 20 minutes and your skin is left glowing, plumped and hydrated.

And while sheet masks are gaining popularity now in the States, a true skin care baller forgoes paper or cotton for the next evolution in sheet masks: a hydrogel mask.

A hydrogel mask or gel mask (Koreans pronounce “gel” with a hard “g”), “is made of polymers that are very absorbent and hold water against your skin,” says Jessica Wu, M.D., Los Angeles dermatologist and Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at USC Keck School of Medicine. “The mask traps water more effectively than a sheet mask because water evaporates more slowly from a hydrogel mask.” It feels different, too — like a solidified gelatin that is “more flexible and conforms to your face better than many cloth or paper sheet masks,” says Wu.

A favorite of Dr. Wu’s is Dr. Jart+ Water-Full Hydrogel Mask ($9). We like Korean brand Missha’s Prime 24K gold Collagen Caviar Hydro-gel Mask, about $22 for 3, which has a nice golden hue, so you look a little less freaky as you soak in the benefits. For a real upgrade, try When Mask, $28 for 4, which is made of a more eco-friendly bio-cellulose material — the fit is unsurpassed.

 

The Beauty Photoshop Experiment On A Woman Of Color

 

You may remember 24-year-old journalist Esther Honig who did the original beauty photoshop experiment which revealed the various ideals of beauty around the world. Honig sent her picture to people in over 25 countries and asked them to use photoshop to “make her beautiful.”

The goal of the experiment was to get people to reconsider the beauty standards and expectations that they hold themselves to. What is considered beautiful in one country doesn’t apply to all.  Ultimately, she wanted to prove that beauty ideals are subjective and we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves if we don’t fit just one standard of beauty. Proving her point, all her pictures came back looking drastically different.

But journalist Priscilla Yuki Willson was left with a lot of questions following Honig’s experiment. Most importantly, Wilson (who is half black, half Japanese) wondered how these standards would be implemented on a bi-racial woman of color. After all, the multi-race community is the fastest growing community in the United States. Following Honig’s footsteps, she decided to conduct the experiment herself.

“It’s a dialogue that specifically addresses race and ethic features in an industry where beauty standards are apparently euro centric,” she said.

The results? She discovered that countries who were more accustomed to diverse ethnicities, such as the United States, had very little to change from her original photo. Other countries, such as Vietnam, left her nearly unrecognizable.

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Original Photo.

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Photoshopped in the United States.

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Photoshopped in Vietnam.

 

To see more of the photoshop results, click here. 

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