If you want to keep up to date on the latest beauty products and trends (and boy does Korea love trends) and get access into the Korean beauty community on Instagram and Twitter, you must know Kbeauty jargon. Some terms are difficult to understand because they have been coined from slang or shortened English and Konglish. I have chosen 8 popular Kbeauty buzzwords and explained them so that you can enter the unfiltered world of asian makeup and beauty.
1 #인생템 (Insaeng taem)
Insaeng (인생) means life and taem (템) stands for the English word ‘item’, therefore combined it means ‘Life Item’, aka ‘Holy Grail Product’. Many Korean beauty bloggers and youtubers share their choices for beauty products that they can’t live without. Searching #인생템 (Insaeng taem) will give great recommendations on products which have been tried and tested by the masses!
2 #화떡 (Hwa Dduk)
Hwa (화) stands for hwajang (화장) which means makeup, and dduk (떡) is a Korean rice cake, so as you can imagine it literally means cake(d) Makeup. A lot of beauty addicts use this humorous and slightly self-deprecating hashtag when they want to share a heavy makeup look. Another popular hashtag is chiduk chiduk (#치덕치덕) which has the same meaning as ‘slapping [makeup] on’ or ‘pasting [makeup] on’.
3 #하울 (Haul)
하울 is simply the hangul spelling of ‘haul’, and it is pronounced the same. People buy products and show off what they have chosen. There’s no Sephora (USA) or Boots (UK) in Korea, instead the top beauty retailers are Olive Young, Lohbs and Watsons. They stock popular international brands (including Hong Kong and Japan) and indie products that are fun and intriguing.
4 #저렴이 (Juhreomi)
Juhreom (저렴) in Korean means cheap, so Juhreomi is used in the beauty community as ‘dupe’. There are a lot of copies in Korea, so plenty of Korean brands copy popular colors, formulas and packaging of high-end brands. For instance, Pony’s eyebrow pencil is a dupe of Anastasia’s Brow Wiz, but for only W15,000 (£10.00 or $13.00)! If you want to get hands on Benefit, Mac or other top brands but for quarter of the price, definitely check it out. To be more specific search #저렴이뷰티 (Juhreomi beauty).
5 #파데 (Pah deh)
Korea may seem like the birthplace of CC creams and BB creams, but a lot of girls still use foundations. However, the Korean word for foundation is Pah-hoon-deh-ishun (파운데이션) is hardly written in whole. Instead it is shortened to pah deh (파데). Although colors may be limited, the high standard quality makes it worth a shot.
6 #꿀팁 (Ggool tip)
Ggool (꿀) means honey and tip is just the English word. No, ggooltip isn’t handy nectar making advice. ‘Honey’ in Korea also means fantastic and excellent, so honey tip literally means ‘best advice’. Although this term isn’t only used for the beauty world, it is an especially popular word used by a lot of gurus and dermatologists because they love to share useful beauty information.
7 #쎈언니 (Ssen Unni)
The mainstream makeup look in asia is pale, youthful and minimalist, which is very different from Western ‘Kylie-Jenner-Instagram-Glam’ look. However, the edgy and sexy look is starting to trend in Korea too. Ssen (쎈) means strong and unni (언니) means older sister, so the makeup look is supposed to embody a strong and bold and more mature look, aka ‘bad girl’ makeup. This hashtag will surely give you inspiration on how to get that smoulder with Korean products.
8 #손스타그램 (Son Stagram)
Beauty doesn’t just mean face. Hashtag sonstagram welcomes you into the world of manicures. Son (손) means hand, so literally the hashtag ‘handstagram’. You will get inspired by the adorable and beautiful different nail designs and you can see how Korean girls are doing their nails.
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