Cosmopolitan June 2018 - Page 144

beauty TAE-RI KIM Botox is not lines (they don’t have any), but to reduce pore size and leave jawlines less pronounced. If that sounds extreme, partly sawing off the jaw and chin bones is also popular. Eye surgery is for making “eyes open bigger” and therefore, looking more “friendly”. How the hell do they afford it? Well, get this: you can get Botox for `2,200 and eyelid surgery for `67,000 (although this is the lower end of the price scale—on average, you pay a third less than you would in India). And it won’t be a botch job either: competition and the sheer volume of procedures done here drives prices down, and surgeons and clinicians are highly skilled. It makes for an odd experience, walking down the beauty-store-lined streets: young people in particular really do look very similar. “We call them ‘surgery twins,’” says Cecilia Choi of off-the-wall beauty brand Too Cool For School. “Girls go to have surgery with their mates and all choose the same nose shape together.” Oh. INNOVATE OR BUST So we have the key to great skin (gotta work for it), and cheap but Puerile Yet Potent: excellent plastic surgery (diversity be damned? It doesn’t sit well, but it is what it is). Are there any other factors that have made K-Beauty the behemoth it is today? Turns out the main one is the Korean tendency to get bored. “Korean girls are curious, impatient and not at all loyal,” says Christine. “A product may not last a year even if it sells millions. To survive, beauty brands have to be supremely innovative.” It’s precisely this innovation, in terms of zany packaging as well as surprising contents, that made K-Beauty the darling of the digital universe—the beast that needs feeding with newness every single second. Cue instant dissemination around the world, followed by addiction: aside from guaranteeing performance, Korean formulators also excel at dreaming up orgasmically pleasurable textures. Any milky jelly, silky primer or moisture- bomb plumping mask you’ve been obsessed with lately is bound to Looking Chok Ch have originated in a Korean brain. Subtle fragrance is important too: “Koreans believe a light, natural fragrance will help ‘open up’ the skin and soothe the mind for better product absorption—it’s a holistic principle,” says Katalin. There’s a lot of emphasis on suggestion to hook a customer’s mind, body and soul: Cecelia tells me Too Cool’s popular Egg Cream skincare is a perfect example. “The egg is smooth 3 2 Our pick of the K-pops. 1 4 5 ok