Koreans take at least two things seriously: 1) skincare (you already knew that) and 2) work. That combination, unsurprisingly, means showing up to work and looking your most radiant is a goal for most Koreans (that includes men, by the way)!
Work hours are long and packed in Seoul. Freshening up between back-to-back meetings can get desperate creative; so squeezing in a touch-up can mean ducking into staircases, cellphone cameras in selfie-mode in the elevator, and frantically looking for some reflective surface in the hallway before popping into the conference room.
Going from work to dinners and back to work all while staying occasion-appropriate means laying out the contents of your makeup bag in the back of a dimly lit swerving Kakao-taxi (Korea's version of the uber). These long days require expert levels of skincare preparedness: i.e., "If I'm out all day from 7am to 1am, and my skin is covered in makeup and exposed to pollutants for almost twenty-hours, what can I do mid-day to care for my skin??"
These are universal beauty conundrums for any busy person! So when Twenty Four / Seven came up with solutions all wrapped up in very chic packaging, it was love at first sight. Then we did our research, and we tested, and we fell in love all over again.
Let's start with the Honey Dual Lip Treatment, which might be the only lip product you'll ever need again.
WHAT MAKES FOR HEALTHY LIPS?
Our lips don't have the same protection that the rest of our skin enjoys. They don’t have sweat glands or produce oil. But they’re exposed to the same environmental stressors as the rest of our faces! As we age, lips start to lose collagen and literally shrivel.
To maintain full, healthy lips, we need to provide our lips with a healthy combination of hydration and nourishment. This Honey Dual Lip Treatment uses YooChae honey sourced from Jeju Island, famed for its lush landscape and fresh organic ingredients, to keep lips supple, plump and hydrated from within. One side of the lip treatment is a luxe lip oil, with high concentrations of the rich YooChae honey. The scent is a subtle, sweet honey, which lingers, but is never cloying. It is present, but not overpowering. It's not sticky, but glides on easily. The texture is somewhere between real honey and oil. e made sure to see if honey-oil-clad lips would trap stray hair strands for those breezy days, and it wasn't an issue. The lip oils sinks right into lips and the result is instant hydration and long-term lip care.
The other side is a universally flattering coral color that is also infused with the YooChae Honey, vitamin E and beeswax.
We love that the formulation focused on lip health first. Treat your lips well and they’ll stay plump and full longer. With this product, it’ll be easy to do.
SHEER CORAL, BREEZY CORAL, INTENSE CORAL— UNIVERSALLY FLATTERING
It's not easy to find colors that not only work, but look good on every skin tone. We tested on very pale skin with pink undertones to very dark skin with deep brown undertones, and this lip color is flattering on everyone. It applies like super-smoothly—almost like a gel, but the balm-like, hydrating texture doesn't compromise the color payoff at all. It looks somewhere between glossy and matte. The color is a light, breezy coral reminiscent of carefree beach days.
The fun part is that they can be layered under or over the lip oil on the other end of the lip treatment. The lip oil turns any of these coral tones into a glossier look for those who want the shine. Worn under the color, the look is less glossy, but results in a dewy, wet lipstick look.
Finally, the lip oil alone leaves that perfect gloss on lips that doesn't look goopy and thick, but healthy, dewy and plump.
You can carry the lip treatment around in one piece, or temporarily break in two (lego-style) to fit in even the tiniest of clutches.
Next up is Twenty Four / Seven Cosmetic's Touch-Up Skin Perfecting Cream. You heard it here first — this is going to be a mandatory item for every makeup bag.
MID-DAY SKINCARE ROUTINE
Even after a thorough morning K-beauty skincare ritual, a busy lifestyle, and even stress can leave skin parched and hungry, waiting for the care of the evening routine, which can be after midnight. This highlighting cream feeds your skin during that mid-day touch-up with hydrating glycerin—a forever must; adenosine, which tightens, brightens and firms; and licorice which is naturally brightening and anti-inflammatory (remember, inflamed skin ages more quickly).
BUT ALSO MAKEUP
But are we really going to put on a serum on perfectly made up faces mid-day and ruin our makeup?
Fear not. This shimmer cream, is packed with skin-healthy ingredients worthy of a serum. You can layer it over your existing makeup, be it tinted moisturizer, a full face of foundation, or no makeup at all. The shimmer is subtle and leaves your face with that covetable perked up, dewy highlight in all the right places.
We tried this on the same range of pale skin with pink undertones to dark skin with deep brown undertones, and it had the same impact on every face: instant dewiness with flattering glints of light catching all the right areas of the face. The texture is creamy and spreads on easily, leaving skin semi-matte, semi-dewy.
This isn't strobing. This isn't highlighting. This is the fast-track to the dewy look that put K-beauty on the map. Of course, being a Korean product, adding skincare ingredients was a no-brainer, for the skin-savvy culture.
TIPS: WAYS TO USE
- Apply to cheekbones -- look totally plumped up without the blush to complete a bare-faced look
- Apply to cheekbones over blush -- the blush looks more like a healthy flush giving face a more natural look
- Apply all over to bare-face or non-contoured face over cushion compact, foundation or powder -- look like you just stepped out of the shower
- Apply to the T-zone—draw attention to the center of your face making your face look more contoured, slimmer and lifted
- Apply around the sides of your eyes starting from the ends of your eyebrows, around sides of eyes, and under outer corner of eyes—get that runway model look with lifted cheekbones
- Apply to just the cheeks—get a cute look where cheeks look firmed up and incredibly radiant
- Apply to collarbones and shoulders—the barely-there shimmer looks just like skin, but the kind of skin that's perfectly silky, hydrated and glowing
- Apply over bronzer or contoured areas—look sun-kissed & healthy in seconds