Cosmetics companies are releasing their new skincare and make-up products for the hot summer months. From left to right, actress Song Hye-kyo models the romantic summer make-up for Laneige; Laneige introduced its summer make-up collection ― Snow Crystal Intense Lip Gloss, Multi-Professional Eye Shadow and Snow BB Essence Balm; Skin Food launched the omija tea bag whitening toner, as part of its whitening set; and MAC Cosmetics' "To The Beach" make-up collection includes shimmery nude and bronze shades.
By Cathy Rose A. Garcia
Kim So-ra, a 20 year-old college student, is trying different eye shadows and lipsticks at the Missha shop in Myeongdong, in preparation for the summer.
``I want a fresh `summer' look. I'm looking for new make-up, something light and natural. I don't want to look too pale when I hit the beach,'' she said.
Kim is stocking up on her summer essentials, which include a good sunscreen with high SPF, a body sculpting gel, as well as eye shadow and lip gloss.
``I'm hoping the body gel will work. They say it will get rid of cellulite and tighten the body,'' she said.
As summer is just around the corner, Kim is one of many young women being targeted by beauty and cosmetics companies for their new products that promise to make them look prettier and slimmer this summer.
Summer make-up collections usually mean more colors, but these days, cosmetics companies are introducing a lighter, more natural collection.
Laneige is hoping women will opt for its ``mysterious but romantic'' make-up collection. It is characterized by creamy glowing skin with clear lip gloss, as well as soft pastel eye shadows to emphasize clear and bright eyes.
Laneige's overall trend for summer 2010 reflects a soft romanticism. ``During the hot summer season, color make-up smears and comes off easily. It is best to focus only on key points: soft pastel colors for the eyes and gloss for the lips plus long lashes to achieve a natural look. I feel that a light pink lip gloss will be an easy way to complete the natural look for the summer,'' a Laneige make-up manager said.
To help achieve this look, Laneige recommends the Snow BB Essence Balm that combines SPF 33 and a sheer foundation; Snow Crystal Intense Lip Gloss); and Multi-Professional Eye Shadows that can help the eyes look bigger.
Meanwhile, MAC Cosmetics' new summer collection To the Beach is targeting beach-bound bea uties. The color palette is characterized by nude, bronze and golden shades for the eyes, lips, cheeks and nails.
Even the names of the products evoke summer, like Scorcher nail polishes, Easy Lounger lip gloss, Splashing lipstick and Sand & Sun eye shadow.
To avoid looking too pale at the beach, MAC bronzing powder, bronzer and body oil can help give a healthy, natural glow. Even the packaging is very appropriate: instead of the plain black containers, To the Beach products come in green or salmon-colored packaging with seashell, coral or jellyfish designs.
Sun protection is a must for the hot summer months. New sun creams are coming out with higher sun protection factors (SPF) and different formulas to suit any skin type and fit any budget. SPF is important to keep wrinkles and fine lines from forming, especially on one's face, and helps maintain a youthful radiance.
For those on a budget, there are also a range of sun creams from the beauty chains The Face Shop, The Etude House, Missha, Nature Republic and It's Skin that range from 5,000 won to 20,000 won.
Missha offers the new All-Around Safe Block soft finish sun milk SPF 50 (19,800 won), while Nature Republic introduced the Alaska Cool Ice range of sun block that gives a cooling feeling when one applies it on the skin.
Marketing as always plays a key role in the promotional campaigns of cosmetics companies.
Popular boy band 2PM is endorsing a new sunscreen from It's Skin. Predictably, the sunscreen, which comes in a bronze-colored package, is also called 2PM. Priced at less than 15,000 won, the sunscreen boasts not only SPF 50, but also whitening and anti-wrinkle properties.
AmorePacific-owned brands seem to offer something at every price point. The Etude House offers different kinds of sun block at less than 10,000 won.
Lirikos introduced a new line of sun protection products that help block UV rays, such as Brightening Sun Protection Pact with SPF 50 (50,000 won) and Sun Protection in Intense Cream SPF 50 and in Mild Cream SPF 36 (40,000 won). The sun creams are suitable for outdoor activities as it protects the skin from free radicals caused by UV rays and skin damage, and does not easily get removed by sweat and water.
One of the most expensive sunscreens is from French luxury cosmetics brand Sisley, whose broad spectrum of colorless facial sunscreen costs 140,000 won.
Before hitting the beach, women are concerned about showing off their toned bodies, and achieving those sexy curves (S-line) and slim waistlines (X-line).
Anna Kim, a 29 year-old researcher, is hitting the gym every other day and watching what she eats, but also using the Cool Fitting Body Gel from Missha.
``I hope it will trim some more centimeters from my waist and thighs. I don't want to look heavy when I go to the beach for my vacation,'' Kim said.
Missha also introduced the Cool Fitting Body Gel that not only promises to shape and tighten problem areas like hips, thighs, waist and legs, but also whitens the skin. Unlike the Missha Hot Burning Body Gel, the Cool Fitting Body Gel also has whitening properties.
Berries for the skin
The five flavor berry, called ``omija'' or Schisandra chinensis, is not just used for tea but now being used for skin care. Skin Food has introduced the Omija Whitening Line, composed of teabag toner, whitening emulsion, serum and creams. The products contain a patented compound of omija extract that contribute to whitening the skin.
The unique Omija Whitening toner comes with a tea bag that is placed inside the toner, and can be used within three to four months from opening.
The acai berry, which is from the acai palm tree from the Brazilian Amazon rainforest, is also becoming popular for its health benefits. It has been described as a super fruit because it is rich in vitamins, antioxidant elements and fatty acids that help maintain the skin's elasticity.
The Face Shop's Natural Sun SPF 45 uses acai berry as a main ingredient. Sugar's firming and toning body moisturizer Acai Age-Delay Body Cream uses acai oil to provide antioxidant protection and helps skin maintain its firmness.