Bangkok Post

BEAUTY MASK

SOUTH KOREAN FASHION EVOLVES IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRU­S

- STORY BY Hyun Young Yi and Josh Smith/ Reuters

From tutorials on how to wear make-up with a face mask, to hats that incorporat­e a protective plastic shield, South Koreans are seeking to make sure the coronaviru­s outbreak doesn’t damage their reputation for style.

In one video that has gathered tens of thousands of views, 29-year-old beauty YouTuber SSUNZY gives tips for applying make-up in a way that looks good under a mask.

“It’s very, very unfortunat­e that a mask hides your face,” she says in the video. “You can’t show off your charm. I’m going to do make-up that makes your face look good even when you’re wearing a mask.”

SSUNZY recommends that viewers use more moisturise­r, and stick to more natural shades rather than heavy colouring. A hydrating foundation, for example, makes it easier to touch up make-up after removing a mask, she said.

Those practices seem to be popular, with sales of more colourful cosmetics falling while sales of skincare products have increased

“We saw an increase in skincare-product sales during the month of March compared to the previous month,” said Amorepacif­ic Group, South Korea’s largest cosmetics powerhouse.

“Anti-ageing products show the most stable sales.”

The ubiquity of masks has made them an everyday fashion item for South Koreans, with K-pop music stars helping spread their popularity.

“The public has become more comfortabl­e with them as a countermea­sure [to coronaviru­s] because G-Dragon wears them, BTS wears them, everybody wears them, so why can’t I wear them?” Korean fashion designer Park Youn-hee, who often works with K-pop idols including BTS and Girls’ Generation, said at her showroom in Seoul while suggesting a fashion style that fits for a face mask. “To us, and to K-fashion, the mask is a signature item.”

Like many countries, South Korea has faced shortages of masks. The government has imposed a rationing system to limit the number of masks each person can buy and placed export restrictio­ns on masks.

In response, some South Koreans have turned to other ways of combining protection and fashion. One item seen for sale in shops and online are hats with a clear plastic face shield.

People of all ages have been seen wearing the hat in Daegu, the centre of South Korea’s coronaviru­s outbreak.

“It goes well with all casual clothing,” Park said of the hats.

South Korea has reported over 8,800 confirmed cases of coronaviru­s.

Park said people should embrace some of the anonymity provided by masks and push the boundaries of their personal style.

“I think a mask is an item that can give you confidence since people don’t recognise you clearly,” she said. “Try bold colours and different looks.”

 ??  ?? SSUNZY records YouTube make-up tutorials for those wearing masks.
SSUNZY records YouTube make-up tutorials for those wearing masks.
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