EAST MEETS WEST
From feather-light foundation to jet-black mascara, our guide to the best of both worlds
While centuries-old traditions of rubbing pearls and bleaching agents into the face have moved on, radiance remains the number-one skin concern in East Asia, according to a global beauty report by Shiseido. East Asian skin ages more slowly than European skin, but is more likely to suffer from sun hypersensitivity, triggering melanin production and thus dark spots. Serums and lotions that regulate pigment, and that include vitamin C, glycolic and salicylic acids, plus trustworthy sun filters, are extremely popular. These products are also helpful for anyone with concerns about pigmentation and sun damage.
EYE MAKE-UP essentials
Many East Asian women observe that shopping for mascara in the UK is challenging. European formulas tend to be loaded with heavy conditioning agents, which prove too heavy for fine lashes. Instead, look for waterproof or smudge-proof mascaras, which are often lighter. Although rare, jet-black mascara will complement dark hair tones better, while offering more impact on shorter, straighter lashes. Suqqu, Benefit and Eyeko have excellent
shades beyond dark brown.
THE LAYERED approach
East Asian women are among the highest spenders on beauty in the world, with South Korea topping the poll, according to Mintel. The multi-step ritual is deep-rooted in the region’s beauty culture, where a porcelain complexion once meant wealth and noble status.
Today, women still layer up to 15 lightweight lotions and easily absorbed serums in pursuit of ‘milk skin’, with as many as 75 per cent of Chinese consumers sleeping in a face mask. Meanwhile, everyone can benefit from the ancient art of facial massage with a cool jade roller, or ‘Gua Sha’ tool, which boosts circulation and drains the lymph nodes.
THE BEST foundations
The lightweight textures found in East Asian skincare and make-up were born out of a need to provide solutions for high temperatures and humidity according to L’Oréal. Environment aside, the more featherlike a foundation, the more comfortable it is on skin, so it is a concept that has adapted to the UK market extremely successfully.