In East Asia, South Korea’s Ok-beauty trade at the moment reigns because the area’s dominant make-up and skincare trendsetter. Over the previous decade, Ok-beauty tendencies – such because the cherub-like flawless-skin child face and the “no make-up” make-up look that champions glowing pores and skin, pink cheeks and brilliant pink lips – have turn out to be extraordinarily well-liked within the area.
The concentrate on wanting youthful and baby-like was not a development in South Korea till about 10 years in the past. Now, ladies and women are even inspired to behave in cute and childlike methods by Ok-pop, Ok-dramas and selection reveals the place actors and Ok-pop stars are requested to point out their finest “aegyo” faces.
Due to know-how, social media and strategic advertising, these actions have unfold to different areas of the world, together with East Asia and the US.
Paradoxically, Asia’s baby-faced make-up development has now come full circle to affect magnificence and grooming tendencies amongst kids. Now you can discover YouTube movies of younger toddlers getting their eyelashes curled and hair permed and colored, of nine-month-olds getting DIY facial massages, and younger kids dressed up with BB cream and moussed hair at Seoul Vogue Week. No doubt, kids and teenagers’ skincare, make-up and grooming practises are on the rise.
In South Korea, manufacturers like The Face Store noticed cosmetics gross sales amongst youngsters aged 13 to 19 double in 2014, whereas a Korean shopper rights group reported in 2016 that 42.7 per cent of primary-school-aged women surveyed had used cosmetics earlier than, based on information website Quartz.
However how younger is just too younger to put on make-up? Yoon Kyung-won, a Seoul-based mom with two kids aged 9 and 6, says that whereas she started utilizing make-up in highschool, she attracts the road at youthful than center college.
“Till center college, I don’t need my children sporting make-up, but when all their pals are doing it, it is perhaps powerful to keep away from … After I was a highschool scholar, [cosmetics brand] Etude Home had simply launched and it was the primary model for prime schoolers and teenagers. Me and my pals purchased their powder to ‘brighten’ up our faces.”
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In Korea, whereas women typically take pleasure in experimenting with make-up, most dad and mom and colleges frown upon it, Yoon says.
“Nowadays, tons of highschool college students do their eye make-up and eyebrows … My daughter’s cousin is 14 and she or he’s doing her eye make-up, lip color and hair … She spends a variety of time making herself prettier … however plenty of moms don’t like when their kids do that as a result of they fear that when they care about look, they gained’t do their homework.”
Yoon provides that kids in South Korea additionally internalise social norms and wonder requirements from a younger age. “After I was in highschool, a few of my pals received cosmetic surgery at age 16. They received their eyes and nostril executed. On the time, [I felt jealous] and needed to turn out to be prettier too … after surgical procedure my pals appeared extra blissful and assured.”
Reflecting the nation’s place as one of many world’s high magnificence and plastic-surgery hubs, South Korean society sees ladies face immense cultural stress to be bodily enticing. Additionally it is a rustic the place magnificence is explicitly approached as a side of 1’s social capital, and a part of the system for reaching success.
Related tendencies additionally exist in China, the place half of the beauty surgical procedure market is made up of the age group from junior highschool pupils to school college students, based on a 2017 report printed by World Occasions.
In Korea, Yoon says these requirements are imposed from an early age. “Though my daughter is barely within the second grade, a few of her pals will flip to her and say, ‘You’re so fairly, I want I had a thinner face [like you].’”
Alexa Bui, a Hong Kong-based make-up artist and mom of two, says she was allowed to experiment with cosmetics from a younger age. “I used to be allowed to [apply] lipstick and paint my toes as a toddler however I used to be by no means allowed to depart the house with them on till I used to be in highschool, and I really feel like that’s a good home rule for us,” she says.
Bui says kids can experiment with self-expression by way of make-up, although this needs to be restricted to sure gadgets solely. “For center college kids, I feel it’s enjoyable to mess around with lipgloss and nail polish. [But] I personally draw the road at basis as a result of at that age their pores and skin continues to be child tender and ideal, so why would you cowl it?”
Finally, Bui says, dad and mom needs to be free to determine what’s finest for his or her kids, so long as it doesn’t have any long-term detrimental results.
“I received my first perm on the age of six, so possibly that’s why [I think that]!” Bui says. “That being mentioned, my children gained’t be getting their hair permed or completely colored till they attain double digits, however a bit of little bit of hair chalk that washes out by no means harm anybody if it’s through the college holidays. To me, their look isn’t the be-all and end-all, however merely one other a part of them.”