As a little girl living in Seoul, with the rise of the internet (which I believe was still dial-up back in those days) I would surf away for hours as I often do now.
It must have been around the year of 2001-ish when I was frequenting to a certain beauty forum. Wide eyed, and full of curiosity, it was my personal goldmine of information on cosmetics — which was so elusive and forbidden to me at the time. Perhaps it was the way Korean schools and strict Asian parenting would constantly deny individual expression, especially when it came in the form of hair-dying or beautifying, that drove me to covet cosmetics and its secretive ‘adult’ ways more in my youth.
The drive for beauty and becoming an active consumer of beauty products has never stopped for me, however. If anything, I feel like this is the case for many of the once-repressed females of Korea. I find that many are active advocates of the beauty products that they believe in wholeheartedly, whether it is preservative free cosmetics, GMO free, or just cosmetics that actively keep up with popular beauty and supplement trends — the collection of these active voices have shaped and molded the Korean beauty culture today.
The Korean internet culture is extremely active, and cosmetics companies cannot survive without catering to the specific needs of the constantly evolving, ever so sophisticated clients. Constant release of new products and the active love and hate feedback from its consumers leads to a flood of copycat products or the termination of a product line. I find that termination and re-release of certain products happen too often. Many a times I’ve been disheartened to find my favorite product has become discontinued. In the fast pace society that is Korea, have no fear, sadness is only a moment. You’ll soon fall in love with the beautifully packaged newly released product that is currently sitting in limelight.
You won’t have time to keep favorites. You’ll become busy chasing down the never ending rabbit hole of new, affordable, products of glitz and glam. You’ll find yourself piled up with cute, ingenious products that you’ve got to have. Then, you’ll find limited time items collaborated with your favorite cartoon characters, and you start wondering how you’ll be able to use them all.
Welcome my Teeny Tiny Vanity, Obsession for Cosmetics.