K Beauty has introduced us to some lush products since it became our greatest skincare obsession: rich jelly cleansers, silky BB creams, sweet cushion foundations and iconic sheet masks. South Korea is a hub of innovation when it comes to skincare and we've come to trust Korean beauty products for their promise of clear, glowing, porcelain skin.
When you think of K Beauty though, you probably picture an intense multi-step skincare regime with an endless series of complicated-sounding products. It can be a little intimidating.
Founder of K Beauty company TONIC15, Jin Kwon, says it doesn't have to be like that and that K Beauty 2.0 is upon us - and it's a much more simplified version. "When it comes to K-Beauty, most people tend to think about an elaborate 10-step skincare routine combined with exotic ingredients (snails mucin, for example), and kitschy packaging," she told us. "However, as a Korean heavily involved in the Korean beauty scene, I can confidently tell you that K-beauty is so much more than that."
Jin calls her range of gorgeous, accessible products "K Beauty 2.0" because it's a refreshing, new approach. She says there's been a shift in priorities on the Korean beauty scene, away from convoluted routines and towards a simpler approach.
"Recently, both beauty brands and their customers have been placing emphasis on not over-burdening skin with multiple products," she says. "Rather than the quantity, customers focus on finding the right product for their specific skin concerns whilst reducing their routine to be as simple as possible. This also led into the ‘single ingredient’ trend. Rather than mixing many different ingredients, these products concentrate on one ingredient that works extremely well for a certain skincare concern."
This is exactly what TONIC15 does so well. They're a one-stop shop for irresistibly good K Beauty products, organised to help you address a specific skin concern. Their tailor-made pamper packages are particularly great because they're a curated bundle of products designed for a specific purpose. There's a pamper pack for blemish-prone skin - which, at just £15, is a bargain for anyone who's struggling with acne. There's one specifically for dry skin, one for party prep and one for travelling.
TONIC15 have just launched a brand new set of experience-based boxes, too. At the moment, there's a special, personalized bridal pamper pack designed so that brides-to-be can get the best skin of their whole lives in time for their wedding. There's also a meditation pamper pack which sounds sublime. It's meant to be unpacked calmly and done quietly at home while you relax. In June this year, TONIC15 will launch a pregnancy pamper pack specifically to address the problems caused by hormones during baby-growing time.
See? This is Korean Beauty 2.0 in action: identifying a specific skin concern or goal and then simply using a small set of lovely, specially formulated products to achieve it.
"I wanted to introduce the most up-to-date and finest collection of Korean beauty to the European market through two ways," she said. "First, by only sourcing high-quality, results-driven products that utilise skin-friendly formulations. Second, by bringing personalisation and simplicity to skincare routines and enabling customers to constantly take care of their skin effortlessly. Consistency and prevention are key to taking care of your skin."
An easy way in to the lustrous K Beauty trend, without having to sign up for a 10-step routine? Yes, please. Or as you might say in Korean, "ye butaghabnida".