Chosun Beauty

Beauty is ingrown in Korean roots, and in the Chosun Dynasty, beauty was both a necessity and prized asset. In the olden days, women were creative with their beauty methods, and used an array of traditional ingredients as makeup and skincare for a flawless complexion. While today's products are an evolution of these methods, it's nice to hop into the time machine and go back to K-beauty's roots to see where the magic really comes from.

During the Chosun Dynasty, the Korean ideals of beauty were poetically specific: a smooth and round face like that of the moon with a wide and rigid forehead like the sky; eyebrows that mimic the dark branches of a willow tree that frame horizontally long, slender eyes, topped with petite cherry lips. Traditional Korean beauty was very much inspired by nature, and a woman's features were often compared to the natural elements.

Rice is a staple not just in our diets, but also in the skincare world. During the Chosun Era, women would cleanse their skin with brewed rice bran water or the water used to rinse rice as these are packed with nutrients and skin brightening properties. In modern times, however, you can find the goodness of rice in lots of products across the market.

We love: Real Skin Healthy Vinegar Skin Toner Makgeoli

Eggs are an excellent source of protein and has skin smoothing benefits for the face. When mixed with some fermented rice wine, this makes a great all-in-one skincare product that was used in the olden days. Nowadays, egg products are well known for their astringent and pore minimizing properties, and are especially great in treatment products.

We love: W.Lab Egg Modeling Pack

Before powder was invented for keeping your face in place and ensuring you're shine-free, women used to traditionally grind up red beans, clay, rice powder, barley or a mixture of all four till the colour was right. This mixture is called Boon Baek Boon, and offers a little bit of coverage as well as evened out the skin tone, eventually improving to the powders we know and love today (minus the elbow grease).

We love: Catrin Natural 100 Mineral Sunkill RX

Yeon Ji, or better known by today's standards as blush and lipstick, was usually made with safflowers and honey. This combination is rich in colour and has hydrating properties that's especially great in cold weather. In modern times, dotting a pigmented lip balm would give you the same flushed effect and a fresh glow.

We Love: Innisfree Eco Flower Tint Balm in Rose

Brows frame a face, and back then, Korean women loved thin, dark brows. To achieve this, they used little pieces of charcoal for rich colour and precise application. Today's upgraded brow products and trends have brought us easy to use items and thicker, more natural brows for a completed look.

We love: Witch's Pouch Get It Dual Brow Pencilcara

How's that for a little history lesson? We hoped you learned a thing or two about Chosun Beauty, and if you're interested to try out the traditional methods for yourself, be sure to check out our attempt in the video above. If you'd like to try any of the products mentioned above, just pop them into the search bar on our site and you'll be on your way! Let us know what you think about Chosun Beauty, and if you know of any traditional beauty methods, please do share with us in the comments section down below!

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