Asian beauty bloggers have armies of followers from around the world. They break down complex make-up techniques and show multistage skin care systems. But what are the common girls up to? To begin with, Cilantro asked Chinese girls about their beauty routine.
I have been living in Shenzhen for three months. These Chinese city is located very close to Hong Kong, but only few people here speak other languages than Chinese, so investigating their beauty favorites turned out to be a tough job. Two girls were even trapped by me in a local store with toiletry.
I was born in Taiwan, but for 5 years so far I have been running a cosmetics business in Shenzhen. There are Korean, Taiwanese and Japanese cosmetics in my shop as well as few European brands like Chanel or Lancôme.
Chinese people believe that Korean girls pays a lot of attention to their appearance. They test new products and flyspeck the ingredients. When you see something is very popular among Korean women, you can be sure it is safe for your health.
It’s hard for me to name one or two favorite brands. I can say I trust Whoo and Sulwhasoo. And 3CE is my new love for the make-up. I use their liquid foundation, powder, highlighter, blush, and lipstick. Korean brands are famous for their lovely packaging, their products are so cute! Taiwanese ones look less complex, but they mainly are quite effective. One of the most popular Taiwanese brands in China is For Beloved One.
I read beauty magazines, watch TV-shows about make-up and hair styling, and follow Korean bloggers: @dumsluv, @metaphor_lim, @leesusu, @daddoa , @lamuqe_magicup, @ponysmakeup. They make amazing videos!
I take nutritional supplements: ferments in the morning and collagen in the evening before I go to sleep. Thanks to my job I can test a lot of different products, but few of them stay in my bathroom for long — there are so many products in the world to try!
I spend $1,500 for cosmetics per month. It is a splurge for sure, but I need to do it as I want to test everything before selling to my clients.
In my spare time, I read, swim and play ping-pong. I also adore watching NBA matches. Go Lakers! Kobe Bryant, the Black Mamba — a two-meters tall shooting guard — is my favorite. First, he never gives up, and second — he is so handsome!
I spend 300 yuans for cosmetics per month ($47). Usually, I buy it in duty-free shops when I go on holidays or I ask my friends to bring me something when they go. I prefer Korean and European cosmetics. Korean products have a good reputation, as a rule, they are natural. Western brands I use were recommended by friends. I liked the effect, so I don’t see any point in trying something new and experiment.
I don’t visit a cosmetician here in China. Most of them work illegally, so you can run against a layman.
In Kitty’s bathroom: a Dior mascara; an eye cream by Sisley; Advanced Night Repair serum by Estee Lauder; eau de toilette Dior Addict.
There is also a face care set by Laneige. This Korean brand uses water from the Himalayas peaks (at least, they say so on the website). It is quite popular, but as long as we can see in forums, these products don’t work fine for everybody. Their famous Water Sleeping Mask (70ml) costs around $20 in the Hongkongese cosmetics hypermarket.
Then go Ryo’s shampoo and conditioner. Another Korean brand of Amore Pacific, a 70-years old corporation who owns Laneige and Hera brands as well. Ingredients are a mystery as everything is written in Korean. On the Ryo website, there are some funny guiding pictures, not feasible for Google Translator, though. Two products cost around $10.
I met Lychee (on the left) and Rini (on the right) in Sasa store. By that time, I was desperate to find anybody who would answer my questions. First they blushed and murmured “timbudon” (I don’t understand) and hid behind a shelf with some anti-blackhead remedies. Then they promised to answer me in WeChat, the most popular messenger and social network in China. Girls didn’t speak English well. I understood that Lichee is from Guangzhou, but lives and works in Shenzhen. When she has a day-off, she goes to the gym, and if there are two — rushes to Guangzhou, where her boyfriend waits for her.
“My parents trust Amway, so I have all their skin care products: cleanser, toner and moisturizing cream. I like the effect and they last for long. My friends often order Korean and Japanese cosmetics, so did I a few times, but I believe Western brand work better. My girlfriends adore Taiwanese masks with hyaluronic acid by Dr. Morita. They are very cheap — $1-2 for a set.
I use products of different brands including Chinese that you can find in a supermarket. They cost a bit cheaper than European or Korean. In most cases I order cosmetics on Internet, or my mother and sister bring me something from The Land of the Morning Calm. Asian products are very popular in China. They are much suitable for our skin than European ones. And I think that Japanese cosmetics is of higher quality.
Now I use a cleanser and make-up remover oil by Clinique and Medicated Sekkisei Kose lotion (a Japanese brand, $36 in Sasa). I also use Laneige’s moisturizer. As for hair, I prefer Bee&Flower, a Shanghainese brand, popular since 1980. Their shampoo and conditioner cost $10.
I don’t visit beauticians. More mature women might need them, but at my time of life, it is too early. When I was studying at the university I used to try different homemade face masks. There is pearl powder in our drugstores. You can mix it with water, milk or even a banana, and use it as a scrub, leave for 10 minutes and rinse. Pearl powder has some whitening effect.
I work a lot and I don’t have time for a profound skincare routine. I only have the energy to wash my face before I go to bed.