Seoul, South Korea, a 24 hour bustling city where bars, clubs or stores are not the only things that are always on the move, you might not know about this yet, but Seoul is not only a restless city, but also the city where even beauty, never gets its beauty sleep.
The cosmetic industry in South Korea, never stops. Brands are constantly on the move putting out new products, lines, special editions and collaborations, in skincare as well as in make up. No matter how fast you are adapting, you might never be able to keep up with the wave, specially after the constant and powerful increase on the popularity and demand of K-products globally. Which has also augmented the willingness and speed, with which the industry and brands work, to come out with new merchandise.
Korean make up has slowly become more and more trendy with the popularization of Kpop and K-dramas, but now, with beauty experts embracing and applauding K trends, as well as Seoul becoming one of the latest trend setting capitals, the K-make up wave seems unstoppable. Trends like strobing, which had been popular in Korea for years, where the main focal point for a couple of seasons, cushions are now to be found everywhere in the world and the list goes on an on… Not only that, but also Make up brands and artists are booming and increasing exponentially, not only in terms of quantity, but quality, excelling talent and “savoir faire” to the core.
With all this development, comes also some uncertainty, because among all this quick growth, where does the consumer stand? And in between so many choices how does an average person know what to get? The right answer to those questions, is not always so evident. There are many good products on the market, quite a big range of brands and also many beauty content creators, as well as sometimes, sadly, less famous make up artists. Everyone has their own favourites and even though it is fairly easy to get ok products here, how can we differentiate in between good and great and know that what we are choosing is one of the best options out there?
Even though not everyone has the same taste, needs or budget, today I am here to introduce you something that no matter in which side of the spectrum you stand, would be a very big mistake to miss on. Jung Saem Mool, the brand, products and specially the artist that you most definitely should and would want to know about. Get ready, because from the artist to the stores, I am going to bring you all the information, in what is in my opinion, one of the top leading brands and specially artists, in the K-Make up world.
Jung Saem Mool is a Korean beauty artist that has been working on the industry for years, being also one of Korea´s first generation make up artists, to get global attention. Working with top Korean celebrities, she has been establishing new bases on Korean make up for decades, creating and setting trends that have stuck an impression on the storyline of Korea´s contemporary make up, up until this same day.
There is no doubt that JSM is incredibly talented, but I also happened to have the pleasure to meet her at the opening of one of her stores and talent was not the only thing that stood out to me. The make up artist was not only very humble, but also felt very approachable when interacting with all the people who went there to see her, it was truly a pleasure to watch. I was super starstruck to be able to meet her in person, since I have been following her path for years, being such a fan of her work, but seeing her give advice and interact with all the people who had been patiently waiting to see her, with so much attention and care, gave her another big star on my book.
I have to admit I am not very patient when it comes to queuing, I tend to get bored easily and value my time too much for standing in line for something for too long. That is why I have never been a good fan, because there are very, very few well-known people whom I like and respect enough to ever consider waiting long in line in order to see. The people who I value most to dedicate my time to, have always been my loved ones, but there are a couple of exceptions of people I respect and would like to meet, which was most definitely the case this time.
I had been queuing with my friend Mal for about 20 min at the new store opening. We were both hungry and not being a big fan of queuing, we decided to leave and go see the store another time, when suddenly I saw Jung Saem Mool come out from the back of the store. My face must have been filled with excitement while telling Mal, because she laughed and asked if I wanted to stay and when I said yes, as the great friend she is, did not complain even once and waited with me while I was completely fangirling.
During the opening, Jung Saem Mool was doing make up counseling for all the people waiting in line and when it was my turn, in literally less than a minute and with just a look at my eyes, she was able to make a full look with those shades that would really bring out my eye-color and complexion. She was so professional, talented, calm and felt so approachable that my shy self dared to ask her if I could take a picture, telling her that I am a big fan, she not only seemed very surprised and was super nice about it, but also suggested to take a picture together, I was in Make up heaven.
I know many times on my articles, I share my point of view not only on people´s talent, but also about what I could appreciate from their characters. In my eyes, personality is such an important thing that can make all the difference and without which, talent could be pretty empty. Many people can have or learn skills, but attitude, how you approach others and live your life, is what distinguishes you from everyone else, making you shine bright. Once I meet someone is very hard for me to talk about one without the other, so I like to also leave a small trace of those interactions, for readers like you, to get a closer feel on the person and the situation, which I hope you also enjoy.
Jung Saem Mool is an extremely talented artist, but also at this point a well renowned beauty brand that is slowly but firmly, establishing itself in Korea and abroad.
Beauty starts from you. Just believe.
-Jung Saem Mool
With such a simple phrase, a small signature that you will be able to find all over, JSM is not only able to give a beautiful statement and have a very nice concept for people to take pictures of, but also perfectly represent the concept of what her brand is all about and the way they wish to approach things as a whole.
The looks that the artist creates, as well as the make up itself, drive away from traditional Korean standards, which tend to be very limited and stay among the safe limits of what the beauty industry dictates. Generally, you are able to find the same kind of make up products and styles all over Korea. Mainly glittery, pinkish, coraly and shiny shadows, lipsticks and blushes, besides a couple of earthy tones here and there which also tend to have some sort of shimmer and a couple of mate shades that have been slowly growing on the market after 2017, are in general what many local stores, if not all, tend to carry. A very similar concept of products, aspiring to make you look young and cute, through similar color palettes and adorable packaging.
This is definitely not the case with Jung Saem Mool, a brand aspiring to create individual beauty, straight out from ones personality.
Creating a different and unique charm for every single person, seems to be one of the brands biggest basis and goals. A goal that greatly differs from coexisting brands, in a society where individuals are many times pressured to fit into the mold set out for them, in a society that generally likes to follow trends as a desire to feel part of a whole.
To inspire natural beauty that is different for each and every person, for people not to have to fit a mold, but feel beautiful for who they are, is an approach that I really value and love about the brand. Specially in Korea, where many women are unintentionally forced to see and seek only one kind of beauty, the one dictated and represented by very immovable and specific beauty standards, so difficult for many to achieve.
The brand states that “beauty should not be defined by comparison or just trend following, but by finding the beauty in within us”, which throws beams of positivity towards all those women out there that are beautiful without realizing it, just because the current standards do not allow them to see that beauty they all have.
A brand that defies set standards and urges you to look for your individuality, to be your own kind of beautiful deserves already my respect, but if we value this together with the fact that it is a brand with high quality products that allow, not only beautiful make up application, but also art like creations, making people feel more confident on their own skin, is in my opinion as good as it gets.
The brand and artist believe that everyone is beautiful in how they are and for that they search to complement everyone’s unique beauty with a variety of products and colors aimed to enhance those special qualities, without changing them.
Jung Saem Mool´s products are divided into base, eye, lip, skincare and tools. Being the skin a main source of the perception of beauty in Korea, great foundations are the base of the whole collection. With a big range of foundation styles, primers, pacts and concealers, in different formats, coverage and textures, the brand aims to give you beautiful skin even if yours might not be naturally perfect.
Tools in the form of fantastic brushes and sponges, allow a convenient and easy make up application for everyone, not only those blessed being able to create beautiful art with their hands. With shapes, materials and angles so convenient to use that it is not difficult to see they were created by a professional artist who has had to use many tools during her career. One of the latest additions to the brand, has been skincare, a very smart move that makes a lot of sense being good skin the canvas for a perfect make up. Products that sadly I can not give you an opinion on, since I have yet to try.
Last but not least, my favourite part, that makes Jung Saem Mool stand out among other brands, is their eye and lip colors. In beautiful textures and finishes with gorgeous ranges of colors, not only very different from the ones that you will find at local competitors, but also a great basic addition to anyones make up collection. Products and colors, that you will be able to use over and over everyday, while also use to create glamorous looks for special occasions. Natural and useful products with a twist, the latest trendy colors that suit multiple situations and complexions, chic color creations that will remain timeless and you will not have to discard once the season is over. Which is in my opinion the biggest magic of JSM, to be able to create extremely trendy products that will not go unused after only using them a couple of times. It makes me compare her to great Fashion designers who create pieces that set trends very representing of the season, but that will not be a complete miss after this one is over.
Jung Saem Mool has opened a couple of stores around Seoul, one of the first ones to open and definitely my favorite, was opened last spring 2017 in Garosugil. The store is located in a three-story building, right in the middle of one of the most popular areas for shopping in Sinsa. A beautifully designed location that used to contain a fashion store and that is now one of the main buildings representing the brand.
The entry, behind pink doors is decorated with simple lights guiding you to the interior of the location, the first floor contains all the products, as well as the make up area where employees will help you try any products that you might be wondering about.
The second floor and basement have small pieces of work that allow you to see first hand, tangible objects so representing of the artist, her creations and the brand. Chosen with a lot of attention to detail, they give the visitor small little clues filled with information to complete the whole experience. From pictures, to even a representation of the artist left hand, the one she uses to create, being left-handed, you will not only be able to buy beautiful make up, but also feel part of the creation process.
On these floors you will also see a lot of sitting and resting areas, because the store also holds beauty classes for those people who are interested into learning the art of make up. Classes are held in both Korean as well as sometimes in English so international clients also have a chance to attend. If you are interested into the possibility of attending one, you can get more information through here:
Jung Saem Mool is not only a very talented make up artist whom is constantly developing new creations helping the K-make up reach full potential internationally, but also a brand that provides products of great quality and that encourages you to find your individuality and feel beautiful being who you are.
The range of products might now be as overly extensive as in other brands, but the quality and usefulness of each and every product, will give you a run for your money. With products that deliver great durability, excellent coverage and exquisite color palettes, you will be able to achieve that extra “I don´t know what” in terms of style, while maintaining a natural look.
Happy 설날 “Seollal”, see you again soon.
***설날= “Seollal” or the first day of the Korean Lunar Calendar, that represents the beginning of a new year.