To kick off the new year, here’s a very special treat that mum and I prepared over the Christmas break.
Go Hyun-Jung, a Korean actress best known for her luminous and youthful skin, published her skincare secrets in a “beauty documentary” titled “Go Hyun-Jung’s Texture” in 2011, the same year she turned 40. The book (a bestseller that sold out in just two days of its launch), covers Go’s beauty philosophy as well as her tips for leading a healthy lifestyle. The beauty tips in this book written in Korean, have been translated and summarized into this post together by me and my mum over Christmas.
Go’s beauty tips affirm my philosophy that beauty is as much about rituals as it is about specific products and brands. So many people ask me for “miracle” product recommendations and are surprised (almost disappointed) when my response is that cleansing and exfoliating are the foundations of clear skin.
I hope you find these beauty tips helpful in your quest for clear skin!
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1. Know Your Skin Type & Treat Your Skin from the Inside Out
- If you are prone to problem skin, keep a food diary and observe the effect different foods have on your skin.
- Go avoids salty and spicy foods to keep her skin clear, and alternates her diet with plain / bland food to re-calibrate her skin from the inside.
- Interestingly, she does not stick by the “8 glasses of water per day” rule. She simply encourages “following your thirst” and drink when you feel you need to do so.
- Her favourite beauty foods are raw salads, fresh apple / blueberry/ carrot juice, grapefruit tea (which suppresses her appetite & keeps her regular), honey, and she takes organic Vitamin B and C.
2. Cleansing is the Key to Clear Skin
- Wash your hands before applying any makeup or skincare. Also try to avoid touching your face except when cleansing or applying makeup
- When washing your face, mix foaming cleanser with warm water and work up a foam the size of an egg. Start from behind the ears and the jawline, and once the cleanser is warmed up, move towards the centre of your face.
- It takes her 15 minutes to cleanse her face, partly because her skin has very fine hairs (like peach fuzz).
- To treat skin breakouts naturally, wash affected areas with salt and lukewarm water to sanitize the area and prevent the breakouts from getting worse.
3. Skincare Commandments
- Whilst she cleanses her face from the jawline moving to the centre, she applies skincare (Eg. serums, toner) from the centre and outwards.
- For neck cream, she starts from beside the jawline down to the decolletage in an outward ‘C shape’ motion. (Imagine yourself applying neck cream in the shape of the Chanel double ‘C’ logo)
- Apply skincare once it is warmed up in your hands, and press both palms onto your face to improve absorption of all the skincare layers.
- She discards skincare after 2 months of use for hygiene reasons – a steep contrast to the 12 months we’re usually told by other beauty experts.
- Hand cream should be applied up to the elbows, and neck cream all the way down to your decolletage.
- It takes her 20 minutes to apply body lotion, leaving no areas un-moisturised.
- Apply toner with your hands, not cotton pads to reduce redness.
- She has a two step facial mask routine, starting off with a cleansing mask followed by a nourishing mask.
4. Makeup Philosophy
- Go prefers using her fingers to apply foundation. Unless the sponge is brand new or the brush is fresh and clean, she avoids using them for hygiene reasons.
- Brows: Her philosophy on makeup is centered on beautifully shaped brows. She believes that an hour spent at a brow bar pays off for an entire month, compared to a professional makeup artist where makeup only lasts for moments.
- Primer: Before applying base makeup, she applies a generous amount of hydrating cream to avoid looking tired by the afternoon.
- Foundation: The secret to natural looking skin is not to apply foundation all over the face. She applies foundation only on the shadows of the face (under the eyes, under the cheek) and keeps the high points of the face sheer. Avoid foundation around the nose to prevent caking. Even when filming, apparently she never has a full face of foundation.
- Lips: Her typical lip routine starts with BB cream & lip balm in the morning, followed by lipgloss in the afternoon and lipstick/liner in the evening.
- Sunscreen: Apply a matte sunscreen on your forehead and nose, and a dewy formula on cheeks and other dry areas.
- Contouring: Using 2 different shades of foundation, a sheer application on the high points of the face, and using both matte/dewy formulas not only contours the face but also creates natural highlights without the need for a separate highlighter.
- Eyes: For natural looking eyes, use only eyeliner and mascara, and matte powder under the eyes to prevent smudging.
- Blush: She doesn’t apply blush!
5. The Bathroom is Her Sanctuary
- Go apparently spends more time in her bathroom than any other room in her house, including daily home spas with drops of essential oil.
- In addition to that, she soaks her hands and feet in warm water with half teaspoon of salt to relax and relieve tired hands and feet. She also likes to use grapefruit oil to massage her calves.
- Drink a cup of tea or water before having a bath to prevent dehydration.
- To reduce puffiness in the face, soak a face towel in ice water and cover your face with it after twisting it dry.
- She applies body oil after body lotion & applies it from the legs and moves upwards.
- As for hair, she finishes off with a cold water rinse, lets her hair dry naturally if she’s staying indoors & ties her hair back in different positions to prevent hair loss in concentrated areas.
6. Include Facial Stretching in Your Exercise Routine
- Go’s exercise routine not only involves stretching her body but also her facial muscles.
- The most effective way to do facial stretching is to coordinate it with your breathing. Expand your facial muscles & jaw on the exhale, then when inhaling, contract all facial muscles including your eyes, nose and cheeks.
- Although she believes that laughter is the best exercise for the face, she also exercises her lip and cheek muscles by pronouncing “Ma Me Mi Mo Mu” 10 times – much like the phrase used in singing exercises. This is apparently common practice among most Korean actors.
7. The Miracle Angle
The best angle for photographs is 45 degrees above your face. But if the camera is directly in front of you, then tilt your face 30-45 degrees with your “good side” facing the camera. This ensures your neckline and jawline is emphasized and creates the appearance of a slimmer face.
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I purchased this book from HanBooks.com