Gong Yoo is the new endorser of La Mer
The secrets of the ‘Glass-skinned’ korean star
ALL IN MY HEAD - Monique Toda (The Philippine Star) - April 8, 2020 - 12:00am

One of the ways to cope with the ongoing crisis when it gets too intense or emotionally draining is to escape. I am not recommending that you leave your homes. Please stay home! What I mean is to distract ourselves from the realities of life. What better way than to focus on beauty, looking good and therefore feeling good.

Korean celebrities are known for their “glass skin” and fine, symmetrical features. It is no wonder these stars are at the forefront of the beauty industry as endorsers.

Recently, the immortal-looking Gong Yoo was announced as the new model for luxury skincare brand La Mer. In La Mer’s Instagram, the Goblin superstar was shown with his porcelain skin using the premium brand’s La Mer Eye Concentrate. Gong Yoo has always topped his country’s brand-reputation rankings and the 40-year-old actor is one of the most sought-after endorsers.

Not to be left behind is his Goblin co-star and partner-in-bromance, Lee Dong-wook, who is the face of the Chanel male cosmetics line “Boy de Chanel.” The limited Boy de Chanel line includes a tinted foundation, a two-in-one eyebrow pencil and a lip balm. Chanel even made its way into a scene in Lee Dong-wook’s latest drama, Touch Your Heart. La Mer and Chanel cosmetics can both be found in Rustan’s The Beauty Source.

Statuesque actor Lee Min-ho has been a longtime spokesperson for Innisfree, a popular South Korean line of beauty products and cosmetics using the natural elements found on Jeju Island. You can see many campaigns with the handsome actor promoting the brand’s green tea line, volcanic clay mask and its various men’s colognes.

One of their creative marketing ideas was a Virtual Reality (VR) date with Lee Min-ho, where he takes you on a tour of Jeju Island. This was offered in select Innisfree Cafés in South Korea. I confess, I took this VR date. I sat on a chair and put on goggles and then my adventure began. It started with Lee Min-ho appearing in front of me and taking my hand. He seemed so real that I was probably smiling to myself. All of a sudden, I was in a convertible where he drove and casually conversed with me.  All this time he explained the natural ingredients found on this island in English. (There is a choice of the tour being in English, Korean or Chinese.) It is his voice. It ended when he walked me through a vibrant yellow field of canola flowers. Needless to say, I bought all the Innisfree products I could carry after that. The Innisfree flagship store in the Philippines is in Mall of Asia.

Itaewon Class star Park Seo-joon has been the male face of South Korean cosmetics brand Laneige since 2018. I was fortunate to interview and come up close to Mr. Aura himself when he was launched as a Bench global endorser last year. I was astonished at his pore-less, perfect skin.  A really good actor with numerous awards and accomplishments, Park Seo-joon is a great choice to promote Laneige with his ideal looks and build.

Alongside him as Laneige endorser is gorgeous model/actress Lee Sung-kyung. The light-eyed beauty is best known for her role in K-drama Weightlifting Fairy.  Laneige’s bestsellers and my personal favorites are the Water Sleeping Mask and Lip Sleeping Mask. The Water Sleeping Mask is so in demand, one is reportedly sold every 11 seconds. I buy my Laneige products in their stand-alone boutique in SM Makati.

Another top South Korean skincare line, Sulwhasoo, appointed Song Hye-kyo, one of the most beautiful and accomplished Korean actresses, as their endorser. The Descendants of the Sun and Encounter powerhouse star is known as a “living doll” and promotes the line’s premium products, such as its Ginseng Renewing Serum, Snowise Brightening Exfoliating Mask, and Perfecting Cushion, among others. I wish they would open a store in Manila soon so I could get a stash of their well-reviewed products.

Actress Son Ye-jin has now become a household name due to the enormous success of the K-drama Crash Landing on You (CLOY). However, she has been famous in Korea for a while now. She is the model for MA:NYO or Manyo Factory. In fact, she is seen applying the brand’s Bifida Complex Ampoule in the first episode of CLOY, an obvious product placement. Her skin throughout the drama is flawless — even when she was stranded in North Korea.

Fresh-faced beauty, actress and Miss A girl group member Suzy Bae has been the muse of Lancome for a couple of years now. With her luminous skin and girl-next-door appeal, she brings a youthful vibe to the French brand. Makeup products used by her character in her recent K-drama Vagabond include the Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Cushion and Absolut Rouge lipstick, providing her with flawless skin and red lips. Lancome products are available at Rustan’s Makati.

Another beauty muse is Seo Hyun-jin for Estee Lauder. The Korean singer and actress has been the international brand’s endorser since 2016. She comes out in ads that promote the well-loved Advanced Night Repair Concentrate, Nutritious Micro Algae Collection and its line of luxury cosmetics. Seo Hyun-jin is known for her roles in Dr. Romantic, Temperature of Love and The Beauty Inside. I myself love Estee Lauder’s Semi-matte Liquid Foundation, which I get in Rustan’s The Beauty Source as well.

Locally, super-macho superstar Ji Chang-wook was asked to be the swoon-worthy endorser of Bench’s So In Love eau de toilette, a ladies’ cologne available in all Bench stores. I guess it’s because so many women are “so in love” with him. The famous actor is known for his numerous dramas that include Empress Ki, Healer, Suspicious Partner, The K2 and most recently, Melting Me Softly.  He also starred in Fabricated City, a crime-action film.

K-pop bands and idols are also noteworthy brand ambassadors for skincare and makeup brands due to their immense influence and massive fan base. Exo, with their lineup of good-looking and talented boys, were endorsers for Nature Republic for eight years. Ikon, a popular hip-hop idol group, promoted Nivea lip balms in cutesy packaging. King of K-pop G-Dragon, Philippine-famous Sandara Park and the members of girl group Blackpink were the faces of Moonshot Cosmetics, a trendy cult Korean brand.

Korean celebrities have gone beyond the Hallyu Wave by promoting more than their culture. They have become a global beauty standard, influencing a bigger and expanded market. It is not surprising that they have become popular inspirations for beauty.


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