You’d have to be living under a continent-sized rock to have missed that Korean beauty products are having a moment. Between BBs, CCs, konjac sponges, Hannibal Lecter-esque sheet masks for ailments ranging from “fatigue” to “hangover,” and essences worth prolonging your skin-care regimen by three extra minutes, American products must be feeling a tad left out. The next area of excellence? Instain-in-the-membrane lip tints.
Unlike our aggressively mediocre versions here in the land of the free and home of the brave, South Korea and other Asian countries are manufacturing sultry, powerfully pigmented stains in a range of finishes. The kicker? You put it on circa 7 p.m., and you WAKE UP WITH IT ON the next morning. “I’m starting to believe your lips are just naturally that punchy, orange red,” my travel companion said as I unnecessarily applied my stain for the second time in 24 hours (mostly out of habit — I think of it as a way to comfort others, similar to the way the Cullens ate regular food in the Twilight canon) on our recent sojourn to Asia.
As I’ve previously written, I’m a fan of semi-permanent beauty. I’d be a fan of permanent beauty if that were humanly possible at this juncture (here’s hoping we’re not far off). Once I get used to how I look a certain way, I don’t like being reminded that it’s artifice: I abhor obvious roots, and I can’t get started with hair extensions because I fear slipping into Sylvia Plath levels of depression when they inevitably have to be removed.
So, it goes without saying that I like my lip colors to stay on for a pretty long time. Here, the three Seoul stains to know now.