K-Beauty Files II - Jennifer of Barely There Beauty

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Hey hey hey! Here we are with the second part of my K-Beauty Files series, a series of interviews with those that fall into the Korean Beauty niche in the blogging world! Today we have Jennifer from Barely There Beauty. Jennifer is actually one of my favourite bloggers and I love her mix of Korean products and Western products she features, particularly the high end ones so I can lust over some things I couldn't afford on the regular! She is genuinely blog photography goals and you can check her instagram out for even more proof of that! Now onto the questions!

First off, tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog!
Hi! I'm Jennifer and I blog over at Barely There Beauty.com. An Anglo-Korean lover of food, travel, expensive skin, a good flat lay and fresh flowers in abundance, you'll find a lot of high end makeup, skincare talk and Korean beauty over on BTB, aswell as lifestyle and dabblings into one of my favourite hobbies, photography - would love you to pop by!

When did you gain an interest in K-beauty and how did this interest come about?

This is a bit of an easy one as my mother is South Korean, born and raised in Seoul, so I've been exposed to Korean beauty since, well, birth?! I also have family in the skincare industry in Seoul so I've really been lucky enough to grow up with it and get to know what's what.

Which brands would you say are your favourites?

This is a tough one for me, especially with skincare, as there are, and I've tried, so many!
Makeup: I think the higher end department-store-equivalent brands win out here for bases, for example Hera. I really like Korean drugstore or 'roadshop' brands for colour though, Innisfree for example is a favourite, and the new-ish Chiffon lipsticks from Etude House are beautiful!
Skincare: I by no means mean the collections in their entirety, because I judge each individual product on the formula/ingredients, but off the top of my head, I like a lot of Cosrx, Neogen, Blossom Jeju, Blithe and Whamisa products. I love Innisfree sheet masks too.

Are there any products from these brands you absolutely couldn't live without?
I think the Cosrx AHA BHA Treatment Toner is special. I did a review with Before & After's here and I don't think there's really anything else like it. I also think their gel cleanser, which I talked about it in this post, is pretty amazing - it has a low pH so doesn't damage the skin's acid mantle, which protects your skin against bacteria.

Etude House are a huge brand with a vast array of products that I find a bit hit or miss but I am completely in love with their Real Powder Cushion, review + try on here. Hera do one of my favourite cushions too, review + try on here, it's pricier than the Etude House but the formula is just exquisiteWhamisa's fermented sheet masks are pretty delicious too, but almost unnecessarily expensive! The Blossom Jeju Petal sheet masks are amazing, they're a bit more affordable and just make my skin feel delicious.

How have you gone about discovering the brands you currently use?
Again, I'm lucky enough to gain a lot of insight from my Korean family in the industry, and it helps immeasurably that I read and speak the language! I do research heavily though, especially when it comes to skincare and ingredients, as I'm really picky with what goes on my face and just because it's Korean, doesn't mean that it's good!

Do you feel like your make up style is influenced at all by the styles popular in Korea? or do you mix and match Western and Eastern trends to create your own look?
I'd definitely say it's a mix of the two. I have an unusual eye shape that most definitely does not work well with more Western favoured looks like cut creases, or in fact any crease work! I'm completely embracing the 'chok chok' or 'gwang' type skin (which just means really dewy, healthy, baby skin - I've done a bit of a tutorial here about it. And the 'dangers of sun exposure' have been instilled in me for yonks so I tend to shy away from tanning etc now, favouring the Korean-style, clearer, fairer complexion - I mean, I want eternal youth!

What is your skin type and skin troubles? What products are you currently using regularly?
My skin tends to be normal, although it definitely fluctuates. Now that it's summer, I'm definitely more towards combo and I'm getting a lot of blackheads on my nose! My main concerns at the moment are hydration, hydration, hydration, and brightness/hyperpigmentation. I love gel creams or hydrating gels, especially in this weather, and have been using some from Aromatica, Scinic, IOPE, The Saem, Yuripibu - it's a long list! I really like oil essences at the minute too for night time as they're nourishing but not too overwhelming. For makeup, it's mainly cushions (the ones I mentioned above) and Etude House's Face Blur primer - I love that!

Would you say your make up collection primarily contains Korean products? Or do the Korean products stand in your collection as a smaller addition?
I'd definitely say the bulk of my makeup is western, although I have around 8 or 9 cushion foundations, and I wear those on a daily basis! Korea also does amazing and amazingly affordable brow products too - they do such great ashen shades. I think I'm a bit of a sucker for luxury makeup and aesthetics - I find it hard to resist metal, rose gold packaging for example! - and it's also nice to be able to try makeup in person so see if colours match/suit you etc, which is why I have a lot of western makeup.

Do you have any favourite Kbeauty focused bloggers or YouTubers?
Gothamista is a Youtuber I enjoy, and Hey It's Feii's videos are hilarious. Joan's blog (aka Fiddy snails) is a really good resource for reviews, she's done so many individual and indepth product reviews. I really like seeing hauls etc from Jasmine, Lona and Sairah at prettynotincluded.com. I think finding good Kbeauty advice isn't easy. There are people like those mentioned above that have a genuine interest and passion for the subject and either know a lot or research a lot, but there are also those that don't have much clue what they're talking about and are jumping on the bandwagon for the wrong reasons. There are quite a few posts and articles I've read that give uninformed-bordering-false information - I definitely don't hold much regard for Kbeauty articles from western magazines etc for example. Oh and I like Tracy (Fanserviced) and Christina! (Christina Hello)

Are there any products or brands you have been keen to try but haven't gotten round to?
New products are being churned out all the time so my wishlist is forever growing! I'd love to try the Lyanature snow cleanser, as well as Blithe Abalone masks - and something that really works for blackheads! (So Jasmine if you, or anyone else, has recommendations, let me know!) I want to try the J One Hana cream too, if only for the skintertainment value!

You recently set up your own store on your blog, selling Korean skincare products to others in the UK. When you came about with this idea, did you find this process easier or more difficult than you expected? Is this the start of something much larger for yourself do you think?
Definitely way more difficult! Thankfully sourcing the products wasn't bad as I could speak the language but I designed and coded the website pages myself and that was an absolute nightmare - endless hours faffing away with html! I'm proud of myself though, as it's a new skill I've learnt. I'm not sure how it'll go if I'm honest, it's quite small at the moment but I've picked some of my favourite things that I can really get behind and recommend - if you'd like to take a look around, here's a shameless plug for you!

Any final words?
A big thank you to Jasmine for having me on her blog, go take a look at her Korean haul whilst you're here, if you haven't already, I really love the photos on that one! If you're a Kbeauty lover, yay! Make sure you come and find me either via my blog or Twitter @jnnfrch and let's talk Kbeauty all day! I'll leave you all with some links of some of my other Kbeauty posts you might like, and of course if you have any Kbeauty favourites and recommendations, be sure to let us know!

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