K-Beauty Files VI - Fii of Little Miss Fii

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

One of my favourite things about this series is getting to know a little more in depth detail about other people's relationship when it comes to Korean beauty. Everyone's story is so different and I love finding out about what they have to say. Today I have my lovely cutest wee friend Fii (go check her blog pls thx) and she is going to answer my rather long list of questions. She may have taken exactly a year and a week to answer with these but she did reply which is the main thing. She's gone and shared a great amount of detail in her answers which has made it really enjoyable for me read and I hope you enjoy her answers as much as I did!

First off, tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog!
Hello! I'm Fii, I love green tea, all dogs, and am a bit of an advocate of fun but wearable fashion. I'm an East Asian Studies graduate, speak Korean, and love photography. Everything from instant polaroids to film and digital, disposable snaps to couture shoots. My blog is littlemissfii.co.uk and you'll find posts predominantly on fashion, lifestyle, and lots on Korean skincare and beauty products. I'm currently living in South Korea, so a lot of my content features the things I get up to here, as well as me talking about social issues and things that are on my mind at the time. I really like creating stories around my posts, or being really informative, so I end up doing a lot of research for the things that I publish. Yay?

When did you gain an interest in K-beauty and how did this interest come about?
It was a year or two before I started university (so around 2010?) -  I was getting into makeup more seriously in my AS and A2 year at school, but had trouble finding base products that matched my skintone and also weren't full on foundations. I have quite sensitive skin and a lot of makeup genuinely terrified me at that point. A friend of mine said she'd send me some bits to try from Japan, and one of the products that really stuck turned out to be the Etude House Precious Mineral BB cream - the one I think everyone tries first. It wasn't the best match, but certainly better than anything else I'd tried, and the rest is history, pretty much. 

My interest in Korean skincare really developed during my time at university. The first time I was in Korea, I had a lovely girl at Laneige explain everything to me, and give me recommendations for less expensive products from different stores. Then I ended up doing a lot of extra research around the Korean beauty industry for my dissertation, why it's gaining so much traction, and why it works even though a lot of the brands are really affordable. It honestly fascinates me so much. 

Which brands would you say are your favourites?
I have a soft spot for most of the roadshop/drugstore brands, really. They all do different things  well, and now that I'm back in South Korea I get to try most of their lines and new releases out as they hit the shelves (or from the lovely PR people). Plus, as I said before, most of the product lines are really affordable, which is a huge bonus. I'd say in this bracket for beauty, Peripera, SkinFood, The Face Shop and It'sSkin  are my current favourites. For high end, Hera and Laneige are my hero brands here. Though there are so many new brands popping up that I'm super excited to try.

In skincare, I particularly like Skinfood, The Face Shop, BoH, CosRx, and Innisfree, though since skincare is such a personal thing you have to take that as 'I like some products from', rather than 'everything from here I like'. 

Are there any products from these brands you absolutely couldn't live without?
The Face Shop's Rice Water line is my holy grail. It's worked actual magic for my skin and is one that I'll probably always come back to (cleansing milk & cleansing oil). I'm struggling to see a life without PeriPera, and  I also still really love SkinFood's salmon concealer (bobbi brown/benefit dupe!) even though it['s a fairly old product now. Also, sheetmasks. I feel genuinely uneasy if I don't have a few sheetmasks to hand. Laneige has a beautiful cushion compact that fits the skin wonderfully too. 

How have you gone about discovering the brands you currently use?
Being in Seoul for a year helped a lot initially, as well as being able to speak/read the language. I got to experience a lot of the products for new releases as and when they came out, and saw new shops open all the time. Since I've come back, it's more of the same. I also sometimes get invited to openings which is super lovely, though my work hours mean I can't go to a lot of them. When I'm not in Korea, I generally look to other Korean beauty bloggers or vloggers/youtube channels as well as aggregate websites like beautynetkorea to see what's new. So I guess a mix of recommendations and research! I especially find the Korean vloggers helpful as they tend to be a lot more frank with product reviews. 

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 think I tend to mix Western and Eastern trends, since I have western/caucasian features that don't necessarily work all that well with Eastern or Asian trends, it works best to adapt the things I like from both. I think my main Korean-style influences are 'skincare first'  - a good base is of paramount importance for a good look - and less is more.  I'm also terrible at eye shadow - I'm loving how a wash of one colour on the lids is a continued trend for eye looks here - so the more simple, dewy and bright looks are my go to.  They tend to work well with my baby face, if I try too much in the way of dramatic eyes I look like I've been playing dress-up unless it's done professionally. Fab beauty blogger, I am.  

What is your skin type and skin troubles? What products are you currently using regularly? 
Combination leaning towards dry. I have sensitive skin and suffer from some acne if I've had dairy, too much sugar, or hormonal fluctuations. My current skincare routine heading into the colder months is a little more intensive than in the summer - and I have both a morning and an evening routine. My evening products are: The Face Shop's rice water cleansing milk, eye & lip remover, and cleansing water, Soon Jung (Etude House) pH 5.5 Rebalancing Toner,  the Soon Jung 2x Barrier Intensive Cream and Innisfree's Green Tea Seed moisturiser.  If I remember, I'll also use a sheet mask before moisturising, and if I've had a particularly heavy makeup day I'll use the CosRx One Step Original Clear Pad. I'll also try and use my Green Tea Seed eye cream from Innisfree too, but sometimes (most of the time) I forget. When my skin is misbehaving, I'll put some of the Body Shop's Tea Tree Oil on the problem area, and also a Dr Wonder skincare spot patch. (The West seriously needs to get on the spot patch game, they're FAB.)

My day to day makeup consists of: The Face Shop Velvet Base Velvet Primer, SkinFood's Peach multi finish powder, Peripera's Airy Ink Foundation, Aridaum Full Cover Concealer, Clio's Kill Black Felt Tip eyeliner, and SkinFood's volumous mascara. Lip colours and eye colours vary depending on my mood. I don't usually wear highlight day to day, but if I do it's either Peripera's heart glow stick, or Peripera's pearly night highlighter. 

Would you say your make up collection primarily contains Korean products? Or do the Korean products stand in your collection as a smaller addition?
At the moment, it's about 90% Korean products. I have some bits from Rimmel London, and Makeup Revolution, but the rest is entirely Korean. Mostly because non-Korean products are so expensive in Korea, and I find that my skin is loads happier with the ingredients used in Korean products. I still use my Western products, but when I moved back to South Korea, I had to downsize my makeup and skincare collections a lot. And I didn't even have that much in the first place. 

Do you have any favourite Kbeauty focused bloggers or YouTubers?
Yes! I absolutely adore Ssin on youtube. She subs all her videos so is really accessible if you don't understand Korean. I think I automatically lend more weight to the opinion of actual MUA's, or people with a genuine interest and desire to research and effectively test the products than those who are just bandwagoning. Since TonyMoly and Too Cool For School started being stocked in more accessible places there's been a massive influx in people paraphrasing recycled information that isn't even necessarily correct, just to be on trend. It's frustrating. Especially since I feel there aren't many solely kbeauty focused blogs or YouTubers around, since they've all had to expand their creative base before the kbeauty phenomena we're currently experiencing took off. 

I love the posts that Jenn (barelytherebeauty) does, she's coming from an informed place, and her reviews are so useful. Hey it's Feii is an absolute hoot to watch. I also love watching and reading Chriselle Lim's content, she's not kbeauty focused, but does some wonderful features in the area since she's Korean herself.  Katherine from Skinfullofseoul is also fab, mostly skincare focused, but she seriously knows her stuff. Oh, also sichenmakeupholic on youtube, she's not ethnically Korea, but does tutorials with Korean products and is so talented. 

Are there any products or brands you have been keen to try but haven't gotten round to? 
I really want to try Eco Skin, I've been in a few times but haven't picked anything up yet. Klavuu is another brand I would really love to try soon. I'd also love to try more from 3CE, I've got bits and pieces knocking around, but I feel I don't know how well the whole brand performs yet, and also Chuu's makeup line. I own precisely nothing from Too Cool For School, so that's probably going to change soon! There are lots of new brands popping up that I really need to get on to trying, it's just a question of time!

Any final words?
I definitely need to become more involved in the kbeauty community - so I'm ridiculously up for making new friends! Please say hi on my social channels :') I've started interacting more with some people that I've been fans of for a while and I really want to share more of the love. 

Also, to those who use the posts the kbeauty community writes to put in their own post on certain products, please please credit us! It takes a lot of work and language/translation headaches to find reliable, accurate information, that we provide free of charge. A little credit or sourcing is the least you can do. That might sound quite snarky, and if it does, I'm sorry! But with the increase in popularity of Korean products or technologies, crediting the source of your information is really important to the community and those who spend the time to write. A lot of the information can be quite hard to find and translate, so seeing it taken and re-purposed without even an acknowledgement to the original author is really disheartening. It takes less than two minutes to add sources to a post! 

To lighten things up again, I guess I'm really glad that Korean beauty and skincare products are finally getting the attention they deserve!  

Thanks for having me here, Jasmine! 

Yay! Honestly loved reading Fii's answers and I have to say I do agree with her on a lot of points regarding people jumping on the bandwagon of Kbeauty, so I'm glad she's talked about that as it kinda needs voiced a little more. This was also the 6th part to this series and I'm actually really happy I've managed to even have that many. I'm genuinely hoping I can manage to continue to keep up with this and share the insight of more beauty bloggers that focus on Korean beauty. Though, with my recent increase in use of instagram I may start using this to help share the love for some instagram gals and bois. As always, if you wanna take part please don't hesitate to send me a wee message and ask! 

See ya for now (AND GO READ FII'S BLOG!!!!!!!!!!)

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