Summer is a time for friends and fun.
And we sure had plenty of that at this second meet up that I’ve organised! We couldn’t have timed it better with the British Sun out in full force. Although for us skincare addicts, this meant being extra careful in remembering to bring the suncream and covering up with clothing.
This season we were given a talk by two Whamisa brand representatives, the lovely Yulia and Sun.
So who are Whamisa? In their own words:
“We are an innovative Korean skincare brand focused on preserving the benefits of natural ingredients. Our products are 100% natural and we do not use any chemicals, silicones, parabens, other artificial ingredients or purified water in our formulations.Active ingredients are carefully selected and naturally fermented with our signature process to preserve their natural benefits and improve efficacy of our products.We are pioneers in skincare fermentation technology and we developed our signature fermentation process after 10 years of dedicated research. For us, fermentation was a natural solution to address some of the major challenges of natural skincare products.”
They are a niche Korean brand, even within Korea they aren’t mainstream, as organic skincare is still a small though growing segment of the market there. But they use organic and natural ingredients, using fermentation as the natural way to preserve their products. A great thing about fermentation is that it not only helps preserve the product, it also increases the efficacy of the product as well!
They started looking into expanding out into Europe 18 months ago and have just recently launched. There was demand from customers to have the brand available here, and after a lot of paperwork and logistics they were able to satisfy that demand! The products are kept in a warehouse (sadly we weren’t given the address, so no raids on said warehouse are forthcoming), next to some religious paraphernalia. Now I’m not implying that Asian Beauty is a religion, but that is a rather amusing set up.
East v West
One of the frequent questions that they get asked is “why are there so many products needed?”. The popular concept of layering on skincare products in Asia, is still largely unknown here in the West. Fortunately the K-Beauty trend is making waves over in the U.S, and hopefully soon here.
But one of the most popular items in both Korea and in Europe are the masks! It seems wherever people are they love the quick boost to skin hydration and health that a mask can bring.
Kelp Mask Development
One mask we dove into the details of was the “kelp mask”. This was developed after celebrities within Korea had popularised seaweed as the secret to their glowing skin- often mixing ground up seaweed or seaweed powder with bases like yogurt for a DIY face mask. Whamisa took the basic idea of seaweed having skincare benefits and created the kelp mask! This is one of their global best sellers, and a fairly unique product.
We spoke as a group about the general trend towards natural products. People globally are becoming more interested in ingredients and what they’re putting on their face. We can see it in Asia with the rise of Hanbang as a good example of this. While “natural” doesn’t always mean better, it’s great that people are doing the research behind what makes a good skincare product.
This was perhaps the most fun part, for any beauty fan, the product testing! Yulia and Sun had brought a whole array of products with them for all of us to try out. Sadly they didn’t bring anything from the men’s line, which would have been targetted at our two male guests, but skincare is for everyone regardless of marketing. The main difference would have been the scent, which is slightly earthier and woodier in the men’s line.
Pictured below are some of the great products we got to try out. Whamisa products are more of an investment than other brands such as Innisfree, so it was good opportunity to try before making that decision.
One of the surprising things was the BB cream that came out purple, fortunately this blended in.
Another good discovery was that the eye cream comes in a large bottle, so will certainly last a decent 6 months minimum. It was also light and creamy. This was one a lot of us were interested in purchasing after the event. But sadly it seems a lot of other people had the same great idea and it was currently sold out. Fortunately we were told that a new batch would be arriving soon!
One of the products I’m currently testing out is the “sebum treatment”. My oily nose and forehead is the bane of my life, so I’m hoping this product may be the solution!
We weren’t able to try out the hydrogels or kelp mask, for obvious sanitory reasons, I wouldn’t be keen handling a mask after someone else had used it. But I have tried both of these in the past. I love the hydrogel, it’s my special occasion treat. It works fantastically well on my skin, but at the current price point I’ve refrained from using it as a daily mask. Or I’d have to live off ramen noodles, and sleep under a bridge. Responsible budgeting is a must! The kelp mask truly smells of the sea. Considering it’s made of kelp this is hardly a surprise. But it makes me want to eat miso soup, and Sun also has the same hunger pangs when she’s wearing this mask.
Sun and Yulia were also kind enough to bring along samples, bundled by skin type! I was a bit greedy and snagged all three, though only after ensuring that everyone else had had their fair share first.
It was great hearing more about a niche brand, even within Korea, and even better being able to try out a whole array of products. If you’re interested in purchasing any whamisa products you can do so here: http://www.whamisa.co.uk/e-shop/.
Post the talk with Whamisa we had a mini introduction session among ourselves. Sharing how we discovered Asian Beauty and our top tips. A recurrent theme was a trip to Asia opening our eyes to the possibilities out there!
Some of my favourite top tips were:
1) Decanting toners into misting bottles for a cheap DIY mist
2) Using close to expiry sheetmasks on other parts of your body such as the feet
3) Moisturise – very important tip 😉
We then made our way to the beautiful St James’ Park for a picnic in the protective shade of a tree. Our conversation diverged at times away from Asian Beauty, and it was great fun meeting some like minded people.
We did our usual mystery bag swap, and people were very generous with what they brought!
I’ve got some interesting new masks, that I’ve not even heard of before, that I’m really excited to try out.
And of course we couldn’t waste the opportunity of being outside, we had to have a pokehunt! Half the group, led by a very eager me, ventured out into the sun to catch ourselves some pokemon. We were in good company, there were plenty of other pokehunters out there in the park. We were joined by a rather sleazy drowsee halfway through as well.
As always the meet up was incredibly fun, we all got on and had a great time.If you weren’t able to make this meet up don’t worry! You can connect with us UK AB fans on the FB group (here). Keep an eye on the blog, I’m arranging the next meet up for early September! To hopefully take advantage of the lovely weather before the winds and rains of Autumn fully arrive.
Till next time,