We’re all aware of the obsession Asia has with white skin. From skincare to makeup, white is in. Throughout all industries in Korea, most are advocates for lighter, more ‘beautiful’ skin. Of course, for those of us that are darker than beige, we can’t help but feel a slight contempt for being excluded from Korean beauty.

However, this isn’t something new. Approximately 3.4% of Korea’s population is made up of foreigners, many often being native to Asia. Therefore that leaves those of us with brown skin to be represented as a minority in Korea. This translates into Korea media, with only a few groups such as CoCo Avenue to take the lead.

Over the years Korean makeup trends such as the straight brow, dewy finish foundation and gradient lips have gained attention from the western beauty industry, attracting a more diverse audience that don’t all necessarily have foundation in the shade egg white.

However, it seems the Korean beauty industry are finally getting a clue and realising that more people of colour want to try Korean makeup. Innisfree, a Korean makeup brand, launched 14 new shades in September 2017, ranging from ‘light ‘ to ‘chocolate’. Other companies such as Laneige are also following suit, albeit only with 6 shades.

Whilst 14 shades can’t compare to the 40 shade drop by Rihanna last year in her makeup launch for Fenty Beauty, it’s a good start for the beauty industry in Korea. I know I’m definitely exited at the inclusion of people of colour, especially since it’s an issue that I’m accustomed to. However K-Beauty still has a long while to go until it can really claim it’s inclusive for all.


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