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7 Ultimate K-Beauty Trends That Are Still Reigning In 2021

It’s more than just glass skin.
March 06, 2018

Chances are your beauty routine has already been heavily influenced by Korean beauty trends—even if you don’t realize it. You know the sheet masks you love so much and the BB cream you apply for naturally flawless skin? Both started out as Korean beauty (commonly known as K-beauty) trends. So if you’re into those trends, you probably want to know what other beauty gems have stemmed from K-Beauty. There are all sorts—skin care, makeup, and hair—of K-beauty trends that are still buzzing this year and are likely to stick around for the foreseeable future. Find out all about them, below.


K-Beauty Trend #1: Cloudless Skin

If having a completely clear, essentially flawless complexion is a goal of yours, keep reading. Just like a clear, cloudless sky, the cloudless skin trend involves having skin that’s free of imperfections like dark spots and blemishes. The idea behind this trend is not just using skin care products to achieve it, but a more holistic approach including diet and lifestyle habits that are believed to show through your skin. Thankfully, one of the most important steps for achieving cloudless skin is one that you can enjoy—catching up on your beauty sleep. As the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) confirms, your skin refreshes itself while you snooze. To take your beauty sleep to the next level, use the L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Triple Power Anti-Aging Overnight Mask before bed. This overnight face mask will immediately leave skin feeling hydrated and soft, so you can wake up looking your best.


K-Beauty Trend #2: Honey Skin

Despite what you might assume, the honey skin trend doesn’t refer to DIY-ing your skin care routine and slathering your face with the same syrupy substance you put in your tea. In reality, it’s all about obtaining skin that resembles honey—meaning it’s plump, extremely hydrated, and dewy. Beyond how amazing it makes your skin look, our favorite thing about this trend is that it doesn’t require any elaborate tricks. All it takes is layering on hydrating and skin brightening products like serums, moisturizers and highlighters. Start off your honey skin routine with a radiance-boosting product like vitamin C. The L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Derm Intensives 10% Pure Vitamin C Serum is a great option because not only does it have antioxidant properties, but it also boosts the skin's radiance in just one week. Follow it up with a dewy moisturizer and a glowy highlight to achieve gorgeous honey skin. 


K-Beauty Trend #3: Glass Skin

Glass skin isn’t entirely different from honey skin, but it still deserves its own place on this list. The two trends are undeniably similar, but glass skin is a newer iteration of honey skin. The major difference between the trends is that glass skin puts more of an emphasis on a poreless appearance and radiant finish, as opposed to moisture and dewiness. It’s all about looking clear, smooth and translucent一like glass. One of the best ways to achieve glass skin is addressing uneven texture by using resurfacing products like the L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Derm Intensives 10% Pure Glycolic Acid Serum. It’s formulated with alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) to resurface the skin, and it also works to address dark spots and fine lines.  


K-Beauty Trend #4: Slugging 

Now the name of this K-Beauty trend doesn’t sound appealing, but many people who have tried it have sung it’s praises. And thankfully, it’s not nearly as gross as it sounds. Slugging is about sealing in your nighttime skin care routine with a petroleum jelly product to lock in the moisture from your serums and moisturizer and to protect your skin barrier from losing hydration. If you have oily skin, this technique might not be best for you because it could add to excess grease and oil, but if you have dry skin, give it a go. All you need to do is follow your usual nighttime skin care routine, and then pat a light layer of a petroleum jelly-based product into your skin. 


K-Beauty Trend #5: Faux Freckles

Was she born with freckles—or were they drawn on? Faux freckles are common among beauty influencers, but they’re also extremely trendy among Korean pop stars. And who can blame them? Freckles are adorable and they add dimension to the skin. For those who thought drawn-on freckles were out for 2021 and 2022—think again! All you’ll need to get the look for yourself is a waterproof eyebrow pencil, like the L’Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Definer Waterproof Eyebrow Mechanical Pencil. Opt for a brow pencil over eyeliner as it usually appears more subtle and eyebrow product colors better match real freckles. Once you have one in hand, go ahead and dot “freckles” over the bridge of your nose and cheeks.


K-Beauty Trend #6: Gradient Lips 

While overlined and defined lips are a popular American beauty trend, gradient lips (also called diffused lips) are incredibly popular in K-Beauty. Gradient lips create the effect of “bitten” lips or the illusion that you just ate a cherry popsicle. The innermost part of the lips are typically red or bright pink and the color fades out to the edges of the lips. To get the look, just dab a bit of a lip stain like the L’Oréal Paris Brilliant Signature Shiny Lip Stain Lipstick in the center of your lips and lightly feather it out with a lip brush. 


K-Beauty Trend #7: Pastel Hair 

While the origins of pastel hair colors are hard to pinpoint, there’s no denying that K-Pop stars have been rocking pastel hues for years. This hair color trend is fun, bright and playful, so it’s no surprise that it’s become even more popular over the years. If you want to try out the trend without committing to permanent hair dye, try the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Hair Makeup Temporary 1-Day Hair Color Spray in Pastel Lavender or Pastel Mint. It provides vibrant color and washes out with your next shampoo. 

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Photo: iStock

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