• The secrets to the 10-step Korean skincare routine

    Written by Yasmine Mubarak by Pari Damani

    The Korean multi step skincare regime is packed with all the essentials to make your skin boost. Established and developed through centuries of Korea's cultural fascination with healthy looking skin. The skincare routine is today less of a “routine” than it is a lifestyle and usually starts from an early age. After living in Hong Kong, learning more about the lifestyle of sheet masks, double cleansing and skincare brands in every corner of the city –the whole island of Hong Kong is obsessed with Korean skincare, and they have all right to be. The history of Korean skincare is long and broad, some say Korean skin care rituals date back to some purported document from 700 B.C. Koreans believed makeup and self care not only benefited your external appearance, but also your internal self. In ancient times, they produced facial scrubs, beauty lotions, facial creams and oils, along with colored powders, rouge and eyebrow ink from herbs and extracts from the nature nearby. All that ancient knowledge have paid off, and with the growing economy during the 1990’s K-Beauty exploded together with other culture fascinations for example Korean Pop. One of the reasons why Korean skin care is so successful is their advanced technology with chemistry and bioscience to create groundbreaking skincare products. They are always one step ahead, BB Cream, CC cream, everything origins from Korea, it’s truly the future of skincare.

    What can we learn from K-Beauty?
    The 10 step routine teaches us the underlying purpose of each step and to understand how our skin behaves. The routine can easily be tailored and for that reason, fits all skin types; dry, sensitive, matured or oily. One day it might be 4 and the next day 7 steps whenever you wish to boost your hydration or target a specific problem area. K-Beauty teaches us the secrets of essence, exfoliating and most of all to use sunscreen everyday. However the most important part with this routine is that you take care of yourself and feel good from within. Tapping your products gently on to your skin is a key factor with K-Beauty, never rub. Finding the right Korean products can take time, not to mention a bit tricky to get through, here’s a breakdown of each step, how it works, and some products involved, all South-Korean.

    1. OIL CLEANSER
    In Korean skincare double cleansing is a key element in the routine, where you use an oil cleanser first. The oil helps remove your makeup and first layer of impurities from big city air pollution. How to: Massage it over your dry face and then add lukewarm water to emulsify the cleanser. Massage again and then rinse everything off! Erborian cleansing oil, this formula has a cream texture which transforms to a smooth oil as it touches your skin. Formulated with coconut and sunflower seed oil to help leave skin soft. Without parabens, sulfates and phthalates.

    2. WATER-BASED CLEANSER
    Cleansing twice is recommended by dermatologists because it helps remove impurities that can create a break out. The second step to the double cleanse is water based, it washes away the remaining oil and eliminates all the dirt from your face. Now your face is absolutely clean for the remaining steps. How to: Add water and lather, massaging onto face and neck; rinse with lukewarm water. Make sure you rinse off all the oil cleanser, so your eyes don’t start to hurt from the oil. I tried ‘Neogen Green Tea Real Fresh Foam Cleanser’ and the main ingredient in this cleanser is fermented green tea extract, which brightens, calms, and hydrates skin without stripping your skin's natural oils.

    3. EXFOLIATOR
    You don’t always have to exfoliate (especially if you have sensitive skin), take it in your routine around once a week or when you are having a home spa. Robbing off dead skin cells on your face makes it possible for the rest of your skin care products to mingle with your skin and for a longer lasting make up during the day. Gently massage or tap an exfoliant into your skin. If it’s a wash off mask, gently massage the product into your skin and leave it on for 5-10 minutes and then rise off with warm water. Skinfood ‘Black Sugar Honey Mask Wash Off’ is packed with organic black sugar that is enriched with vitamins and minerals to hydrate and nourish skin. Choose between Black Sugar or the Black Sugar Honey which is more suitable to sensitive skin.

    4. TONER
    The toner helps restore your pH-balance to prepare your skin to better absorb what comes next in the routine. Compared to many western toners, Korean brands are more focused on hydration and as you will notice, are a bit thicker in the formula. Pump 1-2 drops of the toner into your hands and dap it directly onto your skin or dispense it onto a cotton pad and gently dab around your face. The skin toner from Benton contains Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, and Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice. BHA (0.5%), Snail Secretion Filtrate and Hyaluronic Acid. Which all help skin texture, heals, balances, and hydrates your skin.

    5. ESSENCE
    Step five and you are halfway through! An essence is a kind of toner/serum hybrid for your skin and is an extra layer of hydration after toner, some are a bit thinner and some thicker in the texture. Finding the right essence can be a bit tricky from my experience, many of them contains different acids and active ingredients, which is specific for certain skin types, but don’t give up because when you find the right one your skin will thank you. Apply it to freshly toned skin and it is very important to pat it in gently, to not irritate the skin. ‘Cosrx Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence’ is one of the most sold essences, packed with 96% snail secretion filtrate for super intense repair and hydration. Snail mucin has the ability to repair everything from dry patches, to acne breakouts and hyperpigmentation.

    6. TREATMENTS
    These products are highly focused on what you wish to boost, which directly treats the issues you’re most concerned about. Whether they target dull skin, large pores, pigmentation, wrinkles, or acne, Treatment serums are the ideal skin perfecting step. Gently dap these into your skin using your fingers! The serum can be used a few times a week, whenever you want your extra boost of confidence.

    Klairs - Rich Moist Soothing Serum
    This soothing serum gives a moist boost and fits skin types which easily becomes inflamed and needs a calming serum. One ultimate friend is the Klairs Juiced Vitamin Drops which you can mix with the soothing serum. After using the two, your skin becomes softer and clearer. 

    7. SHEET MASKS
    Many say that, if essences are the heart of the Korean skin care routine, sheet masks are the soul and provides your skin with maximum nourishment. All you have to do is put one on and relax for 15-20 minutes. Use one at least once a week or every single day if you’d like, sheet masks have clear instructions on the back of the product. After you removed the sheet mask feel free to dap the remaining products into your skin. Some use the sheet mask as a finalizing step in their skincare routine and for sensitive skin that needs hydration MediHeal N.M.F Aquaring, Dr Jart+ and for normal/blend skin: Oh K! Snail Sheet mask are three masks I have tried out and are available in most parts of the world.

    8. EYE CREAM
    The skin around your eyes is thin and delicate, which means you should treat it with care. An eye cream provides the area with extra helpings of hydration and protection. Use the eye cream around the entire orbital bone, avoiding the water line. Cosrx is one of the biggest Korean skincare brands which have multiple different product lines for dry, oily and maturing skin that you can fit in your 10 step beauty regime. One of their most popular product is the Honey Ceramide Full Moisture Eye Cream.

    9. MOISTURIZER
    By now your skin should be feeling super hydrated and dewy. Hydration is the final key for glowing skin, so it’s important to find a moisturizer that works for your skin type. They come in many forms, from a lotion, gel, or cream all of which work to seal in moisture to plump up skin and smooth away any fine lines. Pat a moisturizer into your face and neck morning and night every day. On days when your skin feels extra dry, swap your regular moisturizer for a sleeping pack.

    Innisfree Green tea balancing cream
    To become a true K-beauty expert you have to try Innisfree, one of the leading skincare brands. Their green tea day cream is rich in moisture  and delivers hydration and antioxidants from Jeju green tea extract. They also have a wide range of amazing sheet masks and cleansers.

    10. SUN PROTECTION
    Koreans fully understand just how damaging the sun can be for the skin when it’s not properly protected, which is why SPF is so important. Even if you’re stepping outside for just a couple of minutes, you must wear sunscreen. It’s the easiest and most effective way to prevent early aging (and skin cancer!). It’s important to put this on last so it can fully shield your skin from UV rays. Apply every morning as the last step of your skin routine!

    Innisfree - Perfect UV protection cream anti-pollution SPF50+ PA++++
    This triple function UV screen is formulated solely with mild ingredients and provides a safer protection. The sunscreen from Innisfree also have a PA++++ rating (Japanese sunscreen rating system) which means that it has the highest rating and protection for sunscreens.

    Many skincare brands outside of South Korea have now adapted the routines and have made their versions of K-Beauty products, it is safe to say that it is here to stay. If you are curious about the regime and want to try it out I would recommend starting lightly with a product or two and slowly adapt a few products in to your existing skin routine depending on your skin's needs. Between the aha, bha, boosters, vitamin serums, and essences it is hard to know which products works together and on your skin so take your time exploring. Now that winter is here a moisturizing sheet mask is definitely a good start.

  • THE REALITY OF THE OBSCURE

    Written by Ksenia Rundin

    Noémie Goudal is a French photographer, who has an incredible talent to connect the viewer with nature through the features of geomorphic architecture. In her photographs you could experience how the cold brutality of concrete, placed in an obscure space, brings you into a reality that has been constructed out of something like an image of the stairs of the Paris Métro or a bunker from World War II, found on the beach in Normandy. Images mounted on cardboard start living their own life, taking the viewer on an imaginary trip to his or her true self. Her artworks reminds of a scientific investigation, referring to Egyptians with Cheops, Aristoteles with Cosmos or Tycho Brahe with Stella Nova.

    The images appear to be uncannily real, turning into an element of the autonomous discourse between the world and the viewer, the artwork and the viewer. By eternalising the moment Noémie’s images also catch something invisible by uncovering it for the viewer in a magnificent but at the same time very narrative way. The terms of abstraction such as space, light, and volume that architecture is often described with, compose a clear experience of physical presence in a remote space of nature, you do not recognise but feel a close connection to. Odalisque Magazine had an honour to meet the artist, whose exhibition “Stations” is now presented at Fotografiska in Stockholm, and to ask her a couple of questions about her hypnotising artworks.

    Why have you chosen photography as a professional path in your life?
    I think it came quite naturally, because I have had a camera since I was 12. Growing up surrounded by a lot of children, I first started to take pictures and later went to the lab to study the process. Later, I went to Central Saint Martins to learn graphic design, where I used a lot of photography. The crucial moment was actually when I applied for the Royal College of Art, where I completely re-learned how to think about photography.

    Isn’t graphic design a bit like architecture in a digital form? What relationship do you actually have to architecture in the sense of your artworks?
    I became interested in architecture in relation to nature, because my whole work is about the relationship between nature and the man-made. This is a quite specific type of architecture – geomorphic architecture that takes its imagery from nature and a natural process. There is actually a special series of mine called “In Search of the First Line” that is a cross-cultural, historical examination of geomorphic architecture. I photographed some very old Roman architecture that I later printed on paper and mounted on a cardboard with a wooden structure on the back. Then I replaced it into very small contemporary spaces. They are kind of both completely blend and at the same time you can see that there is a distance. Thus I am quite interested in the layering also in those images, the layering in architecture in general and in also having two moments in time.

    What is your message to you audience? What do you want people to see in your artworks?
    I think one of my main challenges is to create images that have a big enough gap for the viewer to really feel it with own desire, own knowledge and experience. For me it is a really big challenge itself, because my images do not really have a sense of scale, a sense of time or a specific geography. It is very difficult to create images like that. It is always difficult, therefore I always try to do a lot of research.

    Where do you find the places to take your pictures at?
    It really depends on opportunities. I have done a lot of projects in France. My last project was in California in the Mojave Desert. Now I am doing a new project, which is also in France, at the Sèvres Porcelain Factory, near Paris. They produce amazingly beautiful ceramics since the 18th Century. It is a huge place and for me it is a great opportunity to be there. I am a resident there now for a year.

    What culture are you inspired by?
    American minimalism, I think. Dusseldorf School of Photography, probably. I am actually more Londoner than a Parisian. In London I feel kind of more connected, probably because I studied there and was influenced by teachers and other people around me.

    What kind of reality do you think you create by bringing together the brutalism of concrete and purity of nature?
    It is a reality that does exist, because this is what the beauty of photography is about. It has existed at some point, it has been there. And then it is a mix between what has been there and something that stays in memory; something that lies between the collective memory and our own memory. And they meet somewhere in between.

    Is there something you would never place in your images?
    People, because I feel that the viewer needs to have a place to put their ideas in. And then I think I would avoid too many details about the geography and time.

    How does your dream photo look like? Maybe it should depict a certain place?
    I don't know. Usually I like to create such a place to take a picture of.

    When you start working, do you have a clear picture how it should be?
    I have an image in mind and then I make changes, depending on what is going on in the shoots. If you have a different light or something unexpected takes place. The beauty of photography is also about dealing with such things like rain or sun that you cannot control. So, I have to work around that.

    In our times, to see the invisible might be the best quality in order to stay true to yourself. Do you think that your art is a certain reflection of our times, uncovering the invisible?
    Definitely. For me it could mean that I am reaching to the spirituality. It is the role of art, I think. It makes you question things around you from the world in general and in a philosophical way the perception itself.

    If you were offered a fashion shooting job with an unlimited budget, what theme would you choose then?
    Actually, I have shot the H&M’s collaboration with Maison Martin Margiela, what was amazing. They asked me to do a show, and one project would be especially about the new collection. I work a lot with stereoscopic images as well. So, what I did was to photograph some dancers wearing the garments from the collection while dancing with a white simple background. It became very natural, because we could never see their faces, as they were always moving and it could be the hair that covered the face or something else. Later, there was a wall installation in a dark room with objects where you could see through and you could see the images in 3D. If I had a fashion shooting today, I would try to have a lot of fun, working with different materials in nature, for sure.

    What is sustainability for you?
    I like people projecting their own thoughts into my work. This is what I want to do and this is what sustainability is for me. In fact, we are in the word where we think about ecology all the time. People have that projection straight away when talking about nature, which is disappearing today.

  • “Hostess”, 2018 by Rebecca Ackroyd

    WOMEN MAKING ART HISTORY AT FRIEZE ART WEEK IN LONDON, OCTOBER 4-7, 2018

    Written by Ksenia Rundin

    For the sixth year in a row, the Frieze art fair has created a showcase of contemporary art in the middle of Regent’s Park. However, this autumn Frieze London has had a female-centric agenda, emphasising female artists in the contemporary context. The visitors could both discover new artists and rediscover those who had fallen off the radar, explore something more in-depth and experiential.

    Nevertheless, the main course of the fair has still been aimed at the dealer booths and the wide array of art for sale, the theme of female visibility has acquired a new highlighted ideological perspective. In 1971 the American art historian Linda Nochlin wrote in her legendary essay “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” that “the question of women’s equality—in art as in any other realm—devolves not upon the relative benevolence or ill-will of individual men, nor the self-confidence or abjectness of individual women, but rather on the very nature of our institutional structures themselves and the view of reality which they impose on the human beings who are part of them.” Celebrating the centenary of women´s suffrage this year, Britain has also celebrated the female artistic achievements and their concomitants, which have challenged the established stereotypes in the social structures of the art world.

    While entering Peres Projects’ exhibition space, the visitors could observe a woman sitting on the floor with the face turned away. Soon one would discover that the face is nothing more than an empty black hole, causing an ambivalent combination of the personal and the alien somewhere inside oneself, followed by a laughter and a fear. There is, according to artist herself, a reflection of a layered identity, where the personal and the abstract seem to be in a constant emotional battle with each other.

    The Cuban artist Glenda León, represented by the Galería Juana de Aizpuru (Madrid, Spain), offered the audience a slice of C International Photo Magazine as her work “Fragmented readings II”, formed in a cake served on a classic pedestal with a glass lock over it.

    The London gallery Pilar Corrias, run by Pilar Corrias, who offers 65 percent of the art space to female artists, featured works by such female artists as Sophie von Hellermann, Cui Jie, Helen Johnson, Koo Jeong A, Tala Madani, Sabine Moritz, Christina Quarles, Mary Ramsden and Tschabalala Self.

    In parallel with the Frieze London art festivity, Swedish artists have tempted the public by a cogent installation group called Fashion Speaks “Sisterhood”, designed and produced by the Belarussian-born Sweden-based artist L Christeseva, consisting of discarded toiles — prototype garments, collected from the prominent Swedish designers. The installations would make the audience wonder what sisterhood means for each of us coming from different cultures and families in particular, as well as for us –- women –- today in general? Based on a personal story of her own, the artist could illustrate how a fashion garment becomes an emotional symbol that provides a way to learn how to unite and support each other. When being a little girl during the World War II, her mother had to wait for one of her sisters to come home from school to be able to wear the only dress all the sisters shared in order to go to school herself, while the other sisters would wait for her to return.

    The exhibition Fashion Speaks Sisterhood was brought to London in order to support the international project Artdom, upheld by the Embassy of Sweden in London and curated by the Goodwill ambassador of Swedish National Committee for UN Women Arghavan Agida, who by means of art seeks to build bridges between Iranian and Swedish female artists.

    Revealing an intellectual deepness, framed by the institutional weakness of recognizing the full creative potential and conspicuous importance of the female art, the women at the art fair have sincerely displayed their outstanding artistic talent, grinded by hard work, surrounded by cultural-ideological biases and inadequacies. Frieze London might have bestowed them an opportunity to face up to the reality of their history in order to re-construct their future in the art world.

                   “Fragmented readings II” by Glenda León
     
                             “Feel'd”, 2018 by Christina Quarles

    Installation view “Fashion Speaks Sisterhood” by L. Christeseva

    Photography by Erica Bergmeds

     
      
      

    Installation view “Fashion Speaks Sisterhood” by L. Christeseva

    Photography by Erica Bergmeds

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