Global Glamonomics: Beauty on a Budget
By Elizabeth Flahive
Total Monthly Spending: $430, Total Monthly Time Commitment: 38 hours
Hayeun Cho, 27, marketing manager, Seoul
Not only do South Koreans hold the world record for highest ratio of cosmetic surgeons to citizens, but the average woman uses 11 different skin products daily just part of the $194.7 million South Korean women spend in the pursuit of flawlessness every year. The new thinking: Clear up, don't cover up. "Beauty is no longer found in foundations but in actually having better skin," believes Hayeun Cho. That said, most Koreans shun what she calls the "healthy, sexy, outdoorsy" look of freckles and suntans that Americans love. "We're focused on having absolutely no dark spots on the face," Cho claims. Second priority? Adding a little oomph to stick-straight hair.
Cho follows a strict seven-product regimen day and night, the variation being toner in the morning and cleansing oil for removing makeup in the evening. Once a week, she uses a moisturizing mask or a whitening mask (to lighten undesirable dark spots). She visits the dermatologist every month to treat breakouts. Her prized products: Sisley face creams. "They're expensive but work wonders on my dry skin."
Monthly Time Commitment: 10 hours (20 minutes a day)
Monthly Spending: $200
Thanks to a perm, which adds volume to her naturally lank locks, Cho only needs five minutes to do her hair. After quickly drying hair with a blow-dryer on a cool setting, she runs a pinch of styling wax through her hair. Once a month, she heads to the salon for a $35 bang trim and a bit of shaping.
Monthly Time Commitment: 2.5 hours (5 minutes a day)
Monthly Spending: $60
"Pretty much the standard," Cho says: foundation, concealer, mascara, eyelash curler, pink blush and for parties, a swipe of pink or gold shadow.
Monthly Time Commitment: 5 hours (10 minutes a day)
Monthly Spending: $100
In the shower, Cho exfoliates with Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish. She also religiously applies Clarins Body Shaping Cream, a favorite for the last five years. During sandal season, Cho indulges in spa pedicures every two weeks; the rest of the year, she saves money with an at-home polish job.
Monthly Time Commitment: 8.5 hours
Monthly Spending: $50
Cho prefers exercising outdoors in the fresh air, so she hikes a nearby mountain two to three times a week. "I get energy from the trees and grass," she says, adding, "dancing like crazy at clubs counts as a workout, too!"
Monthly Time Commitment: 12 hours (3 hours a week)
Monthly Spending: $20 (to pay for the cover charge if she goes clubbing)
CHO'S MONTHLY ESSENTIALS:
1. Shu Uemura Face Powder Matte
2. L'Oréal Paris Original Voluminous mascara
3. Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream
4. Kanebo Sensai Cellular Performance Mask
5. Sephora Lipstick in Maniac
6. Bobbi Brown Shimmer Wash Eye Shadow in Gold
7. Shu Uemura Blush in Glow On
8. Sisley Hydra-Global Intense Anti-Aging Hydration
9. Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish
10. Clarins Body Shaping Cream
11. Bobbi Brown Beach Sunscreen Body Spray SPF 15
12. Estée Lauder Re-Nutriv
13. SK-II Whitening Source Intensive Mask
14. Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler
15. Shu Uemura White Recovery EX+
16. Clarins Renew-Plus Body Serum
NEXT >> USA: Total Monthly Spending: $2483, Total Monthly Time Commitment: 34 hours