Cover Mina Kim, the senior vice-president of Sulwhasoo shares her beauty foundation tips this summer

Mina Kim, senior vice-president of Korean beauty and skincare brand Sulwhasoo, shares her tips on how to choose and use the right beauty foundation for youthful skin this summer in Hong Kong

South Korean star Song Hye-kyo might be Sulwhasoo’s most recognisable face but one of the minds behind the Korean beauty brand’s success is Mina Kim, its senior vice president. K-beauty is all the rage right now, no doubt driven by the meteoric success of K-dramas and K-pop and the stars that effortlessly look like they haven’t aged a day. But the brand’s history goes as far back, even before the K-mania.

Sulwhasoo spans a history all the way to 1966, under Amorepacific, a South Korean beauty and cosmetic conglomerate that has over 30 beauty, personal care and health brands under its wing. It’s the world's 12th largest cosmetics company and Sulwhasoo is one of its fastest-growing beauty brands—for the right reasons. Its unparalleled power of legacy is driven by its dedicated and faithful research on Korean ginseng, which the brand has successfully extracted a rare element that transforms the skin.

With summer upon us in Hong Kong, we sought the expert advice of Mina Kim and asked her to share beauty foundation tips to achieve ageless, youthful skin even during the hottest days.

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How do we pick the right foundation colour shade for our skin?

Picking the right shade and texture is difficult when you’re at the makeup aisles so in order to make sure that the foundation looks natural and blends in like your “second skin”, you can choose a shade that matches your skin tone from the neck up. The neck and face should be in a similar colour tone and you can test the foundation on your skin by swatching it on the side of your jaw.

Then, check if that shade blends into the skin naturally and look closely at the darker portions of your face. We recommend checking your shade in natural daylight. You could also choose the best one based on your skin type, the coverage and the kind of finish you are looking for.

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Some foundations have SPF while some don't. Is it necessary to choose foundation shades with SPF?

It’s not necessary to choose foundation shades with SPF, though most of our own products combine UV protection with makeup to provide sun protection all day long.

If the foundation shade you pick doesn’t contain sunscreen ingredients, you could wear sunscreen under the foundation to protect your skin from harmful UV rays or apply a makeup base with highly acclaimed UV protection. I recommend using our UV Wise Brightening Multi Protector (No. 2 Milky Tone-Up), a tone-up sunscreen that effectively protects the skin from harmful UV rays, and even environmental stimuli or blue light.

See also: The Best Sunscreens To Keep Your Skin Protected This Summer 2021

How can you avoid your makeup from caking after applying foundation?

I’d say invest in a good skincare product and don’t skip the skin prep. It doesn’t matter how expensive or functional the foundation is if you don’t prepare your face properly before applying makeup. Hydrated skin is the secret to your foundation looking flawless and smooth-looking.

I suggest using the Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum daily, this is a multi-purpose and essential regimen first-step serum which hydrates, smooths and gets your skin in perfect shape for makeup. With the powerful fifth-generation JAUM Activator, the serum enhances the skin protective barrier and create a healthy radiance look. Simply pump 2–3 times and rub it on both hands to warm up the serum, gently massage the serum onto the skin until fully absorbed. The serum adds a light reflective glow without leaving any heavy residue. Applying this prior makeup can give you an all-day makeup look with no signs of caking.

Keep your makeup long-lasting with another best-selling product, the Makeup Balancer EX. It creates a healthy complexion by improving the skin's strength, tone, and moisture balance. Try the No. 2 Light Purple silk luminance base which leaves unbalanced and dull skin with a silky and lustrous glow. They come in No. 1 Light Pink and No. 3 Light Green version too, the latter ones suits for customers with pigmented or flushed skin. 

See also: Dr. Barbara Sturm Shares Tips On How To Exfoliate Your Face For Glowing Skin

What is the best way to apply foundation to our face?

Using your hands is one of the best ways. Place a small amount of foundation onto the back of your hand as this could help avoid putting too much foundation on the face at one time. Glide the foundation on the skin in a light circular motion, this could ensure the foundation blended out seamlessly and evenly.

The right foundation formula plays an important role to blend in well with your skin as well. Recently, we have launched the Perfecting Foundation, a skin caring foundation well-loved by K-beauty gurus and YouTubers. It creates flawless coverage and breathable wear with its refreshing and watery texture, hiding skin imperfections as soon as it is applied and perfectly corrects the skin texture and tone.

The foundation brush also works wonders with a liquid foundation. The Perfecting Foundation Brush (not for sale, only comes with the Perfecting Makeup valued combo) spreads foundation gently for a professionally applied finish. The wide cross-section makes it easy to apply foundation quickly. The angled cut allows for a precise application for smaller areas of the face like under the eyes and around the nose. 

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How can you make your makeup last throughout the day?

I’d suggest layering your based product with a lightweight setting powder or powder compact. Sulwhasoo presents two new powder foundations fusing luxurious skincare efficacies this summer:

  • Perfecting Powder is a skin-friendly moisturising coated powder with plant-derived moisturising ingredients that lock makeup perfectly in place. Sulwhasoo has enhanced its moisturising function through the “moisture coating powder” designed for adherence and moisture retention, and squalene for resilience and radiance. In addition, the perfect blend of various kinds of fine powder naturally smoothes the skin without excess powder stuck between the skin’s fine lines and pores. You can enjoy makeup that lasts all day, when you need a touch-up in between, you can dab it gently over the existing look to fix it and prevent smudging.
  • The Timetreasure Radiance Powder Foundation conceals blemishes, fine wrinkles and skin pores in a sweep, your makeup will stay fresh-applied and glowing all day. The premium anti-ageing powder containing diamonds and red pine which covers skin imperfections with a bright radiance producing makeup that glows naturally at any angle. This product delivers both long-lasting persistence and coverage performance, along with a refined radiance, especially for mature skin.

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What is the different between foundation and cushion? When should we use a cushion?

Liquid foundation ranks the best classic base makeup of all time as it offers the most choice when comes to shade ranges. Liquid foundation is best suited to those who aim for a flawless appearance yet a healthy-looking complexion. When using liquid foundation, people would apply it using their fingers by dabbing dots on the face and then blend well. You may also apply with a beauty sponge or brush. Cushion foundation is created to make the makeup procedure or touch up during the day easier. The foundation is soaked inside a sponge and is housed in a compact case, which also comes with its own sponge applicator.

In comparison, the cushion foundation offers airy formula, lighter coverage and is more eco-friendly (the compact is refillable).

AmorePacific’s cushion compact and technology has been an innovation in the beauty industry, this leading K-beauty product has revolutionised beauty routines for women around the world. We will continue to consolidate our leadership in the global cushion market through an unwavering commitment to technology innovation.

Amid growing popularity, Sulwhasoo has launched three types of cushions in town, customers can choose the right products for their specific skin types and concerns:

  • Perfecting Cushion Ex offers flawless coverage with moisture for a perfect complexion, if you are looking for excellent covering performance, this will be the one that appeals to you the most
  • Snowise Brightening Cushion leaves your skin with a pearlescent glow, tailor-made for those who look for clear and transparent-looking skin rather than powerful covering performance
  • Timetreasure Radiance Serum Cushion delivers anti-ageing benefits and covers wrinkles for a more youthful look. Broad-spectrum protection Boasting an SPF 50+ PA +++, skin is perfectly protected with the complementary UV Shield from our cushions

See also: How To Treat Acne-Prone Skin, According To A Dermatologist

What's your tips for beginners on choosing the best foundation?

Finding the correct shade of foundation is never easy. One tip for selecting the right one is finding your undertone, this refers to the natural colour underneath the surface of your skin. By determining your skin is cool, neutral or warm, you could choose the best foundation for your hue.

By looking at your bare skin, think about how light or dark as well as how rosy or yellow it is. If it’s pinker toned, you probably have a cool undertone, if the skin looks duller and more yellowish, you could define you have a warm undertone. For Sulwhasoo, we offer a wide range of colours for various skin tones. Taking Perfecting Foundation SPF17/PA+ as an example, we offer six shades based on most customers’ needs in Hong Kong.

If you have difficulties in getting the foundation, never hesitate to visit a beauty counter and consult the professionals.

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This article was originally published on July 12, 2021 and was updated on August 18, 2021.