This Jamsu Makeup Hack Will Change the Way You Do Foundation
Before you (literally) take the plunge, take note from people who’ve tried the powder-water-dunking, foundation-setting jamsu trick out of Korea for the most flawless results.
Let’s dive right in.
Jamsu, which translates into “diving” or “submerging” in Korean, is the latest Korean trend that’s making the rounds in the beauty realm. (Do a search on YouTube and you’ll get over 30,000 results.) Believed to have been introduced by a Japanese beauty vlogger and made virally famous in Korea, the unusual face-smoothing technique has made appearances on widely watched beauty YouTube channels, reputable fashion magazines the likes of Vogue and Cosmopolitan, and even news sources like the Today Show. The hack promises ultra-soft, smooth, and mattified skin, as well as long-lasting makeup, with the use of two basic components: water and baby powder.
What makes this beauty trick so unique? It entails layering tons of powder all over your face after you’ve applied your foundation, and then dunking your face into cold water for 30 seconds or so. Yep, you read that right. You dunk your made-up face into water.
The actual process is fairly simple:
1. First, apply your base makeup (primer, foundation, concealer) as you normally would onto a clean, moisturized face.
2. Next, take a talc-free baby powder (keep reading to find out why) or loose face powder and generously apply it all over your face in an even layer. Your face should look abnormally powdery. Let it sit for a few minutes.
3. Meanwhile, fill a bowl (deep and wide enough to fit your entire face without touching the rim) with cold water.
4. Plunge your powdered face ear-deep into the water, making sure all powdered areas are submerged, and hold for 30 seconds or less. (Don’t worry, you can divvy this up into shorter increments, too.)
5. Once done, your face should be completely wet and powder-free. Gently pat — never rub — with a soft towel until dry. Continue with the remainder of your makeup routine. Your skin should be left feeling baby soft and smooth for the rest of day.
All in all, the response to the jamsu makeup trend has been a resounding success. For dry-to-oily skin types of all ethnicities, the hack delivers on its guarantee of matte, feels-like-it’s-not-there makeup. Vogue writer Monica Kim observes: “I quickly find, the results are beyond. Yes, my skin is intensely matte, but also incredibly smooth and even-toned. Better yet, when shading in my arches and applying liner, there is no oil-induced glide, allowing me to craft fine, pencil-thin strokes that are the best brow-work I’ve done in ages — all thanks to a $4 tin of drugstore powder. It lasts remarkably well with no under-eye smudging and, I’m frequently told, my face looks softer and even younger — appropriately enough, like the skin on a baby’s bottom.”
Bustle writer Danielle Sandoval recommends the jamsu trick for her matte-makeup lovers. Although she prefers a dewy look herself, she attests to the hack’s ability to create incredibly matte skin that lasts all day long.
Not yet sold? Emily Slawek from the Today Show raved about the powder-water-dunking trick, despite the mess the powder can make during application. (Tip: Don’t wear black). She tested her jamsu-finished makeup through a lunch date and even a gym session. “My foundation looked better than ever,” she gushed. “My pores were nearly invisible and my complexion looked smooth.” She recommends the technique for occasions when you need reliable, long-lasting makeup, such as for a wedding or an important photo-op event.
YouTube beauty vlogger Taylor, who goes by channel name thataylaa, swears that her blush, bronzer, and highlighter blended onto the shine-free skin with unprecedented ease. And the best part? Her makeup lasted through over 10 hours of wear.
There are some drawbacks to the mattifying trend, though. Taylor did notice some dry spots around her nose (however, it does appear that her nose accidentally grazed the bowl when she dunked), and she mentioned that the overall finish has a subtle texture, but nothing too cakey.
Beauty vloggers like YoonCharmi and Denise Lim loved the hack overall , but they, too, experienced powdery patches in spots especially prone to dryness. Despite this setback, the two vloggers went about their day in humid weather, participating in sweat-inducing activities. They came back home with oil-free, sweat-free, and streak-free makeup.
The product: baby powder vs. translucent powder
There’s a little bit of debate over whether or not one should use baby powder in lieu of a translucent face powder, or vice versa. We’ve seen YouTubers try the trick with both store-bought baby powder and best-selling mattifying powders, like the Innisfree No-Sebum Mineral Powder, and all have produced essentially the same results. If baby powder works for you, then it might be wise to apply the affordable drugstore powder over a more expensive translucent powder.
One thing’s for sure: Stay away from baby powder that’s made with a base of talc powder, as that variety has recently been on the hot seat for its potential links to ovarian cancer and respiratory problems if inhaled. To be safe, opt for a cornstarch-based baby powder instead.
The takeaway: Tailor it to your skin type
As with anything related to beauty and skincare, you’ll have to tailor the method to your specific skin type. For skin that’s excessively dry, dunk your face into the water for only 10 to 15 seconds. For extremely dry skin, Vogue’s Monica Kim even suggests skipping the jamsu technique completely and opting for a generous spritzing of a hydrating face mist instead (although we can’t promise you’ll get the same results).
For normal-to-combination skin, keep your face submerged for up to 30 seconds, but no more than that, even for the super oily-prone.
We’ve seen the trick done with liquid foundations, BB creams, and cushion compacts by both Western and Korean brands. We recommend that you use a foundation or BB/CC cream that you’re certain works well with your skin.
Have we “wet” your appetite for the jamsu makeup trend yet? Let us know if you’ve tried the hack, and how it worked for you in the comments below!