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NOW READING The K-Beauty Curation Conundrum — Here’s How You Can Help Solve It
July 13, 2018

The K-Beauty Curation Conundrum — Here’s How You Can Help Solve It

There’s something new and exciting brewing here at Beautytap. And while we can’t tell you exactly what it is JUST yet, we do need your help to make this next phase in Beautytap’s evolution our best ever. Read on for a behind-the-scenes peek into what we’re getting ready for the U.S. market … and possibly beyond.


I don’t like the glorification of “expert curation” in the K-beauty world, and the more time I spend in the K-beauty business and the more people I get to know in the Asian beauty (AB) community, the less I like the concept.


“Expert curation” involves the appointment of one particular person or corporate entity as an authority, an arbiter of taste and quality: gatekeeping. Gatekeeping, when applied to skincare and K-beauty, implies that someone else knows better than you do about what your face needs. That goes against what I believe about skincare, which is that because everyone’s skin and life circumstances are different, there is no universal “best.”


There is no “best,” only “what’s best for you.” As long as you’re working from accurate information about ingredients and products, you are the most qualified person to determine what’s best for yourself. Gatekeeping and “expert curation” impose artificial restrictions on the options you perceive are available to find your own personal holy grail products. I can’t support that.




In fact, when our CEO James Sun first approached me about taking a role on Beautytap’s staff, what convinced me to accept the offer was the respect James and the team demonstrated towards K-beauty and AB fans. We agreed from the beginning that while we wanted to provide plenty of informative content from K-beauty veterans, for K-beauty fans and newbies, we never want to be the kind of site that uses our veteran status to dictate what customers get to buy.


We have plenty of opinions and preferences, of course. We’re not shy about them. Have I mentioned lately how much I hate Heimish All Clean Balm and how unenthusiastic I am about Klairs?


We love to answer your questions, help you learn more about skincare and K-beauty, and share our (often strong) feelings on products via our editorial section. We proudly provide a community where you can connect with your #skintwins and fellow K-beauty fans. But at the end of the day, we want to step back and let you apply what you’ve learned from us and the community in whatever way is best for you.


k-beauty fakes curation


That’s why we’ve always offered thousands of products and always will. We periodically refine our selection to better meet customers’ needs and improve our business operations, but the size and scope of our product list will never change much, except to grow even bigger.


Now, though, we’re about to add a whole new service to our business, starting with the U.S. and potentially expanding to as many corners of the world as K-beauty can reach. I can’t go into too many details yet, but this additional service will require curation in every region. It would be far too cumbersome and risky to launch with our entire current product list.


If you’ve gotten this far, you understand our aversion to curating this new project ourselves. We’re not launching this new initiative for us. We’re launching it for you, the AB and K-beauty fans that we love. That’s where we need your help.




You know what you want and what you love. You know what you most want to try. So if you’re a U.S.-based K-beauty fan and Beautytap reader willing to help, hop into the comments section here and answer this question:


If you could get any K-beauty product or brand shipped to you in three days, directly from a U.S. warehouse, what would that be?


It doesn’t have to be something we already carry. It doesn’t even have to be Korean beauty if you don’t want it to be. If your staples and holy grails are Japanese or Taiwanese, go ahead and throw those in!


And, of course, stay tuned to find out just how much you and the rest of your fellow AB and K-beauty fans help shape the next era of Beautytap. We can’t wait to show you how much your opinions matter to us and how important they are to our business.


We’re not here to tell you what you should want. We’re here to listen to what you need and find a way to make it happen — first in the U.S. and then beyond!


Jude writes as Fiddy Snails at the K-beauty and skincare blog Fifty Shades of Snail and can be found on Instagram @fiddysnails. Named the ELLE Malaysia Beauty Blogger of the Month for June/July 2017 and one of ELLE Magazine‘s 10 Cool Beauty Bloggers to Watch in 2018, Jude loves ginseng, snail, honey, propolis, and tuna fish kimbap, though she generally doesn’t put the kimbap on her face.




Benton, especially the steam cream


The cushions and refills from Moonshot. This is my preferred base makeup and it's become difficult to find retailers who sell the refills without gouging me on price and shipping.


the cosrx line, a'pieu sunscreen and different types of masks


Too School For School's Air Sun Primer is my holy grail sunscreen for the Florida summer. I bought three bottles when I was in Seoul, and am panicking now that I'm about to open up the last one because I have no idea where I'm going to get it now.


Eclado Ginseng Serum is great. I really wish it's readily available in the US.


In addition to easier access to SanDaWha and Swanicoco, I would like better access to brands such as A. True, Iunik, Simplistic and Skin Editor.


Oh! And Hyggee!


yaaaasss to iunik!


Yes! All the brands in both of your comments :)

I love all the suggestions folks have made here! I like the product selection so far and would love to see those continue especially brands like Purito. I would love more travel sized items and a greater selection of products from some of the vendors like Papa Recipe, A'Pieu and the addition of products from companies like ATOClassic, and Illi. I would also love there to be a greater selection of sheet masks. I've definitely loved the newest additions and would love to see more!

Would love to take advantage that delivery of products would be closer to home. As a novice to the K-beauty scene, what Beautytap has been offering is just FABULOUS!!! If I had the privilege of having a Beautytap beauty consult give me personal advice, I would so much value the experience. I am a fan of SanDaWha cleansing, moisturizing, and whitening products. I just added Su:m37 Secret Essence to my routine.
For specialty products, that is normally not a stock item, consider a special order process with the understanding that staff will explore... Read more


I agree that it\'d be great to have more access to less available brands. I\'d love to try more Swanicoco, but it does suck waiting for a package to arrive! (Though I\'ve never had to wait more than a full week when ordering from Beautytap.) It\'d also be great to see curated mini sets to try more products out without committing to a large size. (Sample foils sometimes aren\'t enough to see if you want to commit!)

I loved the box that Jude Chao had curated, and would love to see more curated boxes from the team. Paired... Read more


I'm mostly going to reiterate what others have said- I would love to see less mainstream brands available for 3 day delivery because between Amazon Prime's 2 day delivery and pricing, I'm not sure you'd get a lot of that business. Personally, I'd love to see SanDaWha, TrueZyme, Swanicoco and Purito.

Are you thinking of trying to keep a consistent stable of SKUs in your US warehouses or are you thinking/open to rotating some of them out? Depending on how far out your editorial planning is, it'd be great to be able to get what you're featuring (especially since they're... Read more