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NOW READING Ask the Unnis: From Creams to Creeps, the K-Beauty Squad Tells It Like It Is
August 28, 2018

Ask the Unnis: From Creams to Creeps, the K-Beauty Squad Tells It Like It Is

We here at the K-Beauty Squad turn to each other for advice on everything from diet to entertainment to, of course, beauty. So why not you? Pick our collective brains and ask away about anything. We may not have all the answers, but we definitely have opinions (especially about creeps …).


We here at Beautytap have a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips thanks to the collective brains and experiences of our K-Beauty Squad. Think of us as your big skincare sisters — or in Korean, your unnis and noonas. We’d like the share that wealth with you in our new feature called Ask the Unnis. Write to us with any skincare or even life and love questions you’d like answered! We’ve seen it all and we’re here for you!


You can ask the Unnis a variety of ways: DM us on Instagram (because you follow us, right?!), use the Contact Us page to submit your question, or just comment below.


So let’s begin with our first question!


ask the unnis


Hello Unnis, I’m not sure exactly how to determine my skin type. Is there a simple way to tell what I am? — Unsure


Hello Unsure! Unless you’re very obviously one extreme or the other, it can be kind of confusing determining what your skin type is. And even skin types tend to be oversimplistic categories. Oily, dry, normal? What is normal?


So let’s start with a brief rundown. Oily skin usually has visible sebum, especially in the T-zone. You may find that makeup slips off your face if you don’t properly prime or powder. Dry skin has no or very little visible sebum and can feel tight immediately after washing if not followed up quickly with hydration and moisturizing. Normal skin is neither dry nor oily; it’s somewhere in the comfortable middle, a bit of sebum but not too much, and rarely feels tight unless the circumstances are extreme. Do any of these sound like you, Unsure?


If you’re still unsure, take the blotting paper test. Start your day out without any powder or primer, if you usually use those. If you suspect you’re dry, do your routine as normal but skip the heavier creams you normally wear. When you hit the middle of your day, take a blotting paper and press it against your cheek. If you’ve picked up a lot of oil and the paper shows a visible clear spot, you’re likely oily. If the paper is dry, so are you. If there’s just a bit of sebum you’re probably normal.


Combination skin is also a possibility. To determine that with the blotting sheet, press it against your nose and forehead. If your cheek was mostly dry but you’re picking up oil in the nose-forehead-chin T-zone, you’re almost certainly combination. (Read more about combination skin here.)


Hope this helps you feel a little more sure, Unsure!


Hi Unnis! What are you favorite moisturizers at the moment? I’m tired of what was once my holy grail lotion, and I’m looking to explore. — Magellan 


Hello Magellan! I hope you don’t get seasick because we’re about to set sail on the high (hydrating) seas. I have a pair of new favorites right now, and they’re both from the SanDaWha line. SanDaWha Revitalizing Liposome Lotion is my new go-to emulsion. Its very first ingredient is Camellia japonica flower extract, which is my favorite emollient source. It’s extremely lightweight yet so very hydrating. It glides on and sinks in quickly, giving my skin a nice bounce.I’ve described it before as “everything I wanted Clinique’s Dramatically Different Lotion to actually be,” and I think that’s a pretty good assessment.




Since I have dry skin, an emulsion isn’t usually enough, so I like to follow that up with SanDaWha’s Floral Water Cream, which is also features camellia flower extract. It’s rich without being too heavy and keeps my dry skin comfortable for the entire day.


I asked some other Squad members about their fave moisturizers. Associate editor and social media manager Ruth is currently using Earth’s Recipe Moisture Bound Cream for her dry skin. “It doesn’t feel heavy at all, and it sinks in quickly without leaving a shiny finish or heavy feeling,” she says. “It’s a mild moisturizer, good for daytime and for summer.”


For night, Ruth likes COSRX Balancium Comfort Ceramide Cream. She says the centella-rich cream feels substantive but not heavy. “I wake up with very balanced skin.”


EIC Anna seconds the COSRX Balancium cream. “It starts out dense but melts into skin beautifully,” she says. “And I love that it has centella, which I inundate my routine with in the summer to tone down redness and breakouts.


ask the unnis


“For my very oily T-zone, I’ve been really liking the Keep Cool Soothe Phyto Green Pair Cream,” she adds. “It feels similar to the COSRX Balancium, but more lightweight and watery on the skin. And of course, I like that it calms inflammation and soothes redness.”


Hello Unnis, I’ve been dating someone pretty seriously for the past nine months. He has yet to introduce me to any of his friends, and we’re always either going out or staying in at my place. He claims this is because of his anxiety. We’ve never once been to his apartment. He tells me he used to date his roommate and she would cause trouble if he brought me around. For the sake of his living harmony I’ve stayed away, but I’m starting to suspect something is up. Am I just being paranoid? — Worried


Hey there Worried. I think it’s time for you to remove the rose-colored glasses because if life constantly has a pink tint to it, it’s impossible to see those bright red flags. I’m sure that once you typed this out, you could see how alarming these things look when read back. Say it out loud. Never met his friends. Never been to his apartment. Living with an ex you’ve never met. That’s like a checklist for someone living a double life.


Now I could be wrong, and I hope I am. But nine months in a committed relationship under these strange circumstances? You can gestate an entire human baby in nine months; don’t you think it’s odd that in all that time you don’t even know what his living room looks like? Keeping a side piece and friends separate is rule #1 when it comes to the cheater’s playbook. If he truly has nothing to hide, he won’t balk at you demanding to meet his friend group. If he’s worried about the harmony of his current living situation, that’s fine, but at this juncture it would be more than prudent to expect him to break the news that, hey, he’s moved on and is seeing someone. All of this is as fishy as Pike Place Market.



Do you have any burning questions about beauty, skincare, love, or life? Ask the Unnis by DM’ing us on Instagram, using the Contact Us page to submit your question, or just commenting below! Can’t wait to hear from you!


Coco Park is an author, beauty journalist, blogger, podcast host, and all around oddball living in Montreal Quebec with her family. Originally from the southern USA, she worked for several years in the makeup industry as a professional makeup artist and holds a certificate in esthetics. She is a proud member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Want to know more? Check her out on the Beauty Beyond Basics podcast, on her blog, on Instagram @thebeautywolf, and in her book "Korean Beauty Secrets: A Practical Guide to Cutting-Edge Skincare & Makeup."



Cute series! Can't wait to see more.

For the gal with the dating question, I second what the Unnis said. A friend was in a similar situation but she had been seeing this guy longer. What tipped all of us off was the fact that he dismissed going to an event with her, then months later revealed his sister scored free tickets and he was going with his sister to the event he declined. (My friend had made other plans in the meantime.) I had to tell my friend in between them to not get involved because she nearly hunted... Read more

Greetings Unnis! I have a question for those of you with normal to dry skin. I've recently fallen in love with not one but two different Sulwhasoo emulsions. Sometimes I layer a cream over them, but I'm wondering if anyone also uses a facial oil prior to applying an emulsion. It seems like it might be too heavy, but a part of me thinks I'll wake up glowy and ready for my close up. Ever grateful for your wisdom! Feel free to recommend your favorite oils, too!

I love this series! Great answers!

Love the advice you gave to Worried. 👏🏻

Oh! And for those interested in trying cushion compacts for B.B./cc or foundation powder... help swatching since we can’t try on in person?

Hi Unnis! I’m still searching for a good cream or maybe just emulsion for morning use for oily leaning normal skin. I tried the CosRX birch sap and it’s okay but feeling like there’s probably a better option. Maybe the keep cool phyto one? I love the Purito green level Centella cream but for daytime it makes me look too oily. I purchased their water cream but am worried it will be also too oily. Still looking for something that hydrated with a glow instead of a glisten 😬🙈

Also because my A’pieu sunscreen on top of anything so far has made me super glisten... maybe I just need to try a powder cushion? 😆🙈

Hi !
For everything makeup-related I usually buy western cosmetics, but I want to try a Korean lipstick or liptint. I'm looking for one that leaves a nice stain on the lips when it wears off, and that is not too drying... Any suggestions, Unnis ?
I'm excited too to see more of this segment ! Thanks for doing that <3

Hi ambredf !

Hands down, my favorite lip tint right now is the melomeli-cotton-shot-lip-tint !
These babies are so deliciously creamy and easy to use, AND they double as a cheek blush. I really wish they had a wider range of colors, but then again my wallet would be in trouble >_

Oh thanks ! The cotton shot lip tint in brick red seems awesome. I wanted to buy the Laneige glowy balm already, I guess it's time to do it :)

Hi Unnis!

If there's anyone on the squad who really sucks at getting up on time in the morning (like me), what's your routine that keeps your skin hydrated but doesn't take a lot of time?

I'm excited to see more of this segment, and the graphics are so CUTE. Love it! ♥

Side piece ... totally would\'ve thought that were a gun. I learn something new every day from you cocopark.

Here\'s a question: Which Crazy Rich Asian are you? Because I so want to be Rachel (Constance Wu\'s character), but I suspect I\'m more like Michelle Yeoh 😩

Hey, Michelle Yeoh is a QUEEN and there is no shame in being one!

She comes around eventually, right? ;)

Absolutely! I relate to how she's always struggling to gain acceptance and measure up — I felt like that so much growing up!

Which character are you xomarthamarie?

Peik Lin, most definitely. I always strive to help my friends whilst being as extra as possible.

LOL I love that description! She was my fave in the movie.