Mimi Shop: Join the Fun With K-Beauty’s Latest Reality Makeup Show
Take a handful of Korean A-listers — including Sandara and Cheetah — put them to work in a beauty shop, and what do you get? One of the hottest Korean reality shows rn — and with loads of makeup (and makeup skills) to lust after.
Is there such a thing as too much K-beauty TV?! The long answer is never. The short answer is no. I will never get tired of it! There’s Get it Beauty, Beauty Bible, The Beauty … and now a new makeup-focused reality show called Mimi Shop from the Korean network JTBC that is my new obsession. Let’s talk about it, shall we?
Mimi Shop is a Korean reality TV show starring my the love of my life Sandara from 2NE1, Korean rapper Cheetah, actress and model Jin-Kyung Kim, actress So Yul Shin, and Tony An from the K-pop group H.O.T. Mimi Shop (SURPRISE) is also the name of the real-life, super trendy beauty shop located in Seoul where all of the celebs work. Tony is the boss, while the rest of the cast are the makeup artists. Basically, famous people figured that since they get their makeup done all the time and know all the tips and tricks, they can do regular ol’ people’s makeup as well. It is the best show.
Like a majority of Korean reality and variety shows, Mimi Shop is not about the drama. In each episode, people from different walks of life make appointments to get all beautified at the shop. The shop provides a “menu” of different makeup looks to choose from, from the very popular fruity makeup trend (shades of orange, pink, coral, healthy flush of blush, and highlighter) to revenge makeup (winged cat eyeliner, bold red lips, and a smoky eye) and everything in between. Each customer coming in to get their makeup done has a unique story — there’s a woman who is getting her makeup done to make her boyfriend jealous, another family who comes in to get their makeup done for a family event, a couple who is going on a one-year anniversary double date, a woman going on a blind date, the list goes on and on.
Each of the celebrities on the show are particularly good at different things. Cheetah is known for her really bold (and a bit more Western style) makeup looks. She’s really good at doing dramatic eye looks with eyelashes. Jin-Kyung is a model, so she’s all about that base and making skin look young and firm. So Yul is known for her bright, vivid makeup looks, as well as the popular puppy dog look, while Sandara is good at the “cat” look, but admittedly says she’s not that great with makeup because she has “sh-tty hands.” Hey, at least she’s being honest!
Besides doing makeup, the cast offer advice to their clients on love, dating, relationships, and more. It’s like watching a TV show about beauty while also getting life lessons from your favorite celebrities, aka THE BEST.
In episode 7, the cast is faced with a little bit of a challenge when a white American woman and a black British woman come in to get their makeup done before heading out to party in Hongdae. I was hella nervous for the black girl because we already know that South Korea isn’t really the place for black girl-friendly makeup. The cast went into a bit of a panic, and Cheetah tried to blend some eyeshadows together to mix with foundation (inventive but didn’t work as it was too dark).
Meanwhile, Sandara found some type of stick product that just so happened to be the woman’s exact shade. I was shook, and so was the girl, as she was basically like, “YO can you please tell me what that is when you finish because I can’t find makeup here.” I related so hard because WHEW GIRL I know that struggle firsthand. Sadly, they never revealed the exact product on the show, but I suspect that it was probably a contour/shading stick of some sort that just so happened to match her skin tone. Sandara was the one chosen to do her makeup and was flustered the entire time, but the woman ended up with a very pretty, natural look and a winged eyeliner. I know K-makeup has a long way to go before it can be considered inclusive, but I applaud the show and its efforts on attempting to include everyone.
(Side note: Check out the surprise guest appearance by this guy later in the episode.)
My only gripe with the show is that they never show the products used! I’m sure there’s some sort of contract or they have a deal with one or two major brands, but I would love to see what they are using. Some of the lip and eye makeup products they use on the show really have me in my feelings because they look so amazing.
Have you watched Mimi Shop or any other Korean beauty shows? What are your favorites? Let me know in the comments!