A K-beauty primer.
Vivien Wang worked as an editor at Elle Taiwan and a buyer at Vancouver’s Secret Location for years, discovering and working with countless beauty products along the way, before launching Ooey Dewy in February. Wang, who is not Korean, founded the e-commerce site—its name a play on indulgent, “ooey gooey” cinnamon buns—to champion lesser-known Korean and Asian skin-care brands, and make them more accessible to the Canadian market.
“Korean skin-care products are unconventionally innovative (for example, using unexpected ingredients like snail secretion and fermented yeast), yet effective and gentle for every skin type,” explains Wang. “At one point K-beauty was a mystery, with very niche fans outside of the country, but thanks to the Internet—not to mention the rising popularity of K-dramas and K-pop—people are really noticing not only the high quality and effectiveness of the products but also their reasonable pricing.”
For curious novices, Wang recommends starting with single-use sheet masks such as J.One’s Jelly Pack Luminous Mask, which includes active ingredients like hyaluronic acid, black bee propolis, and fermented black tea to moisturize and tighten skin. Wang also suggests adding an essence to your skin-care regimen for that coveted, dewy look. “Essences are slightly heavier than a toner, but more fluid than a serum,” she explains. “Their lightweight hydration sinks right into your skin while helping it better absorb the products that follow.”
Longtime K-beauty fans can appreciate Ooey Dewy’s focus on Canadian exclusives, including brands such as J.One and Wish Formula, and a well-curated selection of “cult” products at a variety of price points (Wang’s personal favourite is J.One’s pearl-shaped, anti-aging Hana Cream). Detailed ingredient lists and clear usage instructions are included for each product on the site, stressing key benefits and simplifying the shopping process.
The site offers both established brands and newer lines that Wang scouted through word-of-mouth and overseas research trips; each product is tested on different skin types, and vetted for efficacy. “What truly drives me is finding that ‘holy grail’ product, sharing it with friends, and seeing the positive differences in their skin,” says Wang. “This passion for sharing beauty tips is what led me to create Ooey Dewy.”
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