From K-Pop Idols to Actors: The Many Faces of Korean Cosmetics

In a country where beauty is a significant aspect of social life, it’s no wonder that the number of cosmetic brands is high. It’s even more amazing how every single large cosmetic company has a well-known celebrity endorser. We’ve seen the commercials and the posters, and their faces plastered on products, always with perfect skin, fierce liner, and seductive lips. And we have most definitely gotten confused about who is endorsing which brand. For those like me who is eternally mixing up which face goes on what brand, here is a comprehensive, current list.

Disclaimer: Each brand sometimes uses multiple celebrities, even for individual products. The celebrities I list here are those I found on official websites, official Youtube channels, and the most recent official commercials. Enjoy!

Innisfree: Girls’ Generation’s YoonA & Lee Min Ho

Girls’ Generation‘s YoonA has been the face of Innisfree since 2009; Lee Min Ho joined her in 2012. Since then, they’ve been doing cute things together, like this web drama called ‘Summer Love’ for the Summer Cushion line. They’re basically the ultimate pair for a cosmetic brand.

Etude House: f(x)’s Krystal

f(x)‘s Krystal started endorsing Etude House along with fellow labelmates SHINee and bandmate Sulli in 2013. Currently, she is the one and only face of this popular brand. Check out her lovely commercial for a mascara.

Skin Food: Kim Yoo Jung

Even as recently as a year ago, Skin Food was endorsed by Lee Jong Suk and Lee Min Jung. However, recently, popular actress Kim Yoo Jung has been actively working as Skin Food’s new celebrity endorser. And she looks really good while doing it too.

Nature Republic: EXO & Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon

Nature Republic is currently endorsed by EXO and Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon. Although their contract will be ending in August – and who knows if they’ll sign again – they have produced some high quality commercials and free products. I mean, don’t get me started on the free EXO things I’ve gotten in Korean Nature Republic stores.

isoi: IU

It’s great to have a model who can be both the face and voice of your brand, and isoi found its treasure with IU. You can learn more about the brand and its special sale promotion here.

The Face Shop: miss A’s Suzy

While The Face Shop has had many popular celebrity faces (including Kim Soo Hyun), the most current and most used face is definitely miss A‘s Suzy. One of the most popular cf models in Korea at the moment, it’s no surprise that Suzy has a cosmetic brand on her endorsement list. Check out her most recent commercial.

Tony Moly: B1A4 and 4Minute’s HyunA

The current spokespersons for Tony Moly are B1A4 and 4Minute‘s HyunA. B1A4 hasn’t done any commercials in a while (specifically nine months), but HyunA looks stunning in the most recent brand video released by Tony Moly.

banila co.: Song Ji Hyo

Song Ji Hyo has been the face of banila co. since 2014. As a popular actress and variety star in Korea and among international fans, she has been endorsing various cosmetic brands for many years, including Benefit. Her cool, adorable personality shines in her endorsements.

the SAEM: SHINee

Previously models for Etude House, SHINee is now the face of the SAEM. And they seriously make you want to have skin like them.

It’s Skin: Yeo Jin Goo

Yeo Jin Goo is currently the main model for It’s Skin, accompanied by various female models. Although he is young, his work as a cosmetics model is professional and top quality.

Missha: Jo In Sung & Rainbow’s Jaekyung, Woori, and Seungah

It was announced only at the beginning of this year that three members of RainbowJaekyung, Woori, and Seungah – are joining Jo In Sung as the models for Missha. Meanwhile, Jo In Sung looks so fine in this promotional video.

O Hui: Kim Tae Hee

Kim Tae Hee continues to be the perfect model for O Hui. Her flawless skin and beauty and, well, flawlessness, makes for the perfect cosmetics spokesperson.

Clio: Gong Hyo Jin

Gong Hyo Jin, popular and well loved, is the main model for Clio. Her chic and classy look would be a benefit to any cosmetics brand she endorsed.

Isa Knox: Lee Min Jung

Lee Min Jung, as mentioned above, has been a model for several Korean cosmetics brands. Most recently, she worked as the main model for Isa Knox.

Beyond: Kim Soo Hyun

When you come across a Beyond store in Korea, you can see a giant picture of Kim Soo Hyun’s face plastered outside the store entrance. I can’t deny the effect this attractive man has as a cosmetics model… as someone guilty of buying a face scrub just so I can get a poster of him.

cosmetic muses

In my research of cosmetic brands and their models, I stumbled upon something companies call a “muse.” They’re not specifically “models,” because they don’t film commercials and the extent of their pictures is on the website and social media. However, they usually act as the face of the company. Some examples include Bavi Phat: Hong Jong Hyun; Skin79: Jung Yong Hwa; and, Lancome Korea: Han Ji Min. In the end, whether “model,” “muse,” or both, K-celebrities have changed the world of cosmetic brand marketing.

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