Gwiyeowoyo! The cult of k-beauty packaging

A few decades ago, I fell in love with all things Japanese for a number of reasons, but one of the biggest was the kawaii factor – my love of super cute things, which you may have noticed is a thing by now if you follow me on any social media outlet.

That love of cuteness drips over to Korea too. Their version of kawaii isgwiyeowoyo ( 귀여워요, one of many, many words in the language that a woman might exclaim in front of any K-beauty shop). When it comes to packaging their makeup, Korea has refined targeting that weak spot in women to a fine art – and I’m happy to say I am one of its willing victims.

Cute packaging is often associated with K-beauty’s cheaper brands. The photo above is a few of my fave items I’ve collected. The blusher and lipstick on the far left are from Club Clio, one of my current favorite brands right now with a middle-of-the-road price point. The sad face lip gloss and cat compact are from Tony Moly, which is a little cheaper but still decent makeup in it’s own right. The all-purpose shadow/blush and the little pot at the top right are Etude House, which is on equal footing as Tony Moly in terms of pricing and quality.

Is it all just packaging? Sometimes, yes. I rarely use powder anymore, but when I did use the cat compact it was nothing more than a translucent, thin layer of powder that had to be reapplied multiple times during the day, so I wouldn’t call it a good performer. The Club Clio products, however, are terrific – especially their lip stains, which stay on literally all day long and are perfect to apply with a clear gloss over the top and forget. Pretty lips all day!

For me, a great part of the delight of these products is that they bring happiness. They’re inexpensive, so it’s fun to indulge and smile every time I put on my lip gloss. It also makes my makeup basket a pleasure to look at, and since I love being surrounded by cute things, it’s a win for me.

Now, is cute packaging a gimmick? Absolutely. And is the product within always good? I’d wager on no, but what’s nice is that it’s not ALL gimmick – there are some solid products inside the cuteness sometimes. I am a big fan of a few:

-Club Clio’s Peripera Ah Much Real My Cushion Blusher – $16

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– Club Clio Peripera Peri’s Ink – $14

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– Too Cool For School Marshmallow Puff, $8

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– The Face Shop Protect Me Hand Cream – $9.98

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That’s all I’ve got for you today. I’m contemplating a way to actually display all these since some of them are borderline toys. Have any of you done that yet, i wonder?

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