What beauty trends are going to take hold in 2020? To answer that question, Allure sent beauty editor Devon Abelman to Seoul, South Korea, which is fast becoming the new frontier of injectables.
An estimated one in three women in South Korea between the ages of 19 and 29 has undergone a cosmetic procedure, according to a 2015 Gallup poll. There, the idea of a woman (or man) in their early thirties signing up for regular cosmetic injections is the norm, Abelman says, which is why, increasingly, the beauty world is turning its collective attention to Korea for insight into the future of facial fillers.
Many of the most popular injectable techniques, according to Abelman, are specific to Korean beauty standards: plump apples of the cheeks, rounded foreheads, and V-shaped jawlines. “But other techniques, like using Botox to create the impression of poreless skin, or a thin hyaluronic acid filler to softly upturn the corners of the mouth, are likely to start creeping into practice in the US,” Abelman says. Here’s a look at what she spotted on the horizon.
It’s the term that’s come to be used for the Korean ideal of a poreless, translucent complexion. To get it, rather than being injected into the muscles to prevent and smooth wrinkles, Botox is placed just below the skin’s surface, at “about 40 to 50 sites along the jawline, forehead, and under-eye areas,” which tightens pores and, in turn, makes skin appear smoother and brighter, and excessive acne-causing sebum stops forming. The effects last between three to four months.
The nickname references the lip shape this filler technique creates. “In the past, Angelina Jolie’s lips were the most requested look in Seoul (just as they were in the US),” Abelman says. “But as of 2019, Koreans prefer the more targeted plumping that many K-pop stars are known for.” A hyaluronic acid filler, like Juvéderm or Restylane, is administered to the middle areas of the upper and lower lip, enhancing the Cupid’s bow. The results last for at least six months.
Lift edge filler
Once the centers of the lips are plumped, the same filler is often injected just above the outer corners of the mouth. The technique, which is called lift edge filler, raises the edges of the lips into a soft smile. While that may sound a little heavy-handed, the area around the mouth loses volume as we age, and the outer corners start to collapse into an unintentional frown. Lift edge filler counters that droop and balances out the enhanced Cupid’s bow for six months to a year.
As cosmetic surgery gradually shifts from fixing a problem to preventing it, the so-called “booster shot” appears poised to become the next big thing. It’s an injection “designed to rev up the skin’s natural powers of regeneration and moisturize and brighten skin—not to change the contours of your face,” Abelman says. There are several variations currently available in Korea, where regulation is less stringent than it is here, but they all essentially function the same way, building up collagen through a series of injections over several weeks so the skin becomes plumper and acne scars start to fade.