The beauty gurus have garnered hundreds of thousands of YouTube subscribers, teaching everything about hair, makeup and nails to both makeup experts and total novices.
For instance, Park Soo-hye, better known as Ssin, is one of the most sought-after Korean beauty experts on the video-sharing site. She has more than 640,000 subscribers to her YouTube channel and her videos have attracted 50 million cumulative views.
On top of natural and basic makeup, many of her hit videos are celebrity makeup tutorials such as on how to copy the look of Girls’ Generation’s Sunny in the “Party” music video, Sistar Bora’s summer makeup or Big Bang’s G-Dragon in “Bang Bang Bang.”
What she cares most about when creating videos is to “entertain” her subscribers in addition to being informative, she said.
“Compared to other beauty YouTubers, I don’t usually mind going overboard to entertain viewers,” Park told The Korea Herald.
Her videos are even reaching out to global viewers as K-beauty is gaining recognition in the global scene. English comments are a common sight on her channel.
“I put English subtitles on all of my videos last year and the number of foreigners has tripled since,” she said.
Video-sharing websites -- YouTube and AfreecaTV -- are becoming the top destinations for young tech-savvy viewers seeking customized mobile content and two-way communication, according to Kang Mee-eun, a professor of communication and media at Sookmyung Women‘s University.
“With unique and interactive content, some YouTubers are even more popular than traditional TV show hosts among viewers in their teens and 20s here,” Kang said.
Another well-known beauty YouTuber Cho Yeon-joo, nicknamed Yeondukong, focuses on daily makeup tutorials. Targeting viewers in their late teens and early 20s, she reviews products from budget cosmetics shops such as Missha, The Face Shop and Innisfree on her YouTube channel.
Having around 270,000 subscribers on her channel, the sweet-faced beauty expert said, “I guess my friendly and girl-next-door image has appealed to viewers.”
Cho pays attention to viewers’ feedback. “I read all of the comments and make videos based on their needs. This way, the subscribers can feel they are communicating with me,” she said.
Her clips also draw a number of foreigners, many of whom are Japanese.
“Japanese seem to be highly interested in K-beauty -- both makeup brands and tips -- probably because we look very similar to each other,” she said, adding, “A number of Japanese viewers leave comments on my channel in basic Korean.”
Park Hye-min is also a famous beauty YouTuber, known as Pony, who has garnered around 490,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel. Her videos come with neat voice-over narration and English subtitles.
Park appears to have more global viewers than any other beauty gurus with most comments on her channel written in English. Her book titled “Pony’s secret makeup book” is also gaining popularity in Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan.
She has boosted her profile after completely changing the makeup style of 2NE1’s CL. She took charge of new look of K-pop girl group 2NE1’s CL, whose makeup used to excessively highlight her eyes, looking somewhat stuffy. After Park brought out a fresh image in CL’s face, highlighting both her eyes and natural dark skin, the singer was even rumored to have plastic surgery.
By Shin Ji-hye (firstname.lastname@example.org)