The skincare community is vast and complex — because people are vast and complex! Ohlolly talks with some of our favorite skincare enthusiasts and beauty influencers about the ins, outs, ups and downs of the industry. We discuss their skincare journeys, changes they've seen, and of course, their beauty tips and tricks.
Today we talk to Katherine Spowart. Katherine is a beauty writer, consultant, and content creator with a deep love for K-beauty. From the U.K. to Seoul to the U.S., Katherine shares with us her love of the beauty community, the need for truthful brand transparency, and how she approaches the ever-important self-care. Hi, Katherine!
Tell us a little about yourself and your skincare journey.
I’m 29 years old, originally from the UK, spent four years living in Seoul, and now live permanently in the USA with my husband. I began my venture into K-beauty after moving to Seoul. I had such an amazing experience within the Seoul beauty space, gaining industry knowledge, working with brands, and developing a deep skincare understanding while immersed in Korean culture.
I began, and still run, @skinfullofseoul to share my journey. I’m also now a freelance consultant and content creator for beauty brands, alongside being a full time Digital Marketing Specialist for a U.S. home and garden company.
What is your relationship like with the skincare community? What draws you to the beauty world?
The K-beauty community is what drew me into sharing my skincare journey publicly online. When I started in 2014-2015, it was a very small, tight knit community and I loved joining that. We all shared our reviews and experiences together.
That core community is still there, despite the huge growth of Korean skincare and skincare in general. I still really value those connections as well as constantly seeing new faces.
How has social media impacted your work?
Social media helped me share my life in Seoul and my beauty ventures, and it’s where I met a lot of my beauty friends and connected with brands/clients. It’s my hub, and I’ve really enjoyed the platform for learning and connecting with like-minded individuals.
How have you seen the industry change over the years?
I think the biggest change has been the general public’s awareness of ingredients in recent years. That’s been both positive and negative. It means brands have really had to be more responsible in explaining their ingredient choices.
On the other hand, that has led to easy marketing manipulation from the clean beauty brands, making certain ingredients “bad” and others “good.” It’s increased the spread of incorrect, fear-mongering information online. However, more recently a lot of reliable dermatologists and chemists have been joining the conversation and educating on social media, which has been really cool to learn from.
Who has influenced your interest in the skincare/beauty industry?
I think a lot of the women I connected with from 2015 have influenced my interest in skincare. Those OG bloggers really helped me learn about skincare.
Which brands are you following/using right now that have been inspiring to you? Why?
107 is a brand I’ve worked with for four years now and their more recent journey into the U.S. market has been so inspiring. They care so much about the process. They share their story about the fermented vinegar in their products, rooted in Korean culture and traditional vinegar brewing. Their products are amazing and it’s been awesome to work with them and see their journey as they share and reach new audiences.
Do you have a tried & true favorite product or part of your routine?
So many favorites, but I’d say my top three are my Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence, my Shangpree eye masks (I enjoy these for a few minutes every morning with a cup of tea), and my 107 Everyday Plump Hydro Cream.
Do you have any too-good-not-to-share skincare hacks (could be for travel, daily routine, anything…)?
For traveling, I always pack an intensely hydrating sheet mask and either do it on the plane or in the evening after arriving. My skin gets so dehydrated from flying or car journeys, and this instantly rejuvenates it and prepares my face for the rest of my trip!
What does your ideal day of self-care look like?
I haven’t always done the best job, but we recently took some time off work and it reminded me of the need to mentally switch off and unwind. Just sitting and reading a book or taking a walk. No work, worries or chores! I think that’s just as important as my skincare self care rituals are.
Thanks for chatting Katherine! We love the connections and friendships we’ve made over the years too; especially with people like you!
For more conversations Beyond the Beauty, sign up for our newsletter here.