On episode nine of Stefanie Michova and Joan Kim‘s Beauty Bar podcast, the two hosts were joined by Black American model Jelly to share their different experiences with Korean makeup artists.
After the hosts asked Jelly about his makeup experiences while modeling in Korea, he recalled how Korean makeup artists didn’t initially put forth any effort. Jelly said, “I think the first few shoots that I did, they just didn’t put anything on me. Maybe just lotion.”
That soon changed for him. Jelly said, “As I continued to do more shoots, they used more makeup.”
Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out to be the makeup Jelly expected. He added, “My first couple of shoots where they put makeup on me, it was never a foundation.”
Instead, the Korean makeup artists made their own foundation with products not intended to be applied to an entire face. Jelly shocked Stefanie Michova and Joan Kim when saying, “They would use eye shadow and lotion and makeup paste, that was similar to my skin tone, and put it on me.”
The mixture was just as horrifying as Stefanie Michova and Joan Kim’s facial expressions seemed to convey. It was so unflattering that Jelly admitted to scrubbing it off his face. Stefanie Michova and Jelly both agreed, “It’s just not supposed to be on your face.”
I would end up taking it off in the bathroom. ‘Cause it was so gray. The flashback was so… It was so harsh.
Many of the Korean makeup artists that Jelly encountered weren’t equipped to do his makeup properly, so he took matters into his own hands. Thanks to a brief trip home to the U.S., he revealed, “I actually bought my own foundation, and I would start to bring it around with me.”
Jelly didn’t forget to shout out the few Korean makeup artists who could work on darker skin properly and had the correct shades to do so. He said, “But, there are a couple who really know how to do darker foundation and stuff like that ’cause they’ll have it actually. But, the majority don’t.”
Despite Joan Kim being Korean American herself, she could relate to a degree and admitted she took the same precautions as Jelly—because Korean makeup artists didn’t have her foundation shade either.
I’m kinda like you. I take my own foundation to the makeup artist. I don’t like how pale I look after getting my makeup done.
— Joan Kim
Although Jelly has spent years as a model and actor in Korea, it’s unfortunate that many Korean makeup artists still can’t do his beautiful skin justice. Listen to Jelly sharing a few of his horror stories here.