They made it through Shark Tank. They spread the word of Korean beauty. But most importantly, they taught us you can have your watermelon, eat it, and mask with it too. Sarah Lee and Christine Chang met as new recruits at L’Oreal Korea and in 2014 they founded their cult natural Korean skincare brand, Glow Recipe.
The genius behind their move lay not only in understanding the growing Korean wave but also sating an unstoppable appetite for curated, safe skincare. Years later, their Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask is a bestseller with a mask selling every three minutes. As the duo bring their brand and must-have products to our shores (exclusively to MECCA), they share some K-beauty wisdom so we too can bask in the watermelon glow.
How do you feel K-beauty differs from beauty in other parts of the world?
Christine: K-beauty touches and informs every part of the skincare industry and is now beyond a category. It has impacted the industry and consumers with its new perspective to skincare, including the philosophy that skincare is not a chore, but something to be enjoyed.
Tell us about the beauty philosophies you live by.
Christine: Skincare should be enjoyable and fun! A good skincare routine is not about a set number of steps but having a clear dialogue with your skin.
Sarah: I’ve learned from my mother that if you respect your skin, it will respect you back. Daily habits I adopted from a young age include cleansing my face as soon as I get home so that the time it is makeup-free is longer than the time it isn’t, applying thick layers of SPF multiple times a day, and massaging my face and neck during my nighttime routine.
Your Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask is a must-have for any beauty vlogger worth their pink Himalayan salt. What was your inspiration for it?
Christine: While growing up in Korea, our grandmothers would rub cold watermelon rinds on our backs to soothe our irritated heat rashes. We had never seen watermelon used front and centre of a beauty product and wanted to find a way to harness all of its soothing, hydrating benefits. As a result, the Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask was born. We were able to maximise the fruit in an innovative, overnight mask that both hydrated with watermelon extract and gently exfoliated with AHAs, to reveal baby soft skin by morning.
Curation is a very important part of your brand. What differentiates the Glow Recipe curation?
Christine:Since launching glowrecipe.com at the end of 2014, we’ve had a strong community through curations and skincare education. After much thoughtful deliberation, we decided to focus our team’s energy on our clean, cruelty-free in-house brands so that we could give our customers what they’ve asked for—continued skincare innovation with Glow Recipe Skincare and Sweet Chef.
What are current K-beauty trends you love?
Sarah: A huge trend we have been seeing all over Korea that we are excited to bring to New Zealand soon is fog mists, which are a new generation of face mists that are super fun ‘micromists’. We harnessed this technology in our Watermelon Glow Ultra-Fine Mist—a hydrating mist that doesn’t disrupt makeup upon application, allowing everyone to stay hydrating and glowing throughout the day.
What’s next for Glow Recipe?
Sarah:We have some amazing launches coming down the line this year that we are truly excited about. Our mission for Glow Recipe is to bring our customers best-in-class clean innovations that are effective, super sensorial and unapologetically fun.