Even before the recent Internet boom in Nepal, Korean television serials like Dae Jang Geum (2003) or Winter Sonata (2002) starring Bae Yongjoon were already popular through DVD rentals, and Boys over Flowers (2009) became the rage among younger Nepalis attracted by glamorous young Korean stars. Suddenly, the young Kathmandu crowd started dressing, eating, moving, and having the same hair styles as their Korean idols.
“Five years ago when I started this shop, Korean cosmetics were not as popular as American or Indian brands,” says Romesh Thapa of Dasom Cosmetics in Darbar Marg. “Today, K-beauty products are catching on and customers come asking for items they have searched online.”
Thapa says the reason for the new fashion trend is the popularity of K-pop music and movies. “Our customers look for skin care products and BB cream to achieve natural beauty like Korean actresses or singers,” he explained.
A salesperson, Nilam Rai, who is working in Misumi Cosmetic Nepal at Labim Mall, uses more than ten K-beauty products from eyeliner pencils to sunblock. Rai says “I do not like heavier makeup because it irritates my skin. But Korean cosmetics like Missha and The Face Shop are good for me.”
Korea Kafala, Oma Astha Rai and Seulki Lee
Doing it the right way, Seulki Lee