5 minutes with Korean makeup maven Pony

5 minutes with Korean makeup maven Pony

High horse

Text: Renée Batchelor

Korean makeup superstar Pony has the kind of following on her YouTube channel that most young women and men would kill for. We meet her in Tokyo to find out more about her background and inspirations

The stage is set to meet Pony, the South Korean YouTube superstar who captured the world's imagination with her pretty (and well-executed) makeup tutorials and artistry on superstars like K-Pop singer CL. Pony (real name Park Hye-min) went on to create her own makeup line Pony Effect, which just became available in Singapore this year. But we're here in Tokyo, meeting her in the flesh, as she has taken on a new role with another brand altogether, cosmetic giant Shiseido, who has just revamped its entire makeup collection. 

Pony's is the newly-minted APAC ambassador for Shiseido makeup, and she conducted a masterclass for the gathered press to create an effortless daytime look using the new products. In person, Pony represents a kind of augmented naturalness — she is flawless to the point of looking almost filtered. But she is not overdone, with poreless skin, perfectly blended makeup and gorgeous, matte lipstick that looks melted onto her pout... not painted on. This is one social media star who looks exactly the way she does in her pictures and videos. Read our interview with Pony to find out more on this enigmatic artist.

How did you start with your career as a makeup artist and doing your online tutorials?
I started as a graphic designer in 2008. Then I started posting photographs and finally moved onto tutorials.

How often do you post on YouTube and where do you get your inspiration from?
Currently I'm not just focused on YouTube. I'm a makeup artist so I also have a lot of other work. I work with a lot of brands, so I have a lot of commercial work and projects right now. Basically there's not a fixed time period for me to upload those videos on YouTube. It really depends. Sometimes I upload them every week, sometimes every two weeks. I usually get my inspiration from nature and and from things that I see in daily life... for example, clear glass.

Pony makeup portrait

You are starring in your own show 'Pony On Air'. What kind of show is it going to be, and how will it differ from what you post on YouTube?
If you watch my channel, most of my short clips are makeup-oriented videos — like 80 to 90 percent of the content is that. But ‘Pony on Air’ is focused on my lifestyle and my interactions with other people. But of course makeup is one part that we cannot ignore, so it's going to be there, but it's going to be the opposite of what I usually upload on YouTube. It will be broadcast in September and is being filmed right now. I'm hoping to attract my subscribers, but I'm not going to help them just with makeup, but with their lifestyle. You'll see more of a real Pony in there.

What are your top Shiseido products in your makeup bag? And why?
I like the eyeshadow palette because it's a very basic palette that everybody can use. I like the shade Coastral Strip. This first colour is really good for the base. The second colour is good for giving shadow or contour. And then you also have the kind of pearl shimmer which you can use as a point product, and then also a deeper colour to emphasise the eyes. It's everything you need in one palette.

I also really like the VisionAiry Gel Lipstick in Ginza Red. You just need one application to see the colour. I also like the Minimalist WhippedPowder Blush. When you look at it, it looks very creamy like a pudding, but it has a powdery finish. It's very easy for beginners to pick up and use, as the blending process is very easy and clean... and it comes out really nicely.

Minimalist WhippedPowder Blush

What did you use to create the model's natural look for your masterclass?
I started off with the cushion, as it has enough coverage and transparency to produce a very natural look. I don't want to overdo it by covering up too much. I picked a creamy blush, because the cream blush, unlike the powder, won't overshadow the model's original skin tone. It's a very natural and transparent effect.

Prior to your collaboration with Shiseido, were you using Shiseido products? How has the product you've used changed?
Before my work with Shiseido, I did use a lot of the base products, and also the eyebrow and face products. Now that I'm working with the brand, I actually use the colours more, and see more of the colours that Shiseido has to offer.