Korean makeup and skincare brand Hera is the latest from Amore Pacific's stable of big names to make its way to Singapore. We first wrote about the brand at the start of the year, when it was first announced that it's Takashimaya counter would be opening in May. In March, Buro 24/7 Singapore was lucky enough to be flown to Seoul for Seoul Fashion Week, to learn more about the brand and its involvement in the twice yearly event. After visiting the Hera boutique in Gangnam, we understood what all the hype was about. The stylish and fashion-forward brand was named after a Greek goddess, and Hera is all about meeting the needs of the modern goddess, especially the 'Seoulista', the Korean counterpart to her Parisian and New Yorker sisters. While Korean beauty is often portrayed, as being sweet, natural and almost subdued, the Hera woman is not afraid to be sophisticated and worldly — even the brand's signature colour of a deep purple is a sharp contrast to the pure whites of sister brands like Laneige.
The good news is that Hera is finally available here and you won't have to head to Seoul (or beg your friends) to pick up favourites from the brand including the Black Cushion, Rouge Holic lipsticks and the Rosy Satin Cream. In Singapore, the makeup range in fronted by Korean actress Gianna Jun, and the ad visuals that feature her show her sporting bolder colours and a more trend-focussed makeup style. In fact the brand has been involved as the main sponsor of the twice-yearly Seoul Fashion Week since 2016, and has thus far sponsored six seasons of this huge, fashion spectacle. Involved in directing and creating the makeup for 65 shows, including labels like Jarret, Romanchic and Blindness, Hera is actually directly involved in birthing some of the biggest beauty trends that the world (including Singapore) will be copying in months to come.
Hera's brand manager Kahwa Lee said, "Hera wants to be a trend leader that supports K-culture and women in the fashion world as well." As for the trends you'll be seeing, the brand's chief makeup artist Lee Jin-soo has a prediction for the direction that our complexions will be taking in the upcoming months. "A natural makeup look with a matte finish and a hint of colours as an accent is forecasted to be the new trend this Fall-Winter season. With a single colour makeup product, you can easily attain a trendy makeup look", he says. Take that as an official memo that the dewy skin look is on its way out. Besides dominating the Korean beauty scene with its makeup creations, you can also look forward to an oh-so-covetable makeup collaboration with French illustrator Édith Carron as well as exciting counter launches. Read on to find out what else excites us about the brand.
Although it is easy to get distracted by all the pretty makeup that Hera has on offer, its skincare range in formidable as well. In Korea, the men's products that are pretty popular with travellers, and similarly, there'll be plenty on offer in Singapore including the Cell Essence, a first care product that imbues the skin with moisture and clarity. There's also the fact that Hera is not afraid to think innovatively — a trait that has led to a lot of technology breakthroughs in South Korea. For its cult Rosy-Satin Cream, the brand was inspired by Charlotte Tilbury's Charlotte's Magic Cream, but instead of doing a copy of it, Hera enlisted the help of French makeup artist Isabelle Pain who has worked backstage at Chanel and Dior fashion shows. The brand narrowed down what was most important for a pre-makeup skincare product. Says Pain opined, "For me, the most ideal skin is smooth and satin-like on the outside but dewy inside, a lot like rose petals." Collaborating with Pain to create the best possible product to achieve the ideal skin condition for makeup application resulted in the birth of the Rosy-Satin Cream — a fine-textured, luxurious cream that sinks in and leaves skin supple and brightened, creating the perfect canvas.
The biggest highlights for the brand in the makeup collection are the Black Cushion and the Rouge Holic lipsticks. It's no coincidence that both come encased in sleek, black packaging. The Black Cushion, which celebrates its first year anniversary in May, is the cushion that gives the customers exactly what they asked for. Moisture and glow-iness have taken a backseat to brightness and coverage, as well as staying power — the key demands from customers — to create a dream compact. Hera uses a transparent powder instead of the traditional white powder when creating the pigments for this foundation, so the result is a comfortable texture and a natural, matte finish on the skin. As for Rouge Holic the stunning range of lipsticks come in a staggering range of shades and several finishes. There's Rouge Holic Cream, Shine, Exceptional, Sleek, Glow Texture and Liquid — meaning you can get the exact finish and effect that you want on your lips.
For the first anniversary of the Black Cushion, the brand enlisted Édith Carron a French illustrator who is based in Berlin to dress up some key products and the results are insanely cute. Revolving around the Secret Party theme, expect quirkily drawn masked women cheekily adorning your favourite Hera products including the Cell Essence and a limited edition eyeshadow palette that you'll have serious trouble resisting. The brand also has created a box of three limited edition Rouge Holic Secret Beam Lip Glosses — our favourite shade is Midnight Pleasure, a metallic oxblood shade that is bang on trend.
SEOUL FASHION WEEK F/W18
Backstage at Seoul Fashion Week is where we can see the Hera products come to life. The Black Cushion was used to create a lot of the base makeup on the models.At Jarret, the makeup brough to mind the characters from Romeo and Juliet, and the skin was fresh with freckles left bare, while bronzer on the facial contours gave a natural, sculpted look. Highlighting the other major trend of monochromatic colour, at the Big Park show, the same Rouge Holic Matte Lipstick in Double Wine was used on the lips, cheeks and eyelids.
Hera is available at Level 1, Takashimaya