“Beauty Icon, Hong Jinyoung?! I Just Want to Communicate Enjoyably”
I wanted to honestly let the public know and share the products I normally use
I didn’t want to give information as if I’m marketing it through a sponsorship
I think that’s the aspect people viewed favourably
Q. Now when you type ‘Hong Jinyoung’, makeup related search keywords naturally follow.
That’s what I mean, it’s really hard to predict what happens to people (laughs). While I was doing music or broadcasts, I never thought I needed to appeal to the public with ‘beauty’. But by chance, I received attention for it.
Q. It all started with tvN’s <Life Bar>.
tvN <Life Bar> Broadcast Capture
That’s right, I drank alcohol on the broadcast and my skin turned so red. Even my neck and ears turned bright red but my makeup was perfectly fine so female viewers who saw that scene got very curious.
After the broadcast, I received thousands of DMs a day asking ‘What foundation do you use?’ on SNS. So I thought, ‘If people are this curious about how I apply my makeup, it would be good to let them know exactly’ so I unveiled the product list myself through YouTube.
Q. We remember the reaction being hot.
At that time, I didn’t have any PPL (product placement) and let everyone know the actual products I use so many people responded positively saying ‘you’re honest’.
Q. After you unveiled the product list, sponsorship requests poured in from various brands but we heard you declined all of them.
After the broadcast, it is true that I received many sponsorship requests and advertising offers. However, I just wanted to let everyone know about the products I was using, I didn’t want to give information as if I was marketing it through a sponsorship. I wanted to honestly let everyone know the products I normally used and enjoyed and share the information with the public.
Q. It’s somehow ‘Hong Jinyoung’-like. Cool woman!
Haha. Thank you.
Q. Now when you appear on broadcasts, makeup related topics become a trend.
Recently on JTBC’s <Carefree Travelers>, the ‘waterproof makeup’ and the scenes where I applied makeup on other travel members became popular. Honestly, I like applying makeup on other people’s faces rather than applying it on myself. It may be because I’ve been receiving makeup for a long time, now I think I can apply it to some extent on other people. And when you apply makeup on someone else’s face, it’s fun. I think I’m fairly skilled at makeup (laughs).
Q. Do you tend to give beauty counseling to people around you?
People do ask me often. Questions like ‘What eye shadow are you wearing?’ or ‘What colours are pretty for a lipstick?’. Then I try to let them know all of the information I know.
Q. Of people you know personally, has there been a situation where someone’s vibe entirely changed due to your advice?
There’s a close dongsaeng who wore a lot of eye makeup so I told her to try wearing it a bit lighter. Of course, the changed makeup suit her so much better. When I was a rookie, I wore a lot of makeup. There was a time when I wore black eyeliner top and bottom and wore eyelashes that flapped like wings. At that time, I thought that looked pretty but now that I look back, that’s not the case. According to your age, your tastes and style definitely change.
Q. You must have felt satisfied after seeing your hoobae.
Yes. So I’m thinking of holding an event through my personal SNS or YouTube channel where I choose someone to do their makeup for them from a pool of applicants.
Q. You said you’re so busy you don’t get to rest even a single day in a month.
I can’t do it right now (laughs). When I have some time, I definitely want to do it.
Q. What items do you cherish the most?
Lip products. I really have a lot of lip products at home. They were all purchased by me. I previously had almost 200, but now I’ve organized and I have 80-90. According to the seasons, my favourite lip colours change. In the spring, peach tone; in the summer, bright pink; in autumn, burgundy or brown; in the winter, I enjoy applying vivid red.
Q. Is there a beauty item that you’re especially fond of these days?
Since it’s autumn, eyeshadow that you can create subtle eye looks with, and lip products in colours of autumn leaves. I think it will be really pretty if you match a similar colour tone of your eyes and lips.
We opened Hong Jinyoung’s real pouch
Lip products of various colours, shading (contour) products that create lines on your nose and face, and compact, if I have these, it’s not hard to last the whole day (laughs).
Q. You’re incredibly busy and yet, you launched your own brand (of makeup). Was it all because it became a topic of conversation on broadcasts?
Appearing on <Life Bar> did become a big opportunity. After unveiling the list of products I used and the makeup tips, a comment said:
‘Unnie, it costs too much money to buy all of those products. To buy all of these, I need to work part-time for two months’
After I saw that, I thought carefully ‘Couldn’t I combine all of this into a single product?’. That was the starting point for ‘Hong Shot’. Even before then, I had thoughts that I wanted to try making beauty products. Such a good timing came to me so it was brought to fruition.
Q. Liking makeup and launching a brand are different things, as you can’t create a brand just with an idea.
It’s so different. But I did not want to create it haphazardly. So I had several meetings and I visited the laboratory many times. Although I was busy, I split my time and studied up on makeup ingredients. Honestly, I wasn’t the type to be sensitive to ingredients but the more I knew, the more I realized I couldn’t ignore the importance of ingredients. Since it’s being absorbed by the skin, I kept thinking that I needed to create an exceptional product with good ingredients.
Q. As you prepared for the brand launch, to what step did you participate personally?
All of it. I personally took part from the planning stage to ingredients, testing and packaging.
Q. Did you come up with the name ‘Hong Shot’ yourself?
I held a contest on SNS to create the name.
Q. When you first planned ‘Hong Shot’, what areas did you put a lot of focus into?
Before I launched the brand, I purchased most of the products that are popular on SNS and personally used it. There were products that suit me well and products that didn’t suit me well, and there were products that had excessive advertising. I have sensitive skin so even if there’s a slight irritation, it turns red so I can’t use whatever products. Through these experiences, I worked hard to create a product that suits almost all skin types as much as possible.
Q. Hong Shot that you created with your heart and soul sold out on the first day of home shopping, how did that feel?
I really didn’t know it would receive that much attention. I was really surprised and very thankful.
Q. When you think about it, what aspect do you think was emphasized in a charming way?
Truthfully, when it comes to any makeup product, you can’t confidently say ‘it suits everyone well’, same goes for my product. Likes and dislikes vary from person to person. However, I was able to confidently say on the live broadcast that I tried my best to create a product that would suit the skin of as many people as possible. I think honesty like that was appealing.
Q. The products must truly feel like your ‘child’. What item do you want to boast about the most?
It has to be the foundation. Without irritating the skin, it stays on the skin in a moist way with a high level of coverage. It was created thoughtfully, after sampling and testing it several times until I was satisfied. I confirmed that it was created with ingredients that are harmless to the skin and I am confident in this product.
Q. Music, broadcast, business, there isn’t anything you aren’t good at. You always seem to be overflowing with energy, but aren’t there times when you’re tired?
The moment I go to lie in bed at home after finishing the day’s schedule, I totally pass out. But before I lie in bed, I do this and that at home. I’m making an app these days too.
Q. What kind of an app is it?
It’s a selfie app. It’s a ‘life shot’ app that takes pretty photos no matter what (laughs). I’m learning how to code. It’s been delayed compared to the original plan so I think it will be complete next month.
Q. You’re incredible. Are you sure you only have one body?
There are so many things I want to do. When I still have passion inside of me, I want to attempt one more thing, and I want to try many things if I can do it. Of course there will be times when I fail but I also think that is a huge experience in my life. There’s a huge part of me that wants to continue to attempt new things. Even though my body will be tired.
Q. There must be times when Hong Jinyoung, who has a lot of ‘excitement’, gets stressed.
It’s hard when I’m not in a good condition so my voice doesn’t come out well or when my body is sick. I really like talking (laughs). I like working while laughing joyously and chatting with people around me but if my body doesn’t follow, that really upsets me. So these days, I’m trying to eat things like tonics and vitamins.
Q. If you were to reveal one ‘I have this side of me that people don’t know’?
It seems like I’m strong and won’t get hurt easily but I’m actually very delicate. But even if I get hurt, I try to overcome it alone. Whatever happens, situation differs depending on your perspective. I try to live every day diligently in a fun and positive way while loving my work and thinking of people who like me. If I do that, I have no time to be sad.
Q. You’ve already accomplished so much but is there something you really want to do going forward?
Training a hoobae. My goal is to personally direct and produce someone to debut, but first, I’m going to open an SNS audition within this year. Finding Hong Jinyoung’s dongsaeng, named Hongdition! After receiving audition videos, my followers will choose the 1st place winner. I’m thinking of continuing it into seasons 1, 2, 3. First of all, I need to have a good start.
Q. Does music genre matter?
It doesn’t matter at all. But the first dongsaeng has to do trot, no matter what.
Q. Today you joined us not as a singer but as a ‘beauty icon’ chosen by <Grazia>, what will it be like going forward?
I think if I continue to show the comfortable side of me that I normally show, people will continue to enjoy it. It’s funny for me to suddenly appear as a beauty expert (laughs). Like how I’ve done so far, I want to communicate in a friendly and enjoyable way through SNS or YouTube.