Jung Saem Mool - Quick Brand Intro & High Color Lipsticks
Matte lipsticks. And they don't shrivel up my lips. And they are saturated and rich looking. And by Korean makeup artist extraordinaire Jung Saem Mool. Let us back up.
I don't think you can talk about K-beauty without making sure to do a chapter (and a long video with excerpts from her Youtube channel) on Jung Saem Mool. Her distinctive face, with her round black framed glasses almost looks like an adorable cartoon drawing of a person. But it is a face of a master artist. And while Lisa Eldridge may be the queen of western makeup artist deigning to give tutorials to us mere mortals, Jung Saem Mool will certainly be the K-beauty counterpart.
JSM appears often on Korean television screens in her appearances on On Style (kind of like a beauty focused variety show. Imagine that!). She is famous for her work on many Korean pop stars and actresses. I don't follow K-pop or K-drama, but I'm guessing if you do, you will likely have seen JSM's work on mega-stars' faces.
JSM has long maintained a YouTube channel. Some show how to recreate specific celebrity looks and others are techniques. I never realized the intricacies of eye lining (and #s of products in one eye line!) as I have watching her channel. Over the more recent years, her channel started featuring products from her own range. She had a line called MÜLE which focused on base products along with oval brushes (very similar to the Artis and MAC ones) which launched in 2011. Looks like the MÜLE line has been incorporated into another Korean brand VDL. And then even more recently, this more fully imagined Jung Saem Mool line was launched.
I was living in Seoul at the time MÜLE was launched, but I wasn't too interested in the brand. But recently seeing the JSM beauty products on my Instagram feed (jsmbeauty IG) made me über curious and then seeing recent YT videos made me explode with WANT. Now let's return to these matte lipsticks.
High Color Lipsticks are broken down into three categories: High Matt, High Moist (glossy) and High Master, which are used to alter other shades. Today I have three High Matt lipsticks and one High Moist lipsticks to show you along with one High Master. They have a light floral scent, which is a the only con for me. It is noticeable on application and lingers, but for me it isn't nauseatingly off-putting.
The packaging aesthetic is a no-nonsense lightweight black plastic with clear and black caps. I do wish that the lipsticks were a bit smaller and streamlined, but I do like that the caps are clear on the tops to easily distinguish which color... especially when your collection accidentally exhibits exponential growth.
On the formula:
- The High Mat is my favorite of the formulas I've tried so far. These have a far richer pigmentation than the weight of the product on the lips would suggest. They are indeed matte, but without the complete light-sucking flatness. It isn't high slip, but doesn't have a drag on the lips. They have a thin and lightweight texture. They are long lasting and leave a long-lasting stain on the lips as well. This might be the most comfortable matte formula I've tried. Definitely not moisturizing, they feel moisture neutral, in my opinion. I can wear these lipsticks on consecutive days with no ill effect. That's amazing for me and high pigmentation lipsticks, let alone a matte one!
- The High Moist has a more glossy base and has a nice shine on the lips when applied. It is similarly lightweight and also maintains great pigmentation. It is similarly comfortable as the High Mat formula. The formula is quite nice and flattering on the lip lines. What makes this a very attractive lipstick is a nicely edited and varied offering of colors.
- The High Master lipsticks can used to enhance and alter the appearance of other lipstick shades. I only have the black one, called Lip Shadow so I can't speak to the formula, wear and feel of the other shades (a concealer shade Lip Blur and a white shade Lip Blender). I found the black Lip Shadow to be an inferior variant of the High Mat formula. Great inky black pigmentation, but stiffer formula that was difficult to apply evenly. Mixes very well with the High Mat, but struggles to mix evenly with the High Moist (feels like mixing oil and water).
Here are swatches from left to right:
- High Color (High Mat) in Real Red - bright, blue-toned red
- High Color (High Mat) in Burgundy - deep warm red with brown undertones
- High Color (High Moist) in Rare Plum - bright, medium blue-toned plum
- High Color (High Mat) in Pinkish Red - very bright pink
- High Color (High Master) in Lip Shadow - warm black (with some brown and green tones that are visible)
Lip Swatches & Full Face
High Color Lipstick in Real Red (High Mat)
High Color Lipstick in Burgundy (High Mat)
High Color Lipstick in Rare Plum (High Moist)
High Color Lipstick in Pinkish Red (High Mat)
High Color Lipstick in Lip Shadow (High Master)
Might be my favorite new vamp! Burgundy + Lip Shadow
Anyhoo, I very highly recommend trying out one or two of these lipsticks. There's enough interesting shades and I know I'm going to keep being inspired by Jung Saem Mool's videos to try different applications.
Resources - all non-affiliate links
- JSM Beauty Website (you can purchase if you are in Korea) here. The English website is information with excellent swatches here.
- Lotte Global website, which is where I ordered here. Look for coupons within the site you can "clip" to apply to your orders to reduce the huge shipping cost. Doesn't always apply to every item.
- Hyundai Global website here. I've not ordered from here, but it looks like there are coupons on the website as well.