KCON New York: Celebrating K-Beauty and Korean Culture in the U.S.

K-pop music could be heard from miles away while vendors at every corner were selling t-shirts, K-pop albums, posters, and of course, a multitude of Korean beauty products.  K-CON USA is the original convention dedicated to bringing “All Things Hallyu” to the American fan base. Each year, K-CON is held in both New York City and Los Angeles during the summer. Fans from all over the U.S. flock to K-CON to experience the Korean pop culture scene and to get an opportunity to see their favorite K-pop stars. A great feature about K-CON is that it is not only a convention, but a 2-day concert as well. Each night has a different line-up of Korean singers and groups, allowing fans to see a variety of performances. There are fan engagement sessions where event go-ers have the chance to “hi-five” a Korean group or singer. This depends on special vouchers that you receive during registration and also on what kind of ticket you purchased. This year at KCON NY, I had the opportunity to high-five singer Eric Nam and girl group Mamamoo!

 song joong ki

Song Joong Ki, star of the wildly popular K-Drama, Descendants of The Sun.

There was a wide variety of panels featuring successful YouTubers, Korean culture experts, and my favorite; K-beauty specialists. Some K-beauty panel topics included how to get started with the 10-step skincare routine and how to treat acne. Along with these panels were several vendors selling Korean skincare and beauty products. I noticed flocks of people were crowded around the Korean beauty tables. It was exciting to see how many people were interested in learning more about Korean beauty products and were already well-versed in the K-beauty scene.


Popular brands, such as The Face Shop and Tony Moly, were the K-beauty hot spots. The Face Shop was selling adorable Kakao Talk-theme products including perfumes, BB creams, and sheet masks. Sheet masks were definitely the most popular item on the table! There was such a huge variety to choose from, I didn’t know where to start. I purchased two cute Kakao character masks, one for moisturizing and the other for hydrating. I’m a fan of trying out new face foams, so I opted to purchase the Herb Day Cleansing Aloe Foam for all skin types. They also had the Rice Water Bright Cleansing Foam, which I have used for years and I absolutely love! After making my beauty purchase, I received several samples of Chia Seed No Shine Intense Hydrating Cream – I can’t wait to try it out!


A small portion of the masses that flocked to K-Beauty stands like The Face Shop.

Tony Moly’s most popular products were special packs that included three different beauty items. I chose the pack with the I’m Real Makgeolli Skin Purifying Mask Sheet along with a cute panda-shaped hand lotion and a lip balm in the shape of lips. Each pack had different items in them and everything was packaged in such an adorable manner.

 Tony Moly set

The Tony Moly sets were a huge hit.

Other vendors attracted people to their booths by having attendees fill out surveys, and in return, gifting them with a free sheet mask! Of course I was definitely up for that challenge! In the end, I received a SkinFood Everyday Green Tea Facial Mask Sheet. As an avid SkinFood lover, I was overjoyed with my new mask.


Many people believe that it is difficult to find Korean beauty and skincare products in the U.S. But now, the American market is opening up to Korean beauty trends. Brush and Powder is a great outlet for learning more about the benefits of K-beauty and everything it has to offer, along with purchasing products. K-CON proves that there are outlets in the U.S. that allow Korean culture enthusiasts to pursue their passion without having to fly halfway across the world.

 Sheet masks
A large variety of sheet masks available for sale at KCON.

 K-CON New York was an incredible experience that anyone would enjoy. The feeling of being in a space filled with other people that share the same passion for a culture that I hold deep to my heart is now a memory that I will forever cherish.


If you’ve attended K-CON, what was your experience like? If you haven’t, what would you like to experience most? What kind of beauty and skincare products would you like to see more in the U.S. markets? Let us know in the comments below!


Brooke Finnicum is a university student with a passion for traveling and Korean culture, especially when it comes to Korean beauty and skincare.

Follow Brooke on Twitter: https://twitter.com/brookefinn95

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