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Suzie Q and Leo Siboni
Photography Suzie Q and Leo Siboni

What is Jamsu? The K-Beauty trend of dunking your made-up face in water


TextAlex Peters

Everything you need to know about the water-setting make-up hack that Bella Hadid and Huda Kattan swear by

It may seem counterintuitive to submerge your freshly made-up face into cold water but that’s exactly what the Korean skincare trend of Jamsu calls for. 

Jamsu is a Korean make-up trick that is designed to help set your make-up and keep your skin looking matte and flawless. Literally translating to ‘diving’ or ‘dunking,’ the practice involves applying your foundation, concealer, contour as usual (not your eyes though or you will end up looking like a panda!) before covering your freshly made-up face in baby powder or translucent powder and then dunking it in cold water.

While K-Beauty is generally known for its signature glowy glass skin, this new mattifying technique has become popular more recently and is reportedly much loved by Bella Hadid who even recommended it to Huda Kattan.  

“Koreans take their skincare very seriously and are always trying to attain a flawless complexion,” says Maree Kinder, founder of Beauty & Seoul. “As such, skincare companies in Korea invest huge amounts in research and development to come up with the best formulations for this demanding market. In fact, industry experts suggest that the formulations are so advanced they are around 10-12 years of Western counterparts.”

Kinder explains that Koreans mostly use the technique of Jamsu in the summer when temperatures are hot and humid in order to prevent make-up from fading throughout the day. Best suited for those with oily skin, it’s believed that the cold water enables the foundation to blend with the skin and create a matte effect. 

After first applying all your complexion products, take a loose translucent or baby powder and cover your face with it until it looks like you have a layer of powder all over your face. Fill a big bowl with very cold water and submerge your entire face into it. For those with dry skin 15 seconds should be enough, while those with oiler skin can stay under for up to 30 seconds. Gently pat your face dry and voila: a long lasting and budge-proof base. Finish by applying the rest of your make-up and you are good to go.

Remember to cleanse your skin thoroughly when you are removing your make-up at the end of the day. Jamsu seals your make-up so we recommend you double-cleanse.

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