10 minutes with Korean model Hwang Se-on

The 21-year-old model, who was recently in town for the Laneige Beauty Road with BB Cushion tour, tells us what it was like to go from a regular girl in New Zealand to a rising star in South Korea.


At first glance, Hwang Se-on looks like any other South Korean model: tall and lithe, with wide-set eyes, a perfect cupid bow’s mouth, and poreless white skin. In other words, she was perfectly selected as a spokesperson for Laneige, a brand lauded the world over for helping even the most overworked women achieve a Kpop-worthy complexion.

But as it turns out, 21-year-old Se-on possesses one major difference between herself and the other Korean models that we have met: she speaks perfect, vaguely Kiwi-accented English, having grown up in New Zealand. Naturally, not having to communicate through a translator made it easier to strike up a conversation with Se-on, who was in town in August for the Laneige Beauty Road with BB Cushion tour held at ION Orchard.

Here’s what we learned about the budding model and social media star (who has more than 95k followers on Instagram!).

She didn’t know the difference between an essence and a serum either:
If you’ve ever found it hard to explain the difference between a serum, an essence, and a toner, you’re not alone. Until she began modelling five years ago, Se-on stuck to the basics.

“As I started working, I started to learn what an essence is, what a cream is, I got to know my skin more, and take of my skin, how to remove all the ‘hard’ products you put on at work.

As for her skincare routine, prior to modelling: “I didn’t have any! I was just like a student, a high school student, I just like washed my face and put some cream on and that was it. When I started modelling, I put toner on, essence on, eye cream, and a sleeping pack on top. It’s such a daily routine now.
I end with the Water Sleeping Mask and carry it around every day. When I go overseas, I just put it on and go to sleep.”

She listened to her mama
Growing up, our mothers always nagged us about applying sunblock --- and if Se-on’s complexion is any indication, minding their advice will definitely pay off.

“All the countries that I’ve been to recently have been so hot, and the sun is so strong, so I think it’s really important to protect your skin from the sun,” she said, admitting that she wears sunscreen beneath her BB Cushion, which is already SPF 50. (Looks like Se-on has a kiasu side as well!).

She’s totally chill

“I like to dress really casual, like casual chic,” Se-on said. “Because when I’m at work, I need to dress really formal. When I’m shooting I always need to wear like, Prada, so when I’m just myself, I can be ‘no makeup, no heavy clothes,’ loose, I like Kate Moss, her style. Just a ‘daily’ look.

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