I Tried This Korean Beauty Trick To Keep My Makeup Matte, And Here’s How It Went

by More.com Editors

I Tried This Korean Beauty Trick To Keep My Makeup Matte, And Here’s How It Went

The Korean beauty makeup application trend called jamsu requires you to dunk your freshly made-up face into ice cold water. So I did just that. The things we do for beauty, right?


Some people start their days with a splash of cold water to the face. I am not one of those people. I do not consider myself a morning person, and applying makeup at the crack of dawn is not my idea of fun. To make matters worse, my skin is a lovely combination of dry and oily, meaning keeping it matte all day is next to impossible.


That’s where the South Korean beauty technique jamsu comes in. Jamsu, roughly translating to “drench” or “submerge,” started when Korean beauty vlogger YoonCharmi popularized the underwater makeup application trend.


And naturally, in the name of science, I decided to give jamsu a whirl.


  • Step 1: First apply your primer, foundation and concealer as you would normally. Refrain from any eye products and other facial cosmetics (as they’ll definitely get washed off).
  • Step 2: Apply an eff ton (that’s a measurement, right?), of powder to seal the deal. Like, more than you would on any other day of your life.
  • Step 3: Once you’re all nice and prepped, brace yourself, because then you have to dunk your face in a bowl of freezing cold water for 30 seconds.


Needless to say, I struggled HARD for those 30 seconds. You really need the lungs of a swimmer to last in a bowl for that long, IMO (which I clearly do not have). Even though I came up for air a few times, I successfully completed my early morning dip in the bowl. Aside from the near-death drowning sensation, I will admit it was mildly refreshing.


  • Step 4: Surprisingly enough, my makeup had, in fact, stayed in place despite being immersed in freezing cold water. After some light dabbing, I then applied the rest of my makeup without ceremony.


Curious to see if my face-dunking experiment would really pay off, I kept inspecting my face throughout the day to see if jamsu was really keeping the oil away. Every time I took a trip to ye olde restroom, I was pleased to see no major signs of oil accumulating on my face. People even noticed how good my makeup looked, which truly hits home the whole “beauty is pain” notion.


Overall, I was impressed by the results of my jamsu experiment. My face stayed oil-free the entire work day, though I doubt I’ll be making jamsu part of my daily routine.


Who knows, if you use jamsu every day, you may never need to buy a setting spray or oil-removing towelettes again. You might want to invest in snorkeling gear instead.