Crystal Tai

Crystal Tai

Crystal is a contributor to Inkstone. She covers business trends and cultural criticism, with a special focus on Northeast Asia, for the South China Morning Post.

Why China’s falling out of love with K-beauty
Just a few years ago, South Korea’s beauty industry could do no wrong in China. Lipsticks worn by actress Jun Ji-hyun in the 2014 hit K-drama My Love From The Star sold out almost immediately thanks to Chinese fans, despite being on screen for just seconds. As part of the K-wave – along with K-pop, K-fashion and K-dramas – South Korean beauty trends set the agenda in China. Propelled by savvy marketing campaigns and viral skincare and make-up tutorials, the industry racked up $13.1 billion worth of sales worldwide in 2018, according to market research company Mintel. But today, the tide is turning. The Chinese beauty market is huge. It’s the world’s second-largest, according to Euromonitor,
Asia is obsessed with skin whitening – but the backlash is beginning
Growing up in Canada, Holly Ngan (not her real name) loved climbing trees, riding bikes and playing outdoors. Being in the sun was never an issue for Ngan, who says she has always naturally been tanned. “I have never been called fair in my life,” she says. Her awareness of skin color changed drastically when she turned 10 and traveled to Hong Kong with her family to visit relatives over their summer holiday. One afternoon, Ngan’s cousin took her on a boat trip. It was a sweltering hot day, the small cabin and deck of the boat were heating up, and yet she noticed most of the women stayed on board instead of cooling off in the sea. “All the girls were covered up,” recalls Ngan, noting their lo
What body language tells us about Kim and Trump
A battle played out between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un on Tuesday morning. The arena? Body language. The entrance Both leaders arrived without a trace of a smile.  Kim pulled up first, a few minutes before 9am, with a stiff look on his face and carrying a notebook. US body language expert Patti Wood suggested this is more significant than it seemed.  “It tells us he is not planning to be off-the-cuff in the meeting,” she said. “Having other people carry his artefacts is his baseline. It may indicate more concern that he be prepared for the meeting.” Here’s the footage of their first meeting. Five minutes later, Trump emerged from his bulletproof car, known as “The Beast,” without a smile