For the past decade or so, it is undeniable that Korean culture has had a massive impact on the world. From the entertainment industry to the beauty industry, Korean influence can be seen and felt everywhere. And while there are no shortage of Korean beauty brands that have expanded onto our shores, there are still hundreds, if not thousands more to discover. So the next time you find yourself in Seoul enjoying its street food, pop into one of their local beauty stores to check out the dizzying array of products available. Here are some of our most delightful discoveries.
A’Pieu Couture Blusher, about $12
If you prefer a softly diffused effect with a beautiful sheen, look no further than this blusher. With a finely milled texture, it glides onto skin seamlessly and can be effortlessly buffed and blended to create a subtle glowing look. Plus, they’re long-lasting and the colour still looks vibrant after a day out in Singapore’s heat and humidity.
Jung Saem Mool Essential Mool Cream, about $81
A beauty brand created by one of Korea’s top makeup artists, Jung Saem Mool, all products are meant to be easily used even by beauty novices for a flawless finish. And the ultimate must-have? This lightweight moisturiser that is easily absorbed into skin to transform a parched and rough mien into a smooth and plump one. Featuring nourishing botanical oils, emollients like glycerin and squalane, as well as niacinamide to brighten the complexion, it creates the perfect base for makeup application.
Espoir Taping Concealer Foundation, about $43
While many of us might equate Korean foundations to those that promise a radiant and dewy effect, this one from Espoir will make you rethink Korean makeup. Promising a full coverage with a matte finish, it has a surprisingly thin and blendable texture. A little bit goes a long way so one tube will last you at least several months. Best part? Once it’s applied, it adheres closely to your skin’s surface for round-the-clock wear without drying, caking or sinking into pores and fine lines.
Banilla Co. Clean It Zero, about $22
With one sold approximately every 4.8 seconds, it is no wonder this is one of the most popular products that beauty junkies stock up on when in Seoul. Needless to say, it has a soft gel-like texture that dissolves all traces of makeup while maintaining a bouncy, cushion-like barrier that makes cleansing feel comfortable. Beyond that, it is also enriched with papaya extract, which helps to eliminate dead skin cells and refine the appearance of pores to produce softer, smoother skin over time.
IOPE Live Lift Serum, about $67
Developed for women in their 30s and beyond, this firming serum targets the loss of elasticity — a problem most prominent around the cheeks which results in nasolabial folds and jowls. Referred by the brand as “the ribbon zone”, this area refers to the entire cheek area from just below the eyes to the jawline. And since Asian women are more prone to sagging than lines and wrinkles as we age, this serum is formulated with peptides, plant extracts and sugars to improve skin resilience and elasticity. To apply, smooth onto face and neck twice a day and expect facial contours to become more defined and sculpted.
A by BOM Cosmetics 2-Step Ultra Royal Leaf Mask, about $62 for a box of 10
After cleansing your face, apply the Royal Leaf Patch directly onto the top of your cheekbones, where fine lines and crow’s feet first appear. This patch is infused with soothing and wrinkle-smoothing ingredients for a plumped appearance. Next, follow with the Ultra Royal Leaf Mask. Made of a unique materials called Trans TENCEL Sheet, it feels soft and malleable so it fits around your facial contours to boost product penetration while enabling your skin to breathe. Within 20 minutes, your skin drinks up all of its goodness, which includes hydrating, brightening, energising and strengthening active ingredients derived from plants and royal jelly.
SkinRx Lab MadeCera Cream, about $40
Ideal for even the most demanding and fragile skin, the key ingredient of this cream is madecassoside, an anti-inflammatory compound found in Centella Asiatica extract (which is frequently found in other soothing products like Dr Jart’s Cicapair range). Perfect for replenishing hydration, reducing redness and strengthening skin’s barrier function, it is perfect as the go-to cream whenever your skin feels irritated. It also contains niacinamide to brighten and adenosine to energise sluggish cells for a well-balanced mien that glows softly.
7Face Rose Gold Foundation Brush #312, about $15
Known for its quality brushes at affordable prices, 7Face offers an impressive range of makeup brushes for face, lips and eyes, to make flawless makeup application attainable for everyone. Visit their Hongdae store for a full range of their products, and find out what’s popular amongst Korean youths. Our bet is on the #312 Rose Gold Foundation Brush. With densely packed bristles, you can easily customise the foundation coverage you prefer without any streaking. Plus, who can resist the beautiful rose gold hue?
Thank You Farmer Back To Iceland Peeling Cream, about $29
Restore skin smoothness and radiance with this ultra-gentle peeling cream. Containing a blend of BHA and PHA (which works like an AHA), it has a balm-like consistency which effectively eliminates dead skin cells and penetrates clogged pores to reduce congestion for a more refined skin texture. It is also enriched with Natural Cellulose Oligo HA & Moss Extract to replenish skin with moisture and strengthen it from external irritants.
107oneoseven Rose Vinegar Water, about $39
As its name suggests, this toning lotion is made with 100 per cent naturally fermented vinegar, which is rich in essential amino acids to help rebuild and repair vital skin structures. Designed to be used after cleansing, press this lightweight skin-conditioning water into skin to instantly soothe any irritation and rebalance moisture levels. It also preps your skin to receive other skincare products you apply after, setting the perfect foundation for healthy, radiant skin.