Korean beauty products (K-Beauty) have really taken off over the past couple of years. We are starting to see a lot of these lines pop up at Sephora, brands like Amore Pacific, La Neige, Too Cool for School and more. The first product to really become popular was the face mask sheets and you’ve likely seen these all over the place including mass retailers like Shoppers Drug Mart. The masks have also garnered a lot of attention from many beauty bloggers and vloggers so I’m not actually going to get into doing a review of those because you will find a load of these reviews online. Here’s a tip though, for a sheet that may cost $8, $10 or more dollars at Sephora – you can actually get this at places like the Face Shop or online for around $2 per mask. Same with the charcoal konjac sponges and I assure you these are very much the exact same thing! Just check to make sure they are made in Korea.
Here are a few of my favourite K-Beauty products:
The Designing eyebrow pencil is a fantastic dupe for the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil! In fact it doesn’t break off nearly as often as the Hourglass one and is still soft enough to get a beautifully smooth application. Even better is the fact that it’s refillable so you don’t have to keep throwing out the entire pencil packaging. Sure the packaging isn’t as nice looking as the Hourglass version but considering the price difference, I can definitely live with the aesthetics of The Face Shop’s version! Hourglass retails for $40 CAD (0.4g of product) and The Face Shop retails for $6 CAD (0.3g of product). I believe the refills are even less at around $4 if I remember correctly. I tried to check the website to confirm but their Canadian website is terribly out of date and doesn’t have this product listed. The colour range options are decent also. On a side note, why do Hourglass and The Face Shop make these in grey? I mean if your hair is going grey, wouldn’t you want your eyebrows to be the original colour of your hair to make you look younger? Why would you want to make your brows ashy and old looking? This seems really bizarre to me but maybe I’m missing something.
Another popular product out of Asia is the BB cream. These offer a lighter coverage vs traditional foundation and usually contain some skin care ingredients as well as an SPF. I prefer a BB most days as it’s more natural looking and less heavy feeling. I discovered this particular one on my last trip to Korea out of dire need to fix my poor face. I don’t know what it is about planes but if I’m flying for more than 8 hours, I look like a certified mess by the time I get off the plane at the other end. Now if I’m lucky enough to avoid getting sick from other germy passengers then I still have terrible breakouts and irritated skin. So I had just taken a flight that was 14 or 15 hours (felt like 4 days) and my skin was miserable and breaking out. The last thing I wanted to do was put more stuff on it but I also couldn’t just leave it as is with redness here and there. So I hit the skincare shops in Seoul and put together a little face fix kit complete with a foaming cleanser (made with 90% natural ingredients), a charcoal konjac sponge and this Peach Green Tea BB cream. This product offers more of a medium coverage and leaves a very natural finish that is more on the matte side instead of dewy. The colour range is not great with only 2 options and one is on the very light side. I was the darker of the 2 and I normally am in the light to medium side of foundation colours.
Here is a swatch of the product partially blended and what it looks like on my face once fully blended. You’ll have to excuse the RBF, not the most approachable friendly look I admit but I took several shots smiling and quite frankly I just look like a plain lunatic. So we’ll have to get along with these until I can sort out some more friendly but not crazy looking demo shots for future posts.
The last couple are fun lip products. The Mango Seed Lip Scrub and Mango Seed Lip Balm from the Face Shop are a hidden gem of a find. The lip scrub is gentle yet effective and smells so delicious! Same with the lip balm which I apply after the scrub.
The tins are from a brand called Too Cool for School, they are the Dinoplatz Lip Balms. These are fruity scented, sheer lip balms in a fun package! Pretty moisturizing and the tin is large enough that you can sort of pucker your lips and apply direct as opposed to doing the finger dip.
Those are just a few of my favourite K-Beauty products. Everything usually smells very pleasant and comes in cute packaging. If anything the packaging is likely a disservice to the actual effectiveness of the product. It doesn’t seem like you might take the brand seriously but you’ll find that there are many really great products that are very effective. Comment below if you’ve tried out any K-Beauty brands that you love.
Where to find the products mentioned:
Designing Eyebrow Pencil and Mango Seed Lip Scrub and Lip Balm
Skin Food Peach Green Tea BB Cream
Dinoplatz Lip Balm