We just can’t get enough of latest BB creams, whitening creams, face masks, and other beauty products from Korea’s best skincare brands
It’s official: the letter ‘K’ has taken over our beauty radar – judging from the 10-step Korean skincare routine k-raze, the surge of “no makeup, makeup” looks and the launch of new K-beauty brands in Singapore. Go forth and take your beauty game to the next level with our pick of Korean cult-classics to the must-know-now brands.
We were thrilled when South Korea’s top luxe makeup brand launched in Singapore. Five months into the launch, we’re still thanking the beauty gods for giving us close access to Hera’s bestselling cushion foundations and creamy lip colours. The brand recently collaborated with Blindness (a noteworthy South Korean fashion label) for a holiday collection of intense, sensual lip colours and shimmery shadow duo sets. Our current fave: the Rouge Holic Liquid lip cream in deep burgundy that turns into a moisturising matte finish that lasts all day.
Hera, available at #B2-37, ION Orchard 2 Orchard Turn, Singapore 238801 and Level 1, Takashimaya, 391 Orchard Road, Singapore 238873
You know it’s legit when two celebrity makeup artists join forces to produce one brand. Created by Son Dae Sik and Park Tae Yoo, Ges Gep’s line embodies the “no makeup, makeup” look. Categorised into three groups of preparing, layering and sculpting, the products range from a preparing sheet mask that soothes and hydrates to the customisable G Palette where you can mix and match eyeshadow, blush, contour, concealer and highlighting shades according to your look. Say goodbye to the days of lugging that bulky makeup pouch around.
Ges Gep, available at Escentials Paragon and Metro Causeway Point
I’m Meme maybe aimed towards fashion-forward millennials, but the fun makeup brand seeks inspiration from everyday women of all ages. The result is a mix of playful products ranging from eyebrow and cheek duo palettes to heart-shaped lipsticks. The Honeycombers team is currently wearing the I’m Tic Toc Lipstick stain sticks and we’re pleasantly surprised with the bold, pigmented colour and smooth, creamy finish. A definite makeup staple!
I’m Meme, available at selected Guardian stores including The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Paragon and Raffles Place MRT
Formulated from the extract of hibiscus, camellia, magnolia, honeysuckle and lotus flowers in a botanical garden in Korea, Mamonde’s natural skincare heroes the goodness of flowers, bringing to you a stellar line of skincare and makeup. We’ve got our eyes set on the aqua peel toner, an exfoliating concoction with bio-enzymes to weaken and remove dead skin cells. Plus it’s not harsh to the skin. Thanks to the plum blossom extract in the formula, your skin will be feeling as smooth as a baby’s bottom.
Mamonde, available at various locations including Takashimaya, Tangs and Sephora
We have to credit the serious research that goes behind Unpa Cosmetics. Using data and trending beauty keywords from over one million users on its beauty platform, the organic beauty brand has come up with a skincare and makeup line that caters to specific skin tones and types. Plus, it’s also behind the viral Bubi Bubi Lip Scrub, an exfoliating lip scrub that bubbles up on your pout. How fun!
Unpa Cosmetics, available at Watsons including Bugis Junction, Ngee Ann City, ION Orchard and Plaza Singapura
Badass fashionistas, rejoice: After years of being deprived of 3CE (sob), the cheap and chic makeup line of Korean cult label StyleNanda is finally available locally. Amen to that! There’s much to love here; highly saturated lip pigments, cream blushers, silky balms, and foundation primers that deliver the signature Korean flawless complexion we all crave for. And the best part? Prices start as low as $15.
3CE, available at Sephora
Inspired by 19th century apothecary techniques, Belif’s herbal skincare products are free from mineral oils, animal origin ingredients, synthetic preservatives, dyes, and fragrances. Impressive stuff – and we’re especially digging Belif’s no-frills minimalist packaging. Fans of the brand can’t get enough of The True Cream – Aqua Bomb, an incredibly moisturising balm containing Lady’s Mantle.
Belif, various locations islandwide including Ion Orchard, Vivocity and Nex
Think Korean skincare and Laneige immediately comes to mind. With over 20 years in the biz, it’s no surprise that this beauty behemoth is Korea’s most successful beauty export to date, thanks to its cutting-edge products that regularly fly off the shelves. Case in point? The best-selling Water Sleeping Mask: every 30 seconds, one of this pint-sized wonder is sold somewhere around the world. Colour us impressed.
Laneige, various locations islandwide including Sephora
Founded on the Southern island of Jeju, Innisfree is Korea’s first skincare brand that’s committed to the green cause. Apart from its eco-friendly practices such sustainable harvesting and recyclable packaging, Innisfree’s green DNA also extends to its products, which use natural ingredients grown on the island itself. One of its crowd favourites is the 100% organic and chemical-free Green Tea line – as well as the deep cleansing Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask.
Innisfree, available at Plaza Singapura, Bugis Junction, and Takashimaya
Pink, pretty, and unapologetically princess-y, Etude House is every girlie girl’s dream come true. From rainbow-bright lippies to sweet scents, hand creams, and facemasks, the cosmetic brand does it all – and thanks to the too-cute-to-resist packaging and even more irresistible prices, you’ll want them all. Can’t decide which one to pick? You can’t go wrong with the multi-purpose Play 101 Pencil (available in a whopping 60 different shades) or the Cherry Lip Gel Patch, a cheeky lip mask that promises to keep your pout looking perfect.
Etude House, various locations islandwide
With a long storied history of melding science with traditional herbal ingredients such as peony and East Indian lotus, this skincare brand is luxury beauty as its best. Inspired by the belief that great skin comes from sangseng (the balance between yin and yang), Sulwhasoo is best known for its prized ingredient, Korean ginseng – evidenced by its best-selling range, which includes the award-winning concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream.
Sulwhasoo, available at TANGS Orchard and VivoCity, Takashimaya, and Robinsons Orchard
We love a brand that takes food seriously. True to its name, SKINFOOD is Korea’s first cosmetic company that’s rooted in nutritional ingredients like avocado, black pomegranate, royal honey, and even gold caviar – fancy. We won’t blame you if you get hungry: SKINFOOD’s extensive inventory of skincare and makeup reads like a restaurant menu with delicious-sounding best sellers like the Black Sugar Honey Mask, Choco Smoky Eye Palette, and Coffee Body Scrub.
Skinfood, various locations islandwide
The Face Shop
If you’re a fan of K-dramas, here’s all you need to know: The Face Shop’s brand ambassador is television heartthrob Kim Soo Hyun of My Love From The Star fame. Stellar celebrity endorsements aside, The Face Shop is yet another Korean beauty brand that prides itself for its all-natural products. Those worth trying include its signature range of facemasks (made from ingredients like green tea, bamboo, and kelp) and the Rice Water Bright Cleansing Light Oil.
The Face Shop, various locations islandwide
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