Korean beauty products have been in the global spotlight for some time now as BB creams enter foreign drugstores, online K-beauty marketplaces crowd the internet, and beauty bloggers announce their “holy grail” products as a pig collagen face mask or bee venom eye cream.
The Korean take on beauty focuses on skin care, Korean women average 12-15 step morning and night cleansing routine versus a 2-3 step routine typical to women in the West.Following the skin-care-first motto, you will find many of their beauty products to be moisturizing or giving a dewy, youthful finish that is aspired to in South Korea.
Currently, there is a movement towards higher pigmentation, longer-wear products (which can be seen as drying or aging to the skin by Koreans), and including a wider variety of colors; colors that look great not just on pale to yellow skin tones and work for more dramatic looks!
In this listing, you can find the best beauty products in Korea for each the popular single-shop beauty stores in South Korea, as well as a information on the brand’s concept and store locations.
Here is the best of the best of Korean beauty stores and what to buy.
Established in 1966, Etude House is one of Korea’s first global makeup brands. With hundreds of stores in South Korea as well as Russia, U.S., Indonesia, this big brand is popular with the younger generation for its super affordable and innovative cosmetics.
Most notable is its girly packaging, Parisian themed stores, and packaged face-mask deals, Etude House continues to lead the cosmetics market all while upholding good values. None of their products are tested on animals and their membership program offers astonishing perks like free full-size bottle for purchases and Member appreciation days. Find even more beauty products and get them delivered on amazon!
So what to buy?
Korean Beauty Products At Etude House
These color-correcting concealers allow you to live by the mantra “less is more” by dabbing them onto correction spots and blending them seamlessly into your skin.
One of Etude House’s hottest new products, the Big Cover Concealer kit, comes with a pink, vanilla, and sand shade for multi-tasking brightening, lightening, and blemish control. The concealers are all creamy and moisturizing while offering medium coverage.
Individual cushion concealers and a green tone and dark skin tones available as well.
Price: W17,000 / $15.00
A longtime best seller for Etude House, Dear Darling comes in the brand’s signature feminine packaging with a long-lasting lip tint formula. The best thing about this product is that it provides a light, build-able color and settle too quickly like other tints.
An additional plus, the lip tints are scented with a very subtle fruity taste upon application.
Choose from Berry, Red Cherry, Orange, and Plum tint, apply to the corner of your lips, and blend outwards by circling your lips together. From there you can settle for a gradient lip look or apply another lip cream on your base.
Price: W4,500 / $4.00
Currently only available in Caramel, Brown, and Ash Brown color, the tint should be applied to brows for a minimum of two hours (or overnight). From there on, the gel dries into a peel-off sticky, sealing in the pigmented color and ensuring easy removal of excess color.
Price: W4,000 / $3.30
In Tony Moly stores you can find bunny-topped lip glosses, scented hand creams encased in the fruit of their scent, and decorated sheet masks galore.
Still, the brand is committed to their “skin first” motto, meaning the products inside the cute pop art packaging are just as pleasing to the skin as they are to your eye.
You can shop this brand online at the brand store as well as in Sephora shops worldwide. Find even more beauty products and get them delivered on amazon!
The best of the best at this brand is…
Korean Beauty Products At Tony Moly
Called the “holy grail” of many beauty blogger’s skincare cabinets, the Tomatox Massage Pack promises to detoxify and improve radiance of skin using lycopene extracted from the pearl seeds of tomatoes.
Lemon extract, baicha, and houstonia extract also work in tandem for collagen synthesis, whitening, and antioxidants, altogether providing a brighter and clearer skin tone.
This product comes as a soft cream to be massaged on after using a regular facial wash. After 5-minutes wash off the cream to see brighter, more even skin! Intented usage is 2-3 times a week based on sensitivity for longterm effects
Price: W13,700 / $12.00
Not only does it give a playful nod to Korea’s oldest rice liquor, it also a very fresh and clean scent that is devoid of that pungency or medicinal scent that many effective face masks have.
This”Milky-liquid” type mask works for purification, it is ideal for a combination oil-dry skin type as it helps draw toxins out of pores and balance sebum production.
The mask itself is a 3-layer pulp sheet filled with a latex-based essence that contains the magic Makgeoli serum of natural oils and is paraben, talc, benzophenone, and triethanolamine-free
Price: W12,700 / $11.10 for 11 sheets
These Panada’s Dream eye patches help soothe discoloration and puffiness all around the eye area with whitening niacinamide and moisturizing bamboo shoot extract.
Not only are they are silicone, talc, and paraben free ,but they also come in packs of 5-10 for long-term continued usage. Each eye patch set comes individually packaged, with large mask circles with slits for the eyes that covers all the sensitive skin around your eyes.
Unlike other half-moon eye patches, this one covers a lot more area and stays put so you can resume daily life activities during the 10-20 minute application.
Price: W6,300 / $5,50 for 5 pack
This all natural makeup brand is famous in Korea for its use of all natural plant extracts from Jeju Island, a lush southern territory of South Korea with many green tea plantations, medicinal herb farms, and orange crops.
The best thing about Innisfree is its dedication to “ethical consumption”, they only make high-quality organic products at prices ladies of all budgets can afford. The packaging is all in a classic, understated style, but also made of recycled paper and printed only with soy ink.any dermatologists recommend Innisfree as a makeup brand that won’t irritate sensitive-skinned women.
Many dermatologists recommend Innisfree as a makeup brand as its products won’t irritate sensitive-skinned women!
If you’re looking for an all-natural cosmetic or want a feel-good buy (Innisfree regularly donates to environmental organization) try a few of these products. Find even more beauty products and get them delivered on amazon!
Korean Beauty Products At Innisfree
Tinted primers, another must-have in the Korean makeup bag. They allow your makeup to stay on all day, but also provide a color-correcting base so that the foundation applied afterward glides onto a smooth and brightened surface.
As part of their “no-sebum” line, this primer fills in pores and fine lines while giving the skin a matte appearance that feels like velvet. Simply squeeze a dime-sized amount of this translucent gel onto your finger tips and feel it work magic.
If primer is not your thing, their “no sebum” mineral powder also has had block-buster success for absorbing oils and keeping skin refreshed.
Price: W13, 200 / $11.50 for 25mL tube
Free of parabens or any other nasties that could fall into your delicate eye area, these single color mineral shadows come in 20 seasonal trend colors, 10 matte shades, 10 shimmer shades, 10 pigmented glitter shades.
The brand promotes these as a one-touch ,long-lasting color shadows, couple these shadows with a primer and you will have a lovely wash of color that is sensitive on the eyes.
The only active ingredient is lecithins to prevent dryness and enhance adherence to the lid! Due to popularity of its shadows, Innisfree has expanded the color range and even recommends different shades and mix-and-match sets for single eyelids and double eyelids
Price: W8,200 / $7.20 for single shade
This beautifully encased lipstick renders lips glossy and moisturized lips. Using a high shine gel base, the lips become highly-pigment with color and appear more voluminous after two application of this product.
The best part about this lip product hit is the range of colors available; venturing outside of the usual poppy pinks and oranges, the Creammellow line offers Plum (6), Dewy Red (8), and Blueberry Burgundy (9), which are darker colors typically reserved for matte shades.
The formula is also 3-free, which means that it does not contain t animal materials, talc, or benzophenone.
Price: W20,000 / $17.50
A brand likened to Benefit Cosmetics by many foreigners, Banila & Co’s concept is pretty and primed skin as well as many wonderful eyeshadow sets whether you’re looking for a unique night-out smokey eye, a apricot-influency spring palette, or an every day nude eye.
This is a store I’ve found with the most helpful assistants and employees, working to assist you to fit your skin type and ideal makeup look rather than push products on you for sales goals.
Additionally, instead of small sample products you can score sheet masks and whole products as your purchase amount increases!
The stores are a bit more difficult to find, but you’re sure to run into one at major shopping areas such as Gangnam, Myeongdong, Hongdae, Sinchon, and Lotte World Mall. Products can also be found at many online vendors such as kstyleme.com and sokoglam.com. Find even more beauty products and get them delivered on amazon!
Korean Beauty Products At Banila & Co
The product comes in an enormous tub and is applied as a balm to the skin, as the warmth from your skin activates the cleanser, it transforms into a silky oil that magically dissolves makeup and purifies pores, all while allowing your skin to retain its essential oils.
The original formula relies on papaya extract and added Vitamin C to give your skin a boost, but there are now varieties for Firming, Sensitive Skin, Acne-Prone Skin, and Whitening as well as an “ultra-size” tub of the original for those who can’t quite get enough…
Price: W20,600 / $18,000 for 100mL tub
We loved the chic packaging of this eye shadow quad as well as the finishing powder that can be used on the inner corner of the eyes, or swiped on the brow bones as a daring highlight. The colors are definitely more pigmented than the average Korean brand and they offer many sophisticated color sets… visit a store and swatch freely.
Price: 26,400W / $22.99
While this may seem like a gimmick, this emollient eye cream immediately brightened and perked up our eyes with none of the stinging sensation that heavy retinol or alcohol based eye creams.
Niaminicide, 10 different flower extracts (chamomile, white rose, jasmine), and carob seed extract provided a potent dose of moisturization to effectively illuminate the under eye area and leave you looking 9-hours-of-sleep refreshed.
Price: W28,700 / $24.99 for 20mL tube
Too Cool For School is a Korean brand targeting young millennials with a little more money to spend. While priced above Etude House, Innisfree, and Tony Moly, TCFS offers chic packaging , effective skin care, and basic makeup that has developed a cult-like following.oncept made in New York
The concept for TCFS was created in New York and later developed in London, on true TCFS products you will often see these cities mentioned on the packaging (many China-made duplicates have hit the market as well).
Following the popularity of the brand in Korea, Sephora began carrying their product lines in stores worldwide! You can shop TCFS for a markup, but most products are still very affordable from 8,000 – 25,000W. Find even more beauty products and get them delivered on amazon!
Korean Beauty Products At Too Cool For School
Egg white extract purifies and brightens, while egg yolk extract leaves skin hydrated and silky smooth. This unique, frothy facial mask deeply moisturizes and enhances the use of other skin care products for beautifully luminous skin.
The product comes out as an aerated mousse (just like a hair product) to be massage into skin. After five to 10 minutes rinse off with lukewarm water and enjoy clearer skin and tighter pores!
Price: W16,000 / $13.98
The all-organic powders have been baked into the container terracotta-style for maximum pigmentation and a smooth finish.
Three shades line the contour case with soft finish highlight, an ashy brown, and a matte brown to shade in the shadows of the nose and eyes, or swirl all colors together and prop up your cheekbones.
The best thing about this set is that the color wash goes on light and builds very easily, perfect for newbies to contouring or those who don’t accidentally want to look like a scarecrow. Swirled together, the shades can also be used as a nice bronzer powder as well.
Price: W20,000 / $18.00
The “Milk tint” name not only refers to the creamy, moisturizing composition of the tint, it also comes in adorable old-school milk bottle packaging and has a very full, wholesome color finish.
While the Lavender shade is certainly rare and interesting (it dries onto lips as more of an icy tone pink shade), the best seller here is the Orange tint which gives the lips a punchy coral glow.
Price: W5,500 / $5.00 per tint.
3CE is the cosmetics branch of Korean fashion powerhouse StyleNanda. Working since 2007 to create a high-quality line of fashion-forward, on-trend make up products 3CE has introduced many new products to the cosmetic Korean market such as chubby lip drawing pencils and liquid shimmer eyeshadows.
3CE, which stands for “3 Concept Eyes”, means to focus each client on three specific complimentary colors that work so well together you are able to create numerous natural makeup looks.
When you walk up to a 3CE makeup counter you will find countless pink, orange, and beiges to choose from in uncharacteristically bold and pigmented colors.
Foreigners liken this brand most to MAC or Urban Decay, stores may be harder to find but there are large counters at Hyundai Department Stores, Stylenanda Flagship Hongdae, and the 3CE Cinema and Flagship in Garosugil. Find even more beauty products and get them delivered on amazon!
Korean Beauty Products At 3 Concept Eyes
A sharp, precision tip , slim and easy-to-grip feel, and high pigmentation make this our favorite brow pencil in the Republic of Korea. While many brow tints, powder sets, and pencils go for a very soft and dusty look, this eye brown shaper goes for color and definition.
For those who are not privileged with defined brows, this pencil is perfect for drawing in individual hairs or elongating the brow to get that “fleeky” look.
The model shown above actually has the liner dual applied as an eyeliner as well to display the intense pigmentation and smooth finish of the brow shaper.
Price: W23,000 / $20.00
Entering the market with a range of innovative, dewy skin-inducing products, 3CE met rapid success with their line of cream blushers. Because the product is so pigmented, only a minuscule amount of this product is needed to highlight the cheeks and make skin glow.
This blush comes in four shades of Apricot, Orange, Flower Pink, and Lavender (Icy Pink) that look amazing on rosy tone to yellow tone skin.
And the liquid aspect of the product allows you to have a flush of color without ruining the dewy effect of a BB cream, cushion, or liquid oil foundation beforehand.
Price: W26,400 / $22.97
From model’s photos, the foundation offers glossy, flawless finish with the appearance of being poreless. From the brand’s belief that heavy foundation dries and ages skin faster, this is a very light coverage foundation that should be used in tandem with a pore priming product.
It contains more natural oils than the usual foundation, so this product is best for people with dry skin or those looking for a glossy finish after applying concealer or color corrector.
Available in four colors; natural ivory, soft beige, nude beige, or milk ivory.
Price: W37,900 / $33.00
Espoir is a store dedicated to reproducing the best sellers of the high-end Korean brands and providing store locations with an all-black, sophisticated finish similar to MAC. Walk into their Garsogil location and you will feel like you’re in a professional makeup studio rather than the cutesy teen makeup brands of Myeongdong and university areas.
Known for their matte Korean-style foundations, their nude liquid base and their professional BB cushion drive the bulk of their sales. The hardware in their cushion and product casing is top quality, while their exact imitations of Korea’s best brands. Find even more beauty products and get them delivered on amazon!
Is that Shiseido’s legendary foundation brush we see before our eyes?
A flexible handle and ultra-fine bristles in this unique brush help distribute liquid foundations to a flawless finish. Beauty bloggers compare this dense and soft brush to a Japanese Kabuki brush, so you can even apply mineral powders and denser powder foundations!
Since the brush cuts flat, you can use it in a downwards buffing motion that leaves the skin with a nice sheen and absolutely no streaking. This allows for lighter, buildable coverage and even application of product.
MAC offers a similar brush for about 400% of the price, while the handle is made of plastic the brush tip is definitely top quality.
Price: 32,oooW / $28.50
After application, the product sets to a matte foundation with a slight sheen, typical of oil-based liquid foundations. The Tailoring polymer in the cream promises to firm facial lines and smooth skin texture while the Sealing polymer makes makeup long-lasting.
This product is definitely unique to the Korean BB Cushion market as it has heavier coverage and a more matte finish, perfect for combination or oil skin types.
Other beauty lines like Hera recommend their cushion be used as a finishing product after BB Cream and Primer for a dewy finish, but this cushion can be used stand alone!
Price: W43,600 / $38.00
The unique flat, wide-end tip is perfect for tight-lining or a precise-line look, then turning the pencil and create a bold flash of color or wing out a defined cat eye. The gel formula of the pencil allows your look to be blended easily after application and stay put for the entire day.
Price: W39,000 / $34.50
Just as the name suggest, this all-natural beauty and skin care brand incorporates organic foods and common pantry items into their products to literally “nourish” your skin to radiance.
Since 1957, they’ve been serving up purity and goodness with their nutritious products. An additional plus to the brand concept is the large product sizes, their packaging often mimics food containers so you’re sure to a get a sizeable portion of whatever skincare treatment you decide to purchase!
There are over 900 store fronts in Korea as well as China, Indonesia, Russia, and the U.S., it will be pretty difficult not to walk into one while in Seoul, but you can also shop at the global online store. Find even more beauty products and get them delivered on amazon!
Korean Beauty Products At Skinfood
While the sugar crystals are quite large and grainy, you can decide the level of exfoliation while massaging in the product and then leaving it to set for 10-20m minutes. By creating a dual scrub and wash off mask, the black sugar naturally exfoliates skin while the humectantic properties of the sugar crystals and honey draw moisture from the environment into the skin.
Many users and reviewers have seen more supple, replenished skin and relief from acne and dry skin patches while using this scrub!
Price: W8,800 / $7.70
Shea butter, a rich creamy substance extracted from the karite tree, penetrates skin to nourish deeply and replenish a soft feeling to previously dry and scaley skin.
It has been long-used by African inhabitants of Sub-Saharan environments where prolonged sun exposure and lack of humidity often causes skin to blister and crack.
This rich body cream with 40% of shea butter extract delivers intensive nourishing treatment to dry, rough skin and is best applied immediately out of the steam of a shower.
The product line used together is sure to restore moisture to your skin and likewise combat aging.
Price: 21,700 / $18.90
This hydrogel mask line is focused on evening out skin tone end brightening pores, but many users have found it works as a great trouble -skin mask as well!
For those days when you’re breaking out or when you have redness for no reason, the soothing Seaweed mask packed with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, antioxidants, and other natural botanicals from the sea helps cool and soothe the complexion.
The Pearl mask is best for brightening up a dull complexion, as it uses real pearl extracts and the same Marine Food serum base of vitamins and minerals to leave your face feeling brand new.
Price: W17,200 / $15.00 for 5 masks
The ultimate affordable Korean skincare and beauty brand Missha first made a name for itself with its Time Revolution series, a dupe of SKII Ageless Essence series at a mere fraction of the price.
Many cosmetics companies these days make bold claims but deliver little results whereas Missha’s products are backed by lab-testing and scientific research; what you buy is going to be a product proven safe and effective.
However, lab-tested does not mean animal-tested, all Missha products are cruelty-free!
Currently, you can buy Missha products from a wide variety of online resellers and on their global site. They’re currently the only Korean brand scaling to open multiple European location as their effective skincare products have resounded with a global audience. Find even more beauty products and get them delivered on amazon!
Korean Beauty Products At Missha
Did you know BB creams were originally used by Korean women to apply after they had received facial care treatments? The purpose of this product was to cover redness while moisturizing and soothing the skin and protecting it from UV rays that could cause hyper-pigmentation.
Enter the Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream, this product packs high coverage into a light weight formula using Gautaline RC, Hyaluronic Acids and Cermaide to moisturize and improve elasticity of your skin while Rosemary and Chamomile extracts provide soothing properties
Price: W13,700 / $12.00 for 50mL bottle
This best-selling product at Missha is a high-quality dupe of SKII’s facial treatment essence, for nearly one third of the price. It focuses on whitening and firming skin with 80% of the product being made of a fermented yeast extract, an excellent source of Vitamin B, to boost vitality and balance sebum production.
Product users find their skin more even-toned, dry spots more hydrated, and skin texture becoming baby soft after just a few days of use.
As an essence, it’s meant to be applied straight after cleansing using hands or a soft cotton ball to prep for moisturizers, but depending on skin type you may not need more serums after this!
Compatible with sensitive skin types and available online at Sokoglam.com, Amazon, HiSkin.com
Price: W31,000 / $27.86 for 150mL bottle
Cream gel liners that stay put and produce a smoky, glowy effect that is so popular in beauty world right now. Use it to tight line eyes, create a precision line, or smudge it across the lit for a highly pigmented eye shadow.
It comes in several colors with enticing names such as Apple Cinnamon, Roasting Coffee, Midnight Dream (a smoky Blue), and Lost Star (a shimmery bronze).
There’s definitely room to play with this color collection, but the matte brown of Roasting Coffee is the everyday go to for many Korean girls to define and open their eyes in a more subtle way.
Price: 11,500W / $10.00
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