Hello, K-beauty!

Add some Korean flavour to your make-up kit

Dewy, minimal and warm. If these words perk your interest, Korean make-up is something you need to try. Though most of the ‘glow’ comes from their skincare, Korean cosmetic brands are well-known for their innovative, interesting products that are a combination of beneficial ingredients and creative packaging.

Etude House

Possibly the most well-known of Korean make-up brands, Etude House is famous for its pink packaging finished with everything from polka dots to bows. They have a variety of skincare and make-up products, such as the popular Moistfull Collagen Cream (₹1,300). If you like your products a bit gimmicky, then try their Cherry Lip Gel Patch (₹180), which is a lip mask meant to keep your lips exfoliated and moisturised. All their products are available at


A high-end make-up brand, Moonshot Cosmetics goes against the Korean trend of cute packaging and keeps it classic with glossy-black compacts and glass bottles. Their Jelly Pots (₹1,550), which are cream eyeshadows, are popular because they are blendable, easy to layer and extremely reflective, while staying put. They also have a Face Perfection Matt Stick (₹1,980), a mattifying foundation stick that doesn’t leave the skin looking or feeling dry. Moonshot doesn’t ship internationally, but they’re available at Sephora’s around South East Asia.

Tony Moly

Tony Moly takes packaging to a whole new level, with bright colours and even Pokemon-themed make-up and packaging. If you’re interested in trying out Korean sheet masks, Tony Moly is the best. They have packs of 11 ‘I’m Real Sheet Masks’, which include masks for brightening, purifying and moisturising, among others, all available on Amazon for ₹2,400. Other products worth looking into are the Goat Milk Premium Cream (₹2,600) and their Peach Punch Sherbet Cleansing Balm (₹1,730).

3 Concept Eyes

If you’re a Cult Beauty stalker like I am, you would have come across a brand called 3CE, well-known as the sister brand to Korean clothing label, Style Nanda. 3CE’s Back to Baby range is particularly popular and they have three different formulas – Back to Baby Make-up Base (₹1,130) a colour correcting primer, the Back to Baby Glow Beam (₹1,215) a dewy primer perfect to achieve that subtle ‘my skin is glowing from the inside’ glow, and the Back to Baby Pore Velvet Primer (₹890) a pore-minimising and blurring primer. If you love a vibrant matte lip, the 3CE Liquid Lip Colour (₹1,050) is a long-lasting, moisturising matte lipstick that packs quite a punch in pigment.

Two other brands worth mentioning are Cosrx and Holika Holika. The former is an excellent and affordable no-nonsense skincare brand. Their AHA/BHA Toner (₹1060) is a product I personally swear by, if you find yourself with congested skin. Holika Holika’s Jewel-Light Waterproof Eyeliner pencils are particularly interesting for their nuanced shimmers that almost look duo chrome, and vary in colour depending on how the light hits it, giving effortless dimension to your eyes.

You may have noticed the lack of suggestions for base products, such as BB creams, created originally by these companies; that’s because of the lack of colour selection in Korean make-up. If you’re pale and neutral-toned, you may find something to suit you, but if you happen to be more on the medium-dark spectrum, chances of finding a colour match are pretty much non-existent. So the next time you’re in a mood to experiment with something Korean (other than cuisine), try their make-up and skincare; you might just fall in love with it.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 7:00:13 AM |

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