So, after being here in Seoul for six months, I’ve found some pretty good (and pretty horrible) Korean cosmetic products.
The biggest things I’ve learned? Well, Korean mascara is horrible (although I can’t say I wasn’t warned), hair products are generally non-existent (specifically heat protect) and I should’ve started using Skinfood earlier.
I’d actually been avoiding Skinfood for a while because their whole brand and packaging “look” never appealed to me. Actually, it seemed kind of tacky. I knew the premise was that most of the products were made from food products (quinoa body lotion, ginseng face mask, sugar cookie blush, etc) but I never thought of going in until I read some good things about a few of their products online. After buying the products, I was very impressed. They also gave me a ton of freebies – as in, more than you’d usually get at a Korean cosmetics shop – so of course that had a positive influence on me!
The products I’m going to review today are:
- Innisfree: No-Sebum Mineral Powder ★★★★★
- Etude House: Drawing Show Brush Liner ★★★
- Too Cool for School: Dinoplatz Lost Identity Lipstick ★★★
- Etude House: Lash Perm Volume Mascara ★
- The Face Shop: Anti-Trouble Spot ★★
- The Face Shop: Face It – Oil Concealer, Dual Veil ★★★★
- The Face Shop: Tea Tree Oil Spot Corrector ★
- The Face Shop: Blemish Zero – Clarifying Toner ★★★
- Skinfood: Black Sugar Scrub ★★★★★
- Skinfood: Argan Oil Silk Hair Mask Pack ★★★★
- The Face Shop: One Step BB Cleanser (Cleansing Oil – Foam) ★★★
My apologies for not putting them in order!
Innisfree: No-Sebum Mineral Powder ★★★★★
Definitely an HG product! I think it’s supposed to be used more as blot powder, but I’ve started using it as an all-over finishing powder instead of MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish Natural. The two are very similar, except MAC’s version costs $25 CAD and Innisfree’s costs 8,000w (roughly $6.50 CAD), in addition to coming with a free applicator. Definitely going to stock up when I got back to Canada!
Pros: Lasts long, goes on sheer (good for any skin tone), really fights oil.
Cons: Pretty small, but still good for its value.
Etude House: Drawing Show Brush Liner ★★★
So, previously I was using the Revlon Colorstay Liquid Liner (after having downgraded from MAC’s version, nearly triple the price). I’ve since downgraded to the Etude House version, and I find it’s pretty comparable.
Pros: Lasts long, easy to apply
Cons: Not as dark as MAC’s or Revlon’s version. I also prefer the stubbier applicator from Revlon as opposed to the longer one from Etude House (kind of between MAC and Revlon).
Too Cool for School: Dinoplatz Lost Identity Lipstick ★★★
So the packaging here was just too awesome. I’d read about this lipstick that starts off green, then changes colour to match your lips. Had to buy it. However, when I applied it on my lips, it became too dark. I don’t like wearing a lot of colour on my lips because I usually go pretty dark with my eyes.
Pros: Awesome packaging
Cons: Expensive; too dark.
Etude House: Lash Perm Volume Mascara ★
Easily the worst mascara I’ve ever used. Clumpy, hard to apply, and just generally horrible. I tried using it then removed it immediately after. The stuff is awful.
Pros: Nothing (maybe the packaging, which I fell for)
Cons: Crappy applicator, super clumpy
The Face Shop: Anti-Trouble Spot ★★
I don’t have much to say about this; it’s not that great. It’s not horrible either; but it just doesn’t get rid of my acne. I’ve been using it together with the Tea Tree Oil Spot Corrector, so maybe I’ll try using it on its own in the future. I bought it because it was on sale.
The Face Shop: Face It – Oil Concealer, Dual Veil ★★★★
AMAZING, simply amazing. This stuff rocks! Covers up even the worst spots and under-eye circles. I’ve heard some people comparing it to Urban Decay or MAC, which is why I bought it. Affordable and super effective. Great design too.
Pros: Cheap, lasts long, great dual-applicator tips.
Cons: Nothing really.
The Face Shop: Tea Tree Oil Spot Corrector ★
Also a “meh” product, bought solely because it was on sale. Produces no noticeable results.
The Face Shop: Blemish Zero Clarifying Toner ★★★
A pretty decent product; good for the people like me who want to reduce redness (but not bleach the face in the process). Got it on sale a few months ago; great value for size.
Pros: Reduces redness and trouble spots “sans-brightening” (aka: non-bleaching)
Cons: Not all that strong
Skinfood: Black Sugar Scrub Foam ★★★★★
This product warrants a heart-felt OMG. Wow. Seriously though, this is my new HG scrub. It works magically. My skin is SO soft after using it, and my foundation/primer even goes on easier the morning after. I only use it about once a week. It’s one of Skinfood’s top sellers.
Pros: Doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin, produces AWESOME results, little product needed. Also very affordable!!
Skinfood: Argan Oil – Silk Hair Mask Pack ★★★★
This treatment is pretty awesome. Not quite as effective as my HG hair treatment (Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-Wheat Treatment) but still pretty good. It’s hard to find decent hair products in Korea. Maybe it’s because all Korean girls have enviably thick and shiny hair naturally and don’t need to use treatments, heat protect, and the like. In any case, this mask pack is a lifesaver. Works great on my extensions.
Pros: Cheap. Works well, makes hair shiny without weighing it down.
Cons: You need to use a lot of product to get results.
The Face Shop: One Step BB Cleanser (Cleansing Oil – Foam) ★★★
Finally a half-decent product that doesn’t turn my skin into a pasty mess or make me break out! Hurray. It cleanses deep without irritating the skin. Definitely going to buy it again.
Pros: Removes foundation really well. Good for sensitive skin.
Cons: Not that great for reducing trouble.
This is a brilliant post! My husband is asking me what I would like to get from Korea as he is there on a pro trip and I will definitely use your review… Thanks! 🙂
love the post ! totally love the Korean fashion and makeup, especially because I live in Korea
I’ve been blogging about beauty and food of Korea here, please drop by ^.^
oh and my friends always ask me where to get stuff and now there’s finally a website !
Wonderful reviews! My sister is coming home from Taiwan and they sell some of those brands, i just told here to get me some of this stuff! Thanks 🙂
Hi there. thanks for this very good review. i just wanna ask if u could at least give us the price lists of the products you reviewed..i appreciate it..thanks!
It’s been over a year since I returned home from Korea, so I can’t quite recall the exact prices of these products. I was living on a student budget, so none of them were over about $15 — *except* for the Dinoplatz lipstick, which I think was about $20. Too Cool for School is definitely a more expensive brand. Most of these products were around the $10 range, if I recall correctly.