10 (awesome) K-Beauty brands you need to know about
When someone says “K-beauty”, brands like Etude House, Tony Moly, The Face Shop or Laneige immediately come to mind. They are already considered as household names for us avid beauty junkies! However, the K-Beauty world is so much bigger than what we've been exposed to here in the Philippines. Thanks to online stores like Althea, About Face, and Mei Satsuki, we got to dig a little deeper into the treasure trove of lesser known Korean beauty brands! Here's just a few that have gotten rave reviews online.
In our first brush with high-end Korean cosmetics, we discovered NoTS or Noble Through Skincare. It's still a little known brand even in Korea as it's relatively new. Nonetheless, what we've tried of their all-natural formulations for sensitive skin have been rave-worthy. Their stick foundations are a must-try! You can get their products from Aboutface.ph locally.
We first saw W.Lab at Althea and was surprised by how extensive the line is. There's skincare targeted towards different skin concerns and whole lotta makeup! Our editor, Liz, tried the 3-D Face Shading Stick some months back and loved the subtlety of the contour it provided. We're looking forward to try out more from the brand, like their BB cushion and lip & cheek palette which we just got from Althea.
Bbia is an online exclusive makeup brand in Korea, meaning they don’t have any physical stores at all! Currently their site also caters to countries like China and Japan, but you can also find their products on Gmarket, which ships internationally. I personally love their Last Lipsticks, which are long lasting and matte, but I get my fix from Mei Satsuki!
It's hard to believe that this brand is only two years old because they're beginning to trend online! Famous for their Magic Stone soaps and Magic Snow Cushions, April Skin boasts of naturally-derived plant ingredients. They've recently released the Fixing Tint, which is a liquid lipstick that promises to stick on your lips no matter what! April Skin is available at About Face, Althea, and Mei Satsuki.
I'm actually surprised that Peripera isn't really being talked about in our local beauty scene because their lip tints are a HUGE hit in Korea. We vaguely remember them being available in Watsons some years back but they've pulled out since then. Peri's Ink is what they are most famous for, as they're well-known for their longevity and vivid pigmentation. They are often referred to as Benefit dupes (Editor's Note: better than Benetints - they are SO SOLID and stays even when you eat!). Try the Water Tints if you want a more natural finish, or the Ink Tints for a rich, opaque lip stain. Some of their tints are available in Althea and Mei Satsuki.
Rire is famous for their Lip Manicures, which are liquid lipsticks that are supposed to be transfer-proof and waterproof. So cheap too, since they're only P280 at Althea! Their lippies look like little bottles of nail polish and all have a matte finish but if you prefer a bit of shine, you can also get the glossy top coat for a juicy-looking finish. Rire is considered a dupe for the more pricey Clio Lipnicure but supposedly doesn't similarly flake off with wear. Rire can be purchased from Althea.
Did you know that "Ma Monde" means "My World" in French? Despite its name, this skincare brand is all Korean and have the unique idea of using flowers like camellia, lotus, rose, and honeysuckle in their products. Their Rose Water Toner remains a steady bestseller because of its mild and moisturizing properties; I sometimes soak the product into cotton pads to use as a DIY face mask, and it leaves my skin feeling so soft! Mamonde is available from Althea.
Chica Y Chico
If you're an active netizen, you've probably seen their 10-in-1 Matt Cushions being buzzed about on social media. Most BB cream-based cushions often include skin care benefits but theirs is one of the longest lists I've seen: UVA/UVB protection, whitening and wrinkle care, pore care, sebum control, dead skin cell control, perfect coverage, strong durability, cooling effect, and improving skin elasticity! If you want to get on the bandwagon, you can check them out at Althea.
This is the first time I've heard of a "Derma Personal Brand". Proud Mary's claim to fame is their cutting edge technology, which aims to boost the skin’s ability to combat abnormal skin turnover cycle (aka aging) caused by stress or an unbalanced lifestyle. They're primarily a skincare brand but they also have a BB cream and a CC cream that also offer promise to care for your skin. You can find Proud Mary at About Face.
Holika Holika actually opened their first store in the PH in 2013, and now has counters in select SM Beauty Sections. The packaging of their products are often cute and a bit cartoon-y: from heart-shaped lipsticks and pig design nose packs to cats on cushion compacts. I often go to their SM Manila branch to pick up their nicely scented mask sheets, but their best-sellers are the Holy Berry Tint (available in our Wanderlust Kit as it happens!) and the Aqua Petit Jelly BB Cream. The latter even has a cult following in Korea!
We hope you enjoyed our list! It took us a while to source these products (it took two months to produce this story), and yes, we will definitely review them soon!
- Which ones do you want us to try and review first?
- Have you tried anything from these brands before?
- What other less-popular beauty brands do you recommend for us to try?