The 10 Korean beauty brands women are obsessing over
With new-to-market applicators, packaging and state-of-the art technology, K-beauty is not only here to stay, but making lines here in the states to take notice.
There’s been a lot of talk about K-beauty all over the web and for good reason. Korean beauty has a strong focus on innovation and glowing skin (also known as 'gwang').
With companies like Sephora curating their shelves with some of the best K-beauty brands, we set out to uncover 10 noteworthy brands worthy of your time and money. (Personally, we're digging the experience-driven applications, adorable packaging and hydrating, cool-to-touch formulations.) Not only are these top 10 brands worth discovering, each promises to offer more youthful skin without harsh chemicals and are less costly than traditional U.S. designer makeup brands.
1. Jeju Sparkling Mineral Mist
Jeju Sparkling Mineral Mist is a mist containing Jeju sparkling mineral water, which delivers rich mineral nutrition to the skin akin to soaking in a hot spring! Consider this a spa in a bottle. This unique product contains a high carbonic acid and nourishing mineral content from the sparkling mineral water found in Sanbang Mountain on Jeju to deliver hydration deep into the skin — delivering moisture from the inside! (InnisfreeWorld, $12)
2. Manefit’s Bling Bling Hydro Gel Mask
Sheet masks are a very key (and intriguing) part of the K-beauty aesthetic. These Bling Bling Hydro Gel Masks offer contoured hydro gel masks soaked in essence that instantly cool and soothe stressed and tired skin on contact. Four different varieties offer help with brightening, wrinkles, elasticity and nourishment. These single-use masks (in different flavors) are certainly worth a try when compared to other high-end masks starting at around $40. (Soko Glam, $6)
3. Wonder Juice via Chosungah22
Wonder Juice Sugar Juice, Chosungah22, is an all-purpose skin care product that seems super juicy indeed as it smells of fruit. Natural essences are a big part of K-beauty with fruit essence juices comforting and moisturizing the skin. This “juice” (which comes in different flavors) is meant to be massaged in creating an experience for the skin and its user. (Chosungah, $29)
4. Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask
This Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask is a pretty seductive 6-in-1 pore treatment clay mask jammed with super volcanic cluster capsules to absorb sebum and resolve pore concerns. As the capsules burst, they exfoliate dead skin and help smooth appearance. Use for 10 minutes, then gently rinse off with lukewarm water. Again, an experience awaits! (InnisfreeWorld, $15)
5. Laneige BB Cushion
Laneige BB Cushion takes Mul-Gwang (the glow K-beauty is known for) to a whole new level. BBs are massive in Korea — and as you know — an easy “go-to” for us in the States. This cushion is revolutionary because it’s a 5-in-1 BB housed in a convenient compact! Ideal for travel — this BB also offers a broad-spectrum SPF 50 yet is very hydrating. (Target, $34)
6. No Sebum Blur Powder
No Sebum Blur Powder is a mineral powder containing Jeju green tea, which perfects and smoothes skin texture with a brightening, blurring effect. Ideal for finishing your makeup, or just applying for a light to no-makeup look when rushing out the door. (InnisfreeWorld, $9)
7. Shara Shara
With 20 years in the global beauty industry, GlowRecipe.com is an amazing site offering a deep understanding of beauty rituals and innovative skin care trends from Korea — making K brands accessible to us in America. One amazing brand is Shara Shara — a unique line boasting many exciting products like this Honey Bomb. This honey ampoule acts as a toner, serum and moisturizer for all skin types with a Clear Nutrition Gel Technology that allows for natural oils and ingredients to provide hydration without any sticky residue. With continued use, skin texture is improved, fine lines are visibly minimized and skin tone is even and luminous. Beauty Bonus: Free of parabens, mineral oils and synthetic dye. (Glow Recipe, $40)
8. May Coop
May Coop’s beauty principle is based on the amazing properties of maple tree sap. Collected each spring, the sap is picked and primed in May when sap is most potent (hence the name May). The line’s foundation is silky-smooth products which absorb into the skin quickly and revitalize instantly. Standouts include Raw Sauce a seductive hydrating, nourishing toner featuring a silky formula that's highly concentrated in sap to allow for better product absorption and boosting effectiveness for your skincare routine. Beauty Bonus: Less expensive price points than other premium designer brands and free of impurities. (Sephora, $43)
This Korean-French hybrid skin care line focuses on developing inventive multi-taskers, which blend traditional Korean ingredients with modern French luxury. Aside from boasting stellar reviews, the line also offers a BB cream, enriched with ginseng for flawless-looking coverage and protection, helping to refine skin's texture to reveal a "baby skin" effect. Beauty Bonus: Free of parabens, sulfates and phthalates. (Sephora, $39)
10. Skin Factory
Memebox, formulated in Seoul, offers the hottest in Korean beauty trends. One such line is Skin Factory, a line based on truly innovative products that are keen on multi-tasking and delivering medical grade results in a harsh-free way. For example, its 7 Seconds Morning Sheet allows for quick morning skin preparation and conditioning — delivering a facial massage while keeping wrinkles at bay with its anti-wrinkle serum and skin exfoliator. Also, the line’s Face Jam 02 Modeling Mask, Meme Box, $32, had me at hello as it hydrates while forming to your face shape! Beauty Bonus: Contains premium natural ingredients and is completely free from harsh chemicals such as Parabens, Ethanol, Silicon, Mineral Oil and BHT. (Meme Box, $19)
Tell us — are you giving K-beauty a try this winter? If so, what brands are you into and why?