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K-Beauty swept onto our shores a few years back, and the Singaporean beauty sphere has never been the same since. With the Hallyu beauty wave showing no signs of slowing or stopping down, we bet that there are just some brands and products that you hear about more than most.

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From Laneige, to Mamonde, to Aprilskin, there’s no doubt that there are certain K-Beauty products that have reached cult-level status. But are they as good as they claim to be?

Aside from the fact that some of them come with pretty hefty price tags, there’s just no guarantee that they work like they promise to especially considering the difference in climate between Singapore and Korea.

Looking to see what the hype is all about? So are we! After some research and deliberation, we picked out 10 holy grail K-Beauty products to review, putting them against a series of test to see if they are really worth their weight in salt. We then rated and ranked them according to if we liked them well enough to re-purchase them again. Let’s get started!

1. Laneige Layering Cover Cushion Foundation & Concealing Base

Reviewer: Melissa 

This 2-in-1 cushion foundation by Laneige may be a pretty recent release, but it’s been receiving lots of hype as of late.

People are claiming that it’s the best cushion from the brand (or amongst K-Beauty brands as a wholeapparently) which means that it has a lot to live up to in my book.

Feeling apprehensive and excited, I decided to take this baby out for a spin.

Iconic K Beauty Products Laneige Layering Cushion Foundation And Concealer

Image on left: Photo taken after a full day at work. No flaking or dry patches in sight!

Does it work like it claims to?

Iconic K Beauty Products Laneige Layering Cushion Foundation And Concealer Packshot

This is a definite yes from me.

The product supposedly provides perfect coverage for both the cushion and concealer, with it containing hydrating and moisturising properties that ensures no unsightly dry patches or flaking occurs throughout the day.

It certainly delivered on this regard, with the product lasting all day despite my oily T-zone (and lack of touch-ups). It’s quite rare to get a concealer AND foundation that is long-lasting, has pretty decent coverage, and works for those with dry skin or combination skin, so I have to say it deserves its holy grail status.

The only downside to this product is that the fragrance which may be a bit stronger than what I’m used to. But I guess if you’re used to the ‘Laneige scent’ then it wouldn’t be too much of an issue.

A plus point of this life-changing cushion would obviously be it’s rose gold exterior, which is gorgeous. And it saves room in your makeup pouch, evidently!

Will you re-purchase it again?

I’m sure I will, provided Laneige doesn’t come up with yet another one of their game-changing inventions to replace this!

Especially considering its price point and how it is multi-functional, I would say it’s worth the hype. You can’t really get BOTH a concealer and BB for just $50+ in today’s market.

Overall rating: 15/20

The Laneige Layering Cover Cushion Foundation is available at all Laneige boutiques and counters, Zalora, Lazada, and selected Sephora outlets. It retails for SGD43. 

2. Peripera Peri’s Ink The Velvet

Reviewer: Emily

Peripera lip tints may not be available for purchase in Singapore stores, but is easily available online, such as on Shopee, Lazada, and Qoo10. Plus, with all the good things I’ve heard about the product, I didn’t mind having to wait a little for it to arrive!

This product is apparently lauded for its bold pigmentation, long-lasting ability, and soft, cream-like texture. Consider me intrigued.

Iconic K Beauty Products Peripera The Ink Velvet

Image on left: Photo taken after a full day at work. No flaking, dry patches or peeling on my lips AT ALL. 

Does it work like it claims to?

Iconic K Beauty Products Peripera Peris Ink The Velvet Packshot

After several days of use (yes, I opted to try it out on multiple occasions), I have to say that I’m sufficiently impressed by Peripera’s Peri Ink The Velvet.

First of all, as you can tell from the middle image, the pigmentation on this product is amazing. It delivers so much of it in just one stroke, and is budge-proof yet easy to remove. All I needed were a few cotton sheets soaked with micellar water instead of busting out my oil makeup remover!

And it is also really long-lasting. I have had really bad experiences with other K-Beauty lip products, where the colour NEVER seems to stay on, but that’s not the issue with Peripera. It was surprisingly hydrating, too, and I loved how the formula smelled faintly of cherries. Definitely a new favourite in my lipstick collection!

Will you re-purchase it again?

Without hesitation! In fact, I ‘ve just placed an order for a few more in varying shades. They even have multiple formulas, like Airy and Tint, which I’m planning on trying out too!

Overall rating: 19.5/20

The Peripera Peri’s The Ink Velvet is available online at Shopee, Lazada, and Qoo10. It retails for SGD6.50. 

3. Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder

Reviewer: Christine

The Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder is all everyone can talk about when it comes to the best powder formulas in the K-beauty industry, so naturally, I was pretty excited to try it out! Plus, my skin type veers towards oily (something which Singapore’s climate doesn’t help with), so I’m really hoping the product works like it claims to.

Iconic K Beauty Products Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder

Image on left: Full makeup in the morning, Right: My foundation and concealer has mostly worn off – you can see a little traces of my acne scar on my right cheek! My face is mostly dewy, but not to the point of being an oily grease ball

Does it work like it claims to?

Iconic K Beauty Products Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder Packshot

I would say that yes – it does what it claims to do – which is mainly to take away excess sebum. I applied it two times during the day from 9am – 10pm – once in the afternoon at 12pm, and once in the evening at 6pm – and it didn’t make me look like a giant grease ball like I tend to at the end of the day.

But did it help my makeup last throughout the day? Nope! This was a definite no for me. Apart from taking off some of the grease that tends to accumulate on my face, my foundation wore off as per usual, and at the end of the day, I was more or less just left with just a little bit of my foundation on my face.

Plus, I felt it was a tad unhygienic, considering how I have to blot my oily face with a powder puff – because even though it removes significantly less of my makeup, then say, an oil blotter, it does still remove some makeup, and yes – it sticks quite grossly onto the powder puff. Blegh! My pure white puff powder was left with brownish blotches every time I did a touch-up.

Will you re-purchase it again?

To be honest, this would be a very soft yes from me, but only because of how cheap it is. Compared to other OG Western products like say, Laura Mercier’s loose powder, this is just a fraction of the cost, and it delivers okay.

Overall rating: 14/20

The Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder retails at SGD10 and is available at all Innisfree retail outlets islandwide.

4. Clio Waterproof Pen Liner in Kill Brown

Reviewer: Emily 

You really can’t mention iconic K-Beauty liners without someone bringing up the Clio Waterproof Pen Liner. As someone who’s pretty loyal to my Kat Von D Tattoo Liner for the past year or so, I knew I was going to be pretty hard to impress.

Nevertheless, I came in with a open mind, and tried the product out over the next few days. I’m told that that the appeal of this liner lies in how its waterproof, pigmented, and easy to use. Sounds like a tall order!

Iconic K Beauty Products Clio Waterproof Pen Liner In Kill Brown

Image in middle: Liner after a full day at work. Totally budge-proof!

Does it work like it claims to?

Iconic K Beauty Products Clio Water Proof Pen Liner Pack Shot

I can’t believe I’m actually saying this but the Clio Waterproof Pen Liner has actually bumped my trusty Kat Von D off my favourite eyeliners list, and that is saying a lot. 

I was seriously, seriously impressed by the product! In the spirit of K-Beauty, I decided to opt for the liner in brown instead of black (Kim Mi So style, from the latest hit drama What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim) and I loved everything about it. As you can see from the first image, the grip is nice and slim between my fingers, but not slippery or hard to hold.

It also delivers a heck of a punch when it comes to pigment. One swipe is really all you need to get a strong winged liner look! Oh, and top it all off? I applied the liner on with no primer on beforehand, and it actually stayed on COMPLETELY, and all-day, too! And this is coming from someone who secretes oil from her eyelids, constantly. Well played, Clio!

Will you re-purchase it again?

Most definitely! It is also a lot more affordable (compared to Kat Von D, that is), so it is now my trusty everyday liner.

Overall rating: 20/20

The CLIO Waterproof Pen Liner is available at selected Watsons outlets such as 112 Katong Mall, Ngee Ann City, and Plaza Singapura. It retails for SGD27.90.

5. Laneige Water Sleeping Mask

Reviewer: Kristen Juliet

There’s no way you can talk about Laneige without mentioning their iconic sleeping mask. In fact, it is this Korean brand that first introduces this product format to the beauty world, and thereafter we’ve started seeing more similar products sprouting out.

After the successful launch of the original Water Sleeping Mask, the brand subsequently also launched the Time Freeze Firming Sleeping Mask (for anti-ageing) and Water Sleeping Mask (Lavender), meant to also help you sleep better.

Iconic K Beauty Products Laneige Water Bank

Does it work like it claims to?

Iconic K Beauty Products Laneige Water Sleeping Mask Packshot

The Laneige Sleeping Mask is to be used as the final step of your nightly regime. You have to apply a thick layer over your entire face, and then go to sleep with it.

The product promises to moisturise and revitalise your skin while you rest, so that you can wake up looking like you have a good night’s sleep for eight hours – even if you don’t!

The product is said to help you relax during sleep, help it recover overnight, and retain moisture throughout the night. You’ll wake up to skin that looks refreshed and hydrated in the morning.

I have used both the original sleeping mask, but the one that won me over even more is the Water Sleeping Mask (Lavender), because I really love the scent that it comes in. As someone who sometimes have trouble falling asleep, I find that the scent from the product does help me to relax better and make the ritual before sleep more pampering.

This being said, I have to note that a lot of products that have lavender scent can help me lull into slumber more easily. I have also invested in lavender pillow sprays to help me achieve the same goal.

The product feels cooling on the skin, and feels very much like a very nourishing moisturiser. It is rather lightweight and isn’t greasy or oily, which makes it easier for me to apply a more generous layer over my skin before sleep.

The only problem is that it will transfer onto my pillow, but thankfully not leave any stain because of its water-based and colourless formula.

I find that it really helps my skin retain its moisture, and I especially enjoy using it on nights when my skin feel very dehydrated or dull, or when I’m sleeping with the air-conditioner on.

Will you re-purchase it again?

Yes, I will. This is a certainly a product I will reach out for if I want to pamper myself before bed-time and have a better night’s rest, or if I want to wake up to bouncy skin even when I’m sleeping in a dry environment. If you ask me, go for the Lavender one, since both work just as well, but Lavender is extra indulgent!

Overall rating: 18/20

The Laneige Water Sleeping Mask is available at all Laneige boutiques and counters, Zalora, and Lazada. It retails at SGD42. The Laneige Water Sleeping Mask (Lavender) retails at SGD48 and is also available at Sephora.

6. Etude House Dr Mascara Fixer For Perfect Lash

Reviewer: Melissa

I’ll be honest: I am really, really skeptical to try out this product. A transparent fixing gel mascara that lengthens, curls and volumises lashes, the Etude House Dr Mascara Fixer For Perfect Lash sounds a little too good to be true, if you know what I mean.

Meant to be layered on underneath your usual mascara, I’m told that the product will make a distinguishable difference to lash length and volume. Considering how I have classic Asian lashes (think straight and droopy), I was kinda hoping that it’d live up to some of its hype, at least.

Iconic K Beauty Products Etude House Dr Mascara Fixer

Image in the middle: my right eye has normal mascara applied to it. The left has the Dr Mascara Fixer underlaid BENEATH my mascara.

Does it work like it claims to do?

Iconic K Beauty Products Etude House Dr Mascara Fixer Pack Shot

I was pleasantly surprised that by how effective this product is at lengthening and volumising lashes! It looks a little intimidating from the tube — check out the fibres clinging onto the lid —  but rest assured, it applies like any normal mascara would.

It does dry pretty quickly, though, so I recommend you quickly apply a coat of mascara on it before it does. You also have to brush it through your lashes a few times to get the effect I achieved, but the difference in lash length and volume is pretty stark afterwards, so I’ll say it’s worth the effort.

My only gripe? It makes lashes feel a little stiff to touch, afterwards, but apparently, this is also because it ‘sets’ them to help prevent smudging in hot and humid climates. Pretty ideal for our weather, I’d have to say! True to word, none of my mascara smudged for the entirety of my work day. Score!

Will you re-purchase it again?

I’m normally not a big fan of normal mascara, even, but I’d probably buy and use it whenever I have a special occasion to go for.

Overall rating: 13/20

The Etude House Dr Mascara Fixer For Perfect Lash is available at all Etude House outlets and retails for SGD12.90.

7. Aprilskin Magic Snow Pad

Reviewer: Emily

Considered to be one of the biggest cult Korean skincare products out there, the Aprilskin Magic Snow Pad is considered to be one of the most gentle and effective exfoliants in the market right now. I seriously hope what everyone’s been saying is true, because my dry cheeks and thin skin cannot handle any harsh exfoliants without leading to flaking and redness. Fingers crossed!

Iconic K Beauty Review Aprilskin Magic Snow Pad

Image on left: ‘white’ side of pad, ‘blue’ side of pad, and texture of product.

Does it work like it claims to do?

Iconic K Beauty Products Aprilskin Magic Snow Pad Packshot

This one is a little more complex to use as compared to other exfoliants, but it’s not rocket science either! The product is two-sided, with the white end meant for exfoliating, while the blue end is used to remove the remnants of the dead skin cells and impurities. Thankfully, the product works almost exactly like it claims to, with the skin flakes and dirt sticking onto the blue end as I ran it over my face after.

My cheeks did get a tad bit red from using this, though it could be credited to my vigorous rubbing! However, my skin appear noticeably brighter and felt cleaner, too.

Will you re-purchase it again?

Probably not, but that’s only because the skin around my cheeks can get really sensitive and is thinner than most, so I think it might be a little too harsh for weekly use. Perhaps I might use it only once or twice a month? I guess all in all, it does deliver as a product, but it’s just not really suitable for my skin type. And it can get really messy! The serum is hella messy, and gets everywhere the second I peel open the packaging. Ew.

Overall rating: 12/20

The Aprilskin Magic Snow Pad is available at selected Guardian outlets and retails for SGD40.

8. Mamonde Creamy Tint Colourbalm Intense

Reviewer: Emily 

A lipstick that has been getting a lot of praise from K-Beauty fanatics these days is the Mamonde Creamy Tint Colourbalm Intense. A supposedly hydrating formula that delivers on pigment and gives a soft, velvety finish on lips, I really didn’t think much of the product upon first glance.

If anything, it looks like a pretty ordinary lip crayon. And I’ve always been a little averse to crayon-type lip products, due to a unfortunate experience with a Revlon one in my fledgling makeup days (don’t ask). Still, I had to try it out for the sake of this review, so I plunged right in.

Iconic K Beauty Products Mamonde Creamy Squeeze Colour Intense

Image on the right: after half a day, my lipstick was mostly ENTIRELY intact.

Does it work like it claims to do?

Iconic K Beauty Products Mamonde Creamy Tint Colour Balm Intense

I liked how pigmented the formula was! It delivered on a nice amount with just a single swipe, and I found it easy to remove, too, with two micellar-water soaked cotton pads removing it easily and effortlessly. It is pretty long-lasting too, though I did notice some feathering occurring throughout the day.

If I had a teensy, slight complaint about this product, it would be that it is not hydrating in the least, despite its claims. My lips were flaking and peeling pretty badly by the end of the day, and this was on multiple occasions, too! It is not as bad as the matte formulas I have reviewed before, but I’d say that those with dry lips have to be a little wary when it comes to this product.

Will you re-purchase it again?

It’s a no from me! Initially, I was still pretty impressed by the pigment and the finish of the product, but on second thought, I feel like I can get it with other products that come with a more affordable price point and don’t dry my lips out that much.

Overall rating: 15/20

The Mamonde Creamy Tint Colourbalm Intense is available at its boutiques, major departmental stores, as well as at selected Sephora outlets. It retails for SGD16. 

9. Cosrx Good Morning Low PH Cleanser

Reviewer: Emily 

Known to be a super-gentle cleanser that works great on both sensitive skin and acne-prone skin, I’ll admit that I was pretty excited to give the Cosrx Good Morning Low PH Cleanser. As of late, I find that my usual cleanser is a little too harsh on my skin, so hopefully this cult cleanser will be my saviour.

Iconic K Beauty Review Cosrx Low Ph Good Morning Cleanser

Image on left: clearer skin with no BB/foundation/base on after just two weeks of use!

Does it work like it claims to do?

Best Korean Beauty Products Cosrx Low Ph Good Morning Gel Cleanser

I love it! First of all, the light-weight, gel-like texture is ideal for my oily T-Zone, and it doesn’t irritate it further (which I notice tends to happen with a lot of commercial cleansers) or cause any breakouts whatsoever. The only thing that requires getting a little used to? The scent.

It has a rather strong tea tree oil scent to it, but after about two weeks of sustained use, I found myself being immune to it. I won’t say that my skin has dramatically cleared up — but it feels a lot more hydrated and glowy than usual. This product definitely gets my stamp of approval!

Would you re-purchase it again?

It’s actually my go-to cleanser right now, so yeah! The price point is a big draw, too— I don’t think there’s anywhere else that sells such a gentle and effective cleanser below SGD20.

Overall rating: 19/20

The Cosrx Good Morning Low PH Cleanser is available at selected Watsons outlets and retails for SGD14.90.

10. Holika Holika Clear Blackhead 3-Step Kit

Reviewer: Christine 

I’ve always been a little wary of blackhead removal patches because they never work on me, but the Holika Holika Clear Blackhead 3-Step Kit intrigued me with how different it was from other patches out there. Plus, its stellar reputation had me pretty intrigued, with users claiming that it is a revolutionary product that changed the skincare game as they know it. Hmm, we’ll see!

Iconic K Beauty Products Holika Holika Pig Nose

(Image on left: my skin before using the patch. Image on right: my skin after using the patch!)

Does it work like it claims to do?

Iconic K Beauty Products Holika Holika Pig Nose Packshot

Yes, it worked tremendously well – normal peel off blackhead masks (like the Biore ones that everyone keeps recommending me) don’t tend to usually work very well for me as I guess my blackheads are more stubborn than most, but this Holika Holika Clear Blackhead 3 Step Kit Pig peeled a pretty decent amount off!

Since it is a three-step process, I actually liked the first two steps – the first step was a mini nose mask of sorts that felt soothing against skin and gave a slight refreshing sensation when taken off, while the second step is your regular peel off mask which worked pretty well and didn’t hurt at all!

However, I felt the third step – a ‘soothing mask’ to calm the redness after the peeling, I assume – was rather redundant. It kept slipping off my nose so I constantly had to prop it up every minute or so, and it mostly just irritated my nose instead of calming it.

Would you re-purchase it again?

Yes, I would! I can definitely see myself using this over and over again, but I might skip out on the third step the next time round as it mostly just irritated my nose.

Holika Holika Pig Nose Clear Blackheads 3-Step Kit is available on Shopee and retails for SGD2 per pack.

Overall rating: 18/20

Overall Scores:

As ranked according to if we would repurchase them again:

  1. Clio Waterproof Pen Liner
  2. Peripera Peri’s The Ink Velvet
  3. Cosrx Low PH Good Morning Cleanser
  4. Laneige Water Sleeping Mask
  5. Holika Holika Clear Blackhead 3-Step Kit
  6. Mamonde Creamy Tint Colour Balm Intense
  7. Laneige Layering Cover Cushion Foundation
  8. Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder
  9. Etude House Dr Lash Mascara Fixer for Perfect Lash
  10. Aprilskin Magic Snow Pad

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About the Author
Emily HengAside from being a lipstick aficionado, Emily is also a eyeliner enthusiast, a collector of books, and engages in the occasional bout of boxing. She c...Read More

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