Although K-beauty is now extremely prevalent in many countries, not all of our favourite Korean makeup and skincare brands are stocked in every part of the world.
This article will unveil some makeup and skincare products that are exclusive to South Korea, and tell you which beauty products are worth buying in Korea! Our tip: look out for any 1+1 deals in stores over there for even better deals.
Also, don’t forget to request for tax exemption if your purchase fulfills the spend minimum of KRW30,000(we have faith in you)!
You may or may not have heard of AmorePacific before, but they’re actually the parent company to most of the Korean beauty brands you’d be very familiar with, such as Etude House, Innisfree, Laneige, and Mamonde!
Other than doing the research and development for the 30 odd brands under them, AmorePacific has also developed their own line that can only be purchased in South Korea and a few other countries (like America), but not Singapore.
1. AmorePacific The Essential Creme Fluid
The Essential Creme Fluid has been raved by many beauty bloggers as well as Youtubers. It is said to be one of the best moisturisers on the market, and worth every cent spent on this K-beauty holy grail.
It has gotten stellar ratings (an average of 4 out of 5 points) from users on Influenster and Sephora USA, with reviews saying it made their skin “glow”. Reviewers have commented on its strong green tea scent, most probably because its main ingredient is baby green tea leaves. However, do be cautious with this product if your skin is sensitive to fragrances.
AmorePacific The Essential Creme Fluid (90ml) can be purchased at AmorePacific counters in Lotte Department Stores for KRW120,000 (about SGD140).
2. AmorePacific Sun Protection Cushion
Another best seller from AmorePacific is their Sun Protection Cushion. Many Korean users have raved about it as a summer essential, as it is a very convenient way to touch up on your makeup and SPF coverage throughout the day.
AmorePacific Sun Protection Cushion, which comes with a refill, at AmorePacific counters in Lotte Department Stores for KRW65,000 (about SGD75).
A’Pieu is definitely one of the most affordable beauty brands in South Korea, with most of their products costing less than KRW50,000.
They mainly target teenagers and young adults who have just stepped into the working world, as can be seen by the numerous collaborations they’ve had with cartoon characters like Doraemon and Rilakkuma.
Although it is still a relatively young brand, it is expanding furiously in Korea. You can find their stores in various renowned shopping districts in Korea, such as Ewha and Myeongdong.
3. A’Pieu Daily Sheet Mask
Have you ever been tempted by the idea of doing a sheet mask every day, but thought it was too expensive and extravagant a habit to keep up?
A’Pieu’s Daily Sheet Mask allows you to do just that – at an affordable price! You can now pamper your face daily with sheets soaked in serum infused with the antioxidant goodness of red tea and green tea.
A’Pieu’s Daily Sheet Mask comes in a pack of 33 sheets, as well as a mini disposable tweezer (we love the little touches like these). Each pack will only cost you KRW9,000 (about SGD11). That’s less than SGD0.50 per day!
4. A’Pieu Wonder Tension
The packaging of this cushion foundation is so sleek and luxe, you wouldn’t believe that it actually only costs KRW12,800 (about SGD15).
The foundation is available in two variations: Perfect Cover and Moisture, which you can differentiate by checking if the packaging has either a Rose Gold or Gold rim.
While pretty packaging can sometimes be deceiving, A’Pieu has not compromised on the quality of this cushion foundation at all.
The Wonder Tension pact is well-loved by many beauty junkies and YouTubers alike, who raved about this K-beauty product for its great quality and how it has superb lasting power without turning cakey.
This is a young brand that was launched in Korean’s drugstores in recent years, but since then has been well-received by both locals and tourists alike. Their lip products are their best-sellers, thanks to the affordable prices and gorgeous fruity colours.
5. LILYBYRED Bloody Liar Coating Tint
This is a lightweight, lip tint with rich pigment that lasts all day, and many beauty junkies love how this new tint makes puckers look juicy and glossy. Touted to be smudge-proof and comfortable to wear on your lips, LILYBYRED’S Coating Tint is one of the top-selling products in Korean drugstores these days, so don’t be disappointed if the shade you want is sold out!
6. LILYBYRED Luv Beam Cheek
This blush has a silky-sheer formula with micro fine pearl that makes your skin look radiant and luminous at the same time. It glides on smoothly and lasts long, making this easy to use even for beginners. Plus, Luv Beam Cheek even hydrates your skin with rosehip oil and glacier water – where else could we possibly find a blush that cares for our skin so much?!
LILYBYRED’s iconic blush retails for KRW11,000 (SGD12.70) in drugstores.
This retails for KRW9,000 (about SGD10.40) per lippie, although it can be heavily discounted to about KRW6,000 during sales!
too cool for school
If you are familiar with this Korean brand, you would know that it is most famous for its chic and unique product packaging, as well as its line of egg-formulated products. We wish too cool for school would come to Singapore again, because we would definitely snap them all up!
7. too cool for school Art Class by Rodin Blusher
You may be familiar with its contour counterpart, but did you know that the blush is also an award-winning product that you must try?
This is a multi-purpose blusher that not only allows you to add vitality to your complexion, but also subtly highlight and sculpt your face with the lighter shades, which is what the Koreans prefer over the more obvious contouring and highlighting in Western beauty.
Plus, did we mention that this only costs KRW17,000 (SGD19.70)? What a steal!
eSpoir is a mid-range K-beauty brand that is loved and recommended by professional Korean makeup artists for its high quality.
8. eSpoir Pro Tailor Foundation (Be Silk)
This foundation is the brand’s best-selling product, and was even crowned best foundation product in 2019 in Korea.
The Be Silk Foundation has a silk-fix texture that lasts all day while providing excellent coverage. It also comes in a shade spectrum that beats most other K-beauty brands, with 10 shades in different tones that run from Light 1 to Dark 4.
It retails for KRW38,000 (SGD44) in eSpoir stores and drugstores.
UGB is a well-known skincare brand established in Korea since 2003, and is famous for the use of ginseng in all of its products. You can find this brand in departmental stores such as Lotte and Hyundai.
9. Guboncho Recovery Night Cream
This legendary recovery cream is formulated with some of the best traditional Korean herbs, such as red ginseng and cordyceps. It has the ability to boost your skin regeneration process so that your skin reforms better and faster. Over time, wrinkles and the appearance of pores become less visible, complexion looks visibly fresh and you will find that your skin becomes more firmed and lifted.
This retails for more than KRW274,000 (about SGD317).
OK, you may be thinking: why would you need to go all the way to Korea to get Innisfree products when you could probably find an Innisfree store at your nearest shopping mall?
But here’s where you’d be surprised. Innisfree has two lines that are exclusively sold in Korea only, so if they sound appealing to you, you definitely need to check them out on your next holiday.
10. Innisfree True Care
Innisfree True Care Line consists of 13 products so far. It ranges from a facial cleanser to a facial oil, and even a lip balm.
The most popular product from this line is their True Care Cica Intensive Balm which helps to soothe skin that is troubled from various environmental irritation.
Innisfree True Care Cica Intensive Balm retails for KRW20,000 (about SGD25) while the rest of the line ranges from KRW5,000 (about SGD6) to KRW25,000 (about SGD30).
Do take note that many products in this line are only available on the Innisfree Korea website, which is exclusively in Korean. If you are able to get someone to help you translate, or if you are able to read Korean, you can buy it online and have it delivered to your hotel or hostel when you’re in Korea!
11. Innisfree Super Food
The SuperFood line has been around even longer than the True Care, and it still remains a line worth your attention.
The concept of this line revolves around using food-derived substances that are beneficial for your skin as key active ingredients in the products. These ingredients include blueberry, broccoli, oats, and fig.
Each of these ingredients addresses different skin concerns: blueberry for rebalancing, broccoli for clearing, oats for moisturising and fig for brightening.
This extensive line consists of 22 products so far, with prices ranging from KRW4,000 (about SGD5) to KRW15,000 (about SGD18).
Another premium brand to look out for in Korea is IOPE.
IOPE is famous for having been the first in the market to put out BB cushions many years ago, and they still remain competitive with their cushion formulas today.
Although they are well-known for their makeup products, IOPE also carries their own skincare line too. You can even try out the IOPE Lab experience at their Myeongdong branch.
12. IOPE Golden Glow Facial Oil
If you are feeling a little fancy or simply love gorgeous K-beauty packaging, check out the IOPE Golden Glow Facial Oil which retails for KRW42,000 (about SGD50).
This facial oil claims to be infused with 4 kinds of golden plants. They contain antioxidants to strengthen your skin and supply nutrients, while moisturising the dermal layers at the same time.
13. IOPE Deep Care Tint Lip Balm
The Deep Care Tint Lip Balm is one of IOPE’s recent makeup launches. Korean actress Lee Yeon Hee was filmed using the IOPE tint-in-balm in her drama, The Package – since then, this lip balm has been selling like hotcakes.
IOPE Deep Care Tint Lip Balm retails for KRW25,000 (about SGD30) and comes in four shades.
Jungsaemmool is one of Korea’s most sought after celebrity makeup artists. She has recently set up her own makeup school as well as developed her own line of products. You can find her store at 40, Apgujeong-ro 12-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul.
Although Escentials in Singapore stock some of Jungsaemmool’s products, her store in Seoul gives you a more comprehensive experience of what the brand is really about.
14. Jungsaemmool Essential Star-cealer Foundation
The JungsaemmoolEssential Star-cealer Foundation is a 2-in-1 makeup product where matching shades of foundation and concealer are packaged together in the same compact. It also contains SPF30 PA+++ so you’ve got your sun protection covered.
Jungsaemmool Essential Star-cealer Foundation retails at KRW42,000 (about SGD50).
15. Jungsaemmool Refining Color-bony Brow
Another show-stopper from this brand that is exclusive to Korea is their Refining Color-bony Brow, which has won numerous beauty awards since its launch in 2016.
It is an eyebrow all-in-one product which contains three parts: a pencil, smudging powder, and a brush. There are six different shades to choose from, so you’ll definitely be able to find one that matches your hair colour.
Jungsaemmool Refining Color-bony Brow retails for KRW18,000 (about SGD22).
16. Jungsaemmool High Tinted Lip Lacquer
Of course, any makeup brand worth their salt will have at least one signature line of lip products. For Jungsaemmool, that will be their High Tinted Lip Lacquers.
The applicator is designed to make it that much easier to blend out lip colours and define your lips precisely. Many users have raved about it on the official Jungsaemmool website!
Jungsaemmool High Tinted Lip Lacquers retail for KRW20,000 (about SGD25).
Klavuu is a relatively new brand which opened their first flagship store in Myeongdong just two years ago. Here are the three best-selling products that they offer!
17. Klavuu White Pearlsation Enriched Divine Pearl Serum Mask
Pearl is an ingredient commonly used in skincare as a skin brightener, and it’s used as a key ingredient in the Klavuu White Pearlsation Enriched Divine Pearl Serum Mask.
Besides brightening the skin, the mask also claims to reduce the appearance of wrinkles with its infused seaweed extracts.
Klavuu White Pearlsation Enriched Divine Pearl Serum Mask retails at KRW40,000 (about SGD46) for 5 pieces per box.
18. Klavuu Stress Care Deep Sleeping Pack
The Stress Care Deep Sleeping Pack is a multi-tasking sleeping mask that rejuvenates skin textures, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, and tighten pores, all at the same time!
It also helps to soothe skin that is stressed from environmental damage, leaving the skin looking youthful after every use. What’s more, the pack is infused with 10 marine complex ingredients that work to deliver on its numerous claims.
Klavuu Stress Care Sleeping Pack retails at KRW28,000 (about SGD32).
19. Klavuu White Pearlsation Ideal Actress Backstage Cream
The Klavuu White Pearlsation Ideal Actress Backstage Cream is seriously doing some overtime here. It’s a 5-in-1 product, and claims to be makeup base, primer, sunscreen, pearl base, and fixer combined. The product is highly recommended by beauty junkies for those with dry skin types.
Klavuu White Pearlsation Ideal Actress Backstage Cream retails for KRW28,000 (about SGD32).
Make P:rem is another rising brand in Korea along with Klavuu. They are known for using safe ingredients that do not irritate the skin, which explains why the brand is a huge hit among those with sensitive skin type.
20. Make P:rem Safe Me. Relief Moisture Cream 12
According to their website, this is one of the best moisturisers you can find on the market, and a lot of Korean beauty influencers have found themselves agreeing with this bold claim.
The Make P:rem Safe Me. Relief Moisture Cream 12 is made withsafe and non-irritating ingredients, and is even safe to use for children and pregnant ladies!
Make P:rem Safe Me. Relief Moisture Cream 12 retails for KRW28,000 (about SGD32).
21. Make P:rem CICAPRO Revitalizing Cream
The CICAPRO Revitalizing Cream has won multiple awards not long after its release, and we are convinced that there must be something that is propelling this cream’s immense popularity
For starters, this product is formulated with cica, which is a popular acne-fighting ingredient that is currently trending in Korea. Thanks to its formulation, Make P:rem CICAPRO Revitalizing Cream can soothe and rejuvenate even the most irritated skin.
Many Koreans have raved about their experiences with this product, so we can imagine it’s definitely something not to be missed.
Make P:rem CICAPRO Revitalizing Cream is retailing at KRW32,000 (about SGD37).
22. Make P:rem UV Defense Me. Blue Ray Sun Fluid
This sunscreen actually went viral in Korea the moment it was launched!
It promises to reduce the heat of your skin with the help of water lily extract, and can even aid in reducing skin inflammation and acne.
Bonus point: it is waterproof as well!
Make P:rem UV Defense Me. Blue Ray Sun Fluid retails at KRW28,000 (about SGD32).
Famous for their wine exfoliating pads and Canadian Clay Pore Cleanser, Neogen Dermatology is an old hand in the market. You can easily purchase some of their well-known products through various online platforms in Korea.
We’ve compiled some of their new products or hidden gems below!
23. Neogen Voluming Hair Cushion Tint
Despite being a rather new product for the brand, this Hair Cushion Tint has already become a bestseller! Just dabbing this cushion tint on the bare spots along your hairline is supposed to make your hair look fuller than before.
Neogen Voluming Hair Cushion Tint retails at KRW50,000 (about SGD58) for 15ml.
24. Neogen UV Defense Longlasting Protector
Another best-selling product from Neogen is their sunscreen. Their newly upgraded formula, the UV Defense Longlasting Protector, provides a coverage of SPF50+, PA+++.
Coming in a tube of 50ml, this sunscreen does not leave a white cast nor will it have a greasy feel after application.
Neogen UV Defense Longlasting Protector retails at KRW25,000 (about SGD30).
25. Neogen Real Cica Pad
Neogen has also hopped onto the Cica bandwagon with their Real Cica Pad. Users have loved the products so far, evident from all the glowing reviews they receive on their Korean website and international beauty blogs.
Neogen Real Cica Pad retails at KRW17,000 (about SGD20) per container.
We’re almost certain that you would’ve heard of South Korean makeup artist Pony before. Some of her YouTube makeup tutorials have gone viral on social media, and if you’ve ever watched any of them, you might see how frequently she uses makeup tools under the Piccasso brand.
Check out Piccasso tools in Cree’mare outlet at B2 Urban Hive, 476, Gangnam-Daero, Gangnam-Gu, Sinnonhyeon.
26. Piccasso Black Monster Makeup Sponge
The Black Monster Makeup Sponge by Piccasso has been hailed as a holy grail sponge by many beauty junkies. Simply soak it in water and it will soften and expand, like most other makeup sponges.
Piccasso Black Monster Makeup Sponge retails for KRW15,000 (about SGD19).
27. Piccasso makeup brushes
Piccasso is most renowned for their makeup brushes, and many Korean makeup artists often use them on celebrities in demonstrations on TV.
That being said, they do come at quite a hefty price tag. Do take a look only if you are willing to invest!
28. Piccasso JAM Double Eyelid Glue
If you have single eyelids but don’t want to make a commitment as huge as plastic surgery, this might be a solution for you! The JAM double eyelid glue can help you create seamless double eyelids with just one swipe.
Don’t worry, it’s as easy to remove as it is to apply. Simply use a cotton pad soaked with makeup remover, and gently rub it on to the eyelid.
Piccasso JAM Double Eyelid Glue retails for KRW6,000 (about SGD7).
If you have ever heard of Gentle Monster and love the concept of their stores, you should check out Tamburins and experience another level of “extra”.
You can locate their flagship store at 44, Apgujeong-ro 10-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
29. Tamburins Nude H. And Cream
Tamburins Nude H. And Cream is the first of an upcoming series to be released in their store soon. Being a conceptual store, their flagship store has an artsy-fartsy atmosphere, and the only product they sell is this hand cream – for now.
Tamburins Nude H. And Cream retails for KRW26,000 (about SGD30).
Fans of Park Bo Gum, rejoice! vProve has signed on the popular Korean actor as their celebrity ambassador. He has been with the brand since they were first established about three years ago.
Yes, this means that if you patronise the shop, you’ll be loaded with Park Bo Gum freebies and merchandise! vProve can be found in Myeongdong as well.
30. vProve Cream Expert
The Cream Expert line consists of 10 different kinds of cream targeting different skin concerns. In a recent survey done on 116 people, 99.1% of them found that they loved the product after using.
Its stellar efficacy has been highly raved about by many consumers, with reviews leaving mostly 5-star ratings and users strongly recommending the cream to others.
vProve Cream Expert retails at KRW25,000 (about SGD30).
31. vProve Ampoule Expert
Utilising a concept similar to that of the Cream Expert line, the Ampoule Expert line consists of six different ampoules addressing various skin concerns as well.
All of the ampoules are very popular with users online, with the Betaglucan Soothing Ampoule being one of the most hyped in the line.
vProve Ampoule Expert retails for KRW25,000 (about SGD30).
32. vProve No Make-Up Creamy Fit Lipstick
vProve No Make-Up Creamy Fit Lipstick is one of the newer additions to the brand, but it has already been recommended by makeup gurus on various Korean beauty shows.
The lipstick has a creamy velvet finish, and the most well-known shade is RD03. There are a total of ten shades available in the line.
vProve No Make-Up Creamy Fit Lipstick retails for KRW9,000 (about SGD11).
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