The Very Best K-Beauty Products We Tried This Year
Innovative textures, attractive packaging and highly effective formulas: There are many reasons why we love K-beauty. Which makes it all the more difficult to narrow down our favorites. After careful consideration (and no shortage of hemming and hawing), we’ve picked the seven products that stood out from the rest.
Mamonde Petal Purifying Bubble Mask
Need a quick fix? This bubbling mask has a whipped texture that starts to foam up as soon as you smooth it on. Packed with real rose (which is known for its hydrating properties), it makes your face feel petal-soft afterward. Bottom line: It’s the perfect option for those mornings when you want a boost but don’t have the time to sit around in a sheet mask.
Whal Myung Skin Elixir
We admittedly glazed over this medicinal-looking bottle at first, but we kept seeing it everywhere (i.e., backstage at New York Fashion Week, where it was used to prep models' skin, and in makeup artists’ kits). So we finally gave it a try...and promptly kicked ourselves for waiting so long. This herbal infusion is part toner, part serum and all moisture. The formula dates back to the late 19th-century, when it was created for the royal family. And we’ve got to say; it makes our skin look pretty darn regal, too.
Whal Myung ($58)
Laneige Fresh Calming Mousse Moisturizer
If you find that most moisturizers are too sticky, heavy or thick, you might want to give this mousse a try. (Note: It really does look and feel like a mousse when you dispense it into your hand—and it dissipates just as quickly.) With deep sea water and lychee peel extract, it sinks in with minimal effort and leaves your skin plump and dewy.
VDL Lumilayer Primer Fresh
Have you heard of “glass skin?” It’s a K-beauty trend that refers to when your skin is so smooth and glowing that it looks like a piece of glass. This luminescent primer gives you just that. Packed with prismatic pearls, it softens any fine lines and brightens sallow skin as soon as you put it on. We like to layer it under our foundation and pat a little extra on top as a highlighter.
Touch in Sol No Poreblem Priming Eraser
Think of this as a blotting paper of sorts. You put it on over any trouble spots (like a shiny forehead or enlarged pores) and it somehow makes everything look better. Though you can use it as a priming step before your makeup, we really like it as a touch-up tool later in the day. Just swipe it over any areas that have creased or settled and blend for an instant refresh.
Touch in Sol ($14)
Kaja Cheeky Stamp Blendable Blush
This cushion blush makes us giddy every time we stamp its heart-shaped applicator onto our cheeks. Fun and games aside, it’s the easy-to-blend formula and flattering shades that make it a true winner.
Innisfree Skinny Microcara Mascara
People tend to fall into one of two categories when it comes to lashes: They either want va-va-voom volume or subtle, feathered fringe. This mascara is for folks in the latter camp (like this editor). With an itty-bitty brush that reaches even the smallest hairs (think inner and outer corners), it leaves your lashes looking darker, longer and subtly defined.