K-Haul

Korean beauty has been increasing in popularity for the past few years.Β 2016 seems to be the year that Korean beauty trends are transcending Asian regions and infiltrating the Western. Beyond the BB and CC creams, there are cushion compacts in every shape and form. Also, Western consumers can find Asian beauty products more readily available at Sephora stores and online Asian beat sites.

In Singapore, we are lucky enough to have a good mix of East and West beauty products to choose from. Personally, I am equally influenced by both. While I favour the Western style of make-up with bronzing, contouring, highlighting and the works, I tend to lean on Asian and European products for skincare.

Recently though, I have grown more interested in Korean skincare due to the hype it is having in the West. It’s easier for me to see reviews of products on different skin tones and types that are not just Asian. Also, more sites are translated to English so I can read the ingredients and directions more thoroughly. I was going through a major K-pop phase when I was younger and was obsessed with anything Korean. But I remembered coming out of it with pretty bad skin as I had adverse reactions to their skincare products. I found them too rich and highly fragranced with ingredients that aggravated my teen acne.

Safe to say I was semi traumatised by that experience and swore of Korean beauty products for years.

Now, I am slowly dipping my toes in it again. This time with a life vest and float. And by that I mean, proper knowledge of ingredients and how they work with my skin and a plethora of websites in English telling me whats inside each product with suggestions on how to best use them.

Isn’t the Internet great?

So, recently, at Duty Free, I picked up a couple of goodies that I thought I’d share with you.

 

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1. Belif First Aid Aqua Rush Mask

Belif is a Korean brand that has an amazing philosophy. It’s packing reminds me slightly of Kiehl’s in a sense that it’s simple and almost medical in style. Belif claims to leave out nasties like mineral oil, synthetic dyes and fragrances in their formulations. Making it great for sensitive skins. It’s pretty pricey but I was shocked at how much cheaper it is Β at Duty Free Singapore. Almost half the price! It wasn’t even on sale or anything!

I have been interested in their “Aqua” range because I have dehydrated, combination skin. With all the travelling I did and using Retinol has created some dry eczema patches on my face, while my T-zone remained oily and acne-prone. Hence I needed something intensely hydrating yet non-poreclogging. I was initially interested in the Aqua Bomb moisturiser that everyone is raving about. But I hesitated as Alcohol Denat is quite high up in the ingredients list. So I opted for this mask instead and decided to use it as an overnight mask, even though it is meant to be removed after 20 mins.

It’s amazing for my dehydrated skin. It has a rich gel texture that feels great. It sinks in but still leaves a dewy film. I wake up to super plump looking skin.

 

2. Chosungah 22 Dong Gong Minn Brow Maker

I’ve been intrigued by this brand ever since I saw my favourite YouTubers haul it. It was on the Sephora US website for a while before the brand finally made its way here to Singapore. Exclusive to SASA, this is a makeup brand that is created by famous Korean makeup artist, Cho Sungah. I mainly am attracted to its distinct and quirky packaging. This one in particular is so fun!

It looks like a highlighter but it’s actually a tinted brow gel. The premise is to make the makeup look like inconspicuous items that one can bring to work or school easily. It’s a little pricey for a tinted brow gel, I’ll admit. Also, it has a strange spoolie, which claims to help you both fill in your brows and set them in place. More on this product soon!

 

3. Missha Time Revolution Clear Toner

This one, on the hand, is so affordable. Missha is famous for their Time Revolution range that contains the same fermented ingredients that is found inΒ the super expensive SKII line. I bought this toner, thinking that it can somehow perform like the SKII Clear Lotion did on me. I’m genuinely shocked that the active ingredients are so high up the list and it doesn’t contain any nasty ingredients nor parabens. It’s amazing that it is so affordable with such quality ingredients in it.

I’ve been using this for a while now and I’m happy to report that my first impression is that it’s very comparable, if not more effective that the SKII counterpart. This toner has more AHAs and BHAs in it than the SKII Clear Lotion. Hence, it provides a stronger, but still gentle, exfoliation. Perfect for my easily congested skin. Will update you guys on the progress but so far I’m very happy.

 

4. Banila Co. Clean It Zero Purity

I have been eyeing this product for MONTHS. This is a cult Korean product that people swear by. It’s basically a cleansing balm that removes makeup quickly and effectively, without leaving any residue on the skin. It comes in various versions for different skin types and concerns, but the most popular will be the classic Clean It Zero that comes in a pink tub. I decided to go for the “Purity” version, which is made for sensitive skin as I do suffer from skin sensitivity. More so though, I opted against the original version as its primary ingredient is mineral oil, a cheap filler oil that doesn’t warrant the price tag and may potentially irritate the skin.

I haven’t tried this one yet as I am still using up my Japanese cleansing oil. However, I’m certainly looking forward to it.

 

5. It’s Skin Power 10 Formula GF Effector

Look at this amazing packaging! I almost mistook it for a very premium Skin Inc product. I was flabbergasted at how affordable theΒ It’s Skin products are. This serum is part of their Power 10 serum range that has a serum for any concern you have. The one I chose was the hydrating serum as my skin, at that time, was super dry from the airplane air. You would think that at a price like this, the ingredients would be pretty rubbish. But ingredient deck is surprisingly impressive.

I’ve been using it for a while now every morning and I’m quite happy with it. It glides on the skin silkily and sinks in quickly, yet still leaving my face feeling super hydrated. It has knocked my previous morning serum out of my routine, which was the Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Serum.

 

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I also received the Missha Tinted Gel Gloss in a coral colour. I got this for free when I purchased the Missha toner. It was so unexpected because the item was so affordable and yet they still gave me a free gift. Love Missha as a brand!

 

So that’s it for now! I’ll definitely do an update once I’ve properly tested these products out.