How to glow like a Korean star

Beauty products from South Korea are a hit, thanks to the celebrities who front them, as well as their novel and innovative formulas

GLADYS CHUNG recommends best-selling products from popular South Korean brands in Singapore


Available at Laneige counters and boutiques, such as B3-66A Ion Orchard, as well as Sephora stores

Launched in 1994, the name of the brand means "snow" in French.

Its products promise to provide skin with hydration and moisture for a clear and healthy complexion. Its bestseller, the Water Bank Essence ($65, left), claims to keep skin moist for up to24 hours.

Also known for its lightweight make-up, its silky-smooth eyeshadow and the BB Cushion BB cream ($59, right) are must-buys. The BB cream was recently revamped with new skin-brightening ingredients.

Prices start from $22 for a lip balm to $95 for a bottle of anti-ageing essence.


Available at Thefaceshop stores, such as B1-K5 Wisma Atria

Made with plant-based ingredients, the label was launched in 2003.

The brand offers skincare, make-up, perfume, bodycare, haircare and men's products.

It is best known for its sheet masks, BB creams and serums.

Its signature products include the anti-ageing Smim Fermented Concentrate Total Treatment essence ($66.90), the Myeonghan Mindo Yul Eye Cream ($74.90, left) and the Raspberry Roots Eye Patch ($8.90, right).

Prices start from $2.90 for a sheet mask to $99 for a jar of cream.


Available at the Innisfree store, B2-34 Takashimaya Shopping Centre

Formulated with natural ingredients such as green tea and volcanic clay from Jeju island in South Korea, its bestsellers include the Green Tea Seed Serum ($36, left) and the Jeju Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask ($21, right).

Founded in 2000, the brand prides itself on its eco-friendliness, often holding environmentally conscious initiatives, such as campaigns to encourage consumers to use handkerchiefs instead of tissues. The product packaging is also recyclable.

Prices start from $20 for a pot of mask to $57 for a bottle of face oil.


Available at Sulwhasoo counters, such as the one at Tangs Orchard

Luxury brand Sulwhasoo is based on traditional Korean herbs and know-how. It is the first on the market to come up with formulas that promise to "cool" the skin from within with herbs and ginseng for clearer-looking skin.

Although it was founded in 1997, its roots go back to 1932, when the mother of the brand's founder Suh Sung-hwan started making camellia hair oil.

Its star products include the Sulwhasoo Evenfair Perfecting Cushion Foundation ($74, left), which is infused with potent herbal skincare ingredients, as well as the anti-ageing Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream ($276, right).

Prices start from $48 for a bottle of mist to $498 for a jar of anti-ageing cream.


Available at VDL stores, such as 02-338 Suntec City

Founded in 2012, the name of the cosmetics brand stands for Violet Dream Luminous.

Its best-selling base make-up products, such as its primers and foundations, are formulated with violet light Lumilayer Technology particles that give skin a radiant and healthy glow.

Look out for its Lumilayer Primer ($36, left), which smoothens and prepares skin for flawless make-up application, as well as the Tint Bar Triple Shot ($24, right), which is an all-in-one lip concealer, tint and balm.

Prices start from $6 for a bottle of nail polish to $60 for a powder foundation.


Available at selected Watsons stores, such as B2-06 Takashimaya Shopping Centre

Best known for its trendy and waterproof eye and lip make-up products, the 11-year-old brand has been fronted by some of K-pop's top stars, such as Lee Hyori and Sandara Park of girl group 2NE1.

Its top products are the Waterproof Pen Liner Kill Black ($22.90), the Gelpresso Waterproof Pencil Gel Liner in Golden Black ($18.90) and the Waterproof Brush Liner Kill Black ($25.90, right).

Prices range from $14.90 for a lip primer to $34.90 for a CC cream compact.

Too Cool For School

Available at Too Cool For School stores, such as 03-53 Far East Plaza

The fun and colourful make-up and skincare brand, launched in 2009, is known for its cute packaging. Its interesting formulas range from an egg mousse facial wash to Korean rice wine Makegeolli skincare.

Its top sellers include the Hot Girl Lip Sticker lipstick ($16, left) and the After School BB Foundation Lunchbox SPF37 PA++ ($36, right).

Prices start from $1 for a mask sheet to $80 for a make-up set.


Available at Belif counters and stores, such as B1-64 Wisma Atria

All the skincare brand's products are made with British herbal health-care company Napiers' formulas.

The range does not contain synthetic preservatives, synthetic colour and fragrances, mineral oil and animal-origin ingredients.

Founded in 2010, Belif products claim to delay the ageing of skin with their anti-oxidising, calming and anti-blemish properties.

Its bestsellers include The True Cream Aqua Bomb ($54, left), the Hungarian Water Essence ($57) and the Peat Miracle Revital Serum Concentrate ($85, right).

Prices start from $16 for a lip balm to $85 for an anti-ageing concentrate.

Etude House

Available at Etude House stores, such as B2-30 at 313@somerset The brand is known for its ever-changing range of new products. Up to 30 new items are introduced each month.

Founded in 1985, its bestsellers include the Moistfull Collagen Cream ($32, left) that hydrates and firms skin, as well as the Precious Mineral BB Cream Bright Fit SPF 30 PA++ ($25.90, right), which gives skin a luminous glow.

The packaging is distinctively feminine with a princess theme.

Prices start from 90 cents for a nose patch to $58 for a set of its best-selling skincare and make-up products.


Available at Skinfood stores, such as 02-22 Bugis Junction

The brand's proposition is affordable skincare made from food that is good for the skin, hence its name.

Its top sellers include the exfoliating Black Sugar Mask ($25.50, left) and the Egg White Pore Cleansing Foam ($21.90, right). The brand opened its first store in Singapore in 2005.

Prices start from $4.50 for a set of fake lashes to $85 for a bottle of serum.

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