The Best K-Beauty Brands To Check Out When In Korea

Be ready for some serious retail therapy

By E! Asia Staff 27 Mar, 2019 3:27 AMTags

No one goes to Seoul without buying beauty products, and we mean no one. Even beauty editors and influencers who get sent a ton of products still can't resist Korea's mind-blowing variety. From the most innovative product formats to the most IG-worthy packaging, you can be sure you'll be needing some extra baggage allowance when lugging your new purchases home. We show you the top brands to check out the next time you visit Korea:

All The K-Beauty Skincare Steps You Need For Ageless Skin

Drawing from age-old beauty secrets that have been passed down for generations, Hanyul makes products that contains traditional herbs and plants that have been used since ancient times. Coupled with modern technology, the benefits of these traditional ingredients are optimised to create efficacious skincare formulas that cater to a wide range of skin types and skin concerns.

If you have oily-congestion-prone skin, try the Pure Artemisia Watery Calming Cream. Formulated without animal ingredients, parabens, mineral oil and artificial colouring, this refreshing gel-cream face moisturiser deeply hydrates your skin without clogging your pores. At the same time, it also reduces inflammation and protects skin against environmental pollution.


Proving that quality skincare doesn't have to be expensive, A'Pieu is known for its affordable yet effective formulas, making them highly popular amongst young and savvy customers.

Aside from its best-selling Madecassoside range (which soothes and strengthens sensitive skin), the latest product worth checking out is its Carrot U Oil Essence. Containing Pure Carrot Oil, it infuses skin with vitamin A and beta-carotene to stimulate cellular rejuvenation and protect it from environmental hazards. It is also fortified with vegetable oil complex to calm and hydrate skin without stickiness and greasiness.


Loved by makeup artists and women alike, Espoir prides itself on educating its customers on the power of transformation that makeup can bring. Be it skin-perfecting base makeup or bold colours, it aims to inspire women to experiment and reveal themselves through different makeup looks.

Starting with a flawless complexion, its Taping Concealer Foundation is a full-coverage foundation that hides skin imperfections without looking thick and cakey. And as its name suggests, this foundation adheres seamlessly to skin's surface through facial expressions, heat and humidity for a hyper-real second-skin effect. A little goes a long way and once on, it lasts all day long and remains picture-perfect.

Banila Co

Taking a skin-first philosophy when it comes to makeup, Banila Co makes great cleansers that have since achieved cult status amongst beauty junkies all over the over. And the all-time favourite is its Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm, which is one of the most widely raved about cleansers in Korea.

With a melting texture, it dissolves all traces of makeup, dirt, grime and excess sebum upon application to effectively rid skin of impurities. Plus, it also has an upgraded formula which is also enriched with vitamin C and vitamin E so it also treats and conditions your skin as you cleanse. It's suitable for all skin types and is tough against even waterproof eye makeup but always gentle on your skin so you never feel like your skin is dry, tight or uncomfortable after cleansing.

Jung Saem Mool Beauty

The eponymous beauty line of one of Korea's top makeup artist, you can expect to find an extensive range of professional-grade products that focuses on high-performance formulas that help women create a flawless effect on their own.

Even though the brand is less than four years old, it now comprises of wide range of skincare and makeup products - basically everything any K-beauty junkie will ever need. And if you could settle on just one product to buy (trust us, we couldn't), get the Essential Mool Cream, an intensely hydrating moisturiser that replenishes and locks in moisture so that skin surface instantly looks smoother and more plumped. Expect makeup to glide on effortlessly for a radiant finish.


With an aesthetic this photogenic, we can't help but be drawn to it from the moment we laid eyes on its products. Which explains why it comes as no surprise when we learnt that it's founded by the same people who started Gentle Monster, a so-chic-it-hurts eyewear line known for their utterly fashionable designs.

Make sure you pick up its Nude H. And Cream, one of Korea's most popular and widely raved about hand creams. It's made of shea butter, macadamia seed oil and sandalwood oil to instantly soften and smooth rough hands while leaving it lavishly scented. Best part? We love that the cap of the hand cream is attached to the tube with a gold chain, so you never have to worry about dropping and losing it.