Are Korean cosmetic products any good?

By Candace Kwan

Beauty trends are always changing, and with so many brands on the market, it's hard sticking to one product, or one country. This week, we investigate whether Korean beauty products are the next big thing

By Candace Kwan |

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Too Cool For School - Dinoplatz Cinema Multi City CC Cream

This makes your skin look naturally flawless and provides a satin finish, dewy without being oily. It's also great for travelling. While the CC cream itself does not change, there are three different "multiballs" (balls full of product hidden in the cap) that vary the effect - a cream blush, a highlighter or a concealer. It's such a neat little idea, I just love it. (HK$270 citywide)

Etude House - Magic Any Cushion

These are a new range of colour correctors. I used the Magic Mint in hopes of toning down the mild redness in my cheeks, but it didn't seem to work - instead, it left an unflattering, shimmery finish. The formula is sticky and hard to blend. While I won't be reaching for it as a regular base, I still see myself using it because it smells nice, and it's fun to play around with the air puff. (HK$178 at Etude House)

Innisfree Long Wear Cushion

BB "cushions" are an innovative way of applying BB cream. This one gives light-to-medium coverage that lasts the whole day - even in Hong Kong's heat and humidity. The air puff gives skin an airbrushed effect - almost as if you don't have anything on. In winter, try the Water Glow Cushion - it leaves a more dewy finish and is suitable for dry skin. ( HK$190 citywide)


Palgantong - UV365 Powder SPF30 PA++ Face Powder

This has become my holy-grail powder. It gives me a matte finish without looking heavy or accentuating any dryness. Although it is a loose powder, it is compact and easy to use on-the-go - it even comes with a mirror and mini puff. It's very affordable too! (HK$85 citywide)

Shara Shara - Fairy's Make-up Synergy Sun Cream SPF45+++

This is a nice sunscreen - it doesn't feel greasy, provides adequate protection and has a nice, light scent - but there's nothing mind-blowing about it. The formula sinks quickly into your skin and is a great base for makeup. And the packaging is adorable! (HK$280 at Hysan Place, Causeway Bay; LCX, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui; Yata Department Store, Sha Tin)


Touch in Sol - Dark Out Long Lasting Primer Base (Pure Peach)

The brand's long-lasting primer bases have become make-up bag essentials. They help my make-up stay on all day, and have added benefits like protection from the sun (SPF PA ++). It's also fragrance- and paraben-free. These primers are available in three formulas - peach (brightens), green (counteracts redness) and purple (counteracts sallow tones). The peach one is my favourite, as it helps me look less like a zombie - I can fake that I got enough sleep last night. #studentproblems (HK$139 citywide)

Holika Holika - Magic Pole Mascara

This wand sure looks weird. The short bristles lengthen lashes while the bulb adds definition and curl. This mascara is better at lengthening than holding a curl, so it might not be for girls with stick-straight lashes. A huge bonus is that it's smear-proof yet easy to remove. (HK$118 at Yata Department Stores)


Peripera - Peri's Tint Water in Cherry Juice and Mandarin Juice

These tints remind me of Benefit's Benetint - but these are much more affordable, and smell much better (they really smell like cherries and mandarins). The formula is buildable - you can create anything from a faint tint to a solid, bold colour. The only downside is that it is very drying (it may leave your lips patchy) and leaves a "tight" feeling on your lips after application. (HK$99/box of two colours citywide)

Tony Moly - Kiss Kiss Lip Scrub

The packaging is so cute you'll want to show it off. This lip scrub contains granules which are finely milled. Exfoliating my lips twice a week has made it much easier to apply lipstick. The formula even smells like yummy peaches. (HK$65 citywide)