Korean beauty products you need to try this year

Anastasia Beverley Hills recently released their new Brow Definer (AKA eyebrow pencil) which is apparently all special and new and innovative on account of its triangular nib.

Er…except it’s not all that innovative at all because it looks very much like Korean brand Missha’s best-selling Auto Eyebrow Styler which you can pick up for about a third of the price. I’ve had one for at least a year. It doesn’t look so new from this angle.

These days, you can see the Korean influence in many beauty brands and in wider trends such as multi-masking and layering of skincare. Even Marks and Spencer has an own brand cushion foundation Рand where did cushions originate? I think you can guess.

Yet there are some Korean beauty trends that just haven’t made it to Western shores, when they really really should because they are fun, effective and (usually) budget-friendly. And lord knows, if there’s one thing 2016 could do with in massive doses it’s FUN.

So this year I’d like to see more of Korean beauty and skincare products like

Peeling gelsKorean beauty products skinfood pineapple peeling gel



I think the off-putting part here is the word ‘peeling’, because who really wants their face to peel off like they’re in a B-list horror movie? What these gels do is clump up into peely bits (similar to wet paper) that give you a very gentle but effective exfoliation and leave the skin soft and not at all peeled off your face. So just think of peeling gels as softly-softly face massagers and give them a try.


Sleeping packs

A sleeping pack is basically a very heavy-duty type of Korean moisturiser, to be applied after all your other lotions and potions, right before you go to sleep. It won’t sink in and you’ll have to put up with a very juicy face, but you will wake up soft and cushiony as a marshmallow, which I know is a look we all aspire to.


Modeling packsKorean beauty products Modeling mask

I LOVE a modeling pack, and I think if you try one you will too. They’re a spin off from the special effects industry, as make up artists noticed that when they made rubber moulds for facial effects, the actors would be left with super-soft skin after the mask was removed. This developed into a spa treatment, and now you can buy the masks for use at home.

A modeling mask starts off as a dry powder. Add water until it becomes a stiff paste, then slather that all over your face in as thick a layer as you can. In about 20 minutes it will have solidified into a soft rubber shell, which you can then easily peel off to admire how fabulous your skin looks. The down side is that for those 20 minutes you will look utterly insane, but hey, sometimes you have to suffer in the name of throwing all kinds of weird stuff at your face.

And speaking of fun/silly/effective face masks that make you look like Shrek, have you seen this one?

elizavecca bubble clay mask




The Elizavecca Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask starts off like your regular clay mask, but then it all goes banana-nightshade. As soon as it hits the air, the formula starts to bubble up like a swamp. Within 5 minutes you will have grown a pretty good beard of mucky bubbles on your face. Then you get to massage in the clay bubbles like a loose toddler in a mudbath. Alas eventually the fun ends and you have to wash it off but up until then it’s good times for all the family.


Anything with crazy-ass ingredients…Korean beauty products with wine

…like red wine! Anything to take the edge off Dry January. And see how that Innisfree Wine Peeling Jelly Softener looks like a mini wine bottle? The down side to that is, I can’t bring myself to open it and spoil the cuteness.

So I hope this has inspired you to have a play with some lesser-known Korean beauty products. Will we be seeing them in a UK high street soon? Luckily online shopping means you don’t have to wait for that. There are many reputable Korean sellers on eBay, and that’s where I bought most of this stuff.

Or you could always wait until a Western brand rips it off and tries to sell it to you in three years’ time for double the price..


What Korean beauty trends would you like to see more of this year?