My Favourite Korean Cosmetics – 2014 Edition

One of my most read articles is one I wrote on January 2012 about my favourite Korean cosmetics and skincare. In fact it IS my most read article with almost 23,000 page views. No joke! People like reading about cosmetics and skincare. ^^

I wrote it mainly about the Korean cosmetics and skincare I loved when I lived in Korea and was still using after returning to Canada. Now it’s been a while and I still use a lot of Korean cosmetics and skincare – in fact, almost all of my daily use stuff except my eye shadow is Korean. But many of my favourites have changed since the original article. Why? In some cases I found other products I like better. But often it was because what I used to use isn’t available easily in Canada, or it’s just no longer available period.

So why am I writing a new list? A couple of weeks ago a reader asked if my list had changed and that’s what sparked this article. I started thinking, what do I use now? What can’t I live without? And so I went into my bathroom and started pulling products that I use either daily or regularly.

Funnily enough, I use many of the products on my original list still. But there are others that have crept into my regular rotation. So before I tell you my new list, let’s update you on my old one and let you know which products have truly stood the test of time.

Cindy’s 2012 Favourites

Skin Food

*Honey Lip Treatment – I still own one but don’t use it as often. Not that there’s anything wrong with it but I find I’m using more lip stains recently and they don’t set as well over this. It’s great however under lipstick.

Peppermint Pore Diet Mask Peel Off – Love this in the summer as it has a cooling effect but don’t use it much in the winter and it’s been a cold winter this year.

*Black Sugar Mask – Still on my list (see below).

Bath Salt – Lavender – It’s not available in Canada.

*Rose Cheek Chalk #1 Rose Pink – Still on my list (see below).

*Oil Control Film – I find them less necessary in Canada (it’s less humid here) but still use them in the summer.

The Face Shop

*Clean Face White – Intensive Blemish Clear Patch – Updated version is still on my list (see below).

Pure Water Facial Mist – Jeju Orange – I alternate between different facial mists in the summer.

TFS Plus +1 Lip Care Stick Pomegranate – I can’t find it in Canada or it would still be on my list. I’ve replaced it with Skin Food’s Tomato Jelly Lipstick

*TFS Plus +1 Lip Care Cream Shea Butter – I still regularly use it but it just missed the cut from this year’s list.

*Herb Day Cleansing Wipes – Love them so much I’m out. Still on my list (see below).

Imperial Herbs – Ying Mask Sheet in Sanyak & Sansuyoo – Doesn’t seem to available anymore, I looked for them when I was in Korea last summer and when I visited The Face Shop here in Toronto.

Banila Co.

Let Me Finish – Makeup Fixer – Can’t buy it in Canada.

Makeup brushes – Not something one needs to purchase regularly.

The Mineral Surprise Baking Pact – Can’t buy it in Canada.

Cindy’s 2014 Favourites

The Face Shop

*Herb Day Cleansing Wipes 

These are still the best product I’ve ever used to remove makeup, especially waterproof mascara. As long as they’re available, I’ll keep using them! (I’m out so I’ll update soon with a picture once I buy a new pack.)

*Clean Face White – Intensive Blemish Clear Patch 

Best product for occasional blemishes
Best product for occasional blemishes

When I was in Seoul last summer I noticed that they’d updated these blemish patches and promptly bought 3 packs. The new packs have 25 patches in 3 sizes (the old version had 10 patches in 2 sizes) but they are still the best product for anyone with occasional blemish breakouts. (The new ones are called “Anti Trouble Blemish Patch”)

*Chia Seed Toner, Lotion and Cream

My winter skincare set - toner, lotion and cream
My winter skincare set – toner, lotion and cream

These are my winter skincare regime. I use the toner and lotion in the morning and the toner and cream in the evening – both after washing my face, of course. They are new for me but I still use my old favorites in the summer, the Arsainte Eco-Therapy Extreme Moisture Daily Moisturizer and Tonic.

*Arsainte Eco-Therapy Face Mask Sheet

I love face sheet masks and this is one of my favs
I love face sheet masks and this is one of my favs

I love mask sheets and use them on a weekly basis. I’ve rotated among a few favourites and this in one that’s high on my list.

My Lips Eat Cherry Aqua Tint

I love this lip stain so much I have it in 3 colours
I love this lip stain so much I have it in 3 colours

A new favourite product I brought back from my trip to Seoul last summer. Long lasting, with a range of colours and it doesn’t taste bad if you nibble on your lips.

Skin Food

*Black Sugar Mask

My favourite scrub (I like it's a scrub, not a mask)
My favourite scrub (I think it’s a scrub, not a mask)

The best scrub, gentle and yet effective. I use it weekly to keep my skin soft in the winter and bi-weekly in the summer to keep my skin soft and free of blemishes.

*Rose Cheek Chalk #1 Rose Pink

The best blush ever
The best blush ever

I adore this blush. It looks intimidatingly bright but if you use a light hand it’s the most natural blush I’ve ever tried. And it seems to blend well with a variety of skin tones. Plus you can add as much (for a vivid look) or as little (for a natural look) as you like.

*Peach Sake Pore Pact

A lovely powder compact for light coverage
A lovely powder compact for light coverage

This has a light coverage with a light, pleasant scent. As much as I love cosmetics, I don’t like them on my skin (foundations, bb creams, etc.) much so I tend to stick with powder compacts. It’s replaced my old one from Banila Co.

Seaweed Waterproof Mascara

A nice, natural looking mascara
A nice, natural looking mascara

This was a random buy in Korea last summer as I’m always on the lookout for great waterproof mascaras (I cry at films a lot). It’s a very natural look, even if I did buy the navy coloured one.

*Tomato Jelly Lipstick

A light, almost-not-there, lipstick with lots of moisture
A light, almost-not-there, lipstick with lots of moisture

For those days I want a light, moisturizing lipstick, this is my go-to product. It’s an almost sheer colour that looks great for day wear and will leave your lips feeling like you’re wearing a balm, not a lipstick.

Other brands

And just to prove that I do shop for other brands than The Face Shop and Skin Food, my favourite eyeliner is from Holika Holika.

Jewel-light Waterproof Eyeliner

Great eyeliner if you cry a lot at films (like me)
Great eyeliner if you cry a lot at films (like me)

This liner goes on like a gel so it’s great for nighttime looks but does require a lighter hand if you want a softer day look. It’s fabulous for people like me who watch a lot of films and dramas, and cry at almost all of them. 

Those are my favourites – or at least some of them (the post was getting too long for all of the fabulous Korean cosmetics I love). What are your favourite Korean cosmetics?

The products with an asterisk in front of the name are available at the online Korean cosmetic and skincare shop, As it’s one of my favourite places to shop, I’d thought I’d share a great deal with you. To get $10 off your first order with them, use the coupon code “CINDY2012″  at checkout!

Cindy Zimmer

Live life to the fullest everyday - this is a the philosophy I try to live by and it's taken me on many adventures. I write about Korean culture from a non-Korean perspective as the editor/founder of ATK Magazine and I'm the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Korean Film Festival (TKFF). Previously, I ran a Korean-English language exchange group (in Toronto) for 3 years to stay connected to my three years living in Korea as an English teacher. I love music, film, food and sports and write about 3 of the 4.

3 thoughts on “My Favourite Korean Cosmetics – 2014 Edition

  • July 13, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    My favourites: Etude House fresh cherry lip tint, The Face Shop Mango Seed Eye Cream, Clio Water Balm BB Cream, Missha blushes, Etude House and Aritaum eyeshadows, The Face Shop Make Me Star eyeliner, Ohui cleanser etc…

    I review Korean cosmetics on my blog here:

  • May 30, 2015 at 4:40 am

    Hi, may I suggest for trying eye mask treatment from brand IT’S SKIN. The product name PRESTIGE Eye Mask Descargot. It’s so popular and amazing for skin care treatment.

    I have heaps of Korean Cosmetics at this website and would like to get feedback. Please let me know that you came from before buying so that I could give you special coupon at great discount.

    • June 4, 2015 at 8:34 am

      Thanks for the recommendation on the eye cream. Unfortunately, a quick visit to your website shows that there isn’t a lot of products available and none of the ones I’ve recommended so I can’t recommend that our readers use your site over others. Plus it appears that you don’t ship to Canada (where we are located).

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