Best & Affordable Korean Beauty Products You Must Have!

4:54 AM

I'm pretty sure it's no surprise that many of my blog posts recently are going to contain contents about Korea related stuff. Well, what more do I have to endlessly talk and/or blog about other than that when #seoulxinful travels took place twice in 2015?! :)

Since my summer trip there in Summer 2015 (I'm still thinking whether to blog about my summer school experience there... should I?), I bought so many beauty products ranging from skincare to cosmetics to try that after half a year or more, I'm finally ready to review and list down my favorite of the lot after trying out 90% of them!

In no chronological order, here are some of my favourites that are very affordable and won't break your bank! (PS: I'm using a currency conversion of 1SGD = 840 KRW)

#1 Mamonde Soft Milk Mild Facial Cleansing Foam
Price: 7,500KRW (S$8.90)

(aaah sorry I forgot to take a product photo, so I grabbed this from!)

My current facial cleanser and I'm already on to my 2nd tube! I chanced upon this facial cleanser by chance and I did not even hear about this brand called Mamonde at all before I went Korea in July 2015. You could say I was placing a bet because this was either a hit or a miss product, but very thankfully it's the former! I actually bought it to try because it was on sale at Watsons in Busan when I was there so I made my first purchase at only around 5,800KRW? That works out to be around S$6.90! Some of the properties that drew me to pluck up the courage and buy a new facial cleansing foam out of nowhere was that it was mild, contains no artificial colorant, no parabens & no animal ingredients. Definitely something gentle enough for my sensitive skin, hence I bought it to try and loved it, which explains the repurchase on my second trip there :)

True to what it states, the cleansing foam is really mild and does a good job on cleaning my dry & sensitive skin without overly drying out my skin. My skin feels smooth but not squeaky clean after washing, and it does smells like milk a little but I'm fine with that :) They have many other facial foams catered for different skin types and purposes too!

Available at Mamonde (so far I only saw one store at Myeongdong) and selected Aritaum, Olive Young & Watsons stores :) Unfortunately, Mamonde is not available in Singapore at the moment :( But you may try your luck at Qoo10!

Repurchase? YES.

#2 The Saem Cover Perfection Tip Concealor (with SPF 28/PA++)

Price: 5,500KRW / S$6.55 (Tbh, I can't really rmb the exact price, I bought it in July'15!)

This concealor is one of my holy grail products because I didn't think I was going to find anything better/equally good as the Make Up For Ever HD Concealor which costs S$50... so expensive! I have my sister to thank for letting me know about this concealor and according to her, she also used to buy many of these when she was in Korea for her summer school last time LOL. So in a single trip into The Saem, I came out with 3 Cover Perfection Tip Concealor, 1 in shade 01 for my sister and 2 in shade 02 for myself! Half a year has passed and my first bottle is not even half used up!!!

My skin is really tanned but Shade 02 works perfectly fine for me. At only about S$6.50 per bottle/tub, the blendability of this concealor is AWESOME. It lasts all day, provides good coverage, blends very well, and doesn't crease at all!!! And only at a fraction of the price of the MUFE HD concealor. Or bring it into comparison with my favourite drugstore concealor, the Za Concealor Perfection, The Saem's concealor still wins at half the price and it doesn't leave any white casts :)

Available at The Saem stores :) Unfortunately, The Saem isn't currently available in Singapore too :( But I saw Qoo10 listing it for about $7, have not purchased from there before but those who're interested can read reviews and give it a try!:)

Repurchase? YESSSS! Will totally buy like 5 more LOL

#3 Innisfree Rose Clear Skin

Price: 9,000KRW / S$10.70

This toner really does what it is described to do, it refines coarse and dull skin leaving skin sleek and vibrant! I've used so many toners and this toner is the most affordable and effective one! It is also super soothing on my skin. One really sad fact though, is that when I wanted to repurchase and stock up on this toner during my trip in December, the staff told me Innisfree was no longer producing this?! I was so sad and disappointed and true enough, after hunting down several Innisfree outlets including the ones in Singapore, I really couldn't find anymore Rose clear skin :'(

*Cues crying music*

However, the Mamonde's Rose Water Toner works almost equally well (some reviews say it's better but I feel they're about the same) but at about double the price of the Innisfree one. Well, I have no choice, right? Hahaha Right now, I really can't bear to finish using my Innisfree Rose Clear Skin because I know once I finish it, I will never get to use it again this whole life.... /cries LOL

As aforementioned, Mamonde isn't readily available in Singapore but you can get the Mamonde Rose Water Toner off Qoo10 and some beauty websites too! It's a really popular product apparently so this should be a much easier product to get search results as compared to the soft milk foam :)

Repurchase? I wish, but it isn't possible anymore :'(

#4 Etude House Drawing Eyebrows & Browcara 

Price: 2,500KRW & 6,000KRW respectively.

I bought both of the above mentioned in the shade "dark brown" and they're really easy to apply! The eyebrow pencil glides on soooo smoothly and the browcara gives a very natural tint to the eyebrows. This product is really popular even in Singapore because of its good quality & even in Singapore, it's only $5.90!!!! (the eyebrow pencil) I'm not sure of the browcara's cost in Singapore but it should be really affordable as well. It doesn't smudge, lasts all day for me and tbh it works better than a lot of the more expensive eyebrow pencils out there.

The only other cheap and good competitor for eyebrow pencil that I feel can come into the picture is It's Skin's Babyface eyebrow pencil! It's even cheaper than Etude House's in Korea and I feel the colors available are more suitable for my skin type, except that it doesnt glide on as smoothly. But there is nothing to complain about. Best part is, It's Skin is opening in Singapore in March!!! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the stuff here won't be ridiculously marked up because I'm so in love with their Babyface series of makeup!

Repurchase? YES, like duh!!!

#5 Nature Republic Jeju Sparkling Cleansing Water (510ml)
Price: 15,000KRW / S$17.85

I have Blod to thank for introducing this cleansing water to me! When I stayed over at her apartment in December, she was using this and so I tried, it was really good and cleans very quickly and thoroughly (even mascara) and doesn't really sting the eyes so we both bought one more bottle each before we returned to Singapore! The original price is 15,000KRW but just wait, Nature Republic has sales almost every other day in Korea LOL so we waited and good things are indeed worth the wait!! Because on our last day this went on sale and we bought it at 10,500 KRW which is $12.50! $5 cheaper and $12.50 for a 510ml bottle of Cleansing Water is a steal. It cleans even more thoroughly than my Nivea Make Up Clear Micellar Cleansing Water & Purevivi Cleansing Lotion!

I'm a big fan of cleansing waters because I love how gentle it is on my skin. Cleansing oils are not my thing because I don't like my face having the oily after-feel LOL Sadly, Nature Republic isn't available in Singapore too... Well just go Korea and buy all these!!! Hehehe :) Nature Republic also has one of my favourite brush eyeliners which is emptied now too. Maybe I'll soon do up another post on Product Empties!! ;)

Repurchase? Yes, unless I find a dupe that is equally good at a cheaper price!


The following three products are my favourite too, but they are not exactly on the affordable/ "budget" range!

#1 IOPE BB XP Air Cushion (N23)
Price: 45,000KRW / S$53.60

One of the highly raved BB cushions in Korea, alongside Laneige except that I heard this is even better! So when I went Korea, of course I had my eyes set on this :) Lucky for me, when I went in Summer 2015, Aritaum was having a promotion for these IOPE BB XP Air Cushion for 45,000KRW and it comes with 1 BB Cushion in casing + 2 refills!!! What a steal! It's practically like buying 3 BB Cushions for the price of 1 omg. The BB Cushion is available in a few series such as Glow, Coverage, Matte & Natural. I got it in the Natural series ("N") and the shade 23 which is the "darkest" that they have.

For a very tanned person like me, N23 actually looks fine and not too fair :) I've been using the IOPE BB XP Air Cushion for half a year now and I'm still on my first cushion. Oh gosh when am I ever going to finish using my BB cushions LOL

Available in IOPE store, Aritaum & selected Watsons outlets in Korea. I'm not too sure about it retailing physically in Singapore, but online yes!

Repurchase? Yes, but I don't think I'd need to in the short run :)

#2 Skin Food Salmon Brightening Eye Serum
Price: 17,000KRW but selling at 3x the price in Singapore!!!

This eye serum would make it to the "Affordable" list above if we're calculating in KRW but it's retail price in Singapore's Skin Food is REALLY SUPER EXPENSIVE. Close to 3x the price I think but it's my favourite eye serum and it comes in such a generous portion! Half a pump is more than enough for my eye area so this product lasts reallyyyyy long and it absorbs fast too. No sticky after feel and it isn't too oily :) So thankful I grabbed this in Korea at 17,000KRW! One of my best buys and something I cannot live without in my nightly skincare routine :) 

In fact I love several of Skin Food's skincare range especially the mask packs as well and they're really affordable!

Available at all Skin Food stores in Korea and Singapore, but at a huge price difference.

Repurchase? Only in Korea :P

#3 Laneige Water Science Mist No.1 Skin Relief (Soothing)
Price: S$54 (currently only available at ION Orchard's Laneige)

Probably the only product in this entire list here that I didn't buy myself but was a gift from the launch of the Laneige Global Store at ION Orchard last month! Apparently this Water Science Mist range is first to launch in Singapore worldwide so I think it's currently only available at ION's Laneige! There're 7 bottles to this Water Science Mist series but after trying for about 3 weeks, I've fully incorporated the No.1 Skin Relief mist into my routine and it's really soothing and helps to instantly hydrate my face as well as soothe any redness :) One has to agree, this is definitely not on the "budget" range albeit being a pretty good product!:)

Repurchase? Yes, till I find a dupe :P 

And.... that's the end for the list! Tried to really just list out the favourite of my favourites here because I am such a K-beauty convert now! Almost 80% of my make up is bought in Korea and I'm loving it. Even for skincare, I'm loving it for the gentle formula and their abstinence from parabens generally :) Hope this guide is a little useful and also let you know some of the cheap finds that you mustn't miss out on your next (shopping) trip to Korea! :)

Xin Lin

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