Six fabulous beauty products that show Eastern promise
With its vast array of creams, Asia offers a wealth of exports
On the quest to find the cutting edge of beauty, all roads lead east. Asia and its beauty-obsessed culture has given us such innovations as BB creams, CC creams, cushion compacts, sheet masks, sleep-packs and snail facials - and that’s just for starters. But while Japanese brands such as SK-II, Shiseido and Shu Uemura have long been household names on our shores, South Korea and its booming beauty bounty is now increasing its influence on the global stage.
The best news is you don’t have to travel very far to bring a taste of Korea to your bathroom cabinet. Here are 8 of the best exports, available here in the UK.
The name Tonymoly means “putting style into packaging”. But there’s more to this cult brand than cute cases. Its Cherry Lip Balms (£8) and bunny-shaped Gloss Bars (£7) are rich in super-hydrating fruit extracts, while its adorable Panda’s Dream So Cool Eye Stick (£10) instantly soothes morning-after dark circles. (cultbeauty.co.uk)
The cushion blushers from Peripera are the foolproof way to achieve a fresh flush of sheer colour. Find it at US-based Korean skincare specialists Peach & Lily. (£12, peachandlily.com)
3 Concept Eyes (or 3CE) has won fans across the globe for its bold approach to colour-pop cosmetics. Try its ombre blusher (£17), which is big in Korea right now for its ability to give a two-tone finish, while its innovative Moving Mascara (£13) boasts adjustable bristles to let you customise the length, curl and volume of your lashes. (cultbeauty.co.uk)
Blending Korean technologies with a French pharmacy aesthetic, Erborian is renowned for its modern approach to traditional herbal remedies. Among its latest launches are its black soap (£15) and cleansing brush (£1) charged with purifying charcoal powder, while its new Shot Masks (£6) contain half a bottle of serum. Try the hydrating bamboo version for a fresh, plumped-up complexion known in Korea as “tchok tchok”.
5. Too Cool for School
Among this brand’s bestsellers is the Pumpkin Sleeping Pack (£13.50) — a cross between a face mask and a night cream — while its cute cotton buds (£6) are infused with a gentle cleanser to make eye make-up removal a doddle. (selfridges.com)
Cult Korean skincare brand Mizon champions science-driven formulas and pioneering hero ingredients. Among its most popular products is the Egg White Bubble Cleanser, a foaming formula which contains egg white to purge pores of impurities and leave skin sensationally smooth. (£19, cultbeauty.co.uk)