The rush of finally nabbing a Holy Grail find is a high that beauty girls chase. But the reality is you can’t always have the best of the best. Whether it’s the steep price or an inaccessible assortment, some of our most-coveted products remain just that—coveted.
This is where K-Beauty comes in. With a little research and our personal own experiences, we’ve pin-pointed 6 affordable Korean products that can stand in for designer dream-buys. See these Seoulmates in the list below!
THE CULT-FAVE: SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, roughly P7,756
THE DUPE: COSRX Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence, P900

Forget saving the best for last—our latest discovery is perhaps the most exciting one! COSRX’s Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence rivals SK-II’s legendary version for a fraction of the price. The SK-II essence credits its brightening power to 90% fermented yeast content. Unfortunately, one bottle will set you back almost P8,000. COSRX’s essence packs the exact same active ingredient at an even higher percentage of 95%! At only 900 bucks, it’s our best bargain yet.

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THE CULT-FAVE: Guerlain Météorites Pearls of Powder, P3,168
THE DUPE: Missha Shimmering Ball Blusher #1 and Mineral Ball Powder #2, P1,780

Strobing is in with a capital I-N, and that means you’ll need a glow-booster. Something the Météorites Pearls of Powder by Guerlain, perhaps? This French-made must-have is made with Stardust Technology, so that the spherical pigments create a halo over the skin. The downside is that a Guerlain glow goes for over 3,000 bucks. Luckily, you can fake the same radiance with Missha’s Shimmering Ball Powders. These brilliantly-encased metallic balls have almost the same luxurious packaging, exactly the same illuminating effect, and cost only half the price as Guerlain’s.

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THE CULT-FAVE: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer, roughly P1,081
THE DUPE: Holika Holika 24Hr Auto Eyebrow, P195

Now, here’s a name that needs no intro. Anastasia Beverly Hills (ABH for short) has become synonymous to “brows” over the years. The brow guru’s new Brow Definer is poised to beat even the Brow Wiz (say what?!) Apparently, the Brow Definer’s best feature is its unique triangular tip. Instead of wasting time drawing individual strands, the wider coverage allows you to fills in sparse areas with a sweeping motion. Naturally, this baby will cost you—over 1,000 bucks to be exact. Er, hard pass! Instead, save yourself a few hundreds with Holika Holika’s 24Hr Auto Eyebrow. With it’s angled tip, nifty spoolie, and water-resistant color, it’s the Brow Definer’s identical (and more affordable) twin.

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THE CULT-FAVE: Lancôme Artliner Precision Point Eyeliner, roughly P1,434
THE DUPE: Clio Waterproof Pen Liner, now on sale at P765 (limited time only)

Perfecting the cat-eye is serious business. And as far as precision goes, Lancôme’s Artliner Precision Point Eyeliner is as sharp as it gets. Still, the P1,434 price tag is a tall order for a tube of paint. To get the same crisp cat-eye for less, go for Clio’s Waterproof Pen Liner. This Korean eyeliner is actually a cult-fave all on its own! Famed for the great felt tip, intense pigment, and no-budge formula, this award-winning liner will save you hours of practice.

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THE CULT-FAVE: Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm, roughly P2,359
THE DUPE: Banila Co. Clean It Zero Classic, P875

A rich cleansing balm plays a crucial part in the double-cleansing process. This emulsifying formula takes your makeup from 100 to zero real quick. That’s why getting bare-faced fast has been a breeze since we discovered Banila Co.’s Clean It Zero! It’s a dead ringer for Emma Hardie’s Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm, which has been widely coveted all over the world for years. But while the the EH tub retails for over P2,000, Banila Co.’s blend will set you back only P875. All things considered, we’d pick our HG over the OG any day.

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THE CULT-FAVE: Cellex C Advanced C-Serum, roughly P3,713
THE DUPE: C20 Original Pure Vitamin C20 Serum, now on sale at P1,035 (limited time only)

Last but not least, Vitamin C serums. Vitamin C has proven to be indispensable in lightening dark spots and acne scars, as well as boosting overall radiance. Now, the Advanced C-Serum by Cellex C is pretty much everyone’s first love in this regard (Uma Thurman included). However, the hefty price tag will make a non-millionaire cry—we’re talking three thousand big ones for a teensy bottle. That’s why we love the Original Pure Vitamin C20 Serum by C20! This K-beauty bestseller contains 20% pure Vitamin C and is impeccably reviewed by Asian skincare enthusiasts. With just a few uses, it fades hyper-pigmentation and brightens up dull skin. And—wait for it—it’s only a third of the price. Where has this been all our lives?

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