It’s an undisputed fact that South Korea is winning the beauty game. Without their innovations, staples like sheet masks and CC creams would have never broken into the mainstream! That’s not to say they’ve always been staples. K-beauty products often start out as novelties for most of us and, slowly but surely, become permanent steps in our routines. Doesn’t matter if they were formulas made in Korea or concepts made famous by Korea. The hype is always real. Take these 7 everyday staples to start with!

Often used as a lighter alternative to foundation, BB Creams are multi-tasking bases with natural coverage and added skincare benefits. There’s a formula for every skin type and problem: anti-aging, whitening, and oil-controlling, to name a few. While they won’t cover major blemishes, these skincare-makeup hybrids leave the face looking brighter and healthier with continued use. Perfect for everyday wear!

TRY: Dr. Jart Nourishing Beauty Balm Black Plus SPF 25/PA, P2,089 — This world-famous base corrects and hydrates blemish-prone skin. Shop it here.

Not to be confused with toners and serums, essences are watery hydrators that contain high doses of active ingredients. Not only do they provide concentrated nourishment, they also prep the skin to better absorb other products. To put it simply, they’re the primers of skincare. Apply multiple layers every day to get plumper, bouncier skin!

TRY: Benton Fermentation Essence, P1,100 — A wrinkle-fighting essence that boosts elasticity and brightens skin tone. Shop it here.

They haven’t caught on as quickly as BB cream, but cushions are probably one of the most convenient beauty products ever. They’re basically sponges soaked in liquid formulas—be it foundation or blush—that are encased in a handy compact. All you have to do is push down into the sponge to dispense product. Thanks to their convenient packaging, we’d say cushions are now the most travel-friendly way to carry any liquid makeup.

TRY: Tony Moly Spoiler Mini Cushion Blusher, P648 — A liquid blush that lends the cheeks a sheer wash of color. Shop it here.

Ampoules are supercharged versions of your typical serum. They’re made with higher concentrations of active ingredients to quickly treat common skin problems. They can be formulated to do pretty much anything: fade dark spots, reduce wrinkles, combat acne—you name it!

TRY: Mizon Collagen 100 Ampoule, now on sale at P713 (limited time only) — A collagen-rich treatment that keeps the skin firm and elastic. Shop it here.

Emulsions are basically moisturizers with a thinner, milkier consistency. They provide an extra layer of hydration without any added weight or grease. The kicker? Unlike your typical moisturizer that just keeps the skin from getting tight, emulsions are formulated to hydrate and treat specific issues. Think of ‘em as a cross between a serum and a lotion.

TRY: Elella Ginseng Therapy Emulsion, P645 — A camellia oil-infused formula that fights wrinkles and softens the skin. Shop it here.

A “pack” is simply the Korean term for face mask (not to be confused with sheet masks). Packs are made with thick, emollient textures that seal in moisture. While they can hydrate the way moisturizers do, their main purpose is to act as the final, sealing layer in your routine. You’ll often find them in the form of overnight sleeping masks. When used at the end of your routine, they lock in every layer of skincare and boost the effectivity of your entire regimen.

TRY: 3W Clinic Snail Sleeping Pack, P350 — An overnight mask that repairs and regenerates damaged skin. Shop it here.

It’s no secret that Korean women love their ombré lips—and the K-drama Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo caused this trend to catch fire! The easiest way to get that gradient effect is with a two-tone lip bar. This dual-colored lippie coats your lips in complementary dark-to-light hues. Usually made with a dewy finish, it gives the lips a natural, just-drank-juice look. Just remember to blend-blend-blend so you don’t end up with harsh edges.

TRY: Novo Cosmetics Two Tone Lip Bar, P449 — A look-alike of Laneige’s bestselling lippie, this Chinese creation gives you kissable lips. Shop it here.

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