We are proud to present the second BeautyMNL Awards: a five-part event that celebrates this fabulous year in beauty. After comprehensive discussion—and a whole lot of road-testing—the girls at the BeautyMNL office have listed the Best Products of 2017.
In the fourth installment of the 2017 BeautyMNL Awards, we’re tossing up our finger-hearts for K-beauty. It’s been a landmark year for all things South Korean: 10-step routines, gradient lips, and puppy liner reigned supreme. In terms of skincare, everyone wanted to cop that dewy, glowing, K-drama complexion.
But in spite of how many products we’ve sampled, there’s still so much SoKo ground to cover. Our picks for Best Korean Products of the year barely scratch the surface—but really, THEY’RE THE BEST. See the team’s top 22 picks, below!
Banila Co. Dear Hydration Facial Mist, P525 “I’ve long been a fan of Banila Co.’s skincare, particularly their cleansing balms and sleeping packs. But this is the first mist I’ve ever tried from the brand—and it is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. It’s designed to give your face an instant boost of hydration. After hours of toil and concentration, it revives me and makes me look fresh again. The diffuser of this bottle is world-class; I don’t think I’ve ever owned a facial spray with a mist so fine. When you press down on the nozzle, there’s no awkward first sputter—just a delicate cloud of moisture that envelops your face. Also, I love the smell. It’s like fresh laundry, but classier.” – Steph C.
COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser, now on sale at P540 (limited time only) “My holy grail cleanser ever since I purchased it on BeautyMNL last year, and I’m already on my 2nd bottle! This cleanser creates a soft foam that never leaves your skin dry after washing it off. I honestly look forward to washing my face every night because this product makes me feel so clean but so comfortable too. The price is totally worth it because of the quality of this product is just so great, and a bottle lasts me about 6 months.” – Dom R.
“The smell, the suds, the sensation… I love everything about this facial wash! It refreshes my skin in the morning, and cleanses it from dirt (and stress) at night.” – Jennifer P.
Esfolio Pure Skin Pearl Essence Mask Sheet, P54 “One of my favorite sheet masks so far! I bought this initially because of its cute packaging, and was pleasantly surprised by how good it actually is. It fits my face perfectly, it’s loaded with essence, and brightens my skin instantly. Great pick-me-up for lackluster, tired, and troubled skin!” – Carli D.
“This is probably the most convenient way for me to pamper myself after a long day at work! After using it, my skin instantly feels softer and smoother, and looks more radiant—which is really everything I want in a face mask.” – Maia M.
Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Toner, now on sale at P800 (limited time only) “Been a long-time user of Innisfree’s Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask so it didn’t take me a lot of convincing to give this toner a shot; and I’m glad I did! I’ve tried a lot of other “oil-controlling” toners but this certainly works best for my skin. It’s not as harsh on the skin as other toners too!” – Ysa S.
“This toner helps me get rid of excess oil, calm breakouts, and leaves my skin looking fresh and supple.” – Mara T.
Lioele Secret Pore Rich Balm, P700 “This is the only primer that can keep my oil at bay even in the summer! I put it on in the morning and don’t need to do any touch-ups all day!” – Ina J.
Dear Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin C Serum, now on sale at P1,010 (limited time only) “This serum is my skin “superhero”. My pimples healed and my scars lightened after just 3 days of consistent use. Even my mom (who has super sensitive skin) fell in love with this gentle yet powerful serum!” – Erika G.
Labiotte Merlot Burgundy Wine Lip Tint, P599 “This is one of my favorite lip tints. I use Merlot Burgundy all the time. It’s a beautiful deep plum-y color but since it’s a tint it’s not too intense. It has great staying power and I barely have to touch up. For a tint, it’s pretty packed with pigment. When it does fade, it does it nicely without giving you a weird line around your lips. Also, it smells like wine.” – Kat E.
Heimish All Clean Balm, P975 “This is my favorite cleansing balm to remove makeup. It’s hypoallergenic and paraben-free, and it’s gentle to the point that it does not irritate my eyes when I use it to remove waterproof mascara!” – Joanna T.
Dewytree Tea Tree Purifying Clay Mask, P869 “I. LOVE. THIS. Really leaves my pores feeling cleaner, tighter, and refreshed after every use. It’s also useful as a spot treatment for new or emerging pimples; I just dab some on my pimples and leave it on overnight and wake up to see that they’ve subsided.” – Bea A.
Dear Klairs Supple Prep Facial Toner, P880 “One of the best toners I’ve tried so far! It’s definitely true to its name–leaving your skin smooth, supple, and ready for your next skincare steps.” — Kimmy P.
“The best toner I have tried. It makes my face feel super soft, hydrated, and healthy. Apart from boosting my dull skin, I also noticed that it helped calm down any inflammation I have. And when I have any extra left on my hands, I apply this on my neck (the only product I put on there, really) and I’ve noticed that it became just as soft (if not softer) and with visibly less neck lines. Ultimate fave!” – Claire C.
Huxley The Anti-Gravity Cream, P1,650 “Since my skin is usually dry, I need a great moisturizer especially at night. I’ve been using this as an evening moisturizer and it’s done an amazing job on my skin. I no longer feel the dry patches on my face. It’s a thick cream but it doesn’t feel too heavy or greasy on the skin. Since I use it at night, I don’t mind having a thicker cream on my face. I’ve noticed that the next morning, my skin feels softer, smoother, and plump. Not only that, it even looks like my skin is glowing. Plus, the glass packaging feels so luxurious.” – Kat E.
Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner, P925 “I can’t believe something so light can be so soothing and nourishing. My easily-irritated, overly sensitive skin loves this toner, I feel like it drinks it up when I pat it on!” – Joanna T.
I’m From Honey Mask, on sale at P1,485 (limited time only) “I’m not sure what came over me the day I spent a small fortune on this mask, but I’m so glad I did! I first discovered I’m From through my favorite beauty guru on Youtube, Gothamista. I was so intrigued by her review of these wash-off formulas that I decided to cough up the cash. It turned out to be such a wise investment. The Honey Mask is luscious, deeply hydrating, and smells like real honey (it’s made with Jirisan honey, which is a precious skincare commodity in South Korea). I use it once a week, when my skin is at its dullest and needs a little more glow.” – Steph C.
COSRX Oil-Free Ultra-Moisturizing Facial Lotion, now on sale at P990 (limited time only) “This oil-free lotion is the holy grail for oily/combination girls like me! It keeps my skin refreshed and hydrated all day long without breaking me out.” – Denisse L.
“The is the perfect morning moisturizer. It’s very lightweight, absorbs instantly, and sits so well under my makeup. Despite the thin consistency, it still packs a punch in terms of moisturizing power. Plus, it’s never greasy even in hot weather. My oily skin is extremely happy with this and I’ll probably repurchase it for life unless I find something better.” – Kim V.
Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Wine, P1,100 “As someone who deals with blackheads and whiteheads, it’s really important that I regularly exfoliate my skin to prevent them from forming. I use these exfoliating pads twice or thrice a week, and it’s really kept my skin super smooth (no more annoying bumps!). They’re gentle enough that they don’t irritate my skin or make me red all over. They’re super effective, and also fun to use since they smell like grape candy! – Dom R.
Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask, now on sale at P560 (limited time only) “This is my go-to clay mask whenever my skin gets really oily. It banishes grease and minimizes the appearance of my pores. With consistent use, I’ve also noticed my skin breaks out a lot less. I’ve made a habit of using this every week and it’s completely changed my skin.” – Denisse L.
Banila Co. It Radiant CC Cream SPF 30 PA++, P1,215 “I use this whenever I don’t feel like putting on foundation or BB cream. It provides light coverage, is non-sticky, and brightens my skin in an instant Best of all, it already comes with built-in SPF. I don’t have to bother putting on sunscreen, which saves me so much time on busy mornings!” – Mara J.
Dewytree Prime Gold Snail Eye Patch, P1,499 “I can’t express how much I love these hydrogel patches. Whenever I come home stressed or tired, this tub is the first thing I reach for! The patches feel super soft and cool my undereyes. It’s perfect fix on days when my eyebags are especially dark. I’ve never used anything more luxurious.” – Kim V.
I’m From Vitamin Tree Mask, on sale at P1,325 (limited time only) “This mask reminds me of matcha. It smells very herbal and tea-like, which is great for my mood, and is packed with seabuckthorn from the Taebaek Mountains. A crash course to seabuckthorn: it’s a powerful healing ingredient that treats acne, dry patches, and hyperpigmentation. You need this in your regimen!” – Steph C.
Pyunkang Yul Moisture Ampoule, P1,250 “The texture is really viscous and odd (for some people) but it works so well for me! The thick honey-like substance cools my skin (even without putting the product in the ref) which calms down any visible facial redness and it’s really hydrating. Despite the viscosity, it’s surprisingly light on the skin which means you can use it day or night.” – Sophie S.
Esfolio Aloe Vera Soothing Gel, P349 “This is my favorite to apply when my skin feels angry or itchy as it’s soothing, super light, yet moisturizing. It’s also major value for money–I’ve been using this big tub of gel for months already but it’s not even halfway gone.” – Joanna T.
“Before I came across this giant miracle-working tub, I struggled to find a moisturizer that could go well under makeup but still actually hydrate my skin. Its soothing properties also help keep my inflammations and redness at bay.” – Kimmy P.
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