Another year has gone by, with tons of products tested throughout. In this post I’ll be talking about my favourite K-Beauty products of 2016, and at the end will show a few products that didn’t quite hit the mark for me.
2016 has been a hectic year. I graduated university, started working, and am now working towards figuring out a future plan! I don’t have much longer left in Korea by the looks of it, but I’ll be looking into starting to make K-Beauty focused Youtube videos in 2017 once I move, and will continue to provide content on Korean cosmetics no matter where I go next!
Korean roadshop brands stepped it up this year with lots of innovative and frequent releases, but I actually don’t have too many top favourites in K-Beauty for 2016. I will talk about them in different categories, with my disliked products at the bottom of this post, so feel free to skip around between the categories! (Skincare / Face / Eyes / Lips / Worst)
•○ Skincare ○•
I don’t buy skincare often as it’s quite bulky to store and I like to use it up before buying more, so I only have 3 products to talk about.
My first favourite is the Etude House Toning White C Double Effect Sleeping Pack. I did a full review on this line of products back in February when I received it, but I’ve been using everything in the line every single night since then! Whenever I’m having trouble with pimples or uneven skin texture, just one night with this mask provides immediate results the next morning with smooth, plump skin. Out of all the products in this line this one is the one that has the most effect for me!
I’ve been using this Nature Republic Argan 20 Real Squeeze Ampoule face oil everyday, twice a day since I got it. I use a light layer in the morning before makeup to give a glowy, hydrated texture to my skin underneath foundation, and at night to provide deep moisture to my dry skin. It’s been a lifesaver this winter!
Finally the sunscreen I wear everyday! I’ve found this Laneige All Day Anti-Pollution sunscreen to help extremely well in dealing with the pollution and dust in Seoul’s air. My skin texture has felt smoother, and I have yet to get sunburn on my face since I started using this. Non-sticky, doesn’t leave a white cast, nor make my skin itchy! Definitely a holy grail product for me.
•○ Face ○•
I tried very few new foundation-like products last year because once I find something I like I tend to stick with it. I picked this Luna Essence Water Pact Ex Cushion up solely because purple is my favourite colour, and because it fits my creepy-cute aesthetic perfectly. Long story short: I LOVE this. It’s quite a natural, dewy finish, which is my preference for daily-use base products. My only complaint is the lack of shades, as the lightest is a little too dark for me.
For “colour” face products, these are my two favourites of the year. The Etude House Play 101 Stick in #18 is VERY easy to use, and what I use almost daily to apply over my Luna cushion while on the bus to work. Just a few swipes of the stick, some finger blending, and your contour is done!
I picked up this Holika Holika Jelly Dough Blusher originally because it was so cute, but it turned out to be a great quality product too! Despite the price being so affordable, you get a customized puff, a mirror, and a customized flip-open plastic cover to protect your product. The pigment lasts all day, and is easy to apply and blend out. Holika Holika really hit the ball out of the park with this collaboration!
•○ Eyes ○•
I tried A LOT of eye products last year, so it was hard to pick only a few favourites.
3CE is not a brand I had much faith in, as the few products I tried in the past were not of good quality and thus I found them to be overpriced. However, when they released this neon/vibrant collection, I decided to give them another shot. It seems that they’ve improved over the years because these shadows are stunning! I’ve incorporated them into a LOT of the looks in my Pokemon series. I also recommend checking out the other ones in the collection too, as they have colours not often seen in Korean roadshop brands!
Despite initially having trouble using them when I first posted the review (linked above) on these Etude House Play 101 Blending Pencils, I’ve used them quite a few times since then and have finally figured the method out! These glide on soooo smoothly, and I like using the darker colours as liner once the rest of my eyeshadow has been applied. One quick swipe and my liner is done! My favourites are 4, 5, and 14 as shadow bases, 13 as liner, and 25 as lipstick.
One of my most often used liners is this Espoir Bronze Painting Waterproof Pencil in Copper Glow. I love these liners so much I’ve picked up several more over the past year! They can be a little hard to draw on at first, so I find that applying one layer, waiting for it to set, and applying another on top really brings the glitter out. This liner has so much dimension and sparkle that it really changes up your makeup looks!
Out of all the glitter pots I’ve tried, the Beyond Alice in Glow Cream Shadows are my favourites! While they don’t carry as much base pigment as the Aritaum Shine Fix Eyes, that’s exactly what I like about them! I like patting these on top of other eyeshadow looks to add dimension and add a sheer layer of shiny glitter. I hope they release more colours!
•○ Lips ○•
And finally, lips!
Espoir released a new finish of their No Wear lipstick line in 2016 – No Wear Signature. While I prefer the magnetic packaging of the regular line, the texture of this lipstick is to DIE for, and this colour in particular, Misty, is stunning. I get complements every time I use it!
These Etude House Pink Skull Twin Shot Lips Tints won my matte-loving, gloss-hating self over! Something unique about this new wave of Korean lip glosses is that they don’t just add shine, but also tint your lips so your lipstick ends up lasting forever!
I’ve kept this Apieu Lip Glitter in my purse non-stop since I bought it. Cheap price, moisturizing, and gives such a pretty sheen to any lipstick! I love layering it on top of liquid matte lipsticks if they’re feeling a little dry throughout the day.
Speaking of dry, this Etude House Honey Cera Treatment Lip Oil has totally changed my lip game! Before getting this I’ve never been able to find anything that works to make them smooth enough. It also doubles as a pretty gloss!
And that’s it for my top products! I’ve either done a blog post or Instagram post on every single thing mentioned, so if you would rather skip this post and read those, feel free to click the links in the captions of each photo 🙂 .
•○ Worst products of 2016 ○•
I have 4 products that I will be mentioning under my least favourite products of the year. Some of these products might work for you, but they really didn’t for me 😦 . The first up is the Etude House Pink Vital Water line. Not only did it do nothing for my skin, it also broke me out! I gave this away after using it for 2 weeks.
This product saddens me. I really loved the finish when I first tried it out, and how it was one of the first foundations to not make my skin itch, but unless you are a VERY MOISTURIZED INDIVIDUAL, this product is awful. I feel like this would go on better now that I use face oils daily, but bringing it to the Arizonian desert really brought out just how drying this product is. I threw out mine after using it for a month, and will be giving away the other two colours.
This Innisfree Always New Auto Liner in #15 also makes me so sad! I love the colour, but it goes on so dry and patchy that it is near useless. I can get some pigment out of it if I melt the tip with a lighter before using, but I feel like I shouldn’t have to do that with a product I paid decent money for 😦 .
The last item I have to share is something I was really looking forward to but was incredibly disappointing. These are the Etude House Shaking Crystal Eyes. They look so pretty when you apply them to your hand, but their runny wet texture means they get everywhere, don’t dry down to a nice finish, and the sparkle is totally lost on your lids. So disappointing because the swatches are STUNNING 😦 .
And “that’s it”! (I say, 1.5k words later😂) Above is a look I did inspired by the Korean makeup artist 리수/Leesu Blooming, which reminded me of the Year of the Rooster, and so I thought it was appropriate for New Years :p .
I’m looking forward to seeing lots of fun collaborations and collections in K-Beauty in 2017! I hope everyone is doing well, and that I continue seeing you in the new year ❤ .