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NOW READING Revealed! What K-Beauty Gurus Consider Their Best Beauty Discovery of 2017
December 19, 2017

Revealed! What K-Beauty Gurus Consider Their Best Beauty Discovery of 2017

We each have our favorite beauty discovery from this past year, but when it comes to K-beauty gurus — whose job it is to discovery amazing products — their best discoveries are a true gold mine of insider information. Here, what made the K-beauty squad swoon and squeal in 2017.



So what does this gif have to do with our best K-beauty discoveries? Read on to find out.


beauty discovery


Contributing editor Coco:

My favorite beauty discovery has been SanDaWha, but especially the Floral Water Cream and the Liposome Lotion. I knew I was really in love with the Floral Water Cream when I put it head to head with the Blossom Jeju and it came out on top. The lotion has been the very best formula for me that I’ve ever used, and I’m picky about my emulsion step since I layer a lot of product on my dry skin. Hey that reminds me, I’m almost out of my lotion and I’m starting to panic so I need to re-up soon!


beauty discovery


Contributing editor Sheryll:

1. SanDaWha Camellia Clear Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner. I’m not going to lie: I didn’t have high expectations for a Korean shampoo and conditioner, but this line blew me away. The shampoo cleanses really well without stripping the hair, and the conditioner had the perfect slip and made my hair super easy to detangle.


2. The Ordinary Azelaic Acid. Not a K-beauty item, but I can’t count how many times this stuff saved me from the brink of picking my face into oblivion (and I don’t pick me face). It calms my hormonal acne outbreaks overnight and really helps keep the post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation to a minimum.


3. Troiareuke Acsen Oil Cut Cleanser. Since I’ve become a gym rat, I’ve been experimenting with different ways to do my skincare routine. I dabbled with a few different things, but I ALWAYS used this after the gym. I love that it’s non-foaming and doesn’t strip the skin, but still gets rid of all the sweat and grime from a hard workout. I’m so sad I’ve run out of it!


Editor at large Jude:

I have several! The first one is a Tony Moly skincare product that my skin actually really enjoys! The Tako Pore Bubble Pore Pack comes in a package so cute that I figured it was sure to be a bust — all packaging and no substance — but it turned out to be a deliciously smooth and easy-to-rinse bubble pack that freshens up my pores and skin without irritating or drying me out. Who would have thought?


beauty discovery


Second discovery: foil masks that don’t suck. The foil masks I tried last year left me decidedly unimpressed. I found the foil too thick and rigid for the masks to conform well to my face. I’d pretty much written them off as a silly gimmick trend. This year, I had the chance to test out Mediheal’s foil masks, and those were pretty much the bomb. The foil is light and molds well to facial contours, and the essences are full of ferments and do lovely things for my skin. I’m going to be stocking up on more of these.


Third discovery: SanDaWha. I have to add my voice to Coco’s in raving about this brand. The Aqua Natural Mild Cleansing Gel is a wonderfully gentle, pH 5.5-ish cleanser that leaves my skin clean, refreshed, and soft. The ReNew Moisturizing Liposome Cream saved my complexion from a disastrous run-in with an alcohol-laden sunscreen. And I’ve finished off an entire jar of the Camellia Flower Antioxidant Cream Mask. The lightweight and fragrant gel with actual bits of camellia flowers in it gives my skin a freshness and firmness that are noticeable after a single use.


beauty discovery


Editor in chief Anna:

For me, there are too many to mention, but the Romand Perfect Innerlighting Cushion + my cushion hack for shades that are too light for my skin tone is definitely up there. I press the puff applicator once into the Romand cushion and then once into a darker foundation and then pat the mixture onto my face. It gives me the flawless finish of the Romand cushion in a shade that actually matches my skin tone. (Romand 23 is a bit too light for me.) It’s totally changed my makeup base life because now I can actually buy 23’s and still have them work for me.


cushion compact hack beauty discovery


I also can’t leave out Clio’s Kill Black Waterproof Pen and Brush Liners, as well as CELLNCO’s Eye Love Pen Liner, which is the eyeliner that would be created if Clio’s Pen and Brush Liner had a baby. I’m ashamed to say I had never used Korean brand eyeliners before, and these liners have changed the way I look at Korean makeup forever (not to mention have forever banished raccoon eyes from my existence).


Associate editor Ruth:

I definitely have to agree with Jude about SanDaWha. Everything I’ve tried — notably, their Liposome Skin Softener and their Ultra Rich Hydrating Camellia Floral Cream — have become holy grail products for me. The skin softener feels like velvet on the skin, and the floral cream is so good (and smells like a rose garden!) that even my boyfriend comes to me asking for “that pink rose lotion”! (He even scraped the walls clean!) It’s luxurious skincare that’s affordable and totally worth the money.


My second beauty discovery this past year was Tweezerman’s Smooth Finish Facial Hair Remover, that two-legged tool that uses coils to effortlessly pluck away that darned peach fuzz. It’s a game changer for keeping your ‘stache away. There’s K-beauty dupes for the tool that are much more affordable, too.

sephora dupes beauty discovery

I tried the 7-skin method this year, and while I don’t do it every day, I’ve applied the trend’s concept to my daily routine. I do at least two or three layers of toner both day and night, and that alone makes a huge difference in rebalancing my skin after cleansing and plumping it up in preparation for the rest of my routine.


Special projects manager Jane:

1. I know the L.A. team is probably tired of hearing this from me, but Moksha’s Shea Butter Mask! I have really dry skin, and this mask did a lot more for my skin than a lot of face creams I’ve tried. I also like that it’s packed with so much cream. Plus I don’t have to worry about the ingredients used.


2. Whamisa Organic Flowers Foaming Gel. This cleanser is really gentle on the skin and truly delivers in brightening. It’s water-free and leaves my skin feeling moisturized — none of that tight and dry feeling. Again, this one uses gentle ingredients. Plus the design on the tube is so cute and pretty ?.


3. Innisfree Eco Beauty Tool Jelly Puff. This was an accidental find, but it changed my cushion game. The puff feels like jelly (hence the name), and I actually couldn’t stop touching the puff with my fingers because it kind of felt like this (hahaha):



I would say the puff is in between a regular cushion puff and a silicone puff, so it gave me better coverage than a regular puff would. At the time I was using the Hera UV Mist foundation, and I didn’t think much of the cushion until I paired it with this puff! Only downside is that you have to keep your cushion compact clean because the puff picks up everything.


4. The most recent find: SanDaWha Natural Magic BB Cream Blemish Balm. I love this! It brightens your skin tone, and it looks totally natural. It makes my skin go from this to this:


beauty discovery


No white cast or gray hues. I thought the coverage was pretty good for a BB cream. It basically gives my makeup a boost.


Social media intern Miranda: 

My favorite beauty discovery is — I’m sorry to say — Botox! Considering the fact that I’m only 22, it could be shocking to learn I’ve had the procedure done; however, makeup was becoming a burden because I’d get irritated and red around my hooded eyes, no matter what I was applying. This resulted in tear streaks in my base makeup, smudged eyeshadow + liner down my cheeks/all along my crease, and day ruined (it sounds so dramatic, but it’s true!). Not only has it stopped my eyes from watering constantly, it has completely prevented any and all eye irritation when I used to have red, inflamed eyes every day. A true lifesaver!


What’s your best beauty discovery of 2017? Share with us below and let’s talk about it!



She may have started her career as a lawyer, but Anna found her true calling long before that, while poring over the beauty editorials and skincare how-to’s in teen magazines. Sure, the ladies at the Estée Lauder counter may have scoffed at her when she asked for an eye cream at the age of 16, but hey, she was just ahead of her time. Today, Anna is a beauty editor, obsessing over skincare ingredients and the Oxford comma. Follow her travels on Instagram at @annanymity.



I would love to see whamisa on w2 beauty ^.^ !
Do koreans girls use face wipes/ special wipes during their skincare routine btw ?

I'd love to see Whamisa too! And Huxley. And Papa Recipe. And so many other brands. (They are like 6000+ skus here, and yet we still need more ?. Call us beauty addicts!)

I know they use special silky cotton pads that are esthetician-level for their post-cleanse toner to remove residue. And the Neogen wine peel pads are popular for gentle exfoliation.

My best beauty discovery of 2017 is K-Beauty! I am totally hooked and the results are fantastic. I agree with the SanDaWha love! I especially like the Liposome Skin Softener and Floral Hydrating Cream. CosRx line, Klairs, and Swanicoco are wonderful lines as well!

Awwww welcome to the SanDaWha love club! COSRX and Swanicoco are great, too, and I'm just discovering how good (and affordable) Innisfree is.