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December 14, 2017

My Personal K-Beauty Awards: The Best Discoveries of 2017

It’s that time of year, when we look back and reminisce about the last 365 days and what we’ve learned, loved, and LOL’d about. Here, contributing editor Coco Park offers her personal K-Beauty Awards to some Korean beauty products that wow’d her — some for the wrong reasons.



Now that we’ve launched our first annual K-Beauty Awards, it inspired me to put together my own personal K-beauty awards. 2017 was a fun year of discovery for me, and I’d love to share the less serious side of my 2017 beauty journey with you.


Best product to bribe a child with

Etude House Limited Edition Dear Darling Water Gel Tint


personal k-beauty awards
Etude House Singapore


This tint is housed in a tiny popsicle shaped package. That should tell you everything you need to know. If I want my 5-year-old daughter to do something that I know is going to result in lots of grief toward me, I can bust out the “and if you do it quickly without whining you can have some popsicle gloss!” Nine times out of 10, the chore is done/vegetable is eaten/vaccine is taken with gusto. If you’re wondering, no, my 5-year-old is not out here with the wild blood red lips. I give her a quick swipe of shade #5, which is little more than pink sparkles. So if you’re looking for a natural tint, or if you’re a 5-year-old girl with her sights set on being a princess, check out #5 in this line.


Most wildly misleading product name

A’Pieu Hole Cleaner

personal k-beauty awards

Yeah. It’s for your ears and belly button, not your secret lady zone. I know what you were thinking. It’s almost more of a letdown than relief, right? But it does come with what is probably my favorite, most hilarious English translation: “When you go to beach or outside in summer, please clean your holes.”


Please clean your holes indeed.


Best bath product



personal k-beauty awards


Yeah, I just typed SanDaWha, and that wasn’t a mistake. You can’t possibly make me choose just one because their entire body line wins it for me. Not since the great Illi Total Aging Care line has an entire set got me so hype. The camellia oil, the lotion, the body wash, hell, even the Secret Zone Wash (which can totally be used all over, including your face and hair). All of it. Gimme. You’re all winners, and I love you all.


Product that could best double as a desktop zen garden rake

Etude House Lash Comb

personal k-beauty awards

I mean.


Best child’s skincare product

Tony Moly Naturalth Goat Milk Baby Bubble Wash


personal k-beauty awards


I’m saying this is the best child’s skincare product, but I’d be a damned liar if I said I didn’t steal this from my kids. This self-foaming body wash contains 40% goat milk ferment lysate sourced from New Zealand goat milk. I don’t know what makes New Zealand goat milk so fancy, but whatever it is, I’m buying it. Super cushy and way too luxurious to just let the kids have it, you might find yourself swiping it for yourself, too.


Most unfortunate use of French in a product line

The Face Shop Soft Facial Exfoliating Pad Tampon Doux Exfoliant


personal k-beauty awards


As a native English speaker living in a French speaking province, there are times when everyday French has me like,  Par exemple: the buses scrolling EN RETARD in bright lights across the front (that just means “late” in English).


Korean beauty has a love for French (Hello, Etude House) that doesn’t always translate well when you add English to the mix. My favorite example of this is something my editor Anna showed me: The Face Shop Soft Facial Exfoliating Pad Tampon Doux Exfoliant. So doux just means “soft,” and a tampon can mean“stamp” in French, or yes, a soft makeup-type cotton pad, but … bruh. Better luck considering English implications next time you name a product. Until then, I laugh.


Fav lip product

Romand Juicy Lasting Tint

Romand Juicy Lasting Tint FigFig personal k-beauty awards

These tints defined my summer. From Fig to Summer Scent, these delicious little bastards put a smile on my face every day. Up until discovering these this year, I was never much of a tint person, but these guys made me a believer and a convert. Someone invent soju lip balm so I can make a fruity cocktail on my lips.


Fav BB cushion

Romand Perfect Innerlighting Cushion


cushion compact hack personal k-beauty awards


Hello, is it Romand you’re looking for? Yep. It is. This is by far my favorite BB cushion discovery of this year and really for the past several years. A perfect, natural, glowy-matte (HOW?) finish awaits you when you crack open this pink and gold beauty. I want like five on decky at all times. You know that whole “if I won the lottery” fantasy that people go through? My fantasy of pure hedonistic excess involves having a fresh new Romand Perfect Innerlighting Cushion every day.


Fav makeup product that’s not Romand because Romand is dominating too heavy right now

Cellnco Eye Love Pen Liner


personal k-beauty awards


OK, let me give someone else a chance because Romand is killing it this year and I want to give my other new favs a shoutout. Cellnco Eye Love Pen Liner is my new BFF. Much like tints, I was never much of a pen liner girl (gel baby, yeaaah), but this one totally changed the game for me. The point is so fine and delivery is so smooth, it even worked on my crepe-tastic old lady eyelids. A+++ y’all need this in your life if you wear eyeliner.


Favorite oil

Huxley Light and More Oil


personal k-beauty awards


This oil is mad nice. I loved it. It carried me through the tail end of the cold weather and on through the summer in comfort. It’s a perfect witch’s brew of sunflower seed oil, squalene, Opuntia ficus-indica seed oil, and jojoba seed oil. Light enough for summer and serious enough for fall. If you have oily skin, this might even take you on through winter. Oh, by the way, did Jon Snow tell you? Winter done came and it brought ice dragons with it, so layer up my guys.


Best new brand discovery


This is the part where you imagine SanDaWha and Romand doing nude mud wrestling for the title of winning my heart. We’re all winners in this scenario because it ends in a tie and them hugging it out in the end.


Best alternative use for a product I didn’t dig

CELLNCO Rose Therapy Nutrient Boost Ampoule as aromatherapy


personal k-beauty awards

OK, the ingredients are nice, there’s nothing offensive about this product, but it didn’t really wow me in terms of results. But man oh man, was it a heavenly aromatherapy alternative. I love love love rose scents, and this one is heavy duty. If you dislike strong scents or rose, you’re not going to dig this, but a few drops of this on my face before bed had me in crimson rosette heaven.


So damn cute I’m going to keep it after it’s all done

Tony Moly Tako Pore line


personal k-beauty awards


I’ve actually already run out of the amazing bubble pack in this line, and I can’t bring myself to throw it away. Its adorable little face would stare at me accusingly from the bathroom waste bin, and I’m not ashamed to say I fished it out, washed it off, and gave it a home in my daughter’s curio shelf, where it lives amongst Num Noms and Twosies in blissful retirement. Word is he’s engaged to a Shopkins and they’re planning a winter wedding.


What makes your personal K-Beauty Awards list of 2017? What did you think of the winners on my list?

Coco Park is an author, beauty journalist, blogger, podcast host, and all around oddball living in Montreal Quebec with her family. Originally from the southern USA, she worked for several years in the makeup industry as a professional makeup artist and holds a certificate in esthetics. She is a proud member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Want to know more? Check her out on the Beauty Beyond Basics podcast, on her blog, on Instagram @thebeautywolf, and in her book "Korean Beauty Secrets: A Practical Guide to Cutting-Edge Skincare & Makeup."



K beauty awards 2017
Toner : Aloe bha from benton, definitely THE K-product I fell in love with ! I fell in love with toners at the same time (sometimes I even only use toners to moisturise my skin lol)
Mask : Moksha one, before I didn't really like sheetmaks because the one I tried were not so effective, but thid brand... composition is clean, it smells good and they are actually effective !
And finally the A'pieu egg nose clearing kit : there are so effective ! It makes my skin so clean and fresh that my nose is shining after... Read more