Ride or Die: K-Beauty Makeup Edition

We’ve all seen the copious amounts of “RIDE OR DIE” tags floating around YouTube – basically, you pick your fave in each respective category, and discuss why it’s your favorite.

While this this a fairly old tag, I figured it would be interesting to express a perspective outside of the world of Huda Beauty palettes & Morphe brushes. Here, my ultimate faves in the world of Korean makeup.

These aren’t just my favorites in K-Beauty. These are my favorites PERIOD. If the category isn’t listed, it’s because my HG is found within another brand.

The categories are as follows:

  • Primer
  • Cushion
  • Concealer
  • Contour/bronzer
  • Blush
  • Eyeshadow
  • Brow pencil
  • Brow gel
  • Mascara

Onto the list:

Primer: Banila Co Prime Primer BLUR

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I don’t know what comes in this bottle that makes it so good, but I appreciate it. Somehow, this stuff blurs out any and all pores while managing to make you look radiant and shiny? AT THE SAME TIME??? HOW????

I looooooooove this primer. It absorbs really nicely and doesn’t compromise your base makeup’s effectiveness. SO GOOD.

Cushion: The Face Shop Ultra Moist CC Cushion


As you may already know, I’m a cushion hoarder. Love them to death. I’ve tried my fair share of cushions, from high-end to $5 ones, blushes to BBs, you name it, I’ve probably tried it.

The love I have for this cushion in particular? Truly like no other. I don’t know what it is about literally any other cushion, but this one has every property I could ask for: long-wearing, pore-filling, luminous-yet-natural looking, and moisturizing. It has a bit more coverage than an average CC, but is lightweight and comfortable still. I really can’t give this one up – I have 3 different shades of this just in case I have a slight change in complexion (thank you, 1+1 sales!).

With or without a primer, this is good, good stuff. As much as I want to venture off and replace it with another cushion, I can’t seem to find one that is just as perfect.

Cream Contour: Memebox I’m Multi Stick Shading

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I have the worst time with cream contouring. It’s messy, and the blending takes 4,000 hours just to end up looking dirty. I don’t know how the Instagram honeys do it, but I admire the technique and wish I had the patience.

Needless to say, I never liked it – until I was gifted this little guy. The texture is smooth, almost gel-like, making blending an absolute breeze. The color is cool with the perfect amount of warmth, so I don’t look too dead or too orange. I can apply this over or under my foundation and it still shows/blends into the skin really well.

If you’re afraid of the cream contour or just want something easy-breezy, opt for this. I promise it’s worth it.

Blush: Holika Holika x Gudetama Jelly Dough Blusher

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I’ve sung my praises about this more than enough times, but I’ll do it again: THIS BLUSH IS BOMB.

This blush is versatile as hell. Dough/putty textures aren’t anything new to the beauty world; cream-to-powder formulas even less so. This one in particular, though, blends into liquid products AND applies over powder like a dream, something I don’t tend to find in that formula range. I like to use it with a MAC 168 brush and buff it into my cheeks, undereyes, nose bridge, and chin for a cute, pinky flush; however, using the puff is just as effective & gives a higher concentration of color if you’re going bold. This is definitely my go-to for any look, or when I’m in a rush & not trying to play games.

Brow Pencil: Too Cool For School Glamrock Urban Chic Eyebrow Pencil

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I mentioned this magical pencil with W2Beauty when discussing my top 5 beauty finds from Seoul. Here’s what I had to say:

“One of my first jobs in the industry was for an eyebrow specialist who would fly to Korea just to source her brow products. It’s safe to say that I had an idea of what Korean brow products could offer — I had already fallen in love with The Face Shop Brow Master Eyebrow Pencil (in fact, it was the only brow product I packed) and was eager to discover what else these brands could offer.

Enter Too Cool For School’s Glamrock Urban Chic Pencil, the ideal ashy-toned pencil for gorgeous, no-fuss brows. In our current beauty climate where warm toned makeup reigns supreme, it was a breath of fresh air to see a brow pencil not only work effectively, but come with two cool toned options. With its unique triangle tip, hair-like strokes can be applied with extreme ease, leaving you with a stunning, natural-looking brow. Achieving the look is a piece of cake, too: Simply fill in anywhere hairs are sparse. Blend with the spoolie tip for a bushy, youthful, your-brows-but-better effect.”

6 months later, and this is still my all-time favorite pencil.

Brow Gel: Etude House Color My Brow

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Oh, how I love Etude House. Cheap, effective makeup with cute packaging will always have my heart.

This brow gel truly does reign supreme amongst my higher-end faves. Previously, I was using Marc Jacobs’ Brow Tamer to hold my brows in place. While I adored the fact that it looked natural and didn’t feel crunchy (hem hem, Anastasia), Etude’s version gives me more definition, volume, hold without crunch, and saves me $20. I’m typically anti-colored gel, but #1 Rich Brown is an ideal option for darker-haired folks that want a bit more coverage.

Mascara: Etude House Lash Perm Mascara

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WOW. I really do adore this mascara with my whole heart.

It’s called “Lash Perm” for a reason. Quite literally, this mascara curls the hell out of your lashes. I don’t even use an eyelash curler when I know I’m using this – I’ll feel my lashes in my eyebrows if I do. Plus, it HOLDS. Like, really holds. All day hold. I don’t know how, but even the waterproof version manages to stay flake-free and curled.

Here are just a few examples:

For optimal lash-luciousness, I recommend wiping off the brush prior to application – I do this with all of my mascaras because I’ll be damned before I try to get rid of a clump with more mascara.

If you’re still wondering why I’m so obsessed with K-Beauty, hopefully you’ve gauged a better understanding  after reading this. Korean makeup is inexpensive, easy-to-use, and fun. While I’m still claiming my Tom Ford eyeliners and Sugarpill eyeshadows, K-Beauty has taken over the majority of my beauty routine, and I ain’t mad about it.

K-Beauty or not – what are some of your holy grail products? Lemme know!


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