By now, you’ve likely noticed the surge of K-beauty makeup brands gracing our local stores, with major players like Clio and PeriPera stealing the spotlight.
If you’re a fan of Korean makeup brands but are craving a change on your vanity table, here’s some good news! The Korean beauty scene is bursting with indie brands waiting for you to explore.
So, we’ve got your back with four indie Korean makeup brands that may not be on your radar yet, all thanks to TikTok beauty guru, @sarahkchey’s recommendations!
Where To Find Indie K-Beauty Brands In Korea?
If you’re unfamiliar with Chicor, it’s a high-end cosmetics chain from the esteemed Korean department store Shinsegae. Think of it as a beauty paradise, much like Sephora, designed for the trendy, inquisitive, and youthful crowd.
So, if you’re prepping for a trip to Korea, make sure Chicor is on your must-visit list. But, hey, if you’re not planning to jet off anytime soon, no worries!
We’ve got you covered with links to alternative platforms, so you can grab those must-have products without budging from the comfort of your own home.
Mude, created by Korean beauty blogger, Raemi, believes in being the source of inspiration for others. Launched in July 2020, Mude has gained popularity in Korea and Asia for its clever designs and innovative formulas that don’t break the bank.
Check out some of their popular products:
Shawl Moment Eyeshadow Palette
If you’ve been scratching your head over finding the perfect eye shadow palette, look no further! The Shawl Moment Eyeshadow Palette has got you covered.
With four colour combinations, each offering 10 versatile shades in matte, shimmery, and glittery finishes, this palette allows you to create various looks.
The silky texture ensures even, luminous, and long-lasting results. Choose between #01 Warm Memory and #02 Muse Moment for everyday glam, or go for #03 Peach Memory and #04 Lilac Moment for playful, pastel looks.
No matter which palette you choose, the possibilities for rocking monochromatic styles are endless!
Mude Shawl Moment Eyeshadow Palette retails for RM142.54 each on Shopee.
No need to worry about applying too much blush anymore – try Mude’s Flutter Blusher! Its finely milled powder gives a soft finish, perfect for beginners wanting naturally blushed cheeks.
The smooth texture ensures a non-patchy, shine-free look, leaving your cheeks with a soft matte finish. The formula controls sebum, blending smoothly without chalkiness and keeping shiny areas matte for hours.
뮤드블러셔 신상 전색상 발색🥰 mude flutter blusher 뮤드 플러터 블러셔 5 SKU (기존 6 SKU)/ 5g / 16,000원 곱디 고운 미세 입자가 볼에 촘촘하게 얹히면서 자연스럽게 수채화처럼 물드는 컬러가 너무도 매력적인 데일리 블러셔에요 😉 특히 파우더타입 블러셔 사용하면 👉모공 부각 되었던 분들에게 강추드립니다 사용해보면서 저는 뮤드의 살짝 변태같은 느낌을 받았던게 제형이 진짜 말도 못하게 좋아요.. 백화점 브랜드 제품들도 많이 써봤는데 단연 가장 곱고 뭉침없고 발색 맑게 올라옴..! 명도가 너무 밝거나 너무 어둡지않아서 모든 피부톤이 예쁘게 바를 수 있는 컬러들이였답니다 💐 특히 00호 시스루베일은 그냥 기본템으로 가져간다 생각하시구 구매하시면 좋을것같아요! 베이스로도 딱이고 모공커버가 진짜 미쳤이에요..! #07애프터눈코랄 따뜻한 옐로우 빛이 감도는 싱그러운 살구 코랄 #08로즈버터 부드러운 로지빛이 가미된 은은한 누드 베이지 #09뮤트라벤더 뮤트한 포도 빛이 감도는 오묘한 라벤더 핑크 #10헤븐핑크 생기 넘치는 복숭아 빛 핑크 상큼하고 맑은 채도의 화사한 핑크 #00시스루베일 화이트에 가까운 뽀용한 투명 베일 핑크 피부 톤 정돈 ✅모공 블러 효과 ✅베이스 치크 활용 #뮤두 #뮤드블러셔 #블러셔추천 #블러셔
Choose from ten natural shades, perfect for recreating the viral “watercolour blush” technique by NewJeans’ makeup artist!
Mude Flutter Blusher retails for RM63.80 each on Shopee.
Ameli has been a standout brand in South Korea since its launch in 1996, mainly popular among professional makeup artists. It gained popularity among Korean idols over the years.
While initially catering to professionals, Ameli expanded to the general public in 2019, creating a buzz among South Korean K-beauty enthusiasts. The brand’s exclusive products have become highly sought after.
Here are a couple of their popular products:
Complement Series Cushion Bora
A must-have for K-beauty lovers, this compact cushion is perfect for on-the-go application. Initially purple in the package, it transforms within seconds, lightening and adjusting to your skin tone upon application.
The end result? A radiant look inspired by the popular Korean preference for a pale, cool-toned appearance!
Many A-listers, including the renowned celebrity makeup artist Lee Nakyeum, swear by the Ameli Tone Up Base Daily Cushion. Lee Nakyeum, who works with top idols like Blackpink, Taeyang, and IU, counts this cushion among her favourite products!
Ameli Complement Series Cushion Bora retails for RM119.90 on Shopee.
Step Basic Eyeshadow
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The Step Basic Eyeshadow from Ameli is the bread and butter of makeup, offering a versatile base for various applications – think eyeshadow, highlighter, blusher, and shading.
Crafted with fine-grained raw materials, the formula ensures a silky smooth texture. The pigment has a strong adhesive binder and a long-lasting colour effect, ensuring these colours stay vibrant throughout the day.
With 22 everyday colours ranging from neutrals to browns, peaches, and pinks, there’s a shade for every mood and occasion!
Ameli Step Basic Eyeshadow retails for RM75.90 each on Shopee.
Alternative Stereo, a beauty and lifestyle brand born in 2021, dives into the realms of lip care, mascara, and brow products with a distinctive analog-style low-fi vibe.
Constantly pushing boundaries with innovative formulas and textures, as well as undiscovered colours, the brand’s sensibility centres on beauty products that unravel culture and style.
Adding a dash of fun and delight to your everyday purchases, Alternative Stereo sparks nostalgia with tiny, intricate patterns tucked inside their product packages.
Now, let’s take a peek at a couple of their favourites:
Lip Potion Aqua Glow
If you’re all about that Korean “jelly lips look,” this product is right up your alley!
Achieving a glow with pure water (no oil or wax), the moisturising capsule smoothly dispenses a liquid formula during application, keeping your lips hydrated.
💋 The most viral lip tint: 𝑨𝒍𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒏𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒗𝒆 𝑺𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒆𝒐 𝑳𝒊𝒑 𝑷𝒐𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 ~ Dòng tint bóng chân ái mới của tớ đây, thề là chất đỉnh nhất trong các dòng tớ từng dùng luôn . . . . . . #xuhuongtiktokexplorepagending #fyp #explorepage #foryoupage #lipswatch #liptint #lipstain #lippotion #alternativestereo #sonauth #lipswatch #swatch #aesthetic #texture #closeup #review #lips #reelsdaily #kbeauty #kbeautyaddict #closeupphotography #product #review
Picture a light-volume gloss that’s not sticky, almost as if your lips are adorned with a dewdrop! It stays transparent and clear without darkening, offering nine stunning shades from wearable neutral pinks, to daring deep reds and vivid hues for those bold moments.
Alternative Stereo Lip Potion Aqua Glow retails for RM96.16 each on Shopee.
Acoustic Matt Balm
If matte is your vibe, the Acoustic Matt Balm is worth checking out. It provides a smooth, matte colour that seamlessly melds into your lips, giving off that dreamy, blurred lip effect reminiscent of watercolours.
These balms are all about fresh, vintage-inspired shades, bringing a lively vibe. And here’s the kicker – even though it’s matte, it won’t dry your lips.
My thoughts on these matte balms are they are all perfect and cute at the same time, very compact and smol. The texture is very smooth and does not dry out my lips at all. It is also moisturizing (but not mask proof). My favorite shades are 03, 05, and 06, but if you have a dry lip, you should moisturize it first before applying this matte balm to achieve a smooth texture. #lipswatch #lip #mattebalm #alternativestereolipmattbalm #lipbalm @alternativestereo #kuch #swatchinglipstick
Packed with 15% moisturising ingredients, it ensures your lips stay soft and comfy. Choose from four shades ranging from warm oranges to cool reds; there’s one for every mood!
Alternative Stereo Acoustic Matt Balm retails for RM98.33 each on Shopee.
Heart Percent is your go-to for all things lips and cheeks! Heart Percent strives to craft products that capture distinct shades representing individuality. Many beauty creators on social media swear by their products, using them to nail those trendy K-beauty makeup looks.
Check out some of their must-have products:
Dote On Mood Lip Pencil
If you’re into rocking the ‘overlip’ trend, this lip pencil stands out as a popular choice in Korean beauty. It comes in a variety of shades perfect for defining your lips and creating a colour base that complements your skin tone.
Blend it effortlessly for a gradient effect by applying gently and using your fingertips to blur the lines, achieving a watercolour effect with lasting wear.
Not just for lips, it’s versatile enough for cheeks, eye makeup, and highlighting with a selection of 17 shades, from soft browns to versatile pinks!
Heart Percent Dote On Mood Lip Pencil retails for RM51.70 each on Shopee.
Dote On Mood Dewy Melting Lipstick
If you’re all about that slick, glossy vibe and crave a super soft, melty texture, you’ve got to check out Heart Percent’s Dote On Mood Dewy Melting Lipstick!
This lightweight sheer lipstick delicately dissolves onto your lips, providing instant and long-lasting hydration like a lip balm but with a high-shine, dewy finish.
With a non-sticky consistency, it gives you both shine and comfort. Effortlessly gliding on, it enhances the look of fuller lips with an ultra-shiny, wet appearance. Infused with natural oils and extracts, this formula ensures your lips stay soft and supple.
Encased in a twist-up pen with a dial for precise control (1mm increments), this lipstick is available in six versatile shades for everyday wear!
Heart Percent Dote On Mood Dewy Melting Lipstick retails for RM58.30 each on Shopee.
Featured image credits: @bella___54/TikTok, @sonauth_review/TikTok, @sunnydahye_/TikTok.