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April 28, 2016

We’ve learnt to never, ever underestimate the power of a Korean drama, and especially when it comes to how they can catapult beauty products into international fame in the span of one episode, or less. Only a Korean drama has had the power to cause a lipstick to sell out all over the world, without even having to have the cast wield said lipstick in the show as product placement – all it took was hearsay and a bit of false information for the internet to decide that a particular brand’s coral lipstick was the absolute must-have product of 2014.

Yes, we’re talking about You Who Came From The Stars and how it sparked a worldwide frenzy for the Yves Saint Laurent Beauté Rouge Pur Couture in #52 a couple of years back. Just when we thought we were done with that insanity, this year we got Descendants Of The Sun and a renewed interest for coral-tinted lips, as well as for men in uniform.

In honour of the recent conclusion of what felt like Korean drama that everyone was talking about – finally, no more images of Korean army men flooding all your social media channels – we round up the beauty products that have gained fame, all thanks to well-timed appearances on some of the most popular K-dramas of recent times. We’ve found that more often that not, it’s a lip colour that the female lead wears most enchantingly; and once the lipstick in question makes an on-screen cameo, or a brand announces that yes, that’s our product that she’s wearing in last night’s episode, you better go grab it quick, because it probably is going to be sold out in record time. Or before you know it, you’ll have to resort to coughing up $100 for it on eBay.


LANEIGE Two Tone Lip Bar in Juicy Pop

Seen in: Descendants of the Sun
Seen on: Song Hye Kyo

descendants of the sun laneige juicy pop

(Descendants Of The Sun image: LANEIGE Singapore Facebook page)

Easily the most popular K-drama of the past five years, surpassing even 2012’s You Who Came From The Stars, which created a big enough frenzy at that time (more on that below). After all, things must be serious when a government has to issue an official warning to their citizens to not get too crazy over this show. While Song Joong Ki’s Lieutenant Yoo Si Jin made hundreds of thousands of viewers’ hearts go aflutter with his mobile phone-flipping antics and death-defying abilities, his love interest Dr. Kang Mo Yeon reminded us how everlasting Song Hye Kyo’s beauty truly is. As the face of Laneige for the past eight years, her makeup essential for this drama was the Two Tone Lip Bar, and the brand has taken the opportunity to announce that in the show she wears the recently-released shade Juicy Pop, a combination of a sheer orange and yellow. Unsurprisingly, this shade has gone on to break sales records in South Korea, China and here in Singapore since the drama aired.

LANEIGE Two Tone Lip Bar, $34. Available at LANEIGE boutiques and counters.


Yves Saint Laurent Beauté Rouge Pur Couture in No. 52 Rosy Coral

Seen in: You Who Came From The Stars
Seen on: Jun Ji Hyun

you who came from the stars ysl rosy coral

(My Love From The Stars image: SBS Facebook page)

Ah, the drama that sold out a worldwide supply of lipsticks. The memory of the international frenzy for YSL Beauté’s Rouge Pur Couture lipstick in a particular shade of coral is probably still fresh in your mind, since it came along with a general show-induced madness that also included an obsession with Korean fried chicken paired with beer, and with handsome aliens that take on a human male form (we blame you, Kim Soo Hyun). By now, you might have heard that the colour worn by Jun in the show turned out to, in fact, not be said YSL lipstick, but rather a mix of colours from various brands to achieve the creamy coral tint that became such a hit. Turns out, all of the craziness was due to erroneous information and lots of internet rumour-mongering. Oh well, but YSL’s version sure is flattering all the same, so we’re still glad it’s now possible again to snag a tube, after the hype finally died down a little by late 2014.

Yves Saint Laurent Beauté Rouge Pur Couture, $52. Available at Yves Saint Laurent Beauté stores and counters.


Mamonde Creamy Tint Colour Balm Intense in Matte Pop Orange

Seen in: Pinocchio
Seen on: Park Shin Hye

pinocchio mamonde matte pop orange

(Pinocchio image: Mamonde Facebook page)

We loved Park Shin Hye as rookie journalist Choi In Ha in Pinocchio, a role that allowed her to demonstrate her acting flair for both the comedic and dramatic. This drama also helped catapult Mamonde, a brand under South Korean beauty conglomerate AmorePacific, and its Creamy Tint Colour Balm Intense chubby lip crayon into widespread popularity as its ambassador Park was spotted applying it in various scenes. It was so well-received that Mamonde released two versions of a “Mamonde Box”, each containing makeup essentials to create a look worn by Park, and including a shade of  the Creamy Tint Colour Balm, of course. But it was the shade Matte Pop Orange that outperformed all the other colours, all thanks to Park looking particularly fresh-faced in a tinted orange lip in various scenes. And we know how hard it is to resist a lip chubby stick.

Mamonde Creamy Tint Colour Balm Intense, not available locally but we spotted it retailing on Qoo10!


O HUI Ultimate CC Cushion Foundation

Seen in: Oh My Venus
Seen on: Shin Min Ah

oh my venus   o hui cc cushion

(Oh My Venus image: tin22.com)

Shin Min Ah is absolutely gorgeous, so it’s not that she needs any makeup in particular to help her along. In Oh My Venus, however, we saw a less picture-perfect side of her as she donned a prosthetic fat suit to play a chubby lawyer who enlists the help of a celebrity trainer to help her lose weight and turn her life around. We also saw a full range of O HUI skincare and makeup often adorning her character’s vanity table, and making cameo appearances onscreen whenever lawyer Kang Joo Eun did hurried touch ups to look her best in front of her celebrity-trainer-turned-love-interest. O HUI is a premium brand under the beauty arm of the LG Household & Health Care Limited, and Shin’s flawless, translucent skin in the show was enough to make everybody want the Ultimate Cover CC Cushion she uses in some scenes.

O HUI Ultimate Cover CC Cushion, also not available locally but we found it on Lazada, just not in the limited edition packaging seen on the show.


Clio Virgin Kiss Tension Lip

Seen in: The Producer
Seen on: Gong Hyo Jin

37511_102810_1511         clio virgin kiss tension lip

(The Producer image: cafestyle.yes24.vn)

Gong Hyo Jin became the face of Clio just in time for her starring role in one of the most popular Korean dramas of 2015, The Producer. As the hilarious and incredibly chic variety show producer Tak Ye Jin, her consistently on-point outfits and beauty looks kicked off online frenzies after each episode – because that many people couldn’t wait to find out where her clothes and makeup were from each time. Obviously, Clio products took centre stage in the series, in particular the Virgin Kiss Tension Lip, which was Producer Tak’s go-to lipstick. In line with Gong taking on the role of brand ambassador, Clio launched the lipstick with her signature on the tube, making them instant collector’s items.

Clio Virgin Kiss Tension Lip, $22.90. Available at selected Watsons. 


Benefit Cosmetics Posietint

Seen in: Emergency Couple
Seen on: Song Ji Hyo

emergency couple  benefiit posietint

(Emergency Couple image: dramafever.com)

As an emergency room doctor, Song Ji Hyo’s character Oh Jin Hee spends most of the show in hospital scrubs, hair pulled back and barely any makeup on – except for just a tint of pink on her lips. It’s enough for us to spend the first few episodes wondering exactly what product she’s wearing, and soon enough, we get our answer when she pulls out a small ubiquitous bottle to touch up her makeup in a bathroom scene. Ah, but of course: it’s Benefit’s Posietint, which made sense as Song was the face of Benefit Korea at that time. Benefit’s multipurpose tints have always been popular, but Posietint’s cameo in Emergency Couple made them highly desirable all over again.

Benefit Cosmetics Posietint, $54. Available at Benefit Cosmetics counters and Sephora.



Main image: LANEIGE Singapore Facebook page