I watch a lot of k-dramas. More than I probably should. I like to tell myself that it helps me learn the language, which isn’t a total lie, but I can’t say I don’t have lots of fun checking out what people are wearing and occasionally wondering exactly what the writers are smoking. In any case, the Hallyu Wave is on, and K-dramas are becoming much more popular here in the US. You can find them on Hulu and Netflix, occasionally on Amazon Instant, or you can subscribe to sites like Viki or Dramafever to catch the newest shows only slightly after they air. (Or if you’re way more fluent than me, you can watch them right away and help subtitle them!)
Availability in the US aside, popular K-dramas lead to popular K-drama makeup looks, and one of the easiest ways to replicate a look is to replicate the lipstick. And since I’m a huge lip product junkie, I just happen (*ahem*) to have a number of the lip products that have been used, or that are claimed to have been used, in some popular K-dramas. As most of them are fairly expensive, let’s also see if we can find cheaper or more accessible products that will get the same K-drama lipstick look (or close enough to be satisfying)!
1. Yoon Eun Hye’s lipstick in “Missing You”/보고십다
Yoon Eun Hye is pretty darn amazing, and while this particular K-drama is not on my list of “re-watch it because it makes me happy!”, it’s definitely worth a watch if you’re in a more serious mood. The focal point of her makeup is her lipstick, which appears in various forms (blotted, gradient, and full-on) throughout the series.
This lipstick is NARS’ Schiap, which was named for Elsa Schiaparelli, a fashion designer who was a contemporary (and competitor) with Coco Chanel. NARS has revamped their formula recently in the “Audacious” line, and they happen to have created a very similar color, only with a different name (Michiyo) and a reportedly much better comfort level and wear time. When you compare the two colors, Schiap is a little more cool than Michiyo.
If you are wearing Michiyo or Schiap, you should also be wearing a lipliner. Does it have to be NARS? Nope. But a bright color like this tends to look sloppy if you don’t line your lips, unless you are going for a muted or gradient look.
If you have a warmer (read: more yellow) tone to your skin, you may want to use Michiyo rather than Schiap, since Michiyo is a little less blue. Another alternative, if you are warmer-toned but close to neutral (like I am) would be to wear a slightly pinker foundation than normal.
Here are some comparison photos of similarly colored products I own. Every photo on the left is Schiap, just so you can compare it individually with each other product.
NARS’s Schiap will cost you $27, and it’s available from their online store, major department stores (Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus), Sephora, and overstock.com as well. You can find it on Amazon here. Michiyo will cost you $32, and is available from basically all the same places.
TheSAEM’s Kiss Button Lips Matte is available on BeautyNetKorea, Koreadepart, Jolse, eBay, and probably others, and will run you somewhere between $7-$10 depending on which site you use. I actually will be doing a review of the Kiss Button line (there are a couple different versions) a bit later; short preview is I really like them. This particular color is from the Matte line, so it’s more drying than the regular Kiss Button Lips products, but it isn’t too bad in any case.
Clio’s Lipnicure is available on Jolse and eBay as well, and with a similar price range, and on some US etailer sites for a good chunk more. It’s on Amazon for $10. I don’t actually really like the Lipnicure formula – I find that it’s pretty drying and feels a little weird on the lips, and then after a while it flakes away a little, so I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it.
I’ll talk about MakeupForEver’s Aqua Rouge later on in this post.
Scinic’s Creamy Melting Tint has been recently endorsed by Girls’ Day, the K-pop band. I got mine through RoseRoseShop, but they currently seem to be out of stock. They are pretty nice to use, not particularly drying, and have a sweet scent.
2. Cheon Song Yi’s lipstick in “My Love From The Stars”/별에서 온 그대
Cheon Song Yi actually wore a couple of different lipsticks throughout this show, and just about every single one of them that was mentioned (whether confirmed or unconfirmed, apparently) sold right out of stock. I own one of the unconfirmed shades, and two of the confirmed shades.
A. YSL Rouge Pur Couture No. 52 Rosy Coral
This is not actually what Cheon Song Yi was wearing. This lipstick was one of a number of items that people credited her with wearing, and as such it sold out incredibly quickly, but it turns out that this product wasn’t actually involved in the show in any way. Sorry! It’s so pretty, though, that I’ll put it up here anyway.
As you can see, YSL’s Rosy Coral is exactly that – a warm, pink coral. This formula is actually not my favorite – although it’s more pigmented than Korean lip products (as are quite a few Western lipsticks), it’s also a little heavier. It’s more likely to settle into your lip lines and accentuate any dry patches or texture issues you’re having as well. I very rarely wear this color as a full lip look; generally I use it to make a blotted gradient lip.
Although this picture doesn’t involve a lip liner, because of the brightness and the formula of the lipstick I would recommend using one if you want to wear it at full strength. Rosy Coral was difficult to get hold of when I was writing this post, but as of right now you can buy it directly from YSL for $36! You can also get it at Sephora.
YSL’s Rouge Volupte #33, Rose Neillia, is a color I’ll talk about again later in the post.
MAC’s Watch Me Simmer is pretty similar in color, but I like the formula a lot better than the YSL. Unfortunately Watch Me Simmer was not a permanent addition to MAC’s line, but was a limited edition part of the Shop MAC, Cook MAC collection. Temptalia lists two dupes for Watch Me Simmer here.
Dior’s Fluid Stick in Rieuse is a very thick, glossy product. The wear time isn’t amazing but it’s a very pretty and somewhat moisturizing lip color. You can buy it anywhere Dior products are sold, so again most major department stores and Sephora, and it costs $35.
I did a review on the Colourpop Lippie Stix here – suffice to say you could get away with wearing either Rocket or Julep as a dupe for this look, although Julep is a little darker and Rocket is a little lighter.
SharaShara’s Tinted Style Lip Gloss in CR02, Peach Coral, is nothing particularly special in either a positive or negative way. You can find it at KoreaDepart for about $6.50, at Kpoptown for around $11, or on W2Beauty for about $14. It’s a decent match, although it’s not particularly pigmented compared to the original product.
Makeon is a Tosowoong line of cosmetics. The Lip Manicure is clearly intended to mimic Clio’s Lipnicure, although I find that it’s a little more comfortable and easy to wear personally. You can find it on Amazon and eBay, and also on RoseRoseShop for $8, or on GMarket or Wishtrend for around $15. Color-wise it’s a pretty good match, although it’s a matte product so if you want a similar finish to the YSL you’ll have to apply a gloss or balm over it.
I’ve previously reviewed the Son&Park Air Tint Lip Cubes here. The photo in the collage above is of the product when severely blended out – I barely applied any to the center of my lips, and then used a fingertip to smudge it all over.
This color was actually confirmed to be one of the lip colors used in the show. It doesn’t have a super long wear time, but it’s a lovely color and it wears really well: it’s more moisturizing than most Western lipsticks, and it’s fairly glossy. You can change how opaque you want it to appear based on how much you apply – just one swipe across the middle of the lips blended out gives a fairly subtle color, or you can apply it all over for a stronger look. You can purchase the IOPE Water Fit in Forever Pink in a number of spots – on eBay, Amazon (various prices, including here), YesStyle (for $26 on sale), or KoreaDepart ($22).
The 16Brand Gangstatt is a pen-style lip stain, which I’ve previously reviewed here. It’s still not widely available, and I don’t know that I’d want to pay such a high price for it if I had the choice again. It’s also not a great dupe for the Water Fit – it’s matte, for one, it’s brighter and more opaque for another. However, since it’s a water tint it’s got phenomenal staying time unless you’re eating really oily foods.
The SAEM’s Kiss Button Lips in this collage is from the regular, non-matte line. The formula goes on smoothly, it’s not drying at all, but it’s also not transfer-proof. Like the Gangstatt, this product is also a little too opaque to be a perfect dupe for the IOPE Water Fit; it is, however, cheaper than the Gangstatt and easier to manipulate in terms of its application. You could apply the Kiss Button Lips in the center of your lips and blend out to get a lighter wash of color if you wanted. The prices and store availability is similar to the matte line; they are on eBay here.
The iColor Focus Color Pro Liquid Lip Stain was a gift from a friend. You can buy them on BonjourHK for HK $79, which is something like USD $10. This color is, like the above products, a little more opaque than the Water Fit. In terms of manipulating the opacity, it falls somewhere between the Gangstatt (not at all) and the Kiss Button Lips (pretty easy). This product is a liquid tint that comes with a doefoot applicator wand.
The Colourpop Lippie Stix in Punky is less glossy than the Water Fit, and more opaque. Both of these issues can be remedied with a light application, and then slapping any clear gloss or balm on top of the product. I provided a link to my review of the Lippie Stix up above, in the section comparing dupes for NARS’ Schiap.
C) IOPE Color Fit Lipstick No. 23 Violet Pink
As you can tell from the photo below, I don’t tend to wear purple lipsticks – I only had three things that even came close to being matches for this lipstick, and they aren’t really that good. IOPE’s Color Fit formula is less moisturizing than the Water Fit formula, but it’s still more moisturizing than most Western lipsticks. The wear time is also a little better than the Water Fit. You can get the Color Fit from YesStyle and KoreaDepart, for from $22-$30. It’s also available on Amazon, including here, although I can’t vouch for the seller personally.
The Fingerpens from 16Brand are a relatively new release – and 16Brand, an offshoot of Chosungah, is a relatively new brand itself. You can read more about them in my review here. Acai shows up a little warmer on my lips (and differently than it does in the promo photos from 16Brand). The Fingerpens can either be purchased direct from 16Brand in Korea via a buying service like Avecko, or from TesterKorea, each for about $18 plus shipping (and in the case of Avecko, a buying fee).
Vivito’s Painting Sweet Lip Balm is my go-to colored lip balm. I originally got it in a Memebox, and it sat around not doing anything for a while until I got around to it. The Vivito balm is a squidgy, jello-like balm that is pretty squashy on your lips and is super hydrating. It goes on fairly clear (despite being an orange color in the tin – weird) and darkens over time. The more product you put on, the more vivid the color gets. This product is available on TesterKorea for about $25, or on Vivito’s own site for around $10 USD (you’d have to buy through Avecko, but it’s still cheaper).
Colourpop’s Lippie Stix are a US product, and retail for $5 each. You can see that Scandy is more opaque, more matte, and a little bit warmer than the Color Fit. My review of the Lippie Stix is here.
3. Park Shin Hye’s lipstick in “Pinnochio”/피노키오
Park Shin Hye is a Mamonde brand representative, and Mamonde was one of the sponsors of Pinnochio, so it’s no surprise that her signature lip look in this drama is a Mamonde product. Park Shin Hye wears Mamonde’s Creamy Tint Color Balm in No. 4, Let Me Pink.
When I first pulled this product out of its box I thought “Someone lied to me. There’s no way she wore a lip product this bright!”, but when I swatched it, it turns out to be a very wearable semi-sheer shimmery pink. It’s basically the same thing as Clinique’s Chubby Sticks, only a lot less expensive and slightly more waxy.
YSL’s Gloss Pur has been discontinued as a product line, but really any light pink gloss will do it for you. I have a review of the Pop Water Tints here if you want to read more about them. This particular tint isn’t a great match for the Mamonde – it’s too neutral, not pink enough.
Scinic’s Creamy Melting Tint in #7 is called Vanilla Pink, and I mentioned it earlier in the post. It’s a little warmer and a little more opaque than the Mamonde.
PeriPera’s Butter Pang seems a lot more like a lip balm than a regular lipstick – it comes in kind of a chubby stick, and this particular color goes on clear and gets a little pinker and deeper over time. The color is a little darker than the Mamonde as well. The Butter Pang is available at KoreaDepart for like $5, or on a couple of the US etailers for at least double that. It’s also on Amazon Prime, here.
Colourpop’s Lippie Stix in Easy is available in the US for $5. It’s more opaque and a little bit cooler than the Mamonde, but it’s an okay substitute if you don’t want to import the original product.
4. Gong Hyo Jin’s lipstick in “It’s Okay, That’s Love”/괜찮아, 사랑이야
The orange lip color that Gong Hyo Jin wears so naturally is Giorgio Armani’s Lip Maestro in Number 300, Flesh.
Unfortunately for me (and my wallet, since I bought it without testing it first), I really don’t like this product’s formula. It never feels like it really sets, it smeared all over everything, and it felt a little greasy. I actually find it quite similar to Son&Park’s Air Tint Lip Cubes. The Lip Maestro is available at major department stores, including Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, at Armani’s own website, and at Sephora, and will set you back $36.
The Armani itself is a rather yellowish orange, as compared to the redder oranges which tend to be more widely available. If you have cooler (pinker) skin, you may want to stick with one of the redder oranges in any case.
EGLips Real Color Lip Lacquer is a product that I didn’t expect to be as pleased with as I was. It feels as thick and moisturizing as the Innisfree Real Fluid Rouge, but doesn’t actually apply that thickly. So you end up with a thin layer of product that feels like a nice, thick jelly gloss without all the fuss. This tint is too cool and too glossy to be a true dupe for the Armani, but it’s a decent product nonetheless. You can pick this up at BeautyNetKorea for about $8.50, or on eBay or Gmarket or 11st as well for varying prices.
Innisfree’s Real Fluid Rouge is a thick gloss. You can read a previous mini-review I did of the line here. You can purchase the Real Fluid Rouges at KoreaDepart for about $9.50, on eBay, and some colors (not this one though) are available on Amazon as well. You can also find it on Cosmetic-Love for around $12. This product is not available on Innisfree’s international website; I have no idea why.
TheSAEM Kiss Button Lips is a line I’ve talked about already. I’ll just say that this color is slightly more pink that the Armani, so it’s better suited to cooler skintones, and it’s more glossy as well.
I’ve already mentioned the Audacious line of lipsticks from NARS earlier in the post. Geraldine is one of the few orange lip products that I own that is more neutral-to-yellow toned, and as such is one of the best matches for the Armani.
PeriPera’s Touch Pang is a newer product. It’s neither particularly moisturizing nor particularly drying, although it applies very smoothly. It’s a chubby pencil-style applicator with an automatic twist, so you won’t need to sharpen the product yourself. It doesn’t set, and will rub off, although if you apply it lightly the transfer isn’t too bad. The Touch Pang is quite a bit pinker than the Armani, so it’s not a particularly good dupe, but if you have skin that leans a lot pinker this might be a good option for you. You can purchase the Touch Pang at Clio’s global website for $12, at W2Beauty for around $15, or on KoreaDepart for around $5 (apparently it’s currently on sale).
Colourpop’s Lippie Stix in ChiChi is another of the products that has enough yellow in it to be a decent match for the Armani, and at $5 it’s the clear winner in terms of pricing. I linked earlier in the post to my review of the Lippie Stix in general.
PeriPera’s Peri’s Tint Marker in Orange Stain is, like it’s named, a marker style lip tint. This product goes on completely matte and stains like nobody’s business. It can be drying on the lips, so if you are sensitive to that sort of thing I’d avoid this product. You can get the tint marker at US etailers (at a markup, of course), on Amazon, on eBay, at KoreaDepart for about $7.50, on Jolse for about $8.50, or at BeautyNetKorea for about $7.50.
5. Ji Sung’s lip tint in “Kill Me, Heal Me”/킬미, 힐미
This is the first lip cosmetic that I’m aware of to be sold out because a guy wore it on television – but seriously, it looks great on him, so why not?
The tint Ji Sung is wearing is Hera’s Sheer Holic Pop Tint in #1 Marilyn Pink. You may also see it referred to in pop culture as the “Yo Na tint”, because that’s the name of the personality who wore it.
This tint is pretty great, actually – which is good, since it’s expensive. Although it’s really bright in the tube, and really bright if you overapply it right away in a fit of happiness (what can I say, getting new things is exciting), it actually sheers out to be something nice and wearable, like in the above picture of Ji Sung. You can also layer the product to get a really bright pink, if that’s more to your style. The tint itself is fairly comfortable to wear and has a decent lifespan as well. This is one of the few really expensive lip products I’ve purchased that I can truthfully say I have absolutely no regrets about. If I heard it were being discontinued I would probably buy like 5 of them as a backup stash.
The Sheer Holic Pop Tint will run you around $35. I purchased mine from Alice at W2Beauty.
The three closest dupes I own for the Hera tint are the IOPE Water Fit, the Vivito Balm, and the Colourpop Lippie Stix in Fetch. The Water Fit is a little less opaque, the balm is a little lighter (although a stronger application might even the odds), and the lippie stix is more opaque and a little cooloer. I’ve already talked about all of these products before, so I’ll just let you compare the colors for yourselves and decide whether you want the original product or to get a substitute.
6. Lee Da Hye’s lipstick in “Hotel King”/호텔킹
Lee Da Hye wears MakeupForEver’s Aqua Rouge in No. 16, Fuschia. This is a dual-type product: pigmented liquid lipstick on one end, gloss on the other.
The liquid lipstick goes on pretty matte and dries down even more so, so if you’re looking for a wetter look you’ll need to use the gloss end as well (but it’s not required if you don’t like the feel or texture). My problem with these dual products is that one side always runs out before the other, which means that there’s wasted product (which is wasted money). This product is available at Sephora for $26.
If you know you aren’t going to be rocking the matte lip, you can save a few dollars by substituting MUFE’s Artist Plexi-Gloss, also in Fuschia. The Plexi-Gloss is obviously a lot glossier than the base of the Aqua Rouge, and makes the color appear a little cooler. You can get it at Sephora for $19.
The Scinic tint actually is a little cooler than the MUFE, but it’s more comfortable to wear. It’s glossier, with more slip. It’s also, however, going to transfer more. I’ve already talked about not being able to find the Scinic tint for sale anywhere – but if you’re interested I’m sure there are buying services that could find it for you.
The SAEM Kiss Button Lips is not cooler, but is glossier and not as heavy-looking or feeling. Info about the Kiss Button Lips series is above, and I’ll be putting up a review on the line as a whole later.
7. Song Ji Hyo’s lip tint in “Emergency Couple”/응급남녀
Song Ji Hyo wears Benefit’s Lollitint, which is kind of a light orchid color.
If wearing orchid lipstick will net you a guy like Choi Jin Hyuk, sign me the hell up.
Unfortunately for Benefit, I wouldn’t reach for this product in an emergency.
It’s got a vaguely unpleasant taste to it, but the thing that I hate most is the applicator. It’s an actual brush – like, a long, cheapy watercolor kit paintbrush. There’s no good way to precisely control the application of color with it, which really negates the point of it even being in there. It would actually be easier to apply this using a q-tip. The color itself is pretty subtle, appropriate for the workplace, and it is a tint, so it’s got some lasting power to it. I actually really enjoy the color – but man, that brush. I just hate it.
Again, this a purplish color, so I don’t have many products in the same color area for comparison.
The PeriPera Butter Pang is a little warmer than the LolliTint, but is significantly cheaper. It’s a balm-style lip tint, and #1 comes in a tube that is kind of reminiscent of Chapstick (only slightly cuter). It’s a white stick tint that changes color as it warms on your lips. You can find the Butter Tints on Clio’s global website for $14, at Forever21 for the same price, on KoreaDepart for $5, or on Cosmetic-Love for around $7.
You can also use the Son&Park Lip Cube in #4 sheered out a lot, which will get you a tint that is a smidge warmer, still purple, but more matte.
8. Han Ye Seul’s lipstick in Birth of a Beauty/미녀의 탄생
Han Ye Seul wears a number of different lip products throughout this show, but the one color I have is YSL’s Rouge Volupte in No. 33 Rose Neillia.
I’ve said above that I don’t care for the formula in YSL’s Rouge Pur Couture line, which is true, so I was very careful as I decided to try this color out. I went to Nordstrom’s and actually tested out the line (although in other colors, since No. 33 was, and is, not in stock). Luckily for me (but not so lucky for my wallet) the Rouge Volupte and Rouge Volupte Shine lines are closer to the IOPE Water Fit Lipsticks than the YSL RPC formula.
Hilariously enough, Rose Neillia and Rosy Coral are almost exactly the same color. As such, any dupe you get for Cheon Song Yi’s look will also be a dupe for Han Ye Seul’s look. Unfortunately, you’re going to have as difficult a time finding a bullet of Rose Neillia as you would finding one of Rosy Coral. They’re both available on eBay, of course, but even I have my limits when it comes to spending money on lipsticks.
There you have it! Will you be purchasing the original products for these lip looks, or deciding to buy one of the similar products I found? Do you have something that’s a dupe that I don’t? Let me know!