Etude House, Tony Moly, Skinfood, Missha, The Face Shop, Nature Republic, Innisfree, It's Skin, Banilla Co, Hera, IOPE are some of the many Korean cosmetic brands available to from. From first glance you may think, why are there this many brands and at this rate how could one company stand out from the rest? Each brand has it's own profile and is directed towards a specific consumer group. Whether you are a seventeen year old high school student or a thirty something year old office worker, there is the perfect brand out there to meet your individual needs.

 I’m here today to test these brands out for you to discover who is the best of the best and what better way to do this then an old fashioned show down. Welcome to battle of the brands. 

MIK: largest Korean beauty and cosmetics online store - over 40 brands, 5000 products available with new updates every day. We have Laneige, Innisfree, Etude House, Hera, Sulwhasoo, Banila Co and much more.

ROUND 1: Facial Primers

Etude House vs Its Skin

If make-up is an art than your face is the canvas. To ensure a flawless make-up application it is necessary to use a facial primer. If a suitable primer is applied it can reduce the amount of concealer needed to cover blemishes and uneven skin tone. I personally have oily to combination skin and need a primer to cover up redness on my face.

Here are two primers, one quite well known and the other not so much. Etude House’s ‘Face Blur’ primer claims to blur pores, whiten skin tone and soften the texture of your skin and is priced at $17.90 AUD. On the other side of the scale we have the It’s Skin  ‘Babyface One-Step Base’, a green corrective primer that smooths skin and counter acts any redness, priced at $7.80 AUD.

On the right side of my face I have applied the It’s Skin ‘Babyface’ primer and on the left is the primer from Etude house. Although my skin did feel smoother, Etude’s ‘Face Blur’ primer failed to whiten my skin tone or blur out any pores or blemishes, leaving me feeling slightly disappointed. On the other hand I was thoroughly impressed with the It’s Skin primer, which evened out my skin tone, corrected any redness and also reduced my dark eye circles, making it the obvious winner out of the two.


And the winner is.... It’s Skin



ROUND 2: BB Creams

Etude House vs Missha

BB creams, a.k.a blemish balms or beauty balms, are the foundation of the Korean cosmetics industry. This cosmetic product has gained popularity in not only Asia but internationally, with Western brands such as Garnier, Loreal and Maybelline all having their own BB creams. With a BB cream for each and every skin type, you simply cannot fault this product.

Despite my combination skin, I still yearn for that Dewy finish which has lead to me select these two BB creams. Both products come from popular brands, Etude House, which caters for youthful, feminine consumers and Missha, catering for more mature beauty needs. The Etude House ‘Precious Mineral BB Cream’ retails for $17.90 whilst Missha’s ‘Perfect Cover BB Cream’ is priced at $18.90, so there is no major price difference.

When swatching onto my hand you can immediately see the difference between the two. Even though both these are categorized as ‘beige’ the Etude House’s BB has bright, warm tones whilst the Missha has more of a grey, cool undertone. My initial thought was that the Missha BB would look terrible on my skin but I was surprised to see that it suited my skin more so then the Etude BB cream, which I regularly used. The application for Missha was smoother and the cream was very blendable, making it easy to apply into tight spots such as under the eye or around the nose. Whilst Missha gave a soft, glow to my skin the Etude BB cream left my skin cakey and powdery.


And the winner is.... Missha



ROUND 3: Eyebrow Pencil

Missha vs It's Skin

If there is one thing I know about Korean style make-up it’s that they don’t go anywhere without their eyebrows. Like myself, most people from Asian decent are known for their sparse eyebrow hairs, making it impossible to get ‘on-fleek’ brows without filling them in. Old fashioned wooden pencils are on their way out as wind-up pencils, brow gels and mascaras are dominating the beauty market.

I’m testing two standard, wind-up brow pencils, one from Missha priced at $5.00 AUD and the other from It’s Skin, for only $2.90 AUD. I originally purchased these two as back brow products but the quality of one impressed me that much that it has become a part of my everyday brow routine.

When using a product for the first time I always make sure to do a swatch test. What makes a good brow product is it’s ability to blend and build up. You want to apply the product with light, feathery strokes, so it is important that initial application isn’t too harsh. On the swatch test you can see that the Missha brow pencil had a slightly stronger application and also left behind bits of residue (not what you want at all!) but the It’s Skin ‘Babyface’ brow pencil, glided on light and evenly.

 Through the camera you may not be able to see the difference, it was the application that swayed my decision. The application time for Missha was significantly longer than that of It’s Skin and I found myself having to blend the product more due to the uneven strokes applied. The It’s Skin pencil was very buildable, allowing me to finish filling in my brow in instantly.


And the winner is.... It’s Skin



ROUND 4: Concealer

Nature Republic vs Missha

Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them see... those dark eye circles. I don’t know about you but all the stress of daily life has left me with the biggest, darkest eye circles that will not go away! For years I have tried and tested concealers, some have left me with irritated skin and some with no coverage at all.

These concealers are two that did not irritate my sensitive under eyes and are the only two that I use in my beauty routine. Like I said before, the right facial primer can assist in the pre-coverage of blemishes but ain’t nothing going to cover those dark circles like concealer can. Even though these concealers are technically different types they both have the same cream-like base. The Nature Republic ‘Botanical Vanilla Concealer Stick’ retails for $5.70 and the Missha ‘Under the Eye Brightener’ cream concealer is priced at $4.10.

Despite both having cream bases, the consistency of these concealers were like yin and yang. The Nature Republic concealer had a thick, balmy texture which was considerably difficult to blend into the skin but the Missha concealer had a slightly watery consistency, making blending an effortless task. From the results you can clearly see which product had a better coverage and even though I applied more of the Nature Republic concealer it still failed to conceal my dreaded eye bags.


 And the winner is.... Missha




 After trying and testing these products I have come to one conclusion. Like the saying goes ‘Don’t judge a book by it’s front cover’,  don’t turn away from brands due to their popularity or price. Some of the cheapest products, such as the ‘Babyface’ line from It’s Skin, had better results than it’s bigger counterparts, such as Etude House and Missha.

 In saying that brands that I normally buy from such as Etude House, due to their youthful consumer demographic did not end up suiting my skin as much as Missha did, whose products are designed to suit a more mature skin type.

 So who was the winner of the ‘Battle of the Brands’ ? The only way you’ll find the answer to that question is to start trying brands and seeing which one you prefer. To me personally? I think they are all fabulous winners.

 Until next time, stay healthy and beautiful!




 All of the products tested today are available for purchase from MIK. Remember if you’re new to MIK, you can sign up and receive $10 off your first order over $50!