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25 September 2016 13 comments

I hinted at a second wave of dupes in Part 1 of my Korean Skincare Dupes, and today it's finally here! I'm really excited to share this post, as finding dupes in makeup and skincare is one of my most favourite past times, and the bunch I have today feel like a pretty good group. So for Kbeauty dupes of some high end, cult favourites, including quite a few that I think are actually better than their pricier counterpart, keep on reading!

The Darphin Hydraskin Serum (£43 for 30ml, here for the US) is a hydrating serum that doesn't seem to attract much hype, but has been an old favourite of mine nonetheless, delivering instant hydration to thirsty skin. A lightweight, watery consistency sinks in immediately and provides a first layer of hydration - great for layering with other products at night or using alone in the day. The water base is accompanied by glycerin, pomegranate, hyaluronic acid and botanical extracts. The Triplus Hydrating Ampoule from The Saem (£16 for 30ml, here for the US) comes in an almost identical glass bottle and has the same function, although the ingredients and formula differ. Rather than water, this serum has a base of galactomyces ferment filtrate (the perceived magical stuff in SKII's Facial Treatment Essence) as well as squalane, glacial water and sodium hyaluronate to hydrate the skin. The dual-phase formula also contains fermented olive oil and soybean flour to deeply penetrate and hydrate the skin - so this serum feels closer to a light oil than the Darphin. Both however, feel light, layer well and leave the skin feeling hydrated.

Many of us have tried and loved the Fresh Rose Mask ($62 for 100ml, here for the US) but it's not an inexpensive product. A super hydrating, jelly-like mask suspends rose petals to soothe skin, calm inflammation and relax and refresh. Notable ingredients include rose water, rosehip oil, jojoba, green tea, cucumber and aloe. Having a look at the ingredients on the Fresh website though, this mask apparently has not one but five parabens??? I would really expect a little better quality for the price this commands. Fortunately, this style of mask isn't uncommon, which is where Dal Tokki's Rose Mask ($12 for 75ml) enters the stand. Again, extremely similar packaging, and the product itself looks very similar in colour and texture. A similar set of ingredients, including rose extract, rose water, rosehip oil, green tea, calendula, jojoba, daisy and sodium hyaluronate, this mask doesn't smell quite as rosy but is paraben free. I have not one but two dupes for the Fresh mask today, the second of which is Dearpacker's Black Tea & Rose Mask ($27 for 100ml), the same idea, colour and gel consistency of both masks above, but in my view, a slightly better product. This mask claims to brighten, hydrate, soothe and contribute to anti-aging. Aswell as rose extract and rose flower oil, this mask includes loose black tea leaves, the polyphenols of which accelerate skin renegeration. It also has a bunch of botanical extracts and fruit oils at the top of the list, and is paraben free. There's a full review coming up of this mask, and if it sounds like something for you, make sure to use my discount code BARELYTHEREBEAUTY for 8% off with free worldwide shipping (I don't gain anything from the code).

Bit of a cult favourite in the blogging world, I think the Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer (£55 for 30ml, here for the US) is expensive! There's no denying that it gives you smooth, soft skin with a mattified effect and minimised pores. Korean brand VDL have come up with what looks like a very similar primer, the Satin Veil Primer (~£11 for 30ml) - see more in this post. Both primers look and sound the part, coming in nice, cloudy glass bottles. The formulas differ somewhat, the Hourglass is milky and thinner, the VDL is thick and clear. The Hourglass has SPF 15, which really doesn't bother me as I'm always going to apply a dedicated sunscreen anyway. The feel of the serums are definitely different - the VDL has a more silicone-like feel, although it's more smooth and creamy than some of the stereotypical silicone primers. Both have the same effect of creating a smooth base, filling in fine lines, minimising the appearance of pores and mattifying the skin to a satin finish. 

I don't know if they get a bit forgotten because they were first released such a long time ago, but the Ceramide Capsules from Elizabeth Arden (£65 for 60, here for the US) I think are wildly underrated. Admittedly very 'silicone-y', the squalene, ceramide and retinol infused formula makes up for it for me, and I use these as much as I can whenever my skin can handle the richness. Neogen's Ceramide Oil (£18 for 50ml) is a similar concept, and although it's still definitely oily in texture, feels a lot lighter and sinks in faster than the capsules. A much longer list of ingredients, this dual-phase serum-oil contains niacinamide, ceramide 3, honey, avocado, snail, glycerin, peptides and a lot of plant extracts. 

Another Fresh product and this time it's the Sugar Face Polish ($62 for 125g, here for the US). A brown sugar base, this also contains strawberry seeds to exfoliate, as well as calendilia wax and fruit seed oils to emulsify, nourish and moisturise the skin. After having a look at the ingredients in Skinfood's Black Sugar Mask (£8 for 100g), it's surprising how similar they are. With a black sugar (or molasses) base, rich in minerals and vitamins, this also includes calendilia wax, botanical oils and shea butter to moisturise as you exfoliate, but at a much lower price! Skinfood even do variations, including a new honey one which I think i'll be procuring and  this one with strawberry seeds, arguably an even better dupe!

I really like including a serum high in hyaluronic acid in my skincare routine, but finding a good one hasn't been my easiest task. Let's not pretend I wasn't first attracted to the Pestle & Mortar Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum (£33 for 30ml) for it's minimalist good looks, although at second glance I think it's a little misleading. No doubt that it hydrates the skin, and is a solid serum, but the name leads me to believe hyaluronic acid would be it's only ingredient? Not so. A base of water and aloe, sodium hyaluronate is accompanied by cucumber, butylene glycol, vitamin E, glycerin, thickeners and preservatives. Back to The Saem for it's dupe, one of my favourite affordable Korean brands. Their Power Ampoule Hydra (£10 for 40ml) contains a mere 3 ingredients: sodium hyaluronate, hydrolysed hyaluronic acid and butylene glycol. The more pure the hyaluronic, the more careful you have to be when using it, so definitely be sure to lock this one in with something occlusive, like my current fave hydrating IOPE cream, so it can get to work. The dupe also applies for the Deciem Hylamide too, it's a very similar product. 

I mentioned in my full review of my Ciracle serums, that I thought the B5 Source ($18 for 30ml) was a pretty good dupe for the cult fave Skinceuticals B5 Gel (£43 for 30ml). Both are lightweight serums that hydrate the skin and offer the benefits of a high concentration of panthenol or vitamin B5. B5 is able to penetrate the skin and help to maintain it's moisture barrier. Both serums have a nice, 'slippy' feel and feel like they hydrate equally well, take a look at my review for Before & After's


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