A few months ago, I went to Seoul to uncover the secret to Korean women’s flawless complexions (and, yes, to eat a lot of bibimbap and Korean fried chicken). Along the way, I learned quite a few things—from the makeup tricks they use to look younger to a new skincare trend that millennials are following called skip-care. In the midst of learning about their beauty secrets, I also stumbled upon a universal makeup product that every Korean woman owns. In fact, Laneige's global makeup artist Cat Koh declared that if you were to march down the street in Seoul and ask Korean women to raise their hands if they owned this product, there would be no hand left unraised.
What exactly is the most-loved product in all of Seoul? That would be Innisfree No-Sebum Loose Setting Powder. Renamed the Matte Mineral Setting Powder ($8) in America for reasons unknown, this loose, silky powder feels like the softest powder you’ve ever touched and leaves your skin looking smooth and airbrushed. I stopped by the Innisfree flagship in Seoul and experienced it firsthand. The ingredients aren’t necessarily groundbreaking—a mix of silica, cornstarch, and different silicones, which gives it that silky-smooth feel—but something about the combination has made this the one loose powder in every Korean woman’s makeup bag. The finely milled powder looks white in the pot but goes on translucent. You just pick up the product with a big fluffy brush and dust it wherever you’d like to keep shine at bay—whether it’s your T-zone or across your entire face. Instead of settling into fine lines or looking cakey, the powder virtually disappears on contact, leaving just a velvety-smooth finish behind.
On Amazon, it has over 600 positive reviews, with users gushing about its ability to keep their oily skin looking matte but not too matte. One reviewer confirmed that it didn’t look ashy on her dark skin and that she preferred to apply it right after her skincare and before a foundation for the effect she likes. Another reviewer even went so far as to only use it on one half of her face to test its ability and another top-selling loose powder on the other side. At the end of the day, the side she had used the Innisfree powder on was fresh, while the other side was oily. [Ed. note: The brand says Amazon is not an authorized retailer and to purchase the product directly from the official Innisfree website.]
The very best part of all of this news? This under-the-radar powder is only $8. That’s right; for just $8, you too can own the powder that every Korean woman swears by and leave your oil-slick days behind you for good.
Shop my other Korean makeup picks below!