Amidst all the outlandish beauty fads (like exaggerated arched brows, plumped up lips and strobing) that swept the internet in recent years, South Korea amazingly remained uninfluenced by Western pop culture and even managed to cement their own reputation as the beauty hub of Asia, gaining a loyal fan base from all over the world. Their immense popularity is nothing surprising nor unusual, and I have a good reason for that.
When it comes to Korean beauty trends, the spotlight has consistently always been on soft and bright hues for the purpose of achieving the girl-next-door look. This differs greatly from those of Western make-up products which focus on heavy pigments, contouring and volumising to give an edgier and more defined appearance. To many, Korean beauty products are (quite literally) like a breath of fresh air because not only are they usually lightweight and hydrating in nature, the choice of shades are pretty much an exact match to your skin tone so they accentuate your natural skin texture rather than burying it under layers of make-up. In addition, the Koreans have proven to be ingenious trendsetters for reinventing the same old beauty products into modern must-haves for everyone.
And some classic example of that are cushion foundations (which I will talk about very soon) and – you know it – multi-tonal lipsticks, what I’d call a beauty breakthrough in this ombré lip-obsessed society which even international Western beauty brands like Benefit, Maybelline and Givenchy can’t resist tapping into. Who would have thought we’d get excited about everyday shades all over again?
If you have caught on the frenzy of multi-tonal lipsticks like me, here’s another brand, on top of two I had previously featured, to add to your radar: Berrisom (베리썸).
Established in South Korea, Berrisom positions themselves as a high-tech cosmetic brand using AO5 antioxidant formula extracted from three types of berries (elderberry, blackberry and cranberry) and two types of blossom (evening primrose and camellia), and hence their name. They are best known for their peel-off lip stain (Chu My Lip Tint Pack) which made rounds on the internet two years ago. Taking cue from the gradient lip trend fuelled by competing K-beauty brands, Berrisom went on to launch Oops! Two Two Lip Bar in 2016, a series of two-toned lipstick with white as the primary base colour. Previously only available on Qoo10 for international purchase (..that long wait time before your orders arrive), K-beauty enthusiasts in Singapore must be thrilled to know that it’s now sold in our local Guardian outlets!
The Oops! Two Two Lip Bar series comes in just three universal colours – Milk in Coral, Milk in Pink and Milk in Red – and they are each packed in a long paper rectangular box à la Kylie Lip Kit but perhaps half its size. When opened, the inside of the box reveals a diagonal slat to minimise the movement of the product so it doesn’t produce those annoying plopping sound in transit.
Presented in an all-black slender plastic tube with a protective seal on the cap, the packaging may not look as luxurious as say, Laneige but I’m not the least worried about the actual quality since you know, Korean beauty products generally have such high standards, they seldom disappoint. They are scentless and work like any other lipsticks – screw up the bottom of the tube (it’s retractable), apply, purse your lips to distribute the colours, blot further if needed and you’re ready to go!
#1 Milk in Coral
As classical as red lipsticks are, they may not be everyone’s cup of tea. It requires a great deal of courage to walk around with red lipstick because its vibrancy screams for attention and not many Asians are ready for that kind of public scrutiny yet. So, the next best lip colour option to enchant and look coquettish at the same time without drawing unwanted eyeballs is to go a few tones lighter. Then, what you’d get is an alluring coral. There has been a sudden surge in demand for coral lipsticks in recent years and it could highly be attributed to the popularity of Korean TV soaps. That’s totally understandable. I mean, who could resist those kissable and luscious orange-tinged lips of Korean celebrities like Jun Ji-hyun on My Love from the Star?
Hence, when there’s only enough budget to make three shades in the pilot stage of introducing a new lipstick line, a coral better be one of them. And perhaps, that’s how Milk in Coral came about. This shade is a muted warm-toned red with a white that goes on almost invisible to the naked eye. It applies smooth and creamy, leaving a satin finish with a soft sheen to it. The first swipe delivers mostly opaque (it may be too dark by Korean beauty standards but I personally like its opacity) and a very pigmented coverage which significantly contrasted the red against the white and allows for a more noticeable gradation.
When applying lipstick, I like to extend the application slightly beyond the lip line to create an illusion of plumper lips but these Berrisom lipsticks rendered it more difficult to achieve that effect (in one full attempt) due to the shorter width of the bullet. It would take some practice before I can maneuver the bullet perfectly (especially on the cupid’s bow) without disrupting the gradient. That aside, the colours blend seamlessly well without settling into my lip lines after I purse my lips. Further, it is hydrating and emollient, though a little tacky. To achieve a just-bitten (a.k.a the Korean style) look, try wearing the colours in reverse.
#2 Milk in Pink
Spring has sprung and what better way to usher in the season of renewal with some pink lips? While I wouldn’t really associate such bright statement shade with the Korean pop culture (as I often see Korean artiste opting for much more muted lip colours outside of quirky K-pop videos), pink lipsticks are known to be more versatile than reds. Besides, nothing exudes fun and flirty vibes on top of femininity like pink lips, so they are essentially a fab addition to any girl’s beauty arsenal.
If you don’t already have a pink lipstick, fret not as Berrisom has got you covered with an affordable one they named Milk in Pink – a cool-toned bubblegum pink that applies like butter with some tug, and as thick and evenly as some of my favourite M.A.C lipsticks. It has a satin finish and lends an opaque colour payoff. Upon blending with the white, the main colour visibly fades into a baby pink towards the inner part of my lips. However, it tends to run into the creases as you can see on my bottom lip but it’s not obvious from afar.
#3 Milk in Red
Whether you are warm- or cool-toned, there is bound to be a red lipstick for everyone, so don’t shy away from reds just because you thought you looked awful in the last one you wore. Most likely you didn’t pick out the right one that complements your skin tone! Supposedly, a rather accurate way of determining your undertones would be by looking at the colour of your veins on your wrist: blue-tinted veins signify a cool skin tone, whereas greenish veins point to a warm skin tone. A mixture of both would indicate a neutral undertone. Therefore, in order to look your optimum, you should go for lipstick shades that directly corresponds to your skin tone.
So, as an Asian with cool skin tones (yes, “yellow-skinned” don’t automatically have warm undertones.. *ahem*), I should presumably look better with cool-toned reds like Milk in Red. Well, well, well.. look at me, all jazzed up and looking out of the ordinary! 😝😝😝 Jokes aside, I do feel more comfortable wearing this shade of red as compared to those with yellow undertones, so I guess there’s some truth to this lipstick compatibility theory after all!
Like the others, Milk in Red glides almost-effortlessly across the lips, delivering full-coverage colour with a satin finish in just a single stroke. Lightweight and hydrating, it perfectly defines the lip contours which inadvertently gives my lips a plumped effect. Out of the three shades mentioned, the gradation here seems most apparent (look at the bottom lip!) because of the intense pigmentation of the main colour, red (so you definitely cannot get away without pursing your lips for this one). Boy, I may not be the biggest fan of red lips but Jesus Christ I LOVE THIS. Now, I have to find a suitable occasion to wear this lovely red..
In conclusion, I was so damn right – these Berrisom two-toned lipsticks did not disappoint! In fact, probably because they are so untypical of the usual Korean make-up products for their strong colour payoff and close-to-matte-like finish (if you noticed, most K-beauty lipsticks are either too glossy or sheer 😒 me no likey), they surpassed my expectations. Moreover, they are more long-lasting too!
With so many Korean beauty brands to shop at, there’s likely better choices out there. But in terms of affordability, Berrisom definitely takes the cake because like, seriously, it’s only S$16.90! (Prices are a lot lower if you buy it off the net but do bear in mind that you can’t try the colour before purchasing!)
What are your thoughts on these lipsticks? Let me know your comments below!
Thanks for reading!