The Perfect Korean Drugstore Lippie To Make All of Your K-Drama Heroine Dreams Come True

I'm a pretty massive fan of South Korean cosmetics, but given my perpetually precarious bank account status, I mostly just admire them from afar — and try to find drugstore dupes for Korean lipstick, BB creams, and everything else. I'll admit to an occasional splurge on a staple like a BB cushion compact, or maybe once in a blue moon, a really (really, really) pretty lipstick bought on That Winter, The Wind Blows-induced impulse — but I'm generally fairly frugal. Which is why my heart grew three sizes when I discovered the ultra-affordable drugstore brand, Aritaum and their equally affordable Water Sliding Tints, because get this: They happen to be the perfect set of dupes for all of your favorite K-drama lip looks.

It was a happy accident, fueled by a buy one, get one free sale at my local Amore Pacific shop. Like most beauty nerds, I usually do a fair amount of research before buying anything new — but at two for $9.99, paired with a $5 gift certificate? I'd be stupid not to buy it, right? After several minutes of painstaking swatching while the sales associate looked on warily, I finally settled on shade #3 in Sweet Heart (an ultra-bright orange-y pink) and #15 in Cherry Cola (a dramatic deep berry).

At first glance, they were like a dream. They were ultra-pigmented, yet sheer enough for a casual summer-y vibe, they applied evenly, and the texture was downright buttery. Would they live up to their stellar first impression, though? As soon as I got home, I got to reading the reviews, and to my delight, I found out that Aritaum is actually fairly highly regarded. Think of it as a bit like L'Oreal — yes, you can buy the lion's share of the products for under $10, but you're always mindful of the fact that they share a lot of formulas with Yves Saint Laurent. So too is Aritaum, with various higher-end Korean brands, like Hera and IOPE.

I wore Cherry Cola around for the rest of the day, and it held up pretty well. I had to reapply a few times, but that was the only drawback — it faded evenly, without clinging to any patches, and it kept my lips moisturized. All in all, it's one of the best drugstore lippies I've ever tried — and with the brighter-than-bright shade selection and light, shiny texture it's absolutely perfect for summer. Plus, as mentioned earlier, it's the perfect product to stock up on if you've been coveting all of your favorite K-Drama heroines' respective lip games. I mean, Sweet Heart is a pretty solid dupe for one of Jun Ji Hyun's shade of choice in My Love From Another Star:

It's a bright, pinkish orange with a gratifying amount of shine to it (plus, it's brighter in person than in this photo — so it's actually fairly high impact).

Cherry Cola, on the other hand? It's not a bad match for IU's vampy berry shade on Producers:

They might be a bit tough to get a hold of, depending on your area, but if you ever happen to come across them in the wild, they're well-worth their price (and then some).

Images: My Love From Another Star (2), Producers/DramaFever; Rosie Narasaki