It’s no surprise that the beauty market is huge in Korea and has taken off outside of the country too. One of the great things about Korean beauty goods is that it isn’t just trendy and prettily-packaged, it’s also of high quality and innovative, allowing us to explore interesting ways to look as gorgeous as celebs themselves. Today, Boxer AJ offers her insight on the top 5 Korean beauty brands that we all should know about. AJ hails from New Zealand but has lived in Seoul for 5 years. With her savvy shopping skills, this beauty enthusiast is well-placed to give you her local insight into what’s trending in the beauty world among local Korean trend-setters and taste-makers.
So let’s hear from Boxer AJ –
Korean ‘Road Stores’ are widely known both in Korea and other Asian countries, such as Etude House, Skinfood, Holika Holika, The Face Shop, Tony Moly and Missha to name but a few. But Korean beauty has a lot more to offer than just these well-known mass marketed brands. Some brands are developing almost exclusively for the foreign market and often don’t have real-life brick & mortar stores, instead relying on online sales via their own sites and beauty e-commerce platforms.
Today I go through some of the lesser known brands from Korea. Some of them are well-known in the Asian Beauty community but I wanted to talk about them here in case some of you Shoppers are first-time beginners in the Korean beauty sphere. Hopefully even seasoned veterans might find something they have not heard about yet! Enjoy!
Yadah (short for Young Adults with Determination to Achieve Happiness) is relatively new to the market. Despite launching in 2009, it has only really gained traction since 2013. As of late they’ve been gaining traction and working hard to gain visibility and popularity.
With a range of natural-based products that are low in chemicals, Yadah has also collaborated with Sonyunara (an online shopping mall aimed at the youth market) to launch their All Day Cushion (+ Add To Wishlist) and it’s accompanying All Day Tint (+ Add To Wishlist), priced at KRW 29,000 for the set (+ Add To Wishlist).
Beige to online store Chuu is basically what 3CE is to Style Nanda. Similar to Style Nanda, Chuu has opened their first physical store as of late and offers the same type of products at slightly higher price points.
Currently, Beige is entirely makeup-focused (they do have a makeup remover which is their only skincare-type product) along with a nail line. The range isn’t as extensive as other beauty brands, but they’ve slowly been expanding and recently added foundation sticks to their range priced at KRW29,000 each (+ Add To Wishlist).
If you don’t know already, Jung Saem Mool is one of Korea’s leading makeup artists who has worked with K-Stars such as Lee Hyori, Kara and Miss A to name just a few. A well respected figure in the industry who often stars in Korean beauty shows to share her expertise, she has recently launched her new namesake beauty brand.
JSM is surprisingly affordable too with High Color Lipsticks retailing at KRW27,000 (+ Add To Wishlist) and the Essential Skin Nuder Cushion for KRW42,000 (+ Add To Wishlist). The Essential Tinted Pastes are KRW28,000 each (+ Add To Wishlist) and have been getting a lot of attention in the beauty industry with numerous mentions in Korean fashion and beauty magazines.
Unpretty Rapstar is actually a Korean reality TV competition show featuring female rappers which recently launched an accompanying cosmetic line that’s mostly focused on makeup with a few basic skincare items such as cleansers.
A recent collaboration with Makeup Artist and Youtuber SSIN resulted in the B-H Box by SSINNIM (+ Add To Wishlist). The B-H stands for “Brown-Holic” and it includes a curated range of SSIN’s favourite items in a Limited Edition packaging. The items included are the Multi Drawing Contour Kit, Easy Long Wear Auto Shadow, Mono Color Shadow and Smooth Jelly Shadow. It retails for KRW35,000.
You can see her using these products in her video here.
Seatree Art is another brand with a focus on natural beauty. Its name is derived from the mangrove tree which also is the brand’s symbol. One of the unique features of Seatree Art is their packaging. Featuring gorgeous art on the exterior, you can choose between 2-4 different options when it comes to your own packaging.
The Seatree Art Steam Cream (+ Add To Wishlist) is one of their signature products and is a great all round multi-tasking moisturizer. They have also just entered the cushion market with their new Easy Cushion which comes in three cute designs at KRW19,800 apiece (+ Add To Wishlist).
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