Meet the "Sephoras" of Seoul
You’re in Korea and you’re surrounded by the most popular Korean beauty brand shops. To your left: Clio Professional, Etude House. To your right: Skinfood, Tony Moly and Too Cool for School. Sometimes, the two shops from the same brand can even be less than a 2-minutes walk away from each other, especially if you’re in Myeongdong, one of Seoul’s liveliest shopping districts. It’s seriously like a giant outdoor shopping mall for beauty!
It’s not an exaggeration that in Korea beauty shops are always around the corner, but what if you want to shop for less “mass market” brands? You’re in luck!
Here are a few multi-brand shops that offer another type of beauty shopping experience by presenting a collection of products, from the most popular brands in other countries to Korea’s up-and-coming brands. Think of them as an Asian Sephora!
Here are two multi-beauty brand shops you can explore if you ever find yourself in Seoul.
So many different brands! You’ve got a curated selection of products not only from Korea (Clio), but Taiwan (My Beauty Diary) and Europe (Caudalie) too! You won’t miss their hefty selection of sheet masks -- it takes up an entire aisle.
Random, but you can buy drinks and snacks here as well.
Actually, maybe it’s not so random. Olive Young is owned by the CJ Group, and they own a lot of different brands including food and beverage ones. (They even own entertainment divisions, for all you K-pop fans.)
I frequently peruse this shop because some Korean beauty brands with amazing products but a small footprint make their debut here. First spotted at Olive Young was the popular Caolion, as well as a couple of brands I really love -- Son & Park and Code9.
This chain is considered a health and beauty chain. Find it all over Asia, especially China. It has a very “drugstore” vibe, but they really focus on selling a lot of beauty products.
What sets them apart is a great selection of body and hair products, a category many popular Korean beauty brands tend to lack.
The interior is not as bright and modern looking as Olive Young, but they make up for it by conveniently offering many awesome brands such as Dr. Jart+, Hada Labo, Avene and Caolion.
Two newer beauty multi-shops have also made a big splash in Korea as of late. They are:
Belport is brand spankin' new and expanding fast with shops in Gangnam and Garosugil.
Again, I LOVE that you can shop for international brands all under one roof.
Pro tip: If you’re from the states, I wouldn’t recommend purchasing any of their American or international brands (like Burt’s Bees) because it’s likely more expensive in Korea than back in the U.S. On the flip side, score deals on Asian products.