If you’re a true beauty junkie, you know that Seoul has replaced Paris as the new beauty capital of the world. And if you know that, you’re also probably aware of the fact that Urban Outfitters began distributing beauty products from mass-market or drugstore Korean brands back in June. But as much as you’d like to take advantage of this development, you probably haven’t been able to. Why? Because Korean beauty —or “K-beauty”— is overwhelming. It’s hard enough as it is for me to navigate the world of Korean beauty even with my knowledge of the language. I can only imagine how difficult it might be for the average American beauty junky.
So, to make things easier, I’m going to break it down for you. Here’s a list of 3 things you should purchase from Urban Outfitter’s line of Korean beauty products and 3 things you should skip. For items to skip, I chose them not because they don’t work, but because those products don’t necessarily give you a sense of what the brand is all about. Enjoy!
1. 3 Concept Eyes
Skip: Everything. Wait, wait – hear me out on the reason why. 3CE is a very trendy, very cool brand launched by Stylenanda. To me, their makeup is for the boldest of the bold, the most cosmopolitan of cosmopolites. With this brand, it’s not just about bright colors and long-lasting skincare products — it’s also about the girl that’s wearing this makeup.
The 3CE products that are available on UO won’t disappoint you. But, UO would’ve done a lot better by choosing products that actually represent what Stylenanda and 3CE is all about. So instead of shopping at UO, I’d recommend checking out Stylenanda or Sokoglam.com.
I’m going to keep this simple – stick to their eye makeup. That’s where this brand really shines. (If you’re not into eye makeup, check out their lip products instead.)
- Waterproof Pen Liner
- Gelpresso Waterproof Gel Liner
- Waterproof Turnliner Twisturn
- Eyebrow & Eyeliner Kit
- Art Blusher
- Art Highlighter
3. Holika Holika
To be perfectly honest, I don’t know much about Holika Holika. Out of all the mass-market brands that UO carries, it’s probably the least popular in Korea – not number-wise necessarily, but brand appeal-wise. For this brand, I chose the following items based on online best-sellers and reviews.
- Egg Soap Special Set
- Pig Nose Clear Blackhead Perfect Sticker
- Love Fantasy Blush
- Hello Holika Breeze Kitten Blush
- Vita Up! Facial Water Mist
- Lip Rescue Trio Essence Scrub
Does the thought of putting snail slime on your face gross you out? Well, get over it. The French think eating a dish of cooked snails is normal so it’s really a matter of perception. Mizon is well-known for its unusual ingredients, including snail slime and starfish. (I know, the last one caught me totally off guard.) For a great snail product review, check out this post from Into The Gloss.
- All-In-One Snail Repair Cream
- Black All-In-One Snail Repair Cream
- Honey Black Sugar Scrub
- Shower Sheet Essence
- All Day Feel So Good Perfume Mist
- Miracle Peeling Foot Mask
The thing you really need to know about Peripera is that they’re on point when it comes to lip products. I listed only three for brevity’s sake, but I’d highly recommend checking out the other lip products that are available on UO.
- Peri’s Tint Water
- Peri’s Tint Milk
- Peri’s Tint Crayon
- Heart Tok Blusher
- Heart Glow Stick
- Peri’s Tint Jelly Stick
Let’s say K-beauty is a dating scenario. THEFACESHOP would be the super approachable person, who’s cute in that (movie star) girl-next-door kind of way. Before becoming a subsidiary of LG in Jan 2010, THEFACESHOP was the third-largest domestic cosmetic company in Korea. So yes, it’s an extremely popular mass-market brand that’s geared towards young women on a budget. Let’s say K-beauty is a dating scenario. THEFACESHOP would be the super approachable person, who’s cute in that (movie star) girl-next-door kind of way. Before becoming a subsidiary of LG in Jan 2010, THEFACESHOP was the third-largest domestic cosmetic company in Korea. So yes, it’s an extremely popular mass-market brand that’s geared towards young women on a budget.
I know I was a bit harsh with UO’s selection of 3CE products, but when it comes to their selection of products from THEFACESHOP, TONYMOLY, and Skinfood, they really nailed it. Trust me; there are a lot more products that you should get your hands on besides the four (one is sold out at the moment) that I listed here.
- Rice Water Bright Cleansing Light Oil (Note: This product was just recently sold out, but we’re hoping UO will get more soon.)
- Chia Seed Moisture Holding Face Cream
- Chia Seed Watery Toner
- Smile Peeling Foot Mask
- Quick Top Coat Nail Polish
- Gel Touch Base Coat Nail Polish
- Repair Nails Calcium Gel
The first thing you’ll notice about TONYMOLY is the packaging — it’s cute, cute, cute, cute, cute. We’re talking packaging in the shape of tomatoes, apples, eggs, panda bears, and bunnies. (Speaking of which, this brand doesn’t test on animals.) I’d say UO covered all their bases with its selection of products from this brand. For the most part, I’d recommend sticking to their makeup products, as opposed to their skincare products. Also, if you want to narrow down your focus to three brands when you’re shopping at UO, TONMOLY should definitely be one of those brands, along with THEFACESHOP and Skinfood.
- Petite Bunny Gloss Bar
- Kiss Lover Lip Master
- Luminous Pure Aura CC Cream
- Crystal Blusher
- Pocket Bunny Sleek + Moist Mist
- Clean Dew Face Flower Rain Mist
The name says it all — nourishing food for your skin from natural ingredients. Easy, right? As with THEFACESHOP, I had an extremely difficult time narrowing it down to 3 must-have products. (If I could, I’d recommend everything because who wouldn’t want to try a rich body cream made of quinoa or an almond milk cream for their feet?) That being said, these 3 must-haves are the best introduction to this brand. Enjoy!
- Black Sugar Mask
- Rice Mask
- Egg White Pore Foam
- Fruit Brunch Lip Box
- Soda Bath Fizzer
- Foodtherapy Stick Perfume
(All product photos: Urban Outfitters)