Growing up multicultural was weird for me, but it seems like all of a sudden Korean beauty products are having a big moment in the states. Although my past was riddled with kids making fun of the sushi my mom would occasionally pack me for lunch, my multicultural background is now a sort of a "trend." I mean, apparently everyone loves sushi these days (well, mostly just California rolls; but hey, it's a start!) And just last week, I heard Psy's "Gangnam Style" while out at a bar. Let's not forget that Korean girl group 2NE1's "I Am The Best" is currently featured in the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 commercial as well.
BB creams, CC creams, BB cushions, sheet masks, and various ampoules have become stateside hits. Laneige is now sold in Target across the nation, Amorepacific is selling at Sephora, and now even Urban Outfitters has jumped on board Korean beauty.
Being Korean, I'm surrounded by these beauty products constantly, and am always on the lookout to try the latest thing — but it's hard to keep up with the hype sometimes. Something new is always on the rise, with brands and companies always bettering their products to meet consumer needs... but needless to say, I think the Korean beauty wave is only just starting.
Not only are Korean beauty products packed with innovative ingredients (like snail enzymes) but they're also outfitted in attention-grabbing, super cute, and creative packaging (like life-like bananas and peaches). So where can someone stock up on awesome Korean beauty products without having to actually travel to South Korea? The beautiful world of the Internet of course!
With the Internet at your fingertips, you can buy whatever you want! Don't want to wait a month for your item to be shipped across the planet? No worries — there are plenty of online vendors that are located within the states, who make shipping a breeze. If you live near an Asian grocery store, then you might be in luck, too, because sometimes they have smaller makeup stores inside.
So whether you're a super cultured, Korean beauty lover or someone who doesn't know the first thing about Korea, here are my top seven online shops where you can satisfy your needs and answer all your skin woes.
Best for: Fast Shipping. If you can't wait for your products to ship all the way from Asia, no worries! SokoGlam ships from the states, with international posting as well.
Take note of: The reviews! Most of their products have extensive reviews from certified buyers. This is super important because reading and relying on reviews before buying anything online can save you quite the buyer's remorse. They also have awesome descriptions of their products, rather than jumbled up English translations from Google.
Caolion Blackhead Steam Pore Pack, $38, Peach And Lily; Morihata Binchotan Facial Puff, $16, Peach And Lily; Caolion Blackhead O2 Bubble Pore Pack, $26, Peach And Lily; Morihata Binchotan Facial Soap, $29, Peach And Lily; Shangpree Charcoal Hydrogel Mask, $17, Peach And Lily
Best for: The harder to find brands. Peach and Lily might not carry typical Korean brands, such as Faceshop, Missha, or Tonymoly, but they carry higher-end brands such as Aromatica and Shangpree.
Take note of: Their starter kits. If you're new to the whole Korean beauty world, this might be a good place to start off. They sell the entire 10-step system with best-sellers depending on what skin type you have. They have the regime for dry skin, oily/acne-prone skin, combination skin, and normal skin. Though they come at a steep price, the silky smooth skin is worth it in my opinion.
Best for: People who want to shop somewhere familiar. If the other Korean beauty websites fluster, confuse, and overwhelm you then go to Urban Outfitters' website. It's familiar, yet the retailer carries popular Korean beauty brands such as Clio, Faceshop, Tonymonly, Holika Holika, and Mizzon.
Take note of: The price. I'm not sure if it's because Urban Outfitters is a massive retailer, but the prices seem a little bit steeper than average. Then again, you could probably save with shipping fees if you just want to stop into an Urban Outfitters in person.
Best for: At Jolse you'll find discounted prices and free shipping... need I say more?
Take note of: Their sales and specials, which are pretty consistent. For example, right now they have a buy two, get one free deal, as well as 25 percent off of sample box collections.
Best for: Those who want to see what all the hype about Korean beauty products is really about. At Memebox, you can get a mystery box full of Korean beauty goodies so you can get a taste of every part of skin heaven.
Take note of: Good deals on their hand-curated box sets. Most of the Memeboxes are around $30 to $40.
Best for: If you want to shop for Korean fashion items as well as beauty products, you can kill two birds with one stone on YesStyle. They carry brands such as Innisfree, Laneige, Missha, 3ConceptEyes, Skinfood, and Etude house.
Take note of: They also have Japanese and Taiwanese skincare products if you want to venture out into the wider world of Asian beauty — but be weary, shipping might take some time.
Best for: Lots and lots of options. You can pretty much find whatever you're looking for on here. Just have to know what you're looking for. Amazon, I do love thee.
Take note of: Where the item is shipping from and who is selling it. Make sure you're buying from a trusted seller and triple check where they are shipping from. There are sellers based both in the states and overseas. Sellers shipping from the states will have higher prices but lower shipping fees, whereas the overseas sellers will sell for very low but with higher shipping fees. It's all about balance.