Korea is in every beauty enthusiast’s bucket list, and we’ll go as far to say that it’s practically “mecca” for beauty enthusiasts, with the number of exciting beauty boutiques that pepper the shopping belts. And when we talk about must-visit shopping districts in Seoul, we have to talk about Myeongdong, which we think offer the best beauty shopping experience in the whole of Seoul: most of the retail assistants know English (and if you speak Mandarin, many of them speak it too), they give the most generous freebies, discounts and privileges for tourists, and the district give off an energetic vibe that you’d simply want to soak up.
If you are visiting Seoul soon, besides going to Etude House or Laneige (we know you won’t miss them!) consider these other ones in your Myeongdong itinerary and we assure you, you’ll be having some really unique hauls.
1. Too Cool For School
You can never be too cool for this beauty haul! The prices are more than affordable, and the brand has quickly made its way to the hearts of customers thanks to the cute and cool packaging and basic makeup products that you should at least try out. The cute packaging also make the products great options for gifts to your friends back home.
Too Cool for School Myeongdong address: 19, Myeongdong 4-gil
More reasons to visit Too Cool For School’s outlet in Myeongdong: It is huge – a 3-storey building that also offers a cozy area for you to rest your tired feet.
2. Olive Young
This place is heaven for every beauty enthusiast who takes their hauling rituals seriously. Think: Sephora of Korea. And although it’s not just one brand in question, we couldn’t have left it out, simply because it’s a beauty addict’s goldmine. (Or should we say, beauty mine?) It’s practically around every corner, and the bigger the neighbourhood, the bigger the store. It boasts a bunch of different makeup and beauty brands and products, as well as the occasional beauty supplement, and exploratory zones such as the K-Food Zone and Body Care Zone.
Olive Young Myeongdong address: 53 Myeongdong-gil
More reasons to visit Olive Young’s outlet in Myeongdong: Its main store in Myeongdong is the largest beauty store in Korea. If you’re a fan of top Korean beauty TV show Get It Beauty, you’ll be happy to know that there’s a Get It Beauty Zone in the Myeongdong store that displays products that have passed the show’s blind tests. It also has a Perfume Bar for you to check out 40 kinds of perfumes.
3. Holika Holika
There may be a Holika Holika counter in Singapore located at Isetan Orchard, but it’s definitely worth visiting the Holika Holika stores in Korea, which are a lot larger and carry more products than the Singapore’s counter. For instance, if you’re going to Korea anytime soon, you might be able to get your hands on the coveted Holika Holika x Gudetama products that are absolutely adorable!
Holika Holika Myeongdong address: 52-11 Myeongdong 2-ga and 54-10, Myeongdong 1-ga
4. Tony Moly
There’s only one Tony Moly store in Singapore now (in Bugis Junction, the rest have closed), so the excitement around the brand in Singapore has pretty much fizzled, especially when there are so many more Korean brands that have made their way to Singapore. Visiting Tony Moly in Korea will rekindle your love for the brand – you’ll love the enthusiastic service of the retail assistants and the wider range of products available. Tony Moly has many adorable products that are affordable (like the lip scrub below!), so you can also consider buying them as gifts.
Tony Moly Myeongdong address: 17-1, Myeongdong 10-gil, 43-1, Myeongdong 8-gil, and 30 Myeongdong 4-gil
5. The Saem
This may be a relatively new brand that has only launched in 2010, it already has a sold-out cult product that is much raved about – the O2 Bubble Mask. Known for its eco-friendly way of production and using only natural ingredients, The Saem is one of the Korean brands we wished is in Singapore. Its beauty is really in its simplicity, just like how the best floral arrangement is like.
The Saem Myeongdong address: 41 Myeongdong 8-gil