If you are a beauty junkie that absolutely loves K-beauty, you would be familiar with Olive Young, which is undoubtedly one of the top drugstores in South Korea. The ubiquitous health & beauty store can be found in almost every corner of the country, particularly in Seoul.
For those who are heading to Korea for the first time, you may be overwhelmed by the wide variety of beauty products available at Olive Young. When you are in a store stocked with the best K-beauty and international brands, and armed with the knowledge that you get a tax refund for purchases above KRW30,000 (about SGD34.70), it is easy to lose your self-control.
However, most of us do not have the luxury of unlimited baggage allowance, and hence face the dilemma of choosing which beauty product to buy back home. To make your shopping trips to Olive Young a lot easier, we’ve compiled the top bestsellers from Olive Young that you should check out:
1. Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Toner
The cruelty-free brand may be unfamiliar to most of us, but it is very popular in Korea for their high-quality products that are formulated with natural ingredients that do not irritate sensitive skin.
Isntree’s Hyaluronic Acid Toner was crowned the #1 Toner by Koreans in 2016, and it’s not hard to see why: the product contains a whooping 50% of hyaluronic acid to replenish rough and dehydrated skin, making this a must-have for those who suffer from dry skin.
Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Toner retails in Olive Young at KRW24,000.
2. isoi Blemish Care Serum Plus
isoi’s top-rated serum is highly-raved in the media as a holy grail for sensitive, acne-prone skin, having won awards for more than five years in Korea. Users report significant fading of blemishes such as dark spots, sunspots, and blackheads with regular application of this serum.
The multi-functional skincare product is not only great for blemishes: it also hydrates dry skin, removes excess sebum to prevent acne, and reduces pore size. Sweet!
isoi Blemish Care Serum Plus retails in Olive Young at KRW29,500.
3. Olive Young Care Plus Acne Patch
Most of us are familiar with the COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch, which makes those pesky pimples disappear overnight.
This acne patch from Olive Young works in the same way, and is incredibly popular with most locals and tourists. In fact, it has been voted 2,952,490 times as the #1 pimple patch in Olive Young, far ahead of its counterparts!
Olive Young Care Plus Acne Patch retails in Olive Young at KRW4,000 for 1 sheet.
4. Goodal Green Tangerine Vita C Toner Pad
Exfoliation of your skin can help to smooth rough patches, reduce redness, and fade blemishes over time. While it is commonly believed that exfoliation should only be done about twice a week, this multi-purpose toner pad from Goodal actually encourages you to exfoliate daily instead.
The reason? Goodal’s Green Tangerine Vita C Toner Pad is soaked with a hypoallergenic vitamin serum that is effective in removing grime, but gentle enough to moisturize and soothe your skin. No wonder it is so popular with Korean beauty influencers!
Goodal Green Tangerine Vita C Toner Pad retails in Olive Young at KRW24,000.
5. Neogen Dermalogy Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Wine
Soko Glam’s founder Charlotte Cho touted this innovative exfoliating product as the ‘next big thing in Korean skincare’.
Besides the fact that it is made with red wine – an unusual skincare ingredient – Neogen Dermalogy’s pads actually do both mechanical and chemical exfoliation for your skin at the same time. You will certainly be amazed by the brighter, softer skin achieved after simply swiping one of these pads.
Neogen Dermalogy Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Wine retails in Olive Young at KRW22,900.
6. I’m From Honey Mask
This premium wash-off mask contains 38.7% natural honey from Mountain Jiri in Korea. Most other skincare products that list honey as an ingredient actually contain only honey essence or extract, which is a diluted version.
Thanks to its formulation of real honey, I’m From’s Honey Mask provides skin the full multitude of benefits derived from honey. These include anti-inflammatory properties to calm red and inflamed skin, anti-ageing and moisturizing effects, as well as an enhanced ability to rejuvenate from pollution and fatigue.
I’m From Honey Mask retails in Olive Young at KRW38,000.
7. Mediheal TeaTree Care Solution Essential Mask EX
You can’t escape from buying sheet masks in Korea, and if you are looking to try the best mask without burning a hole in your wallet, this is the one you have to buy for sure.
Formulated with a mix of tea tree, pine needle, and portulaca oleracea extracts, this mask from Mediheal makes acne and spots heal really fast – perfect for the times you need to get rid of zits urgently.
Mediheal’s TeaTree Care Solution mask was voted as the top mask pack by Koreans last year, and is constantly sold out across all drugstores in Korea. If you see these in Olive Young, make sure to buy them ASAP, or you may not be able to get your hands on them again!
Mediheal TeaTree Care Solution Essential Mask EX retails in Olive Young at KRW2,000 for 1 sheet.
8. eSpoir Pro Tailor Foundation (Be Silk)
eSpoir is a mid-range K-beauty brand that is loved and recommended by professional Korean makeup artists for its high quality. This foundation is the brand’s best-selling product, and was even crowned best foundation product in 2019 in Korea.
The Be Silk Foundation has a silk-fix texture that lasts all day while providing excellent coverage. It also comes in a shade spectrum that beats most other K-beauty brands, with 10 shades in different tones that run from Light 1 to Dark 4.
eSpoir Pro Tailor Foundation (Be Silk) retails in Olive Young at KRW38,000.
9. DR.JART+ Dermakeup Fixison Foundation
DR.JART+ is a K-beauty brand that we usually associate with skincare, but did you know that the brand also has a foundation that is developed with dermatologists?
The Dermakeup Fixison Foundation has a velvety texture that removes excess grease from sebum, which is perfect for those of us who often sport oily skin in Singapore’s climate. The coverage is also perfect for blemishes and uneven skin tone, so that you can have the same flawless skin as the Koreans!
While DR.JART+ is available in Singapore at Sephora, last we checked, this popular product isn’t sold here. More reason for us to get our hands on it when we’re in Korea!
DR.JART+ Dermakeup Fixison Foundation retails in Olive Young at KRW39,000.
10. HANSKIN Blemish Cover
For the days you don’t feel like applying full-face makeup, but still need to cover those spots, HANSKIN Blemish Cover is the go-to product.
The soft, creamy concealer is easy to apply, and its lightweight texture allows your skin to breathe – almost as though you haven’t applied anything at all. The Blemish Cover also boasts anti-wrinkle, brightening, and moisturising effects, so that you can heal your skin while covering up the acne.
HANSKIN Blemish Cover retails in Olive Young at KRW12,000.
11. LUNA Long Lasting Tip Concealer
Some beauty fans call this a dupe for the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. It’s not just the design that is similar: even the coverage and texture are comparable!
At just a fraction of the price of its NARS counterpart, the LUNA Long Lasting Tip Concealer has a texture that is easy to spread and blend out, which is great to use as an under-eye concealer. The coverage is also well-loved by its loyal fans, so you can be sure that it will work in concealing those stubborn zits and red spots.
LUNA Long Lasting Tip Concealer retails in Olive Young at KRW14,000.
12. Merzy The First Pen Eyeliner
The high-pigment, waterproof eyeliner stays put for 12 hours, with no sign of fading or smudging at all. You will love the superfine and flexible brush tip that glides easily across the lashline. Unlike traditional felt tip liners, this one from Merzy will not fray, so you can always achieve a precise winged look.
Best of all? The brand is vegan-friendly, with no usage of animal-derived ingredients or tested on animals.
Merzy The First Pen Eyeliner retails in Olive Young at KRW6,900.
13. lilybyred Starry Eyes 9-to-9 Gel Eyeliner
For those who prefer using eyeliner pencils, lilybyred sells one of the best in the K-beauty market. These eyeliners are long-lasting and smudge-proof with an easy-glide, creamy texture. You will love the vibrant eyeliner colour that stays on from, literally, 9AM to 9PM.
lilybyred Starry Eyes 9-to-9 Gel Eyeliner retails in Olive Young at KRW8,000.
14. WAKEMAKE Lip Paint
Looking to achieve the gradient lip look, but never managed to find a lip product that can do the trick? WAKEMAKE’s Lip Paint will do just the trick.
This lip tint is immensely popular with customers for its long-lasting, vivid colour that is super easy to apply. Plus, it comes in so many different shades, ranging from the wearable MLBB shades to bright hues of red – all of which are perfect for every skin tone!
WAKEMAKE Lip Paint retails in Olive Young at KRW14,000.
15. MEMEBOX I’M MEME I’M Tic Toc Tint Lip Cashmere
Some velvet lip tints are notoriously drying on the lips, but this lip tint from MEMEBOX I’M MEME is definitely not one of them.
The moisturizing tint is a mix between lip balm and liquid lipstick – it is moisturizing with a soft matte finish, and stays put wihtout drying your lips out. You can choose from a wide range of colours, all of which are effortlessly flattering.
MEMEBOX I’M MEME I’M Tic Toc Tint Lip Cashmere retails in Olive Young at KRW15,000.
16. SON&PARK Blooming Lipstick
If you are back on board the glossy lips trend, make sure to get your hands on SON&PARK’s Blooming Lipstick.
The brand’s best-selling lip product comes with a hydrating, ultra-pigmented formula for a beautiful swash of colour upon application. It is also enriched with floral oil ingredients to nourish your lips, so that they stay healthy and hydrated even in dry environments.
SON&PARK Blooming Lipstick retails in Olive Young at KRW15,000.
17. Too Cool For School Art Class By Rodin Shading
The Koreans are experts in subtly contouring their faces without making it look overdone, and it’s all thanks to this #1 contouring product in Korea.
The 3-in-1 powder creates a naturally carved finish on the skin, and blends easily with any brush. You can either use all 3 shades together for a natural contour, or use each one individually for a more strategic, deliberate shading.
Too Cool For School Art Class By Rodin Shading retails in Olive Young at KRW16,000.
18. Mise En Scène Perfect Serums
Many locals you see on the streets of Seoul always sport perfectly-groomed hair, and it’s not because they always go for hair treatment at the salon. Their secret to gorgeous hair? This serum from Mise En Scène!
This hair serum protects and hydrates with different kinds of oils, including argan, camellia, olive, and jojoba. It promises to increase elasticity and strength of your hair while reducing tangles in as little as three days – not a tall tale, considering that it has been given countless beauty and popularity awards.
Mise En Scène Perfect Serum retails in Olive Young at KRW13,000 for 1 set of 3 bottles.
19. AROMATICA Rosemary Scalp Scaling Shampoo
AROMATICA’s scaling shampoo has been the #1 shampoo in Korea for a few consecutive years, and you would definitely want to bag that home and find out why for yourself.
Enhanced with natural oils to revitalize your scalp, this shampoo even promises to gently remove dandruff so that you can get healthy, beautiful hair. The herb mint smell of Rosemary essential oil, a key ingredient in the shampoo, also works wonders in helping you feel refreshed after a long and tiring day.
AROMATICA Rosemary Scalp Scaling Shampoo retails in Olive Young at KRW17,900.
20. Dashing Diva Magic Press Pedicure
No time to head to the salon for a pedicure? Dashing Diva’s magic press stickers make it so much easier to get perfect nails by yourself, even if you are not a professional manicurist.
All you need to do is pick a design that you love (the only tough part, when you see how many dazzling designs they sell), press the different designs on your nails, and viola – your ‘pedicure’ is done!
Dashing Diva Magic Press Pedicure retails in Olive Young at KRW9,900 for 1 sheet.
21. Illiyoon Ceramide Ato Lotion
Voted by Korean consumers as the top body lotion, Illiyoon’s Ceramide Ato Lotion is made from indigenous herbal ingredients such as ginseng to moisturize sensitive and dry skin.
Users attest that the lotion is effective in relieving and hydrating itchy and sensitive skin, and you’ll find this product to be particularly useful in the drier, winter months.
Illiyoon Ceramide Ato Lotion retails in Olive Young at KRW30,000.