Along with K-Pop and K-Drama, K-Beauty has become a new trend leader of Korean Wave to meet the stringent needs of customers who admire the radiant ‘glass skin’ glow of Korean celebrities. Once when I was placing an order at Dairy Queen, A non-Korean clerk suddenly asked me what the product I used for my skin was- it was a Korean foundation brought from Korea, so I wrote down the brand and the name of the product on a piece of paper as she happily took it back to look it up herself. Likewise, Korean cosmetic products have been in great demand, not to mention that 10-step Korean skin care routine that was all the rage, and some of them are easily discovered in Sephora too.
Koreatown also has some decent cosmetic stores that carry Korean brands and products. As someone who has been in Korea until recent years, it was quite impressive to look how they had numerous brands with diverse collection of products. We will introduce some of them that are worth visiting even just to look around from here on out.
Aritaum is a ubiquitous Korean cosmetic chain. If you were in South Korea, you could see them quite often, especially in the heart of Seoul. It is even spotted in several places in Koreatown, LA and one of them is located in California Market. They carry not only the original Aritaum brands like Laneige, Sulwhasoo, IOPE, Mammonde, and Hanyul but also others such as Innisfree. The lady at the counter is very nice and calm as she patiently waits for the customers to explore the place as much as they wish. With that being said, the store has a restriction that only items over $5 are purchasable with a card. The store has pretty much everything from sleeping care items to makeup products, tools and nail tips, and the overall store structure looks similar to that of Korea. You can also enjoy the perks of giveaways if you spend over a certain amount.
Donginbi is another cosmetic store in California Market, located right across Aritaum. It is actually named after a renowned, high-end Korean skincare brand established by Korean Ginseng Corporation. However, the store seems rather a collection of many different Korean brand products including Donginbi, BT21, Pyunkangyul, Su:m, Hera, Innisfree, 3CE, Re:NK, etc. Having products that are not limited to cosmetics, such as car perfumes or Hello Kitty masks also makes it enjoyable to look around. A human-size cutout of a famous soccer player Son Heung Min will greet you on the route from the parking lot to the entrance of the store.
Cosmetic World is a big cosmetic store located in Madang Plaza. If there is a particular Korean makeup item you wish to buy but want to save on delivery fee, or need to buy something for a quick adjustment in makeup, this place is definitely for you! Like other stores they do not just sell Korean products but also some non-Korean big ones like Bobbi Brown or Clinique. This place is pretty big, so if you get bored before or after the movies in CGV at Madang Plaza, you could spend some time browsing around.
Aritaum Hannam is located right next to Hannam Chain in Koreatown. And yes, it is the same Aritaum as the Aritaum in California Market but resembles more of Korea’s Aritaum as they are focused more on Aritaum brand series like Mammonde or IOPE. You can easily visit on your way to the Korean supermarket Hannam Chain to get your favorite go-to products from makeup items to body mists and small tools like eyebrow razors.
Palace Beauty is a beloved beauty store to a lot of visitors who are looking for good skin products and expand their regimen as they carry certain brands where not many cosmetic stores would have, such as Dr. Jart, or Goodal. They do, obviously, have other Korean brands like Tony Moly, Peripera, Innisfree or Missha, too. Unlike some overpriced Korean cosmetic stores, it has a reasonable price for their items. Staff is friendly and professional as they make customers feel like they are in good hands. What’s more, they are kind enough to give out free samples to take home and try out!