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Beauty

K-Beauty Junkies, These Are Your Must-Visit Stores In Seoul

If you are heading to the Asian beauty mecca soon, these are some of the must-visit beauty stores you have to check out before flying back to Singapore.
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#1: Stylenanda Pink Hotel Flagship Store
Not to be mistaken as an actual hotel, this Stylenanda flagship store that’s designed to look like one is actually a haven of millennial pink and Insta-worthy photo opportunities. The first level sees of Stylenanda’s own cosmetic line, 3CE, that’s also sold locally here in Sephora (but of a much smaller assortment). The array of cosmetics continues to the store’s Old Hollywood-themed second level where you can find the iconic pink bathtub that’s filled with flower petals which you’ve probably seen all over the ‘gram. 37-8, Myeongdong 8-gil, Jung-gu #2: Etude House Color Factory
Having makeup that’s customised for your skin usually costs a pretty penny, but not when it comes to Etude House‘s Color Factory. Here, the brand offers one-on-one lipstick customisation with their special “My Color Finder” device that will accurately identify your skin tone and identify a shade that flatters you the most. They have a bank of 240 shades to select from, so one (or a mixture of a few) is bound to be of your liking. The lipsticks are also created by hand at the factory and are not sold on the market, which means your lippie is the only one in the world to exist. Then, you can choose your favourite bullet design and case, which you can engrave. This whole process costs about 25,000 KRW or SGD$28.60. #64-2, Myeongdong, Jung-gu #3: Innisfree Flagship Store
Located at the busy shopping district of Myeongdong, we’d think of this four-storey flagship store as a one-stop-shop of relaxation and beauty products. Stock up on your favourite Innisfree products that’re housed on the ground floor. There, you can also customise your own eyeshadow palette and cushion foundation case, or receive a skin analysis via a device that recommends products for your skin’s needs. And if you need a little break from a full day of cosmetics shopping, pop by the Green Cafe on the second floor which offers organic snacks and drinks. You can even deposit your baggage at the free luggage storage space that’s on the top floor. 64-2 Myeongdong 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu #4: Chicor Flagship Store
This flagship store is said to carry up to 250 global and Korean beauty brands that range from Nars to Bobbi Brown to smaller local brands. This might sound daunting when it comes to locating products that you love, but fret not because the four-storey store has been neatly divided into 10 sections according to product categories such as haircare, skincare, colour cosmetics, etc. Plus, shopping here also becomes a full pampering session, what with the beauty specialists that’re peppered about the store and ready to dole out one-on-one beauty services such as scalp massages and makeup touch-ups. 441 Seosan Building, Gangnam Daero Road, Seocho-gu #5: A Land
Multi-brand boutique A Land is known for its extensive range of women’s and men’s fashion, lifestyle labels. But besides those, the boutique also stocks up over 50 Korean beauty brands, which may not necessarily be available in Singapore. Apart from Cosrx (it is sold at Guardian), brands such as Klairs, which is known for its soothing and calming skincare products, Son & Park (we love the brand’s Beauty Water) and Skinmiso are also being sold at the boutique. 30 Myeongdong 6-gil, Myeongdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu #6: Boots Flagship Store
Leading UK drugstore boutique Boots opened its first ever flagship store in Seoul in July 2017. The huge store consists of four floors and features a variety of different brands. The first floor carries makeup brands like MAC Cosmetics, Shu Uemura and Benefit while the second storey boasts a wide array of different hair and body care brands. Skincare junkies will definitely love the third floor as it is packed with local and global skincare brands. What makes this flagship store so special (besides its huge space) is the fourth floor. It houses a cafe where you can order a cup of joe after shopping for hours. Shinhan Financial Center 53-1, Myeong-dong 1-ga, Jung-gu,  #7: Sulwhasoo Flagship Store
We have seen tons of flagship boutique spaces, but this definitely takes the throne. It has six storeys (c’mon, it is not common to have a beauty flagship store that consists of six different floors) and the appearance of the store is not hard to miss. Designed by Shanghai architect duo Neri and Hu, the space symbolises a new beacon of Asian beauty and is inspired by lanterns. The Boutique and Heritage room occupy the first floor while the second storey houses all of the brand’s products (which you can purchase) and it even comes with a gift-wrapping service. To learn more about the brand’s history and culture, head over to the third floor before booking a slot at the Sulwhasoo Balance Spa on the fourth floor. And if you thought the space only houses one spa, there’s another one located on the underground floor, which is a more luxurious anti-ageing spa program that is based on Korean medicinal herbs. On the last floor, you will be greeted by a rooftop lounge to chill and relax. 18, Dosan-daero 45-gil, Gangnam-gu #8: Dr Jart+ Flagship Store
Designed to look like a giant filtration device at some sort of factory, the beauty brand’s flagship store is really not that hard to miss when you are strolling around Garosugil. The entire aesthetics of the space is meant to reflect the brand’s ethos of using clean, safe and minimal ingredients suitable for all skin types. Inside the space, you’ll find the products lined up on metal tables (like the ones in science labs) based on type and collection. P/S: it is pretty confusing if it is your first time navigating your way through. 769-8 Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam-gu #9: Olive Young
Whenever I travel to Seoul, I love purchasing beauty products there are not available back home and one place I often visit to cart out some awesome buys is Olive Young. The drug store is one of the more popular ones in Seoul and is widely available in many parts from Myeongdong to Garosugil and even Gangnam. What to expect inside: local and international brands like Lily by Red, I’m Meme and Eucerin. 30, Eulji-ro 11-gil, Jung-gu #10: Aritaum
Aritaum is Amorepacific’s (the cosmetics giant is home to widely known and popular brands like Hera, Sulwhasoo, Laneige and Innisfree) one-stop shop that features all of its brands. The stores are peppered around Seoul for easy access to any of your favourite K-beauty brands at your convenience.