South Korea’s Top Makeup Brands: Part 1

Hello! It’s Dasha here reporting to you from Seoul, South Korea ^^
This article is all about Korea’s best domestic makeup brands. Since there are quite a few popular brands here, I will publish this series in two separate articles. Here is Part 1!

Etude House (에뛰드하우스)


This one is personally my favourite makeup brand in Korea. The prices are great and so are the products. The theme also really appeals to me, because I love pink and girly things! The brand theme is pink, princess, cute, and magical. Every store is instantly recognizable as it is a white and pink coloure quaint little house with pink shingles on the roof and a princess castle-like balcony. ‘Etude’ means study in French. Most products come in a pink coloured package, usually decorated with a cute bow. Etude House has stores in Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and the Philippines and additionally in Brunei and Myanmar. Etude’s introduction statement on their website is, “All of you are born as a princess. Your own magical story has already begun. Princess fantasy is now happening in your life. Let Your Pink Out!!” As you can see, the brand is all about princess imagery and cute pink products. I would say it is one of the girliest makeup brands that really tries to make you feel good about yourself! If you love cute girly things, you must shop at Etude House.

Nature Republic (네이처리퍼블릭)


Nature Republic, as the name suggests, uses natural ingredients for their products. Their brand concept on their website says, “Exploring the clean & marvelous gifts sent from God, we strive to find the precious life energy in the midst of Scorching deserts, the vast extent of wild savannah, and in the profound of Deep Ocean. Let us present you the beautiful stories of Mother Nature and share the healthy & joyful naturalism right here, with NATURE REPUBLIC!” The brand sounds so excited about nature! From my own personal experience, I can say they have the best foot masks EVER!!! If you have some dry skin that you need to peel-off, you must buy the foot peel mask. It is like industrial strength – I mean, it really works! After a week, you will have brand new looking soft clean feet. If you love nature and great products, you must shop at Nature Republic.



If you haven’t heard of the other brands, you probably have heard of THEFACESHOP. It is wildly popular and has stores all over the world including Australia, Brunei, Canada, China, the Dominican Republic Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, The United Arab Emirates, the United States, Costa Rice, Vietnam, and of course Korea. Similar to the other makeup brands, THEFACESHOP also prides itself for using natural products. Their brand story says, “Sharing Nature’s Stories – A brand that shares the benefits of nature. Nature untouched and unexploited is so beautiful, yet so far away. THEFACESHOP brings together science and the perfection of nature to deliver the best product for your skin.” Actually the message keeps going on and on, it’s very long! By now, I think it is safe to say a trend in Korean makeup companies creating products from natural ingredients. One of their famous products is the Jeju Aloe Gel, which is usually stocked in huge piles at the or near the entrance of the store. Additionally, some of their lipsticks are so pretty they were awarded prizes for being best colour of the year. If you want to check out ultra-popular Korean makeup, definitely stop by the nearest THEFACESHOP.

Innisfree (이느스프리)


Innisfree = innis (island) + free. The first makeup I ever bought in Korea was from Innisfree, and I can say I wasn’t disappointed! In fact, Innisfree is the favourite makeup store of many of my friends. Once again, Innisfree uses natural products, but it is the original. It was created way back in 2000 – 15 years ago! Furthermore, it strives to be as environmentally-friendly as possible. Innisfree has stores in Hong Kong, China, Japan, India, Singapore, Malaysia, and South Korea. Their products are unique and use ingredients specially from Jeju Island, Korea’s own paradise island known for its fresh air great tasting tangerines among other fruits. When you walk into their store and see their products, you really do feel like their products must be so natural and healthy. On the product packaging there is usually a great description of the product and where its ingredients are derived from. Their brand statement found on their global website says, “Innisfree, the pure island where clean nature and healthy beauty coexist in harmony. Innisfree is a natural brand that shares the benefits of nature from the pristine island of Jeju allowing for vibrant beauty and pursues an eco-friendly green life to preserve the balance of nature.” One of their best sellers is the super volcanic pore clay mask which uses super volcanic cluster capsules to powerfully absorb sebum to intensively resolve pore concerns. Though I have yet to try this product myself, I have heard lots of great things. If you care for the planet and want to use all natural ingredients in your makeup and skincare, you must shop at Innisfree.

*Bonus: Their Instagram is SO pretty so I left you the link here: http://instagram.com/innisfreeofficial

Categories: 2015

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7 replies »

  1. wow! such cool things in Korea :) Ive tried face shop and didn’t like it.. Maybe I’ll like the other brands. Especially Etude and innisfree!! ~~

    • Hehe, right!!! I must say I’ve definitely experimented with some interesting makeup styles in Korea since I’ve been here. There’s just so many things to try!!! Face Shop does seem kind of like a “regular” brand, I haven’t been *amazed* with their products but they seem to have won soooo many awards though~!

  2. Thank you. This is an amazing website. I’m going to Korea for vacation in August, besides info from Korea Tourism, I am so happy to learn more before arrival.

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