Top 6 Korean cosmetic shops and their bestsellers

Etude House

Etude House is one of the many affiliates of cosmetic giant Amore Pacific. The brand is popular among young women because of its affordable price and "girly" design. Etude House, also nicknamed Etude, is the first makeup brand to open its own stores in Korea, according to its homepage.

In the early days, the brand featured top stars like Jun Ji-hyun and Song Hye-kyo in its advertisements, but now they tend to choose bubblier personalities such as their main models, K-pop idols Shinee, Krystal and Sulli.

Etude focused on appealing to many girls' "princess" fantasies - the shops are all designed in a pink shade and the Etude House employees greet their customers by saying "Hello Princess."

Of course, there are women who don't like being treated like princesses, but nonetheless it seems that Etude House has maintained its popularity by frequently updating its products.

Bestsellers: Color My Brows, Wonderpore Freshener, Real Art Cleansing Oil, Look at my Eyes Shadow, Moistfull Collagen line

The Faceshop

Cosmetic brand The Faceshop believes that nature is the source of all beauty; therefore gets all its inspiration from the natural world.

All of its designs embrace simplicity and purity. image Miss A's Suzy is The Faceshop's current main model, as the icon of a "pure, natural" image.

The Faceshop started a campaign called The Hope of Mango Tree. This campaign plants mango trees in Tonj, Africa, to help combat food poverty. It also offers regular discount events like other shops in Korea.

Bestsellers: Arsainte Eco-Therapy Line, Chia Seed Line, Face & it Radlance Concealer Dual Veil, Face it Extreme Brush Pen Eyeliner


Missha is an affiliate of cosmetics brand Able C&C and was once a popular "it brand" - then it suddenly lost its popularity and many of its shops vanished. But Missha has returned. Missha says its vision is to give its customers the best at an affordable price.

That's why they have many regular discount events. Among these are "Missha Days," on which there is a 30 per cent discount on all items and a portion of sales is given to UNICEF. Missha has a full variety of men's cosmetic products.

Actor Jo In-sung is currently appearing in promotions for the brand's men's products. Missha focuses both on the base makeup and colour products.

Best Sellers: Time Revolution Line, Perfect Cover B.B. Cream, 4D Mascara


Tonymoly is a compound of "Tony," meaning "expensive and fashionable" in English and "Moly," which means "put something in" in Japanese.

The main model of the brand is f(x)'s Victoria, who is beloved by Hallyu fans. The brand prefers simple yet classy designs that come at a reasonable price.

Tonymoly was once famous for its eyeliner and a product called Shimmerlover, an inexpensive version of Bobbie Brown's Shimmer Brick.

But now it's also concentrating on base cosmetic lineups.

To boost customers' brand loyalty, the brand has started Tonyyuni, a group of people who help to advertise and review Tonymoly products.

Best sellers: Delight Tonytint, Crystal Blsuher, Luminous Pure Aqua CC Cream, Kisslover Lipmaster, Lumious Goddess BB Cream, Backgel eyeliner


Innisfree is another cosmetic brand that belongs to Amore Pacific and sets its stall out as the first nature-friendly cosmetics brand in Korea. Innisfree uses recycled paper for its packages and gives points, which can be used like cash, to customers who bring empty cosmetics bottles back to the shop.

The cosmetics brand insists on its pure and simple trademark image. Therefore fancy patterns or bright coloured designs are mostly absent in the shop.

In the past, Innisfree was more famous for its base products than its colour makeup, but now it is strengthening its colour makeup lineups.

It has some signature products such as Melting Foundation and Color Glow Lipstick. Innisfree gives out birthday coupons and boxes of cosmetic products to customers who buy a certain amount of products at a certain time span.

Best Sellers: Greentea Line, Real Olive Line, No Sebum Mineral Powder, Volcano Pore Clay Mask, Color Glow Lipstick


Aritaum's most charming point is that it offers various brands in one shop. It is a "practical place" where a lot of cosmetic products can be bought. The products that are launched by Aritaum's independent brandname Aritaum are huge hits as well.

The bestsellers include Modi Nails, a nail polish that is loved for its smooth application brush. Other bestselling items are Mono Eyes and Honey Melting Tint, which became a huge hit in Korea. These products are often on buy one, get one free offers. The name Aritaum comes from the Korean word "arittapda" which means "beautiful."

Best Sellers: Honey Melting Tint, Mono Eyes Shadow, Modi Nails