[Cosmetics] “Road-shops” and South Korea

Korea’s growing Cosmetic Market

Korea’s cosmetics market has been growing like a MONSTER in the past few decades, or actually, just a couple of years.

From young students as young as 10 years old or even younger to adults in their 30s, 40s, or even older, many Koreans are interested in make-up.

So, what is a “Road-shop”?

While adults tend to use cosmetics from luxurious brands (ie. MAC, Chanel, and Lancôme), younger people love cheaper brands. In Korea, we call those brands “Road-shop” brands. Why call them “road-shop”? Simple: those brands have their shops on the roads instead of high-end department stores.



What all are there?

If you have any plans to visit Korea, I suggest you visit some of these shops. They display a very wide range of products that are gorgeous and cheap at the same time 🙂


(I will only introduce 10+1, but there are of course, many more in Korea!)

Etude House

ETUDE is the friend of all women to dream of sweet lives. Where everyone discovers beauty within and the sweet imagination of being beautiful becomes a reality – that is the dream of ETUDE.

Enjoy the pink energy of ETUDE with a happy, bubbly heart! As you play with makeup with a bright smile, your boring life will sparkle with sweetness before you know it.

The name ETUDE is a french word inspired from Chopin’s beautiful “etudes”. ETUDE’s sweet wish is the customers to enjoy playing with makeup, find their beauty, and change – just like etüde became an aesthetic melody.

-ETUDE official website: http://www.etude.co.kr

Nature Republic

Nature Republic is a natural brand that finds and shares the energy of life from the pristine nature around the world.

Nature Republic is the brand of naturalists that provides health and enjoyment to the lives of customers through beauty energy discovered from the world’s most pristine nature. Learn about beautiful stories that revive the planet and life.

Nature Republic uses 10 kinds of raw ingredients: aloe vera, deep seawater, snail mucus, calendula, argan, baobab tree seed, oxygen water, shea butter, ginseng, and green leaf.

-Nature Republic official website: http://www.naturerepublic.com


Innisfree is a naturalistic brand that practices an eco-friendly green lifestyle to protect healthiness. Innisfree promotes healthy beauty by collecting the benefits of nature from a clean island (Jeju).

-Innisfree official website: http://www.innisfree.com



A’Pieu, with their brand slogan “Lovely Twenties”, suggests a wearable trend – various color and texture – for women in their 20s.

With original and unique ideas, A’Pieu helps customers appeal with their own charms.

A’Pieu makes sure the products are skin-sensitive, soft, and smooth.

-A’Pieu official website: apieu.beautynet.co.kr/

The Face Shop

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With the wisdom of nature, The Face Shop aims to enhance natural beauty. The Face Shop shares the stories of nature.

The Face Shop uses ingredients from nature: Jeju volcanic soil, bamboo, pearl, Tibetan mushroom, tamanu seed, English breakfast tea, mango seed, and chia seed.

-The Face Shop official website: http://www.thefaceshop.com


Missha is a cosmetic brand that grew from continuous communication with its customers. It started from an online website; the active participation of members (customers) contributed to forming this prosumer brand, Missha.

-Missha official website: missha.beautynet.co.kr/


Born in 2006 in Seoul, TONYMOLY has already become a household name in South Korea! Having pioneered the Korean beauty trend that has taken the cosmetic world by storm, Our high-quality ingredients combined with innovative technology are recognized worldwide by our unique and inimitable packaging.

With product development capabilities that integrate quality and unique container designs that create stylish products, TONYMOLY has quickly risen to become the world’s leading brand in the Korean beauty and beyond. We are committed to perfecting skincare through continuous research and ethical practices. Fusing fun ideas with outstanding products are what set TONYMOLY a step above the rest. 
-TONYMOLY official website: http://www.etonymoly.com/

It’s Skin

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It’s Skin brand concept: Clinical + Skin = Solution

It’s Skin aims to provide solutions to all skin types, using various ingredients and combinations. It’s Skin does thorough research to provide its customers the most effective combination of cosmetics.

-It’s Skin official website: /www.itsskin.com/

The Saem


The Saem is a brand that has very rapidly grown recently. The brand is now launched world wide, such as Cambodia and Indonesia.

-The Saem official website: http://www.thesaemcosmetic.com/

Skin Food

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“You are what you eat.” Healthy skin starts with food.

SKINFOOD is the first brand to root itself in food. Skinfood believes that nutritive food results in nutritive beauty for healthy, beautiful skin. Their food philosophy drives our product development to ensure that only the highest quality food ingredients are used to create a more beautiful, healthier lifestyle.

<The Best Food>

Nutritive, wholesome food has the power and the ability to keep skin radiantly beautiful. SKINFOOD is always searching for the best ingredients to utilize in product development.

Brazilian black sugar. South Asian royal black honey. French grapes.
Fresh Cheojeong-ri mineral water.
Organically grown tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumbers.

The SKINFOOD initiative for the best food ingredients is a journey across the world. Method matters. As a result, SKINFOOD upholds eco-friendly and
sustainable growing methods as a pillar to their philosophy. Skinfood meet with farmers across the country to ensure that the best food is grown under the best methods. The journey to discover the best food never ends.

<Exceptional Beauty>

Under the SKINFOOD philosophy, Skinfood is committed to doing things the right way, even if it takes a little longer. They focus on timeless beauty, not short-lived results.

Food components (like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants) deliver targeted nourishment and care. The key to maximizing beauty can be found in the food around us.

With this goal in mind, Skinfood’s research and development teams test study and test food to ensure that our skin is receiving the best in beauty
Research and development is a continuous cycle. Their goal is to deliver powerful food-based solutions for healthy, beautiful skin.

<Enhanced Health>

For SKINFOOD, beauty is a healthy lifestyle choice. Their mantra is simple.

Skinfood believes that self-love and self-care are much more important than the opinions of others. They believe in natural and wholesome, even if it takes a little longer. They believe in loving each other and respecting the environment and world around us. They believe that food and beauty are meant to be shared. They believe that beauty begins with a lifestyle of positivity.

Be confident. Be gracious. Be vibrant. Be beautiful. Be You.

-Skinfood official website: http://www.theskinfood.com

The “+1”

Olive Young

Olive Young: Korea’s No.1 Health & Beauty Store

Olive Young is a Health & Beauty store for customers who want a healthy and beautiful lifestyle, as they can meet various products at once – beauty, hair, body, health care, etc.

Olive Young provides the best shopping value to customers by specialized health & beauty products and unique customer services. Olive Young is the most loved shop by many women.

Also, Olive Young leads a healthy and marvelous shopping culture and lifestyle through the provision of free/footloose shopping areas, various experiences, and trend-reflecting product combinations.

-Olive Young official website: http://www.oliveyoung.co.kr

Olive Young is special because it’s a collection of brands. They display products from foreign cosmetic brands, ie. Japanese brands. Olive Young also have their own products, but mostly limited to health-care, body, and hair (instead of cosmetics like lipstick, foundation, etc.), like brushes and hair pins.


Cosmetics everywhere!

South Korea is pretty famous for its cosmetics. Even some of my Indian friends often ask me to get them cosmetics from Korea 🙂

This ‘cosmetics’ series will continue! I’ll come with more details, so stay ‘tuned’ ❤