Where to buy Korean beauty in London
Looking to buy K-beauty skincare or J-beauty make-up in London? Scroll down for the latest in Far East products and spa services in the capital
Fast-forward to 2020 and now with the emergence of the other Eastern-inspired movements like the J-Beauty (Japanese Beauty) on our radar too, and an emphasis on sophisticated skincare and ritualistic regimes for a flawless and a softer dermis, it looks like all eyes (and faces) are on the East.
After all, a bright, glowing and spot-free complexion is seen as the ultimate status symbol in Asia, (and admired here too) and they’re also apparently 10 years ahead in R&D for treating specific skin concerns.
However, there’s no need to take a flight as we’ve found the best in K-beauty right here in the capital.
There are the major players like Erborian, Dr.Jart+ and Suqqu at Selfridges; Shiseido at Harvey Nichols and Sensai and Decorté at Harrods, along with Shiro stores in Covent Garden, King's Road and St Christopher’s Place.
Try Koibird in Marylebone for fashion and pharmacy, or visit the cute and kitsch shops in Soho and Chinatown, or now also (and excitingly) in a Boots near you.
1. Touch in Sol Complexion Cream SPF30, £21
This nourishing CC cream contains skin-adaptive capsules that mirror your own complexion and plump skin with natural botanicals.
2. Too Cool For School Egg Mousse Body Oil, £24.50
The meringue-like mousse transforms into a super-nurturing oil that treats dry and scaly skin.
3. Shiseido Ultimune Eye Power Infusing Eye Concentrate, £58
Hi-tech ingredients and a scientific-based formulation mean this serum has been proven to reduce damage in the eye area by up to 30%.
Click here 4. Tony Moly Ferment Snail Cleansing Gel, £32
This has skin-clearing snail mucus, glycolic acid, collagen and elastin to refine and re-texturise.
Click here 5. COSRX One-Step Clear Pads, £25
These pre-moistened pads are saturated with naturally derived betaine salicylate, which diminishes oil while exfoliating dead skin cells for enhanced cellular turnover, and ensures your serums and moisturisers are better absorbed.
Click here 6. Suqqu Extra Rich Glow Cream Foundation, £68
Unveils a luminous and dewy complexion immediately.
7. Decorte Dip in Glow, £32
Say hello to glass-like skin. This creamy formula catches the light and hydrates as it goes.
Too Cool For School
Before its launch on Ulta in the US, Too Cool For School had a waiting list of 25,000, with over 9,000 consumers asking for it to be brought to the UK. It's now over here and can be found at Boots, Cultbeauty.com and Lookfantastic.com.
Inspired by home remedy ingredients like skin-refining egg white (all without the mess) and packaged in a delightful way, the products are fun, cute and deliver too.
The line-up includes masks, moisturisers, hair and body products – we love the Egg Mousse Body Oil, £24.50, that dissolves from a lovely whipped formula into a glow-giving serum for limbs.
There's something called the Egg Mellow Cream, £29.50, which is a serum, mask and intensive collagen-boosting cream in one, while the Egg Cream Mask Hydration, £22.50, is a sheet mask you leave on for 20 minutes and has risen to cult status. The brand is currently selling one product every 10 seconds so if you fancy any of these, you’d better act fast!
The Koja Beauty online shop is dedicated to cruelty-free Korean skincare and includes brands such as Klairs, COSRX, Benton, Purito and Skin&Lab. There's a huge selection, plus they've got great customer service so you can ask them any of your burning Korean beauty questions.
Nature Republic UK
64-66 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0HH
Korea’s best-selling beauty brand, Nature Republic, has just launched the first UK stand-alone store. Hero products include: Snail Solution Skin Booster, Ginseng Royal Silk Toner, Super Aqua Max Watery Cream and their Soothing & Moisture Aloe Vera Gel, which is so popular, it sold one million tubes in a single day on launch in China. Plus, make-up stations, a sheet mask wall and plants galore make for a beautiful and blissful shopping space.
73-75 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0NE
From kimchi to K-pop, there's everything you need to satisfy your Far East fancy. Tucked away is a little beauty section that offers brands like Chobs Sheet Masks, and Bellca, the No.1 cosmetics company in Korea, plus lots of other serums, lotions and potions. The plus? Most have English translation (crucial if Korean isn’t your first language and want to use the products properly).
62 Marylebone Lane, London, W1U 2PB
Along with the cool houndstooth anti-viral face masks and trend-driven fashion, there are also all your K-Beauty needs in Koibird. There's an entire wall of beauty stuff with all the big hitters like Jin Soon nails, Venn, Beautyqlo and Shangpree (this is where the K-Pop stars go to spa in Seoul). Along with shelves dedicated to sheet masks (cue: frenzy), there are some lovely flowering teas that come in test tubes that make a great gift.
P2BUS [Proud To Be Us]
21 Newport Court, London WC2H 7JS
Among the restaurants and bubble tea cafés in Chinatown, there’s also the cute and kitsch P2BUS. It’s floor-to-ceiling racks of fun K-cosmetics, 10-step skincare regimes and playfully packaged sheets masks, along with Korea’s number-one selling eyeliner and lip balms, and sweet treats of matcha-infused cookies and cartooned candy packets, all in one happy place. Plus the sales staff are super-helpful too.
Chi Yu Wellness Centre
36 George Street, London W1U 7DR
It stocks the legendary Chidoriya, a Japanese natural & organic skincare range from Kyoto, using traditional Eastern ingredients such as camellia oil, green tea and rice bran to give softer, younger-looking skin. Along with facial treatments that incorporate jade rollers, acupuncture, lymphatic drainage and acupressure to lift tighten and tone naturally.
Oh and if you’re feeling peckish? Then check out Culture Whisper’s guide to the great Korean foodie places in London – click here.
Culture Whisper is your curated guide to the best of London. We may earn a commission for items purchased through our retailer links.