K-Beauty is Trending: A Look at New York’s Koreatown

K-Beauty is Trending: A Look at New York’s Koreatown

is trending. No, not Kardashian beauty but Korean
beauty. It all started with the multi-purpose BB cream. The first
of many novelties out of South Korea, it took the beauty market by
storm and had everyone wondering what other breakthrough beauty
products were up their sleeve. Since then, with the help of
influential K-pop stars and their flawless skin, Korean beauty
innovations such as CC creams, sheet masks and mist-cushions have
become customary in day-to-day beauty routines around the world.
The formula? Attractively packaged products that offer effective
treatment benefits at affordable prices. The set-back? Products
infused with trendy ingredients such as donkey milk, horse oil and
snail secretion make perusing the aisles intimidating.

To learn more about the hype, I travelled to one of the hotspots
of K-beauty outside of Korea: Koreatown in Flushing, Queens. On
Roosevelt Avenue beauty is king, as evidenced by its countless
shops and spas. Greeted by young, attentive beauty experts, it’s
the perfect place to spend an afternoon immersing yourself in this
new trend.


For the best and brightest in colour cosmetics, head to TonyMoly
and Club Clio.

Located within the World Mall, TonyMoly wins first prize for
best packaging. With items shaped as cute animal and fruits, you’re
automatically transported back to your teenage years and ‘I
must-have-it-all’ tendencies. Stock up on the petite bunny gloss
bar lip balm, a fan-favorite for its easy-to-apply pencil
applicator, smooth texture and fun rabbit silhouette.

Next follow the loud rap music to the dimly lit store
appropriately named Club Clio. Here, you’ll find two lines – Club
Clio, the edgy professional-grade cosmetics and the “Korean version
of MAC”, as well as the more affordable and cutesie Peripera. Come
here for Club Clio’s cult classics – the number one selling ‘gel
espresso waterproof pencil gel liner’ and ‘kill cover liquid
founwear cushion’ foundation formula. Peripera is more fun than
functional, so experiment at the store’s beauty bar until you find
what works best for your style and mood. The ‘virgin kiss tinted
lip in mint corrector’, a pea-green shade, is hard-to-beat. It’s
meant to be applied over any lip color to create a new, more muted


For good measure, speak to the professional staff at Club Clio
about their well-stocked skincare from brands such as Goodal and
SooAe. Don’t miss out on the ‘freeset donkey milk skin gel mask
pack aqua’, a face mask infused with donkey milk, the newest
revolutionary ingredient (snail secretion was so last year) that
promises incredible anti-ageing benefits with regular use.

Cross the street to Skin Food for products that harness the
good-for-you properties of health foods such as kale, avocado,
tomato and nuts. Check out their ‘top 10 products’ hall-of-fame and
head over to the test-and-try sink area to experience a selection
such as the black sugar mask wash-off or royal honey line. Don’t
leave without a selection of sheet masks (buy five, get one free) a
product-soaked cotton sheet that targets and resolves skincare
issues in less than 15 minutes.

Last but not least, pay a visit to The Face Shop and Nature
Republic. At Face Shop make a beeline for the character masks, the
brand’s claim to fame. Each mask is printed with a different design
including tiger, panda, sheep and monster, making them the perfect
girl’s night-in activity and photo-op. Grab a set of the beautiful
floral-printed daily perfume hand creams for great gifts. Then, get
a feel of South Korean pop-culture at Nature Republic. After
watching a couple of minutes of K-pop boy band sensation EXO’s
‘Call Me Baby’ music video, you may be tempted to purchase an
assortment of EXO x Nature Republic skincare products in hope of
achieving their radiant complexions.


Before heading home, show your skin some love from the inside
out. Stop by the French-Asian bakery Tous Les Jours for a selection
of healthy baked goods and CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice for a
re-energizing matcha iced tea or fresh juice.

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Sokcho, South Korea