Stories From a Curator is a column by Charlotte Cho, the curator and co-founder of Soko Glam. As a licensed esthetician and the author of The Little Book of Skin Care, Cho gives a glimpse into her discovery process and what brands and products make the cut for the curated site.
It’s not often that Soko Glam welcomes a K-beauty brand that has been around since the 1990s, or one that is part of the AMOREPACIFIC Group – the largest cosmetic conglomerate in Korea. Mamonde, which launched in 1991, checks both of those boxes.
So what does it mean to be part of the largest cosmetic company in Korea? You’ll likely recognize – or are fans of – some of AMOREPACIFIC Group’s extensive portfolio of brands that I credit largely for being the trailblazers of K-beauty innovation. They’ve achieved that through decades of heavy investment in R&D, which has led to the creation of completely new categories, textures, and formats for skin care and makeup that have taken the world by storm and helped K-beauty become a global force.
Laneige, IOPE (where innovative cushion compacts were born!), Sulwhasoo, Etude House, Innisfree, Hanyul and of course, Mamonde are just a handful of my favorite AMOREPACIFIC brands, and they even created one of my favorite tea brands/cafe in Seoul, called Osulloc.
Fun fact: I was first introduced to Mamonde before I even knew what K-beauty was, when I was in high school and living in California. I heard through the pre-internet grapevine from my sister’s friends who made frequent trips out to Korea that Mamonde was “the” brand to know and used by many Korean celebrities. I was lucky that she let me scavenge through her vanity and “borrow” her goods from time to time.
Fast forward to 2018 when I began testing and learning about Mamonde from a more mature, fresh perspective and from the lens of an esthetician and curator of many Korean brands for Soko Glam. I was immediately impressed with the brand’s commitment to the use of cruelty-free formulas, and organic ingredients derived from flowers such as damask rose, honeysuckle, and narcissus.
I whittled down my curation to four of my favorites, including the Rose Petal Spa Oil to Foam Cleanser, which gently dissolves both oil- and water-based impurities. A double cleanse in one, it’s the perfect product for when you are on the go, but don’t want to give up your double-cleanse routine. I love the transformative texture (so innovative!), and the light damask rose fragrance – a classic.
If you’re a fan of hydrating rose extracts like I am, then I recommend following up the cleanser with the Hydrating Beauty Water, which is great for prepping and nourishing your skin. Then there’s the Floral Hydro Eye Gel Cream that is water-based and gel-like in texture and promotes a bouncy, firm under-eye area, without the risk of milia. Lastly, I fell in love with the ultra-lightweight Floral Essential Serum, formulated with over 81% fermented honeysuckle complex, that coats and protects the skin and scavenges it for free radicals.
I’m so excited for you to explore Mamonde and to share some feedback on your favorites and my curation!