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Seoul k-beauty travel guide

Dispatch From Korea: These Are the Ultimate Beauty Destinations in Seoul Right Now

Welcome to Dispatch From Korea, a series where you’ll get the inside scoop on the latest K-beauty news straight from our friends at Soko Glam’s Seoul office. Here, they’re sharing the best stores, spas, and destinations to check out in Seoul if you’re skin care-obsessed.

From spas and makeup bars to interactive skin care experiences, Seoul, South Korea is like a playground for K-beauty lovers. Whether you’re in Seoul right now, planning a trip, or just dreaming of going, here are the places to know and go, according to a native.

Where to Go for the Gram

Laneige L-Playground

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Laneige is one of the most popular beauty brands among Korean women in their 20s – and is gaining popularity in America too!  The Amore Pacific (the biggest beauty conglomerate in Korea) brand recently opened an exciting new three-story flagship store in Seoul’s Idae district.
On the ground floor you can browse Laneige’s hydrating skin care and try on makeup products with the “Beauty Mirror”, a 3D virtual simulator that allows you to virtually test the range. Then there’s a small lab where you can customize the brand’s popular Lip Sleeping Mask (read our review of the product here). You can choose from nine different fragrances and also decorate the case.
On the third floor, there’s a cute and colorful room that’s made for taking Instagram photos in.  
Stonebrick Flagship Store

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Stonebrick just launched on Valentine’s day and it’s already one of the hottest color cosmetics brands in Korea at the moment. Its Hongdae flagship store is thriving – it exceeded its revenue goals by 2.7 times in a few months.
One reason why is likely its huge, eye-catching wall of colorful products. Speaking of colors, the brand offers 95 shades of lipsticks including yellow, mint and purple that you can play with as much as you want. 
You will find creativity in the packaging of all Stonebrick’s products. The Lego-like design emphasizes the brand’s “build your color” concept that allows you to customize your own make-up sets like building blocks – you can combine a concealer, blush and lipstick on one magnet palette, for example. It’s so playful, cute, and convenient.
Style Bar X

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When you’re pounding the streets of Seoul all day, you may need a hair or makeup touch-up. 
Style Bar X is a makeup and hair styling bar where you can get pampered and done-up in just 30 minutes for 50,000-70,000won (or $40-$60). They even offer 1:1 makeup classes. Just be sure to call or visit their website ahead to book your appointment.

Where to Experience Korean-Style Spas

Donginbi Spa 1899
The Korea Ginseng Corporation has been a leading ginseng exporter since 1899. With its 120 years of expertise, it created this spa and a prestige skin care brand with red ginseng as the star ingredient.
RELATED: Why Ginseng Is the Natural Ingredient Your Anti-Aging Skin Care Routine Is Missing
With a luxurious interior, serene atmosphere, and skilled therapists, the spa should be at the top of your list. 
You can choose from three categories of facials and massages for your needs: Single Care, a facial, body or foot-focused massage with antioxidant-rich red ginseng oil, Multi Care, to target various needs for your face and body (I recommend the purifying facial and full body massage that detoxifies and strengthens stressed and damaged skin), and Full Care, treatments that cater to your entire body from head to toe.
Yeo Yong Kuk Spa
During the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), a novel Yeoyong Gook Jeon was introduced by an anonymous writer. “Yeoyong” means a woman’s face and “gook” is country. It compares grooming a woman’s face to governing a country, so many cosmetics and makeup tools of the era appeared in the story.
Yeo Yong Kuk spa is inspired by this novel and offers facial and body treatments that were performed on royals during the dynasty. 
The most popular program at the spa is “Yeoyong Premium”. The estheticians apply aromatherapy oils and tools depending on the customers’ needs and gently massage the body and face. The treatment is known to strengthen the power of your skin’s natural defenses. We also recommend trying a signature herbal bath treatment too – you can feel the toxins and stresses being released from your body and mind. 

Where to Go for Self-Care and Wellness

Yakdabang Bomdong

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Yakdabang Bomdong is a quiet and cozy cafe located in the Hongdae area. “Dabang” means tea room in Korean and “yak” is medicine. As the name alludes to, this cafe was founded by 16 medical doctors who studied herbs for years and created a variety of teas and drinks for various health needs.
While you drink your tea, you can get an aromatherapy foot bath and take in the serene sights outside the window. 
Forest Hanbang Land
After all the touring in Seoul, treat yourself to a traditional Korean sauna – or jjimjilbang – experience.
This one is located in what looks like a forest in the middle of the city. It’s more than perfect to enjoy nature and an authentic Korean-style spa at the same time. In addition to the saunas and baths, they have a huge kiln full of firing charcoals where everyone gathers around and enjoys Korean snacks like grilled sweet potatoes, eggs, and rice cakes.
Popular K-pop girl group Blackpink – who recently performed at Coachella – have even been to this spot! And if you’re lucky, you will encounter the mascot of the spa, Nabi the cat. 

Where to Go for the Culture

Jung Saem Mool PLOPS

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Jung Seam Mool is one of the most popular Korean makeup artists – many top Korean and Asian celebrities work with her – and she has her own namesake beauty line. 
At the flagship store, called PLOPS, Jung created a cultural complex where beauty meets art. The brand recently introduced Jung Saem Mool PLOPS in Art, an exhibit that features pieces from five well-known Korean artists that inspired Jung Saem Mool’s beauty philosophy.
After browsing the store and exhibition, don’t forget to check out photo zones for selfies!
Eath Library

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Teo Yang is the most popular interior designer in Korea with top celebrity clients. 
Other than his work, his poreless skin has always been a hot topic and thankfully he finally revealed the secrets to his flawless skin with his own skin care line, Eath Library. “Eath” is short for Evolutionary Achievement from Traditional Heritage.
He believes the Korean herbal tea that he has been drinking for 12 years is the key to maintaining his skin condition. He collaborated with the doctor who prescribed the tea to create the hanbang line.
As you might expect, the showroom is full of Korean art, furniture and architecture-inspired design with modern and sophisticated touches – you feel like you’re in a luxurious antique library. 
As a result of their effort, Eath Library and its showroom won ‘Best Line-Up’ in the Wallpaper magazine’s Design Awards 2019
If you’re interested in experiencing the art of Korean skin care and beauty of architecture, visit the Eath Library in Seoul.

For even more places to visit, check out our last Seoul travel guide here!

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