Etude House K-Beauty Korea Travels: Flagship Store Visit and Manicure! (Pic Heavy)

Monday, March 31, 2014

Recently I went to Korea, courtesy of Etude House, the Korean beauty (or, as I've learned, K-beauty) brand that is very popular in Asia for their sweet, girly and fun makeup and skincare items, and if you've been reading my blog you'll have come across my Etude House reviews, which span various products, including nail polish, skincare, and makeup. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to go on a K-beauty tour in Seoul, the homeplace of Etude House.

The outside of Etude House's flagshiop store in MyeongDong, in Seoul, Korea.

And now that I'm back (I literally landed in Singapore a few days ago), I figure I should share with you some of thei highlights of my visit! I'm blogging about this trip really soon (by my standards, anyway), because I'm so excited to share my trip highlights with you (if you were following me on Instagram, you would have seen some highlights as I went through them), and also because I know that if I put it off, I'm probably going to forget some of what I saw and experienced on my trip. Not because my memory sucks (although it sometimes does), but just because once I get back to work, the post-holiday glow evaporates pretty fast. So I figure I'd better blog about it first! And please be warned that this post is pretty picture heavy, in case you're viewing this on a slower internet connection or a phone!

Etude House flagship store interior 1
The interior of Etude House's flagshiop store in MyeongDong, in Seoul, Korea.

One of the highlights of my trip as a visit to the Etude House flagship store in MyeongDong, Seoul. Etude House has two stores in MyeongDong itself, and one is the flagship store, the other is the first ever Etude House store ever opened. The shop front of the flagship store is very well-decorated, with a pink roof, and the Etude House sign under it. It's quite a standout, amongst the other shopfronts! If you've ever stepped into any Etude House store, you'll know that the store theme is pink, girly and princess-y. The flagship Etude House store is just like this, but on a more impressive scale. For one, the princess motifs are painstakingly incorporated into even minor details, like the hand-mirror door handles, and the entire store is predominantly pink - pink decor, shelves, seats, and checkout counter. You name it, it's probably in pink.

Etude House flagship store interior 1
The interior of Etude House's flagshiop store in MyeongDong, in Seoul, Korea.

Part of what makes the Etude House flagship store so impressive is also the fact that nearly every single Etude House product is carried. The nail polish range, for example, is HUGE. There must be at least over a hundred shades in that store, which is a lot more impressive with the couple of tens that can be found in stores elsewhere. There is a special counter just dedicated to nail polish (which I'll admit, I spent a lot of time at)!

Etude House flagship store nail polish counter
Etude House Flagship Store nail polish section. Not going to count the number of different polish colours offered here!

There are also products from previous seasons, as well as products not available outside of Korea, such as the Dust Cut Facial Mist, which is a facial mist that is supposed to protect your skin from the elements, and has a tightening/mattifying effect when sprayed on. I suspect that in a pinch, you just might be able to use it as a setting spray too, as I felt like it had some film-forming properties when it was sprayed on (I didn't take a photo of the ingredients list, though, nor can I remember what was in it, so this is just how the product felt on my skin). In any case, yay for possibly double duty products!

Etude House flagship store Dust cut Facial Mist
Etude House Dust Cut Facial Mist: not available outside of Korea.

If you can't get this though, don't be too sad. There are tons of other best-sellers that you can get at the store that can be found globally. The Moistfull Collagen skincare line is one of their bestsellers, and the Fresh Cherry Tint is a "steady seller" - that is, an item that does well all year round. Of course, it being a Korean brand, the BB creams are also a big attraction for going to the store. We were informed that Etude House is the leading K-beauty brand, and also the leading brand for BB creams, so those products are always perennially popular. There's an entire section devoted to BB and CC creams and other related BB products.

Etude House flagship store BB cream area
Etude House's BB Cream section at the flagship store in MyeongDong.

An interesting thing I saw at the BB cream section was this counter that showed the number of BB creams that have been sold to date! Apparently, these numbers are updated live, and they track the global sales of Etude House's BB cream in every single store. That's like ~800 stores in total, so A LOT of stores!

Etude House flagship store BB cream counter
Etude House's BB Cream counter shows you the number of BB creams sold by the brand to date.

Another thing that was so impressive about the Etude House flagship store was the way the brand really had space to play around with the brand identity. I was told that a lot of the decor was to give the room a girly, princess-y feel, because part of Etude House's belief is that every girl is a princess, and so the store aims to treat all its customers like princesses. As a result, there are some really cute little features that the store has. For example, there is a small play area in a corner of the store with cushiony seats for you (or your significant other who isn't female, I suppose!) to rest. There is also a pretty dressing table (although I'm not too sure how much you can use it - you might not exactly want to get dressed there!).

Etude House Flagship Store Play Area
Etude House's little play corner with dressing table.

The play area is really where the brand identity comes to life. The attention to girly detail is quite impressive, case in point being this nice mirror centerpiece, with tiny hand mirrors put up beside it.

Etude House Flagship Store Play Area Mirror
Mirror centerpiece in Etude House's little play corner.

There are some other fun touches, like a vending machine. Yes, a vending machine. You put in pink coins (you can buy those I think) into the slot machines and you get some small accessories and trinklets. I got a bunch of elastic hairties in black and pink when I tried out the machine. Not really a main attraction, but if you have a few extra coins, it's something you could do, too.

Etude House flagship store Vending Machine
Cute little vending machines in Etude House's flagship store in MyeongDong.

Even the checkout counter was all cute and girly, with little princess details.

Etude House Flagship Store Checkout
Checkout counter at Etude House's flagship store in MyeongDong.

And all the stuff I bought was in a super cute house-shaped paper carrier! I had a choice between that cute house-shaped carrier and a normal paper bag, and of course I picked the house shaped carrier. I also flattened out the carrier and brought it home with me, because it is just so cute! I just couldn't bring myself to throw it away. Erm, yay for recycling, I guess? Hehe.

Etude House flagship store shopping bag
This shopping bag is the cutest thing I've ever seen!

Now that you've seen the store (I swear, my camera probably captured everything there was to see in the store), you're probably wondering what else I did. I did do lots of fun things on my trip (like eating, shopping, exploring), and one of them was also getting my first ever manicure and pedicure! As a nail blogger, I always do my nails myself, and although I think it looks decent (again, by my standards), it's not quite at a professional level. During my short trip to Seoul, I got both hands and feet done at this spa called Madison Avenue at Apgujeong (also in Seoul), and we had a choice of Etude House nail polish to pick from, to do both tips and toes! The range featured here is the Play Nail nail polish range, which is their newest range of nail polish. (If you've seen my older Etude House reviews, then you'll have seen the older ranges of nail polish.)

Etude House Nail Polish Manicure
A selection of colours from Etude House's latest Play Nails nail polish series.

Decisions, decisions, indeed, but in the end, I got my toes painted with #203, a mint green, and my tips painted with #12, a nice pink with some coral thrown in, and #117, a nice glitter with red, pink and white hearts, white and pink small dot glitter, and white bar glitter in a clear base. The glitter in #117 isn't that dense, so if you want thick glitter coverage, some fishing is required. But below, you can see my awesome fingernails! (I didn't get any pedicure photos...I just couldn't get my feet to look good, so I gave up eventually. And then I nicked the wet paint. So I couldn't get a good photo at all, sadly.)

Etude House Coral Manicure
My manicure with Etude House Play Nails nail polish in #12 (pink with a hint of coral) and #119 (various glitters in a clear base).

So basically that's one of the highlights of my Etude House K-beauty trip! I know this was a long post, but journalling your travel experiences is really almost like reliving the memories, so it was a blast to write this post, too. I hope you guys had as much fun reading it as I had writing it! There'll be another highlight of the trip coming up next (when I find time to run through the many photos I took), and this will probably focus a bit more on the launch of the Magic Any Cushion (which you'll also have seen peeks of on my Instagram). Until then, I hope this was a great peak into my short but very enjoyable trip to Korea!

(The trip was provided by the company. This write up is based on my own experiences and opinion. I am not affiliated with/compensated by the company.)


  1. OMG! The store is precious! You're so lucky you were able to go xx

  2. OMG! It's sooooooooo cute! Canada NEEDS an Etude House. Seriously, we have the Face Shop, Missha, Tony Moly and Holika Holika, but where's the Etude House??????
    It looks like you had a great time!

  3. OMG! It's sooooooooo cute! Canada NEEDS an Etude House. Seriously, we have the Face Shop, Missha, Tony Moly and Holika Holika, but where's the Etude House??????
    It looks like you had a great time!

  4. This is such a cute, lovely looking shop. :)

    Agree with Ling above. It'd likely open in Ontario or Vancouver but I could visit.

  5. OMG!!! I wanna go to this store. I think there are lots of products here that i will surely love. Love the nail polish with glitters.

  6. - swoons - Ohh my~ * w *
    The Etude Store is like a castle for a princess! * u *


Thank you for commenting! I read each and every single comment! If you ask a question in your comment, please check back to this post, as I will reply in a comment to this post as well :) Please note that comments with soliciting links to shops or websites will be removed. Thanks!


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