Welcome to the ultimate beauty shopping guide to South Korea.
As an industry professional, I’ll share with you industry secrets and insider tips to help you navigate the Korean beauty world like a pro. This guide is not just about pointing you to the best stores, but it’s a deep dive into the Korean beauty retail landscape. Throughout the article, you’ll also learn valuable insights on how to distinguish authentic products from counterfeits, get exclusive deals, navigate language barriers, and make informed purchasing decisions when you’re in South Korea.
By the end of this article, you’ll have the knowledge and know-how to navigate the bustling streets of Seoul or any other city in South Korea like a seasoned beauty insider.
1.1 – Tax-Free Shopping in South Korea
1.2 – Duty-Free Shopping in South Korea
1.3 – Myeong-dong: Seoul’s Vibrant Shopping Hub
3.1 – Korean Department Stores
3.2 – Maximizing Savings With Luxury Beauty Loyalty Programs in South Korea
3.3 – Beauty Counterfeits
3.4 – Luxury Beauty in Olive Young: Is it Worth It?
3.5 – Centellian24 Counter: A Unique Department Store Experience
4.1 – Premium Beauty Distribution Channels
4.1.1 – Brand’s Franchise Stores and Loyalty Programs
4.1.2 – Korean Supermarkets
5.1 – How to Use The Olive Young Store Locator
5.2 – Olive Young Seasonal Sales
5.3 – Save Money with Olive Young Loyalty Program in Korea
Part 1: General Introduction
If you’ve ever wondered how to make the most of your beauty shopping experience in South Korea, this guide is your ultimate companion. As a beauty marketer with years of industry experience in South Korea, I’m thrilled to present to you the ultimate shopping guide to K-Beauty.
From bustling beauty shops to upscale department stores, I will take you on a virtual tour of the Korean beauty retail landscape, revealing hidden gems and must-visit locations.
The guide was crafted to help both international travellers and foreigners living in South Korea.
1.1 Tax-Free Shopping in South Korea
In Korea, all prices include a 10% sales tax (VAT). However, as a foreign visitor, you have the privilege of receiving a refund on the sales tax paid for eligible goods during your stay.
To qualify for this refund, be on the lookout for stores displaying any of the signs below.
When making a purchase between 30,000 KRW and 500,000 KRW at these designated stores, kindly request a tax refund receipt from the staff before completing your payment.
The staff will assist you in completing the receipt with the necessary purchase details, and they will require your passport for verification. Therefore, remember to carry your passport when embarking on your shopping adventures.
While some stores may provide an immediate refund, if not, you can claim the refund at the airport. In such cases, it is crucial to keep your receipts securely until your departure day.
The tax refund process at the airport may undergo changes over time, so I recommend you to refer to the official website of Incheon Airport for the most up-to-date information.
1.2 Duty-Free Shopping in South Korea
Additionally, South Korea boasts “Duty-Free Shops,” specialized stores that are permitted to sell goods to international travelers without applying local taxes, under the condition that the items will be taken out of the country within three months from the date of purchase. As a result, the prices of goods in Duty-Free Shops already exclude local taxes, eliminating the need for a tax refund at the airport upon departure.
You can locate Duty-Free Shops at airports and major city centers. The most prominent duty-free chains in South Korea are:
- Lotte Duty-Free (롯데면세점)
- The Shilla Duty-Free (신라면세점)
- Shinsegae Duty-Free (신세계면세점)
- Hyundai Duty-Free (현대 면세점)
To enjoy shopping at any of these stores, ensure you have your passport and flight details on hand.
While Duty-Free shops offer several advantages, it’s important to consider a few aspects. On the positive side, you’ll find an extensive range of brands, spanning from luxury to drugstore, all within a single store.
However, compared to regular shops, beauty counters in duty-free shops might not carry the complete brand catalog, particularly the latest releases. If you have a specific product in mind, I recommend checking the websites of the aforementioned duty-free stores prior to your visit to see if it is available at a nearby branch.
1.3 Myeong-dong: Seoul’s Vibrant Shopping Hub
If you are planning a trip to Seoul, South Korea, there is a renowned shopping district that should be on your itinerary: Myeong-dong (명동). This bustling area has earned its fame as a popular tourist destination, particularly for its diverse range of cosmetic stores, catering to all budgets and preferences.
What sets Myeong-dong apart is its remarkable concentration of beauty shops within a single location. This makes it a convenient choice for those seeking a comprehensive shopping experience, where they can explore a wide array of cosmetics, ranging from luxurious brands to more affordable drugstore options.
While Myeong-dong offers a unique and vibrant shopping atmosphere, it’s important to note that similar beauty shops can be found throughout Korea. Therefore, if convenience or crowded spaces are not to your liking, there is no absolute necessity to visit this specific district. However, for those looking to immerse themselves in a lively shopping scene with an extensive selection of beauty products, Myeong-dong remains an enticing option.
Part 2: Understanding Market Segments
To gain insight into the top destinations for beauty product shopping in Korea, it is crucial to grasp the nuances of the domestic market and identify your specific product preferences. Understanding how these products are positioned within the retail landscape is key.
In the realm of cosmetics, the market is typically categorized into three primary segments: mass market, premium, and luxury. While there are further subdivisions within each segment, such as the “accessible luxury” category, for the purpose of this guide, we will focus on the three main segments to provide a concise overview.
By recognizing these broad market divisions, you can navigate the beauty shopping landscape more effectively and tailor your search according to your desired product range and price point. Let’s delve into each segment to better comprehend the distinctive characteristics and offerings they encompass.
Part 3: Luxury Cosmetics
Some of the most notable luxury Korean beauty brands are: Sulwhasoo, Amorepacific, Hera, The History of Whoo, O Hui, Su:m37°, Yunjac, Oera, and Donginbi.
3.1 Korean Department Stores:
Luxury beauty brands predominantly distribute their products through department stores, are commonly referred to as “department store cosmetics” (백화점 화장품) in Korean.
While some brands like Sulwhasoo may have flagship stores in Seoul, they are primarily available within department store premises.
The prominent department store chains in Korea include:
- Shinsegae (신세계백화점)
- Lotte (롯데백화점)
- Hyundai (현대백화점)
- Galleria (갤러리아백화점)
These chains boast numerous branches throughout the country, both in Seoul and in other metropolitan cities in South Korea.
Typically, luxury cosmetics are showcased on the first floor of department stores. It’s important to note that in Korea, floor numbering aligns with the American system, where the first floor is equivalent to the ground floor in Europe.
Within the beauty hall, you will discover dedicated counters for each of the aforementioned luxury brands, with the exception of O Hui and The History of Whoo, which often share a counter space.
When indulging in luxury cosmetics shopping in Korea, it is crucial to acknowledge that significant discounts on these products are rare.
Occasionally, during specific promotional periods, you may encounter discounts of around 10% to 15%. However, substantial markdowns, such as those observed during Black Friday sales, are not customary.
This pricing approach stems from a simple principle: the elevated price point associated with luxury cosmetics reflects the superior quality and extensive research invested in crafting these products. Offering deep discounts and promotions can compromise the perceived value and prestige of these brands among consumers.
Instead of relying on discounts, luxury beauty brands in Korea entice customers by offering enticing complimentary gifts with every purchase, commonly referred to as GWPs (Gifts With Purchase). These gifts typically encompass free samples, travel-sized minis, and occasionally even lifestyle and fashion accessories.
Considering the value of these gifts, it becomes evident that customers receive more than what they pay for. While discounts may lead one to question the worth of paying full price for a product that could have been acquired at a reduced rate, GWPs aim to evoke a sense of reward and appreciation.
In essence, these gifts provide an additional layer of value to the customer without compromising the perceived quality and exclusivity of the brand. Furthermore, the included samples serve as a wonderful opportunity to explore other offerings from the brand before committing to full-sized products.
3.2 Maximizing Savings with Luxury Beauty Loyalty Programs in Korea:
Whether you’re a tourist exploring Korea or a resident planning an extended stay, the choice of department store is inconsequential. You can conveniently select one that suits your needs. However, if you’re a long-term resident, I highly recommend choosing one or two department store chains and enrolling in their loyalty programs. By consistently shopping within these chains, you gain access to exclusive perks such as private sales and members-only cashback promotions.
Most importantly, every purchase you make earns you valuable loyalty points that can be converted into vouchers, enabling further savings.
Shinsegae Gift Vouchers
If you’re not fluent in Korean, I personally recommend signing up for these loyalty programs online and using a translator to fill in the form. Usually the process is very straightforward so you should be able to do it on your own even with minimal knowledge of the language.
Once you sign up, every time you make a purchase in that department store, before paying you should inform the sales assistant who’s helping you that you’re a member of the loyalty program. Before paying simply say: the name of the department store followed by “멤버십 있어요” [“Membeoship Isseoyo“], meaning: “I have a membership”.
At this point, the sales assistant will request the phone number associated with your membership. While they may use different phrases, if you don’t speak Korean, I recommend memorizing the term “휴대폰 번호”[“Hyudaepon Beonho“], meaning: “telephone number”.
When you hear these words, you’ll understand that they are asking for your phone number. If you’re unsure how to say numbers in Korean, you can simply type your number on your phone and show it to the sales assistant.
One loyalty program I strongly recommend joining is Shinsegae Point, the loyalty program of the renowned Shinsegae Group.
As one of Korea’s largest retail conglomerates, the Shinsegae Group operates a vast network of department stores, shopping outlets, supermarkets, coffee shops, and hotels. Notably, they own E-mart, a prominent supermarket chain, E-mart24, a chain of convenience stores, and Starbucks Korea.
By participating in their loyalty program, you can accumulate points not only from department store purchases but also during your weekly grocery shopping or indulging in a Starbucks treat.
Additionally, I recommend enrolling in the loyalty programs offered by the beauty brands that pique your interest to unlock further benefits. Amorepacific’s loyalty program, “Amorepacific Beauty Point“, allows you to earn points with every purchase across their luxury, premium, and drugstore brands. These points can be exchanged for discounts on future purchases.
On the other hand, LG Household & Health Care operates exclusive loyalty programs for each of their luxury brands. Upon reaching a specific spending threshold within a designated time frame, you can receive complimentary full-sized products and additional GWPs (Gifts With Purchase).
While you can sign up for the Amorepacific loyalty program on their website, Amoremall, please note that LG luxury memberships can currently only be joined in-store.
These loyalty programs offer the most effortless way to save money on luxury beauty in Korea. Unfortunately, as a tourist, you won’t be able to enroll in these programs since they require a Korean phone number and Resident’s Registration Number during registration. Nevertheless, there are still ways to maximize savings on luxury beauty as a tourist, such as taking full advantage of the VAT refund and promotional value sets.
LG Luxury Loyalty Programs Rewards
3.3 Beauty Counterfeits:
During your time in Korea, you may encounter private shops that offer luxury and premium beauty products at incredibly discounted prices. While it may appear tempting to snag amazing deals from these establishments, there are crucial aspects you should be aware of before making a purchase.
First and foremost, it’s important to note that many of these shops often sell counterfeit products. Although you might assume that every beauty product on sale in Korea must be authentic, that’s not always the case. If you’re not purchasing from an authorized distributor like a department store or a brand’s official flagship store, you run the risk of acquiring counterfeit items.
To address this issue, certain Korean beauty companies have implemented verification systems. For example, brands under the LG Group have dynamic QR codes on their packaging that should direct you to a webpage where you can verify product details such as manufacturing date, factory origin, and quality control results.
Counterfeit products lack these genuine QR codes or may feature fake codes that lead to random pages on the LG Group’s website. Regrettably, one of my subscribers fell victim to this situation, as they purchased History of Whoo products in Korea, only to discover that the QR codes on the packaging were fake. This incident serves as a reminder that these occurrences do happen, even when least expected.
LG Verification System
Some of you may be thinking, “I don’t care if the product is counterfeit; a good deal is a good deal.” However, it’s crucial to remember that we’re not discussing designer handbags here. These are products that will be applied to your face, and when purchasing counterfeits, there’s no guarantee that they adhere to Korea’s safety standards.
If you’re traveling on a budget, rest assured that you can easily find high-quality products at affordable prices in Korea. There’s no need to resort to buying expensive items from dubious sellers and risk developing adverse reactions later on.
The second aspect to consider about private shops is that they sometimes sell authentic products that are old stock leftover from the original company.
While there’s nothing inherently wrong with purchasing old stock, it’s crucial to check the expiry dates on the product boxes. For instance, I once encountered a shop selling numerous Hanyul creams, but upon inspection, I discovered that they had all expired over six months ago.
It’s important to use your common sense when dealing with these shops. If something appears too good to be true, it usually is. Exercise caution and prioritize your well-being over short-term savings.
If you’d like to explore more examples of counterfeit cosmetics in Korea, I’ve saved my stories on this topic in an Instagram highlight titled “K-Counterfeits” on my profile.
3.4 Luxury Beauty in Olive Young: Is It Worth It?
In recent years, Olive Young, the largest drugstore chain in Korea. has expanded its offerings to include a few luxury beauty brands such as Hera, Bobbi Brown, and Estée Lauder. However, I personally don’t recommend purchasing luxury brands from Olive Young for several reasons.
Firstly, Olive Young only carries a limited selection of products, especially when it comes to makeup. This means they often stock only the most popular shades of a product, which can be disappointing, especially if you’re shopping for foundations. If you’re seeking a wider range of options, it’s best to explore other avenues.
Secondly, Olive Young doesn’t offer significant discounts on luxury products, even during peak sales seasons. As I mentioned earlier in this guide, luxury brands tend to avoid discounts as they can diminish the perceived value of their products among their core customer base. However, these brands sometimes participate in promotional events organized by third-party retailers like Olive Young. To protect their brand image and value, luxury beauty brands typically impose strict rules on these retailers. They allow their products to be included in promotions but set a cap on the discount amount. As a result, you’ll find that Olive Young only provides discounts of around 10 to 15% on luxury items.
This practice is not unique to Korea but is prevalent in luxury marketing globally. I can attest to this firsthand, having worked with three luxury beauty brands during my career.
Furthermore, shopping from a third-party retailer like Olive Young means missing out on the benefits you would normally receive when purchasing directly from the brand. You won’t receive gift with purchases (GWPs), mini sizes, or tailored services such as foundation matching. Often, the value of these benefits far outweighs the small discounts offered by third-party retailers. If you desire the full luxury experience and wish to enjoy these additional perks, I personally recommend shopping directly from the brands themselves.
While Olive Young provides convenience and accessibility, it may not be the optimal choice for those seeking a comprehensive luxury beauty experience. Exploring other authorized retailers or brand-owned stores will likely offer a broader product selection, better discounts, and a more tailored and exclusive shopping experience.
3.5 Centellian24 Counter: A Unique Department Store Experience
In addition to visiting the beauty hall, there’s one more activity I highly recommend when you’re in a department store in Korea – paying a visit to the Centellian24 counter. You may recall this brand from my video on Korean serums to reduce hyperpigmentation.
Centellian24 is a premium skincare brand created by Dongkook Pharmaceutical, a prominent Korean pharmaceutical giant. While Centellian24 isn’t technically classified as a luxury brand, you might wonder why their products are sold in department stores. The answer is quite simple: in Korea, it’s customary to gift health-related products to loved ones, ranging from high-quality fruit baskets to red ginseng and health supplements.
As a result, Korean department stores have dedicated sections for selling these health-related gift sets, usually located on the same floor as the food court, as some sets include food items. Dongkook Pharmaceutical, the parent company of Centellian24, happens to produce highly popular health supplements. This is why you’ll find a dedicated counter for Dongkook Pharmaceutical, known as “May Always” (메이올웨이즈) after their line of premium health supplements, in most department stores throughout Korea.
The “May Always” counter offers a range of products manufactured by Dongkook Pharmaceutical, encompassing health supplements and beauty items. If you’re interested in Centellian24, I personally recommend purchasing their products directly from these counters. While you can also find Centellian24 at Olive Young, it carries only a limited selection of their products. In department stores, you’ll discover the full brand catalog along with more competitive promotions.
Part 4 : Premium Cosmetics
Sometimes this category is also referred to as “prestige” or “mid-range” in retail.
Representative Korean premium beauty brands include Iope, Primera, Laneige, Mamonde, Hanyul, Sooryehan, Isa Knox, Yehwadam, Chogonjin, Enprani, and Coreana.
It’s important to note that luxury brands and premium brands are distinct marketing concepts, often confused or assumed to be the same. In simple terms, premium brands sell products, while luxury brands sell experiences. While both promise high-quality products, luxury brands go beyond the value of the products and focus on delivering an exclusive and exceptional experience.
Unlike luxury brands, premium cosmetics are not intended to be exclusive. Therefore, unlike luxury brands that usually steer away from promotional pricing, premium brands occasionally lower their prices to stimulate demand.
As a beauty marketer in Korea, I can share that the best times to shop for premium cosmetics are typically before major holidays, specifically:
- Before Lunar New Year (usually in January or February)
- Before Parents Day (May 8th)
- Before Korean Thanksgiving Day (September or October, depending on the Lunar Calendar)
- On Black Friday
- Before Christmas in December
During these holidays, it is customary in Korea for young adults to offer gifts to older family members as a sign of gratitude. These gifts range from fruit baskets and health supplement sets to expensive meat and skincare products.
Consequently, both premium and luxury beauty brands launch special gift sets ahead of the holidays. While luxury brands focus on exclusive gift with purchase (GWP) items and elegant gift wrapping, premium beauty brands typically offer significant discounts on their gift sets.
If you visit Korea in the weeks leading up to these major holidays, you can expect discounts of 20-40% on premium skincare gift sets. Additionally, as a tourist, you will receive a tax refund at the airport. When you consider the potential savings, you could enjoy discounts of over 50% if you’re fortunate. Not a bad deal, right?
4.1 Premium Beauty Distribution Channels
But where can you find premium beauty brands in Korea?
The main distribution channels of premium cosmetics in Korea are:
- the brand’s franchise stores
- home shopping channels
Please note that I won’t be discussing home shopping channels in this guide. Although home shopping can offer great deals on cosmetics in Korea, it requires a good grasp of the local language and banking system. Hence, it may not be the most suitable option for tourists or foreigners who have recently moved to Korea.
4.1.1 Brand’s Franchise Stores and Loyalty Programs
Franchise stores in Korea encompass both single-brand stores and multi-brand retail stores. In the past, you might have encountered various shops dedicated to a single beauty brand while strolling down Korean streets. These stores were commonly known as “road shops” among longtime followers of Korean beauty.
However, the Korean retail landscape has undergone significant changes in recent years. While single-brand beauty stores still exist, they are not as prevalent as before. The demand for single-brand brick-and-mortar stores has diminished as more consumers have turned to the convenience of shopping in multi-brand retail stores.
In response to this shift, many drugstore brands have chosen to enter Olive Young, the largest drugstore chain in Korea. On the other hand, most premium beauty brands are now available in multi-brand stores managed by their parent companies.
- Both premium and drugstore brands owned by Amorepacific can be found in stores called “Aritaum” (아리따움)
- LG Household & Health Care’s premium and drugstore brands are sold in stores called “Nature Collection” (네이처컬렉션)
- Brands owned by Able C&C are available in stores called “Missha Plus” (미샤플러스)
- Enprani products are sold in shops named after their sister drugstore brand “Holika Holika” (홀리카홀리카)
- All premium brands owned by Coreana Cosmetics can be found in stores called “Senite” (세니떼)
In addition to the seasonal promotions mentioned earlier, these stores often offer smaller discounts and promotions every month. For instance, on the third weekend of the month, Missha holds “Missha Day,” a promotional campaign where you can enjoy discounts of up to 50% off their products.
Identifying “Missha Day” is easy as their shop windows will be adorned with signs that say “Missha Day, up to 50% off.”
If you are a foreigner living in Korea, I strongly recommend joining the loyalty programs offered by these shops to accumulate points with every purchase and enjoy additional benefits. The parent company of Missha, in particular, has one of the best loyalty programs in Korea. As an example, even as an orange member (not the highest tier), I received five coupons this month, including two 50% off coupons that I can use to purchase any two products of my choice.
If you don’t speak Korean, you can sign up for these loyalty programs online and use a translator to fill in the forms. Once you become a member, every time you make a purchase in any of these stores, simply inform the sales assistant by saying “멤버십 있어요” (pronounced “Membeoship Isseoyo”), which means “I have a membership.”
The sales assistant will then ask you for the telephone number associated with your account. If you are comfortable with some Korean, you can provide the number verbally. Otherwise, you can type it on your phone and show it to them.
By participating in these loyalty programs, you can enhance your shopping experience and enjoy additional perks while exploring the diverse offerings of franchise stores in Korea.
4.1.2 Korean Supermarkets:
Franchise stores are not the sole option for purchasing premium beauty products in Korea. As mentioned earlier, the target demographic for Korean premium cosmetics consists of older consumers with purchasing power who value higher quality yet functional products. So, where would be the best place for brands to connect with this customer base? Supermarkets, of course.
Women over 40 represent the core customer base for premium cosmetics in Korea. Often, they are white-collar workers or homemakers who may not have the luxury of time to visit specialized beauty stores or department stores.
Recognizing this, beauty companies have found that having counters in supermarkets enables easy access to their products and allows them to reach a broader customer base.
To make their products even more appealing to value-conscious shoppers, many beauty companies choose to offer exclusive promotions exclusively in supermarkets. These promotions can range from free samples to special discounts.
For instance, when Missha introduced their new anti-aging brand, Chogongjin, in Korea last year, they offered a 30% discount on all Chogongjin products in all Missha stores. However, in supermarkets, the brand was launched with a 40% discount.
If you’re interested in premium anti-aging cosmetics, it is worth visiting a supermarket during your time in Korea. The main supermarket chains in the country are:
- E-Mart (이마트)
- Homeplus (홈플러스)
- Lotte Super (롯데슈퍼)
In some countries, larger supermarkets are typically located outside city centers, but that’s not always the case in Korea. For example, if you search for E-Mart on Naver Map, you will find numerous branches in Seoul, making it easily accessible even for tourists.
Most of these supermarkets will have counters for Aritaum, Nature Collection, Missha, and Enprani. Larger supermarkets may also include a couple of drugstore brands and a small Olive Young shop.
Supermarkets are also ideal places in Korea to shop for kids’ skincare, hair products, and health supplements.
While you can find these types of products in Olive Young as well, it’s important to note that Olive Young is a drugstore chain with a younger core demographic. Upon entering any Olive Young store in Korea, you’ll likely notice that there are usually no customers over the age of 40.
The products available in Olive Young cater to the tastes and demands of their core demographic. Consequently, you’ll find that they don’t have a wide selection of anti-aging skincare, hair loss products, or kids’ skincare. On the other hand, compared to supermarkets, Olive Young offers a broader selection of makeup, hair styling products, weight loss supplements, and skincare for oily and acne-prone skin, among others. So, ultimately, it depends on what you’re looking for.
Part 5 : Drugstore Cosmetics
Lastly, let’s discuss drugstore beauty brands in Korea. Some well-known names in this category include Etude, Innisfree, The Face Shop, Romand, Clio, Dr.G, Round Lab, Mediheal, Skinfood, and more. These are the Korean brands that are frequently mentioned by Western beauty influencers and are familiar to many people.
In the past, the most common way to shop for drugstore beauty brands in Korea was by visiting each brand’s individual store. However, there has been a shift in Korean consumers’ preferences towards multi-brand retail shops in recent years. As a result, beauty brands have adjusted their strategies by closing down many standalone stores and partnering with the largest drugstore chain in the country: Olive Young (올리브영).
While you can still find single-brand stores in Korea, the easiest way to shop for drugstore beauty products is by visiting Olive Young. Up until recently, there used to be two more drugstore chains in Korea called Lohbs and Lalavla, but Olive Young put both out of business last year.
As mentioned earlier, the core demographic of Olive Young tends to be young, ranging from late teens to early 30s. Consequently, they don’t offer a wide selection of anti-aging skincare and products targeted at older adults. However, you can find a diverse range of products at Olive Young, including drugstore skincare, pharmacy brands, makeup, haircare, beauty tools, health supplements, and more.
In Olive Young, you can also find some premium makeup brands like 3CE and Hince, as well as diffusion lines of premium skincare brands such as Isa Knox’s Vitamin C line or Hanyul’s lines designed for younger skin types.
5.1: Olive Young Store Locator:
Before traveling to Korea, I recommend downloading the official Korean app of Olive Young. In case you can’t find a particular product in-store, you can use the app’s store locator function to find the nearest Olive Young that stocks that product.
Although the app is entirely in Korean, don’t worry. You can easily use the store locator function without speaking a single word of Korean.
- Simply type the name of the brand in Roman letters.
- Scroll until you find the product you’re looking for
- Open the product page
- Scroll until you see the store icon
- Clicking on the button will automatically show you the nearest Olive Young store that carries the product.
- You can then click on the store you’re interested in and copy the address directly from the app.
5.2 Olive Young Seasonal Sales:
Olive Young offers different promotions every month, but if you want to take advantage of the best discounts, it’s recommended to wait for their seasonal sales, which occur in the first week of March, June, September, and December. Additionally, like many international retailers, Olive Young now offers discounts on Black Friday as well.
These promotions are available in all Olive Young stores in Korea and are also mirrored on the Olive Young Global website. So, if you’re wondering when the best time to place an order on the Olive Young Global website is, you can simply follow the calendar I just mentioned.
5.3 Save Money with Olive Young Loyalty Program in Korea:
Everyone can access these promotions, but if you’re a foreigner living in Korea, I strongly recommend joining Olive Young’s loyalty program to enjoy exclusive benefits. By becoming a member, you’ll gain early access to their seasonal sales and members-only offers. Additionally, on the 25th of every month, Olive Young holds “Olive Young Day,” a two-day promotion exclusive to loyalty program members, offering them exclusive discounts.
Here’s a practical example:
In green you can see the original retail price of the item, below you can see the promotional price applied to the item in May, and lastly the exclusive price available to loyalty program members on Olive Young Day.
But that’s not all. On Olive Young Day, members of their loyalty program can also receive special samples and additional discounts if they spend more than a set amount. The higher your membership tier, the more rewards you can enjoy!
The loyalty program at Olive Young is called “CJ One.” You can earn points every time you make a purchase in any store owned by the CJ Group.
If you don’t speak Korean, you can sign up online and use a translator to fill in the form.
Once you join the loyalty program, every time you make a purchase in Olive Young, simply say “멤버십 있어요” [“Membeoship Isseoyo“], meaning “I have a membership” before paying. The sales assistant will then ask for your phone number, and you’ll need to type it on the keypad in front of the cash register using the touch pen provided.
Part 6 : Professional Beauty Supplies
When it comes to finding the right places for specific beauty supplies, there are two Korean words you should familiarize yourself with:
네일재료 [“Nail Jae-ryo”]: This term refers to nail supplies, and you can find a wide range of products in these specialized shops. From gel polish and nail art decorations to files and nail lamps.
미용재료 [“Mi-yeon Jae-ryo”]: On the other hand, this term encompasses beauty salon supplies. In 미용재료 shops, you’ll discover an extensive selection of professional hair products, hair dyes, styling tools, and skincare products specifically designed for aesthetic clinics.
To locate the nearest shop offering the beauty supplies you need, you can conveniently use Naver Maps. Simply input the Korean terms 네일재료 or 미용재료, and the application will guide you to the closest shops in your area.
If you’re in Seoul, one of the most popular nail supplies stores is called “Nail Mall” (네일몰) while for beauty salon supplies most shops are located around Dongdaemun Market (동대문 쇼핑타운), which is the largest shopping district in Korea.
While shopping for professional beauty supplies in Korea, it’s crucial to bear in mind that the product descriptions and usage instructions will be in Korean. Before visiting a shop, it’s a good idea to download some translation apps if you don’t speak the language. Personally, I recommend using a combination of Papago and Google Translate.
Copyright: © 2023 Odile Monod
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