A College Student’s Guide to NYC’s K-Beauty Stores

Over the past couple of years, K-Beauty has been making its way into the mainstream beauty scene here in the US. You’ve probably noticed several brands such as TonyMoly, Dr. Jart, and Too Cool for School at stores like Sephora and Urban Outfitters. Due to their meticulous attention to skin and appearance, Koreans have created some of the market’s greatest makeup and skincare products. Their 10 step skincare routine alone ensures that your skin’s every need is cared for. In fact, Korean beauty offers such a vast array of different skincare and makeup products that it can at times be overwhelming. On the other hand, you are guaranteed to find a product for your specific skincare needs. As a lover of K-Beauty myself, I thought that I would create a quick and easy guide to some of Manhattan’s K-Beauty stores and what you can expect to find.

The Face Shop – found on 25 W 32nd St

I personally love The Face Shop for reliable sheet masks, cleansers, and cleansing oils. While most Korean skincare products are geared towards more sensitive skin, I find that The Face Shop products work well for people who have oily/combination skin like mine, and my pores absorb all the nutrients really well. Of course, different products will have different levels of effectiveness for everyone, but if you have oily and acne prone skin like me, definitely give them a try!

Like most K-Beauty stores, they also offer an array of lip products, nail polishes, snail creams, and sleeping packs. The Face Shop was one of the first brands I explored as a K-beauty newbie, and I definitely recommend it for anyone who is looking for a starter kit! Their products are fairly straight-forward in usage and you won’t find anything too gimmicky or unconventional (at least compared to some other K-Beauty brands).

The MVP: Rice Cleansing Oil

While the whole line of Rice Water products has great reviews, the cleansing oil has been featured in several magazines and K-Beauty websites. I find that it does a really great job of breaking down even waterproof makeup without being overly oily and clogging your pores.

Club Clio – found on 11 W 14th St

Club Clio offers some of K-Beauty’s top brands such as Peripera, Goodal, and Sooae, as well as offering their own products (you might recognize their brand ambassador Sandara Park, a member of YG girl group 2NE1). Their most famous product is the cult favorite, Clio Kill Black Eyeliner. Many of my friends have recommended this to me and has received great reviews for its pigmentation and longevity.

The MVP: Clio Kill Black Eyeliner

photo: Soko Glam

This eyeliner is said to be great for creating a super dark and super precise cat-eye shape, all with a waterproof formula. It removes easily with an oil based makeup remover, but stays on through the day’s roughest conditions. Based on packaging and formula, it seems to be highly comparable to the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner or the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner which are also cult classics at Sephora. Step out of your comfort zone and give this one a shot! Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

TonyMoly Flapship Store – found on 35 W 32nd St

TonyMoly is one of my absolute favorite Korean beauty brands, so I was ecstatic to see that they have a stand-alone shop in New York. To me, TonyMoly has always been the best bang for my buck. They have a lot of great masks, like their Egg Pore Mask and their “I’m Real” Sheet Masks. I also love their gel liner because of how easy it is to work with and how long-wearing it is for a gel liner. I definitely recommend checking out this shop or their online store ( if you want to see their full line of products because you can almost never go wrong with TonyMoly!

The MVP: Luminous Goddess Aura Crystal Light

photo: Tonymoly

My favorite shade is Pink Glow (seen on the far left). I love this highlighter because it blends so effortlessly, while giving you the perfect amount of natural glow. It is also extremely affordable ($12.00) and can work on many different skin tones.

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