I’ve been flooded with emails about Korean brand recommendations… so I've decided to write this post to introduce the different Korean brands and the typical Korean mass brands, high-end brands – basically the more well known ones.
Of course when we talk about Korean Cosmetics – two big names will come up first : Amore Pacific and LG. Amore Pacific is the biggest Cosmetic in Korea, and then comes LG. Read my article on the comparison of this two brands : here. Those of you who have been following by blog religiously would probably be able to differentiate the brands under both companies – but this is for the newbies so bare with me!
Amore Pacific produces many brands in which many of you will not know that they’re under Amore Pacific : this includes
Amore is the leading company and it probably deserves so – their pages in English especially the Laneige, Sulwhasoo, Amore Pacific, and the Amore Pacific Corporation websites are very complete and put competitor LG to shame when it comes to the international market.
The most high-profile brand in Amore will probably be Sulwhasoo. a brand that gave Amore the revenue to produce their other brands though it went through many rebranding throughout the decades. So i will be classifying this brands according to their status ( high, mid, low end ). You can find the mid-range Amore brands sold in South Korea under one roof. The shop’s name is called ‘ARITAUM’.
VERY HIGH END
Amore Pacific – the brand. This is a west-meets-east brand that incorporates both western and eastern philosophy.
Sulwhasoo – this is their premium oriental medicine skincare line that is the best selling korean brand in history.
HERA – this is their premium brand which is western styled.
Lirikos – this is their premium marine skincare brand like LaMer
VB Program – Amore’s dietary supplements brand
IOPE – this is their plant stem cells and botanical extract brands which is also rather western styled ( retinols, etc.. )
Hannule – this is their mid-high end range of oriental herbal skincare which is less expensive than Sulwhasoo but still some items on their brand are over $100USD
HYOSIAH – their new beans fermentation brand that was introduced last year
MIREPA & ODYSSEY – Men’s skincare brand
LANEIGE – the most famous Amore brand in South East Asia.
Annick Goutal & Lolita Lempika & eSpoir – Western perfume brands that was bought over by Amore.
Verite & Primera – Amore’s naturalism brand ( don’t know what is the difference and why they need two )
Mise En Scene – Amore’s western style shampoo brand
Ryeol – Amore’s oriental shampoo brand
Innisfree – Amore’s low end naturalism brand using extracts from Jeju Island
Etude House – Amore’s low end kawaii pretty skincare + makeup brand for teenagers
Happy Bath – Amore’s body care brand
Mamonde – Amore’s skincare brand for the younger generation
Aritaum – Amore’s drugstore type brand.
LG ( yes the same one that does the machines and handphones ) is Amore’s biggest competitor in Korea and they have brands to compete head on with each other. Unlike Amore, LG’s website in English is very run-down and out of date. They show almost no interest in the international market!
HIGH END BRANDS
The History Of Whoo – oriental medicine brand to compete with Amore’s Sulwhasoo
Su:m37 – fermentation brand that was a huge success for LG
OHUI – western style skincare brand that focuses on high tech ingredients such as stem cells, etc.
MID-HIGH END BRANDS
Belif – based on UK Herbalist Duncan Napiers. Natural skincare at affordable price.
Beyond – LG’s naturalism line
MULE – LG’s collaboration with korean makeup artist – Jung Saem Mool
Isa Knox – the cheaper OHUI
Sooryehan – the cheaper History Of Whoo to go head on with Amore’s Haneul
Mirepa & Vonin – LG’s men skincare brand
The Face Shop – acquired few years back. All over Asia
Lacvert – brand for younger skin like Etude House / Innisfree
Carezone – brand for younger skin with problems.
Cathycat – LG’s makeup brand
VoV – acquired last year in 2011. Makeup company.
Re-en : LG’s answer to Amore’s Ryeol. Oriental medicine based hair care.
Coreana is also a one of the very prestigious Korean cosmetics company. They have many different brands for different needs. Their stuff are usually sold mostly online, or door to door.
Zain Premium – Oriental medicine premium brand.
Zain – the normal version.
Ovl’eau – black cosmetics
Lavida – new fermentation brand
HIGH MID RANGE
Coreana – many lines
Biodefense – western style skincare
Bi Hui Ga In – another oriental medicine brand
Ten Seconds – new makeup brand for younger crowd
Senite – skincare brand for younger crowd
If someone asks me what should i try in South Korea? My answer would be any of these brands above. This is what makes Korean skincare unique and what you can’t get elsewhere. South Korea’s most popular brand is Amorepacific’s Sulhwasoo. Launched in 1997, it is a premium oriental medicine skin care brand whose ingredients include ginseng, a herb that Amorepacific pioneered as a cosmetics ingredient 35 years ago. Sulhwasoo includes skin care foundation but no other make-up.
You will find many articles on oriental medicine skincare articles on my site but here are to name a few. Most of them are mid-range to high end… but do know that all the mass brands like Missha, Tonymoly, Enprani, It’s Skin have their own oriental medicine line. This is how popular oriental medicine skincare is in Korea, and it is the biggest selling skincare sector every year!
These are the examples of luxury brands in Korea. The other luxury brands are all in the ‘Oriental Medicine Skincare’ above. The luxury Korean brands are excellent and truly top-notch. It can rival any top western skincare brand in terms of efficiency or packaging. If you have the budget, i would highly recommend these brands above.
For more details, contact me personally.
And those above are the lower to mid range brands that are widely available in Korea and around the world as well. These brands are priced very reasonably and has really beautiful packaging. Their products are also hit and miss – depends on which line and which product! I’m not going to go in details so if you have any questions about the brands – just go to the contact me page !
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