The fascination with K-beauty shows no sign of waning, with new outlets opening across the UAE. In addition to long-standing places including The Face Shop, K-Secret, 1004 Gourmet and Sephora, a new tranche of stores, physical and online, now offer customers the latest K-beauty products, as well as Japanese items.
While a Korean skincare routine can seem daunting for some, and at times may seem excessive, one glance at the skin of most South Korean women suggests it works. Coupled with a good diet and staying out of the sun, K-beauty has won devotees the world over.
An online store founded in 2020, Nessa Beauty aims to “educate and inspire” through its one-stop platform where visitors can shop, learn about products, receive tips and discover make-up looks all in one place.
Offering free delivery on orders above Dh99, the site has a dedicated Korean beauty section of 112 products, which ranges from the K-Secret "Calamine Derma" face sheet (D12), to Magic Cover Fit Cushion (Dh199), a hyaluronic acid infused liquid foundation that gives 24-hours coverage, by April Skin.
What started as a K-beauty stand by Kate Wooyeon Park, inside her husband's store, 1004 Gourmet, has morphed into its own website. Called Lamise, which means “soft touch” in Arabic, the name reflects Parks's philosophy that skincare should be gentle.
Organised so visitors can search according to skin concerns and skin type, as well as by brand and product type, the site is easy to navigate.
Products include Gentle Black Fresh Cleansing Oil by Dear Klairs (Dh115), which is a lightweight make-up remover, made with 85 per cent plant-based oils. There's also Fascy Cica AC solution cream (Dh99 for 50ml), a mildly acidic cream with lotus leaf extract to help moisturise while reducing redness and irritation.
There are two shops inside 1004 Gourmet in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The website offers free delivery on orders above Dh200.
An online platform with a physical store in Elite Business Centre, Al Barsha in Dubai, the website is easy to use by scrolling through sections dedicated to essential skincare, clearance sale, trending brands and Asian beauty "holy grails".
Launched in 2021, it specialises in Korean and Japanese beauty, allowing those who are already au fait with brands to search the alphabetical lists. Those looking for more guidance can head straight to skincare or concerns for a detailed breakdown.
With an extensive range, it offers skincare collagen supplements plus products such as sun care, including Weightless Sun Fluid by House of Hur (Dh90 for 50ml), an SPF 50 made with a concentration of 26 per cent Jeju Yuja Extract and 19 per cent pure New Zealand honey extract to nourish skin, and help prevent sun damage without leaving a white cast.
The Needly Vita C Glow Jelly Pad 60 Sheets (Dh140), meanwhile, are pads loaded with vitamin C that come in a jelly-like serum for easy application. Vitamin C aids in collagen production, making skin look refreshed and plumped.
Free delivery is available on orders more than Dh150.
The beauty and make-up store Watsons now also has a dedicated K-beauty section, containing more than 330 products. It covers everything from make-up to skincare.
It also offers Holika Holika products, including the Water Vibe Tint Lipstick (Dh79) that comes in six shades, and Cosrx items including its Advanced Snail 92 All In One Cream (Dh169). A lightweight gel, it contains 92 per cent snail mucin to offer nourishment without oiliness. Snail mucin is known for its antioxidant and moisturising properties and is used extensively in K-beauty products.
Free delivery is available on orders of more than Dh100.
Beauty Korea Dubai
Beauty Korea Dubai has its headquarters in Seoul, but a shop in Al Maha building, near BurJuman in Dubai. It also has a website with prices listed in dirhams, meaning that customers can be sure they are getting the latest products shipped directly from South Korea.
Products include the Mary & May Marine Collagen Serum (Dh119), which contains collagen with small molecules for better skin penetration and helping to hydrate dry skin while smoothing the appearance of fine wrinkles. There is also the Rose Water Cleansing Foam by 3W Clinic (Dh38), a gentle foaming cleanser.
Free delivery is available for orders of more than Dh150.