STOCK UP IN THE K-BEAUTY CAPITAL

Take your pick of the latest cool and quirky Korean beauty productsTreat yourself to a facial or another beauty trend: eyelash extensionsEnjoy a bowl of hearty warming broth from a bustling street marketKorean beauty brands are about so much more than BB cream, and Myeondong is the neighborhood to find it all in one spot. Start on the streets for the most accessible brands, including the all-natural Innisfree, with products derived from Korea’s Jeju Island, and the fun and feisty Too Cool for School, whose look include dismembered dolls and dinosaur sketches. We know this may sound like a rebellious teen’s dream, but their innovative products like the one-day tattoo eyebrow pencil and their snowman-shaped makeup pouf are fantastic for girls of all ages. For more upscale finds, the first floors of nearby Shinsegae and Lotte department stores carry top Korean cosmetic brands including Sulwhasoo, O Hui, and su:m 37. Sulwhasoo in particular has made headlines for its ginseng-infused skincare line, and has recently started selling at Bergdorf Goodman in New York. O Hui has an excellent spray-on sunblock that goes on light, and su:m 37 is known for their “Secret Programming Essence” which is made with over 80 types of fermented plants. Done shopping? Treat yourself to a popular Korean beauty trend: eyelash extensions. There are dozens of small salons that offer this service, but Witch Nails is one of the brightest and newest. Extensions take around an hour, depending on how thick you want them. Lashes made from silk are the most expensive but look most natural. Go authentic for dinner: From Myeongdong, walk 10 minutes westward to the bustling and touristy Namdaemun Market. Skip the souvenir shopping here unless something really catches your eye, and look for the tiny side alleys serving up cheap and delicious bowls of noodles and dumplings—a classic favorite is kalguksu, or knife-cut noodles in little-neck clam broth. Roughly 40 minutes away by taxi, Myeongdong is one of Korea’s busiest commercial districts with narrow streets and brightly colored signs all competing for your attention. You’ll find Namdaemun Market near Hoehyeon train station on Toegye-ro.​​​​INNISFREE – MYEONGDONG BRANCH: 15, Myeongdong-gil, Jung-gu; 82-(0)2-776-0117; innisfree.co.kr​​TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL – MYEONGDONG BRANCH: 19, Myeongdong 4-gil, Jung-gu; 82-(0)2-752-2004; toocoolforschool.com​​​​WITCH NAILS: 38, Myeongdong 8-gil, Jung-gu; 82-(0)2-318-1533; blog.naver.com/witch_nail​​​​NAMDAEMUN MARKET: 21, Namdaemunsijang 4-gil, Jung-gu; 82-(0)2-753-2805; namdaemunmarket.co.kr​