- ↑ City Center on 6th, 3500 West 6th Street
- ↑ Our day begins The Face Shop, a South Korean skincare and cosmetics brand that "brings together science and the perfection of nature to deliver the best product for you
- ↑ We make a beeline for the cleanser section, where Yara picks up the Rise Water Bright cleansing oil ($17)—the first step of many in Korean women's beauty routines, which can include as many as 15 different skincare products. "You start with this b
- ↑ Known for their face masks, the Face Shop stocks a variety of affordable options infused with natural ingredients like kelp, mung bean, honey, and cucumber; the hyaluronic masks are especially popular for their anti-aging properties. "You put them on yo
- ↑ "Smart cushions are fun because they’re kind of like the really, really big thing in Asia," says Yara. "It's still a cream but it's easier to apply." The CC cream compacts come with a makeup puff, which is pressed against the cushion to soak up t
- ↑ Sephora and Ulta have nothing on Korean beauty boutiques: In addition to discounts and perks for frequent shopper club members, The Face Shop and most other shops give out tons of free samples with every purchase. Score!
- ↑ Because beauty also comes from within (right?), we head downstairs to Zion Market to see what keeps Korean women glowing rom the inside. Barley tea is "packed with antioxidants" and used for detoxifying; it's available in tea packets or can be brewed at
- ↑ We stroll over to the toothpaste aisle, where Yara stocks up on bamboo salt toothpaste and soap. "It's like tea tree oil, but [Koreans] usually ingest it to help fight disease. They’ll also take roasted bamboo salts and put it into scrubs. When you go t
- ↑ All this talk about toothpaste and barley tea has a way of making our tummies grumble, so we grab soup at LA superstar chef Roy Choi's POT at
- ↑ We then drive over to Koreatown Galleria (3250 W Olympic Blvd.) in search of Cailyn, an international cosmetics brand known for their long-lasting lip gloss stains. "They have a wonderful clea
- ↑ We head into Palace Beauty to see what's in store and pick up some bath goodies.
- ↑ After doing a double-take at the snail gel masks, Yara explains that's a real thing. "Snail excretion is really big in Asia and in Europe. It’s antimicrobial, and it has all of these moisturizing [and] healing properties," she says. "If there’s one ingr
- ↑ We also grab a few konjac puffs, squishy sponges made from the yam-like konjac plant. They're used to clear your pores of blackheads, oil, and dirt much more effectively. Unlike washcloth
- ↑ We couldn't help but marvel at this natural facelift contraption. While "Americans will really break off their skin, peel it, and use lasers," Asians are more about "taking care of your skin and being really gentle with it."
- ↑ Although our hunt for Cailyn's products was unsuccessful, we play around with these Lipnicure lip stains, which stay on for as long as 12 hours. Another big Korean beauty trend is peel-off lip stains, which sit on your lips for about 15 minutes before t
- ↑ Don't get distracted by the eyelid-enhancing stickers—Korean beauty shops also have a stellar selection of eyelashes. They're crafted to look natural and often don't need to be trimmed before application.
- ↑ We were incredibly tempted to snap up the adorably-packaged lotions.
- ↑ Then, we take a quick drive over to Koreatown Plaza (928 Western Ave) to check out Amore Pacific, which "is like the Estée Lauder of Asia. They are
- ↑ At Amore, there's an array of products for all budgets, from the affordable Laneige line (which is also stocked at Target) to holistic label Sulwhasoo and much more.
- ↑ Before heading out of the mall, we make a pit stop at Bosco Bakery for mid-spree sweets.
- ↑ We pick up some of these fruit-filled pastries to go.
- Photo: Wi Spa ↑ "For a traditional Korean experience and a good scrub down, I recommend Wi Spa. You wear funn
- Ramirez Tran Salon Photos: Mixed Makeup ↑ Our day concludes with a trek to Beverly Hills, where Yara has an appointment for a complete hair transformation at Ramirez Tran Salon<
- ↑ Although K-Town is Yara's go-to for beauty products, Beverly Hills is where she maintains her tresses. "When it comes to hair, I really think the best in Los Angeles is Ahn Co Tran and Johnny Ramirez of the Ramirez Tran Salon. Plus, they sort of represe
- ↑ Ta-da! Yara sent photos of the result, which was "totally worth" the day-long process, she says. "I have never been able to go lighter because it normally just looks brassy on me. The problem is that most colorists don’t take the time to really lift the
The beauty world is a fickle place. One minute it's crazy for carbon, the next minute it's touting the benefits of dragonfly wing extract (okay, we made that up) or some other exotic ingredient. Consider snail goo, just one of the innovations brought to us by Korean cosmetics brands, which have captivated American beauty buffs ever since infiltrated the U.S. market with buzzy BB creams.
To help us translate the Korean skincare obsession to our own visage routines, we caught up with our juice pal Susan Yara, founder of new lifestyle site and beauty YouTube channel Mixed Makeup. Given that this month focuses on how to have the Best Year Ever, we asked the half-Korean, half-Mexican beauty expert to guide us through some of her favorite places in Koreatown and beyond. Join as we pick up a few additions to our skincare routine, from an $8 snail facial, the most intense body scrubber, bamboo salt toothpaste, and much more.
Minor updates have been made and additional quotes for clarification purposes have been added since this post was originally published.