Coreana Cosmetics Museum: A window to Korean beauty in history

Korean beauty fans! Before you head on to Myeongdong for your Korean cosmetics fix, you might want to make a sidetrip to where Korean beauty has its place in history–the Coreana Cosmetics Museum.

As someone fascinated with how Korean women stay beautiful and elegant (as seen in our favorite sageuk and contemporary TV dramas), I made sure that my second trip to Seoul involved going  here.

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I first read about this museum while researching related material for my ancient Korean makeup article for WKB, and have since vowed to visit once I return to Seoul. September’s participation in an academic conference gave me the opportunity to do so. And I must tell you that my sidetrip to Apjugeong, where the museum is located, was well worth the visit.

Coreana Cosmetics Museum showcases a wide array of makeup cases and vials, trinkets and costumes collected by Corean Cosmetics Company founder Dr. Sang-Ok Yu for over 40 years. The collection numbers around 5,300 pieces, so you can just imagine the sheer delight this museum will give to makeup and beauty junkies! It’s really the largest cosmetics museum in Korea! =)

The musuem has two exhibit halls at the 5th floor and 6th floor of space*c at Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu in Seoul

The museum also shows how Korean women in ancient times prettified themselves with colors that can be found nature: Chili peppers for a pretty pout, for example.

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The museum also shows how Korean women loved beautiful things even in ancient times. From celadon makeup bottles and bowls to colorful contemporary powder cases, this museum will make you appreciate and learn about Korea’s makeup culture.

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How the body looks is given importance, too, through accessories for the hair and for the clothes. Overall, Korean’s look as colorful and cheery hundreds of years ago as they are in the present time.

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I highly recommend that you visit this place if you’re serious about beauty—the Korean way!

How to get there:

By subway, take Line 3 Apgujeong. Go out at Exit 3. Take a 3-5 minute walk to CGV Apgujeong Theater, and you’ll see a sign that says Space*c. Go in that direction until you see the building to your right.

Admission Fee:

3,000won for adults and 2,000won for students


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