Overseas beauty flagship stores: are they worth adding to your holiday itinerary?

We have a few beauty flagship stores here in Singapore, but have you ever wondered how much more wondrous and amazing they are in their country of origin? Ever passed by the new Laneige flagship store in ION Orchard and wondered how the one in Korea looks like? Thinking of checking out the Chanel flagship boutique when you’re on holiday in France?

We’ve checked out some notable overseas flagship beauty stores from our favourite brands so you can decide if it’s worth the pilgrimage trip!

Sulwhasoo flagship store, Dosan-daero, Seoul, South Korea

Sulwhasoo flagship store: Boutique (photo: Kyungsub Shin)
Sulwhasoo flagship store: Boutique (photo: Kyungsub Shin)

The snazzy new Sulwhasoo Flagship Store is located in Dosan-daero, right in line with the world’s leading brands in fashion and beauty.

The six-storey store showcases Sulwhasoo’s brand heritage and brings visitors closer to holistic beauty by offering Sulwhasoo products, services and exclusive services such as beauty counselling.

To cap off the holistic beauty experience, the Sulwhasoo flagship store also allows visitors to experience spa services infused with Sulwhasoo’s unique ingredients and formulae, with a selection of luxurious and casual packages – with a spectacular view of Dosan Park to boot.

Sulwhasoo flagship store: Spa (photo: Kyungsub Shin)
Sulwhasoo flagship store: Spa (photo: Kyungsub Shin)

Our verdict: The chance to experience Sulwhasoo’s holistic offering makes this visit highly recommended. Do not hesitate to pamper yourself at the Sulwhasoo flagship store if you make the trip to Seoul.

Address: 18, Dosan-daero 45-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea

Laneige flagship store, Myeongdong, Seoul, South Korea

Laneige flagship store in Myeongdong, Seoul
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The Laneige flagship store is located in the centre of Myeongdong, the most happening shopping district in Seoul. The store is rather big, but it is always crowded.

While you can hardly take any decent pictures in the store because of the crowd, there is an upside: you can stay for as long, and try as many beauty products as you want without any shop assistants “hovering” around you!

What’s more, Laneige products in Korea are cheaper than they are in Singapore, and you can also get tax refunds as a tourist!

Laneige flagship store in Myeongdong, Seoul
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Our verdict: We don’t think there’s a reason to make a special visit, if you’re already around the Myeongdong area, we certainly recommend popping in to take a look. Myeongdong is so well-known for its beauty offerings that you would probably already be in a beauty state of mind when you’re around the area anyway.

Address: Jung-gu, Seoul Myeongdong 2 50-17

M.A.C Pro flagship store, London, United Kingdom

MAC Pro flagship store, London
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Recently opened in September last year, the M.A.C Pro flagship store in London is stylish inside-out!  You can’t miss this when you’re shopping around in London. T

he store offers walk-in demos, workshops, applications, and lessons by appointment, in addition to specialist makeup services including bridal and theatrical.

MAC Pro flagship store, London
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This store is described by M.A.C Cosmetics as a “high-tech science lab for makeup obsessives” and it is not difficult to see why.

The store includes “a library area, for both customers and make-up artists, nine ergonomically-designed make-up stations as well as two private make-up areas for groups to enjoy the “ultimate” M.A.C experience, and a training room in the basement for MAC make-up artists”.

It also houses the 250 products that comprise the M.A.C Pro collection.

Our verdict: Definitely worth a visit, even if you don’t intend on buying anything. If you’re a hardcore M.A.C fan, then you absolutely need to make a pilgrimage to this store ASAP.

Address: 30-31 Great Marlborough Street, near Carnaby Street

Shu Uemura flagship store, Tokyo, Japan

Shu Uemura flagship store, Tokyo
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Even if you don’t use Shu Uemura’s products, you must have heard about its brilliant award-winning eyelash curler, which has been elected the world’s best by professional makeup artists .

Its sleek and stylish beauty boutique is located at the ground floor of Omotesando Hills, one of the most iconic landmarks of the Aoyama area. This simply-designed yet attractive store is nothing less than deserving to be located in one of the hottest destinations in Tokyo.

Shu Uemura flagship store, Tokyo
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The transparent glass facade draws you in to the interior where there are several beauty tables, each displaying products that allow their in-house makeup artists to offer each customer a complete beauty makeup routine, from skincare to makeup. This is inspired by the brand’s philosophy of “beautiful makeup starts with beautiful skin”.

Our verdict: If you’re already in the area, then it’s worth stepping in to the store!

Address: 150-0001 4-12-10, Jinguumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo Omotesando Hills West hall 1F

Innisfree Jeju House, Jeju Island, South Korea

Innisfree Jeju House, Jeju Island
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The Innisfree Jeju house is recommended by the Korean Tourism Organisation – need we say more? In this store, you can experience and purchase Innisfree cosmetic products, and at the same time taste organic dessert and food from Jeju Island.

You can even make soaps with natural sources from Jeju Island.  It is located right next to O’sulloc Tea Museum, which you just can’t miss if you’re a first time visitor to Jeju.

Innisfree Jeju House, Jeju Island
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Our verdict: You should definitely include Innisfree Jeju House in your Jeju itinerary. Where else can you find such a special experience?

Address: 425, Sinhwayeoksa-ro, Andeok-myeon, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do

Chanel flagship store, Paris, France

The Chanel flagship store, Paris
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It’s going to be an unforgettable experience, at least according to those who have been there!

While the makeup and fragrances area might not be large, Chanel’s flagship store is still an amazing shopping experience: the vibe is not only one of the utmost prestige and class, the entire store almost feels like a living exhibition of the brand’s rich heritage.

Chanel’s entire culture revolves around its flagship store. Bags have been named after the address (like the 31 Rue Cambon tote) and the stopper of the famous Chanel No. 5 is inspired by the geometry of Place Vendôme that is located nearby.

The Chanel flagship store, Paris
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If you would like to only look at Chanel’s beauty collections, Chanel’s first-ever beauty boutique in France is just around the corner, at 382 rue Saint-Honoré.

This boutique houses all of Chanel’s makeup collections, including pre-released products and new colours. If you love perfumes, this store has a further claim on your interest: it displays Chanel’s entire perfume range.

Our verdict: Seriously, what are you waiting for?

Address: 31 rue Cambon, 75001 Paris/382 rue Saint-Honoré

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