If you pay any attention to beauty trends, you’ve probably noticed that an impressive amount of skin and makeup innovations come from products they’ve already been using for years in Korea. As the mecca of new beauty finds, many beauty bloggers and brand developers will make a trip to the other side of the world just to get their hands on the latest snail facials, BB creams or sheet masks. Which is why Alicia Yoon, founder of shopping site Peach & Lily, has made it her mission to bring the best of Korean beauty to your doorstep.
Yoon grew up in both Seoul and New York, getting a taste of both Western and Eastern beauty. “While growing up in Korea, I trained at an esthetician school, which is when I fell in love with skincare,” Yoon told YouBeauty. “I have bad eczema, so at the time, learning and being empowered to take care of my skin and actually seeing results got me hooked.” That was 15 years ago. Since then, she has kept on top of beauty trends coming out of Korea.
After going down a slightly different career path working in finance, and then advising beauty brands at Boston Consulting Group, Yoon decided to merge her expertise and insider knowledge of where to find the hottest new products. And that’s how Peach & Lily was born.
“I saw that it took five years to have BB cream reach the U.S. from Korea. The same goes for the cushion compact. So in 2012, I left my job and decided to launch Peach & Lily because I wanted to bring all that amazing innovation and beauty-forward freshness to the U.S. real-time,” she said.
Yoon went on to learn that big Western beauty brands were formulating their skincare products in Korea to ensure the most advanced formulations. “It dawned on me that beauty insiders knew what I had been seeing for a long time: Korea has some of the best innovations in beauty.”
Yoon and the rest of the Peach & Lily team scope out the best of Korean beauty so you don’t have to. Then, they make it available for purchase in the U.S. of A. “We have exclusive rights to importing and distributing these brands in North America,” Yoon explained, “so we partner with the likes of Sephora, Target, QVC, Urban Outfitters, SpaceNK, etc. and will distribute our products to these retail channels as well.”
She also wholeheartedly believes in the power of trying before you buy. Order a product from Peach & Lily and you’ll receive a sample for something else. Operating in a Birchbox-esque way, customers receive rewards for every purchase, eventually leading to free full-size products as gifts with purchase.
To help you choose the right products, the site includes education around the products and brands they sell on both the site, their blog and their social media channels. They’re also happy to give personalized advice via email. She shared an anecdote with us that really encompasses the attitude of the Peach & Lily team:
Of course we immediately wanted to know: How can we tell which products are worthy of our first purchase? We asked Yoon to share her top product recommendations with YouBeauty. After the jump, check out some of the best Korean beauty buys right now!