Shopping for Japanese and Korean cosmetics can be confusing, especially when you dont know where to look. Importing goods from overseas can also come with long waits, hefty shipping charges and sometimes unexpected customs charges. I’ve spent many an hour browsing for Japanese and Korean beauty products online, and have compiled this list of the best places to buy J&K cosmetics in the UK.
Most of the websites you find when searching for J&K beauty products online are based either in Asia or the USA, which is fine, but I’m not convinced it’s the best way to buy your cosmetics! There is a huge Japanese and Korean sub-culture here in the UK, with plenty of stores catering to this growing market. Below I’ve listed a number of online stores I’ve used to buy my own products plus a few more which I will undoubtedly try in future! During my searches it’s always so sad to see small UK companies which start up and close within a year because buyers prefer to import their items from abroad for a slightly cheaper price. So use this list to support the British J&K Cosmetics industry, and get your items faster with far better customer service!
(Images below link to their respective stores)
This is my immediate go-to when I see a product that I like, if not to buy it, to price-compare. eBay is great if you know what you’re looking for, not so much if you’re browsing. You can occasionally find the products on eBay from UK sellers, but mostly the sellers will be based in Hong Kong, so slow shipping time and occasional customs charges may accompany your product. However many sellers offer free shipping, and the prices are very competitive, without the extra cost from being imported to begin with that you get from UK sellers. But beware of fake products; you’re far more likely to encounter fakes on eBay than anywhere else, so stick to sellers with high ratings. Sellers I like to use are f2plus1 and sing-sing-girl who both have great customer service and include samples!
I wouldn’t really recommend Amazon over any of the other stores listed here. The prices are often a dearer than elsewhere, you can’t easily see seller feedback like eBay, and you often get similar issues with products being imported straight from Hong Kong. They do have a relatively good range of products on there, but I would definitely look elsewhere first.
A relatively new UK-based retailer specialising in Japanese beauty products, Lunatu offers competitive prices from brands big and small. While the range is relatively small the website is really user-friendly, sorting products either by brand or by use, and they have a list of best-sellers and award-winning products too. My order arrived very quickly, but in two separate packages with no extra bells and whistles; just the products in shipping packets.
KoKo is a UK-based retailer specialising in Korean beauty products. They offer fast and affordable shipping, trustworthy service and good range of products that is always being added to; although they aren’t always up-to-date. They often have good offers such as free UK shipping too. Also one of JaK Wave’s dear affiliates!
YesStyle is a UK-based retailer of clothes and beauty products, with huge ranges of Japanese and Korean products. While the store is based in the UK, many of the products are shipped directly from Hong Kong, which can make shipping either slow or expensive, however I have found the ‘slow’ shipping option to still arrive well before the expected date. Its a fantastic store to browse through, and the selection really is fantastic. I love that you can buy such a huge range there, from beauty products to shoes to gadgets and homeware! I’ve recently picked myself up some gorgeous Tshirts from YesStyle too 😉
Despite the name, this UK-based retailer stocks a range of Japanese and Korean products covering makeup, skincare and accessories, although BB Creams are their speciality. The prices of items are reasonable, and shipping is fast and really pretty cheap! The range is quite small however, so don’t expect to find everything you want here. My order from BestBBCreams arrived quickly and included some really nice samples, and the customer service is fantastic!
Affordable and well-stocked, Beauty eShop is an online store based in the UK specialising in Japanese products. Navigating the site to find what you want is difficult, as a lot of the product names and information are in Japanese for some reason! However if you know what you’re looking for and are willing to hunt for it they sell at reasonable prices with low shipping costs; free over £40.
Pretty & Cute is a US-based retailer, but I’m including it as I love the store and was very impressed with their service! As they do ship from the US, shipping is subject to customs delays and higher prices. However my order arrived quickly (faster than from YesStyle), well-packaged with a few cheeky samples included too 🙂 They specialise in all ‘cute’ products; lots of pretty girly packaging; Liole and FairyDrops are their best-selling brands. If you’re a kawaii-holic like me, you’ll love this site!
P2BUS is a Japanese and Korean cosmetics retailer based in London. They ship from their own store in Soho with free delivery, and if you’re in Soho you can visit their actual shop! They have an enormous range of products and are pretty up-to-date with new releases, however there is a much higher markup than any of the other stores listed here; probably resulting from added costs with running a physical shop.
BoxieShop is another London-based company with a physical store. They are a small shop specialising in Japanese products. The range is limited but includes some of the most popular brands like Candy Doll and Jill Stuart, and prices are reasonable. They attend a lot of big events like Hyper Japan and MCM Expos; giving you another option for buying here in the UK!
Beauty Gadgets, as it sounds, is a store specialising in the more innovative side of Japanese and Korean beauty. This is a great place to buy things like massage brushes and hair styling tools, as well as various masks, exfoliators etc. They also stock Silk Cocoons which I talked about in a previous post if anyone was interested in getting their hands on some to try out!
This list isn’t exhaustive, and as my hunt for the best place to buy Japanese and Korean beauty products continues I will try to remember to update this post with any new retailers I come across. However I have used most of the stores above and would recommend these as a starting point for anyone wanting to buy Asian cosmetics. If you know of any more online stores that you think I should include please let me know in the comments; particularly those specialising in Korean products, as there seems to be a slight Japanese bias here.