Innisfree in NYC

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By Crystal Ngan and Kathryn Kwon, staff writers

Innisfree, Korea’s number one beauty brand, has opened up its first location in the United States. Located by Union Square, this small store has much more to offer than most cosmetics shops.

Unlike any shop, Innisfree has groundbreaking technology to allow you to find a product that’s best for you. First, you choose what kind of product you are looking to buy, ranging from foundation ($20), concealer ($8) and powder ($8-14). Then you’re supposed to take the skin reader and put it just above the jawline, however an employee came over and recommended for us to use it on our necks for a better match. In just a couple of seconds, the skin reader takes a picture of your skin and the machine’s algorithm picks out a recommended shade based on your skin color and undertones.

Innisfree also has many other makeup products, such as lip products, blush, and eyeshadow. For each of these, Innisfree provides a great variety in shades so that you are sure to find one suitable for your taste. We swatched each of the lip products, which included lipsticks both matte and non matte, lip tints, and lip gloss. They also have lip balms ($7) if you’re looking for something moisturizing. All of these products were very smooth in application and provided bright colors. The lip gloss ($12) in particular was great. It was bright and flashy but not too drippy or stiff. The blushes ($8-12) they had offered a range of different reds, oranges and pinks. When we tried it, the color was present but subtle, which is great for daily usage, but you can apply more for greater pigment if you prefer. The eyeshadows ($6) were diverse in colors from dark hues to light ones. They were very pigmented allowing the perfect look for both day or night and showed up fair on skin. Innisfree also provided a DIY eyeshadow palette case ($7-11) where you can choose different eyeshadow shades and case. All of the makeup was light and not overwhelming.

If you’re not looking for makeup, Innisfree has a variety of skincare products including lip masks and face masks. However, we decided to focus more on the face masks. From these face masks, you can choose from sheet masks to DIY masks. For the DIY masks, you can choose from either a creamy base or clay base ($4). From there, you can pick up to two toppings ($1.50 each) which include green tea, camellia, walnut shavings, and more, all of which help your skin in different ways. Once you get home, you mix everything together until the mask is smooth and apply it to your face. (Note: It is advised not to use a week after mixing.) We chose to try the creamy base with tangerine which clears your skin and the clay base with camellia which gives your skin a rejuvenating glow. Despite the small cup holding the bases, there was actually much more than expected, enough for 6-8 uses. The creamy base mask is supposed to hydrate and moisturize your face and it certainly did its job. Each use of this mask leaves your skin nice and smooth, which normally would require the use of lotion, but this mask will allow you to skip this routine. The clearing effects of the tangerine topping were not very obvious since already present acne did not disappear, but it did seem to prevent new ones from popping up. However, this could depend on your individual skin type. While its effects may not be extremely noticeable, using the face mask is definitely more entertaining than lotion, and the clearing effect may be more noticeable for others. After multiple days of usage, the clay based face mask leaves skin with a healthier glow and softness. Your skin will feel better and it may even seem to grow brighter with each use with the camellia topping. Initially, we were skeptical about the effects of the face masks, but we were pleasantly surprised with the results.

Korea is known for their cosmetic dominance, and Innisfree is a wonderful representation of that. This is the place to fulfill your beauty needs and we hope you enjoy their products as much as we did. Their address is 862 Broadway Street 10003.