If you've been following this blog for any time at all, I'm sure you'll know have come across a post or two sharing my love for the Innisfree brand.
Innisfree is known as the first, original South Korean all-natural brand, and is one of the few Korean brands that use organic ingredients certified by France's ECOCERT organisation. All of it's packaging is recyclable, and the ingredients in it's products are natural and not filled with a million and one chemicals.
What I love most about Innisfree is the fact that their products are reasonably priced, and they WORK! There are so many amazing Korean skincare and makeup brands, but a lot of them look a lot better than they work. Korean packaging is incredibly cute and will have you buying all sorts of products just because they will look pretty on your dresser. Click through the gallery below to have a look at some of my favourite Innisfree products & my reviews on them:
You can imagine my delight when I found out that Innisfree has it's own cafe! There are two locations, one on Jeju Island (the home of Innisfree) and on in Seoul.
During the last weekend we spent in Korea (in case you're new around here, my husband and I spent 3 years living in South Korea and have only just returned home to South Africa) I was able to pop into the cafe and experience the beauty of Innisfreein it's 'cafe' form.
The cafe itself is on 3 levels:
- Ground Floor: Beauty Store
- First Floor: Cafe
- Second Floor: Upstairs seating
I wasn't able to photograph everything on the ground floor due to the very strict store attendants, but I was able to take photos of the first section of the store. What I wasn't able to photograph, but what I'll be showing you in a video soon, is the Innisfree freebie vending machine! For every W20 000 you spent in store, you 'earn' a coin to use in the machine to get free goodies. That was one of my favourite parts of my visit to the Innsifree Jeju Cafe!
Innisfree sources it's main ingredients from Jeju Island. There was a beautiful map of the island, laid out and divided by the areas where those ingredients are sourced (see image above). Those ingredients are Camelia, Olive Oil, Tangerine, Volcanic Rock, Honey and lots more.
The store itself is decorated with flowers and plants that really carry through it's eco friendly brand message. Everything is thoughtfully paid out with purpose, and all the decor elements have a very minimalist look and feel to them.
Another unique part to the Innisfree Cafe is the Fresh Topping Pack station, whose products are only sold in each of the two flagship cafes (this one in Seoul, and the other on Jeju Island).
The Fresh Topping Pack station allows you to make your own face mask, using your choice of mask base and topping (how fun!).
There are two choices for the base; Clay Base & Creamy Base. After choosing your base you then have your pick of 13 different toppings ranging from Olive to Strawberry, Green Tea to Blueberry. The base itself costs W3 000 and the toppings are W1 000 each. They are all made from natural ingredients, and so are best used within 1 week of opening. Store them in the fridge to keep them fresher for longer.
The creamy base is best suited for dry skin, and the clay base is better for oilier skins.
Upstairs is the cafe and order counter, followed by extra seating space on the second floor. I loved how light and airy the entire cafe was, giving off an incredibly peaceful and tranquil atmosphere. The big windows overlook the streets of Samcheon-dong and make for some very entertaining people watching.
I thought the cafe would only serve drinks, but was pleasantly surprised at the variety of food on the menu. If we hadn't already eaten lunch, I would have definitely got stuck into their wonderful soups. There are a whole variety of cakes and other sweet desserts on offer, but we were just after some cool drinks to quench our thirst after our long & hot walk around the streets of Samcheon-dong.
As you can see from the photos below, the drinks are so beautifully presented, and were just so pretty to photograph. I ordered the Innisfree pink Lemonade, and Jenna (aka Komodoness) ordered the Hallabong Blender which was quite a tough drink to get through due to the chunks of ice. It was incredibly refreshing though and certainly made a nice change to the heat outside. Hallabong is the name of the oranges that grow around Mount Halla on Jeju Island. They are native to Jeju Island and have a very special flavor that Koreans are rather proud of. Innisfree uses a lot of them in their skin care products.
I loved visiting the Innisfree Cafe, especially because it is located in Samcheon-dong, one of the trendiest areas in Seoul. Filled with unique cafes and boutique stores (and really close to Bukcheon Art Village & Hanok Village) there really is lots to see in this fancy area.
Samcheon-dong is also known as the cafe centre of Seoul, and you'll find a lot of couples on dates, wondering the streets in search of a good coffee and dessert to nibble on in between people watching. It's a lovely area to spend a few hours in.
South Korea, Seoul, Jongno-gu, Samcheong-dong, Samcheong-ro, 104
Can you recommend any other great places to see and explore in Seoul? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!