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BEAUTY | 09.11.2016

New Land of Smiles: MiiN Store Specializes in Korean Cosmetics

These days the whole world is looking toward Korea as far as matters of beauty are concerned. After all, most beauty innovations, such as CC creams, pre-soaked cloth masks or cushion foundation, have originated there. Getting ahold of these far eastern helpers used to be a bit of a challenge, however: either you had to leave some extra space in your suitcase (we recommend wearing layers) or you had to keep a Korean-German dictionary within reach when ordering online.

In Munich, suitcase chaos and language barriers have been easy to avoid since May of this year. With the opening of the MiiN store in Westenriedstraße, Chinese-born Lilin Yang has brought the trend directly to Germany. The unusual products (which at times may even take the form of a tomato) are distinguished in particular by their natural ingredients.

Why should you try Korean beauty products and why might some of them lead to a bout of selfie-obsession? Founder Lilin Yang gave us some answers to these questions in an exclusive interview. Don’t worry – you can leave your dictionary on the bookshelf.

Why did you decide to open a store for Korean beauty products (in Munich)? 

I would never have imagined that I would run my own company one day, but I always wanted to work in a field that I was passionate about – and founding MiiN Korean Cosmetics was a dream come true.

Apart from being a make-up artist, I am a huge fan and user of Korean cosmetics, so I know the market inside out. I came up with the idea because I realised there was great demand for these products in cities like Hong Kong or Seoul. Whenever I travelled and saw women queue outside Korean beauty shops, I wondered why these brands were not known in Europe yet. I decided to found MiiN Cosmetics and distribute products from Korea’s top cosmetic brands in Europe: Klairs, Aromatica, Cremorlab, Mediheal…

In October 2014, MiiN Cosmetics opened its first store in Barcelona. Two months later, we launched the online shop, and in July 2015, we opened a second store in Madrid . But that’s not all: as part of its expansion plan, MiiN Cosmetics expects to open several more stores in major European capitals within the next 24 months. Munich was the first store outside of Spain and opened its doors in May 2016. We will continue this task with the help of my business partner, who is experienced in implementing business expansion plans in Europe.

What makes Korean beauty products so special? Why should women try them?

Korean cosmetics offer a large variety of products for each skin type. There is a solution for every skin problem, and the possibility of choosing among products that are specially formulated for their skin type is highly appreciated by clients. Also, the packaging is very important, and a lot of people know Korean cosmetics for its innovative packaging. On the other hand, the marketing concepts of some of the major brands give a lot of women the impression that these products are for teenagers or younger people. It is difficult to have credibility if the audience is used to more “serious” packaging. However, our beauty advisors in the stores make up for this by giving tips and explaining the benefits of each product to customers.

Your three favourite beauty products?

I have very dry skin, so my favourite products are:

Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil: It’s the best make-up remover I’ve ever tried. You can also use it as an eye make-up remover; it’s very gentle.
Rose Absolute First Serum: This is perfect for dry skin; it also improves the texture of the skin and brightens it.
Hydro Plus Snow Falls Melting Cream: Its texture is very different from that of other creams – you just have to try it.

What was the most unusual or the funniest beauty product you have ever seen / tried?

I think the most unusual cosmetic product (and at the same time the funniest) I’ve ever tried is the bubble mask from Cremorlab. The first time I applied it, I took a lot of pictures, it was amazing. Now we have it in the store and we think it’s a very innovative product.

K-Pop is very popular in Korea. Is there any song or band you like?

I’m not a big fan of K-Pop bands, but there are many Korean songs I like. My favourite is “Melted” by Akdong Musician (AKMU).

Photo (teaser): Iulia Pironea