Innisfree is a name familiar to anyone obsessed with Korean skincare and makeup; with its shiny new flagship at Yorkdale Shopping Centre, the South Korean brand and retailer has just begun to introduce itself to Canada at large. Well, large-ish. At least two more doors are opening soon in Ontario with more to come in Vancouver, BC. Stay tuned for news on other Canadian locations. Online shopping in Canada will likely be addressed once the flurry of openings subsides, maybe in another year or two.
According to Innisfree, which was founded by parent company AmorePacific in 2000 and counts Laneige and IOPE (of first-ever foundation cushion fame) as sister brands, it's the most popular beauty mecca in Korea. More than 100 doors are open worldwide, including shops in Japan, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and, as of 2017, the USA in NYC, LA and San Francisco. The extensive product range for women and men includes skincare, haircare, body care, makeup, beauty tools, fragrance and home accessories; pricing hits mostly between $20 and $30 CAD.
Aside from its bestselling Green Tea Seed Hydrating Serum (for normal, dehydrated and dry skin) and Pore Clearing Clay Mask with Super Volcanic Clusters (for oily and combo skin), Innisfree's eco-friendly practices are worth noting. (Approximately 70 to 80 per cent of Innisfree's ingredients are natural, by the way.) Green initiatives include kraft-paper shopping bags, biodegradable sheet masks, an in-store Empty Bottle program (apparently the brand has recycled/upcycled more than 25 MILLION empties to date), responsible use of sustainable materials, and sourcing/cultivating ingredients from Jeju Island, an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The little clip above presents a romantic Innisfree origin story.
The clip below is a quick IGTV video (that will look better on your phone) I shot at the new flagship Canadian Innisfree store at the media preview, the day before doors opened to the public.
I spotted some interesting Innisfree items, including lip balms that made me think of another brand, silicone fingertip sleeves to aid in blackhead extraction, and mascara-remover in a mascara-wand format. As well, I asked store manager Amanda and staffer Rhonda for the lowdown on two of Innisfree's most popular products. (I've tried both and like them so far; need more time for a proper evaluation.)
Also noteworthy is a $35 limited-edition Toronto Exclusives introductory kit that includes a Green Tea Seed serum, hydrating cream, cleansing foam and eye cream, as well as a Jeju Island Heritage discovery kit with 9 mini sized items when you spend more than $50.
Are you familiar with Innisfree? If yes, we'd love your input on products you like/dislike and/or suggestions on what to try. If Innisfree is as yet unknown to you, what do you think so far?
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