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Welcome To The Dollhouse

Finally—Etude House opens its princess doors in Manila.
Welcome To The Dollhouse Finally—Etude House opens its princess doors in Manila.

From the moment you enter the door and hear their signature greeting, “Welcome to Etude House, Your Highness!” you feel like you stepped in another world—albeit a really, really pink and frilly one. Starting out in 1995 as a Hong Kong-exported cosmetic label, Etude House has, since opening its first doors in Seoul in 2005, gained a global reputation for being one of Korea's most playful and youthful beauty brands. It's not hard to see why: their princess-themed stores, all decked out in ornate, whimsical pinks and whites, is literally the stuff little girls' dreams are made of. Add to that their products' jaw-dropping affordability–almost all their goodies are priced below P500—and the recent Korean hallyu explosion in the country, and you've got a girly girl's fairy tale come to life.

Etude House's fun, inexpensive, yet high-quality products all come with the trademark Korean stamp of “cute confidence,” with an original twist to boot; some items were so irresistibly unique, we'd be hard pressed to find them anywhere else. Standouts like their Black Head Gommage (a scrub specifically made for removing blackheads on the nose), their Essence In Primer (a liquid-oil, mist-spray primer combo for combination skin) and the Hand Bouquet Rich Butter Hand Mask (gloves that are actually coated with the product itself) give a now-why-hasn't-anyone-else-thought-of-this-yet feeling, making their products even more delightful than their lovely pastel packaging. One of their star sellers, the Moistfull Collagen Balm SPF, contains the world-famous Blemish Balm, or BB, formulation in the whitening, anti-aging foundation-moisturizer compact, and has been snapped up by Japanese beauty junkies by boxes of tens since its introduction (Ed's note: the formula, originally made for burn victims, aces that dewy-matte finish that you thought only existed in Koreanovelas.).

Speaking of which, there's another reason the ladies trekked to SM Megamall during the boutique's opening day weekend: fronting the label are überpopular Korean celebrities Lee Min Ho of Boys Over Flowers fame and model/actress Park Shin Hye. Min Ho, who shot to superstardom as the gorgeous, arrogant F4 leader in the Korean remake of Hana Yori Dango, and 19-year-old Shin Hye, who's most famous for starring in the recent idol-drama webisode hit You're Beautiful, make quite the cute couple indeed—all twinkly eyes, perfect skin and with enough star quality between them to command fangirls in the thousands.

Pretty colors, practical solutions, reasonable prices and the most convincing image models ever—all wrapped in a background of fun, danceable K-Pop in-house music—and it looks like the sweetest recipe for success.

Welcome to Etude House!

Etude House is located at the Upper Ground Level, SM Megamall Building A, near Toy Kingdom.

—Eunice Lucero, Beauty Editor

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