I’m Mall In: Review of Riley Rose, Sephora for Kbeauty

Rile you were sleeping, a new player arrived on the Kbeauty scene.

Enter from outside or inside the mall

When I first heard about Riley Rose, it sounded like a Sephora for millennials. What I didn’t realize until I visited the store at Glendale Galleria (a Los Angeles mall): Riley Rose has a TON of Kbeauty brands that can’t be found in a brick-and-mortar elsewhere.

So it’s more like Sephora for Kbeauty. LOVE.

Founded by the daughters of the founders of Forever 21, the company prides itself on stocking exclusive and trendy brands, rotating them in and out based on popularity. (More about them in this Racked article.)

Indeed, a lot of these brands I’ve only seen on Instagram. Being able to swatch and sniff everything in person was fun!

  • Huxley
  • Euyira
  • Nuca
  • Beyond
  • Lapcos
  • Nakeup
  • Dr. Frog
  • IPKN (all teh Esther Loves You stuphs!)
  • Thank You Farmer
  • CNP Laboratory

Mix that with brands that are more well established in the Western AB community:

  • Cosrx
  • Klairs
  • Aromatica
  • Goodal
  • Tony Moly
  • Too Cool for School
  • Dr. G
  • Soo Ae
  • Banila Co.
  • Touch in Sol (makeup)
  • Clio (makeup)
  • Peripera (makeup)

There are also hard-to-find IRL brands such as Lime Crime, Beauty Bakerie, and Winky Lux. Sections for snacks and candy, assorted cute things (including a talking Gudetama mirror), and body products round out the offerings.

I loved sniffing and swatching everything. Sure, you could probably source everything cheaper from a Korean site, but the products are reasonably priced for a U.S. retailer. And how else would I discover firsthand that Huxley scents aren’t really my bag?

The space is also really inviting. Lots of room to move around, vanity spaces to try on products, no pushy associates, and bright lighting that outshines Sephora any day (seriously, why is Sephora’s lighting so bad?). I also recognized Morgan Alison Stewart (fka Morgan’s Beauty Breakdown) in cute videos displayed in store (she’s a frequent collaborator).

I managed to refrain from buying the whole store and just got a Lapcos cleansing balm and lip oil. Someone give me an award!

For now, Riley Rose has only a smattering of locations at malls across the country. Interestingly, quite a few are located in areas that don’t scream Kbeauty (such as Minnesota, Wisconsin, and South Carolina), but Riley Rose is clearly on a mission to spread the Kbeauty gospel. (Find locations here.)

If you have one nearby, count yourself lucky and GO.

Next to Bath & Body Works

4 Replies to “I’m Mall In: Review of Riley Rose, Sephora for Kbeauty”

  1. I visited the store in Chicago twice. Neither time did anyone greet me or acknowledge my existence while there, until it was time to check out. It wasn’t bustling either ( maybe five other shoppers in the store), but the reps seemed preoccupied. I did love that the store was well-lit, had a vast variety of products that you could touch and swatch and a lot of the products were super affordable. They also had a clearance section, which was nice to see, but upon further inspection most of the items were busted, used, or damaged. And, oddly enough they didn’t have prices on them, only colored stickers. I did end up purchasing some very reasonably priced cotton swabs and pads. I think I will go back to see if they have Beauty Bakerie makeup. Perhaps, the third times a charm.

    1. What a bummer. I hope they step up their game. I want Riley Rose to do well because it’s a great concept, but they do have to compete with Sephora and Ulta. I was surprised that my store was just slightly buzzing—nowhere near the amount of crowds as Sephora.

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