koreatown nyc lovue storefront

On February 1st, 2020, beauty shop L’OVUE in New York City’s Koreatown shuttered its doors forever.

Early January is when I caught wind of the sad news. I was absolutely gutted to find this out because I truly love this store — more than any other in Koreatown, or hell, all of New York.

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Yesterday I spent some time in Manhattan, which included a visit to what must be my favorite K-Beauty shop in Koreatown, @lovuenyc! . . Why do I like Lovue? Several reasons: 💜 I love the layout. As you can see, it's bright and spacious with plenty of products on display. The giant screen is continuously playing Kpop, which is a great or terrible thing depending on your tastes. 😆 💜 The variety of brands on offer is vast. It's a mix of popular labels and lesser-known entities. And it's not just KBeauty; you'll also find Japanese cosmetics on sale. 💜 I find that the prices are quite reasonable for the area it's in. Usually, I'll find products for the best price here relative to other KTown beauty shops. 💜 Can't forget the staff – they're lovely. . . Swipe through to see my haul, which includes my beloved @cosrx Snail Essence and @holikaholikaglobal_official Aloe Shower Gel at only $5.50. . . By the way, this post is in no way sponsored by Lovue. I'm just that big a fan of the place. 😎 . . Lovue is located at 5th and 32nd in Koreatown Manhattan. . . #lovuenyc #koreatownny #koreatownnyc #kbeautyshop #kbeautystore #sheetmasks #essence #cushion #nycskincare #cosrx #holikaholika #naturerepublic #vtcosmetics #bt21xvtcosmetics

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In light of L’OVUE leaving a premature vacancy at 32nd and 5th, I want to pay tribute to an establishment that has helped me kindle my love for Korean beauty in myriad ways.

Why I Love L’OVUE

1. The Selection

l'ovue kbeauty in koreatown nyc

Whether I wanted VT or COSRX, Benton or Dr. Jart, L’OVUE delivered. It served as my gateway to a number of beloved brands I had only seen on Instagram. In addition to that, L’OVUE also introduced me to several up-and-coming Korean labels, but I’ll elaborate more on that point later.

Sheet masks, sunscreen, nail kits, perfume, cosmetics — L’OVUE didn’t leave consumers wanting. Its shelves were always stocked with the latest and greatest in Korean (and Japanese) beauty.

2. The Prices

Relative to other stores in Koreatown NYC, I thought L’OVUE’s prices were the most competitive. If I had found a product at what may arguably be the most (in)famous K-beauty shop on 32nd Street, nine times out of 10 I’d have found it for at least a couple of dollars less at L’OVUE.

Being a part of the L’OVUE Loyalty Program didn’t hurt, either, as I was able to save substantially on some of my larger purchases thanks to dollar-off bonuses.

3. The Storefront Itself

l'ovue wall nyc koreatown

What first drew me to L’OVUE was its bright and spacious layout. (The video above showcases this quite well.) It was always well-maintained and had these nice little personal touches that would catch my eye.

koreatown nyc l'ovue best items

And I can’t forget the giant screen that would play K-pop videos non-stop. Sometimes I’d be browsing when I’d suddenly hear a song (usually by BTS) and either start singing, humming, or whistling. It enhanced my shopping experience, even if I annoyed a couple of people in the process.

4. The Staff

I can’t say enough good things about the L’OVUE staff. They were always attentive, friendly, and helpful. In fact, I have one of the L’OVUE personal shoppers to thank for turning me on to this Heimish Low pH Hydrating Mask!

5. The Events

L’OVUE always had something going on!  While I wish I had the chance to attend at least one BTS-themed birthday celebration — the peril of living close to yet far from New York City! — I had been fortunate enough to attend a couple of brand events in the L’OVUE second-floor loft.

The first event was last May. It featured summer-friendly skincare products from Suntique and La Palette No. 9. It was a memorable evening for me as I not only got to meet several lovely people from the IG skincare scene but also get my hands on some brand new products.

The second event I attended was in November for the 100th day anniversary of Beauty Feast. It was exciting to get a first look at an emerging brand. Once again, it was another opportunity to mingle with fine individuals I’d only interacted with via Instagram.

To be honest, this is what I’ll miss most about L’OVUE: its ability to bring the skincare community together beyond pixels and data.

Visiting One Last Time

On January 31st, I entered L’OVUE for one last time. There wasn’t much left, although I did manage to pick up a few things at incredible markdowns. I was happy about the bargains I scored, but also heartbroken to see the remains of a store that brought me so much joy. Everything had been significantly downsized, and I could only go as far as the register.

l'ovue last day

But it wasn’t all doom and gloom! BTS and TXT music videos were playing on the big screen. The lone staffer on duty was kind and helpful in landing me a free gift, despite there not being much left for me to shop. Even as it was gradually fading from NYC’s Koreatown landscape, L’OVUE still provided nothing less than I had come to expect…stock aside, of course.

My final L’OVUE purchase

So now what? Do I find a new L’OVUE? I don’t think I can. L’OVUE was special. Personable. Largely affordable. I am certain that New York City is flush with K-beauty shops that offer their own kind of whimsy. But as far as I’m concerned, there’s only one L’OVUE. I’m devastated that it’ll no longer be occupying 324 5th Avenue (right next to the CVS!), but for the short amount of time it was here, it accomplished a hell of a lot.

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