Yes, the Olympics are underway in Pyeongchang, and with all the feats of skill and speed and artistry on display in South Korea, now felt like an appropriate time to celebrate all of the delightful things that originated in the country. From miracle-working beauty products and addictive snacks to Ultra HD electronics and the world’s best dishwashing gloves. Welcome to Made in Korea week on the Strategist.
If you’ve followed any of the Strategist’s coverage, you know that we are superfans of Korean products. For starters, there are the beauty products (who could forget Rio Viera-Newton’s definitive Google doc?), but there’s also a selection of great kitchen items — from stainless-steel chopsticks to an indispensable pair of pink rubber gloves — that were too good not to share. And because chances are, if you can’t track a product down in your city’s version of K-Town, you can bet on Amazon to sell it, we went digging for the best — the most useful, most delightful — Korean items that Amazon has to offer.
Etude House My Beauty Tool Silicon Brush
Beauty, Korea’s billion-dollar industry, might be a good place to start with all things Korean. Here’s a gentle exfoliating brush in the shape of a jellyfish (because why not?) from the brand that gave us the blur primer.
If you’ve ever had the luxury of watching a raw egg cook on contact in a bubbling Korean broth, you’re probably already very familiar with Korea’s stone hot pots, which are excellent for making bibimbap and steaming hot soup.
For New Yorkers who haven’t been blessed with a dishwasher in their apartment, these Korean gloves beloved by writer Rachel Khong will prevent your fingers from going prune-y when you’re hand-washing and allow you to withstand some scalding dishwater temps.
Where Japan has Sanrio, Korea has Kakao Friends, a lineup of adorable characters that prominently features this little orange lion without a mane (yes, he looks like a bear) who is simply named “Ryan.” Here’s a small trash can in his likeness.
One of Strat’s perennial best sellers is this little pimple patch from Cosrx, which does wonders for the surprise whitehead overnight. It’s also one of Rio’s original Google doc staples, along with their snail-mucin essence and morning cleanser.
And for eating them, stainless-steel chopsticks are worth the upgrade from disposable takeout options, as writer Maxine Builder tells us, because they can be used over and over again for kimchi or noodles or Korean barbecue.