Tips

How to Shop Smarter for K-beauty in Korea

We get a beauty blogger and K-beauty lover to give us her best tips
 


Photo: 123rf.com

Part-time beauty blogger Chio first visited Seoul as a web editor. The exciting offerings there got her hooked, and she became one of the earliest in the local blogosphere to embrace K-beauty. She became such a fan that she even spent three years learning Korean just so she would know the deals from the duds. So, what can you learn from someone who has honed her craft shopping K-beauty for the last eight years? How about how to make it simpler, yet do it better? Here is Chio’s  straight-up advice:

1. Do your research first

Have a hit list – comb the Internet for product reviews, descriptions and blog write-ups. If you don't know where to start, try the brand websites first, where they have all the product highlights and new arrivals.

2. Always start at the Myeong-dong shopping area

Nine out of 10 stores there are beauty-related, and multiple outlets of the same brands line the streets, sometimes just 30 to 50 steps apart. If one store runs out of stock for an item you’re after, just pop into the next one.

 

ALSO READ: REVIEW: 7 PRODUCTS FROM K-BEAUTY BRANDS THAT JUST ARRIVED IN SINGAPORE

 

3. For premium brands like Sulwhasoo and Hera: Shop at the basement and level one of Lotte Department Store’s Main Branch

These two levels beat the duty-free-for-tourists floors from levels nine to 11. They are not congested, giving you a better shopping experience with no shoulder-to-shoulder crowds jostling with others for the staff’s attention. It being more pleasant  outweighs having to queue for your tax refunds after. 

4. Buy only brands from reputable cosmetics companies like Amorepacific and LG

Their websites list the brands under them. Check them out here and here.

5. Don’t buy into any hype. Test the stuff yourself.

What works in Korea may not necessary give the same results for us because of our different climate, skin type and preferences. “I’ve come across a few products that don’t live up to their claims or hype, because one of the three factors,” says Chio.

 

Here are Cheryl's top picks:

 

ALSO READ: EYE PRIMERS TO HELP YOUR EYE MAKEUP LAST LONGER & YOUNGER WOMEN ARE LOOKING OLDER THAN THEY SHOULD. HERE'S WHY

 

A version of this story was published in the March 2018 issue of Her World magazine.