beauty express

Seoul: The Beauty Shoppers Haven


Even if you’re not the type to go gaga over beauty products, I realized that coming to Seoul will whet your appetite for Korean-brand cosmetics.

I really had no desire to go shopping for makeup when I went to Seoul the second time around, but some of my girl friends had asked for favors, asking me to buy some Korean brand beauty products for them.

South Korea has a plethora of beauty products that have become well-known international brands. Even in Manila, some of their high-end and average brands have penetrated the Philippine beauty industry; some enjoying rave reviews in the United States, Europe and other Asian countries. It’s not surprising though, given the way the K-Wave wormed its way and established a niche in various parts of the world particularly in Asia.

Just the sight of these stores—The Face Shop, Etude House, Nature Republic, Laneige and many more—in Myeongdeong and other upscale walks like Gangnam makes me think, is it really worth buying the Korean brand?


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Way back when I haven’t gone to Seoul, I’ve tried some Korean branded cosmetics that are sold in popular department stores in Manila. I tried a BB cream from Tony Moly. Prior to this, I bought a liquid foundation at The Face Shop, tried and found it unsuitable for my skin. Somebody also gifted me with a set of make-up essentials from Face Shop which included a lip liner, eye brow makeup, lip gloss which I gave away to some close friends.

When I went back last April with my mom in tow, I bought a few make up essentials for me and some for my friends.

I purchased a CC cream at The Face Shop for myself. It functions like a BB cream but promises to correct one’s skin color to make it look naturally flawless. Other shops also sell CC creams but I settled for Face It Aura Color Control Cream.

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A friend requested I buy her Innisfree’s Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask.

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Another friend requested the Face Shop’s Face It Collagen EX skin cover in NB21 color. It’s a two-way foundation.

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I also purchased from the same store a Lip Care Cream in Mango Butter which dutifully paid attention to our lip care needs. It saved us from suffering furthermore from cracked lips during the duration of our stay in Seoul.

What I also like about shopping for cosmetics in this megalopolis is that for every big purchase you make, you get to receive freebies along with you.

At Innisfree, I got free samples of their Green Barley Clear Scrub and Green Barley Cleansing Cream. Had I got to try these immediately when I was in Seoul, I would have bought a whole pack. 😦2013-04-20 13.12.29

Along with the cosmetics I bought at The Face Shop, I got 10 pieces samples each of Antevia Active Original Emulsion and Toner. The moisturizer was a winner for it addressed our dry faces brought about by Seoul’s cold spring weather. 2013-04-20 13.12.13

The next best thing I discovered about my beauty shopping adventure in Seoul is that I found the price more affordable here than in Manila. The mark up price of each Korean cosmetics tend to be 30-50 percent higher when you buy it here. But some friends actually told me high-end brands, like Laneige, cost almost the same here in the Philippines.

Promise, in my next trip back here, I will really do my best to do some more intensive cosmetic shopping, for myself and for everyone else. 🙂

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