Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Must Buy Skincare From Korea: Laneige, Etude House etc.

This trip to Korea wasn't meant to be a shopping trip and yet, I hauled back a lot of my first love - skincare!

Products from Etude House were definitely cheaper than in Singapore (Masks are 1000KRW) so I got some back for pressies. Noticed the sunblock on the bottom right of the pic above? It's a unique one that transformed into a powdery texture. I've yet to use it and hopefully, it doesn't cause clogged pores.

This Magic Bubble Peeling Foam is my star product from Etude House. BF tried it first and got everyone else excited when he showed them how effective it is. I tried it at the hotel and quite like it so I got 4 bottles, some for presents again.

Basically, it's a foam that can be applied directly to the face for rubbing. Dead skin will be removed in the process and after cleansing with water, my face felt really smooth and looks brighter! It cost around 9,000KRW if I remembered correctly.

Another beauty place to grab cheap and good products is Olive Young. Unlike the many other skincare shops in Korea, Olive Young carries a lot of international brands and when I was there last week, some masks were running the 1+1 promo and they cost only 500KRW each! 

And best of all, I finally found my ideal BB cream there. Being a atypical tan skin person in Korea, it was so hard to find a BB cream that doesn't make me look like a white face wannabe.

Moreover, I was quite concerned about the thick texture of most creams (because they contain sun protection and are in cream texture) and found this skin79 oil-free fluid base love! It is shimmery but the shimmer doesn't show when using a thin layer below foundation. The shimmer is meant to give a more radiant complexion.

I was pleasantly surprised when my Korean friend told me that skin79 is the most popular BB cream brand in Korea because it made me feel better about my impulse buy.

For those of you who want to know where to get Laneige, head down to Aritaum. they too are scattered all over the city and they carry brands by Amore Pacific, a mega skincare company in Korea. Other brands by Amore Pacific includes IOPE, Innisfree, Etude House, Hera and Sulwahsoo. I hope to try the latter two premium brands someday soon. We met a Korean lady that use the premium brand Hera and boy was her skin good! 

Laneige is also available in Watsons and they have a flagship store in Myeong-Dong.

My Collected Samples

The good thing about skincare and cosmetic shopping in Korea is that you'll be given tons of samples! To get more, you can either split your purchases or if greed isn't you, just combine your purchases to enjoy tax refund instead. Surprisingly, most shops in Korea allow tax refund for a mere 30,000KRW and above.

For eg, Etude House gives 5% tax refund for combined purchases of 30,000KRW and 7% for combined purchases of 50,000KRW and above. And remember to ask the salesperson about tax refund if they don't give you the form 'coz most times, once they closed a sale, they'll run off to target the next customer.

Anyway, the paltry tax refund amount collected from the airport allowed us to shop a wee bit more on our last moment in Korea. Happy happy! ;)


maso.tee said...

Love this post! give me ideas what to buy later. Glad to know that we can claim for tax refund

Sara said...

went to Korea last month and didn't know skin care is a must buy,,bought some though but didn't know about the tax refund ( didn't survey earlier) how come they are so much samples? lol i remember my bro bought skincare for friend from Myeong dong and got no samples at all.haha! i only got one mask out of everything that i bought.

My aunt are going there soon. i was thinking of asking her to get me some serum for wrinkles and freckles, any recommendation for affordable one? i know alot of them recommend Sulwhasoo which is on the high side for me.

Mei said...

Hi Sara,

They do give out samples rather freely. But some shops give more than others and I have seen other people asking for even more.

I don't know of any good anti-wrinkle cream, I need one good one myself unfortunately. :|

I am now using ISA KNOX Te'rvina for both dark circles and eye rings and it isn't that fantastic.

Do let me know if you do find a good one. ;)

Anonymous said...

Would the products be of fixed and same pricing in different stores? Or some offer better discount than others? Thks.

Mei said...


The pricing and discounts are fixed but some shops may have different kind of promotion packs. So, you can walk around and do a comparison.

But do note that some shops carry a smaller range and may not have the item that you want.

Also, some shops are more generous with their samples, this is dependent on the sales staff. ;)


ZingSze Theng said...

I have no idea about the tax refund~can please explain more about it? How it works? Is it the receipt after purchasing? Thxxxx!!

Mei said...

Hi ZingSze Theng,

Basically, As long as you purchased 30,000KRW worth of products, you can ask for a tax refund voucher and the instructions are given on the envelope. Keep your purchase receipt and the voucher etc. and do your refund at the airport before you go into the immigration counter. There's an additional counter specially for tax refund. Cheers! =)