It started off with a few innocent BB and CC creams to satisfy my curiosity but now I’ve found myself knee-deep in Korean beauty products. Browsing a few Korean etailers (that ship worldwide) one late night really got me exited about beauty products again. I had been in a little lull. There are just so many beauty launches in Japan every month. It’s absolutely relentless. They all promise to do this and that, and going through hundreds of them each month in search of something new and innovative takes ages. Sometimes, it starts to feel the bombardment of new skincare launches will never cease.
I have no idea, then, why browsing Korean beauty products not only rekindled my passion in my job, but gave me new-found interest. If anything, the myriad of unfamiliar creams, lotions, and potions should have made me throw in the towel. But somehow the language barrier (I can just about navigate a Korean website if I’m really concentrating) just makes everything more interesting and fun. I can discover new things without any preconceptions, reading press releases, or analysing labels. A bit like how you experience life, even an old routine, in a different way when you travel to a different country — that’s a little bit how I feel about Korean beauty products.
Anyway. I’m getting really into Korean oriental medicine cosmetics at the moment. They seem to produce quicker, more visible result than modern science-based products, which I find quite surprising considering the herbal extracts that are thrown into other products are utterly useless on my skin. Moreover, the traditional Asian meet modern streamline design of their products really appeals to me aesthetically — it echoes my home interior design! I’ll discuss this further in a review soon.
11Street have a free international shipping offer running — if you’re making your first purchase, you get free international shipping via EMS for order over 100,000 KRW (approx. US$96). Their site is officially a direct competitor with Gmarket — both navigate and work the same way, and most major Korean cosmetics brands are sold there (same price). This offer (and the shopping website itself) has absolutely nothing to do with RatzillaCosme but I though that it’s definitely worth flagging up! All of the offer details are on their site here. Shipping alone will generally costs at least US$35 you’re buying a few things on there or Gmarket. Plus, there is no markups: Amorepacific’s popular Ryoe Shampoo is approx. US$8 for two 400ml bottles (compared to US$15-30 for a single 400ml bottle on eBay, Amazon, and elsewhere).
Let me know what your own Korean beauty favourites are — I’m very interested to know which essentials you couldn’t do without.
My favourites (so far):
TONYMOLY The Oriental Gyeol Whitening Serum (the product that sparked my interest in Korean oriental medicine cosmetics.)
Mizon Correct Combo Cream (something I dubbed ‘the magic cream’. The white moisturising cream transforms to my skin colour when applied to give soft-glowing, smooth, evenly-toned skin. I haven’t touched my BB creams since I’ve discovered this.)
Mizon Correct Essential Activator (is amazing for combination-dry skin — soft, supple, radiant skin in a convenient spray bottle! This goes in my hand-luggage when I’m flying.)
BRTC Jasmine Water Cover Cushion SPF50+ PA+++ (I use this if I’m getting ready in a hurry and for touch-up during the day.)
BRTC Jasmine 3D Moist Pact SPF50+ PA+++ (for those who dislike matte finish, but wants to tone down shine and keep excess oil at bay.)
Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask (It has very fine exfoliants that gives a nice deep clean for when I’m feeling crap and congested. After removing, skin felt deeply cleansed and very smooth but not dried out or tight.)
The History of Whoo Gongjinhyang: Seol Whitening Balancer & Lotion (It could be my imagination, but my skin looks brighter, more evenly toned, and less red around the nose after just a few days of use.)