There’s no denying that Korean skincare and makeup products are in high demand these days. Anyone who has tried these beauty items would understand why. Aside from good formulations, they also come in the cutest packaging, and as a cherry on top, they’re also affordable. But despite K-Beauty’s massive success outside Korea, it can still be challenging to get your hands on some interesting new releases.
All the added courier and tax fees plus the long waiting time is enough to discourage us from having the products shipped. So if you’re lucky enough to go on a trip to South Korea soon, take the opportunity to buy products from these brands for a cheaper price before heading home.
COSRX quickly became popular due to its no-nonsense skincare products that deliver great results. Now, they’re expanding at a rapid rate and distributing their goods internationally via consignments with beauty hubs like Watsons and Riley Rose. While we can grab some of their bestsellers like the One Step Original Clear Pad off the shelves at a nearby cosmetic store, some of their new must-have products are still hard to come by and are often sold by independent vendors for a much higher price. If you ever find yourself in Myeongdong, look for ALand where you can find a COSRX corner. Make sure to get the latest PHA Moisture Renewal Cream and Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence before they’re sold out.
As a huge advocate of using natural skincare ingredients, Neogen focuses on gentle yet effective skincare for individuals who have sensitive skin. The brand’s one-of-a-kind products made a good impression on influential beauty gurus like Charlotte Cho of Soko Glam, who eventually collaborated with the brand to create the beloved Neogen Green Tea Cleansing Stick. If you’ve always wanted to try it, better to get it from Korea at Olive Young Myeongdong where it’s sold cheaper compared to buying it online or from importers.
Developed by beauty influencer Liah Yoo, this up-and-coming skincare brand is officially sold only in the United States and South Korea. However, you have the option to order it from individual online sellers; the only problem is that it’s costly. For example, the coveted Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser is sold for KRW16,000 (~USD14.30) in Korea but the average price online could go as high as USD24. A big difference, right? During your trip to Korea, you can place an order on the official website and just wait for up to 2-3 days for the parcel to arrive at your hotel.
To this date, April Skin’s most popular items are still their cushions. The craze started with the Magic Snow Cushion, which is said to give amazing coverage yet still maintains a natural, skin-like finish. Over the years, the formula has been improved and the new Perfect Magic Cover Dual Cushion was born. Wanna give it a try? Head to their store at Lotte Young Plaza Myeongdong where the prices are lower and sometimes there are even discounts. You may even get a chance to bag freebies and samples.
3CE by StyleNanda
Known for their pretty packaging and trendy makeup items, 3CE is considered the epitome of a Korean makeup brand. Their products are available locally and online but prices are still cheaper when you buy them straight from the source. If you haven’t given their products a try, we recommend you check out the award-winning Multi Eye Color Palette in Overtake, the Maison Kitsune collaboration and 3CE Back To Baby BB Cream. Swing by their Hong-dae flagship store where you can try out all 3CE products, fit some StyleNanda clothing, and dine at the cute StyleNanda cafe.