Korea Shopping Haul 2018

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Korea is one of the best places in the world to shop. Not only are the products affordable, but they are of good quality, too. Staying in Myeongdong, Seoul this 2018 allowed us to access so many shops within walking distance from our hotel.

people shopping in myeongdong, seoul

When I shop in Korea, I usually spend a bigger percentage on skincare items because I use them daily. Although Korean fashion is so cute and feminine, it’s usually focused on trendy pieces which can go out of style quickly. Being the basic human being that I am, I skipped on clothes. Nonetheless, I still got myself a few items on a whim! After all, I was only in Seoul for four days.

Other than my usual must-buy in Korea, I also picked out new things I’ve yet to try. So what have I spent my money on? Keep reading to find out!

1. Perfumed Hand Cream Set

I got these set of perfumed hand creams from Artbox, a popular gift store in Korea. Artbox sells tons of different items from stationery, toys, digital and travel accessories, to kitchen and bath items, and beauty products.

four pieces colorful hand creams

I don’t know whether these are at par with my favorite Nature Republic hand creams, but they do smell nice (based on the store testers). I got this pack for my friend as a souvenir.

Price: KRW 4,500

2. BTS Folder and Notepad

Ok don’t judge. I’m not a fanatic, but I do like BTS (LOL!). Their songs are just the perfect road trip and workout soundtrack. So when I found shops selling K-pop merchandise, I knew I had to take home something for myself (and for my friend who adores BTS much more than I do).

bts, k-pop, boy group
bts, k-pop, boy group

I bought a BTS plastic folder for myself to secure my documents and then got my friend a notepad set with four different page designs. The stores selling these merchandise not only feature K-pop artists, but Hallyu stars as well (namely Park Seo Joon, Gong Yoo, Kim Soo Hyun, and Lee Jong Suk). I wanted to buy something with Park Seo Joon’s face plastered on it, but he’s so popular right now, that the things I want had gotten sold out!

These merchandise can be found in the streets of Myeongdong, but I found the best stocks are in the underground shopping mall at Myeondong subway station.

Price: KRW 2,000 (folder) and KRW 2,500 (notepad)

3. Etude House Red Energy Tension Up

This Red Energy skincare set from Etude House is intended for their adult customers. This line is an anti-aging set that provides skin lifting, tightening, elasticity, and vitality. Not so sure if this actually works, but I got this set for my friend who’s in her early 30s.

red energy skincare set

The set contains two 130 ml toner and emulsion, two 25 ml travel size toner and emulsion, a 10 ml essence, and a 10 ml cream.

Price: KRW 44,000

4. Skincare, Hair Care, and Makeup

These are a collection of my most-used skincare, hair care, and beauty products from Korean brands Etude House, Nature Republic, Innisfree, and Banila Co. I pre-book extra luggage space whenever I go to Korea just for these. I’ll take about more of my holy grail K-beauty products on my next post.

korean beauty products

Price: varies

5. Skincare and Makeup Samples

Local Korean beauty stores are known to be generous to its customers by giving away product samples, no matter how much items you buy from their shop. These samples run from a Korean brand’s most popular line, to a new product that was just released in the market.

beauty samples and sachets
innisfree green tea beauty samples
korean face masks
makeup and skincare samples

Majority of the items that I got are face masks, followed by creams and essences. I received several sachets of Etude House Double Lasting foundation, but these are too light for my skin tone so I just gave them away.

Price: Free

6. Etude House Monster Micellar Cleansing Water

Micellar cleansing water is so popular nowadays as a first step in removing face makeup. Although I don’t use micellar water to cleanse my face, I find myself reaching for it when removing concealer, cheek tint, and cream blush on my fingers.

3 bottles micellar water

Because I spent more than KRW 110,000 at Etude House, the sales associates gave me three 300 ml bottles of their Monster Micellar Cleansing Water for free. I tried it once on my face and my skin didn’t have any negative reaction.

Price: KRW 7,000 (got them free as part of their promo)

7. Korean Chopsticks Set

I didn’t find their chopsticks set useful, until my husband and I got immersed in Korean culture just by watching K-drama nonstop. My friend gifted us two spoon and chopsticks set about two years ago and since then, we constantly use them every week.

spoon and chopsticks

My husband brought another two sets to our collection and these are the regular ones that have good quality. We got these from the streets of Myeongdong.

Price: KRW 10,000 (2 sets) and KRW 5,000 (1 set)

8. Socks

I love getting no-show socks for myself everytime I travel. Who could resist these cute socks, anyway? What I like about these socks is that they’re not only cheap, but they are of great quality, too. Plus, they are made in Korea. I like them better than the Reebok socks I bought in the US because the ones from Korea are a hair thicker (but still thin and comfy enough to pair with tennis style shoes).

11 pairs of socks
store selling socks
different varieties of socks

For more design choices and better bargain, head to the underground mall in Myeongdong subway station.

Price: KRW 1,000 each pair (Buy 10, Get 1 free)

9. Laneige Products

Laneige is one of the high-end, Korean beauty brands known for its face cushions. Unfortunately, I don’t have any luck with Korean cushions because of their dewy effect and predominantly light shades, so I just went to try their skincare.

laneige beauty products

First is Laneige’s Water Sleeping Mask which I find expensive in the Philippines for its 70ml jar. The said product is only slightly cheaper in Korea, but I still got one for myself to try. This sleeping mask is applied to the face as the last step of your skincare regimen. Although other people said they immediately found good results after the first try, I didn’t experience the same thing. I didn’t find any noticeable improvement, but I’m glad it didn’t irritate my skin.

face mask in a jar

The second one that I got is their Lip Sleeping Mask in Grapefruit flavor. This one is a good buy for me. After trying this overnight, I could feel that my lips were plump and hydrated the next day. And this says a lot for a product that doesn’t require you to rub your lips. Just put it on overnight and wipe the remaining residue on your lips with a tissue in the morning. I like this product because it nourishes my lips after wearing too many matte lipsticks.

lip mask

The third item that I got is one of Laneige’s cheaper products. I bought the Foot Sleeping Ball for my rough feet and the Homme Sleeping Ball for my husband’s face. We haven’t tried these yet, so I can’t say anything about these products at the moment.

3 pieces skincare

Finally, I decided to give the brand’s Two Tone Lip Bar a try. Although the shade says No. 2 Red Blossom, the color is actually far from the usual red lipstick color. It’s more on the pinky-fuchsia shade that looks good even on morena skin tone. The Two Tone Lip Bar is described as a “combination of high glossy and semi matte lipstick”. Its most trendy feature is the easy ombre effect look. It’s not long lasting, but the color payoff after application and the tint it leaves the lips after a couple of hours is lovely. If I have to be honest, I like the formula of their Two Tone Tint Lip Bar better as it is more hydrating. However, the color lasts on my lips for only an hour.

laneige lipstick
lipstick swatch

Price: KRW 28,000 (Water Sleeping Mask), KRW 18,000 (Lip Sleeping Mask), KRW 2,000 (Sleeping Ball), and KRW 25,000 (Two Tone Lip Bar)

10. Laneige Samples

When you go into a Laneige store, you will only receive skincare samples in sachets. Unless you purchase products that are worth more than KRW 100,000, that’s the only time when you will receive samples in bottles.

skincare samples and bottles

I got these travel size products, plus this Laneige Perfect Renew trial kit from a different store, also in Myeongdong. I’ll keep you waiting for now, so you must stay tuned!

Price: KRW 2,000 - KRW 6,000

11. The Face Shop Watery Tint and Nature Republic All Day Matte Lipstick Kit

I never found the best watery tint for my lips, until I tried The Face Shop Watery Tint. The shades in the Philippines are pretty limited and I only had the shade 04 Red Up. I wanted to try a darker one, so I got 05 Cherry Red when I was in Seoul.

The Face Shop’s watery tint is so long lasting. I had to avoid touching the liquid product itself as it would leave a lasting mark on my fingers. Both colors compliment the morena skin, and the shade 04 Red Up lasts beautifully even on dry lips. To use the darker one, I had to make sure my lips are smooth and free of chapped skin.

lip tint and lipstick set

For my last lip products, my husband got me a set of Nature Republic’s all day color matte lipstick kit in Incheon. The kit is in the mini size and it is exclusively sold at the airport. The shades are numbered as 01 (brick red), 02 (orange), and 03 (light pink).

3 mini lipsticks
lipstick swatches

What I liked about these colors is that they are all everyday, wearable colors. Even ladies with morena skin can pull these off without any problem. The main con is that they emphasize dryness on the lips. It’s not as drying as a MAC retro matte formula, but this isn’t something you can wear on top of a lip balm. I had to make sure my lips are exfoliated before wearing these lipsticks from Nature Republic.

Price: KRW 4,500 (The Face Shop Watery Tint), USD 16 (Nature Republic Matte Lipstick Set)

What do you usually buy when you’re in Korea? What shops and places do you recommend when shopping in Seoul? Leave a comment below. I’d love to see your thoughts!

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