Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Korean Skincare & Beauty Haul (Gmarket, Koreadepart and Sasa)

Harro! I’ve finally taken pics of my Sasa haul from March ~ plus two more hauls from Koreadepart and Gmarket that happened in the meantime...

Yes the masks are arranged in the shape of a heart #sad

ETUDE HOUSE Colour My Brows (No. 4)
TONYMOLY Petite Bunny Gloss Bar (No. 6)

BANILA CO Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm
ETUDE HOUSE Happy Essential Foam (Hyaluronic Acid)  Reviewed Here
INNISFREE Green Tea Sleeping Pack
LANEIGE Multiberry Yoghurt Repair Pack
MISSHA Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence
MISSHA Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Borabit Ampoule
MIZON Original Skin Energy Hyaluronic Acid 100
MIZON Black Snail all in one cream
SECRET KEY Starting Treatment Essential Masks (x20)
SECRET KEY Starting Treatment Eye Cream (Rose Edition)
TONYMOLY Intense Care Galactomyces Lite Essence

BIO-ESSENCE Hydra Tri-Action Aqua Droplet Sleeping Beauty Mask  Reviewed Here
HADA LABO Super Hyaluronic Acid Lotion

I reviewed the Bio-Essence mask in my last post {here} and will review the rest once I’ve used them long enough ^^ In the meantime, I thought it might be helpful to do a (sort of) guide on where to get your Korean beauty fix.

1.     Check the official website to find the price in Korean Won which you should take as your guideline price

{Requires some patience/mad skillzyo as you navigate in Hangul}

2.     Check and compare prices on reputable sites like Sasa, Gmarket Koreadepart

If possible, buy from a seller based in your home country to avoid import duties

3.     Factor in the shipping cost and offers/gifts

I checked the prices of a few products on Koreadepart, Sasa, Gmarket and the official websites and made a mini chart which will hopefully help you figure out which site is best to buy from!

{click to enlarge}
$1= apx. £0.65

I’ve ordered twice from Sasa. I was happy with the first order but one of the products in the second was a couple of weeks away from expiry :( Sasa tends to be more expensive than Koreadepart and Gmarket, but the mark-up is usually offset with free shipping offers. 
Shipping time: 14 days

Fun Fact:
BF noticed the Black Snail cream on my dresser (Guess where this is going)
BF: Whats that ‘black snail’ thing? Is that actually made of black snails?
Me: “Black Snail” is the brand name you silly - it’s an all in one cream, see? (*shifty eyes*)
(I’m sorry honey)

Oh you like it GMARKET Oh you love it GMARKET. Sorry ( 거짓말). Gmarket is like the Korean version of eBay, but 100x more awesome because it has its own theme tune. You can buy from individual sellers or directly from brands via their official mini-shop.

These are some of the official shops on G-Market:

Amore Pacific (Iope, Laneige, Mamonde & Hanyul) ()아모레퍼시픽 - doesn’t ship internationally
banila co.
CLIO 본사직영샵
Etude House 에뛰드본사직영샵
Holika Holika 홀리카
Innisfree 이니스프리직영샵
Lioele ()리오엘리
롯데닷컴LOTTE - carries Japanese brands like CANMAKE and Heroine Make but doesn’t ship internationally :(
Missha 미샤|본사직영|
Mizon 미즈온직영샵
Peripera 페리페라 본사직영샵
Secret Key 시크릿키본사직영
Sidmool 시드물
The Face Shop 더페이스샵본사직영샵
The Saem 더샘온라인직영몰
Tony Moly 토니모리(본사)
Tosowoong 토소웅
*If you have friends living in Korea, now is the time to enlist them as a forwarding service show them how much you value friendship.*

The mini-shop prices are the same (and sometimes cheaper) than the official websites. From time to time the mini-shops do discounts, sales and free gifts. Gmarket also issues coupons for discounts of anything from 1,000 - 10,000 off. 
The good deals almost offset what I hate about Gmarket: the huge shipping costs!! Gmarket uses EMS, which is a premium service that you pay more for to get your stuff quickly. I bought 42,350 ($40) worth of products and paid ₩27,400 ($25) in shipping. Ridiculous but the Hyaluronic Acid ampoule is $30 more on Koreadepart so it was worth it I think …

The shipping cost is only an estimate so if the actual cost is more than the amount paid you’ll be asked to pay the difference. My estimate was pretty accurate - the box actually weighed slightly more but I didn’t have to pay extra. (I assume they let you off if it’s only a few thousand won?) If you pay more than the actual shipping cost, Gmarket will credit the difference to your G-Account for you to use against a future order. I left some things out of my order for this reason - like a $2 eyebrow pencil which added $15 for shipping because the estimated weight was 0.5kg. 

Stack of sheet masks. Forgot to take pics of the ampoules

I didn't receive any free samples but I did get a coupon for 20% off.
Shipping Time: 7 days

My order from Koreadepart was the last to arrive.

Daily FOTD as I wait for the parcel
( * •̀ •́ * )

15 days after placing my order, a card from Royal Mail finally appeared in my letter box. YAY! It read: We cannot deliver your parcel because there’s a customs fee to pay. Eighteen pounds & ten pence. FOCK.

Lesson on UK VAT & Customs

VAT may be payable on goods over £15 and gifts over £36, which is charged on CIF value

Goods worth over £135 will incur a Customs Duty

If your parcel is stopped, you’ll have to pay Royal Mail’s BS £8 handling fee on top of that

So. I paid the £18 (= $28) (= another bottle of FTE *cry*) and was handed over this battered crappy looking box.

Though thanks to the layers of bubble wrap, nothing was missing or broken



Free samples

Ignoring how incredibly pissed I am about the customs, I still think Koreadepart is a great website. The selection is huge and the prices are very reasonable. As you’ll notice from the chart, most products are a few dollars cheaper than Gmarket/Korean RRP but there is the odd item or brand that’s $10 cheaper or $20 more expensive.

On top of the already good prices, certain brands like Secret Key, Too Cool for School, The Saem and Holika Holika frequently (always?) have 10-20% off. The month's offers are listed in the 'Event Zone' section allowing you to plan your purchase in advance hoho~

There are two shipping options: EMS and Registered Airmail. A package weighing 1.5kg costs $32 to send via EMS and $17 via RAM. EMS takes 5-10 working days and RAM takes 2-8 weeks. Whichever service you use, you’ll only pay one charge based on the gross weight of the order - no extra payments required afterwards.

Official Websites
Buying from official websites isn’t really an option for me since the majority don’t ship to the UK. Innisfree has worldwide shipping, which is free on orders over $75. Theres always a buy one get one free offer and new customers will receive a coupon for 10% off their order or free shipping.

I think I’ve bought enough stuff to last me for the year and when I order again (because lets face it, it’s not a question of “if” once you get started with Korean skincare), I’d probably buy from Koreadepart. If I recover from the shock of paying that customs fee TT.TT