This is my long overdue post with my haul from South Korea! Last October, I spent just over 12 days in Korea which included some time in Jeju Island and Seoul. This was my second time in Korea so I came prepared to shop. I wasn’t prepared the first time I traveled to Seoul; I packed much more than I needed which gave me less room for shopping – total rookie mistake! This time around, I brought two luggages – 1 large size (empty) and 1 medium size. I bought quite a bit on the trip so I will save this post just for some of the makeup items I purchased. I actually stocked up on each product, but I’ve only shown one of each below.
If you have ever traveled or know of anyone who has been to Seoul, you will know that it is a globally recognized beauty and fashion district. What I love about Seoul is that you can find great quality products that are affordable and there are just so many options! My only qualm would be that if you are specifically looking for base/face makeup, you may find that you are just limited to 2 or 3 shade options which tend to err on the lighter side. I would categorize myself as a rather fair person and even for me some of the shades were a bit too light or had a pink/grey undertone. Aside from that, the quality is unbeatable. The products I purchased were mostly “road-shop” or drugstore brands but they are comparable to higher-end brands in Canada.
Despite my efforts of trying to keep this post reasonably short, I recognize it’s quite a lengthy post. I will save the in-depth reviews for my all-star products! For convenience, the full haul is listed below:
- The Saem Cover Perfection Tip Concealer
- 3CE Style Nanda Waterful Concealer
- Too Cool for School Artclass Contouring by Rodin
- Iope Air Cushion (Air Prism Water – Natural)
- Innisfree Water Fit Cushion
- EGLIPS blush
- Etude House Lovely Cookie Blusher
- Jung Saem Mool Essential Cheek Blush
- W.Lab One Day Coating Tints
- Chosungah22 Juicy Punk Cotton Lip
- Jung Saem Mool High Tinted Lip Lacquer
- Jung Saem Mool High Color Lipstick
- Heroin Make Volume & Curl Mascara (Waterproof)
- Aritaum Idol Brow Mascara
- BBIA Last Auto Gel Eyeliner
- BBIA Last Eyebrow Pencil
- Etude House eyeshadows: Satin Fit Eyes and Look at My Eyes shadows
- 3 Concept Eyes mirrors
- Jung Saem Mool Lip Brush
- Jung Saem Mool Contour Brush
Let’s start with face makeup…
- The Saem Cover Perfection Tip Concealer in shade 1.5 – I have to say this is a high quality concealer and for just over 5,500 KRW it was a complete steal! The concealer is creamy but not too heavy and blends very easily. I often find that some of my higher-end concealers are too thick whereas this one is just the right amount of coverage and has a great consistency.
- 3CE Style Nanda Waterful Concealer in #001 – I was curious to try this out as I have seen this used by many other beauty gurus. Honestly, I’ve only just started using this so I can’t give a good review but my experience so far has been that this is incredibly light and feels nonexistent. I will need to continue using this to test coverage and longevity.
- Too Cool for School Artclass Contouring by Rodin – Similarly, I have seen this product many times with other gurus that I just had to pick this up. I’ve actually almost hit pan on my first compact and I can say it’s a nice blend of colors that doesn’t give you a “muddy” look but rather a healthy shade. I can’t say that this is my holy grail but I can say it’s certainly is a nice product for about $15. It’s comparable to my other shading product, Benefit Hoola Bronzer, only much cheaper!
- Iope Air Cushion (Air Prism Water – Natural) in #21 – In Korea, there are actually different versions of the air cushion. I opted for the natural version as I only wanted the cushion to help even my skin tone, I don’t really have blemishes to cover. I recall the cushion was around 42,000 KRW which comes with a compact, cushion and a refill so that’s really like 2 for 1. It’s substantially cheaper than what you would pay if you were to purchase a cushion pact from, let’s say, Sephora so I bought another box as backup. The picture below makes it look a lot darker but it applies much lighter. I will save a dedicated post for this air cushion as it is AMAZING – stay tuned!
- Innisfree Water Fit Cushion in N21 – Before visiting Korea, I knew I would be stocking up on cushion pacts so I did some research on the most popular cushions. This happened to show up in my search results, though I haven’t had the chance to try this out yet as I’m still religiously using my Iope. What’s cool about this product is you can assemble/build-your-own. You essentially choose your case and choose the cushion refill based on the type skin finish. I prefer the moist/dewy look so I opted for the moisture version. Excited to try this out!
- EGLIPS blush in #4 – It was only 4,000 KRW; I had to try it out! The color is a beautiful muted peachy-pink color with slight gold flecks. So far, I am really impressed at the quality for the price, but I don’t really have much to say otherwise. Definitely a brand worth checking out if you’re ever in Seoul. The only issue is this brand is rather hard to find, I think LOHBS is the only retailer in the city.
- Etude House Lovely Cookie Blusher in #11 Peach Choux Wafers – I swear I didn’t buy this JUST for the packaging! Sadly, I dropped the makeup puff and had to throw it out 😩. On top of the cute packaging, the blush is actually VERY pigmented and comes in quite a few different colors. It’s very compact which makes it great for traveling and bringing it with you on the go.
- Jung Saem Mool Essential Cheek Blush in #Indi Pink – This is a gorgeous muted rose color. Most of my blushes have a tinge of shimmer/glimmer as I find I sometimes struggle with applying matte blushes since the color payoff tends to be stronger. However, this color is great because it’s a soft pink that you can easily build without it looking too strong.
Disclaimer: I have a lip and blush addiction. My collection of lip products has grown over the years and ironic enough they consist of very similar color palettes – peach, coral and red colours. But above all else, I have a soft spot for lip tints; especially tints from Korean cosmetic brands! They are so pigmented and have fantastic staying-power. I exercised self-control and only purchased TWO lip tints as I physically don’t have room for more.
- W.Lab One Day Coating Tint in #02 (reddish) and #04 (orange). These tints have INCREDIBLE color payoff. Depending on the look you’re going for you can adjust the color by dabbing a tissue on your lips after application or by using your finger/Q-tip to smudge it out – this gives it a softer look.
- Chosungah22 Juicy Punk Cotton Lip in “Powder Rose” – This is a beautiful soft dusty rose color lip pencil and it’s great because you can cover more area with the chubby pencil! It’s a twist-up meaning that you don’t need to fuss over a sharpener to get more product. I hadn’t tried any of Chosungah22’s products before so I was keen on trying this one and I am content. The only issue, as with many lip pencils, is that the cap is starting to crack, but maybe that’s just user-error (thinking emoji)…
- The other two lip products I purchased were from Jungsaemool (JSM). Unfortunately I threw out the packaging while I was traveling; guess I was too eager to try out her products! The colours are really beautiful and I feel compliment fair skin. I struggle with nude colored lip products as they tend to wash out my complexion, but with both of these products I can say it still brings out my skin tone without making me look like I’ve come back from the dead. It’s just the right tone to give you color and can pass off as My Lips But Better (MLBB).
Above are two swatches (L-R), the first two are swatches of the JSM High Tinted Lip Lacquer in “Feminine Rose” blended versus straight application. The third swatch is the JSM High Color Lipstick in “Ginger Brown.” Between the two, Ginger Brown is my favourite as it’s such a unique color. It’s not totally brown and it is soft yet pigmented. I like to pair this with a hint of a darker lipstick dotted in the center of my bottom lip to give dimension.
- Heroin Make Volume & Curl Mascara (Waterproof) in Brown – Much like the brush pen eyeliner, Heroin Make makes great waterproof products. It has serious staying power so naturally it can prove to be incredibly difficult to remove/wash off without the right product. What I REALLY like about this product is the color; it’s a soft brown that actually serves its purpose of a brown mascara. At least for me, if I’m opting for brown mascara it’s because I want it to look naturally soft whereas other brown mascara are borderline black… why not just use black then?!
- Aritaum Idol Brow Mascara in #5 – It is a nice brow mascara and it was less than 6,000 KRW so can’t really go wrong!
- BBIA Last Auto Gel Eyeliner in B5 Soul Brown/Bohemian Bronze, B4 Morocco, B2 Bohemian Bronze – Again, such a steal. I recall these were less than 6,000 KRW. The color selection is hands down amazing for this price and I can tell you the quality is pretty incredible. Before coming to Korea I knew I had to pick up this product from BBIA, mainly the Soul Brown color. It’s literally the perfect soft brown color. I’ve been on the hunt for years to find the right shade of brown that looks natural and not harsh… let me tell you, THIS IS IT!
- BBIA Last Eyebrow Pencil – Like the eyeliners, the quality of this pencil reminded me of my beloved Shu Uemura Hard Formula Brow Pencil in Seal Brown. I decided to just give this product a try and I am so happy I did! I sharpened the pencil to resemble the Shu and it helps a lot with precise application. Total steal, it was less than 5,000 KRW! I’ve stocked up on quite a few of these so hopefully it will last me until my next trip to Korea.
- Etude House eyeshadows in Satin Fit Eyes (#OR201)/Look at My Eyes (PK004 & PK002) – I only picked up three shadows, but they have such a wide selection of colors to choose from, you can easily find yourself overwhelmed or buying a lot more than you needed. Much like the other products, colour payoff and application is amazing. Above all else, these shadows are usually less than 5,000 KRW and if you’re lucky, you might snag a 2+1 deal. I only picked up 3 as I’m less adventurous when it comes to eye makeup and I’ve got a ton of other palettes/shadows that are sitting around at home.
Tools & Accessories
- I stocked up on some mirrors from 3 Concept Eyes (3CE), they were so cute I couldn’t resist. I picked up a few as gifts too.
- I also purchased two brushes from Jung Saem Mool – the Lip Brush and the Contour Brush. The bristles are soft and high quality but what I like about her brushes are the design. Much like all of her products, they offer unique versatility that you won’t really find anywhere else. The ends of these two brushes resemble a spatula as its purpose is to help you be creative with how you use your products. For example, you can use the spatula end to gather and mix your lipsticks to create your own shade. The lip brush actually comes with a cap which makes it great for bringing it with you in your makeup pouch or just for travel.
Whew! If you’re reading this far… You made it! The haul continues; stay tuned for part II and Part III skin care and cosmetic lenses.