Sunday, 2 February 2014
Humongous Korean Haul | Sulwhasoo, Primera, Innisfree, Nature Republic...
Hinted in the last empties post, I have a very unhealthily big Korean haul to share today. My mum brought my two sisters, or vice versa, on a Seoul holiday early in January. They borrowed a luggage of mine, and returned it fully packed with my shopping list realised. (inside one also finds confectionery, kimchi, pots and other extras)
Of the four beauty brands I 'ordered', all but Nature Republic belongs to the Amore Pacific group. Sulwhasoo and Innisfree are officially represented in HK with counters and stores, and not the other two brands. My excuse for getting them in Korea instead of here, is for the price difference (rent, exchange rate, tax-refund, etc) as well as the generous samples/gift-with-purchase. I have also pictured and typed out all samples I got, not counting those my sister hasn't handed over to me...
Anyway, here I show case the luggage-ful of goodies the three ladies kindly carry back for me, with a clear majority of skin care... If their retail prices are known to me, then I'll also quote it next to the full product name. Just take the price as reference, because as I said, I'm pretty sure my sisters got some of them with discount or tax-refund or in promo sets.
I am a big fan of their Essential Rejuvenating Eye Cream which Angie, my friend, helped me buy from Korea not too long ago. That one is a definite entry product (in terms of price and results) and it hooked me up. The basic line offers cleansers (I don't tend to spend that much on washes), toner and emulsion (the design sucks, you have to shake the hell out from those bottles, no pump!), and creams (it sounds too light for my taste). After days and weeks of editing my shopping list, the wish is down to two products only, and them I proudly now own.
One can get SWS at various places, but the most convenient place to shop is maybe the duty-free shop at departure hall, Seoul airport. Over there, where Hera, Laneige and SWS share the same counter and beauty assistant(s), the service is less overwhelming and you can get what you want quickest. Some say the free gift is also more generous if you say you are buying SWS as gift for others. My family did get me SWS at the duty free this time.
Not first person experience, for when I visited Korea myself then, I wasn't in the mood to splurge on SWS yet.
SULWHASOO Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream (230000 won, 60 ml) - Don't judge, this is the most expensive single skin care item I've ever purchased. Don't remind me, please, if it actually isn't (who knows what happened to my spending habits through-out the blogging course of life?). Oh Sul Wha Soo, this creamy divine smells so precious and rich in ginseng. I can literally smell this all day long. Will they consider making a perfume just of their ginseng blend? That would be perfectly peculiar but I'll be the first to get myself one.
SULWHASOO Snowise Ex Whitening Eye Treatment (75000 won, 15 ml) - I never hesitate spending on eye care. I was debating whether to get this or the concentrated ginseng eye, and opted for this finally. The metallic massage head of this tube is intriguing. For a thicker eye cream, I have got an Innisfree one (see below).
Basic Kit which includes:
First Care Activating Serum 8 ml,
Essential Balancing Water 15 ml,
Essential Balancing Emulsion 15 ml,
Essential Rejuvenating Eye Cream 3.5 ml,
Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream 5 ml
The same Angie who got me the Sulwhasoo Eye Cream also gave me several Primera bits to try out. I enjoyed their masks enough to make an order of those.
PRIMERA Alpine Berry Watery Cream (35000 won, 50 ml) - When I asked on facebook what should I try out from this brand, both Honor and Angie commented saying they've heard positive reviews on this. No idea why I'm awarded with an extra jar though, perhaps my sisters wanted to make up the order for more gifts with purchase?
PRIMERA Smooth Cleansing Cream (18000 won, 250 ml) - With Broccoli Sprout, and bead tree and red grape vine. What a huge tub! Just for the sake of trying something out, really.
PRIMERA Vanilla Multi Balm (12000 won, 18 g)- I have heard rumours that the rose balm is good. However, it was not available so my sisters got me the vanilla one instead.
The only reason why my family hauled back so many boxes of mask is that they were "Buy 3 Get 1 Free". So for every type my sister (or I) picked, 4 boxes were purchased. She kept some, but I insisted to get more of the hydro gel ones, 'cause they're blooming good.
PRIMERA Emblica Lifting Hydro Gel Mask (20000 won, 25 g x 5) - With Indian gooseberry sprout, sunflower seed oil, this lifts skin, adds elasticity with moisturisation and nutrients.
PRIMERA Organience Hydro Gel Mask (20000 won, 25 g x 5) - With soybean, rice and shea butter this is a nourishing and moisture-adding type.
PRIMERA Cresswhite Brightening Hydro Gel Mask (20000 won, 25 g x 5) - With watercress sprout and herbs complex to give brighter, more translucent skin. This is the best mask, so far, that I've tried from Primera.
PRIMERA Alpine Berry Watery Hydro Gel Mask (20000 won, 25 g x 5) - With Alpine strawberry sprout, papaya and grape leaf, this primarily adds hydration, then also revitalises with vitamin C.
PRIMERA Tone-up Seed and Sprout Energy Mask [Moringa] (10000 won, 20 ml x 5) - The organic cotton sheet masks Primera makes. This Moringa type is for brightening and translucency, similar to the Cresswhite one.
PRIMERA Moist-up Seed and Sprout Energy Mask [Lotus] (10000 won, 20 ml x 5) - Organic cotton sheet mask for moisture.
PRIMERA Lift-up Seed and Sprout Energy Mask [Apple] (10000 won, 20 ml x 5) - Organic cotton sheet mask to firm and lift.
Cresswhite Brightening Cleansing Foam 15 ml
Avocado Balancing Cleansing Oil 10 ml
Miracle Seed Essence 15 ml
Alpine Berry Watery Cream 15 ml + 1 ml x 4
Mint Refreshing Shampoo x 3
Mint Refreshing Conditioner x 3
Facial Mild Peeling 2 ml x 2
Facial Intensive Peeling 2 ml x 2
Innisfree has stores here in Hong Kong, unavoidably distinctly marked-up. Various beauty stores stock them incompletely at a more reasonable price, but I sometimes, if not always, doubt their freshness (and even authenticity). Ever since Kate the Driveller talked about how the soybean eye cream works in replacement of the Sisleya, I wanted to get myself one. The rest are bonus(es).
INNISFREE Soybean Firming Skin (23000 won, 200 ml) - A toner. I don't even remember why I got this...
INNISFREE Soybean Firming Eye Cream (28000 won, 30 ml) - I hope this would work great because my Sulwhasoo is not enough for the current dry weather and I don't have anything around to use. Liar.
INNISFREE Jeju Fig Hand Cream (3500 won, 30 ml) - Because as I said, fig stuff isn't the easiest thing to find here in Asia. Except, perhaps, when it is named in the shades of make up, e.g. the new Spring CPB lipstick... Drooling over that, too...
INNISFREE Jeju Udo Peanut Hand Cream (3500 won, 30 ml) - Not written in English, but in Korean it is said 'Intense', therefore I got one. My hands, and feet, are dry like desert, or snake skin scaling up, regardless of the season. If only I re-apply hand cream as often as I buy them...
INNISFREE Eco Science Eye Stick SPF 38 PA ++ (12000 won, 5 g) - As I said, I rarely give second thought considering eye care, this is reasonably priced and gives high sun protection, so into my basket it came.
INNISFREE Intensive Ampoule Mask [Hyaluron] (3500 won, 2 ml + 20 ml) - There are 5 alternatives in the 'intensive ampoule mask' family. I really only buy these 3 types because I saw these stocked at a local online store and the seller keeps raving about them.
INNISFREE Intensive Ampoule Mask [Collagen] (3500 won, 2 ml + 20 ml)
INNISFREE Intensive Ampoule Mask [BHA] (3500 won, 2 ml + 20 ml)
Olive Kit that includes:
Olive Real Cleansing Tissue (10 piece, 50 g)
Olive Real Cleansing Oil (25 ml)
Olive Real Cleansing Foam (30 ml)
Orchid Enriched Cream (1 ml)
Orchid Night Cream (1 ml)
As touched on in the Innisfree intensive ampoule mask above, one of the online shop that I follow hand-picks and stocks a lot of great Korean skin care. Amongst them are various products from Nature Republic. I haven't tried many from this brand, and given they are quite affordable, I made the longest shopping list of all. NR's spokesperson is a favourite of Honor so my family actually asked for a poster on behalf of her. (FYI: Only one male and one female celebrity on earth can excite me, Dayo Wong and Shu Qi they are.)
NATURE REPUBLIC The First Cream (22000 won, 50 ml) - 64% Saccharomyces Ferment. "The First" line is, in my opinion, Nature Republic's response to SKII's fermented sake. Almost every middle-range Korean brand has their own ferment nowadays, Missha Time Revolution, Innisfree Soybean Energy Essence, BRTC The First Ampoule Essence, IOPE Bio Essence Intensive Conditioning, to name a few. I recklessly asked them to bring me back the entire line from wash to mask to cream, and with (only) 3 products they return.
NATURE REPUBLIC The First Ampoule Essence (22000 won, 40 ml) - 80% saccharomyces ferment. A serum from 'The First' line, in other names.
NATURE REPUBLIC The First Number One Essence (22000 won, 150 ml) - 87% saccharomyces ferment. This is the 'Miracle Water', star of the show. In fact, I'm partial to the SKII clear lotion, not the Treatment Essence. So, what a shame that they didn't buy the full size of clear toner from this line! At least, this box set also comes with The First Clear Toner 30 ml and The First Emulsion 30 ml.
NATURE REPUBLIC Super Origin Complete Control (C.C.) Cream Tinted SPF 30 PA ++ (28000, 45 g) - Another pick of that online store. The first CC cream to be tested by yours truly, yes, officially the first! How late am I on this bandwagon?
NATURE REPUBLIC Botanical Hyper Liner "#2 Brown" (won, 0.6 g) - Because I can never stop acquiring eye liners. Even though I do not always wear them.
NATURE REPUBLIC Ultra Steam Cream (31000 won, 100 ml) - This is the thickest of the three, for severely dry skin. Water and shea butter top the ingredients list.
NATURE REPUBLIC Moist Steam Cream (31000 won, 100 ml) - The less thick steam cream in the line, for dry and normal skin. The content of shea butter drops immensely, it is the 12th item in the ingredients list. There is an even lighter version of this steam cream starting with 'Fresh'. I wonder how little shea butter is in that.
NATURE REPUBLIC Bee Venom Cream (14000 won, 50 ml) - 69% bee venom complex. For skin with redness issue or other troubles. I've yet to find out what troubles in my skin do I need to tackle...
NATURE REPUBLIC Bee Venom Pink Spot (14000 won, 30 ml) - Similar to the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, this is targeted for spots and acnes. I don't have those in great quantity or high frequency, but why not?
NATURE REPUBLIC Argan Essential Deep Care Hair Pack (8000 won, 200 ml) - Hair mask. Argan oil. Sold.
NATURE REPUBLIC Hand & Nature Avocado Hand Cream (6600 won, 30 ml) - Avocado is one of my favourite fruits to eat. :)
NATURE REPUBLIC Snail Solution 1000 Hydrogel Mask Sheet (45000 won, 20 g x 10) - Because I can never have enough snail masks in my life...
Snail Kit which includes:
Snail Solution 90 Skin Booster 30 ml,
Snail Solution 80 Emulsion 30 ml,
Snail Solution 70 Essence 5 ml,
Snail Solution 70 Cream 5 ml
Bath & Nature Apple Mango Body Cream x 1,
Argan Essential Deep Care Hair Pack x 3,
UV Lock Flower Water Gel Sun SPF 30 PA ++ x 8,
Snail Solution 70 Essence x 1,
Snail Solution 70 Cream x 1,
Snail Solution 90 Skin Booster x 4,
Snail Solution 80 Emulsion x 4,
Super Origin Complete Control Cream Tinted SPF 30 PA ++ x 2,
Argan 20 Real Ampoule x 6