Shopping in Seoul

Seoul is a shopping heaven for women who wants to look prim and pretty. The beauty retail landscape is ever changing with new creations and new products launching ever now and then.

The price points are surprisingly affordable, for instance, I bought the Missha x Line Friends Magic Cushion (comes with 1 refill) for just 11,600won (approx. SGD14) and the quality and results are just as good as Laneige's BB Cushion (in my opinion) retailing at about SGD59. And of course buying Laneige in Korea is also cheaper than buying it in Singapore.

Also, almost all the products have a shelf life of 3 years so you can stock up and slowly use them. I went a little overboard and bought myself 3 different brand of cleansers, 1 of them even had a 'buy 1 get 1 free' promotion at Aritaum so I have 4 cleansers I can use for the next 3 years...

Some of the beauty products I bought:

(omg my iphone's camera is so good you can see the dust on Sally!)

Missha x Line Friends Magic Cushion Moisture (Sally) and blusher cushion (Brown). The Magic Cushion Moisture is moisturizing, which is great for my dry skin. I also got myself the mother of all cushions (apparently) - the IOPE Air Cushion XP. I have yet to try this but I have high hopes for it!

Cleanser - Mamonde Lotus Micro Cleansing Foam, Banila & Co Micro Bubble Foam Cleanser, IOPE Ideal Cleansing Foam Whipping Brightener, Banila & Co Clean It Zero Purity

I am now using Mamonde Lotus Micro Cleansing Foam and it's quite gentle on the skin and somehow after using, my face feels smoother these days. I don't know if it's related, but my skin is less oily throughout the day too. I can't tell exactly if it's the cleanser, but that is the only change in my skincare regime. I actually did a bit of research before buying this - there use to be a normal version and a mild version but the salesperson told me that there is only 1 version now, which is this.

Yet to try the Banila & Co Clean It Zero Purity, but it has gotten great reviews. It's kinda like a make-up remover so it is recommended to cleanse with an actual cleanser after. This one pictured above with the words 'Purity' is for sensitive skin. There is another one that's 'Clean It Zero' for normal skin.

Moisturizer - Jeju Horse Oil Cream, Laneige Time Freeze Intensive Cream, Aritaum Babyface Mist

I am using the Jeju Horse Oil Cream that I got from one of the heritage attraction sites you get to visit on Jeju Island. I know it may seem weird to buy a moisturizer from there but they only sell local made-in-Jeju products are only available there and you can't really get them anywhere else. We got to test out the product and I really liked it (it was fragrance-free!) I started using it when I was still in Korea because my skin was so dry. It was very moisturizing and the skin that was peeling around my nose immediately stopped. I thought it was going to be a bit too heavy to use in Singapore but it is still alright but so far I have only used it at night.

I bought 6 mini bottles of the Aritaum Babyface Mist (hehehe) because of the good reviews I read. The mist is very very very fine. I have tried using Bioessence and Avene's mist before but I didn't feel like they were very moisturizing, plus the mist droplets were quite big I felt that it may ruin my make up. This Aritaum one on the other hand, I spray it all the time, under make up, over make up, as and when I need a moisture boost. I will definitely buy it when my stock runs out.

Pore care - Laneige Blackhead Melting Gel, Mini Pore Waterclay Mask

Blackheads are my biggest enemy and I was quite desperate to find something that would work. I have used the Melting Gel so far but I don't think it's that effective in removing blackheads. The gel, that comes out from this brush-like nozzle, heats up when applied on your skin so I try to squeeze out the blackheads after removing the gel manually because heat supposedly enlarges your pore so the blackheads come out easier, right?

Please note when shopping at Aritaum!!!

Aritaum always run promotions and the promotions are almost always good! So what is likely to happen when you are paying for your loots is that the cashier will try to tell you something like this (example scenerio):

1. Show you the total amount you need to pay on the calculator, e.g. your total bill is 120,000won
2. Tell you that if you buy the product that is on promotion, e.g. Laneige Waterbank Gel Cream at 20,000won, your total bill will become 100,000won (which is lesser than if you don't buy the promotional item)

You must be thinking it must be a scam because how can buying 1 more product reduces the total bill? It is as though the promotional item is free, right?

Yes the calculations, the final amount you pay is true, but I guess due to the language barrier, that's how they will explain to you but it is not a scam! The real promotion and why it is cheaper if you buy the promotional item is because...

Buy promotional item and get 30% off next purchase - the cashier will nicely separate the 2 transactions for you and the total amount of the 2 transactions is the amount they punch into the calculator for you to pay for, showing the total amount difference.

I had to learn it the hard way, thinking it was some sort of scam because with the minimal bit of Korean that I speak, I couldn't understand why it was cheaper if I bought the promotional item :( I, however, did ask the cashier to get her Chinese colleague to explain to me but the Chinese salesperson couldn't even explain it, I don't think she understood the promotion too.

So after this incident, every Aritaum that I went into, I bought the promotional items and enjoyed huge savings!

Some other tips.... 

When I bought a MCM bag at Lotte Duty Free, I found out that any VISA credit cards are entitled to a 10% discount but VISA Miles cards are entitled to 15%! This wasn't displayed or communicated to me until I was already making payment. They seemed quite hush hush about it too, probably not to make the shopping queue longer than it already was?

There are a few malls in Dongdaemun, my go-to for affordable clothing in the range of 10,000won to 20,000won is Migliore. I hardly bought anything above 20,000won there, lotsa items that are 10,000won or 15,000won. Quality is good too, I'm still wearing some clothes from there that I bought 3 years ago!

It is okay to bargain at some malls in Dongdaemun and the trick is to call them 'older brother - oppa' or 'older sister - onh ni' in Korean. It works almost all of the time unless the items are already like 10,000won.

I hope this is useful! :)

p/s: my comments box is not working, if you have any questions, drop me a message on IG or email me!

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