Online Shopping for Korean Beauty Products

K-beauty

Korean beauty products have been increasingly popular worldwide for their innovative formulas, appealing packaging, effectiveness and consistent new product launches. It’s no secret that the Korean Wave, or Hallyu, raises the demand for K-beauty products significantly. More often than not, product placement in a K-drama can cause the product to go out of stock.

If you’re new to the K-beauty world, figuring out where to start can feel a little overwhelming. What are the most popular brands? Where can I buy them? Some of the most popular brands in Korea such as IOPE, Hera, Mamonde, etc are not readily available in Singapore.

Nonetheless, fret not! In the era of online shopping, you can practically buy all the K-beauty products online at reasonable prices. Yup, that’s true. Some of the products are priced even higher in Korea and Singapore. So, most of the time, I still prefer to shop online. Unfortunately, there isn’t one place that is the best place to shop. It depends on the product, the brand, your shipping location, as well as shopping habits.

In general, all the shopping websites where you can purchase K-beauty products can be divided into FIVE main categories:

  1. The brand’s global website (e.g. EtudeHouse.com, Innisfreeworld.com)
  2. Korean departmental store’s global website (e.g. global.lotte.com)
  3. Online market places (e.g. eBay.com.sg, Qoo10)
  4. Korean local websites through buying services (e.g. Avecko.com)
  5. Independent online stores (which I will share in this post)

Before I start more in-depth on category #5, I’m not affiliated with any of these stores. The stores with a red asterisk (*) sign denotes stores that I’ve made purchases before.

As an introduction, these online stores are independent websites run by people who sell various brands of Korean beauty products. Their stores are based in Korea unless otherwise specified.

1. ALTHEA *

AltheaWebsite: http://sg.althea.kr/ | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/altheasg

ALTHEA is my favourite among all. They have a local office in Singapore. ALTHEA stocks many of popular Korean brands, particularly from the Amore Pacific family of brands, such as HERA, Laneige, Etude House, Innisfree, Mamonde, etc. It also stocks popular brands such as IOPE, Nature Republic, Banila Co and Missha.

I checked the prices of two products that I’m currently using and they’re much cheaper at ALTHEA: 1) Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum EX 60ml is sold at S$85.00 (Sg retail price: S$115.00), and 2) IOPE Bio Essence Intensive Conditioning is sold at S$54.90 (Korea retail price: KRW60,000 which is ~S$73.00).

Pros:

  1. Good variety of popular Korean skincare brands and products at reasonable prices
  2. S$20 welcome gift for new members who sign-up for their newsletter
  3. Free shipping on orders above S$50 (you can easily hit this)
  4. Occasional free giveaways
  5. 30 days unconditional refund
  6. Safe delivery guaranteed

Cons:

  1. Doesn’t stock a huge range of products for each brand
  2. Lack of premium brands such as Sulwhasoo (only one product available), The History of Whoo, SU:M37˚, etc.

 

2. RoseRoseShop *

RoseRoseShopWebsite: http://www.roseroseshop.com/ | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RoseRoseShop-545329085493840/

Oh, this is my favourite store too – because it has heaps of brands and heaps of products from each brand. The website is easy to navigate with a clean design and well-categorised product range.

Pros:

  1. Huge product range with more than 100 K-Beauty brands. Heaps of brands and heaps of products from each brand
  2. A lot of samples available for sale – good for new product testing
  3. Wholesale option available – good savings if you’re buying in bulk

Cons:

  1. Weight-based shipping, you need to combine a few items to reduce shipping cost – might be difficult to estimate the shipping cost too
  2. Price in USD only

 

3. Rinishop *

RiniShopWebsite: http://en.myrinishop.com/ | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/myrinishop/

I get to know Rinishop from Qoo10 and have since made several purchases from this store. Deliveries are prompt and I received free samples for every purchase too. 

Pros:

  1. Offers over 20 K-Beauty brands with main focus on mid-range brands
  2. Heaps of products from each brand
  3. Free samples with every purchase
  4. Free shipping for certain purchase amount

Cons:

  1. Price in USD only

 

Introducing: JL Heart – Beautifully Designed Handmade Jewellery

Mother’s Day is around the corner. If you’re looking for beautiful handmade jewellery to delight your mom, I’ve something special to recommend to you today.

JL Heart is one of my favourite online shops. It is based in Singapore, specialising in on-trend, affordable, fashion jewellery from necklaces, bracelets, rings to earrings in sterling silver, pink and yellow gold. I like quality, original, handmade jewellery. All their pieces are detailed, carefully made from the heart, and are meant to convey wishes of joy, luck and health.

JLHeart website

JL Heart looks like a treasure box to me, bursting with original and striking jewellery. It’s just too gorgeous! It makes me want to buy something as a gift, or a beautiful piece just to reward myself. The jewellery are made using quality materials like freshwater pearls and genuine gemstones with sterling silver or gold filled elements. So, they are lasting that you can wear every day without breaking the bank.

Their focus is on quality, affordable prices and costume jewellery from the heart. I feel that they strike the perfect balance. The jewellery are neither too cheap (unlike those pieces that’ll only get thrown away after a few wears) nor too expensive (as compared to other online shops that sell similar quality jewellery).

What’s more? JL Heart is based in Singapore, so you get free shipping too!

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Recently, I got myself a Gold Honeycomb Gemstone Necklace. I like that it’s made of high quality Gold Fill chain that will not tarnish, complete with colourful genuine gemstones: Carnelian, Citrine, Green Onyx, Peridot, Prehnite, Rose Quartz, and Sky Blue Topaz. The length is 32 inches (81cm), so it slips over my head easily. It also comes with clasp for doubling up as necklace.

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I love a good statement necklace. It always adds a fabulous oomph to an outfit. This beautiful piece is a lovely addition to my collection.

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I also like the pretty JL Heart packaging. It comes with a quality gift box that can be re-used to store more jewellery, a stylish Thai Silk jewellery pouch, and a dual layer jewellery cleaning cloth that can be used on metals and gems.

I selected this Amethyst Gemstone Tassel Necklace as a gift for my mother-in-law on Mother’s Day. She loves tassel gemstone, so I’m sure she’ll be delighted to receive this lovely gift. Moreover, the soft purple matches any of her outfit wonderfully.

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I completely adore wearing shiny and sparkly bling on my wrists too. I always pop a bracelet or bangle on my wrist whenever I go out. So, I also got myself a Past Present Future bracelet too. The unique design with 3 circles linked together, just like our past, present and future.

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If you’re looking for an exclusive custom-made jewellery for your special ones, you’ll be delighted to know that JL Heart do offer custom-made jewellery. Yes, I know. Our loved ones deserve a truly unique design just for themselves.

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One last thing before I go, Mother’s Day falls on 8 May 2016. Grab this promo code “MOTHER2016” to enjoy 25% off all jewellery at JL Heart!

Happy Sunday! Happy Shopping!

JL Heart
Official Websites: Homepage | Facebook Page | Instagram

 

Bartley Residences: TaoBao Shopping (Part 1)

How many man hours have been spent on our new home since the day we collected our keys? I’ve totally lost count, and in fact, we go out every weekend checking for things to buy for our new home – from lightings to ceiling fans, window blinds, furniture, electrical appliances, solar film, water filter, shelving, mattresses, and many more.

On weekdays, we make brief visits to our unit to check the progress of defect rectification. One important lesson that we’ve learnt is to supervise it ourselves. In order to do this, we need to follow-up on the progress diligently and get to know the workers personally. Even though it’s the responsibility of the defect team supervisor, we do understand that he’s extremely busy running around hundreds of units. He has done his best within his capacity to serve each and every one of us. For a record, it’s the seventh week now but approaching completion in week eighth.

On a lighter topic today, I’ll talk about my first TaoBao shopping – which I’m sure almost every new homeowners do. It’s very addictive, so you’ve been warned. =)

Shopping at TaoBao is very easy. Just google “taobao shopping”, you’ll see lots of useful guides online. The BEST GUIDE that I’ve read so far is this – Ultimate Guide: Buying Directly from TaoBao. This blogger also wrote Ultimate Guide: How to Shop on TaoBao using 65daigou.

Since this was my first attempt, I chose to shop using 65daigou as it’s very easy. Simply register for an account, copy and paste the URL of the item that you wish to purchase from TaoBao website onto the “Buy For Me” field on 65daigou website (indicated by red arrow below).

Here are 11 things that I bought from TaoBao and their prices (exclude shipping and agent fees now, will update later on when items arrive).

1. 2-in-1 Shoe Cabinet with Stool (43x45x30cm) – $30.68
I’ve been looking for a tiny shoe cabinet to be placed outdoor and I’m glad to have found this at TaoBao. The same item is sold locally at Qoo10 for $80 + $10 delivery fee.

2. Automatic Motion Sensor Dustbin (12L) – $31.03
I’ve seen this in a local store and it was sold for more than $100. My silly husband asked me, “What if the sensor is not working and the dustbin cannot be opened?” My answer to him is, “Don’t attempt to pry open the dustbin. Just throw the trash together with the dustbin.” LOL.

3. Parquet Floor Protector (100x100cm with 1.5mm thickness) – $8.48

4. Bayco 11-pc Knife Set – $45.23

5. 2-tier Towel Hanger – $37.73

6. Floor Mat – $5.00 (I don’t know why I bought this, maybe it looks very fluffy!)

7. Kitchen Dish Tray – $5.68

8. 3-tier Thin Storage Shelf – $11.59

9. Kitchen Stainless Steel Dish Rack – $38.41

10. Automatic Motion Sensor Soap Dispenser – $38.41
One of my favourite! I bought three of them – one for kitchen and two for bathrooms.

Pictures taken from TaoBao

11. UMBRA Cute Cat Ring Hook – $13.41
This is super cute! Also comes in various designs like rabbit, giraffe, elephant, porcupine, etc. Keeps my rings in place and with style!

Some of my orders have been cancelled due to no stock; I shall try again after I receive my first batch. I opted for sea shipping as it’s the cheapest and suitable for bulk purchase ($1.50 for 0.5kg).

I’ll update this post again with shipping and agent fees.

 

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Shopping for Ergonomic Study Desk and Chair at ERGOWORKS

Recently, I was pretty annoyed with people misusing the word “ergonomic” – especially people who should really know better. I feel that there is a need for the general public to understand more about ergonomics, without just buying a product that is labelled as “ergonomic” but it is not, or buying a genuine “ergonomic” product but not using it correctly.

Ergonomics, as (I hope) we all know, is the process of designing or arranging workplaces, products and systems to optimise the comfort and performance of individuals, and to minimise risk of injury or harm.

As such, a chair can’t be “ergonomic” until you’ve established who will use it, the shape and size of the user, and what their activities are while sitting on it. Similarly, a study desk with adjustable height does not automatically make it “ergonomic”.

I’ve seen many cheap China-made study desks that claim to be ergonomic just because their height is adjustable. I’ve also recognised that there are situations where brands use the word “ergonomic” to add a marketing edge to their products without feeling the need to fully research, understand or justify that description.

The most important messages that I want to share with you today is: 1) before you buy an ergonomic product, please check whether the brand is medically endorsed by doctors, medical professionals or posture specialists, 2) make sure that you know how to use the ergonomic product effectively from the people where you bought it from.

I quote a very good example here. Don’t just buy an ergonomic school bag just because it’s labelled as “ergonomic” and let your child use it without teaching them the proper way of using it. You can’t reap the benefits of an ergonomic product, unless you use it correctly.

ERGOWORKS Showroom at Marina Square #03-337

Recently, we were out shopping for an ergonomic study desk and chair for Edison. I came to know ERGOWORKS when I worked with them on a campaign a year ago. (I’m not paid to write this post.) Since then, I told myself that I want to buy an ergonomic study desk and chair for Edison when we move to our new home.

Much to my surprise, I discovered that ERGOWORKS showroom at Marina Square has a revamp. I love its clean, simplistic but highly innovative design. The new concept showcases the vast range of ergonomic products that ERGOWORKS can provide in this niche market.

Here are some of the ergonomic products at ERGOWORKS that we really like.

1. Kids Ergo Study Desk

There are a wide range of Ergonomic Study Desks that provide a healthy study, reading and writing workstation for our kids.

I really like the IMPACT Bundle 2. The golden maple top with pink trim and a pink chair is so beautiful that it totally screams “buy me now!” This set is sold at a promotional price of $999 now (u/p $2,399). But don’t worry, I won’t buy a pink desk for Edison. He will get a blue, white or grey set.

ERGOSTARS ES-8501 Desk & Chair Set is another good choice, especially when it’s having an online promotion now for just $699 (u/p $1,998). It comes with 3 colour options – blue, grey and pink. This video gives you a very good introduction of this product.

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The important ergonomic features of these tables include desk top height adjustable, desk top tilt angle adjustment, rounded edge for child safe design, easy mobility with caster wheels, desk feet leveler, and wrist support pad that holds book and laptop. They are suitable for kids 4 years old to adulthood. I’d say it’s a good investment for a quality product that lasts for years.

2. Seating Solution

I tried the DUOREST Chairs and I really love them. They provide excellent whole body support and comfort. The unique design of the highly adjustable neck rest and back support puts my spine into a good posture. Most importantly, it prevents neck aches or back stiffness from long hours of sitting.

3. IMPACT Backpack

Please read my previous review on IMPACT Ergo-Comfort Spinal Support Backpack, if you haven’t.

IMPACT Backpack is simply the best for its design, structure and spinal protection benefits. After one year of usage, Edison’s backpack is still in good condition – despite his rough handling (boys can never be gentle with their belongings!). The bag is made of durable, water and UV resistant materials that are built to last.

Most importantly, the professional Spinal Care Systems provides excellent support to the contour of the back while effectively distributing the weight equally on the surface of entire back. Edison’s posture is greatly improved with IMPACT ergonomic school bag.

ERGOWORKS provides a 20% trade in royalty program, that’s going to save a lot on our next upgrade of IMPACT backpack for Edison.

4. Computer Accessories Solution

I also came across Computer Accessories Solution at ERGOWORKS which interest me greatly. Occasionally, I suffer from wrist pain due to prolonged use of keyboard and mouse. I really hate it, but I don’t have a choice – as long as I’m stuck with this desk-bound job.

The CONTOUR RollerMouse Red (also a Red Dot Design Award Winner 2013) and Neo-Flex Notebook Lift Stand are perfect for my home office. The RollerMouse Red is placed below the keyboard, so I don’t need to reach for the mouse. I move the cursor by rolling the bar lightly with my fingertips.

Everything I need to control my computer is just right in front of me. This ergonomic position eliminates repetitive movements that can cause neck, shoulder and elbow pain. It took me a while to get used to it, but once I did, I really love the product.

5. Arm & Wrist Solution, Back & Seat Solution, Air Quality, and Heat Therapy Solution

Apart from school bags and workstations, ERGOWORKS also have a lot of ergonomic lifestyle products that I’ve never heard of. I’m glad to discover these gems.

I recommend ERGOWORKS because it’s the only medically endorsed and certified ergonomic brand in Singapore. Just a note to you that ERGOWORKS has three showrooms in Singapore at Marina Square, Centrepoint and Causeway Point. Many times, I walked into the “wrong” Ergo shop as there are a few shops with similar names that confused me.

ERGOWORKS is a brand that I trust, and I can genuinely recommend to you. Their extensive range of products have won numerous accolades and achieved international ergonomic standards. All ergonomic products from ERGOWORKS are also endorsed and recommended by The Chiropractic Association (Singapore) and Singapore Physiotherapy Association.

Anthony, the Sales Consultant at Marina Square outlet, demonstrating to us the proper use of ergonomic chair

Most importantly, ERGOWORKS delivers professional services to their customers. Every time we shop at ERGOWORKS, their friendly staffs demonstrate to us the proper use of their ergonomic products and give us recommendations on products that suit our needs. ERGOWORKS truly cares for customers who desire comfort, wellness and protection for their body structure and posture.

Check out ERGOWORKS if you’re looking for ergonomic products and professional services.

ERGOWORKS
Marina Square
6 Raffles Boulevard #03-337 Marina Square
Opens Daily: 11:30am – 9.00pm
Tel: 6837 3370
Website: http://ergoworks.com.sg/

Money Saving Tip for the Online Shoppers

In my first job, I got to know a bunch of nice colleagues. Some of them are married with kids. During our lunch time, they often ate their meals quickly and zipped off for a hurried shopping trip. Then, they came back with bags of new clothes, shoes and even groceries.

I was often amazed. By their speed. By how desperate they were to steal some time during lunch to do some shopping. But at that time, I couldn’t understand why. I mean, they can always shop during weekends. Why do they need to rush during the limited lunch hour?

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Fast forward to ten years later, I can finally understand the logic behind those hurried lunch time shopping. It’s nearly impossible to shop with ease when you have young kids in tow. When the kids grow older and started schooling, most of the weekends will be spent fetching them to various lessons and activities.

Most importantly, we want to reserve our weekends for precious family time, rather than queuing behind changing rooms, cashier counters, or lugging heavy groceries from supermarket all the way home.

That’s why I’m still an avid online shopper. Not that I’ve given up shopping in the real world, but online shopping is more appealing to me. For busy mothers like us, I’m sure you’ll agree that shopping away with a click of a mouse is easier than going out to the mall with our kids in tow. And I can always find exactly what I’m looking for online – usually at lower costs!

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It’s strange but true. The busier I am, the more retail therapy I need. This is especially so when most of my time is taken up by work and family. I multitask by getting some retail therapy in between the daily hassles of my day. It improves my mood and motivates me in a way that I can’t possibly explain in words.

Now that I can practically shop for everything online, one of my money-saving tips is to use discount codes available at Flipit.com/sg which are valid for many different e-shops in Singapore and worldwide. For instance, here you can find a coupon for when you’re shopping online at Zalora.

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It’s an amazing website where you can find over 300+ promo codes and deals for the greatest online discounts. Yes, you heard it right! That’s a HUGE range of promo codes that we can use for various products such as fashion, electronics, food, travel, health, etc.

Do you have any money saving tips to share? I love to hear from you too!

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