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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Make Your Grocery Shopping Easier with RedMart

V is one of those grocery shoppers who enjoys going to the supermarket every week. When I first started grocery shopping with him (then boyfriend), I wanted to rip my hair out. He was too detailed in his product selections, he was an extreme couponer, and lastly, he was constantly forgetting things.

I’ve to admit that I’m not a big fan of grocery shopping. I never spend more than an hour in the supermarket. When Little Edison came along, I pretty much left all the grocery shopping to V. It’s no fun doing grocery shopping with a kid in tow, waiting for 20 minutes in the checkout line, with a crowd pushing their way past me in the aisle every single minute!

When I was introduced to RedMart, Singapore’s latest online supermarket, I was thrilled with the fact that I could order my groceries online and have them delivered to my doorstep free-of-charge. Yup, you read it right! It’s free delivery for orders above $75. It’s better than having a battalion of helpers to carry your groceries for you.

I was also amazed at how user-friendly the website is. Even if you don’t do online shopping often, you’ll find that RedMart’s website is very easy to navigate. It’s really “idiot-proof”, even for a newbie shopper!

Here’s what I really like about RedMart’s website:

1. Items are cleanly organized into instinctive categories

RedMart #1

Just as how products in a conventional supermarket are shelved into sections, the items on RedMart’s website are cleanly organized into instinctive categories. Each category is further broken down into sub-categories so I don’t have to scroll down the entire page to search for an item.

2. The easy and all-convenient SEARCH function

RedMart #2

If you’re too lazy to browse by categories, simply enter a keyword onto the search function and you’ll get a list of matches that may be relevant to you seamlessly.

3. A saved grocery list to remember my past orders

RedMart #3

One unique feature on RedMart’s website is the “My List” program which operates like a standard grocery list. Every time I make a purchase, the items will be automatically added to my list.

This saved grocery list helps me to remember my past orders. The last order dates were also captured. With just a few clicks, I can be on my way to restocking the kitchen without scouring several sections of the website.

It’s truly a time-saver, especially if you routinely buy the same products.

4. Ability to select the delivery timing

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You don’t want to wait at home for the entire day to receive your groceries. That’s right! That is why RedMart allows their customers to select their two hours delivery time slot. The earliest delivery time and date are also stated at the top of the website for easy reference.

5. Easy access to sale items

RedMart Sale #5

Last but not least, the on-sale items are neatly categorized and displayed at the navigation bar. For the bargain hunters, this is where I would recommend you to start shopping.

How about the shopping process, you may ask.

First time customers can create an account by entering an e-mail address and password. It’s a very simple process. After that, you can begin shopping by adding desired items into your cart.

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When you’re done, select your delivery address and timing.

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The next step will be payment. RedMart accepts all major credit cards, PayPal and cheque.

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Lastly, review your order and submit it. It’s easy peasy!

Here are some good news for you!

One!   Grocery shopping is now even easier with RedMart iPhone app. Android app is under development and will be released soon too.

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Two!   Enjoy free delivery for orders above $49 (usual $75). Valid till 31 Aug 2013.

Three!   Enjoy a 10% discount off your first purchase at RedMart. Just key in the code “rm_littlesm” upon check-out.

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RedMart transforms my grocery shopping from a huge chore into a little treat. All I need is just a click! You can do it too!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by RedMart. All opinions are my own.

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Introducing RedMart – Singapore’s Latest Online Supermarket

Let me ask you a question. What is your biggest grocery nightmare? Car boot too small? Long queue at the cashier? Can’t find a $1 coin for a trolley? Whining and impatient kids? Groceries too heavy to carry? Hey, I’m sure you can add-on to my list.

I admit that I’m an impatient person, thus long queue at the cashier really turns me off. Just two weeks ago, I abandoned a trolley full of groceries at Giant VivoMart because the queue was unacceptably long!

Being a full-time working mother, weekends are precious family time for me. I don’t want to waste my time queuing to pay for my groceries. I dislike carrying heavy and bulky groceries. And I certainly hate pushing a trolley in a crowded supermarket.

If you’ve shopped for groceries online, you no doubt know how easy and fuss-free the process is. When I first discovered RedMart, Singapore’s latest online supermarket, I was thrilled with the fact that I could order my groceries online and have them delivered to my doorstep free-of-charge.

Online grocery shopping is truly a lifesaver, especially to those who have busy lives, senior citizens or parents with young kids who may just turn into wild monkeys as they enter a supermarket. There are many benefits from purchasing groceries online such as:

1. Save time and energy

I can save a lot of time and energy since I don’t have to drive to the supermarket, hunt through the parking lot, find everything that I need, queue to pay for my groceries, load the groceries into my car, and then driving home again.

2. Shop at my own convenience

I can shop at any time of the day or night, at my own convenience, regardless of what the weather outside may be, and still get everything that I need. There is no hassle of dragging the kid along with me.

Best of all, there is no embarrassing moment of bumping into a colleague or friend while wearing slippers, shorts and an oversized t-shirt at a supermarket. I’m just too lazy to dress up or even put on make-up for a supermarket trip.

3. Give my memory a rest

Every time we go for grocery shopping, the Hubby likes to ask question like this: “Is there any more peanut butter at home?” Well, there are 101 things that I can remember, except the amount of peanut butter left.

Now with online grocery shopping, I just need to walk to the kitchen and check, and then back at my computer again. There is no need to rack my brain to remember my last sandwich!

RedMart

Now, let me share with you my user experience with online shopping at RedMart. RedMart’s website is very easy to navigate. First time customers can create an account by entering an e-mail address and password, it took me less than 30 seconds to create my account.

By signing up as a member, you’ll get to know exclusive member’s promotions and RedMart deals too.

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After that, I can begin shopping by adding desired items into my cart. The items are cleanly organized into instinctive categories, just as how the products are shelved into sections in a conventional supermarket. Each category is further broken down into sub-categories so I don’t have to scroll down the entire page to search for an item.

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In addition, there is a search function where I can plug in a keyword and get a list of relevant matches seamlessly. I can search by brands or product names easily.

RedMart offers free delivery for orders above $75. Free delivery means I no longer have to struggle with bags of groceries with a kid in-tow. If you have a kid at home, hitting $75 is certainly no big deal. The earliest delivery time and date are also stated at the top of the website for easy reference.

Grocery

It took me 20 minutes to place my first online grocery order. I could have spent more than two hours to buy these groceries from a conventional supermarket. Now that I’m a registered user and am familiar with the website, the next time I order, I’m very sure that it will go much quicker.

Lastly, I have good news for all of you!

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Now, I can magic away all my groceries nightmares with RedMart. You can do it too!

Disclosure: Shopping credits were provided by RedMart for review. All opinions are my own.

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