Apart from Bangkok, the many places in mainland China, and of course, Hong Kong, Seoul has been a shopping mecca for many a great deal of women interested in Korean cosmetics and Korean style clothing, all thanks to KPOP and Korean Dramas.
So the husband and I went and we had option overload!
tadaaaah, and this was taken along Myeongdong and Insadong. just like what was shared by most anyone who has been there, all the Korean cosmetics brand are right next to each other and most have their own shops. some of the brands below may be familiar to you.What did get me all addicted to Korean pop culture anyhow?
I started with the Boys Over Flowers series!
At the time i was starting out my blog, fuzkittie and bubzbeauty were (and still are) pretty big on the blog/youtube sphere. they were using KPOP music for their intros on their videos or for the entire duration of each of their videos. fuzkittie used one of RAIN's songs and se7en's music.
but bubzbeauty kept using the instrumental music and some of the songs used on Boys Over Flowers and thus my curiosity got the best of me and searched it out. first it was just bb creams and then the entire 25 episode series, and then the actors on the show.
and of course, these two! on the right page!
and three years and a butt load of money later, here i am. an achieved dream (natupad na pangarap) - I and the hubby was able to visit Korea.
In no particular order here are some stuff that I bought apart from the boys over flower series magazine above.at Spoa, picture seen on the lower right two pictures of the image below where you see images of super junior members.
just simple shirts. i should've bought more raglan shirts, but i was trying to save money on kpop and makeup LOL. mostly, the fall and winter clothing were already on display most of which are not advisable to wear back in manila :'( i love love love raglan shirts on me and my hubby, too bad they are not as common in manila as they are everywhere else. there were uniqlo's and forever 21's there, too, but spoa prices are much cheaper!some freebies i got from Baviphat and TheSaem - stores that i went to for a couple of girlfriends of mine who asked me to get stuff from Seoul while i'm there anyway ☺
this is the snail cream from Baviphat that @akee013 asked me to get her: it's around php1600 for something that contains 50ml!
and from theSaem this is for @Mirzwee: I've never heard of this brand, but she said she really likes the effect so off i went, the brand can be seen anywhere, anyway ☺for these two it's php1800
and now back to me, thanks to wishtrend, i got wind of this rather new brand called too cool for school
the interior is like a...wouldn't you know it, a coffee shop!
i was curious of their products. their store is really cute, too! the items below are about php1300
naturally, i'll visit the face shop, i needed to get a few items there for an officemate, and i got myself a couple of snail cream masks since i already have the snail cream from when my sister in law went there. the masks are us$8 each and the volcanic clay pore strip is us$3.
and as endorsed by Lee Min Ho of course i had to visit! the innisfree brand is also one of the top two brands requested on my facebook page poll for me to try ☺ it's clear the ghels on my fb page love lmh as much as i do!
you can find this store nearly everywhere, even in subway stations! of my purchases, it was from this store that i got most out my money, i mean credit card hahaha, all of this below does not go over php2k!
another brand that hit the top spot on my facebook page poll was holika holika, even though holika holika is no stranger to my blog! snail creams are expensive even i korea. hehehe, but i've been wanting to try their snail cream since i saw it LOL. this was about php3k! ay pwede na pala considering it's snail cream. and look at that highlighter blush!
at the coex mall, we found lotte duty free!
and it's where i found my beloved lunasol AT DUTY FREE prices and an additional discount on a regular item for using a visa card! i am just over the moon i found that limited edition-not found in manila blush duo and at 40% off (us$20) and the lunasol fall 2012 eye palette at a significant price difference from buying in manila or at imomoko, i got that for us$47! when it's us$63 at imomoko's site!
since lotte duty free is not at the airport, it's inside Seoul, like the city, i could not bring my new babies back to the hotel with me! :'(
they had secured my purchases and gave me this booklet brochure thing with my receipts.
ANY AND ALL NON KOREAN BRANDS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO BE TAKEN OUT OF THE LOTTE DUTY FREE. you may only retrieve them at / near the gate of your departing airline, on the day you are leaving the country. it is their way of ensuring you're just not shopping at duty free prices then selling it off at a px / foreign merchandise store and therefore compete with their own Korean brands!
at the coex mall though there was a record bar hahaha yes, i will use that term for that kind of store til i die. i found this! leader's fan club pendant!
but outside of the lotte duty free you will also find many stores with this global tax free symbol on their doors
WARNING: IF YOU SEE THIS ON A STORE YOU'RE BUYING FROM MAKE SURE THAT:
- YOU HAVE THE ITEMS YOU BUY IN HAND CARRY WHEN YOU GET TO YOUR AIRPORT meaning you don't check in your items OR
- BEFORE YOU CHECK IN YOUR LUGGAGE look for this symbol at the airport and have your receipts stamped. the VAT guy need to see the items you purchased similar to the guards at snr warehouse grocery that check your bags of groceries before you go to your car.
once you show the officer your goodies you can proceed to your check in (luggage and airline) then up to immigration THEN the place where you can get your VAT refund.
HOWEVER: there are many stores that give discounts - less tax already BUT WITHOUT THIS ORANGE symbol. so look for those instead to avoid unnecessary walking around the airport only to get disappointed since your shizz is already checked in and you didn't get to show it off to the vat officer dude.
SO WHAT'S THE MAJOR DIFFERENCE IN shopping for cosmetics in Korea? MUCH MUCH CHEAPER! by about a third to two thirds the price. meaning if the item costs php300 here, in manila, it's only php100 there.
and now back to me. i didn't get to see my boys while i was there. it was all a mix up of their scheds, mine, and dongho got hospitalized. so i was a fangirling fail. :'(
plus, i don't follow red bull (yeah the energy drink) so i am unfamiliar to their events that my blond pigeon attends. but i did get to find these lovies on the streets of myeongdong and insadong.a desktop calendar:
i got a buy one get one clear file.
also got some overpriced big bang clear files, so mental note, buy from street vendors and not get too eggzited when you see these in stores.
AH MY YEAR WITH U-KISS, yes, kahit sa Japana hahabulin ko kayo.
and my most prized purchase:
signed cd's...yes, there is a store in myeongdong that sell signed cd's from many artists, like 2pm, ss501, big bang, and even out of print dvd's!
ohhhh yeah, you may be wondering why i didn't buy any laneige? well, i actually didn't see laneige with THEIR own store. they only occupy shelf spaces in aritaum. (their high end watson's or sasa) so just like , u-kiss, laneige is popular everywhere else except korea, sooooo sad!
yeeeep, i have a new mouse pad, la lang, parang ang fresh ni Eli dito hahaha buset.
LASTLY, akala nyo ba pang babae lang ang Seoul? hindi noh!
dude, the ratio of men over women there is 3:1 meaning for every girl she gets to pick 3 guys. put it another way, if a guy gets dumped by a girl, there are 2 other guys willing and ready to take the guy's (the one who got dump) spot. sooooooo. it's pretty much nerd central as well. may i present, orc town. It's in the Hongdae (Hongik University) area. yeah, walking distance from the cat cafe. the hubby got his fill of war hammer stuff! see there's lord of the rings games, and pieces! didn't see any cthulu stuff, booo! but at least it's a place where my man can just stay hours and hours!
AND MEN'S clothing is cheaper there, too. much cheaper than they are here. that includes their accoutrements hehehe i mean accessories, theBenj bought himself an iPad kinda messsenger bag for about php1k. the thing had pockets, too. so great for his mobile phone, too.
i'm pretty sure there's a gundam central as well! and hey there's a star wars cafe hahaha