Aside from purchasing skincare myself, my favorite thing to do is to enable *other people* to purchase skincare. Bwahahahahahaha!
But really, a number of folks have asked me about where I buy Asian skincare, which stores have the best prices, etc., so I thought I’d do a more recent roundup of the online retailers I use. (RIP Memebox.) I have about 6 drafts of other posts I should probably finish first, but this one is so much more fun.
With the exception of 2 or 3 shops, which I’ll note, these are stores that I have purchased items from and feel comfortable recommending to others. I’ve included links to each shop as well.
I apologize in advance for the gifs. I had no real photos to use and it was going to be an incredibly text-heavy post otherwise.
Sweet Corea: This is my absolute favorite Korean skincare store. They have frequent sales (very deep discounts) and are constantly adding the newest “must have” brands, like Pyunkang Yul and Huxley. They also have excellent customer service. Their prices are insanely cheap, even after you factor in shipping. Shipping is tiered by weight, but even their cheapest shipping is super fast (takes about a week and a half to arrive in the Midwest of the US.) The one exception here is sheet masks: I usually don’t buy a lot of sheet masks from them because they are heavy and end up getting expensive if you buy a bunch.
Jolse: A classic. Jolse is a favorite for their low prices and free shipping. (You can pay for a tracking number.) I always price compare them against Sweet Corea and often buy sheet masks here. The shipping can be slow, though, sometimes taking up to 3 weeks. They do have excellent customer service, and are quick to deal with any issues that arise with a package.
Naruko: This is the specific brand store for Naruko, which is a very well-known Taiwanese brand. Specifically, they seem to be known for their sheet masks, but I have come to love a bunch of their products, including their Magnolia Brightening and Firming line, as well as their FTE, the La Creme Miracle Essence. As I’ve learned, Naruko will literally always be having a crazy sale on something. You will never have to pay full price for their products. (Note: while the site is in Chinese–translated into English–and the company is based in Taiwan, all of my boxes have come from New York and arrived very quickly.)
Beauty in Hanguk: My friend Shereen, who I met on Insta, started this online shop! No, I’m not just promoting her shop because she’s an awesome, kind person. I’m promoting it because she’s also a genius and offers something I’ve never seen before: a BESPOKE beauty box! I ordered mine at the end of last month and will do a post on it once it arrives. It’s not a subscription box; it’s a one-time purchase, and she’s added different tiers of pricing. Basically, you fill out an online questionnaire of your beauty preferences (you can choose JUST skincare, or a combo of skincare, haircare, and makeup), and she curates a box of beauty products specifically for you!
Rose Rose Shop: This is another solid retailer (who also sells on ebay under the same name) who bases shipping price on weight (but not on ebay–but the ebay prices have the shipping included in them). I periodically check in here when I’m comparing prices. They’re not my go-to store, but they are a solid choice; I’ve never had issues.
Kult Finds: Here’s where to go if you want sheet masks! There’s a set shipping price, with free shipping to the US over $30, and they stock the masks people want. There’s a great mix of new, exciting brands alongside the reliable favorites. I just placed an order with them and am excited to get it.
Althea: Perhaps Sweet Corea has just ruined me for everyone else, but while I find this shop to be ok in terms of products and prices, it’s not my first or second stop. I go here if I’m looking for something I can’t find elsewhere. Still, it offers flat shipping and a free shipping option (over $50), so it’s a solid option.
YesStyle: I went here when they had the best deal on Swanicoco. The order was fine: well packaged, arrived in an ok amount of time, etc. No real complaints. But nothing spectacular. Again, I’ll go here if I need something I can’t find elsewhere.
W2Beauty: I will admit that I haven’t purchased from them, but one of my fav bloggers, Fiddy Snails, recently became the editor at large there. If it has her stamp of approval, it’s a legit site. They certainly have a great selection of stuff!
TesterKorea: If you’re buying something that you don’t need for awhile, this is the place to go. I like their prices and selection, but it takes them about 10 days before they actually ship my order. And the cheap shipping is sloooooooow. Still, they do have a really nice selection of samples.
US-based Retailers I recommend
Miirushop: This is a great Taiwanese skincare site that started up recently. Eden, the owner, is lovely, and is focused on curating really great Taiwanese brands like Cy Lab and Neogence, as well as a bunch of popular sheet mask brands like Lovemore and L’herboflore. I’ve ordered from them and had great experiences. There is free shipping on orders over $50.
Beautibi: Another great Taiwanese skincare shop, Beautibi offers a variety of fantastic T-beauty products. Jen, the owner, works to curate brands that virtually no one else is offering, including 107 (who are now at Nordstrom…but Jen had them first!). Great customer service, fast shipping.
Stratia: While not an Asian-beauty shop, Stratia is a store that I associate with AB because I first heard of it on the AB sub-Reddit. You’ve heard me rave about before. Alli, the founder, creates all of the formulas and products herself. She backs it all up with research, which she cites. I love everything I’ve used and recently purchased the other few ones I hadn’t. Liquid Gold is, well, it’s gold, ok? It has helped my skin come back from a broken moisture barrier, and its helped keep my skin from having that happen again.
Holy Snails: An Asian-beauty inspired shop, Chel’s famous Shark Sauce is an incredible niacinamide serum that brightens and lightens PIH. Her stuff works. I have recently discovered that her vitamin C serum, El Dorado, is the only vitamin C product I’ve tried that actually brightens my skin!
Amazon: I’m not linking to Amazon. You know it’s there. The skincare is there. But watch those prices–and the seller! I only buy the products available through Prime. And if you’re wondering who a good seller is if you’re in the market for Japanese sunscreen, I have found Toy Shop Japan HobbyOne to ship authentic items very, very quickly.
Gumii.shop: I haven’t purchased from them, but they are where you want to go if you’re in the market for masks. With $10 free shipping, it’s a great way to order a bunch of different masks to try for a reasonable price.
A note on Ebay: I don’t really use Ebay very much for skincare. I will sometimes buy from RoseRoseShop or Jolse, who each have stores there, but that’s it. If Ebay is where you do your shopping, check out the shops listed here and let me know if you still think I’m missing out.
Retailers I don’t use anymore
Wishtrend: Their minimum to get free shipping is kind of a lot ($69). They they do have a section of items that when you buy one, the whole order gets free shipping, but their prices are high compared to other places. They have an ok selection on their website–their house brand is Klairs–but I’ve found their Amazon store to be a better deal.
Memebox: Memebox, as of April 2017, now just directs folks to Amazon. I do not understand why this business decision happened, but whatevs. If you like their house brands like Bonvivant, apparently they’ve been repackaged and are being sold at Ulta.
Kmall24: I ordered from them during a big sale; they got overwhelmed with orders. That I understand. But it took 4 weeks before my package even *shipped* and that was after I bugged them a bunch about it. And there were some shady issues with my tracking number that I don’t want to get into. Anyway, I’ll never order from them again.
Glow Recipe: If you like wasting money, shop here! (No, really. Pretty much everything they sell is available for 30-50% less elsewhere.)
If I’ve missed your favorite Asian skincare retailer, let me know in the comments!