I’ve been getting a little obsessed with the state of my skin lately, and while it’s been super fun ordering Deciem products (items from The Ordinary, Hylamide, and NIOD lines are now in my possession!), this also meant that I hit up the online Korean beauty shops, too.
Little did I know that with my most recent Jolse order, I snuck in just before a Canadian shipping issue!
In the past, I pretty much stuck to Cosmetic Love (referral link):
- The site is super easy to navigate, and generally I don’t have any issues with it. I personally find it nicer to look at than some of the more popular Korean beauty sites. The photos also tend to be slightly better.
- Brand and product selection seem good to me, though there have been a couple brands I’ve been vaguely interested in and had to look for elsewhere.
- CS is good, though I’ve never had to do more than get a quick response about a minor issue.
- Prices are a bit higher than some other sites, but shipping is always free so I like not having to tally up the final cost. I really hate when the shipping charge differs depending on the size of your order (is it by weight? by price? gah!) and then I have to shift products in and out of my cart to get the max stuff for my money. The price is less of an issue to me since I just shop their sales, anyway. With free shipping, I can order, like, $20 worth of stuff during a sale and not have to think about spending $100+ to get free/cheaper shipping elsewhere.
- Delivery has never been a problem for me. Yes, it takes a few weeks, and maybe a bit longer, but that’s not the store’s fault. They always ship very promptly and it’s Canadian customs that’s the hold-up. Luckily, I’ve never gotten dinged by customs, but I keep my Korean orders to around US$40 max. (Technically, orders totalling CA$20 or less are duty-exempt.)
- They give a useful amount of samples—though it’s usually just handfuls of those single-use pouches of Tony Moly Tomatox Magic Massage Pack and Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum. I don’t think I will ever need to buy those two products.
But last year, I finally branched out a bit and ordered one test product from Jolse via Amazon (some Innisfree sheet masks, which I haven’t even bothered to use because shortly afterward, I decided I’m not really a fan of sheet masks).
Then last month, I placed a trial order from Jolse proper (and I forgot to use the $3 sign-up discount, gah!):
- COSRX Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence (US$16)
- Holika Holika gudetama LAZY&JOY Ceramide Capsule Cream (US$18.68)
- Holika Holika Naked Face Illuminating Powder (US$11.88)
They sent a lot of different samples, which is awesome, but on the other hand, it’s a little useless to test a skincare product with just a single one-use sample. Cosmetic Love, by comparison, send about 10 of a product sample, but I almost always get the same two products so it’s not great that way, either.
Here are the samples I received:
- COSRX PHA Moisture Renewal Power Cream (2x sample)
- Etude House Red Energy Tension Up Power Lifting Essence (sample)
- Etude House Sunprise Mild Airy Finish SPF50+ PA+++
- Jolse Blotting Paper (these are $5 for a pack of 10; each pack contains 25 sheets)
- Lioele Dollish Veil Vita BB (sample)
- Lioele Rizette Magic Whitening Cream+ (sample)
- TonyMoly Pokémon Hand Cream (sample)
- TonyMoly Tony Lab AC Control Acne Foam Cleanser (sample)
I already really wanted to try the Etude House Sunprise sunscreen and the COSrX PHA Cream, so this was a nice bunch of samples!
The Lioele Rizette doesn’t actually say Lioele on it (at least not in English), so I had to look it up. I thought Rizette was a brand I hadn’t heard of.
I had no idea what the Pokémon sample was and had to Google it to find out it was a hand cream:
I received my order in Toronto, Canada, almost exactly a month later, which is fairly standard.
I was all ready to try another shop, RoseRoseShop, but discovered that due to changes at Canada Post and Canadian customs, some Korean online shops are starting to stop delivery to Canada! Here’s RoseRoseShop’s post on the subject.
Jolse has also commented on this problem, so now they are currently not offering free shipping to Canada. They are only offering DHL, which is free for orders over $100. DHL sucks for Canadians, since you’re far more likely to get stuck with duties, and the brokerage fees are high.
cosmetic_jolse Unfortunately, many packages are being delivered after 2-3 months and today I’ve got a message said package of Dec. 9 delivered today. We are issuing too much refund for missing/delaying packages so we had to do that. Instead we are offering FREE DHL for over $100 order for Canada.
There appear to be two issues. One, Canada Post stopped offering tracking on inbound international packages in 2015. Two, Canadian customs has been backed up, it seems for about 6 months or so now. Since December, customs has been slower due to the Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy, implemented in response to drug issues in the country. It makes an amendment to the Customs Act, now allowing border officers to open any international mail, regardless of its weight.
Many packages are taking much longer to be delivered in Canada, and some customers complained and demanded their money back from the Korean sellers, who aren’t at fault. RoseRoseShop has indicated that they hope this is only a temporary issue, and that they can go back to selling to Canadians, soon. I hope this also goes for Jolse and offering regular shipping again. Fingers crossed that my usual Cosmetic Love doesn’t stop shipping to Canada, too!
I poked around some other sites and saw that Sweet Corea was shipping to Canada, so I placed an order with them earlier this week. Their prices are super low, but that’s partly because they add shipping on later. The prices still work out cheaper than at Jolse and Cosmetic Love, but I find Sweet Corea’s selection (especially their nail polish selection, haha!) is not as good.
Be aware that while I still ordered from Sweet Corea for the first time, I noticed that when you register for an account, the page is not secure (https). So, I would not recommend using an email address and password that you use for any important site (like your online banking account, etc.). The account page once you’re logged in is also not secure. Only the checkout pages are secure.
- Mamonde Moisture Ceramide Skin Softener
- Secret Key Snail Repairing Emulsion
- The Saem Fruits Punch Hand Cream in Mangosteen
- COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser
- Holika Holika gudetama LAZY&JOY Egg Bun Puff
- COSRX Ultimate Moisturizing Honey Overnight Mask (10x samples)
- COSRX Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask (10x samples)
- Mizon Good Night White Sleeping Mask
Of course, I also placed a small Cosmetic Love order (gotta get it all in before they [maybe] take it awaaaaaaay)! I hope the sunscreen does not cause any issues at customs; apparently some countries have been clamping down on sunscreens being sent in the mail. [EDIT: This haul has also been posted!]
- Benton Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream (10x samples)
- The Face Shop Trendy Nails TR001 from the Disney Trolls collection
- Innisfree Perfect UV Protection Cream Triple Care SPF50 PA+++
- Innisfree Real Color Nail in 32 (a shimmery blue)
- Innisfree Wine Jelly Sleeping Pack
Anyway, here’s my latest Jolse haul:
The COSrX PHA Moisture Renewal Power Cream just became available online at Jolse today, by the way! It’s $25 for 50 mL.