Haulage! Cosmetic Love (& Korean Shopping Update)

Happy Monday!

First things first—I’m excited because both Jolse and RoseRoseShop, Korean beauty etailers, are shipping to Canada again! I’ll finally be able to use my $3 credit at Jolse. Ha! But seriously, I am looking forward to placing my first ever order with RoseRoseShop, after having excellent experiences with Cosmetic Love, Jolse, Sweet Corea, and Tester Korea.

Secondly, I hopped onto Cosmetic Love (referral link) this morning and saw that they have changed their pricing! Apparently Korea Post have hiked their prices, so Cosmetic Love have gone to the pricing model where they no longer offer free shipping, but all product prices have been dropped. In the end I think it still works out well, and from a brief bit of fiddling around with my shopping cart, the shipping cost is recalculated with every item added/removed. A nice positive is that now it’s easier to compare Cosmetic Love’s prices with most other online stores, since most of them use this pricing model.

Their website also calculates the cheapest economy shipping cost for you right on the shopping cart page, which is very handy.

Here’s my latest order—I’ve totally fallen for snail mucin and ceramides! It helps that Cosmetic Love are running a huge sale at the moment, and most brands are discounted. All prices are in USD (so happy the Canadian dollar has gotten stronger recently):

  • COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence [$9.93, reg. $15.27]
  • COSRX AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid [$9.22, reg. $14.18]
  • Goodal Moisture Barrier Cream Fresh [$12.73, reg. $25.45]
  • Holika Holika Honey Skin Sleeping Pack in Acerola Honey [$4.40, reg. $8]
  • Innisfree Jeju Lava Seawater Deep Essence, 10 samples [$1.25, reg. $2.64]
  • TonyMoly Spoiler Selfie Shot Blur BB in 02 Warm Beige [$3.71, reg. $6.18]

The total shipping cost to Canada (economy, no tracking) came to $12.79.






Happy shopping!

COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

COSRX — Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser Review

COSRX is a Korean cosmetic brand that is famed for its tidy line of minimalistic and effective skincare products. Their packaging reflects the concept well—while I do appreciate cutesy or more fanciful design choices made by many other Korean brands, COSRX keeps their products neatly labeled and functionally housed.

That said, I would have preferred that their popular Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser came in a pump bottle. I just prefer dispensing cleansers from pumps because it makes it easier to get a second pump when one hand is already covered in cleanser!

But to be fair, it’s really easy to dispense the correct amount of this cleanser from the first squeeze. This cleanser is a clear gel, not to liquid and not too goopy. A pea-sized dollop or two will do, and I usually aim for a pea in the morning and pea-and-a-half after oil cleansing.

Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

As the name implies, this is a fine cleanser for mornings, when you don’t have any makeup or much grease on your face. It also works very well as a second cleanser, once you’ve removed makeup with an oil cleanser or similar. It won’t do a great job removing the day’s grime off your face, nor have they marketed it as such a cleanser.

The advertised low pH (they claim 5.0–6.0) is actually around 5.5, which is—not coincidentally—the approximate pH of the surface of your skin. Cleansers are often too alkaline (higher on the pH scale), which causes drying of the skin.

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Haulage! Sweet Corea (May 2017)

Haulage! Sweet Corea (May 2017)

Living in Canada, the online beauty shopping options tend to be quite restricted compared with the US and, I think, even the UK. Here, I most often shop online with Sephora, beautyBOUTIQUE (Shoppers Drug Mart), and Well.ca—though I used to shop more with Hudson’s Bay—with the occasional order from Nail Polish Canada and, more recently, DECIEM. There are some international sites I’ll occasionally shop with, but generally I avoid those because I dislike having to pay high duties and customs fees, which are sometimes levied on incoming packages valued at CA$20 or more.

[Side note: Boy, do I miss ordering nail polish from the discount trifecta: 8ty8beauty (do not forget the “beauty”!!), Head2ToeBeauty, and TransDesign/NailSupplies! Shipping costs have just become too prohibitive over the years. I occasionally order from NailSupplies and have it delivered to my US relatives, but it’s happening less and less since my visitors don’t always have check-in luggage when they fly.]

love shopping online. I love the convenience, the ability to easily research products before purchasing, and the online deals. We also don’t have a car, and anyway, driving/busing around to hunt down products is not my idea of a good time. All this is why I love shopping at Korean online beauty stores. They sell so many brands and products, making it way too easy to enjoy browsing, making a wishlist, filling up a shopping cart, and eventually placing an order. The hardest part is simply waiting for an order to arrive! (Not a problem for me: I enjoy the actual research and shopping, then I promptly forget about the order and get a lovely surprise in a few weeks when it finally arrives.)

Also, I’ve never been charged duties on my orders from South Korea! I used to try to keep the package values under $30, but it appears that Canada has a deal in place with South Korea (2014’s Canada-South Korea Free Trade Agreement) so that goods made in South Korea generally are no longer subject to duties.

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fivezero's jolse haulage (April 2017), COSrX, Holika Holika

Haulage! Korean Shops (And New Canadian Shipping Problems)

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).

Innisfree It's Real Facial Sheet Masks (15 pc)

Innisfree It’s Real Facial Sheet Masks (15 pc) (US$19.08)

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:

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