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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