I made a visit at the Urban Outfitters on 1333 Broadway (b/t 35th & 36th Street), NYC back in March and I was stunned to find that their back section on the first floor was an impressive selection of Asian/Korean Beauty items from Skinfood, Mizon, The Face Shop, Be the Skin, Aromatica, Tony Moly, Peripera, Holika Holika, Goodal, DHC and Caolion. I had been meaning to go back and take better pictures since a few were blurry and it just so happens that UO was celebrating their #OneYear anniversary last Friday since its opening day in Herald Sq, New York City. I knew UO had started to stock Asian Beauty brands on their website but this particular location has the BEST SELECTION from these brands than any other UO. Seeing the testers in person always makes my heart skip a beat and the goosebumps follow right after (it’s silly but the heart knows what makes it pitter-patter).
In this post I want to first give my normal Photo Tour of the selection and note a bit on the prices/store inflation and/or availability elsewhere. Then PART TWO I reported on the #UOBeautyxPL event where Urban invited Peach and Lily Founder/CEO, Alicia Yoon, to speak to their Peachies one on one about what their skin care routine is potentially missing. The swag bag was GREAT! Click to reveal the full post of PART ONE! When I went to the event early June, they rearranged the back by grouping the brands together in their separate display cabinets which were also shorter, easier to browse through and showed more light onto the display that did a better job in showcasing the brand and its brand story rather than just putting all the Asian products one two shelves and calling it a day. In this post I’ll go through each brand/section.
Mizon SHIPS FREE from RoseRoseShop and prices are closer to its value in Korean retail so I’m always partial to buying anything Mizon from RRS first. Best Mizon products? I can give you the KoreaDepart version or the Reddit version but most consistent praises come from their Snail Recovery Gel in the pink tube, All in One Snail Repair Cream, Returning Starfish Creams (face and eye), Egg White Bubble Foam (Peach and Lily recommended), Mizon AHA/BHA Daily Clean Toner (only available through Peach and Lily at the moment – this is seriously SOLD OUT/OUT OF STOCK EVERYWHERE), AHA 8% Peeling Serum, King to the Kong Toner and the Honey Black Sugar Scrub. Mizon has hits and misses but definitely do you research and look up reviews before giving up your hard earned money! I JUST started to buy some Mizon products so unfortunately I have not tested any yet to give my personal recs on what worked for me.
I can easily find DHC in Chinatown pharmacies that will always carry their bestselling cleansing oil but not in this ultra CUTE travel-friendly mini bottle for $6. Other items were the DHC Face Wash Powder and DHC Olive Virgin Oil Cotton Swabs. Both of these items were news to me so I linked the product info above if you care to read more on these Asian Beauty trends. The wash powder is a new form of cleansing where you get to mix in water to the powder and it forms the cleanser. If you’re someone who doesn’t want any guesswork or another step in facial cleansing, this isn’t for you. I have a face powder wash waiting in line for use and I guess the one advantage is that I can preserve it for a much longer time on the shelf since there isn’t water involved where ingredients might separate.
be the skin and aromatica
I don’t believe be the skin was in store when I made my first visit in March so I’m happy to see new products making appearances in store! be the skin is also a very hard brand to find online. I don’t quite remember seeing the brand’s physical store in Myeondong but I’ll definitely look out for this the next time I’m in Korea.
I couldn’t believe they carried Caolion because its products are kind of hard to find, even online only a few etailers carried the full “Where is Pore?” line – and the name makes me chuckle (Where is pore? If you can’t see your pores, then are they not there? End philosophy joke). Prices were not inflated as these are close to what they retail for online. There’s actually a Caolion USA URL so it looks like this company is planning to take over America soon! The “Where is Pore?” packs are their bestsellers so you can’t go wrong – just make sure you’re getting the right one for your skin type. Alicia Yoon from Peach and Lily gave me the O2 Bubble one as a recommendation for my normal to dry skin. My skincare goal is to brighten and after my first try with it last weekend, YES, brighten me up it did! P.S. Even though no where on the packaging will it say that it’s a “mask”, the word “pack” means it’s a mask on Asian Beauty products.
Skinfood quickly took a top spot in my heart when I first visited Korea about 2 years ago because of its cute packaging and concept that natural benefits from food are also beneficial to your skin. However the more I learned to be aware of your skincare ingredients, the more I started to stray away from this brand as I quickly learned that many of their cleansers have high pH levels which damages your skin’s moisture barrier and how some products have a lot of fluff ingredients. The selection at UO is very small in comparison to its full line of eye candy but those little tubs in the lower right hand corner is probably all I will recommend.
Skinfood’s Black Sugar Scrub is cult status (I have one myself) so I find it odd that I didn’t see it in store or available online. The rest of the tubs might vary with each individual user. Pictured are the Black Sesame Hot Mask (I tried a sample, too sticky for my taste), Rice Wash Off Pack, Aloe Pack and Coffee Scrub. These range from $15 – $18 which I way overpriced as they normally go for $6 – $8 in Korea and you can find them closer to these prices shopping on other online shops but with the caveat that you need to take into account International shipping and 3-5 week wait time for delivery. Products I’m interested in finding more about is the Quinoa Rich Body Oil (as my skin is a desert in the winter) and the Steamed Milk line. I found it interesting that the Herald Sq location carried some items that the online UO doesn’t but the online shop carries a few that the store doesn’t. What gives?
Goodal is relatively easy to find on ebay/online and even within other brick and mortar stores like Club Clio so I wasn’t kicking up my heels for that so much but it’s nice to try/smell the testers and see products IRL.
There is A LOT of Goodal goodies! I haven’t used any of Goodal’s skincare line yet but I am dying to try the Waterest line because it has 86% pure, organic fermented green tea extract to help you retain moisture and help with cell turnover. I actually don’t know what makes the Special Set so special as I didn’t investigate that thoroughly enough (and forgot to get the price) but Memebox has it still on their USA site for $40 so I’ll use that as a baseline. The Deep Clean Pore Glacial Clay is featured on Soko Glam and Glow Recipe for the same $25 price mark while it’s found on RoseRoseShop for only $12.18! I found it hilarious that the two sleeping packs next to it was $32 because the Club Clio store in Union marked these $8 more (at $40) each and RoseRoseShop again (did I mention I LOVE RRS?) has it priced at $15.23, yes 50% less than the store markup. Even with shipping accounted for, these come out cheaper for shipping to the USA. Keep looking at RRS for Goodal and it beats the competition in prices with every item although RRS doesn’t carry the Phytowash, the Phytorain line, or the Waterest Special Set (and probably a few more I missed) -although they do carry the full 60ml size Waterest Lasting Oil with a ton of EXTRA SAMPLES in this cool kit for only $36.56. My wallet and #ABshelfie is hurting (Asian Beauty shelfie).
If you remember charcoal being the newest beauty craze for its ability to suck out toxins and impurities from your skin, charcoal is here to stay! Morihata makes Binchotan charcoal products – Peach and Lily has them on their site and you can read more from the official Morihata company website.
Side note: Some time ago I saw a demo of someone using activated (purified) charcoal to brush their teeth as it’s rumored to whiten and get rid of coffee/wine stains. There was an activated charcoal toothbrush featured on the Morihata site for this purpose so I decided to look into this further. An article from xovain pretty much debunks myth that it’s an instant whitening effect. So yea, don’t buy the toothbrush unless you want to commit to maybe 6 months of it to see results. As for skincare effects, it depends on every person’s skin but I have a Hanaka charcoal pack from Taiwan waiting to get abused!
Cash Register Area
There is a sheet mask craze happenin’ in America and I’m not one to rain on the parade so let’s #sheetmaskselfie on Instragram all night long! Mizon Ampoule Essential Sheet Masks in Peptide, Collagen, Hyaluranic Acid,Snail and Syn-ake are all here ($4 each) including the Returning Starfish Bio Masks ($7). Note that if you buy these on the Peach and Lily site, they ARE CHEAPER priced at $3 and $5.50 respectively. So if you’re doing a beauty haul I’d recommend throwing these in to try out. Not sure if I would recommend the Cotton Shower Sheet Essence – each mask packet contains 30 sheets BUT if you look at the girl’s face, their cotton SQUARES that you place on spots that need dry or oily treatment (called point treatment in kbeauty speak). I’d just use an entire sheet mask that fits your face instead of just using squares (but that’s just my opinion). Has anyone tried these? Liked or hated them?
I remember seeing KOCOSTAR from Memebox as some of their masks for nails, hair, hands and foot appeared in multiple boxes. Personally think they are pricey and I have my own negative reviews from another brand on those finger masks that you put on for each finger (don’t work, save yo money). I think I would only solidly recommend their Foot Mask because it’s a peeling foot one where the thick, callused skin actually peels off once you’ve immersed your feet in these plastic lined booties that filled with essence. Click here if you dare see the gross skin-peeling pictures from Google Images if you’ve never seen this before. I’ve used Nature Republic ones and it definitely solves my cracked, peeling heels in one go. There’s a foot mask version by The Face Shop but again, I can’t vouch for its effectiveness. Now that it’s sandal season, my feet are going through damage from walking outside. The Gel Nail Polish remover looks convenient but I’ve never tried it as I still use regular nail polish (I know, unevolved creature here with a blog).
Along the cash registers, it’s always fun to see what little treasures you’ll find. I’ve never seen this Tony Moly Snail Lip Treatment Stick ($12) before and wanted to look up reviews before buying. Turns out it’s an old product that came out around 2013 and reviews were meh. So meh I go too.
I honestly have the newer Hello Bunny stick in purple just for cuteness sake. It’s a waxy product, scent is very light and doesn’t linger, sits on top of your skin – not phenomenal but I’ll get over it because it’s so CUTE. Tony Moly tends to do this to you. You’re gonna get sucked in sooner or later (or the bunnies will eat your brains).
I have the cherry one. Again, I had a cuteness attack and handed over my money.
The only Clio cosmetics I found were in these register cubbies and only a few select shades for their eyeliners and eyebrow pencils were available. I have a feeling Clio is going to discontinue the Lipnicure line soon as online retailers have since lowered prices to around $12 (original price $26). At UO, only the Beige color was left and it’s not my color at all. There is a separate Peripera makeup aisle for more selection. Let’s go there.
Peripera is quickly taking the USA by storm. Their lip products are strong winners – pigmented, moisturizing, cute, fun and affordable. Their Cushion line for lips and cheeks is also notable for silky feel and color. I have one of almost everything! Go to the store and try the testers on your hand and if you want to order a bunch, I would go online (ebay or RoseRoseShop) as they are almost 50% the cost of what you’ll find in store. If you don’t want to wait 3-5 weeks for shipping, splurge in store!
The brand markets to the much younger tween demographic but there are some star products that might surprise you. Consistent positive reviews are for the Heartful Silky Lipsticks, the Jewel Light Eyeliners, Wine Therapy Sleeping Pack and Soda Bubble Cleansing Oil. Also comes in fun and youthful packaging – if you like PENGUINS, they make hand creams in the shape of these cuties in three colors.
Their widest cosmetics and makeup selection was with Tony Moly. If you feel like you need some cute things in your life, this is the place to be! My favorites are the Bunny Gloss bars, Appletox Smooth Massage Peeling Cream, the hand creams in any fruit shape you desire and the Latte Art Coffee Scrubs. Again, prices are inflated and you can find these cheaper online as they are prevalent on ebay and almost any etailer carrying Tony Moly. But if you caved and wanted instant gratification, I won’t judge.
And now I’m exhausted. This is the most AB/k-Beauty I’ve seen at any UO – there are products in this store that the online store doesn’t even carry. Get exploring and look up reviews that most interest you! It’s a very fun time now with K-Beauty exploding onto the scene in the Western hemisphere! I prefer to order online so that I’m not paying for store inflation and waiting for my package to be delivered is my tradeoff but that is up to each individual.
Read PART TWO of my Urban Outfitters post where I cover the Peach and Lily #UOBeautyxPL event. See my free swag bag, Alicia’s recommendations for my normal to dry skin and Urban Outfitter’s free gift with any purchase in celebration of their one year at Herald Sq NYC!
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