Peach and Lily held the first ever Korean Beauty Sample Sale in New York City last week and I was there for both days – Day 1 as a regular patron and Day 2 as an invited VIP/Press guest during their VIP preview. In this post, I’m writing about my experience on both sides, on both days. If you’re not familiar with what Peach and Lily is, they’re an ecommerce site that curate and deliver the best beauty from Asia and make it accessible for those in search for perfect skin. They carry innovative, hard-to-find brands like MAY-COOP and Cremorlab where even Korean locals have a difficult time searching for.
The Sample Sale advertised that makeup would be $5 each or 5 for $20 as a bundle. The only makeup brands were from Club Clio or Peripera – Club Clio’s younger sister brand – (oh and one highlighter pencil from Oh Shy!). As for skincare, my email indicated savings up to 90% off for brands that included Aromatica, Caolion, IOPE, Mizon, Shangpree, Tony Moly, Son & Park, Lalavesi, Moonshot and MORE! I salivated reading my email over and over again. It seemed too good to be true! Click to see EVERYTHING!
Pre-Sample Sale Mayhem – The Details
Peach and Lily certainly put a lot of thought into the first ever kbeauty sample sale event. There was an option to RSVP from my email and from their Facebook event, although all materials stated that an RSVP “was not required”. Racked NY had also announced the sale a couple of times – and the eyes that read Racked are sample sale maniacs (ahem, I used to be one). From the looks of the publicity, this was gonna be HUGE.
They planned to run a social media campaign with the tag #PeachPartyNYC on Instagram for a chance to win a surprise package of $150 worth of products. Racked had mentioned that this was not going to be a your typical NYC sample sale because there were light snacks, bubbly, specialty shaved ice from Snowdays, Ask Lily consultation services, a Mask Bar to learn more about your perfect mask and a Beauty Playground to test and ask more questions about your skincare needs. Alicia Yoon, Co-Founder and CEO, also gave a Powder Room Talk on the evening of Day 1. I was already overwhelmed!
I RSVP’d immediately and began reading up on ALL the products on their website to prioritize what I would love to get and what I wouldn’t get, i.e. I wouldn’t get something meant for acne/troubled skin when that’s NOT my skin type. No matter how cheap it may be, you don’t want to buy something that’s not suited for your skin! Acne products will dry out and be too harsh on my normal to dry skin!
Day 1 – Getting In
As a retired NYC Sample Sale Veteran, the #1 rule is GET THERE EARLY. Like a couple hours early just to wait in line if you can. Since I haven’t hardcore sample sale’d in years, I decided to take it easy and just get there at the start of the event since I RSVP’d. Boy, I should had listened to that little voice in my head. I had a little subway trouble and got there at around 12:07pm. There was no outside line on the street which was weird to me but maybe there was line starting to form on the 17th floor. I was sweating in the elevator from the summer heat and because of anxiety. The elevator doors open and there was a slim waiting area with a ton of sweaty girls crammed like cattle. This was a fire hazard and we were waiting for what the instructions were to pass that door to heaven!
An employee finally says “if you RSVP’d BEFORE today, please come to the front.” Yes! I did that! I come to the front with Renee from Beauty and the Cat and we were finally able to breathe in the bag/registration check-in area. They handed us a purple shopping bag to and we were only allowed to bring in our wallet and phone.
They had first advertised the sample sale starting at 2pm on Day 1 but two days before the sale, they announced extended hours starting at 12pm. Some people did not notice the change in earlier start time so they ended up missing out on a lot of the sale because they came in at 2pm. Always check the start time, prep yourself with transportation and familiarize yourself with the location of the sale. I had to look on my phone to pull up the address and that wasted precious minutes. I was definitely out of sample sale-ing practice.
Day 1 – The Skincare Goods
The first shelf you see upon walking in was probably the most prized shelf because it had the popular Cremorlab Mineral Treatment Essence, Triple Bright White Bloom Floral Cream, Shangpree Bitgoa Hue Essence Toner, various Moonshot skincare, Son & Park’s coveted Beauty Water and Beauty Gel, Caolion’s Freshly Skin D Programme Self-Purity Step 01 Toner, MAY COOP Raw Night Cream — each bottle priced at only $20 where they normally retail from $42 to $72.
Grab everything and decide later.
Son & Park’s Beauty Water and Gel aren’t even listed on Peach and Lily’s site yet but they are coming soon to their site as well as Moonshot and perhaps the IOPE Bio Essence Intensive Conditioning. We got to grab the precious at sample sale prices – that’s INSANE.
Next on the $10 shelf were some more Shangpree items and it was the Olive Virgin Cleansing Oil, Olive Virgin Toner or the Olive Virgin Foam Cleanser. I was able to get the Foam Cleanser but I thought it was the Cleansing Oil so I had to put it back because I wasn’t looking for a foam cleanser (remember, stay with your priorities no matter how cheap it is!). Went back to look and you betcha no more of Shangpree green boxes were there at all.
There was PLENTY of Mizon to go around:
- Skin Turnaround Pore line in the Peeling Toner, Cleansing Foam and Emulsion, $10 each
- Black Snail Creams, $10 each
- Real Soybean Deep Cleansing Oil, $5 each
- Their hanbang (oriental herbs) Hannavi Hwa Yuun line, $5 each
- Crystal Miracle whitening/brightening line in body cream and face cream, $5 each
- Starfish face and eye creams, $10 each
- Go Green Fresh Purifiant Garden Essential Toners, $5 each
- WaterMax Aqua Gel Creams, $10(?)
- Snail Repair Hydro Mist, $5 (on Day1, they were listed at $10 on Day 2).
- Twilight Volume Cream (I think this was $10)
- Ultra Wonder Power Jelly Sun Screen, $10 each
- Rice Wine White Toners, Tequila Shot Aqua Toners, and Green Apple Mojito Toners, $5 each
- Chamomile, Rose and Witch Hazel toners, $5 each
- King to the Kong No.1 King’s Berry Aqua Drink Toner ($1!!!!! but it was listed for $5 on Day 2) and Step-Up Cream ($3 on Day 1, on Day 2 it was listed for $5)
I made sure to search the products I wanted on RoseRoseShop to see if their sample prices were lower than my beloved RRS since they also ship free! It was hard to tell if products were $5, $10 or $20 because everything got snatched up quickly and when you ask the employees restocking, they wouldn’t know either. For example, the Black Snail cream is listed at full retail on Peach and Lily’s site for $54 but on RRS, you can get it for under $15, shipped free (I think you have to pay $2,50 for a tracking number, but that’s still way under $54). If it was listed at $20, I would not get it but it was thankfully listed at $10.
There was maybe only one box-full of Be the Skin and Aromatica because I didn’t see those get restocked at all. I kept walking around and like a scavenger, I got what people might put back on the shelves. Because of what other people rejected, I also got Be the Skin’s Botanical Nutrition Serum ($20), Aromatica’s Neroli Brightening Facial Oil ($20) and a bottle of the Mizon’s hanbang toner, Hannavi Hwa Yuun Skin ($5).
Day 1 – Mask Bar
If you hit the Mask Bar at the very beginning, you were probably able to grab the Mizon Miracle Peeling Foot Masks (I think $5 each?), the Vital-Up sheet masks ($1 each), Tony Moly I’m Real sheet masks ($1 each), or the Shangpree Gold Premium Modeling Masks ($12 each) and Antibacterial Gold Bowl and Spatula set that were spoilers in their Seoulcialite Box 2.0. All sheet masks were obliterated after 20 minutes into the sale. The End.
Day 1 – The Makeup
Only Club Clio, Peripera, and Mizon’s makeup brand, Oh Shy! were represented in the sample sale because of Peach and Lily’s sub-brand, Peach Slices. I LOVE Club Clio and Peripera’s lip products so I had no complaints that the makeup brand variety was limited.
Peri’s Lumi Pangs (tint/gloss) and Rouge Pangs (lipstick form) were abundant. I wanted more Lip Inks but those were all gone from the beginning. I had some Peri tint crayons but why not just go for all the Lumi Pangs since I already love those so much?! Tons of colored gel eyeliners were there from Peri’s Smoothie Waterproof Eyeliner and Clio’s Gelpresso Eyeliner line. There were any Clio’s Kill Black Liquid Eyeliner in Black but there were plenty of the older pen liners (felt tip) in Brown. I was lucky to get a Brown Brush Eyeliner Set that came with a free mini mascara. There were lots of old Clio mascaras and eyeshadows that I think are supposed to get phased out because new packaging was made.
Peri’s Cushion Blushers and heart shaped powder blushers were there. Clio’s CC Creams, foundation bottles and powder compacts were running out quick. I got the Peripera Egg Foun-balm compact in shade 23 and I’m already using it – I love it! I really wanted to keep my makeup purchase small since I already have a lot of makeup I haven’t used yet at home. My friend got Shangpree’s HD Foundation which my mom would’ve loved. I got the Clio Makeup Fixer Mist for only $3.
Day 1 – The Experience
Since there were snacks, champagne and drinks, there was garbage around the tables and shelves. It got crowded quickly and people were hovering over employees restocking shelves. New people who came in were running frantically to get just a little bit of skincare at deep discounts. Those who already shopped were sitting down and sorting out what they actually wanted to keep and what they were going to throw back while watching the shelves get stocked with new items.
People were opening and swatching everything from makeup to serums. Ugh, I hope you gals checked if your lippies were swatched because I saw people putting it on their lips – not their hands – and then right back in the boxes. Even the Lalavesi BB Cushions in foil packaging were ripped open. Btw, the Lalavesi BB Cushions were the most confusing thing to purchase because I didn’t know they came in an empty case and the cushion refill was placed separately behind the cashier. They would hand you the cushion refill after seeing that you purchased a case. It was in my color anyway so watevs but I wished they had a sign or a person to help us understand how to buy the Lalavesi BB Cushion.
The line grew enormous snaking around the entire space as there were only two cashiers in the beginning and they were working out a process to check out faster. My friend took 2.5 hours to check out! I kept checking on her to show her new stuff that arrived on shelves and she barely moved 3 feet every 20 minutes. They finally added two more cashiers and I was able to check out in 1.5 hours, finally leaving at 4:15pm.
Those who came during lunch had to wait on line outside of the building. They finally got a line regulator to keep the crowd in control and out of the elevator lobby. Even if you came at lunch and got in, you had to wait in line again for maybe another hour+ just to pay. Had you brought cash, you could skip the line to pay quicker. I had cash, just not $250 worth of it because my bags were busting at the seams.
Still, I did not have work restricting my time and the deals were AMAZING. This sample sale was really worth going to because I use toner like how I drink water. I was one of the lucky ones in the beginning of the crammed hallway where they actually honored the RSVP (probably to avoid a potential girl fight). They did not give RSVPs priority after the starting time which made a lot of people who did RSVP miffed but in their defense, they never expressed that RSVP guests were going to have priority access. From the rumor mill, the RSVP was only used to estimate the incoming traffic.
Day 2 – VIP/Press Preview
I was so fortunate to receive a VIP invitation for Day 2 of the Sample Sale. Usually VIP preview takes place on the first day but I’m not complaining! Since I had access to the sale at 11am before it was opened to the general public at 12pm I was able to get the Son & Park Beauty Water and Beauty Gel at $20 each! YESSSS! I also got the Moonshot Energy Restore Double Mask and the IOPE Bio Essence Intensive Conditioning – all of which were gone on Day 1 within 30 minutes.
I found the Mizon Rice Toner and Shot Aqua Toners which suited my skin better than the Green Apple Mojito for oily skin (there were plenty of these on Day 1). There were some Mizon Ampoule Essential Sheet Masks that I got. They limited sheet masks at 10 per person this time and wrote the prices clearer for makeup. For skincare, they used a colored tape system to clearly mark $5, $10 and $20 items since customers and employees on the floor didn’t even know how they should be priced.
My mom was my plus one and she wanted makeup so we both pooled together our cosmetics for the 20 for $60 deal making each makeup product only $3. What a steal! Foundations and compacts retailing at $30 for $3! CC Creams, $3! Felt like I was dreaming! Day 2’s VIP time allowed me to get some of the precious from Day 1 and I’m so so so sooooooo grateful for the invite. I wished it wasn’t so stressful for everyone but ’tis the nature of a deeply discounted NYC sample sale. It will bring out the crazy in anyone.
The stock was noticeably smaller in skincare once I started to walk around. They had rearranged more of the makeup to take over half the room instead of a quarter of the room on Day 1. By 1pm, an hour into the general opening, there was practically no skincare left and staff made runs to their offices to restock as much as they could. Color cosmetics were further reduced to $3 a piece or 20 for $50 around 4pm (?). To their credit, they did try to bring out stock in a paced manner so there would be something for everyone coming in but alas, there just wasn’t enough to last a full day.
Speaking to the staff, they appreciate all the love they received from kbeauty fans and did not expect to sell so much product on Day 1 nor did they expect the onslaught of sample sale goers. It was their first sample sale event and there were many lessons learned, some of which were reflected on Day 2. They wanted the environment to be more chill and casual where you can chat over your skincare concerns over snacks and champagne, have fun with some selfies/selcas in front of their step and repeat and enjoy the bright airy space of Studio Arte. My advice was to not label it as a “sample sale” as it’s a trigger word for a New Yorker like a dog whistle for the hounds that a steak dinner is ready.
They had a lot of great extras that went into this sample sale but maybe it would’ve been better to hold a launch party to have a Mask Bar, Ask Lily, a Powder Room Talk and introduction of the new brands coming to the site rather than during the sample sale. It might have made sense for Press but not for sample sale goers with only one thing in mind – to snap up some majorly good deals. I didn’t even have time to get a shaved ice from Snow Days I was so wound up with nerves.
Day 2 – Best Sample Sale Haul Ever
If you hate me for being able to go or for getting any of the precious, DON’T SCROLL BELOW to see haul pictures. I’m not gloating, I’m just sharing my experience as it was interesting going in on both days as a general patron and as a VIP. My haul is being shared between my mom, aunt and myself. I’m just reporting.