Friday, March 30, 2012

I love Myeongdong, Seoul's cosmetics heaven

Shopping in Myeongdong came highly recommended by my friend JJEB (Jay Jerrick Epping Boy from my Australia posts), and after I visited all the markets that travel books and sites recommended (which I did not really enjoy that much if you've observed from my post on the Markets in Seoul that you can read here), my friends and I finally found ourselves in Myeongdong.

We started off with a really good dinner at Bulgogi Brothers, also recommended by JJEB but to be covered at a later date since this will be all about shopping, then we were eager to explore all the little streets that were so alive with cosmetics stores left and right, interspersed with stores with cute clothes (if the sweet Korean look is your thing), colorful shoes, street vendors, international chain stores like H&M and Forever 21, and restaurants we wanted to try for another day.  

Lying on a bed of Face Masks. Literally.
Very popular and cheap in Korea. All from Myeongdong.

Myeongdong is actually a cosmetics heaven, not only because they have all the popular Korean Cosmetics chains present there like Skin Food, Etude House, Into Skin, The Saem, Bavi Phat, Innisfree (libreng inis? hahaha), Missha, Tha Face Shop, etc (some are even familiar because they have branches in the Philippines and Singapore) but these stores actually have branches in almost every side street and every alley in the Myeongdong area. I was told that they are very popular, especially among Japanese tourists, because the quality is good but the price is really cheap.

Myeongdong at night
Myeongdong in the afternoon.

I am not really much of a cosmetics girl. My cleansing routine is just facial wash... with the face moisturizer only used when I'm in cold countries. My make-up routine is just as simple, eyeshadow to complement my outfit, curl eyelashes, and lip balm. However, the come on of Myeongdong for me is different. Most of the cosmetic stores in Myeongdong has a promoter lady by the door handing out a shopping basket with a free gift. They give you this gift for window shopping, their words not mine, as long as you enter their store. There is no obligation to buy, and most of the time, there is no pesky sales assistant, or the unpleasant experience of a hard sell. You get to keep your window shopping gift even without buying anything, but if you do (even if you pick one piece of the cheapest thing in the store), you still get more gifts! The sucker for freebies in me was so happy. 

The first time we went there, we didn't realize that the stores start closing around 10pm and by 11pm almost everything was closed, so we spent a lot of time at dinner when we could have been more productive.Thus the day picture above. The place definitely warranted a second visit.

Day 1 Freebie Haul:
Cotton pads, Face Mask, Serum
Day 1 Shopping Haul:
Pink Nail Polish (for summer) KRW700 (around SG$0.80 or Php27)
Dau 2 Freebie Haul
Includes both window shopping gifts, and gifts when you buy something.
I love gifts in nice packaging.
I sometimes see paper bags by the entrance of Etude house in Singapore.
Must check in window shopping gift concept exists.
Goodbye PoreEver!
Day 2 Shopping Haul
These are things I bought because I got more freebies.
I only like buying cute stuff.
This store caught my eye on the first day, and is one of the reasons we came back.
I did my research first, and even eatyourkimchi reviewed the same mask!
I never say no to a good bargain. I had to buy 40 masks to get 10 free.
It seemed like such a good deal I got both my friends to buy 50 each.

So now, despite my glowing skin, which I've used masks on for the past two days (more on that next time), I really need to catch more Zzzzzzzzzz's.

Good night folks. Stay tuned for more of our Korean adventures, my mask reviews... and maybe a blog giveaway coming up!!!  BTW, there are still no takers for the Macarons offered here. Hahaha. You may be missing a lot. Just Saying.


  1. hey nicole. etude house in SG do give away freebies. just saying. hahaha. :P -nina

  2. hello po pilipino din po aku tanung ko lang pu kung magkanu po ung nagastos niu sa mask sheets... tanung ko lang din po kung kelan po kau pumunta sa korea heehee pupunta rin po kasi aku sa october kea lang po d ko po alam kung anung mga damit ang dadalhin kasi po d ko po alam yung weather.... atsaka po mura po ba ung cosmetics or ung iba pa pong mga gamit dyan sa myeondong kesa po d2 sa philippines? thank u po :)

    1. Him sorry, I can't remember the prices anymore. I was there in March so it was still very cold. Korean brands are known to be good value and good quality and they always have promotions. Happy Shopping.

  3. hi, can I know the brand of your face mask?