Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog: July 2013

17 July, 2013

KoComall: Experiences With My First Purchase (+ Bonus Product Reviews!)

Calling all you Korean skincare product fans out there:

Have you tried KoComall.com yet? Because I just placed my first order with them and I'm very pleased with the results.

In case you've never heard of KoComall: It's an online beauty shop selling mostly (or maybe entirely?) Korean beauty products. They carry popular brands (i.e. Etude House, SkinFood, TonyMoly) of skincare, makeup, men's products etc. They ship from Korea, so the prices on most of their items are much lower than what you'd find in a local beauty supply shop in the US. I had read some good reviews of them online, but since I hadn't tried them before I placed a small order. Here's what I got:

Kocomaul haul seoulglamour

12 July, 2013

Guide to Buying Asian Cosmetics Online Part 1: eBay

So, you want to buy some Asian cosmetics. You've read a million blogs and made a massive wishlist of products you want to try, but aren't sure which online vendors are reputable (or the most affordable). If only there was a list of in-depth tips and reviews for some of the most popular sources...

Today's blog post will be the first in an ongoing series about different websites selling Asian cosmetics. I do live in an area with a rather large Chinatown and Koreatown, but I often prefer to buy my stuff online because (a) shopping online is convenient and (b) certain things are cheaper online (yes, even with international shipping!) Rather than just sit on all my knowledge about this stuff, I thought I'd share a few shopping tips and tricks on various merchants. I will only be reviewing websites I've bought from recently, but luckily I'm constantly purchasing stuff like this so I will definitely have some ground to cover in the days to come!

Now, onto the site du jour: eBay. I'll be doing a brief overview of eBay in general, but if you're just looking for a list of reliable sellers, skip to the bottom! For now, let's start with a quick overview:

Various Korean cosmetics samples I've obtained off eBay.

What is unique about eBay and why should I buy Asian cosmetics there?

05 July, 2013

"What the heck are sheet masks?" plus Vanedo Beauty Friends Sheet Mask review

So today I'm going to kick off what will undoubtedly be a series on some of my favorite things to buy... Asian and Asian-inspired beauty products! A large percentage of my purchases are from Korean brands, and today I'll be reviewing a Korean brand of sheet masks - Vanedo. But before I get into the review nitty-gritty I want to talk about what exactly sheet masks are.

Now, since this blog is not exclusively about Asian or Korean products, some of you may be wondering: "What the heck is a sheet mask?" I shall elaborate. If you already know, feel free to skip ahead.


Sheet Masks 101

In the simplest terms, a sheet mask is a piece of thin cotton cloth with eye and mouth holes cut in it that comes pre-soaked in facial serum.  They make you look a bit like a ghost or Jason while you're wearing them, but afterwards, your skin will glow.

How it works: You put the mask on your face (usually for a minimum of 20 minutes) to let the serum soak in and do its magic. There are many brands and many, MANY different types of sheet masks targeting different skincare issues... anti-wrinkle, whitening/brightening, anti-acne, moisturizing, and so on. They are typically aromatic and often contain plant extracts... flowers, fruit and herbs (such as ginseng or green tea) are among the most common ingredients and scents. Sometimes you'll see masks that tout chemical actives over botanics (such as arbutin for whitening). Other times you will see masks that tout natural benefits that are animal-derived, such as pearl powder or snail mucin as anti-acne or anti-aging ingredients. Sometimes you'll see a combination of the aforementioned ingredients. In any case, there's a lot of variety!

What are sheet masks?
A non-moistened, unfolded sheet mask. Looks a little bit like
something out of a horror film, right?  Image from this wholesaler.