Spring Break Haul

My two week long spring break has started and I find myself at ends. Historically, I am very bad at free time. I love working and the idea of relaxation is totally foreign to me. As yesterday was the first day I was home alone with the dog, I decided to go explore the Korean beauty shops about 30 minutes north of my house. I also got to get lunch at Wawa, which was a big plus. 

In Palisades Park (30 minutes north of me), I went to Amore, The Face Shop, and Nature Republic, with varying levels of success. I was in the market for:

  • Full Haul, including samples

    Capitalism, amiright?

    Cleansing wipes

  • A sleeping pack
  • A cushion compact
  • Lip tints
  • Sheet masks
  • Emulsion

I had mixed success, but ultimately came away most of the items I was looking for (albeit, most of my purchases came from one shop)


The Face Shop

My entry into Korean beauty came via The Face Shop, but I’ve had middling success with their products. The shop in Palisades Park was cramped and most products lacked clear pricing information (unlike the location in the H-mart in Edison). I ultimately only purchased a $10 pack of Rice Water cleansing wipes. I also didn’t get any samples, which was shocking!

Aritaum/Amore Pacifica

Right across the street from The Face Shop was an Aritaum, although it was marked as “The Amore,” presumably because Amore Pacifica is the parent company. I’ve been using Laneige Waterbank samples as part of my nighttime routine and am in love with Mamonde packaging. I had also read good things about their cushion compacts.

This shop definitely highlighted some of the difficulties of doing brick and mortar shopping as a shamefully monolingual American. The woman operating this shop was so friendly, polite, and helpful, but there was a fundamental language barrier. It was like who’s on first, but instead of baseball, I was trying to sign up for the rewards program.

Laneige two tone lipstick

Laneige Two Tone Lipstick in No. 10, Burgundy Love

The skincare in stock was mostly Sulwhasoo, which I’d have to sell my car to afford, but I did get to try out the cushion compacts in the store. The shop keeper was wonderful and spent like 5 minutes expertly applying the two shades in stock to my face. Unfortunately, neither tone really matched my skin, so I had to comfort myself with a tube of Laneige Two-Toned Lip Bar and two Mamonde Masks (Red Flower Lifting Double Effect Ampoule Mask and Jasmine Oasis Water).

Once again, the woman running the shop was great and gave me a lot of samples, including a Laneige firming sleep mask, which I tried out last night and really liked.

Swatches of the lipstick are definitely forthcoming.

Nature Republic

Nature Republic Haul, Samples and Non

Nature Republic Haul, With Samples

I was by far the most successful at Nature Republic. The shop was spacious and intuitively laid out, and the prices weren’t as obviously jacked up. I ended up paying $23 for the cushion compact I got, which how much it would be on w2beauty. Considering how much I ultimately got, maybe I should have come to Nature Republic first!

Since I’m waiting on an order from RoseRoseShop with a new essence, ampoule, eye cream, and toner, I wanted to branch out  with my purchases here. I ended up buying:

  • Bulgarian Rose Emulsion
  • Green Tea Pore Pact
  • Botanical Magic Lip Tint
  • Provence Creamy Two-Way Pact (SPF50+)
  • Baby Pet Magic Mask Sheet in Whitening Seal
  • Real Nature Masks in:
    • Acai Berry
    • Tomato
    • Green Tea
    • Rose

I also swatched a really amazing eyeliner pen that came out perfectly black and DOES NOT BUDGE, but I stupidly decided to not get it. And now I can’t find it online. Sadface emoji.

The women at Nature Republic were also very generous with the samples. I got a snail solution sheet mask, packets of Aqua Watery Cream, Shea Butter Steam Cream, Green Derma Mild Cream, and vials of Collagen Dream Skin Booster and Emulsion.