Where to Buy What: The Best Places to Score Your K-Beauty Faves Online
A round-up of the most budget-friendly, well-stocked sites to feed your skincare and makeup shopping cravings
The end of 2021 means many things. It signals survival and the start of a much-needed new year. It’s true testament to just how long we’ve actually been inside: nine months since the ECQ was declared, can you believe? And I don’t know about you, but I think that in itself is a reason to celebrate.
My favorite form of celebration as of late has been particularly practical: stocking up on beauty failsafes. Because really, who knows when all this will end? If I’m going to be continue being cooped up indoors next year, I’m going to at least do it in the company of my well-stocked beauty closet. Besides, making a good, justifiable online purchase in the name of beauty is never really a bad idea, is it?
In the last installment of Where to Buy What, a bird’s eye view column-of-sorts where we lovingly comb over the online beauty retail space in hot pursuit of the absolute best websites to order your skincare and makeup holy grails from, we gave you a compass that pointed you to the general direction of the best Glossier, The Ordinary, Pyunkang Yul, Dear Klairs and Pixi deals. This time around, we fix a more focused lens and gaze on towards K-beauty.
Lip tint! Matte lipstick! Toner! Serum! Scroll forth and check out.
Images via BeautyMNL
Micro Setting Fit Cushion
Moonshot is known for its line of skin-perfecting cushion foundations, and the Micro Setting Fit Cushion arguably tops its list of best-sellers. SRP-wise, the product is noticeably more affordable on Althea (P1090) and K-Beauty Cafe (P1150) compared to BeautyMNL (P1500) where it is out of stock as of time of writing. However, K-Beauty Cafe’s Shopee account houses some serious treasures—including the updated version of the Micro Setting Fit Cushion for a sale price of P745!
Micro Correct Fit Cushion
A favorite for a smooth, flawless finish, the Micro Correct Fit Cushion is available on all three websites. On Althea, the cushion retails for P1100. On K-Beauty Cafe, it regularly retails for P1150 but is currently available for P745 on their Shopee page. On BeautyMNL, it is currently available for a discounted price of P1034 from a regular price of P1500.
Cream Paint LightFit Air
BeautyMNL serves serious range where Moonshot products are concerned. While Althea and K-Beauty Cafe focus largely on their cushion foundations, BeautyMNL goes beyond with a range of lip products. Among them is the velvety Cream Paint LightFit Air, which retails for a reasonable P680.
Price-wise, K-Beauty Cafe’s impressive Shopee sales earn the top spot. Althea and K-Beauty Cafe maintain a close tie as far as regular SRP goes, but the slightly pricier BeautyMNL wins in terms of product range.
Images via Shop Pibu
Real Fresh Foam Green Tea
The cleanser that raised the benchmark for all foam formulas in the world of K-beauty and beyond is priced quite similarly all across the board. The Real Fresh Foam Green Tea retails for P800 on Shop Pibu, P850 on K-Beauty Cafe and P900 on Go Bloom & Glow. However, there are some pretty good sales worth taking note of: as of time of writing, the cleanser is on sale for P650 on K-Beauty Cafe and P675 on Go Bloom & Glow.
Real Ferment Micro Essence
Meet the rising star of Neogen’s product lineup. Notably formulated with over 93% of micro bio fermented complex, this stuff brightens, plumps and moisturizes the skin like a fountain of youth. On Shop Pibu, a 150mL of instant youth retails for P1750—the cheapest regular price of all three sources. K-Beauty Cafe offers the essence at P1900 regularly, but currently has a sale that slashes the price down to P1500. Lastly, Go Bloom & Glow‘s regular price is P2200, but the current sale brings the price tag down to P1650.
Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Wine
The product that truly put Neogen on the map years ago was its unique, double-textured gauze pads. Still a cult favorite for on-the-fly exfoliation, these bio-peel pads are regularly available on Shop Pibu for P1200 (and for a discounted price of P950 at present!). K-Beauty Cafe offers a similarly tempting price drop: a regular price of P1200 and a slashed price of P850. Over on Go Bloom & Glow, the Neogen classic retails for P1295, but is on sale for less than a thousand.
This one’s a toss-up between all three, which is good news for us folks who love our options. Go Bloom & Glow and Shop Pibu are armed with the best Neogen product range, including more than just the usual best-sellers. In terms of regular prices, Shop Pibu is also a winner—but K-Beauty Cafe does serve up some great discounts that make it an equally strong contender.
Images via Go Bloom & Glow
Take A Layer Multi-Pot
Over on K-Beauty Cafe, 3CE’s ultra-pigmented Take A Layer cream blush retails for P1200, while it’s regularly priced at P1150 over on BeautyMNL and Go Bloom & Glow. As of time of writing, the best-selling blush is on sale for only P678 on K-Beauty Cafe, P858 on BeautyMNL and P1035 on Go Bloom & Glow.
Velvet Lip Tint
The sherbet-like mousse tint that inspired countless lookalikes after it is regularly priced at P950 on both BeautyMNL and Go Bloom & Glow, and at P1000 over on K-Beauty Cafe. Given that we’re right in the middle of a sale, though, we get to enjoy slashed Velvet Lip Tint Prices: P585 on BeautyMNL, P750 on K-Beauty Cafe and P855 on Go Bloom & Glow.
Mood Recipe Matte Lip Color
Despite its popularity, the Mood Recipe Matte Lipstick is available only on two websites locally: BeautyMNL and Go Bloom & Glow. On both websites, it regularly retails for P1050, but is currently on sale on Go Bloom & Glow for P941.
In terms of product range, shade availability and price point, BeautyMNL and Go Bloom & Glow closely mirror each other. However, if you consider the tempting sales going on right now, we’d say K-Beauty Cafe and BeautMNL are the sites to hit up for your 3CE shopping whims.
Images via Beauty MNL
Juicy Lasting Tint
A selection of bright yet wearable shades? Check. Long-lasting stain? Check. Non-sticky formula? Check. Rom&nd’s Juicy Lasting Tint ticks off all our boxes. In the Philippines, two stores carrying the product set off a blip on our radar: BeautyMNL and the Rom&nd store on Shopee. The product is usually available for P680 on both, but the latter has the product on sale for P549.
Zero Velvet Lip Tint
An easy favorite among K-beauty aficionados, the Zero Velvet Lip Tint is available for P680 on BeautyMNL, P500 on K-Beauty Cafe and a discounted price of P569 (from an original price of P680!) on Rom&nd’s Shopee page.
Zero Gram Matte Lipstick
Soft as butter and light as air, Rom&nd’s Zero Gram Lipstick is available on BeautyMNL and Stuff in Style. On BeautyMNL it retails for P780, while on Shopee, it’s available for a slashed price of P649 (from an original price of P780).
The first time we scoured the ‘net for Rom&nd offerings, BeautyMNL was the clear winner in terms of range. Newsflash: a new store holds the title for the best source of Rom&nd source. The brand’s Shopee store serves the most extensive product range and discounts that might just make us bite the bullet (again).
Images via Go Bloom & Glow
Acne Pimple Master Patch
Regardless of what you call ‘em—pimple patches, zit stickers, overnight nightmare eradicators—one thing’s for certain: CosRX’s are the quintessential patches of all patches. A pack of 24 patches typically retails for P200 as they do on Skincare Curator and Go Bloom & Glow, although on the latter they’re on sale for P160. Over on K-Beauty Cafe, COSRx’s classic patches retail for a regular price of P170 but are currently on sale for P160.
AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner
One hell of a multitasker, COSRx’s unique blend of AHA and BHA brightens, balances and rids the skin of dull, dead cells to unveil a better complexion all around. A 150mL bottle of the stuff retails for P680 on both Skincare Curator and Go Bloom & Glow, but is on sale for just P544 on the latter. As of time of writing, the AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner is available for a slashed price of P520 on K-Beauty Cafe.
Advanced Snail 92 All In One Cream
Snail mucin, despite how irking it can sound to skincare newbies, is something of a dream ingredient: it’s lightweight, has hyaluronic acid and is antimicrobial, which is likely why so many K-beauty loyalists swear by COSRx’s Advanced Snail 92 All in One Cream. On Skincare Curator, this well-loved product is available for P1100 a pop. On K-Beauty Cafe, a jar costs P975. Over on Go Bloom & Glow, it also retails for P1100, but is currently on sale for just P880.
There’s no disagreeing that COSRx is one of the most popular Korean skincare brands, which makes it fairly simple to find it on pretty much any online beauty store. If it’s the best deals you’re after, though, you’ll want to direct your attention to K-Beauty Cafe.
RELATED: Battle of the Drugstore Acne Patches
Some by Mi
Images via Althea
AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Toner
Undoubtedly Some by Mi’s most popular product line, the AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle collection promises to eradicate acne, get rid of blackheads and tighten pores in just one month. Over on Go Bloom & Glow and Althea, the toner retails for P1100, but is currently available on sale for P632 and P660, respectively. On K-Beauty Cafe, the regular price of P1090 is slashed to P699.
AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Serum
The discounted prices continue with the next step in the AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle line: the serum. On Go Bloom & Glow, the regular price of P1200 is down to P792. On K-Beauty Cafe, the original price of P749 is down to P699. Meanwhile on Althea, the serum is currently on sale for P690––P300 cheaper than the original price.
AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Cream
The big finish in the 30 Days Miracle line is the cream, which is formulated with 70% Centella to calm inflammation and improve circulation. It also repairs and strengthens the skin while it works its acne-busting magic. Over on Go Bloom & Glow, the 30 Days Miracle Cream is currently on sale for P792, from an original price of P1200. On K-Beauty Cafe, it retails for P890 but is on sale now for P690. Lastly, on Althea, the original price of P970 has been slashed down to P670.
If we’re talking discounts in light of the current sales, Althea, Go Bloom & Glow and K-Beauty Cafe all serve up pretty similar price points. When sale season passes, though, K-Beauty Cafe is easier on the wallet than the other prospects.
Images via Althea
Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence Rx
Rightfully a cult favorite, the Missha Time Revolution line is one of the most sought-after items where pasalubong or pabili from South Korea is concerned. The most popular item in the product line is arguably the Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence RX, which is available on Althea for P2000 (now on sale for P1300). Other options include Go Bloom & Glow, where it’s on sale for P1485 from an original price of P2700. On BeautyMNL, the original price of P2700 is currently slashed to P2400.
Time Revolution Night Repair PROBIO Ampoule
A perfect follow-up to the treatment essence, the Time Revolution Night Repair PROBIO Ampoule is also worth your shopping consideration. On Althea, it’s currently on sale for P1160—a considerable drop from the original price of P2000. Go Bloom & Glow’s sale has brought the price of the ampoule down to P1440. Meanwhile, the product retails on BeautyMNL at the price of P2700.
There’s no questioning it: when it comes to shopping for Missha locally, Althea comes out the smartest choice.
What other skincare, beauty or wellness brands are you looking to cash out for? Let us know what’s on your mind.
Art Mathew Fetalver