Monday, December 8, 2014

Snow and Kahime's Guide to Shopping for Hard-to-Find Korean Products When You Don’t Known Korean

This week’s post is is brought to you by the combined efforts of two Asian beauty bloggers, Lin Lin Hime and Snow White and the Asian Pear, who have joined forces to bring our readers this very special how-to guide on where and how to find Korean beauty products- when you don’t know a lick of Korean but you’re starry-eyed at the amazing selection and prices of products available within Korea, and gloomy over how expensive/limited the selection is from international vendors.

In this post:
  • Details on the buying service that will send you your products 
  • How to locate the products you want 
  • Key search terms, ingredients, and brand names - in Korean 
  • How to collect the data the buying service needs 
  • A pre-made spreadsheet that does all the hard work for you 
  • Bloggers cheerfully sassing one another

Details on the buying service that will send you your products:

Snow: Let’s say that you have already read fanserviced’s excellent picture guide on how to order from Avecko, but you’re still lost and confused on how to find these excellent deals since you don’t speak, read, or write Korean, not to mention currency conversions and buying fees and shipping fees- wait, come back!

I promise this will be easier than you’re thinking, because we have built you a series of resources to help you 1. find a product and 2. figure out what it’s going to cost you, and 3. collect all the data you need for Avecko, without exploding your head.

How to locate the products you want:

Kahime:  It can be quite difficult to shop around on Korean websites when your vocabulary is limited to just a few words or characters or just non-existent in general. I remember when I knew barely any Korean and would bug my friend to translate for me and help me figure out which was what. It can be difficult to navigate those wondrous sites with your eyes on that beautiful Missha Snail cream, but how can you find it when Google Translate is failing and the only thing it gives even semi-correct is BB Cream. I mean, you weren’t even looking for a BB cream! So, I am here to help guide your way to better and cheaper purchases! So usually the first thing you see when you go to a website would be the navigation bar, correct? Well there are two things that are kind of standard when looking for pretties: “화장품,” which means ‘cosmetics’ and “뷰티샵” which is ‘beauty’ (you may also see 뷰티). Once you’ve found these, it’s fairly easy to get to where you want to go. Let’s do some basic words, shall we?

Snow: “[...] would bug my friend to translate for me and help me figure out which was what.” HEY! I resemble that remark!

Kahime:  Hehe! Nothing but love Snow, nothin’ but love.

So, say you want to put together a regimen but don’t really know where to start. So, i’ll walk you through each step and give you the translation so you can type in it and start looking!First of all, lets make sure you’re in the right spot. If you’re looking for skincare, you’re going to want to look for this: 스킨케어. Once you've found that it’ll either list everything humanly possible that could be related to skin care, or it’ll break it down even further. Now, it could be listed under categories like so, or it could be under skin (스킨), eye care (아이케어), sun care (썬케어) or even skin care (cotton wipes) accessories (스킨케어소품). For the sake of all of our sanities, lets do a basic cover shall we?

Key search terms, ingredients, and brand names - in Korean: 

딥클렌징오일 - Cleansing Oil
클렌징폼 - Cleansing Foam
토너 - Toner
세럼 - Serum
에멀젼 - Emulsion
에센스 - Essence
앰플 - Ampoule
오일 - Oil
아하 - AHA (More often than not, AHA will be in English)
바하 - BHA (More often than not, BHA will be in English)
모이스처라이저  - Moisturizer
크림 - Cream 
마스크 - Mask
 로션 - Lotion
자외선 차단제 - Sunscreen

Now, you can of course change things up and mix and match to your liking! It doesn't always have to look like this and not everyone needs 9 thousands steps in their routine. If you have more, most definitely let us know and I can get that for you :) Also, these can go WAY more in depth but I’m trying to keep it simple. If you have any other questions about more in depth skin care translations, feel free to drop me a line at

Let’s go on and dabble in cosmetics now!

Again, there are a ton of options but lets hit the “basics” first! I mean, if that’s even POSSIBLE (it isn't for me). Just like the navigation bar for skincare, there’s also going to be one for makeup. It should say “베이스메이크업” which can mean base or makeup. Once there, feel free to shop!

CC크림 - CC Cream
프라이머 - Primer
비비크림 - BB Cream
컨실러 - Concealer
파운데이션 - Foundation
파우더 - Powder
블러셔 - Blush
미스트 - Mist **Note: the term ‘mist’ applies to both setting sprays and skincare mists.

I know what you’re thinking! I know you’re probably wondering: “But I want mascara! I WANT EYESHADOW. I WANT THE PRETTIES. WHERE ARE THEY?!” Okay, okay. We’re getting there, calm down! It sometimes can be under makeup but it’s usually under a different category which is Point Makeup (포인트메이크업). Point makeup usually deals with just the eyes such as liner or shadow, but it can also go as wide as having lip products under there. For space sake, lets just go with the generic stuff~

마스카라 - Mascara
아이라이너 - Eyeliner
아이브로우 - Eyebrow
아이섀도우 - Eyeshadow 
립라이너 - Lip liner
립스틱 - Lipstick
립글로스 - Lip gloss
립밤 - Balm
틴트 - Tint

There are also other places to look for products instead of these websites, such as Naver. South Korean Google. It DOMINATES in Korea. You wanna search for Korean pretties? I suggest you use Naver. When you search for products,after typing in what you’re looking for of course, scroll alllllll the way to the bottom (you’ll see the images); this is where you can see the best pricing available (usually) and which website you can buy this product from. There may be a time where you just want to look for the newest starfish or bee cream or you really just don’t have a specific item in mind. Let’s go over some more popular searches to help with this aimless wandering.

화이트닝 - Whitening  - Now, this doesn't necessarily mean WHITENING your skin. Whitening usually applies to a cream, lotion or essence that will help even out the skin tone; Perhaps get rid of acne scarring, chicken pox scars, or quite a few other stubborn things that drive us crazy. So don’t be too worried when you use this term :)
스네일 (크림)  - Snail (cream) 
스타피쉬 - Starfish
비타민 C- Vitamin C
로즈 - Rose
벌 - Bee
좌창 - Acne
문제성 피부유형 - Problematic Skin Type
털구멍 - Pore
쿠션 - Cushion
향수 - Perfume
바디 - Body
헤어 - Hair

Snow: You may also want to search by a specific Brand name, such as Su:m37 (숨37) because you’re stalking down their elusive Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick like a hungry panther in the dead of night, plotting a sneak attack.  (Or maybe that’s just me.) 

I've created a giant list of Brand names listed in both English and Korean, which you can find here, so all you need to do is copy and paste the brand name + any keyword (such as one from Kahime’s lists above) into a search engine or a specific online shop, and away you go!

 Kahime: I did previously mention Naver (an awesome search engine in general!) but now … what if you've got enough faith in your skills to go off on a rampage and start shopping for things to add to your Aveko order? Well, I have some favorite sites I used while in Korea and back home in the States that I’d love to share with you (These are in no particular order by the way)! Happy Shopping~!
El Lotte (Premium Store):

How to collect the data the buying service needs:

Snow: Once you have located the products that you want, your next step will be to prepare your order for Avecko.  Avecko requires specific information to be entered into their system, such as the name of the product, product page url, product details, and price in Korean Won (KRW, or ₩).

As of my order on 12/2/2014, Paypal is converting KRW to USD at a rate of 1 USD = 1060 KRW.***  I have created a spreadsheet that will help you organize all this data and also do all the conversions for you.  Here it is: Snow White and the Asian Pear's Avecko Calculator. I will be working off a USD base but I have also created a version for: (CAD), (AUD), (GBP), (EU), and (SGD).  If you need a sheet built for a specific currency, just send me an email at and I will be happy to fix one up for you.

*** 2/26/2015 Update:  I have updated the spreadsheet to automatically pull live currency conversion  KRW=USD rates, and automatically generate the rate Paypal offers Avecko.  This means it will always be real-time accurate.  I have verified this rate with both Paypal's customer service and Avecko. I cannot estimate what your local bank/credit company will charge you for the USD > Your Currency rate, but it's usually much cheaper than what Paypal offers.

So how do you use it, since this is a read-only version? Well first you will need to make a copy for your own use.  I created this to help me and my friends make our Avecko order, and I am happy to pass it along to others- I would only ask that you credit where you got it and not claim it as your work.

Let’s get started!

A pre-made spreadsheet that does all the hard work for you:

First, save a copy of my sheet (you will need a google account, or to download it onto your local machine if you have a compatible program):

Then click OK to Save the copy to your drive:

Then just delete the example entries in there (just delete the content for Product Name, Link, Shipping, and Price in ₩, leave the rest of them alone- they will clear as soon as you delete the ₩ price) and you are ready to enter in your own data!

Now the fun begins!

Let’s say that you want to purchase this pretty looking 1+1 (meaning 2 products are included) Missha rose hand cream set from E-Mart ( that Kahime recommended, which you found by searching for Rose (로즈) using her list of common search keywords, and you want it because it’s cheap and it will smell pretty. (We understand) 

You’ve got the URL, the translated name of the product (Avecko seems to have no issue identifying things that you ask for in English, but you could always use Google Translate’s ‘Show Original’ option if you want to copypasta the original Korean), the cost in ₩, and the shipping fee (note fanserviced’s warning that the free shipping usually means ordering that $$ amount on that page) so you are ready to enter in that data.

All you have to do is copy and paste the info into your new spreadsheet:

On the page, it said the shipping was ₩2,500, or if over ₩3,300 it would be free:

So the total cost would be ₩3,000 + ₩2,500 shipping.

Kahime: That’s almost the cost of 2 sets of the creams, just get two!  THE UNIVERSE IS TRYING TO TELL YOU SOMETHING HERE, SNOW. YOU NEED THESE IN YOUR LIFE.

Snow:  Kahime has a point.  Why get 1 set for ₩5,500 when I could get 2 sets for ₩6,000 with free shipping?!

Never fear, this is easy with the sheet! Just change the Quantity column, delete the Shipping cost, and shazam!

See how it automatically updated the total estimates to reflect that you are ordering two?  Now I just need to find some friends who like pretty smelling hand creams …


Snow: Thank you for your altruistic sacrifice, Kahime, which in no way was related to your earlier enabling of buying more hand creams than I could possibly use on my own, right?

Anyway, we’ll add one more example to the sheet from a different site, using Kahime’s term for snails (스네일) :

I had no idea whatmeant in the Shipping section, so I did some really painful work involving a virtual keyboard, a lot of guesswork, google translate, two bottles of wine, and a llama. (Ok, maybe not the last two.) It turns out, 무료배송 is 'free shipping', so there will be no cost to send this to Avecko. So just keep your eyes peeled for that phrase, and you’re good to go. If you have no idea, Avecko will let you know if there is a shipping cost.

Kahime: Of course it would be snails. When was the last time you made a haul without snails, Snow?

Snow: Never, like a sensible person?

So we'll add it into our sheet and see what the total is:

So, now you are all ready to either send this off to Avecko, share it with the people you are developing a group order with, or fill it with many, many items on your wishlist. I have provided 50 rows of the formulas, so you have plenty of room.

Kahime:  Working with The Snow has been an absolute honor as she’s a favorite blogger of mine and her post are always so full of fabulous information. The way she breaks down all the ingredients? Amazing~! But...I now need a Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick after reading about it from the above. Actually, this has made me want a lot of things! After looking up all the websites I used while in Korea and looking at the whole process of ordering? It’s made me want to get all the pretties! ALL OF THEM. 

Snow: It’s been a blast working on the project with Kahime, although somehow in the midst of all this ‘theoretical’ product searching ‘for the purposes of blogging demonstration’ I have managed to find a haul’s worth of things that I need to have and have sent off another order to Avecko. D:  

Kahime has created a monster, as my incessant questions about search terms and Korean sites and whatnot have finally pushed me to start learning Hangul at least, so now I’ve progressed from “Kahiiiiimeeeeee, what does XYZ mean??” to “Kahiiiimeeeee, this syllable makes no sense!  How do you pronounce this?!” which I am not entirely sure is an improvement from her perspective.  Luckily for me, she’s incredibly good-natured!

As always, you can leave your comments below or shoot either (or both!) of us an email at and/or

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Review: Dr. Oracle The Snow Queen Enzyme Powder Wash

I absolutely love enzyme washes, peels and scrubs. I guess you could say they're my weakness! They make me a super happy camper and are my favorite part of my skincare routine. I love the fact that they can exfoliate, clean my skin and leave it feeling super soft. I've tried quite a few of them actually, but was super excited when Glow Recipe, a Korean Beauty website based in the US, asked me if I'd like to review this enzyme wash. Although this was sent to me, all thoughts and opinions are my own! They've also been kind enough to invite me to use their referral program, so if you use a link I provide at the bottom it'll give you a $5 discount code for first time customers! 

Product Info:
Dr. Oracle The Snow Queen Enzyme Powder Wash
Deep & Soft Cleansing
Pineapple & Papaya Enzyme
50g, 1.7oz

Where to get it:
Glow Recipe: 25.00

As a sub-acidic cleanser, it takes care of waste and dead skin cells for a clean skin. You will experience a moist and bright skin tone upon use. Powder may fly given the product characteristic.

-Cleans Skin
-Brightens skin

Sodium Sulfate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Lauroyl Glutamate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Citric Acid, Calamine, Water, Cellulose, Mannitol, Bromelain, Papain, Caprylyl Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol

Everything in the ingredients came up as safe by CosDNA standards except for Papain, which hit a 0-3 on the irritant side. Papain is an enzyme found and extracted in Papaya and Mountain Papaya. Papain has been shown to reduce redness, help with burns, wounds and bites. It's kind of an all around amazing enzyme!

If you're curious as to what the Pineapple enzyme would be, that would be the ingredient Bromelain. Like Papain, it is a known ingredient found in most exfoliators and doesn't have a rank on either irritant or acne scale. It is mostly known for it's works in cancer research, but is gaining popularity for skincare as it is is being used for anti-inflammatory purposes as well as exfoliation. 

Personally, I find there to be a slight scent of...something. I can't figure it out but it's very slight. My boyfriend can't smell anything but another friend I had over (girls night, whoohoo!) also mentioned she smelled a faint something. For those of you who find scents irritating, you needn't worry!

The packaging is quite cute actually. Not overly cute or bright pink like a famous brand we all know and love...but instead a more...grown up cute? It's definitely giving it's Snow Queen a mention through the castle and flakes on the box. I am super happy to see that there is Korean but also English on this! Everything it mentions on the Korean side is also mentioned in English. This is so beyond rare and I was super pleased when I started reading it. It does go a bit more in depth as well as gives warning info (do not use if you have open wounds, contact doctor, discontinue use if irritates the skin, blah blah blah) as well as batch number and expiry date (it doesn't list it). It also gives customer service information and a location in Korea, but yeah. Other than that, everything is in English! YAY. The bottle itself is easy to open, sleek and easy to keep clean!

There is a specific ratio on how you would like to use it, and you can see that here on their Instagram! The bottle actually pours out a specific amount every time so I never need to worry on if i'm using too much or too little, which is super convenient. If you would like to use it as a daily cleanser (like I do), you need to add an equal amount of water and it becomes foamy. If you would like to use it as a exfoliator, then add just a few drops of water and it'll become almost like a paste. 

I really love the fact that it pours the right amount every time. I also like the fact that after I've used it, my skin doesn't feel tight at all. Instead, my skin feels clean and hydrated which is kind of rare with most cleansers. I big seller for me is that it's not just an exfoliator but also a cleanser, and a pretty good one at that. It's removed not only my skincare (when I go without makeup for the day) but also my mascara, eyeliner and base cosmetics. That, I must say, is pretty impressive. I always double cleanse just because it's second nature but you really could do without with this one. I've stopped using my Amore Pacific Enzyme Peel while using this and was pleasantly surprised at how well this one kept up with my $90. It keeps my skin soft and smooth just as well! Yay!

-Cleanses skin of makeup 
-Ingredient list is short and to the point
-Pours exact amount

-$25 might be a bit pricey for some

Rating: 10/10
For me, this totally blew me away. I was expected yes, a good exfoliator but I wasn't expecting a cleanser that could remove all my makeup. This one went head to head with my Amore one and is less than half the price as well as has an added bonus of cleansing? Uhm, yes please! I like also that it helps keep my skin soft and supple feeling afterwards. There is no tight squeaky feeling here. I really enjoy the perfect amount dispenser too as I'm always unsure of how much to actually use sometimes. I've had my boyfriend use it (he has a giant beard of awesome) and he was super happy with how nice it cleansed his skin and how it didn't cause his beard to become brittle (it's happened with quite a few cleansers!). So, if you are shopping for a bearded man, this one would definitely be a great idea. Although this was sent to me to review, I am definitely grabbing one for myself and the bf to use once it has ran out. Super pleased! Plus? ENGLISH ON THE BOX.

If you're interested in trying this or any other products out from Glow Recipe, here's a link for $5 off your first purchase. Yes this is an affiliate link, but I wouldn't put it here unless I really enjoyed the company or the products. If you try this out, please let me know your thoughts!