I hope everyone is keeping warm and cozy as winter truly sets in and starts kicking some ass. I recently attempted to watch the show about the Medici on Netflix while keeping warm…and I think I’d rather freeze (I’m a Renaissance historian, the odds were never good that I’d like it). Hopefully one of the new kdramas like Legend of the Blue Sea or Goblin can get me through the cold-ass winter. If you’re looking for something cozy to listen to, how about the NC-17 podcast about Asian Beauty and dick jokes I make with my friends/colleagues? We just released our 1 year anniversary episode.^^ ahhahhaa
Thoughts on the Sample Economy
Foil samples and mini bottle samples of kbeauty products abound, but a post on the Asian Beauty subreddit yesterday cited a Korean news report stating that the sale of samples is illegal in Korea and the packets and bottles lack essential required information such as expiration date and ingredient lists. Opinions range from “ehh” to “fuck this shit I’m out [of buying samples ever again].”
This is kind of a tricky issue and I think that each person needs to make their own decision about whether to buy samples (which is why I’m linking to the post). Here’s my take:
The fact that samples are sold despite being labeled not for sale doesn’t stress me. People do this all the time. Hell, I’ve sold samples before. They’re dead useful for determining if something is going to work for you. I’ll continue to buy samples of kbeauty and Western products I want to try before buying, and just do my best to buy from reputable sellers.
That said, my use of samples is pretty limited and samples mainly go on my hand or pH test strips. I buy very few these days and I typically only open those for base makeup to see if I’m a match or for skincare that I’m doing a quick back-of-hand test of before buying. I feel like my house is way too filthy (although improving! there’s less cat hair randomly ending up in my photos now!) to be decanting samples into larger bottles.
People commenting on the Reddit post raised concerns about the authenticity of the formula in some kbeauty samples. As with literally anything, we can’t be certain that the things we buy are legit. I also sometimes have doubts about whether I’m actually alive or just in some post-death video game. Shit happens. I mean, Aliexpress has totally fake Huda Beauty liquid lipsticks and all sorts of other faked Western makeup, so counterfeiting exists — a desire to avoid hysteria shouldn’t mean that we are blind to reality.
I would have no problem buying samples from sellers such as TesterKorea or RoseRoseShop that likely receive tons of samples of various sorts, given by brands for the sake of providing free samples to customers buying full-size items. Yes, it’s not by-the-book legal, there are no ingredients, and there are no expiration dates (although regulations regarding this are apparently taking effect February 2017, it seems)…but I’ve been buying from these sellers for ages and the big picture story of how they’re getting the samples makes sense to me.
Sellers on sites like 11ST, Gmarket, and Qoo10 that sell samples of every single thing made by Sulwhasoo and Su:m 37, sometimes in cheap grab bags? Naw. And this is where it gets tricky because those samples could be sold elsewhere on the internet, possibly in a less shady way. I don’t find that expensive products work a whole lot better than cheaper ones (otherwise I’d just stick to Western skincare, which is possible to return to my local Sephora for a full refund).
Where does this leave kbeauty sample boxes? You’ll have to ask them, I have no idea. It’s my sense that sample boxes work closely with brands to receive free or discounted samples, especially if they’ve been in the game for a bit and have a fair number of subscribers.
The comments are open if you want to talk about this issue.
Tester Korea is offering free, untracked economy shipping for orders over 10,000 won (about $9) and under 250g until December 31. I might grab some more of my favorite cream. Keep in mind that handling and shipping could end up being very slow and the lack of tracking maddening. Not for the new or faint of heart, if we’re being honest.
Discounts for New Customers
If you need a discount code and you’re a new customer, certain shops offer a discount to help make your first time special. heh
receive cash back when shopping online for beauty (and other things) at stores like Sephora, Nordstrom, and eBay. This isn’t a first-time customer discount, but I’m kind of obsessed with Ebates and use it constantly.
$5 off your first purchase
15% off your first purchase
20% off your first purchase
$5 off your first $30 purchase
$10 off your first $15 purchase
Peach & Lily
$10 off your first $50 purchase
Coupon Codes for Not Just New Customers
These codes only work for one person before they’re gone, since they’re from my own stash.
The blog earned these codes due to people using my referral links^^ to make a first purchase at certain shops (THANK YOU!); think of this as sharing the love back.
Codes are obviously first come, first…discounted and I’d appreciate if they’re not taken out and shared elsewhere since they’re from my personal stash and meant to be a thank you for my blog readers (but linking to the post is fine if you want to share).
Memebox: $10 off
Glow Recipe: $10 off
Peach & Lily: $10 off
The Lipstick League – week of 12.12.16
Question of the Week: What’s the one beauty product you hope you get for the holidays?
If we’re really honest…I buy everything I want for myself hahaha. I have banned myself from buying new palettes due to owning a lot and tending to just use eyeshadow primer as an eyeshadow most of the time, but I would not cry if, say, ! mY hUSBaND ! picked up the Viseart Theory III Palette in Chroma. The formula sounds amazing, the palette looks super portable, and I’m a ho ho ho for ultra cool-toned eye makeup.
we heart this – Check out swatches and vivid descriptions of the new MAC Shadescents; fragrances ode to six classic MAC lipsticks. They’re making us tell tales…
Beauty Junkies Unite – Amber has the scoop on four of the best red lipsticks that are perfect for this festive season! Check ’em out.
Blushing Noir – Tips for applying & wearing the latest foundation and concealer from Maybelline PLUS swatches of all of the shades – launching January 2017!
Clumps of Mascara – Because does anyone really need 13 skincare items? Before you judge me, check out which 13 I’m using regularly and let me know if I need to get rid of any.
EauMG – My final gift guide of 2016 is my favorite gift guide. Here’s my gift ideas for those that fancy that vampy!
fanserviced-b – If you want an oil-controlling, affordable gel cream suitable for skin with acne, check out my favorite kbeauty face cream ever.
Gouldylox – Wish you could temporarily dye your hair pink, but don’t want to make a commitment? Try this DIY hair glaze for a quick, temporary change!
My Beauty Bunny – I went to Dr. Rahimi for Cool Touch Laser treatment to fight my acne! Read all about my experience here!
My Newest Addiction – This week Laura gushes about her love of MAC Shadescents Creme d’Nude!
Phyrra – I’ve got a live swatch video, review, comparisons and dupes for the new Urban Decay Afterdark Palette! The packaging is amazing.
(Wondering what the Lipstick League is? Find out here.)
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate and referral links. Clicking those links before you shop means that fan-b receives a small commission or discount code, which helps to support the blog (or provide codes to readers in posts like this). Please see my full disclosure for more information.