Skinfood: Broke like a High-pH-Routine Moisture Barrier
Well-known kbeauty brand Skinfood is on the ropes after four years of declining sales and purported mismanagement. A court in Seoul placed Skinfood under receivership today (see this article for a more technical explanation of what court-supervised receivership means in Korea, this is def not my specialty). About a week ago, the brand filed a restructuring plan in hopes that they’ll be able to get out of debt and avoid bankruptcy. Earlier in October, an injunction against Skinfood was filed in Daegu District Court due to the brand not paying about two million dollars to 14 suppliers.
There were already signs of trouble at Skinfood: a really nice flagship location in Flushing, Queens unceremoniously became a Besfren Beauty and retailers — including franchises in Korea — have reported trouble getting stock for months to the point that they had to order from e-commerce sites to put products on their shelves.
This could mean some changes for how US fans of Skinfood get their favorite products. According to Hong Kong’s The Standard, Skinfood said, “[s]ome of the measures to be carried out are to reduce the range of products the company produces to save costs and to push for sales of its stakes in its Chinese or U.S. units, which it wholly owns.” Even when buying from Korean e-commerce sites, it may be hard to get Skinfood products…if there are no products being made. The 14 suppliers to which Skinfood owes money pushed for the court to seize one of Skinfood’s factories, which would make a comeback much harder.
The company plans to trim their product list as part of the court’s debt workout program, which means that even if Skinfood weathers this storm, less popular favorites may get cut from the product lineup. US and Korean top products sometimes don’t align, so even if the brand sticks to making bestsellers, kbeauty fans abroad might be surprised by what constitutes a bestseller. Since the US market is still a pretty small piece of the kbeauty pie, kbeauty sales to the US fell last year, and Skinfood is hoping to shed ownership of their US unit, yeah, this might be the time to do a little panic buying if you’re absolutely in love with something Skinfood makes.
To get a sense of which products Skinfood might prioritize as it focuses on making bestsellers to get out of debt, I looked at the Hwahae app’s list of the Skinfood products with the most reviews (guessing that the most purchased products might have more or less the most reviews). First off, notice that Skinfood makes or has made in the recent past 1,940 products. I can see why they’re trimming the list. The propolis essence is a well-known bestseller, but I don’t recall encountering the other products in the wild. Even if Skinfood makes picks based on sales x good reviews, I don’t see certain international favorites like the Salmon Concealer anywhere near the top of the list.
Korea JoongAng Daily has a very good, detailed article on today’s court developments that suggests that foreign demand helped strain the company. That might explain why Amazon and Ulta have Skinfood stock while Korean roadshops are dusty and bare.
Dramafever: Deader Than Your Favorite Character in a Historical Drama
The higher cost of licensing fees for kdramas due to their growing popularity abroad was offered as a reason behind the site’s shuttering, along with some other reasons that I don’t care about because now I need to invest time in figuring out where to stream shows I like again as if it’s 2012 and the kdrama streaming industry is new.
I just want to watch a rom-com with decent subtitles without fear of getting a virus from clicking on the wrong link and I’m willing to pay for that, why is this so hard??
It seems that for now, Dramafever has taken licenses for the shows it used to carry exclusively with it into its watery grave, so parent company AT&T can suck a bag of dicks, def switching my cell to Verizon even though I doubt AT&T mobile and the AT&T conglomerate are even connected at this point. It’s the thought that counts.
If this were a drama, an AT&T chaebol would be walking through a well-lit office to axe my favorite streaming service while I
sew eyes on dolls furiously type internet hate comments about him while wearing a sweatshirt and sheet mask, only pausing from my keyboard warrioring to eat ramen.
Anyway. I’m going to really miss Dramafever and I hope that if you’re a subscriber, this isn’t the first you’re hearing about the news (although surprised reactions to an Instagram Story I posted suggested that might be the case for some readers, which is why I decided to mention the news here). Hopefully they send us an email and refund soon!?!?! This Medium article served as cathartic reading.
181020 update: legit streaming service OnDemandKorea appears to be picking up the shows once carried by Dramafever — and they’re offering a free two-month promo subscription to people who sign up to hear about the new streaming service first. It looks like the licenses are restricted to viewers in North and South America. Hopefully the shows launch soon, I NEED TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS!!!
ATTENTION: WE’RE GETTING NEW SHOWS WITH SUBS! To celebrate, we’re giving away 2 free months of ODK PLUS! All you have to do is register with your email, and stay tuned.
— OnDemandKorea (@ondemandkorea) October 18, 2018
Papa Recipe at CVS Stores
Mask god Papa Recipe is apparently coming to some CVS stores (now that’s a development I can get excited about). This photo was taken by a reader in Southern California who prefers to remain anonymous (THANK YOU!!). Hopefully Papa Recipe gets added to cvs.com soon.
Prepare to pay dearly for your Papa mask fix: the masks are retailing at $3.99 in stores. That said, the original Bombee masks are probably the one mask I’d pay $4 for in a pinch: the sheet is thin, essence is the right kind of runny, and the fragrance is DELICIOUS. Perfect mask tbh.
Some New Kbeauty Releases
There are a ton of new kbeauty releases happening every day, but three recent releases caught my eye and seemed like something readers might be interested in.
Cosrx One Step Green Hero Calming Pad
Cosrx seems to have another hit in Korea with the new Green Hero pads. The pads contain green tea (75%), Green-Rx complex, a blend of different green-themed soothing ingredients (10%), and PHA (0.25%) — I uploaded the full ingredient list to CosDNA. The pads seem to be a soothing cousin of the moisturizing pads, which I liked a lot. I ordered a jar on eBay and I’ve been testing them for a few days; I’ll review them in the future. You can also find Green Hero on SweetCorea. There were Green Hero samples for sale, but they seem to have sold out fast.
Papa Recipe Bombee Green Honey Mask
Papa Recipe has just released a new flavor in their mega popular Bombee line: Bombee Green Honey Mask. The mask is so new that only BeautyBoxKorea carries it, but I expect it should be available at eBay soon (I don’t expect it to reach CVS bc it’s so new).
The mask material looks thicker than the ultra thin Bombee original mask material and the ingredient list looks interesting (although sheet masks really seem to derive their power from a good formula and hydrators like water and glycerin).
Yup, looks enticing, I’m in. BBK’s shipping kills me, so I’ll probably grab one or two to try when they’re added to eBay.
Cosrx Light Fit Real Water Toner To Cream
Cosrx also just released a new water drop moisturizer. It’s a product that makes water drops as you rub it in. That’s not particularly new technology: Lioele had a waterdrop cream when I first got into kbeauty. This version has some brightening ingredients like Niacinamide (I uploaded the full list to CosDNA). I’m less sold on needing this product personally; I’ll be watching the Korean reviews to see if it’s a must-buy for me. If you need this new release immediately, slide over to BeautyBoxKorea.
EXO is Coming Back: Preorder Don’t Mess Up My Tempo on Amazon
The kings are coming back and SM Entertainment has somehow, miraculously gotten their shit together and put all three versions of the album for pre-order on Amazon — with the sales counting toward the Billboard, Hanteo, AND Gaon charts if you ship to a US address, what a world. Why are there three different versions? Where is the rest of Jongin’s clothing? How much Yixing will we really get? Lord knows, but I’m all in.
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