Friday, August 9, 2013

Korean Beauty Products Series: The Face Shop

For this installment of the Korean Beauty Products Series, I'll be taking a closer look at the Face Shop. 

My earliest memories of the Face Shop is of me stocking up on their lotions and skincare every time I'd visit Seoul during college breaks. Some of the other newer brands like Étude House and InnisFree have recently become more popular for their ultra-girly and eco-friendly approach, but the Face Shop still has a solid presence in the Korean beauty market. Trying to find their niche, they've rebranded a bit, dipping their toes into more sweet/girly packaging and launching more pricey but luxe goods. I would place the Face Shop at the higher end of the spectrum in terms of general pricing, definitely way more on average than Étude House or Missha. Here are some of the goodies I picked up on my last foray into their store:

It comes with a puff that is soft but totally synthetic. It feels a bit harsh on your skin. 

When I do apply blush, I do it in the morning, not on the go, but I can see how this item can be handy while en route to work/school for the busy gal. 

The color payoff is unfortunately minimal. This is with several brushes from the puff. On my skin, it appears more pale pink than a coral. For a China-doll look on pale skin, it would totally work. 

This little honeypot container is the absolute cutest but not quite sure how the honey wand helps in application. It's quite round and hard. 

This is not a balm, but a true lip gloss. The gloss goes on clear and has pretty good lasting power- after application, it stayed on for a good two hours. The orange smell was pleasant and not too synthetic- the other two available (honey and strawberry) smelled like scented plastic.

Now, on to what the Face Shop does do perfectly: their gorgeous nail polish. With the experience that comes from having a ridiculous amount of nail polish, I know that the Face Shop nail polishes always deliver on having the trendiest colors/textures, most variety, and best quality for the prices. They're by no means 3-Free but don't smell like death when you apply, so the formula contains none of the nasties that you may find in cheaper brands.

The nail polish is GR 508, a new color that could almost be a dupe for Deborah Lippmann's Mermaid's Dream, but instead of Deborah Lippmann's $17, it's $2. The nail pens are in white and black, and have two sides- one side a dotting tip, the other a striping tip.

I have been using my rediscovered Benefit's Smokin' Eyes Palette recently to fill in my brows, but the blogger within decided to try this cheaper version. First thing I noticed: this brow palette is all powder. It doesn't have the staying power of a gel-based eyebrow filler. The powder tends to flake off over time. I don't want to constantly worry throughout the day whether my eyebrows look filled-in or not. Also, the color scheme is odd- it only comes in two options- this option, which is in Beige Brown, but the other option was in Khaki... who has khaki-colored eyebrows?? Someone in product development over at the Face Shop messed up, methinks.

The Face Shop has hits and misses, and for the prices you pay, you don't want to find yourself holding a miss and regretting that 20,000 KRW you spent on a blush that barely shows up. My advice? Definitely pick up some nail polish whenever you happen to find yourself in their store, but do some research before spontaneously picking up an item. 

What's your experience with the Face Shop?


  1. that little honey pot is to die for. so cute!

    A Beautiful Zen

  2. Besides the nail polish, definitely the better purchase of the bunch! The smell is so yummy!

  3. visiting here with a smile~~~~ =)

    Regards, (A Growing Teenager Diary)

  4. hey, I just tried the face shop designing cake eyebrow, and read the review from your blog
    "who has khaki-colored eyebrows??" lol, this crack me up...

    anyway, apparently this khaki color somehow matched my eyebrow :D

    so anyway, I enjoy ur blog!

  5. I'm glad you enjoy my blog Imelda! Apparently you have khaki-colored eyebrows :P


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