Korean beauty products have been getting some major exposure lately. Last year in particular saw Sephora launch a campaign highlighting major K-Beauty brands and many products are now sold at big retailers like Ulta, Forever 21, and Urban Outfitters. Glow Recipe was just featured on Shark Tank and of course there was that first ever K-Beauty sample sale from Peach & Lily this past summer. So what’s with all the hype about Korean cosmetics and skincare? Much more than just a passing fad, Korean products are at the forefront of the beauty world thanks to a highly competitive and very innovative industry. Curating the best Korean products and selling them to the US market has become a booming business venture and more and more companies are joining the ranks.
This weekend you can get a taste of what Korean beauty is all about at the JKNLEE sample sale taking place in Chinatown and running through Sunday. The company is treating the sale as a sort of a soft launch with plans to fully open their first store later this Spring. Helping them out are popular K-Beauty brands like Clio, Peripera, Goodal, Tony Moly, Ostia, Dr. G (a late arrival) and Soo Ae. You might also recognize some familiar faces from Club Clio‘s Union Square flagship store. With discounts of up to 80% off retail and prices starting at just $1 you better get moving!
I checked out the sale Thursday afternoon and also stopped by early Friday morning. There were lines of 20+ shoppers on both days that I was there. Since the venue is so tiny (it fits 20 people max) the wait can be 30min to an hour, especially around opening time, lunch or at closing. There is a one in, one out door policy. Upon entry you are handed a plastic bag to fill with as many goodies as your heart desires. I saw one lady stuff an entire suitcase full of products! While there was no limit to how much you could purchase certain items were only available in limited quantities. There were signs posted inside explaining that only 30 or in some cases even 10 items are available each day. This ensures fairness and prevents the most coveted items from being sold out on the first day. The Goodal Gold Snail masks and creams were included in the above category. They were priced at 3 for $50 (sheet masks alone retail for $60) and were a very popular commodity at the sale. If you’re interested in these products your only option is to be among the first 15-20 shoppers and unlike other items these products will not be restocked throughout the day. Also of note is that there are no testers available so unless you know exactly what color/shade you want its best to get advice from one of the friendly staffers. I want to take a minute to thank everyone involved for keeping things organized and running smoothly.
The holy snail grail!
These items are only restocked in the morning, before opening
Limited quantities each day, Kill Cover ($20) only in linen or ginger shades
Everything is organized in sections by price. Closest to the entrance along the windows is where you can find $1.50 or 5 for $5 items. They included Clio Virgin Kiss lipsticks/tints, Lip Stealer gloss and All Day Free Foundations in liquid and pact forms. VOV Caste Dew Two Way Cake pressed powder compacts (they include a refill!). There were also Peripera DIY Deco Nail Kits in variety of colors and My Color Eyes individual eyeshadows. All the aforementioned products retail for $10-$20 but are now just $1! Its worth noting that the foundations were only available in light or medium shades. Right next to them were $3.50 or 5 for $15 products. They included Clio Gelpresso Glow tint, Glitter Eyeliner, Crystal Pact foundation, and Tony Moly Magic Lip Tint Delight, Lip and Eye Makeup Remover and Oil Cleanser. Next up, towards the corner were the $5.50 or 4 for $15 items that included Peripera Tint Crayon, Clio Club Makeup Kit, Gelpresso Waterproof Liner, Lipnicure glosses and top coat, Tony Moly Heart Glow Stick, Fruit Princess Gloss, Water Melting Gloss, and Shimmering Boa Puffs. On the table along the back wall is where you can find the $7.50 or 3 for $20 products like Clio Twisturn Eyeliners, Twistup Mascaras, Gel Liner and Brow Pot Sets as well as Clio Kill Kover pot concealers, All In Balm CC pacts, Peripera Egg Face foun balms, Watery Face Pride Up, Heart Gloss and My Skin pacts.
Clio All Day Free foundations and Peripera Deco DIY Kit nail polish (5 for $5)
Peripera My Color Eyes shadows
Clio Virgin Kiss lipsticks (5 for $5)
Lipsticks, glosses, and tints
Tony Moly Magic lip tint Delight
Oil cleansers and make up removers (5 for $15)
Tony Moly Fruit Princess gloss ($5.50)
Peripera tint crayons and Clio gelpresso liners
Clio and Tony Moly products 3 for $15
Clio All In Balm CC combo pacts and Tony Moly Egg Pore jewel soap
Peripera compacts and Clio concealers
Clio Twisturn eyeliners and Twistup mascara ($7.50 each)
Skincare products could be found along the left wall and consisted of creams, toners, essences, and sheet masks. The masks were located right by the register and included Soo Ae The Qure facial essence masks (aqua/whitening/platinum/collagen/vita-white/e.g.f.) $5 for a pack of 5, Ostia Pure Essence Skin gel masks (diamond/jade/pearl/ruby/sapphire) $10 for a pack of 10. There were also Goodal Golden Snail sheet masks (3 for $50) but as I mentioned earlier there is only a limited quantity available daily and unless you’re among the first 20 people inside you are unlikely to snag these highly coveted items. Luckily there were plenty of other Goodal products like Phytoshine Acaiberry Brightening toner and emulsion as well as Phytorain Amazonia Energy Oil, Murumuru Seed hydra toner and gel cream. Several products from Dr. G joined the lineup on the second day and included Bio-RTx Mentor Creams for dry skin (#5) and damaged skin (#7). You can mix and match any 3 skincare items for $20. When you are ready to pay the staffers will tell you that the company name that shows up on your billing statement will say PayPal, just so there is no confusion later on.
Skincare any 3 for $20
Goodal Phytoshine and Phytorain products
Soo Ae masks ($5 for 5 pack) and Ostia masks ($10 for 10 pack)
Dr. G creams finally arrived on Friday
Be prepared for a small line outside
Its easy to go craaazy when prices are this good 😉
BOTTOM LINE: The prices are out of this world and the products are too good to miss out on. I recommend going in the morning (at least 30 mins before opening) for the best variety and selection. Even if you are unfamiliar with Korean brands and products this is as good an opportunity to get acquainted! I personally recommend Clio Twisturn eyeliners as they are by far the best I have ever tried. Everything is such a bargain making this a must attend sample sale. The staff is wonderful and will answer your questions and help you pick the products best suited for your skin type. Happy shopping!
2 East Broadway (corner of Catherine St.) Saturday – Sunday 11am – 6pm