That changed when W2Beauty changed; all of a sudden they started doing smart things like bringing on top K-Beauty bloggers (like Coco Park of The Beauty Wolf and Sheryll of The Wanderlust Project) for their new Editorial section. Instead of the usual thinly veiled “advertorial” in-house blogs run by shops to shill their wares, they started publishing original content that was good, written by people who knew what they were talking about.
W2Beauty was always legit, but once it turned into Beautytap it seriously upped its game, and I started plotting out my second order before I even received the first.
|Once this SWS water went on sale, it was tiiiiiiime|
They also hired people who knew K-Beauty; they brought on Fiddy Snails (of Fifty Shades of Snail and The Snailcast podcast) who unleashed terrible things upon the unsuspecting K-Beauty community, like daily flash sales of fancy products that gave me flares of grabby-handitis and made my wallet weep.
All sorts of products that I’d regulated to the “if I ever won the lottery” wishlist are now regularly appearing in their daily deals, and I need Snesus because they’re trying to kill me.
|This was some friendly fire, y’all.|
In this post:
- Am I affiliated with Beautytap?
- Shopping experience: pros, cons, & why I’ll continue to shop there
- Swatch & first impressions: Peripera Ink Airy Velvet #10 Dry Rose Brown
- Swatch & first impressions: Sulwhasoo Essential Balancing Water EX
You might wonder why I’d bother doing something as old-hat as a haul post/shop review, but 1. the world always needs more swatches, and 2. there’s a lot more to say about a haul from Beautytap that I definitely want to cover. Plus, hanbang. Haaaannnbaaaangggg.
Just as a quick reminder: this blog uses both affiliate and non-affiliate links, and if you choose to click the former before you shop, your purchase may contribute a tiny amount to the maintenance of this blog. See full details at the end of this post! #receipts
Am I affiliated with Beautytap?
Let’s cover this point first: nope. I am affiliated with Fiddy Snails, in that we’re podcast-collaborators-turned-friends, but I’m not receiving any compensation to talk, shop, or promote where she now works. I have, to date, written two individual pieces for their Editorial section (on nerdy things, naturally) because I loved what they were doing with their editorials.
I did not receive any special (read: bloggerservice) circumstances around my order; I snatched up the Sulwhaso Balancing Water in their daily deal along with everyone else hot for hanbang. Since one neither simply walks into Mordor nor hauls just one item from Korea, I grabbed a few other things I had waiting on my wishlist to hit free shipping, and happily forked over my monies.
|Not pictured: the Vitamin C serum which was already chillin’ (heh) in the safety of the fridge.|
I received the same “gifts with purchase” swag that their other customers do, right down to the piece of candy (which I belatedly realized I haven’t eaten yet, brb rectifying that immediately.) I think that about covers it, but if you have any questions about this, just shoot me a message; if you’re a longtime reader you know I’d rather just be upfront about things than leave people wondering.
Shopping experience: pros, cons, & why I’ll continue to shop there
Edit: I actually made my second order in the middle of writing this, because their daily deal was too good to pass up.
- Still isn’t the cheapest place to buy K-Beauty
That hasn’t changed; W2 was always upfront about keeping the goodwill of brands by not doing the drastic price undercutting we’re accustomed to seeing. This has become a big deal in the last few years; I imagine there’s always going to be the super-cheap-but-risky gray market on eBay, etc, but it sounds like KR brands are getting serious about controlling their products overseas.
This isn’t a dealbreaker for me, as long as they make up for it in other ways, and imo, they do. More on that later.
Granted, I made my order in the midst of a major Korean holiday, but I’ve heard that Beautytap tends to be fairly slow to process and ship orders in general. I’m unbothered, because that’s typical of KR-based shops.
As long as they keep me updated, we’re cool. I’ve had packages from KR that took almost two months to be processed and arrive, so a few weeks is nbd. It’s just an occupational hazard of ordering from KR directly.
|The rebranded OST C20 looks … pretty much the same. Looking forward to comparing this to the OG version.|
If a shop doesn’t offer the best prices, I expect them to make it worthwhile elsewhere.
- Original editorial content
Hands down, this is what makes this shop interesting to me, and this was true before I wrote for them. (It’s actually why I agreed to do it, in fact!)
The contributors and content are both diverse, which is A++. Coco’s articles in particular have me checking every day for new stuff to read, like using K-Beauty for a French Girl Chic which justified my no-makeup-but-a-bold-lip daily dog walking look, and her savage takedown of the “K-Beauty vs J-Beauty” manufactured drama that’s been everywhere lately:
I had to go rush to my Sulwhasoo and make sure it still existed and wasn’t replaced without explanation with a jar full of glittery turds in a cat-shaped jar.
Preach. Product recommendations in their editorials aren’t even limited to K-Beauty, let alone their shop; if this is their approach to distinguish themselves from other US-based shops, it’s working. If for no other reason, and even if I hadn’t written anything for them, I’d shop here just to support their original content.
|Sooo this happened as I was writing this. *sobs in flaming wallet* [image: beautytap.com]|
- Their ‘Daily Tap’ deals of the day
I already have a cart waiting for the next tempting Daily Tap. EDIT: literally while I was writing this, they unleashed this History of Whoo Balancer deal, and their Sulwhasoo First Care Serum Daily Tap price was extended *cue raptor noises*. Those have both been on my skincare bucket list for ages.
So I just made my second order. While writing this review.
The Daily Tap is an interesting (or expensive) product on deep discount for the day. It’s why I pulled the trigger on this Sulwhasoo Balancing Water; I’d had it on my wishlist for years and couldn’t check out fast enough when it popped up on sale.
Lots of shops do these sorts “deal of the day” sales, but it’s often random (or garbage) products. This is the only one I go out of my way to check every day, and it sorely tries my shopping restraint on the regular.
- Interesting product selection
I want to see brands and/or products I haven’t seen before, alongside reliable staples. I also want to know if they’re worth trying; the editorials by people I trust (like Coco, who is pro makeup artist) with recommendations and how to use them = take my money.
They’ve also been doing interesting things like working directly with Jessica Jung (of Girl’s Generation fame) on events to promote her skincare line. While that doesn’t interest me personally, if I was a huge k-pop fan or a fan of SNSD, I’d probably be all over that.
Aka not enough to make me shop there on their own merit, but appreciated.
They packed my box like they were expecting it to be drop shipped, as in “dropped from the plane at high altitude.” I appreciate the extra precautions as someone who has received orders from KR literally in a plastic bag, box long since destroyed, with a “sorry your stuff got wrecked” note from the postal service.
|They even double wrapped my Dinoplatz escalator mascara so the fragile box wouldn’t get smushed.|
Not only was each item individually bubble-wrapped and taped (instead of multiple products wrapped together), the GWP swag bag was heat sealed, the box was overflowing with extra sheets of bubble wrap to keep things from shifting around + heavy protective padding.
Although I didn’t have any issues requiring customer service, but I watched them handle a big snafu on SNS during their transition phase. I was impressed how they stepped up to own it and make it right + took action to prevent it happening again in the future.
If you’re not getting cheap K-Beauty, you’re probably getting some serious freebies with your order. Mine came with sheet masks and deluxe samples (and candy, which was a plus, heh) rather than just the usual foil sachets.
Swatch & first impressions: Peripera Ink Airy Velvet #10 Dry Rose Brown
|I’m 99% sure there’s puppy fur somewhere in this photo.|
Speaking of Coco’s enabling, she recommended the Peripera Ink Velvet lip products and I carted one of them as fast as my rubber arm could untwist.
|I did try to take lip swatches but …|
The colour is a pleasant MLBB but the formula is where it shines. It’s lightweight, leaves a semi-matte finish without being drying, and lasts a long time before fading into a pretty stain.
It also blends really nicely before it dries down, as you can see here:
|… but trying to match up edited shots of my asymmetrical face and lips made me want to drink myself into a stupor, so hand shots it is.|
I’m definitely going to snatch up some more of these, especially if they come in plum or purple shades, because sadly I already have a lot of red lipsticks. At least I wear them out while walking the dog?
Swatch & first impressions: Sulwhasoo Essential Balancing Water EX
|This is exactly what I expected it to be … aka hanbang porn. Did not disappoint, A++ would hanbang again.|
I’ve been lusting after the Sulwhasoo Balancing Water ever since hearing The Beauty Imprint rave about it. You all know I have zero chill when it comes to Sulwhasoo, and it hasn’t disappointed.
I’ll be doing a full review after I’ve used it longer (I’ve been using it for about 2 weeks) but I’m liking it so far. It doesn’t smell as hanbang-y as I’d like, more of a floral + herbal scent, but it’s got a beautiful light hydrating texture and the heavy glass bottle makes it feel so luxe.
|Very liquid texture, check.|
I’ve been using it as a hydrating toner in both my AM and PM routines, and it sinks in quickly so I can move on to sunscreen or my night routine steps.
As of this post, it’s not currently on sale at Beautytap (although it’s gone on sale in the interim, so check regularly) but it’s widely available and comes in sample sizes, ayyy!
Where else to get it: Amazon | eBay | Jolse | Sulwhasoo US
Have you tried the Sulwhasoo Balancing Water, and if so, what did you think of it? Hit me up on Facebook or Twitter and let me know!
Have something you’d like to share with me in general? Snap a pic and tag me on Instagram at @snowwhiteandtheasianpear because I’d love to see it!
All the best,
**Disclaimer: All products I review on my blog are 100% purchased with my own money, with a single exception of a press sample I tested & reviewed in 2015 which swore me off of them forever. Personal gifts from friends & family will also be identified. This blog contains both affiliate and non-affiliate links, and clicking the former before you shop means that this blog may receive a small commission to assist in this blog supporting itself. Please see my Contact Info & Disclaimer policy for more information.