Finally, publishing this post after I’ve received quite a few messages asking where to buy the K-beauty products I show on Instagram/Twitter.
The main deciding factor for me is sturdiness of packing/delivery of the items. My pet peeve is receiving warm (who am I kidding it’s Dubai, it’ll be hot), products with local deliveries. I’ve also considered price, time of delivery, range of items. The following are in no specific order.
Range: they stock underground brands and not just cult favorites. Wide ranges of products are available but they do run out of stock fast and then some don’t come back into stock for a while.
Usability of site: easy to navigate on both desktop and mobile and filtering is available.
Promotions/sales: I’ve ordered from Cycoordi (previously etariq) a couple of times during their sales and gotten so much stuff at a killer price. They do run sales fairly often, they currently have a 70% off Eid sale.
Packing of products: every single item will come bubble wrapped in a cardboard box, this is what sealed the deal for me, since my products were cold when I got them.
Payment: offers both COD (cash on delivery) and the option of paying online via card.
Delivery: they use Fetchr, takes 2 working days maximum. Free shipping for orders over AED 200.
Pros: sales, best packaging and fast delivery. Only site with Neogen and iFactory.
Use my code: emanqa for 5% off your order. #notsponsored, I’m just part of the affiliate program.
Range: it is well stocked with some cult favorites like Banila Co and Cosrx as well as lesser known roadshop brands like Secret Key, It’s Skin and Holika Holika. Also, if you’re looking for Leaders masks, this is the place for you.
Usability of site: I feel like this was the easiest site to navigate since it loads upto 192 items at a time. Filtering by price is available.
Promotions/sales: they don’t have sales but the prices are relatively low. They do have a clearance section and offer discounts via codes when you sign up for an account.
Payment: credit/debit card and Paypal. There is a delivery charge, based on weight and cart subtotal. Best to place an order for AED 150+, then DHL express shipping is around AED 20.
Delivery: they use DHL express and UPS, takes maximum of 5 working days.
Pros: cheapest prices for multiple brands. Only place with Leaders masks.
Range: definitely more makeup than skincare, there’s still a vast range of products.
Usability of site: a little difficult at first. There are 2 stores:
Stock website – fast delivery section, where you will receive your products within 2-3 days
Preorder – the regular webpage where the products will be delivered in 3-4 weeks. Filtering of any sort is not available 🙁
Promotions/sales: Some items are discounted and there are 10% codes that you should look out for on Instagram.
Packing of products: Now, this was the deal breaker for me. My shipment arrived in a sheer plastic packet and were extremely hot. So much so, that I had to wait for them to cool down until I could hold them.
Payment: only COD. I hope they have online payment activated soon.
Delivery: Free shipping on orders over AED 200 in the fast delivery section and AED 300 in the main store. Takes 3- 4 working days.
Pros: larger variety available for pre order with cheaper prices. Free sheet masks.
Range: is fairly limited to a few brands, mainly Klairs and Benton. They do not restock quickly, I’ve been waiting on a restock for over a month now.
Usability of site: Fairly easy to navigate and filtering by price is available.
Promotions/sales: They did have a 20% off discount for Eid, follow them on Instagram to keep updated.
Packing of products: Personally haven’t ordered (waiting for my wishlist to come back in stock so I can meet the minimum for free shipping). A friend of mine said they came in a cardboard box, no idea on temperature.
Payment: only COD.
Pros: cheapest prices on Klairs items.
Usability of site: in terms of finding K-beauty a little difficult since there isn’t a set section. Otherwise it’s easy to use with the option of filtering.
Promotions/sales: no sales here. They do offer loyalty points and discounts for Sephora card members.
Payment: credit/debit card, COD is available but with an AED 20 charge.
Delivery: free shipping on orders above AED 350. Takes 2-3 working days.
Pros: available in malls and they exclusively stock Erborian (seriously their CC cream is incredible).
That is it for now, I’ve only listed sites here and not Instagram or Facebook pages. I know I have missed a couple of sites mainly because I haven’t tried them yet and I’m not sure if I will. I’ve been ordering mainly off of international sites lately, going to do a roundup post soon!