Review: IOPE Air Cushion XP Comparison

Everyone’s heard about the IOPE Air Cushion. It’s often lauded as one of the best, high-coverage, long-wearing cushions that’s out there on the market – it’s easily accessible, priced pretty decently, and is just one of the top picks that you’ll always hear about!

Well – when I first started exploring cushions a couple of years ago, I blindly followed the trends and I got myself the original IOPE AIR CUSHION® XP NATURAL SPF50+/PA+++, pictured below.

IOPE AIR CUSHION Natural, N21

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So shiny, so sturdy! This cushion was boasted as “Cushion foundation that provides powerful protection against UV rays and delivers complete coverage for natural, luminous complexion.” I think I missed out this post, but I previously purchased this cushion, as well as the Laneige BB Cushion (somehow in the Anti-Ageing formulation?!), from TesterKorea back before I really knew much.

I’ve already finished using one refill of this cushion, and while I haven’t touched it in months, I’ll just be sharing my opinion of it when I was using it. This IOPE Cushion was alright, and was something that I reached out for on a regular basis, maybe 1-2 times a week. I’d usually reach out for it on days when I needed higher coverage, maybe because of all the hype surrounding it.

But really, as I kept using it, I realised I didn’t quite like it – it didn’t feel special on my face at all, and wasn’t quite able to cover all my light blemishes. My nose would be oily by noon (urghhhhh), and it’d start to break up around dry areas by midday (~3pm). Wasn’t something I was looking for…

So since this cushion isn’t quite available in the market anymore, I won’t be giving this a proper review – my final verdict would be YMMV, probably not suitable for my skin type and environment – dry combo skin, in humid weather, and for long hours. For me, what convinces me that a cushion is good is that I /actually/ take out the refill (that comes with the package) to use – I didn’t open that refill up. That one’s gone to Carousell. WNR

IOPE AIR CUSHION Moisture Lasting, N21

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So around came 2016, and I was in Seoul! The ~new~ IOPE Air Cushion was reformulated and released again! But this time, in four variants: Natural Glow, Matte Longwear, Intense Cover, and Moisture Lasting. And in more shades than ever: C13, N21, W21, N23, W23! That’s much more than the previously widely available N21 and N23.

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Well I saw this in a ton of Duty-Free shops, and Lotte, and Aritaum shops… Eventually, I was tempted enough to pick up one from the Duty-Free shop in Jeju Airport (I can’t remember which Dept. store ran it!!). There was an ongoing 20% off sale, so I snagged it at a pretty great ~SGD$30 🙂 I chose to stick with the neutral tones, and since I still prefer a brighter skin tone, I chose N21 again, in the Moisture Lasting variant.

I will first note the key reasons that drew me in to purchase yet another IOPE cushion (although I hadn’t liked the original):

  • It looks GORGEOUS. This new cushion is considerably thinner than the original “standard” cushion, clocking in at 2.8cm tall
  • Its curved edges and shiny blue rim just drew. me. in. It looks so sleek and classy, and something that I’d carry around out to school/work. I was fairly tempted to purchase the pink cushion case variant in another IOPE store in Myeongdong, but I held myself back
  • Isn’t the new puff pretty? It’s slightly smaller than the original size, but there’s this gorgeous leather emboss on top
  • The hype. Let’s face it, the hype surrounding this cushion has pretty much never died down. When this new version was released, I was like oh my god I HAVE to try this new flashy cushion

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Each cushion set (cushion case + 15g x 2 refills) runs for (supposedly) KRW42,000 on Amore Pacific’s website, but I think you’ll be able to get it much cheaper on Gmarket Korea.

Price: ★★★★☆
Aesthetics: ★★★★☆
Coverage: ★★★☆☆
Glow: ★★★★☆
Moisture: ★★★★☆
Long-wear: ★★★★☆
Overall: ★★★★☆

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It’s an alright cushion, and I really /don’t mind/ using it. One thing that really irks me is that the cushion sponge can’t be flipped around. I’m only “a few weeks” into using this cushion, and I already feel that it’s running out – but I know that there’s a lot of liquid at the bottom! And it’s not coming out! I don’t feel like I’m getting my money’s worth by using this product. 😦

Overall, it’s just not a cushion that blew me away, and isn’t something that I’ll be using with my current skin condition (some small visible acne scars). So once again, the refill test – the refill is still sitting in the box, untouched… Sadly, once again, I think this one’s going to Carousell as well (the pretty case I’ll keep).

Would I buy this again? Maybe, if it somehow turns out that my skin becomes ~perfect~ and this just gives me the perfect minimalistic coverage. In the meantime, I think I’ll stick with my other HGs.

Comparison: Old vs New Cushions

New on the left, old on the right. Huge font size for the cushion color, differences in shape and curvature, gorgeous new ring along the side rather than a fat shiny strip

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Much shorter and compact! Button is also of a different shape, more sleek

IMG_6188.JPGOpened up, the new mirror is slightly more “accessible” than the old one (I lost my IOPE puff, so a Lirikos puff is about the same!!)

IMG_6191.JPGI like that the new puff has this embossed leather look, it is however slightly smaller than the old puff

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Pretty new design

The new foundation-soaked sponge has a special ridged pattern on the top. Note that this is only on the top, which means that you cannot flip the sponge. 

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The new formula in the moisture-lasting variant is a little runnier, I feel, and runs a little more yellow

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My inner wrist is definitely paler than my face, so both of them blend quite well but you can tell that the shades aren’t an absolutely perfect match

IOPE Air Cushion, as lovely as you might seem, I don’t think we’re a match.

I’ll probably do an update soon on my favourite base makeup products! Hint: Hera, Verite, and Lirikos are my baes now ❤

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Gmarket Haul: January 2015

This… is completely long overdue. Finals are finally over, and it’s summer (for the next 4 months!) I’ve posted about getting some stuff from Gmarket in May 2015, and in January I thought it was fair time I restocked some of my stuff – here we go!

DR. JART+ CERAMIDIN CREAM

What it is: “A lightweight cream to moisturize the skin.”
Why I purchased it: my skin was cracking and peeling and tight and just dying throughout my Differin routine; I needed something to repair my skin barrier, and I thought ceramide would do just the trick.
What it cost: After discounts, about SGD28.00 / KRW23,000
How it performs: A thick, thick humectant – smells just like the Ceramidin Liquid. I still prefer that one!

VERITE ULTRA MOIST SKIN INTENSE CREAM

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What it is: A cream packed with ceramides and stuff
Why I purchased it: I wanted a cream with ceramides, I was looking for a Verite cushion…. the packaging was too cute cmon let’s not kid myself
What it cost: After discounts, about SGD35.00 / KRW29,000
How it performs: I actually kind of prefer this over Dr. Jart+’s – that one is more like a balmy paste, while this one is a smooth cream that spreads over my skin

VERITE UV MULTI CUSHION LX WONDER STORY #21

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What it is: A “repurchase” of my HG Verite DX cushion
Why I purchased it: I love my Verite cushion. I wore it to work, I wore it to school like every day, and it was running out – I needed a refill, and since they discontinued the DX, I had to go with the LX
What it cost: After discounts, about SGD28.00 / KRW23,000
How it performs: Cute case, but I actually haven’t opened the new LX yet!

TOSOWOONG PROPOLIS SPARKLING AMPOULE

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What it is: A propolis sparkling ampoule.
Why I purchased it: I needed something soothing and something that would even my skin tone, given that I’m trying to clear PIH
What it cost: After discounts, about SGD25.00 / KRW21,000
How it performs: It has a thick, gel-like texture that leaves my face supple and hydrated; however, not too sure about the long-term effects?

SAMPLES GALORE

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Cute – the Verite stuff came with loooots of samples! It included a 5 Skin Care Trial Kit, a lip tint, a mini Skin Intense Cream, and a mist; the other stuff came with IOPE’s Bio-Essence mini mask, Mamonde anti-aging cream, Laneige Original Essence White Plus Renew, and a Hanyul mask; Tosowoong threw in some samples too!

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I’m actually headed off to Korea in a couple of days, and I’m planning to try everythingggg there so I can take advantage of the Gmarket $5 shipping promotion when I’m back! Exciting times – I’ve never looked forward to summer this much before. Cheers!

TFS/VDL/Belif Friends & Family Sale 2015 (Suntec City)

I received an email a couple of days ago the The Face Shop, VDL, and Belif would be holding a Friends & Family Sale this August!

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IMG_5625-2What my mum and I got (minus the extra free gifts)

Aqua Gel Oil (75ml, $68.00 -> $44.20); Numero 10 Essence (75ml, $46.00 -> $29.90)

The True Cream – Moisturizing Bomb (50ml, $54.00 -> $35.10); Delightful Body Bomb (150ml, $46 -> $23.00)

Essential Gel Mist Blue (100ml, $42.00 -> $21.00); De-wrinkle Treatment Spot Care (25ml, $71.00 -> $35.50)

Our free samples!!! This included a travel kit including Milky Moisturizer Hydra Balancing, Numero 10 Essence, and Creamy Cleansing Foam Moist, and samples for the Classic Essence Increment which we requested for. My aunt bought the full-sized version of this, and it was the last one… so my mum settled for samples for now (she has too many things to use now anyway!!) We also received 2 cute umbrellas, and a makeup organizer pouch!

Brow Contour Kit ($40.00 -> $24.00); Metal Cushion Foundation ($42.00 -> $25.20)

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We also received a ton of free gifts – the welcome member set included a Lumilayer Primer, Beauty Cleansing Foam, and Perfecting Last Foundation. I didn’t even take pics of the 1. Tumbler 2. Laptop Bag and 3. Lunch bag they gave us!!!

My aunt also purchased some stuff from The Face Shop – she gave us one of the free sample kits she received.

IMG_5636Raspberry Roots Special Set (Includes 2x Collagen Eye Patch, Depuffing Eye Gel, and Sleeping mask) (Free gift)

While the prices are quite amazing, I must warn you guys that the expiry dates are fairly near, with most of them expiring in mid-2016. I highly suggest against irresponsible hauling – if you’re not gonna be able to finish it by then, don’t buy it!! Or I mean like you could use it on your body, but still. Take note of the expiry dates before purchase!!!

The sale is held at Suntec City (where the 3 shops are side by side), from 27-30th August. Have fun guys!

Cushion Case ‘Decoden’

When I travel, I’m always in a rush and I’ve got this bad habit of well… Throwing everything into my bag. Which means that everything gets dumped in together! Which err also means that if my keys + cushion meet my cushion case gets scratched up. And it did 😦

So after I saw the countless cushion decoden posts online, it occurred to me that it’d be a brilliant way to cover up the scratches on my case!! (p.s. I use an IOPE refill in an eSpoir case, since it’s the most lightweight one I own)

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Goodbye scratches!! While I don’t really like the excessively cutesy style of Japanese decoden, I thought paper flowers would make a great design! Totally random, but these paper flowers were purchased in Bangkok around.. ten… years ago……

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I stuck down the flowers with small drops of heavy-duty glue, and they look pretty fixed-on to the case now. I initially wanted to glue down a bed of flowers, but my mum suggested this instead – and I love the look, since the eSpoir logo is still featured in the centre :>

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Here’s hoping that they won’t be scratched off quickly – I promise I’ll be more careful with this in my bag now! I hope this gives some inspiration to anyone looking to spruce up their BB cushion cases 🙂

美容护肤

Beauty Haul from GMarket Korea

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I’ve always wanted to order from Gmarket, and this month I finally bit the bullet. And no, I’m not referring to the Singaporean Gmarket which got rebranded to Qoo10 (even though it’s been like 3-4 years since the rebranding happened, my mother still refers to Qoo10 as Gmarket) – I’m talking about the one that ships directly from Korea! This is where I can find tons of products and brands I wouldn’t typically be able to find in Singapore – Espoir, Verite, and whatnot at amazing prices.

Let’s start with Gmarket itself – can I just rave about how amazing their service is?? Seriously – I don’t even get my packages from Qoo10 (domestic delivery) this quickly. Let me just show you my timeline:

Sunday Afternoon, 5th April: Sent in order (auto EMS shipping)
Sunday Evening, 5th April: Request received for 50% of sellers
Monday Afternoon, 6th April: All packages on the way to Gmarket Korea’s warehouse
Tuesday Morning, 7th April: All packages received at Gmarket Korea; preparing for international shipment
Wednesday Evening, 8th April: International package posted
Thursday Afternoon, 9th April: Package on SQ609
Friday Midnight, 10th April: Package received by Singpost
Friday Noon, 10th April: Received package at doorstep

HAS ANYONE RECEIVED PACKAGES THIS QUICKLY BEFORE??? IN 5 DAYS??? NO!!!! Ok maybe I’m exaggerating, but seriously. I’ve never received service /this/ fast from Qoo10, TK or RRS before – as much as I still love them, Gmarket wins, hands down, in terms of delivery time. Judging from my previous experiences from Korean international shipping, I honestly expected this package to be delivered in May. Instead, I’m sitting here writing this post in May (terribly late, but I wanted to get a good sense of all my products before I included first impressions for all the products).

Moving on… This is the giant box my haul came in! It really surprised me – that’s my phone, a Note 3 mind you, sitting on top of the box. I had no idea why the box was so huge – did I really order so many things?? The memo noted that it was only 3.3kg!

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…And I figured out why once I tore open opened up the box. HAHAHAHA it turns out the Gmarket warehouse had literally just dumped in all the boxes they’d received – I guess the guy sorting my packages just decided to throw everything into the biggest (???) box he could find??? It was a hilarious sight opening this up though! However, one negative point here: AK-Plaza didn’t exactly package my VDL Eyeshadow palette very well in the small box, so it could have been flung around in the small box in the big box. Shame on you tsk if it’s an eyeshadow palette IT NEEDS BUBBLE WRAP!  (this is extremely reminiscent of the Lorac Mega Pro Amazon shipping issue.)

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One, two, three…. Six boxes! 6 boxes inside a giant box. Funny ah? Let’s start with the small samples!

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I ordered my products from individual sellers, which meant that I was unlikely to get any samples at all – ordering 1 item from a seller will sadly not warrant samples. I may attempt to include ‘please include samples!’ in English and Korean the next time I order! I received a sheet mask + OHUI foil sample from one seller (can’t quite remember which), and a small set of samples from VDL…. And if you scroll to the top and bottom, a giant pink Pantone VDL shopping bag!!!!!!! 😀 I guess the general lack of samples was wholly made up by the Pantone x VDL bag ❤ ❤ ❤

Okay, let’s start!

Note: my pricing brackets are formatted like this, if you’re curious: xxxKRW in Korean retail pricing / xxx SGD in Singapore retail pricing, or KRW to SGD if it’s unavailable in Singapore.


Hera CC Cream City Defense (SPF35 / PA++)

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Retail: 45,000KRW / ~SGD$50
Gmarket: SGD$40

While watching Meejmuse’s channel, she mentioned that her one CC Cream favourite was the Hera CC Cream! The original price was preeeetty high, so I didn’t manage to get one from TesterKorea the previous round – instead I got a small 10ml sample tube off Carousell. I would liken this CC Cream to the IOPE one, as it’s not a whitening base like the Laneige and Banila Co.

As I was scouring Gmarket, I noticed that Hera came up with a new and improved! version of the cc cream in 2015, with ‘City Defense‘ properties. One of the biggest trends I’ve noticed recently is ‘city defense’ products, with brands like Clarins coming up with Sunscreen products, and Etude House with Dust Cut products. These protecting properties typically leave a film on your face to protect against dust and pollutants we face every day in cities, and considering I live in Singapore… yes. Either way, the packaging is gooooorgeous! Maybe not as sleek as the original Black/Silver packaging, but this silvery packaging represents City Defense so well.

First impression: ★★★★☆


Luna Water Essence Founpact (SPF35 / PA++)

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Retail: ~SGD$40
Gmarket: SGD$27

I was actually most excited to try this product out of aaaallll the products I ordered. This was featured on Get It Beauty a while back, and supposedly it has a mega high water content! However… The first time I used this wasn’t very successful or anything 😦 It kind of sat on top of my skin like a film, and was pilling up on the surface. I will try this again with another foundation brush… Hopefully it’ll produce better results 😦

Edit: So I tried it with my beloved Shiseido 131, and while it did give me a very airbrushed, perfect finish, it’s really not the look that I’m going for. It still clung like a thick layer on my skin, unlike the CC Creams I’m so very used to – I just don’t think heavy coverage foundations are suitable for me 😦

First impression: ★★★☆☆


eSpoir Face Slip Nude Cushion (SPF 50+ / PA+++)

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Retail: 35,000KRW / ~SGD$44
Gmarket: ~SGD$26

I have too many cushions!! I first saw this cushion on a Singaporean YouTube channel, which is linked here – Shu An mentioned in the video that when they asked the air stewardesses how their skin looked so glowy and dewy, they pointed it out in the in-flight shopping magazine and were like, ‘eSpoir!’ I like how it supposedly gives a really light, natural finish, which is what I typically go for. Slowly, slowly – I’ll open this soon!

Note: This is also made by Amore Pacific.

First impression: ★★★★☆


Verite UV Multi Cushion DX (SPF 50 / PA+++)

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Retail: ~SGD$55
Gmarket: ~SGD$34.50

Actually… This cushion just represents me being greedy :p Once the rose gold/copper sides caught my eye, I was like YES. I NEED THIS. Same as the eSpoir – I’ll review this in due time.

Note: This is aaaaalso made by Amore Pacific. In fact, this technically even has Amore Pacific prepended to its name!

First impression: ★★★★☆


VDL Expert Colour Lip Cube (Guylian)

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Retail: SGD38
Gmarket: SGD$20

:’) This marbled chocolate (Guylian!) design was calling out to me, telling me ‘pick me! pick me!’ …so I did. I picked 3 of this (for me, my mum, and my aunt!). This is a great choice for me, as it’s really moisturizing, with a sheer pop of colour. The special cube shape of the lipstick allows for better application around cupid’s bow 🙂

First impression: 4half


VDL Beauty Metal Cushion Foundation EX (Candy Bar) (SPF 50 / PA+++)

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Retail: 32,000KRW / SGD$40
Gmarket: 21,000KRW / SGD $26

You may have already seen this in my April Favourites post, but to be honest, I was a bit irked by the metal design initially – however, after seeing how versatile the metal surface is on Get It Beauty, it’s been my favourite foundation since I started using it (with my Shiseido 131 Foundation brush)! It wears decently in humid weather (can’t help it…), with minimal touchup required – I’m pretty darn satisfied with that 🙂

First impression: 4half


VDL Expert Colour Eye Book 6.4 (Pink)

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Retail: 48,000KRW / SGD$60
Gmarket: ~31,000KRW / SGD$40

This needs no words. Pantone x VDL = life

aghhhh that pastel pink

First impression: 4half


Mise en Scene Hello Bubble Foam Hair Color

7N Mocha Latte Brown, 7P Vintage Rose Pink

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Retail: ~15,000KRW / ~SGD$20
Gmarket: 2 f0r 12,900KRW / 1 for SGD$8

I’ve been looking to dye my hair for a while now, but I decided against it (last minute :() at the salon, as I wasn’t sure if my internship would allow my dyed hair. My friends have been recommending bubble foam hair dyes, so when I came across this on GMarket I was like yup this is it – Mise en Scene is one of the top haircare brands in Korea at the moment, and no surprise here – it’s owned by Amore Pacific as well. If I’m not wrong, scouring the shelves of Watsons only yielded pretty basic hair dyes like from Revlon and whatnot, which cost around $20 per pack – so I’m hoping that this is much better!

First impression: ★★★★☆


Son & Park Skin Fit Foundation (SPF45 / PA++)

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Retail: 35,000KRW / SGD$45
Qoo10: SGD$20

Son & Park are the two makeup artists who frequently appear on Get It Beauty, so in my eyes they’re fairly famous and trustworthy makeup artists. They are well-known for being the makeup artists who create the hottest trends in Korea – one of them was Cheon Song-Yi’s makeup artist on My Love From The Star! When they came up with their own makeup brand and I spotted it on Qoo10, I was all up for trying it out.

What’s so special about this foundation stick is that: 1. Green primer base in the middle of the stick, which helps to neutralize redness, and 2. The micro-brush on the other end of the stick to help blend out the foundation! Typically, I don’t go for heavy coverage, but I think this stick is a great option for me to venture into that world 🙂

First impression: ★★★★☆


Mise en Scene Perfect Repair Hair Serum

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Retail: ~SGD$13
Qoo10: 2 for $12.90 = SGD$6.50

Mise en Scene yet again 😀 Actually, I purchased this serum (set of 2!) off Qoo10 before I made my GMarket haul. I do suffer from extremely wiry hair – it’s just poofy and messy, and gets oily easily in this humid weather. A while back, my hairstylist suggested I start using hair serums and oils more frequently. I don’t like handling oils – no matter how much I wash my hands, there’s still an icky sensation left, but when I tried this oil-based serum for the first time… whoa. My hair was glossy, and my hands were happy! (Sometimes, when I really don’t feel like dirtying my hands, I drip the serum on a wide-toothed comb and run it through my hair. Works just fine for me!)

First impression: ★★★★☆


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GMarket has quite a bunch of coupons available, including Paypal, Visa, and new member coupons – they can all be found on the homepage of GMarket Global. These will definitely help to offset the expensive fees for EMS – my shipping actually came close to $20-25 :O

I know that quite a number of these products can’t really be found on RoseRoseShop, or TesterKorea, the typical shopping sites… Given the low-low-low Korean prices, easy-to-use platform, and lightning-fast service, I’d definitely recommend anyone to try out GMarket. Lots of Singaporeans have reviewed GMarket online, and the typically haul breakdown includes cosmetics and clothing!

On a similar note, maybe I’ll try out KoreaDepart in a few months – it has a base rate of USD$5 for shipping to Singapore! I hope this post helps enlighten anyone who wants to order from Gmarket 🙂