Sunday, June 29, 2014

From Korea with love

Ok, Ok, I've been home for a week now, but only now, finally, I'm sitting down in peace to write something about this trip. Because it was a very fruitful trip. But more about those lovely fruits next time. Today I'm just going to say a few things that most people don't want to hear. No, I'm not going to tell you about how toxic and harmful those awful Korean cosmetics are. 
(Note to my foreign readers - this is a running joke in the Polish beauty blogosphere - two Polish women based in Japan love to spew nonsense on their YouTube channel about how Korean cosmetics are toxic garbage and cause everything from cancer to global warming. Ok, I admit, that global warming bit was from me, but you get the idea - two nutcases, who pretend to be experts).

Jah, jah, jestem juz w domu od tygodnia, ale w koncu sie zebralam do kupy, zeby cos napisac o tym wypadzie. Bo wypad byl owocny. Ale o tych owocach bedzie w kolejnym wpisie. Dzis, natomiast bedzie kilka slow, ktorych wiele ludzi nie chce uslyszec. Nie, spoko, nie bedzie o tym, jakie to toksyczne i szkodliwe te koreanskie kosmetyki sa, LOL. (A swoja droga, i tak przy okazji, to jedno dziewcze, ktore znam, jest w trakcie tlumaczen tych filmikow na jezyk koreanski i chce wyslac transkrypty do koreanskich pism kobiecych i prasy, no bo przeciez trzeba jakos ostrzec miliony tych nieszczesnych koreanskich kobiet zyjacych w calkowitej niewiedzy.)

Ok, ale gdzie ja bylam?
Aha, w Seulu, w dzielnicy Myeongdong, ktorej ulice to jedna wielka galeria handlowa - glownie kosmetyczna.

Ok, so where was I?
Yes, in Seoul. In Myeongdong, where the streets resemble one big shopping mall selling mostly cosmetics.

A ile sklepow tych samych firm mozna upchnac na jedno skrzyzowanie? Okazuje sie, ze calkiem sporo. Te same Tony Moly, Nature Republic, Missha, Innisfree, Skin-to-tamto-i-owamto sprzedajace dokladnie te same produkty, sa doslownie co krok. Az mozna sie pogubic, bo ma sie wrazenie, ze juz obok tego sklepu sie przechodzilo. Ale nie, to kolejny sklep tej samej firmy.

And how many stores of the same brand can you stick on one street corner? Many, it turns out. The same Tony Molys, Nature Republics, Misshas, Innisfrees, Skin-something-or-the-other selling the same products are literally every 50 meters, or so. Very easy to get lost, because you always have this feeling that you've just passed this one shop, but no, it's a different shop of the same company.

Nie wiem skad sie wziela opinia, ze te marki sa ekskluzywne. Nie sa. Nigdy nie byly. I nie maja zamiaru byc, bo ich grupa docelowa klientek jest inna. W Myeongdong wydawalo sie, ze te klientki to glownie Rosjanki. Kupowaly calymi kartonami, jestem niemal pewna, ze w celu sprzedazy w ich wlasnym kraju.

I have no idea where the myth that those are exclusive brands came from. Because they are not. Never were. And don't intend to be, because their target customer base is completely different. And in Myeongdong it seemed that this group is mostly Russian. There were Russian women everywhere, buying whole cases of stuff, no doubt to resell back home.

Po moich pierwszych przygodach z niskopolkowymi koreanskimi kosmetykami, bo takimi wlasnie te wyzej wymienione sa, bylam w stanie zgodzic sie z opinia, ze to smieci. Przyzwyczajona do raczej bardziej ekskluzywniejszych produktow, nie wiedzialam skad ta fascynacja zwyklymi drogeryjnymi koreanskimi kosmetykami. Bo oprocz ladnych opakowan, nie mialy one mojej cerze nic do zaoferowania. Oprocz wypryskow, podraznionej skory i ziemistego koloru (tak typowego dla tanich marek koreanskich kremow BB).

Dla scislosci, poniewaz moja cera to prawdziwa bestia, podobne reakcje mam rowniez na pielegnacje chanelowska i kilku innych wysokopolkowych.

After my first adventures with Korean drugstore brands, because that's what they are - your Korean Walgreens and CVS products, I could almost agree that this was garbage. Being used to a bit more fancier department store stuff, I couldn't figure out why the obsession with low-end Korean cosme was so widespread. Because other than cute packaging, they have very little to offer, at least to me. Besides zits, acne outbreaks, irritated skin and a zombieish "I've been dead for a few days already, but at least my complexion is oh-so-dewy" skin tone (so typical of cheap Korean bb creams).

To be fair, my skin can be a nasty beast and gets pissed off very easily at high end brands too - for example Chanel skincare turns my face into a raw pepperoni pizza.

I z tym w glowie, postanowilam dowiedziec sie, jakich to produktow uzywaja przygodnie spotkane Koreanki, w mniej wiecej moim wieku (choc przyznaje, trudno jest odgadnac ile dana babka moze miec lat, jesli stoi sie na ulicy, o zmroku).

Ustawilam sie wiec strategicznie w poblizu budki sprzedajacej lody w czyms co wygladalo jak pokrecona rurka, i wraz ze znajoma koreanska obstawa zaczelysmy zadawac babkom pytania.
Przepytalysmy 30 kobiet, z ktorych 7 okazalo sie Chinkami, wiec ich odpowiedzi nie bralysmy pod uwage.

So, I set out to find out what kind of products Korean women my age (though, granted, it can be difficult to judge somebody's age at night while standing on a busy street corner) use.
I positioned myself strategically right by a stand selling ice cream in something that looked like a twisted walking cane, and together with a friendly Korean helper, we started to ask questions.

We polled 30 women, of these 7 turned out to be Chinese, so we disregarded their answers.

I rezultaty?
And the results?

Z 23 Koreanek ani jedna nie wspomniala o Tony Moly czy It's Skin.
Out of 23 Korean women not one mentioned Tony Moly or It's Skin.

Nazwy, ktore padaly, to te:
Instead, they mentioned these names:

  • - Ohui
  • - Sulwhasoo
  • - Iope
  • - Amore Pacific
  • - Su:m 37
  • - Hera
  • - Dior
  • - Estee Lauder
  • - Chanel
  • - La Mer
  • - La Prairie

i pare innych, ktorych nie moge odczytac, bo moja znajoma zapisywala je w hangulu po pijanemu.
And a couple of others that I can't read, because my friend was writing them down in hangul, while being somewhat drunk.

Ta pani lubi su:m 37 i Sulwhasoo i byla zdziwiona, ze cudzoziemka o nich slyszala.
This lady likes sum:37 and Sulwhasoo and was surprised that a westerner knew what they were.

Poniewaz ich odpowiedzi pokrywaly sie czesciowo z tym co sama chcialam kupic, potwierdzilo to tylko moje zamiary.
Because their answers overlapped more or less with what I wanted to buy myself, it was that extra confirmation I needed when spending large sums of money on stuff that I am not 100% familiar with.

Pierwsze szesc nazw na tej liscie to marki, ktorych na prozno szukac na ulicach Myeongdong. Nie ta przegrodka i cenowa i jakosciowa. To kosmetyki sprzedawane w departamentach zaraz obok diorow i chanelow. Byc moze dlatego osoby trabiace o szkodliwych koreanskich kosmetykach nigdy o nich nie slyszaly.

The first six, or so, names on this list you won't find in the cheap drugstores lining the streets of Myeongdong. Not that price and quality range. And a different target market, it seems. Instead, you have to go to fancy department stores and look right next to diors and chanels. So it's possible that vloggers preaching about harmful Korean cosme simply never heard that high-end Korean skincare brands also exist and offer quality comparable to (if not higher than) western fancy schmancy products.

Czy wiec w ogole kupilam cos na ulicach Myeongdong, czy tez moze gralam kosmetyczna snobke przez caly czas? Oczywiscie, ze kupilam! Zawsze jestem chetna na wyprobowanie czegos co nie kosztuje 3/4 mojej wyplaty. A nuz sie trafi jakas perelka?

So, did I buy anything on the streets of Myeongdong, or did I act like a cosmetics snob till the very bitter end? Of course I bought something! I wouldn't be myself otherwise. I'm always eager to try something new, especially if that something doesn't cost an arm and a leg and a little bit. Because buying expensive stuff all the time, I'm going to eventually run out of arms and legs and organs to sell on the black market.

Ta firma urzekla mnie swoja nazwa, wiec cos po prostu musialam kupic.
This company's name I simply couldn't ignore. I had to buy something.

A co kupilam, tak ogolnie?
Pokazywalam juz na instagramciu. Ale bedzie i oddzielny wpis wkrotce. Bo

So, in the end, what did I buy, overall?
I showed most of the stuff on IG, but I'll prepare a special post here as well.

Milego tygodnia!!
Have a great week!

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