Konglish Beauty

Black or not black? That is the question.

Posted in Etude House, eyeliner, Korean brands, Offtopic by konglishbeauty on March 12, 2009

One thing I never claim to be is consistent. I never know my own mind because I constantly change it. If you ever point out my flakiness and mental u-turns, we can never be friends so please stop.

When I first saw the Etude House Spring 09 VIP girl collection in person, I was disappointed. See my previous review here. However obviously not convinced in my own initial opinions, I kept visiting the Etude House website to see what other people thought. Many Korean cosmetics websites allow people to upload their own thoughts, reviews and pictures of products. These appear to be unedited as you will regularly see both rants and raves.

It’s a brave move but a clever one as allowing user generated content and reviews on a site ensure that people will visit it and will increase a product’s credibility. I’ve noticed a few Western sites doing this as well e.g. Sephora, Boots and Coastal Scents and I hope it continues. If you look at the reviews culture on Amazon I think it only serves to increase sales and interest in products. Hopefully it will increase consumer power as well as being a free and easy way for them to get customer feedback.

The only product I was vaguely interested in buying was the Dual Change eyeliner. Originally I thought it was the same as the normal Dual Change eyeliner, previously released in the Fall 08 collection and now a permanent part of the Etude House collection. However, on reading the reviews of the product on the EH website, a debate seemed to be raging on the shade of the new VIP version of the eyeliner. Previously the eyeliner was only available in one colour, black with no number or shade name. The VIP version is numbered #02 and is called Super Black. Some people insisted that the shades were the same whilst others begged to differ. Time for my own investigation.


No, black is not just black. There’s black, brown black, blue black, grey black, carbon black, black black and black with a cherry on top. Here are my swatches:

Without flash
Left: Original. Right: VIP #02

With flash
Left: Original. Right: VIP #02


Clearly different. The original is a lighter grey black and the VIP black is a darker blue black. The swatch on my hand faded to an indigo shade as the day wore on.

I will give the Dual Change eyeliner its own separate review soon but it is fabulous and one of the best eyeliners I’ve ever used. I bought the VIP version and will use it for night time looks where extra pigmentation and depth is called for.

I also ended up buying the two brighter lipsticks from the VIP collection. VERY bright, VERY loud. Review coming up soon.

Total haul complete with obligatory Korean freebies


ASIDE; having just come back from London, I’ve been struck by the differences between customer service in shops in the UK and Korea. Customer service is generally much better here and I had a few snappy moments with useless sales assistants in London who clearly should have put out of their misery and shot years ago. I worked in retail on the shop floor for many years and I know that it doesn’t take a lot to smile and be helpful even if something is out of stock or the till isn’t working. Retail’s not the best of jobs, but it sure beats many other jobs out there and it really isn’t hard so useless sales assistants should be culled to stop them spreading their inefficient genes. In my experience, American shops have the best customer service.

Shops are also really understaffed in London. Korea on the other hand has an abundance of shop assistants and helpful ones at that. However sometimes they go to the other extreme and won’t leave you alone. Whilst browsing in one shop yesterday, I had a particularly irritating girl who wouldn’t leave me alone. She asked me whether I was looking for anything in particular. I explained that I was browsing and didn’t need any help. However she shadowed me as I went around the shop, like a tumour at my elbow that I just couldn’t rid myself of. When I was swatching a white eyeliner pencil (which clearly had “eyeliner” marked on it), she pointed out “That’s a white eyeliner. You use it to line your eyes. It’s white” she added helpfully. Oh really. I thought it was a suppository for my arsehole. Thanks a lot for clearing that up. NOW LEAVE ME ALONE.

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