Konglish Beauty

Lemmings and sell outs

Posted in Benefit, Chanel, fragrance, Givenchy, nail varnish by konglishbeauty on September 13, 2009

I went out and about in Seoul today, cruising Lotte and Shinsegae department stores in Uljiro, right in the centre of the city. I had a few things to browse, to swatch and very much had things to buy! First up was the Jin Soon Choi nail varnish collection for MAC. I’ve been on a hee-uge nail varnish kick recently and decided that I had to try Cool Reserve, the lovely greylavender shade. What I really want is Sephora by OPI’s Metro Chic, but as that’s not ready to hand in Korea I wanted to try Cool Reserve.

But it was all sold out! The collection’s been out less than a week and nothing’s left. MAC mania is really huge in Korea and I was too slow off the starting line with this collection. What was even more annoying was that the colletion was on show but with “Sold Out” stickers on everything. I mean, really, what’s the point in displaying sold out items??? Ditto the Makeup Art Cosmetics collection. The pigments, technakohls and quad testers were all out on the counter but clearly marked as sold out. I didn’t want anything from the collection but it enraged me to see the testers out anyway. Grrrrr.

I then went over to Shisegae department store where there is a Chanel Make-up Studio to see whether they’d got the new Jade nail varnishes in. These two new (limited edition) shades are exclusive to online, Chanel Make-up Studios, and Chanel boutiques. Alas, they have yet to arrive in Korea and the sales assistants aren’t expecting them for a while. I was about to give up the day as bad shopping day when I wandered over to the meagre fragrance counter. Korea pretty much sucks all shades of suck when it comes to fragance. There is a paltry selection of fragrance in the country and wearing strong scents will get you abuse from old Korean men. The most niche we get is Diptyque or Aqua di Parma (possibly Creed if you look very hard). I’m gearing up to douse myself in a particulary offensive Serge Lutens one day (maybe Arabie?) and stand on a Line 2 subway train carriage to see what happens: I’m thinking of the last page of the novel Perfume.

But I spied the new fragrance from Issey Miyake, A Scent, amongst the testers and went to spritz. I’ve heard good reviews from my favourite perfume blogs and am happy to report that I LOVE this. It’s green, green, green, with the crisp sap note that brings to mind holding your nose over a freshly snapped green stem. It doesn’t stray into the herbal area that many greens do and has a light yet certain presence. The closest thing I have in my collection is Eau de Givenchy, but A Scent is not as sharp and has a softer dry down. Eau de Givenchy has a distinctive bitterness which A Scent lacks. I wandered around Seoul with my arm glued to my nose for the next hour. This is a must buy and I look forward to wearing this sparkling gem on sluggish mornings to brighten my day.Also sniffed, the Benefit Crescent Row trio which I liked too. A bit silly, all three of them sweet and without a lot of development but the adorable packaging and opaque packaging (which protects scent from turning) has swayed me.

So, I didn’t manage to get any nail varnish, but made a couple of nice scent discoveries and did come home with a Laneige mini make-up brush set.

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