Lalavla vs Olive Young: Pros and Cons

Where do you shop for Beauty Products in Korea?

I usually try and stick to just standalone product reviews on this blog because that was the original premise from which I started out on, but as time goes by, I realise that I have a bunch of other blog ideas, one of which I wanted to delve in today.

I want to know from you – if you live in Korea, or have visited before – where do you shop for beauty products? Which place do you prefer and why?

I will come right out and say it: I’m really boring. I only ever get stuff at Lalavla and Olive Young. Here are my reasons why:

  • I hate online shopping with a vengeance;
  • I don’t see the point of department store brands when there are veritable gems at the drugstore;
  • LOHBS (another major beauty shop-like chemist) is not in my area;
  • Garosugil and Dongdaemun, which have indie beauty counters of brands such as Too Cool for School (which I despise on a personal level – read more as to when my attitude soured and why over here) or VDL are too far for me;
  • beauty from supermarkets doesn’t do it for me because I cannot collect the same kind of rewards;
  • roadside beauty shop brands (It’s Skin, Missha, Innisfree, Etude House, The Saem) increasingly don’t do it for me in terms of quality; and lastly,
  • I find browsing the aisles of my local chemists so soothing. If I ever need a pick me up, I’ll stroll to the next Lalavla or Olive Young, and start walking around, testing products as I go along. My mood will have improved 200% by the time I exit.

I just wanted to recount my experiences with Lalavla and Olive Young respectively, seeing as I go there all the time.

Without further ado, let’s take a look. Did I miss any points? Let me know in the comments.

📈 Lalavla Pros 📈

  • tends to be cheaper
  • usually fantastic value for money
  • bulk items feature prominently
  • crazy discounts on selected items (50-70%)
  • products go on sale rather often, roughly every 2 weeks
  • membership through GS25 includes two additional monthly discounts, one for 10% and for 15%, which can be used any day of the month on any number of items
  • range includes discount makeup, mostly Essence, supplemented by Wet’n’Wild on occasion
  • can use points spent during purchase for additional cashback discounts
  • lots of innovative, fun new beauty products
  • Cololab nail polishes are the best nail polish range anywhere in Korea – read my review here
  • staff very courteous and eager to help at any location that I’ve visited

📉 Lalavla Cons 📉

  • lots of bargains to be had but many of those of inferior quality
  • many items gimmicky one hit wonders that are fun to use in the moment but that I would not repurchase
  • has lots of ‘me too’ products that mimic famous beauty brands without actually coming even close in terms of quality

… and now for the competitor:

🌻 Olive Young Pros 🌻

  • many prestigious and well established beauty brands that actually work are only available at Olive Young, such as Dr Jart+, isoi, Nuxe or Beyond the Remedy
  • staff very courteous and helpful, just like Lalavla
  • great selection of French pharmacy brands
  • can get cashback discounts using a CJ one membership card
  • overall better quality of items on offer

🥀 Olive Young Cons 🥀

  • sales happen a lot less often than Lalavla (~every 4-6 weeks)
  • generally more expensive
  • feels a little less fun and playful in terms of brand image
  • brand comes across a little mature and matronly
  • no discount makeup such as Essence, Catrice, ELF, Wet’n’Wild, CoverGirl
  • no crazy discounts – 20-30% off original price is usual
  • no additional discounts when using CJ one membership card

・Final Thoughts:・  

To recap: I go to Lalavla when I want to buy colour makeup and nail varnish, when I want to try a new beauty product but don’t want to break the bank, when I want to score a bargain or when I want a quick pick-me-up that won’t break the bank.

On the other hand, I prefer Olive Young for skincare – my one true passion – and I just wait for the items I want to go on sale so I don’t end up overspending.

Any preferences on your end?

© 2019 The Empties Diaries All Rights Reserved

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