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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Hong Kong's Causeway Bay: Korean Shopping

Causeway Bay is a big and busy shopping destination in Hong Kong, so of course I had to swing by and get my dose of Korean culture! 

Innisfree
Unknown Address
Walking around a pedestrian filled side street, I saw a small Innisfree at a corner. The two exterior walls were beautifully covered with ivy, giving a very nature-like effect to the brand.  There is also a monitor used as a window display, showing the technologically savvy store. 

Laneige
Times Square: 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay
A few blocks over is the shopping mall Times Square, with several Korean beauty brand stores.  I passed by Laneige, but it wasn't opened yet nor did I have much interest in the brand.

SkinFood
Times Square
I also walked right by SkinFood without noticing it because the storefront was so camouflaged. It's a very small space, the width being as long as the doorway and window, with only about 6 display cases of skincare products.  The only bb cream this store has is the mushroom one and one more; sadly they didn't carry the Good Afternoon Tea line, of which is the one I'm most interested.

Etude House
Times Square
The shop I was looking most forward to was Etude House, and my visit definitely didn't disappoint!
The storefront is very beautiful, with Key standing next to an elegant dresser and mirror.  I love how Etude adds these special little touches that make the customer's experience that much more memorable!
I love the pure and girly concept, with pristine white walls and displays and pink lettering.  
Even endorsers SHINee are looking dashing and romantic while dressed in pink.  The shelves and display tables nearly present all available products with testers of each. There were so many cute products took at, I couldn't think straight!  I love the appearance of the Princess Antoinette line (middle row of bottom photo); it's so elegant and fits Etude's concept perfectly.
Here are a few more shots of the displays.  Despite all of the shelves being completely packed with products, each product is easily viewable and there's no clutter.
Here are a few masks on display at the checkout. I'm surprised that there are so many packs for individual body parts, such as eyes, chin, forehead and neck.
There was also a special promotion going on that when you sign up for a free membership to Etude House Hong Kong, and make a purchase over a certain amount, you receive a free gift. Key's lifesize cutout explains it.  Behind the cashier is the display of gifts.  
The membership card is very nice, thick as a credit card and pretty like Etude.  Though I'll rarely use this card, I love carrying it around with me in my wallet!  For spending over $100 HKD, I received a pack of tissues with SHINee on the front. If I had spent another $8 HKD to reach $200 HKD, I would have also received a cute Etude pen or face mask sheet, but my uncle talked his way into having the representative give me the pen anyways.
Here is my purchase from Etude!  I bought some bb cream, hand cream and a face mask sheet, all of which I'll be reviewing in the future.  The prices at Etude are amazingly inexpensive compared to buying Etude online or buying other brands in store (ie. Holika Holika and SkinFood).  I bought my bb cream for $138 HKD ($17.79 USD), hand cream for $50 HKD ($6.45 USD) and mask for $18 HKD ($2.32 USD).  This is my first time at an Etude store and I've loved my experience!  The brand, concept and products are all darling and I'll definitely visit Etude again. 

Uniqlo
Across from Times Square
Directly across the street from Times Square is Uniqlo, a Japanese fashion chain popular in Asia and, to me, comparable to Zara in Europe or H&M in America.  They have basic clothing for children, women and men with reasonable prices. I found tees for $39 to $129 HKD ($5.03 to $16.63 USD) and a sweater on sale for $99 HKD ($12.77 USD).  Though this store isn't a Korean brand, it's indirectly related because Infinite's Myungsoo and Sungjong have been spotted shopping at a Uniqlo. This branch is the flagship store in Hong Kong, so visit this location if you only have time for one.

HMV
Style House: 1/F The Park Lane
A few minutes' walk away from Times Square is Style House, a narrow mall with media chain store HMV.  This store carries the latest Kpop CDs and has a bit of Jpop, but not much Korean Jpop (and certainly none of Infinite's Japanese products, though I did see CNBlue's Robot single).  Any Korean Jpop albums would be located under Kpop.  There are only a few copies on display, but workers can easily check inventory at the 4 other Hong Kong locations and put an item on hold for you for 3 days.
Sorry this photo is so blurry; I was too excited seeing these albums in person.  This aisle is where majority of the Kpop albums are, arranged first by solo artist or group, then gender, then alphabetically.  At the end of the aisle are official Kpop goods, such as fans, of YG's powerhouses Big Bang and 2NE1.
Here I bought Apink's latest album, Secret Garden, and IU's second full album, Last Fantasy 2.  HMV's prices are reasonable, with my albums costing $115 and $130 HKD ($14.83 and $16.76 USD), respectively.  I'm so excited to have found these albums here!

Etude House
Unknown Address
On the walk from Times Square to Style House, I spotted another Etude House on the street.  This one is more adorable in decor, with white picket fence like detailing on the storefront and fancy chandeliers strung inside.  There were also two openings, and an accompanying SHINee cutout in each, one of Minho and the other of Taemin (I believe; I was walking too fast to confirm).  Both cutouts matched Etude's color scheme, making for a girly and romantic ambiance.

Swan & Co.
CC Wu Building: Upper Ground, 302-308 Hennessy Road
My last stop in Causeway Bay was a bit further from the rest of the stores, so I suggest taking a street car.  Swan & Co. is a very small, independent shop in CC Wu Building that sells official and legit Asian CDs and DVDs. They have recently released merchandise, with only one or so copies on display.  The lone salesman told me Korean Jpop isn't common I Hong Kong because they're more expensive than Kpop, so it's best to preorder those or grab a copy during its initial release.  The prices at this store are quite reasonable, and just slightly cheaper than HMV.  I saw Apink's Secret Garden album here for $110 HKD ($0.64 USD difference compared to the price at HMV).
I had just came from HMV and that location didn't have the Reply 1997 OST, but luckily Swan & Co. had one copy hiding in a shelf!  I was so ecstatic to find this album in such an obscure store, and for a reasonable price of $160 HKD ($20.63 USD).  I absolutely love this store and it's especially meaningful to me because this is where I bought my first Kpop albums (You're Beautiful OSTs parts one and two) three years ago.  I'd definitely recommend to check out this shop if you're looking for some Kpop albums!

Causeway Bay is full of shopping opportinities, so be sure to stop by these shops if you're there!

32 comments:

  1. Can I just say that I'm a huge fan of your blog :D ❤

    Well...since you've tried so many beauty products, I was wondering if you know any good ones for acne treatment?

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  2. Oh, and also, I want to start watching Reply 1997. Is it good? :)xx

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    1. Awww, your comment really made my day! Thank you so much~

      Hmm honestly I haven't tried any Korean acne specific products; for that, I stick to American drugstore products like Neutrogena.

      Oooh Reply 1997 is really good, but it's definitely not the typical romcom type drama. I usually just like the happy-go-lucky romcom dramas, so the first time I watched Reply 1997, I quit after episode 3 because it just wasn't my style. But eventually I watched the entire drama and absolutely loved it! It's interesting seeing how fangirling was like in the 90s hehe. Hope you like it~

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  3. Aww you're welcome :)~~
    And thank you for answering.

    When I was in America I saw an add on tv about that brand, but unfortunately I had no time to go and buy it since I was moving from town to town. I wish I could live in a country that has a variety of stuff lol.

    I really want to watch Reply 1997 because of Hoya and I really hope I like it. Also, what is your favourite Infinite show? (As in the tv shows they were in)

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    1. It was definitely Hoya that led me to finally complete the drama, and I'm so glad I did! Hoya was absolutely stellar in that drama and it's definitely made me like him so much more! Such a bias wrecker lol. Hmm it's so hard to choose a favorite show! For variety shows, I think Ranking King is my favorite, because they were just so hilarious!

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  4. Yes, I'm going to watch it because of Hoya. I hope I like it. I love Hoya as well, but Infinite have a special place in my heart so when people ask me who's my bias, I can't answer...but I secretly love Dongwoo so much.

    I think Ranking King is my fav as well. Have you watched Sesame Player? :)xx

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    1. If you're watching for Hoya, I think you'll really like it because his acting was really amazing! Aaah yah everyone in Infinite is amazing, so it's so hard to have a bias without 6 bias wreckers!

      Yes, I've seen Sesame Player! I also really loved that show, seeing Infinite running around town and seeing them so young back then! I really really want to see Birth of a Family, but I can't find the complete season with Eng subs...it's so frustrating, I've only been able to see clips.

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  5. Oh, I just finished watching it yesterday. But, it was only the Infinite cuts. :)
    I think I'm going to watch Sesame player now and Reply 1997 :D
    I heard Hoya was playing a gay guy and I really want to watch him cause he's amazing.

    Also, do you by any chance know the difference between the Japanese and the Korean edition of the "Second Invasion: Evolution" DVD? Because, it's out of stock and I really want to buy it, but I only find the Japanese edition for 250$

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    1. Hmm maybe I should just watch Birth of a Family cuts too...I heard Myungsoo cries in one episode! Ooh if you haven't seen Sesame Player, you definitely should!

      Hmm I honestly don't know much about the Japanese version. Usually for Infinite's Japanese DVDs, they only have Japanese subs whereas the Korean version of Second Invasion Evolution DVD has subs in Korean, English and Chinese (and the 3D Bluray disc has Korean, English and Japanese). Because this is such a rare and expensive item, I would suggest just searching really hard and taking your time finding the Korean version (unless you understand Japanese!).

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  6. Yes, I haven't watched Sesame Player, that's why I'm planning on starting it today. You haven't watched Birth of a Family? It's pretty good. Yes, Myungsoo did cry and it was so cute and sad at the same time!! He cried because of a letter his mom wrote and Sungyeol was crying as well but they didn't show it. Also, Dongwoo's hair in that episode was so cute >.<
    http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lzpx0o3u4H1qdd7io.gif

    Haha, yeah, you're right. I wish I could understand Japanese xD Though I doubt I'll buy it cause it's expensive since it doesn't exist anymore :/

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    1. I think you'll really like Sesame Player! And it was during the time they promoted for Be Mine, so it's cool to see that too. Omg Dongwoo's hair is soo cute! Now I really wanna watch the show!

      I found the Korean version of Second Invasion Evolution Limited Edition on eBay; I was really patient, and eventually it popped up and I'm so happy to have it now! It's definitely one of my favorite concert DVDs, so I hope you'll get it someday!

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  7. I started watching Sesame Player and I think I'm loving it. Also, I started watching Reply 1997 and I love it as well.
    I think you should watch the show. It's really good. :)

    I wish I could find a reasonable price for it, but since it rarely exists, I've watched the concert online and I absolutely love it!!

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    1. I'm glad you're enjoying those shows! Oh and I'm glad you saw it online. There's the concert DVD as well as the concert movie DVD which includes bts footage and interviews, so make sure you watch both!

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  8. Yes, I hope I can find all of them online :)
    Also, do you know who sings the song that Sungjong covered?

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    1. The song is originally by Park Ji Yoon, but so many idols have performed it now hehe^^

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  9. Hey I wanna aak you something..
    Which is cheaper to buy Kpop album, HMV or In Sino Centre? Cause I'll go to Hongkong n your blog reall helps me a lot :D

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    1. Sorry so many typo >_<

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    2. I'm glad this blog helps! I haven't been to Hong Kong in a few years so I hope my info is still accurate...the prices at HMV and Sino Centre were very similar, I think Sino Centre is just a tad bit cheaper (by a few $USD). HMV carries newer Kpop CDs and is a legit store while Sino Centre has older, some rare, and newer CDs but is much more hectic and intimidating. Good luck finding the albums you want and enjoy your trip to HK~

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    3. And btw, in sino centre there are some shops which sold fake album, is that true? Cause I'm afraid I'll buy the wrong album
      But thank for replaying me!! ^_^

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    4. Hmm Sino Centre could definitely be selling fake items, since it's kind of like flea market style there...I don't know for sure if they're real or fake, but you bring up a good point! I think it's safest to go to HMV since I believe album sales go towards the Kpop charts, showing it's a legit retailer.

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    5. Okay thank you for answering me, sorry if I'm bothering you..
      I will consider your opinion, n maybe I will try go to Hanchasa too..
      Thx ^^

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    6. Don't worry, you're no bother at all!! I'm honestly very grateful that you're reading my blog and find it helpful! Ooooh what's Hanchasa?? Is it a Kpop store in Hong Kong??

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    7. Ohh that's why I'm wondering why you didn't write about hanchasa.. hehehe i thought it's quite popular maybe not? Hahaha
      cause some people said it's cheaper than mongkok but i don't know either..
      Hanchasa is kpop store in causeway bay if i'm not mistaken..

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    8. Ahh I thought I did so much research about Kpop stores in Hong Kong, I don't know how I could have missed it! Thank you so much for telling me about it, I'll definitely check it out next time I'm in Hong Kong!

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    9. Ur well.. :)
      Your blog helps me a lot.. thank you

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    10. Thank you^^
      And if you have any other questions or comments, just let me know~
      Enjoy your trip to Hong Kong!

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  10. Thank you girl. Do they have bigbang made album and concert?

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    1. Hi! I haven't visited HMV in a long time, but I would try there for BigBang's Made albums and official concert merch^^ I hope you can find what you're looking for!

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  11. I just wanted to know...
    Is HMV still open?Because I'm going there this November and I just wanted to make sure it was still open.Also,is there any VIXX and U-KISS albums?Because they aren't very popular I wanted to buy their albums.
    Do they have old albums?As in albums released in the previous years(2014,2013,etc)
    Sorry for asking so many questions.I hope you do answer them as I really wanted to buy some albums but the shipping is extremely expensive.
    Thank you so much!! :)

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    1. Hello^^ Unfortunately, the HMV at that location (Style House) is now closed. BUT they have a few other locations around HK! [http://www.hmv.com.hk/index/address.html]

      As for what they sell, I honestly don't know what their inventory is currently. When I visited in 2013, I remember they had a good selection of many Kpop artists (I would think that they'd have VIXX at least!). I'm sorry I couldn't have been of more help!

      But I do know that Hong Kong does have other Kpop shops around (that I've never visited), so do some more research and hopefully you'll be able to visit them!

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  12. That's a pity but thanks anyway!I have to do more research then....Thanks anyway!

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    1. I wish I could have helped you more! Enjoy your trip and I hope you find the merch that you want^^

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