Where to buy K-beauty in Malaysia 2020

April 30, 2020

Hi guys! Today I'll be sharing my guide on where you can buy K-beauty products here in Malaysia.

Just a disclaimer, I am affiliated/have been affiliated with all the sites/stores/platforms in this list (except Sephora lol sis hit me up). My main goal for making this post is to highlight the pros and cons of shopping on these stores/websites, as well as if they have any specific good deals/promotions. I don't earn anything from this post, and I just wanna share where you can get your K-beauty fix!

Without any further ado, let's start!

1. Flagship offline stores/department stores

We start from the basics! The #1 sign that a K-beauty brand is super popular is if it can afford an offline flagship store overseas. Usually, these are the Amore Pacific brands like Innisfree, Laneige & Etude House, or the LG H&H brands like THE FACE SHOP, Belif and History of Whoo. You can easily find stores from brands like Sulwhasoo in any major mall, and if they don't have a store in that mall you can find a counter in the department store.

The pros of buying from official offline stores are the membership perks and limited gifts. Innisfree is known for giving away freebies/merch like mirrors & other perks. You can also try out makeup products like lipsticks and foundations in-store to see if the colours suit you/your skin tone.

The #1 con of offline stores are the prices. Aside from THE FACE SHOP, other official offline stores rarely do any major promotion, and you can easily find their best-sellers online for cheaper. The prices in Malaysia are higher compared to Korea because these products are brought over from Korea, and the distributors obvi need a cut (of course currency affects pricing as well).

Speaking of THE FACE SHOP, I just had to mention! They now carry multiple brand together, not just TFS products. Belif & CNP products are now sold in-store, and more and more brands under LG are being added. Most of them are available on the TFS e-store too. I noticed that promotions there are quite good (20-30%!) and they always give lots of GWP like bottles, eco bags, rollers, etc.

Another con of offline stores is that new launches rarely reach Malaysia as fast as online stores. Etude House's Kit Kat collab took a few months to reach Malaysia, and the Tom & Jerry collection took 2 months.

Bottom line: if you spot a good deal, grab it. Otherwise, swatch it offline and buy it online from another store/website.

2. Hermo

Hermo is Malaysia's #1 online beauty marketplace - there's no denying it. They carry a wide selection of brands (even non-Korean ones) and offer super fast delivery. They offer free shipping on West Malaysia orders above RM50 (lowest among all the sites on this list) and they are the official online flagship stores for several brands. If you run out of your fave product and you need it asap, Hermo would be the place to buy it.

The cons of Hermo is that since they carry the major K-beauty brands officially (like Innisfree and Laneige), I noticed that their prices are controlled. They can't really lower the prices for these brands, hence very rarely will you find them cheaper her compared to in-store. This is not the same for all K-beauty brands, by the way, just those that Hermo carries officially and doesn't acquire through Stylekorean/distributor. Overall, price-wise I think Hermo is still ok. Not the cheapest, but it makes up for it with its shipping time of 2-3 business days.

Another point to mention is that Hermo partners with Stylekorean to fulfil certain brands & products. This help you buy products available on Stylekorean without paying for Stylekorean's international shipping fee. The catch is that the wait time is slightly longer (as it will come from Korea).

To shop on Hermo, head over to hermo.my or download the Hermo app.

3. Althea

Althea sources products directly from distributors in Korea and offers a lowest-price guarantee for their products (with a few exceptions). The brand selection used to be wider, but I would say the selection now is still pretty good. Curated with both big and trendy brands, it's hard to fight their prices of cult-products. For example, the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask retails in Malaysia for RM120 but Althea only sells it for RM69. During promotions, I've seen it drop to even RM50+! Althea also has brand days quite frequently where they do brand-wide promotions, including up and coming brands. Overall a great place to expand you K-beauty appetite and to try out new products. To get free shipping you have to spend RM99 (standard). For international shipping, I think that's pretty great!

Another nice point of Althea is that they release special edition boxes for holidays seasons. The boxes are quite good quality, and the boxes themselves have a following because fans like to collect them/use them as storage.

The cons of Althea is definitely the shipping time. If you order products from Althea's private brand (A'bloom/Althea collection), they can come in as little as 2 business days. This is because Althea has warehouses in Malaysia. However, for everything else, it is shipped directly from Korea. Althea's usual shipping time is 10-15 business days. If you're in a rush, this might be a big con for you. Personally, I think the prices make up for the wait. After years of purchasing from Althea, I've grown used to the wait. If you want it immediately, Althea might not be for you. If you want the best deal, give them a go!

To shop on Althea, head over to my.althea.kr or download the Althea app. You can shop the private brand items on their Shopee store as well, where it will be shipped withing 5 business days

4. Stylekorean

With the widest selection of K-beauty brands on this list, Stylekorean is another fave of mine. As I mentioned above, some K-beauty products on Hermo are fulfilled by Stylekorean. However, not all are available on Hermo. If you want the best K-beauty brand dive, I recommend Stylekorean. With over 150 brands, they cover all the bases. I'm not kidding, you can legit find everything you want here. Staples like Laneige, Innisfree, THE FACE SHOP and Etude House? Popular brands like Clio, Cosrx, Pyunkangyul, Banila Co and Missha? Check. IG faves like rom&nd, Lilybyred, W.dressroom, Huxley & Some By Mi? Check. Legit every K-beauty brand that matters is on Stylekorean.

The cons to Stylekorean would be shipping time like Althea (as products are shipped directly from Korea). As Stylekorean ships worldwide, the physical weight of your order influences shipping costs as well. Orders less than 2kg and/or worth USD50 get free shipping via EFS. I've found shipping time for Stylekorean to be slightly faster/similar compared to Althea.

Price-wise, Stylekorean also offers some fierce prices. As I type this, they're currently having their birthday sale. 50% off Laneige? Flat rate of 40% on Huxley? I kid you not, it's easy to go crazy on Stylekorean's sales haha.

To shop on Stylekoran, head over to stylekorean.com. Stylekorean currently does not have an app.

5. Wako

Fairly new to the game, I only discovered Wako last year and they're fast becoming a favourite. They offer free shipping on orders above RM100, and their brand selection is quite nice as well. They curated collections based on interesting topics (like fungal acne safe, based on skin types, etc.), and their sales can be quite crazy at times. They had crazy RM1 and RM5 sales at one point, and on great products too like Skin1004. Shipping time is as fast as Hermo's (2-3 business days) and overall I find them a nice site to shop on. They also carry a few popular non-Korean brands like The Ordinary!

At the moment I would say the only cons I can find for Wako is that they're in the middle. Not the widest selection, not the cheapest prices. However, I would still browse and shop from them because their prices do go quite low sometimes & their shipping is impeccable.

Wako also has an official Shopee store! Seeing as they have almost 130k followers, 1.6k products and a cancellation rate of less that 1%, it's safe to say that Wako's Shopee store is one of the current top places to shop for K-beauty in Malaysia today.

To shop on Wako, head over to wako.com.my. Wako currently does not have an app.

6. Wynora

Similar to Wako, Wynora was a discovery made last year. They offer mostly Korean brands (with a few exceptions of The Ordinary + a few more). They don't have the widest range of brands but their selection is pretty good:

What impressed me first with Wynora is their competitive prices + their sets. For example, check out their Some By Mi sets!

Mind you these aren't all of them. They offer nice deals and prices on popular & trendy products from time to time, and their sale section is definitely one to check out. Orders above RM80 get free shipping on Wynora, while for East Malaysia it's above RM150. They also ship to Singapore & Brunei, though I'm not sure about the rates for those countries. For Malaysia, they offer shipping within 5-7 business days. My latest order was during the MCO period, and I still managed to get it withing 5 business days.

They also have a RM10 code (WONDER10) available for all first purchases, and you can use it even on sale + sets!

To shop on Wynora, head over to wynora.com. Wynora currently does not have an app.

7. Major B

The "youngest" on this list, I also only discovered Major B last year. I would recommend you to shop here if you're looking for hard-to-find K-beauty collections (like A'pieu's Rola Rola collection) or hard-to-find Kbeauty brands which are super hot in Korea right now (like Lilybyred, Rom&nd and Espoir). Although their brand selection is quite limited, they do carry a nice curation of trendy skincare brands (like Hanyul & AHC). As they're based in East Malaysia, shipping for orders above RM100 is free for East Malaysia while its RM150 for West Malaysia.

They also offer a nice mint hard box when your order reaches over RM200!

To be honest, I like them more for the limited edition makeup collections that they carry. They carried the Innisfree Fila collection (which didn't even launch in Malaysia I think), the uber covetable Holika Holika Gudetama collection and the trendy Lilybyred Estherbunny collection (when Lilybyred wasn't even available yet anywhere in Malaysia).

To shop on Major B, head over to major-b.com. Major B currently does not have an app.

And I guess that's it! You can also shop K-beauty products online/offline on Sephora, Watsons & Guardian. However, unless it's more than 30% OFF, I wouldn't bother. I only shop on Sephora for western brands + makeup, for K-beauty not so much. For Watsons, you can get Mamonde for a good price from time to time, but you have to wait for their sales. Guardian has Lilybyred now (great for swatching because you can't do that online) as well as good K-beauty brands like Medicube & Holika Holika, so if you're the type to try before you buy, you can always drop by your nearest Guardian to check them out.

And that's it for this post! I hope you found this post helpful and informative 💓

Thanks for reading through, see ya in the next one!

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