24 Hours in New York City // Korea Town Beauty Shopping & Yummy Dessert Tasting

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Sharing my 24-Hours Adventure in NYC // Beauty shopping in Korea Town. Shown here: Nature Republic Store on W 32nd Street.

My brother flew in from Asia and one of his short stops was New York City, so I flew down there to meet up with him.  We had some great meals and museum visits, but of course, when it came to beauty shopping in Korea Town, he opted out.  No worries, my trusted roommate from college @concon95 (who lives in NYC) was more than happy to go with me since she's just starting to dabble into the exciting world of Asian Beauty!

Given my 24-hours time limit in the city, I could only afford to be in K-Town for 1.5 hours.  It's not an issue as it was a Sunday and all the shops were pretty quiet.  I drew up this so-not-to-scale map of the key part of K-Town we ventured to - On West 32nd St, between Broadway and 5th Ave.  In this short block, you can hit all the major K-Beauty brands and taste some super yummy Korean food and desserts.

~ FUeling up before our express shopping spree ~

I've been to a few really great dessert places in NYC, but I've never ventured into K-Town before.  I did some homework prior to arrival and found Grace Street as one of the new faces in the K-Town dessert scene.  It has some rave reviews and it sure did not disappoint! 

P.S. I included 2 honorary mentions on the map for food - BCD Tofu House (which I frequently visit in California and love their tofu stews) and H-Mart (which is a Korean supermarket...I don't think I need to tell you why it's a must-see!)

Sharing my 24-Hours Adventure in NYC // Fueling up for the shopping spree at Grace Street Coffee & Dessert. Highlight // Korean Dessert and Perfect Hangout Spot Highly Recommended // Hodduk (Korean donuts), Shaved Snow, Savory Waffle Sandwich
Sharing my 24-Hours Adventure in NYC // Fueling up for the K-Beauty shopping spree at Grace Street Coffee & Dessert. The food here is the star, but Grace Street is also a great place to hang out or use as your remote ffice!  The staff doesn't rush you and there are plenty of space/seating for everyone. I also love all the long communal tables, giving it a very friendly, easy-going vibe. Perfect place to fuel up before your k-beauty shopping!
Sharing my 24-Hours Adventure in NYC // Fueling up for the K-Beauty shopping spree at Grace Street Coffee & Dessert. Shaved Snow: You can order Grace Street's signatures or you can make your own.  I opted for my own creation - Milk snow, sweet red bean, mochi and misutgaru (grain powder). Sweetness overload! Hodduk: These donuts are made-toorder, looking mighty golden when served.  Topped with a heavy load of powder sugar and complimented with matcha ice cream, this is a match-made in food heaven. Savory Waffle Sandwich: There are many choices and Miss S opted for this combo of fried eggs + avocado + sesame topping on a freshly made waffle.  Oh, and she loaded up on the "Street Sauce", a secret recipe ofG/S. Need I say more? *Not Shown:  Also try their specially-blended milk tea. I picked the Jasmine version and it was so yummy.    

~ ready for some k-beauty shopping?? ~

With that yummy meal in our stomach, @concon95 and I said goodbye to Miss S and began our express shopping spree.  

Sharing my 24-Hours Adventure in NYC // Shopping for Korean beauty products in Korea Town. Having to do an express shopping spree in less than 1.5 hours, I was only able to hit 3 stores.....But I've vowed to return!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks @concon95 for express-shopping with me!  

 

// The face shop //

Sharing my 24-Hours Adventure in NYC // Shopping for Korean beauty products in Korea Town HIGHLIGHT // You can load up on those cute character masks here!  And don't forget the super cute KaKao Friends Collection.  I am also in awe of the decor and how the staff keeps this place in such immaculate condition.    SELECTIONS // It's no comparison to the Mother Land store in Seoul, but I think they carry a pretty good variety of their key collections.  There are some out-of-stock in the new arrival such as KaKao cosmetics.  We made relatively small purchases, but we were offered samples (a mask + travel size duo). PRICING // It's reasonably priced and comparable to the marketplace.  There are online stores that have lower prices, but when you add in shipping charges, it may end up being the same.  Plus, you can't beat the actual experience! STAFF // A full staff who is easy-going and knowledgable.  No one follows us around as suggested by some reviewers (maybe they took notes and changed their policy), but when we have questions, they're quick to help.
Sharing my 24-Hours Adventure in NYC // Shopping for Korean beauty products in Korea Town WHAT WE BOUGHT //  My Stash... New Real Nature Peony & Lily for Brightening and Revitalizing. KaKao Friends Character Masks for Brightening, Soothing and Revitalizing. Real Nature Blueberry & Lemon for Firming and Brightening (Lemon was a free sample). KaKao Friends Natural SunEco Baby Sunscreen Cushion and Melting Color Lip Creamer. Oil Blotting Paper. @concon95's Stash (Exclude duplicates)... Cleansing Puff. New Real Nature Green Tea & White Tea for Purifying and Illuminating. Jeju Volcanic Lava Nose Strips. *We both received free samples of  "The Therapy" Travel Size Duo & Real Nature Lemon Masks.

 

// nature republic //

Sharing my 24-Hours Adventure in NYC // Shopping for Korean beauty products in Korea Town HIGHLIGHT // I love NR products, but every time I walk into one of their stores, I am more drawn to their store designs. - The dramatic high ceiling, lines of brightly-lit shelves, perfectly stocked merchandise...and the central testing station that really encourages customers to try their products.    SELECTIONS // It's close to full-house given the size of this store.  I am particularly excited about the cosmetics section because I bought a NR lipstick in Seoul and have been looking to buy more of their cosmetics, but want to be able to try/test first.  No samples were offered to us.   PRICING // I see a range of price differences vs e-taliers.  Some items are cheaper here and some are much cheaper elsewhere, but I'd shop in-store for the cosmetics since I can test the colors. STAFF // This is not necessarily a negative thing, but comparing to the other 2 stores, the staff here seems more subdued - They are not rude just not very lively.  I feel that they focus more on keeping a watchful eyes on potential theft than on trying to help customers.
Sharing my 24-Hours Adventure in NYC // Shopping for Korean beauty products in Korea Town WHAT WE BOUGHT //  My Stash... Real Fresh Olive & Blueberry for Hydrating and Revitalizing. Aqua Collagen Solution Marine Hydrogel Eye Patch. Multi Patch Aloe (can be used anywhere). Glossy Lipstick. @concon95's Stash (Exclude duplicates)... Blackhead Clear Nose Pack. Aloe Vera 90% Body Cream.

 

// The Mask Bar//

Sharing my 24-Hours Adventure in NYC // Shopping for Korean beauty products in Korea Town HIGHLIGHT // If you're looking for a 1-stop-shop for sheetmasks, this is the place to go (especially if you're under a huge time crunch!).  It's also great to be able to see some of the masks in real life before purchasing.   SELECTIONS // Although it's a very small shop, they pack in quite a large selections, from the long-time favorites to the latest and greatest.  Not sure if it's because we didn't buy enough, but there was no samples offered to me or @concon95. PRICING // I'd say it's comparable to the marketplace.  An example - The "I'm Sorry For My Skin" mask is $5.00 each, which is about what you'd see out there.  The plus is that you don't have to pay for shipping.  STAFF // Love the two women who was working there during our visit.  They were friendly and helpful, but not pushy.    
Sharing my 24-Hours Adventure in NYC // Shopping for Korean beauty products in Korea Town WHAT WE BOUGHT //  My Stash... I'm Sorry For My Skin for Pore Care, Brightening, Revitalizing. Holika Holika Juicy Mask Sheet Blueberries for Brightening. @concon95's Stash... Pig Nose 1-2-3 Nose Pore Clearing System. Sally's Box Friendly Argan Hair Mask.

~ must shop more! ~

I can't believe I live so close to New York City and I don't go down there more often!  But now that I know all the "treasures" I can find there, plus having found my new Asian Beauty shopping buddy, I'll be making more visits to the fabulous Big Apple.  I do want to venture into Chinatown on my next trips to explore other Asian Beauty brands that are not available in K-Town.  Any suggestions on other Asian Beauty brands I should explore?  Leave me a comment below!

~ and i want to share this with you... ~

Needless-to-say, @concon95 and I have collected quite a few pieces of new masks to try (and nose strips for her)!  It's been so much fun reading all of your mask reviews on Instagram and I love it when you ladies share some honest insights to help me figure out if a mask is "worthy" to be added to the stash.  With that inspiration in mind, I am launching a new series where me and a few guest writers will share our utmost honest reviews on sheet masks we love and, sometimes, meh, not love.  I hope you'll join us on this new adventure on Hula With Me!

Thanks for stopping by!

If you're curious about the other legs of my NYC adventure, click links below for previous posts:

The Food Edition @ Caracas Arepa Bar + Spot Dessert

All About MoMA (Museum of Modern Art)


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