This is a chain Japanese drugstore in Korea that I frequent. It is clean and has lots of quality products. I think it is a great place to test beauty products. There are usually a lot of clerks (though not really in Hongdae), and they are in their upper 20’s early 30’s so they are not intimidating to speak with and don’t have a strong accent. I would definitely recommend going to Watson’s if you are in Korea because it is a lot like the drugstores we have in the States. Also you can ask a lot about beauty products and talk with the clerks.
The cons of Watson’s is that they are always pushing Japanese products so you need to be strong and not feel pressured to buy. For those who love Shiseido you can find a line at Watsons, but I think it is much different than the lines in the States. I think the Shiseido Aqua Label cream is much stronger than White Lucent, so while it evens skin tone fast it also dries it out equally fast. Finding my Shiseido Super Recharge night cream a bit difficult to find in Lotte Department, I started to try Korean brands.
Having low success rate with Watson’s, I went to the Beauty Plex. I must say that I think you can get better deals there and the ajuma’s will give you more samples. In any case, I bought the new Lacvert h.i.t. Tightening Cream for 30,000 KRW and received several samples. In the samples I received, I liked Isa Knox emulsion and toner and I think it is similar to Shiseido’s main line. When I returned to Watson’s to check out the testers and do some price comparisons the clerk pulled me away from the Isa Knox and recommended I try the Japanese line 하다라보. I liked the toner and emulsion but was not impressed with the stickiness of the product compared to Isa Knox which I think may be Korea’s version of Shiseido. I am not sure why they are pushing this…but so you don’t have pressure to buy don’t be afraid to use the phrase to use is “생각해보고 다시 들어올게요.” (I will think about it and come back…but you don’t really have to come back).