Level Up Your K-Beauty Obsession: a Guide to 11st + My 1st 'Real' Cushion!

Ever heard of 11st?  You may have seen it in the Guide to Shopping for Hard-to-Find Korean Products When You Don’t Know Korean, under the list of Korean sites where one can search and browse for goodies you'd like to buy directly from Korea using a buying service, like Avecko.

What you might not know, is that 11st also has an English version (link) where you can purchase Korean goods directly from the site and they'll ship internationally, no buying service required!  Here's the catch, though: they only offer EMS shipping, which costs an arm and a leg.

But wait!  There's COUPONS!  Specifically, a coupon to discount EMS shipping.  I'm going to show you how to use it!  #EnablerModeActivated!  Take this sheet mask and muffle the shrieks from your wallet, because this is happening.

Waheee, English everywhere, without the aid of Google Translate!
While not as complex as using Avecko or another buying service, it's still not entirely user-friendly unless you've used it before.  This is why I'm going to take you, start-to-finish, screencap-by-screencap, through the process including the final haul-erific result.**.  

In this post:
  • Registering for the site and downloading the coupon
  • Finding what you want and using the filter system
  • Navigating the perplexing multiple options on each product page
  • Estimating shipping costs and refunds
  • Checking out, applying the coupon, and the confirmation process
  • Domestic and International Tracking
  • Photos of the gorgeous things I purchased!
Lots, and lots of photos.

** Er, mostly?  I already had an 11st account so I won't be able to show the full registration process and downloading of the coupon, but luckily those parts are fairly easy to follow.

Onward, and beware there are many, MANY screenshots ahead!
Registering for the site and downloading the coupon

I've highlighted the Register link in the first image, so I'm going to jump in with the first confusing thing that greets you when you click Register.

Click for large size!
You're going to have to navigate through these 101 Terms and Conditions, some of which are very strangely specific and I assume they have to do with laws about minors in Korea.  

Thankfully, there is a 'select all' option which will check all the many boxes and away you go.

The next screen that you will arrive on is your standard Registration process, where you have to enter in your Name, Address, etc. 

However, there are a few unusual 'required' ones in there like your Country of Birth (what?), your Date of Birth (to confirm you aren't in violation of the laws around minors shopping on the previous page, I assume) anyway, creepy elements aside, fill it out.  

You'll then get an email that you need to confirm to complete the process:

As a 'first time user', you will usually be eligible for some awesome coupons on EMS shipping, such as this one, which discounts the first 30,000 krw off EMS shipping if you purchase 100,000 krw worth of items from the site.  That's a chunk of change (100 krw is approximately $0.90 USD at the time of this post, so 100,000 krw is just shy of $90) so now is a good time to hit up friends and family for a group buy.

**Feb 2016 update: There is currently a 20,000 krw off EMS shipping with minimum of 50,000 krw purchase, available to existing users, and can be downloaded multiple times.  Keep in mind coupons change, and always check the site for the current deals!

I split my order with a friend so we could get our grabby hands on some hard-to-find Cushions that are running $65-$80 in regular venues, if available at all.  So, after you Register, next is to Download the Coupon, which is linked from the main page:

After you have downloaded it, you actually have to do an additional step of applying the coupon to your account.  Be warned, it may be a limited time, so you don't have to download it until you are ready to make your purchase. So for that reason, we are going to get our purchase ready first, and then apply the coupon before checkout.

That means it's time to SHOP!

Finding what you want and using the filter system

I'm going to warn you, 11st is like a more structured version of eBay, which collects the items from the various sellers and then packages and ships it to you, so with that much inventory available to you, browsing is ... ill-advised.  You're better off searching for specific products, and then filtering them.  You'll need to filter, because like eBay, this site has everything.  Look at what comes up for Cushions:

Uh, no.  Let's check the box for the Cosmetics & Perfume & Beauty category, maybe?  

Uh YIKES!  I'm going to leave this in tiny size, but there are 43 pages that look just like this.  

Apply the International Shipping filter as well, because you want to restrict your searches to sellers/products that offer international shipping.  

If you spot something that isn't offered via International Shipping, but you must have it, consider using a buying service to get it. 

I've hauled from Avecko several times, but it's a bit daunting if you're new to K-Beauty and just looking for pretty things for cheaper prices.

So, let's look at a readable version of that ultra-long image, note that there are still just way too many cushions to choose from:

We still haven't even picked shades yet.  Remember when I said that it's better to be looking for a specific product?  Well in my case, I had my eye on the Limited Edition Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion, which is gorgeous:
Image from sulwhasoo.com
I dare you to Google Image this magical creature.  Actually, you don't have to, because I have photos below of this haul when it arrived.  In fact, I had a completely different post half-written when this arrived, but clearly the universe had other ideas.

So, after adding Sulwhasoo to the 'Include words from your search' and filtering further, I had 67 results, most of which weren't Sulwhasoo (for example, the Hera results below) but I'll explain why that is a little later.  

Pro tip: See the button marked 'Details' under each listing?  Click that to launch the product page in a new window, because trying to right-click to open in a new tab will launch a blank window.

There were no pictures of the Peony case, but I saw a listing that had several Sulwhasoo cushions in the image and checked it out:

SCORE!  Now here comes the tricky part that throws people off.  When you try to select from the 'Required Choice' drop down, even though this is the English 11st, this is what it will look like:

Don't panic!  We're going to get this figured out.  There will be pictures.

Navigating the perplexing multiple options on each product page

For some reason, Korean websites often have the right-click feature disabled, which means that you can't right-click and the 'Translate to English' feature.  So, I highly recommend that you install the Google Translate extension into your browser, which gives you a toolbar button you can click to blunt-force Translate the page:

I have also found that the toolbar version tends to succeed even when the built-in default Google Translate feature fails to translate a page.

So, say you successfully Google Translate the drop-down options and you now see this:

This is probably the part where you're ready to throw your laptop and just call it quits. Here's the thing; there are pictures with the numbers labelled.  You don't even need to translate the drop-down, because all you have to do is match the number on the pictures with their corresponding drop-down number.  I still like to translate them just so I know what I am looking at.

So, scroll down and we're going to find the Limited Edition Peony by visuals alone!

There it is, Type 03, and it's only being offered by this seller in #21 and #23.  This cushion comes in another shade as well( #13) which normally be a good match for me, but according to the comparison swatches I have seen online, it's very, very pink.  While I'm pale, I'm definitely yellow-undertoned and I have a lot of redness in my face so pink is a bad thing.

This visual list will include random brands and products that the seller also offers, which is why we saw things like Hera cushions popping up when we searched for Sulwhasoo.  If any of the pages have Sulwhasoo in their drop-down options, they will pop up in your search, so it's worth checking out their pages.

So, I go to the drop down and find 03 in #21:

Success!  I add it to my cart, and I will be given the option to either 'View Shopping Cart' or continue on with shopping.  I snag not only this case, which includes a refill according to the even larger image further down the page:

See where it says 15g+15g?  That means that it comes with 2 of the inserts, one in the case (aka a whole, intact cushion) and a refill, as does the drop-down (bonpum + refill). I also grabbed a Sulwhasoo Perfecting Brightening Cushion for a friend, who is just as eager as I am to try the brand-new shade #17 which is pale yellow and only available with the new Brightening cushion.  We're going to swap refills so both of us end up with one case, one #17, and one #21, because neither of us are sure which one will match us best.  Collaborative hauling for the win!

So, after my cart was all prepped and ready to go, I was ready to see what my estimated shipping charges were.  Since my items + my friend's were over 100,000 krw, our order was eligible for the shipping coupon.  I also snagged a IOPE refill in #13 to pop into my fancy cushion case, because IOPE and Sulwhasoo are interchangeable cushion cases/refills.

Pro tip: Keep in mind that your cart will tell you if there are any domestic shipping charges between the Korean seller and 11st's shipping office.

Estimating shipping costs and refunds

On each product page, and on your cart page, you will see an estimated weight, which does not include the packing and packaging materials.  Brace yourself, EMS is coming.

Time to rip off the bandaid and select your destination country from the drop down:

And let's see how bad the damage is for a cart that has 1,615g of items in it:

Ouch! 42,000 krw!  Between the items, the domestic fees, and the shipping, that puts this order near to $200.  Luckily the coupon will drop 30,000 krw off that cost + an over-estimates of the shipping weight (and some sellers hike the estimated weight a ridiculous amount), you will get the excess shipping costs refunded to you.  

Spoilers, once my order was shipped, I was refunded every won of of the 12,000 I paid over what the coupon covered, because my order ended up being less than half the estimated cost, but YMMV. 

So that means I got 100% free EMS shipping on our order, woop!

Checking out, applying the coupon, and the confirmation process

So how does one get on with the sweet, sweet coupon action?  Once you're ready to checkout, it's time to apply it, so click on My 11ST and select Coupons:

Unfortunately I did not manage to get a screencap of selecting the coupon and you can only do it once, but don't panic!  It's not a hard process and 11st actually has their own guide right in the Coupons section that walks you through the process.  Once you download/apply it to your account, it's now ready for you to use it during checkout.

It will not be immediately applied to your order, so don't worry if you still see the scary EMS charges.  You're going to hit Take All Items to Checkout and we're going to apply that coupon.

Note: this means that you will hit Checkout before you apply the coupon.  You will apply the coupon as part of the checkout process.  

Here's the entire checkout page, but do not check out yet!  You need to apply the coupon on this page.

See that middle section?  That's where you are going to apply your shipping coupon:

It lists off all the methods to which coupons can be applied, and how many you have available to apply.  I am going to hit the 'Apply coupon' button for the 'Discount coupon for international shipping rates' line.

It pops up this window, and you select the radio button of the coupon you want to apply, and it updates the savings:

Hit Apply, and it takes you back to your checkout page with the coupon reflected in the cost:

You will also choose a payment method below the section you enter in your address and contact info, and in my case, I chose paypal.  Hit Proceed to Payment and pay with whatever method you selected.
You're done!

This 'Check to Complete Order' button really confused me at first, but this is (as far as I know) a confirmation of the order once you receive it, so don't click it until you get everything.

You will get a confirmation email; let me know if you want me to screencap that too, but well ... confirmation emails are nothing new or exciting!

Domestic and International Tracking

Your order will have 2 shipping stages; the Domestic shipment from the seller to 11st's shipping location, and then the International shipment from 11st to you.  You will get an initial shipping notice, but the best way is just to log in and take a look:

Under Orders/Tracking, your order will show its progress, in this screenshot it is en route to 11st from the Korean sellers:

If you click the Tracking button, it will pop up a progress bar that shows you how far along you are in the process:

Perfect for the compulsive tracking checker like me.  Once the process switches to International shipping, you check it in exactly the same way:

This was the last shot I had of the tracking process:

You can also check the progress on tracking sites, but EMS is so fast that it went from stage 7 (Air Delivery) to Completed while I was asleep Friday night, so by the time I woke up on Saturday, I had a package waiting for me!  

So fast!  I ordered and paid on June 8th and had it in-hand on June 13th, just 5 days later.

My last step will be to log in and confirm my purchases for each item:

Of course, first I have to check my purchases and make sure everything arrived safely, right?

Photos of the gorgeous things I purchased!

Since I've already broken down the cost vs how much I would have paid retail, where I bought it from, why I bought it, and how long it took to get here, the rest of this post is going to be pure eyecandy.

Starting your Saturday right with coffee + an early-arrival haul box ready to be opened:

Also pictured: the masks I had planned to photograph, rudely shoved out of the way.
Unexpected bonus: two Sulwhasoo samples and a sheet mask!  I tore into this package like a terrier on a steak.  My husband politely ignored the probably inappropriate noises I was making while doing it.

If you're wondering how an order of 4 things was so expensive, the fact that it was IOPE, Sulwhasoo, and Su:m37 pretty much explains it all.

Su:m37: making amazing products in gorgeous packaging as part of an ongoing campaign to ruin your wallet while you thank them for it.

Much to my distress, the Sulwhasoo Brightening Perfecting Cushion's case did not photograph at all well; even video proved useless.  Somehow the camera lens filters out the amazing opalescent sheen of this case, which is tragic because it's unexpectedly gorgeous, if subtle.

I forsee a lot of really weak excuses for photo shoots with this cushion, because it's just so gorgeous.  Sadly I think the peony will rub off easily, as it's an application to the lid, not part of the case itself.

I'll stop now, but it's difficult to resist the urge to just take picture after picture of these lovely things; I want to pet them, dress them up in different configurations, and croon them the love songs of my people- my people being those who love Hanbang brands and cosmetics.   

I have taken full photos of the Su:m37 powder wash and the Limited Edition peony case, but there will be no photos of the Sulwhasoo Brightening cushion as it's staying unopened and will be sent along to its owner. 

And with that, we're done!  If you have any questions about the process, shoot me a comment below, or message me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

All the best, 

**Disclaimer: All products reviewed/mentioned are 100% purchased with my own money and my opinions are entirely my own.  This blog contains  both affiliate and non-affiliate links, and clicking the former before you shop means that this blog may receive a small commission to assist in this blog supporting itself.  Please see my Contact Info & Disclaimer policy for more information.


  1. I needed this post so much a couple of months ago when I was doing my first 11st haul, and now you're making me get that itch for another one.... I must resist!

    1. I saw that haul pic on twitter. Holysnails indeed. O_O

  2. Does that Su:m37 enzyme wash come with a little tea cup to mix the wash in? I'm just guessing from the shape of the top. If so, that's brilliant!

    1. Alas no! I think that's just the lid, and it's quite large as well as being unfinished metal. I will review the powder wash and demo how it works, though!

  3. Thanks so much for this post!! You are awesome :)

    1. <3 I am glad that you liked it! Happy hauling! ;)

  4. That's a brilliant post. First, I need to find someone who'd buy along with me. :D Here, in India, Korean skincare/makeup has not really caught on. :(

    1. You could always decant some of your current products for friends to try, in the hopes that they will catch the addiction? ;)

  5. That cushion is gooooorgeous! I keep seeing it on my IG feed and am getting tempted. Thanks for the enabling. :D

    1. The enabling rating of IG is so high! I see people's things and I just get all grabbyhands all over the place, haha.

  6. Replies
    1. You are very welcome! May your hauls be epic and your wallet damage be light! :D

  7. I DID IT I FINALLY MADE AN 11ST ORDER!! Also, this is my first time getting anything shipped EMS and I'm unbelievably stoked because not waiting weeks for things to arrive??? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN FEEL LIKE??

    Also, your guide is awesome! I got through the process unscathed and now am able to do even more damage to my wallet!

    1. WOOO HOOO! I have marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate, and you have a flaming wallet, it's s'mores time!

      And yes, that delicious EMS is addictive isn't it. D: But expensive, so expensive. What did you get?

  8. Waaaaa this looks so amazing! I don't think the buying services in my country are gong to bother going through this process, sigh. :( #woeisme #thirdworldproblems

    1. I am so sorry D: Do they not ship to your country? O_O

  9. i tried registering but just not getting their confirmation email...isnt it supposed to be immediate? tried with 2 diff emails and not getting both

  10. Have you checked your spam box? That's where I found my confirmation email.

  11. nope, not there. and when i try to email them it says:
    Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:


    Technical details of permanent failure:
    Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the server for the recipient domain 11st.co.kr by spam.cplanet.co.kr. [].

    The error that the other server returned was:
    550 5.1.1 No such user

  12. I might have missed it, but did you have to pay customs fees?

    1. I did not, thankfully, but that will vary by country to country. :)

  13. I just registered, but didn't see a First Time User eligible shipping coupon. Is that one not permanently on offer?

    1. It is not, but they have an even BETTER coupon right now, for existing users, which is 20,000 krw off EMS shipping with minimum purchase of 50,00 krw. :D

  14. Hi! I know above you said that you didn't have to pay customs, but can you recall if they declared the full value, or did they mark it as a Gift and with low value? Thanks!