Social Encore: Nature Republic opens at Ala Moana

Jan. 9, 2014 | 0 Comments

Nature Republic's Ala Moana storefront. (Courtesy Jermel-Lynn Quillopo)

Nature Republic’s Ala Moana storefront. (Courtesy Jermel-Lynn Quillopo)

BY JERMEL-LYNN QUILLOPO / Special to the Star-Advertiser

Most people want to put their best face forward when dealing with the world, and I’ve found a new store that should be able to help.

Korea’s Nature Republic opened its first location in Hawaii at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in September and expanded to Ala Moana Center last month. I recently went to check out the new ground level store at Ala Moana, next to the renovated Centerstage, to learn more about the retailer.

Nature Republic clearly lists the ingredients of all their products. (Courtesy Jermel-Lynn Quillopo)

Nature Republic clearly lists the ingredients of all their products. (Courtesy Jermel-Lynn Quillopo)

Bright colors welcomed me and I was amazed at all the products they had in stock. When I first walked in, I went straight to their travel-sized hand sanitizer section. With more than 10 fragrances, such as amber, tomato and aloe vera, I ended up picking up a small container of rose.

The prices were also surprising. The things you are able to snag from this store will not break the bank at all. And right now, hand sanitizers are on sale — one travel-sized bottle for $1.50, or three for $3.

Besides traditional fragrances, Nature Republic offers something for people who may want to take a piece of Hawaii with them everywhere they are. Nature Republic offers a skincare line inspired by the islands that includes toner, serum and skin spot solution and is currently on sale.

Another top-selling item is the aloe vera soothing gel. The reason why it caught my eye and why it’s probably a top-seller is its various uses. The soothing gel feels cool to the touch and is very light in weight and texture. Use it as a sleeping mask, daily body moisturizer, moisturizing base for make up, a hair serum for split ends or as an eye and lip de-puffer — and for men, it can be used as aftershave.

Nature Republic became a well-known brand in Korea because of its eco-friendly products. Employees here are also very knowledgeable and friendly. One of them, Collin Schweikert, was able to share more information of what has been popular in Asia. At first, I thought it would be facial masks or whitening cream.

While Schweikert said both are pretty popular, one specific product is the current cosmetic fad.

“Snail mucus has been very popular in Asia, especially in Korea,” he said, adding that snail mucus has anti-aging properties.

I know it sounds weird, but after trying the mask myself, it’s not so bad at all! You can buy many of the facial masks in single packets, starting around $5 each. Bulk quantities are also available.

Nature Republic offers a variety of skin care masks. (Courtesy Jermel-Lynn Quillopo)

Nature Republic offers a variety of skin care masks. (Courtesy Jermel-Lynn Quillopo)

One of my biggest problems has to do with my hair, which dries out and suffers from split ends way more often than I’d like to admit. To deal with it, I’ve spent up to $30 a bottle for salon serums that are supposed to help. So naturally, I grabbed a few hair product samples to see what Nature Republic has to offer.

Their argan oil line is great for people looking to put moisture back into their hair. It smells great and leaves your hair shiny. The store also sells hair masks (and even includes a hair cap). The natural olive hydro hair essence oil is also to consider for dry hair.

Don’t worry men, there are items for you as well. Nature Republic offers a variety of facial creams to keep your skin smooth without a feminine smell. They even have styling products worth a try.

Nature Republic employee Collin Schweikert with the retailer's snail mucus line of skincare products. (Courtesy Jermel-Lynn Quillopo)

Nature Republic employee Collin Schweikert with the retailer’s snail mucus line of skincare products. (Courtesy Jermel-Lynn Quillopo)

With affordable prices and eco-friendly products, you can’t go wrong at Nature Republic. Their return policy is also something that intrigued me; you can return an unopened/unused item within 14 days and receive a full refund.

If you use a product and don’t like it, simply return to the store within a week and exchange it (all returns need to be accompanied with the original receipt).

With a policy like that, how can you go wrong?
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Jermel-Lynn Quillopo is a multi-faceted, energetic individual with experience in both print and broadcast journalism. “Social Encore” aims to tell diverse stories about Hawaii’s food, events and people; share your tips with Jermel via email or follow her on Twitter.

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