Let’s look at the Korean equivalent of CosDNA. It’s an app called HwaHae 화해 (birdview.kr), and it’s in Korean. No worries (mostly), because I’m going to translate the menus, and kind of guide you through the app.
May 2017: I updated the guide and screenshots.
I like Hwahae. It’s a well-made, beautiful app. It’s not fair to compare an app to a website, but I’ll go ahead and say that it looks and feels a lot more professional than CosDNA. Let’s be real, CosDNA looks like it’s stayed in 2005.
Hwahae can only be accessed through an Android or iOS app. Here’s a Nov 2014 article about the startup company receiving a 600 million KRW (540,000 USD) angel investment.
To look up a product, you would type in the name of the brand or product … in Korean. The results page, however, is partly in English. For example, I’m going to look up Innisfree’s No-Sebum Mineral Powder. This is my HG setting powder, and it also doesn’t have a laundry list of ingredients – to simplify this post.
My phone is an Android, and I don’t have access to an iPhone … so these screenshots are going to be Android-only. The steps to use the app on an iPhone should be about the same. kinseng.org has written an awesome iPhone guide to the app, and you can also navigate the Android app through her instructions. For ingredient resources other than Hwahae, check out fanserviced-b.com‘s list of resources for translating Korean ingredients.
If you are able to and want to type in product names in Korean, you’ll have to install the Korean language pack for your keyboard – just go to your keyboard’s settings page. If not, you can always copy+paste the Korean names into the app’s search function. :)
Registering a New Account
When you open up the app for the first time, this is the screen that you will see. You can use your Naver, Facebook, or Google accounts to login, or you can click the big gray button to register with an email address. I’ll guide you through the email registration – click the big gray button.
Registering, Part 1
For email, this is the full registration screen. There are 7 steps to the first screen. You must do all the first 6 steps before you can proceed to the second registration screen.
1) For the “How did you hear about Hwahae?” question, you can randomly click on any answer. But if you’re a completionist, the next picture in this guide will be a translation of what the options are.
3) Your password must consist of 6 or more characters. You can only use numbers or letters, and your password is case-sensitive.
After clicking on the big check mark at the bottom, go back to the top of the screen to click on 다음 (Next). This gets you to the 2nd part of registration.
And this is the translation of the options for the “How did you hear about Hwahae?” question.
Registering, Part 2
After selecting your birth year, your age will appear on the right-hand side of the birth year menu. The number may be a year or two higher than what you’re used to, because it’s calculated as Korean age.
Don’t forget to go to Step (5) at the top, to complete the registration. You won’t get a welcome/activation email. After finishing registration, you’ll be brought to Hwahae’s main screen.
If you are 19+ years old (20+ in Korean age) AND female, you will be asked an extra question: Do you have any children between the ages of 0-5? This is so that the app can give you info about baby products. Of course, if you have kids but prefer to skip the baby stuff, just select No.
After all that is done, you’ll be automatically logged in, and brought to Hwahae’s main screen.
After registering, you will be automatically logged in. However, in case you get logged out or reinstall the program, here’s how to log in from the very beginning.
Open up Hwahae, and here’s the welcome screen. You can login using your Naver/Google/Facebook account, or register through a (throwaway?) email address.
If you want to try out the app without registering, use this throwaway account. It should be valid, unless someone went and changed the password on us:
This should be pretty straightforward. :) Just put in your email and password, and click on the big gray Login button. That’ll bring you to the main Hwahae screen.
After logging in, you’re brought to the opening screen. We’re going to use the search box on top.
Now we’re going to type the brand or product name, in English or Korean. The majority of the brands are in Korean and English. For a big brand like Innisfree, either language is fine, and will bring you to the brand page, or the product page.
We’ll look for the Innisfree brand in English or Korean (이니스프리). Type it in, and click on the magnifying glass icon to search, or press Enter/Return on your phone’s keyboard.
Notice that the English name is listed next to the Korean name. This is the case for most of the well-known brands on the app, so you should be able to search for most brands in English. However, there will be the occasional brand that can only be searched for in Korean.
The No-Sebum Mineral Powder is written as 노세범 미네랄 파우더 in Korean. As that gets typed in, the list gets narrowed down, too. Click on the name, to view the search results.
The search results will show a list of products. Click on the correct product.
Also, you can see that the product names are only available in Korean… so, unfortunately, no product searches in English. :(
However, most non-Asian brands have their product names listed in English – and sometimes, only in English.
The Product Page
Now that we’re at the product page, lets check all the sections.
So much information!
Click the previous menu for the ingredients list.
Here is a screenshot of the official ingredients list, from innisfree.co.kr. We’ll compare this to what Hwahae has listed.
innisfree.kr : silica, modified corn starch, dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, caprylic/capric triglyceride, mica, methicone.
Hwahae app : silica, corn starch modified, dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, caprylic/capric triglyceride, mica (sericite, CI 77019), methicone.
Other than some subtle differences, the ingredients list is essentially the same.
You can click on any ingredient to bring up more details. It’s possible to skim through and get some basic information out of it, without understanding Korean. Here’s an example of an ingredient detail page.
You can click the heart at the top of the page, to save the ingredient as a favorite. You’ll see hearts sprinkled all over the place – you can save brands, products, ingredients, etc as favorites, and access them from your profile page.
You can save favorites by clicking on the hearts in the app. They’ll appear next to brand names, product names, ingredients … basically anytime you see a heart, you can save it to a list, or even to a folder of your own choosing.
Here, we’ll try to save a product as a favorite. We’ll use The Face Shop’s Cherry Blossom Clear Hair Mist.
Click on the heart. I’ve indicated it on the screenshot, with an arrow. The heart will change to the color red, to indicate that it is saved as one of your favorites. But first, a menu pops up.
This menu pops up! You must save products into a folder – so since this is the first time, click on the button to create a new folder. Name it anything you like.
We’ll call it Loves. Click Cancel if you change your mind, or continue with Save.
And that’s all you need to do! It’s now saved to your favorites.
Looking up your Favorites
To look up your favorites, go back to Hwahae’s main page. On the upper-right hand corner is a smiley My button. Click on that.
It will bring you to your profile page. You can click on the Brand, Products, etc to access your corresponding favorites. In this case, we’ll go to the Favorites section, and click on Products..
(Not everything is saved to folders. For example, Brands are simply saved to one big list.)
This will bring you to a list of folders. There’s only one folder for now, so let’s click on that.
And here’s everything that’s in the Loves folder – just one, for now! Clicking on the product will take you to its product page.
I hope you found this guide useful! Of course, there may be errors… I hope not, but if there are, I sincerely apologize. If you spot something crazy that needs fixing, please leave a comment or email me!