Exploring Saigon – District 1

by Sheryll on April 20, 2014

sunsetd1 Exploring Saigon   District 1Living in an area that has literally everything you need has its perks. I don’t have to travel far to go to the gym, get groceries, see some awesome sights, get a massage or pedicure. But this also means that I’ve become quite comfortable in my little neighborhood and haven’t really ventured that much outside of Phu My Hung, which is tragic considering all the amazingness that Saigon has to offer.

The past 2 weekends have changed that though. Johnny and I planned date days to see outside of our little area and go explore more of Ho Chi Minh City. Somewhat like Paris, HoChi Minh City is split into different districts, with district 1 (D1), being the city center, where most of the tourist attractions, best bars, best coffee shops, and best shopping are. The first time I went to D1, I was completely overwhelmed. All of the stereotypes about Saigon were blatant… motorbikes coming at you from every direction, horns blaring, tons of pollution. I nearly had a panic attack trying to cross a busy intersection. I don’t think I was really in the mood the first time I went, and was a tad bit overwhelmed. We did manage to see a bit of the historical sites: the Notre Dame cathedral, the Saigon post office, the opera house, and the backpacker district. The second time we ventured out was a blast. I think because I’d already experienced what sort of chaos goes down in D1 that I was a little bit more prepared. We went shopping near Ben Thanh market, had drinks and watched the sunset at the BITEXCO building, ate banh mi on the side of the street, snapped photos of everything, and found a topshop where I bought some amazing leather sandals (thank god!).

Saigon is just such a beautiful city. I love the architecture, the lush greenery, the friendly people, the food. I’m just so happy to be here. The job hunt will be starting soon though, so I gotta take advantage of all the free time I have, while I have it. Hope you enjoy the photos! And in the meantime, let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see on the blog – info about Saigon, new beauty reviews, more photos, more daily life stuff. I have a ton of reviews in the pipeline, but I also want to focus on the travel side of my blog too. Let me know in the comments any ideas or questions that you have!

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nightttimesaigon Exploring Saigon   District 1

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My Morning Skin Care Routine

by Sheryll on April 16, 2014

morningskincarephoto My Morning Skin Care Routine

I just realized that I’ve always detailed my nighttime skin care routine, but never my morning one. Well, that’s all changed now!

I wanted to talk about my skin care routine, as it has changed a little bit since I moved to Vietnam. When I left Korea, it was still chilly, and I was still using a bulk of my winter skin care products, but as we know, Vietnam is insanely hot and humid every single day, so I decided to leave most of my winter things with a friend and focus on bringing lightweight, yet moisturizing products. I’ve been using a mix of high end and low end products, since I went a wee bit crazy at the department stores before I left Korea.

On another note, I’ve found the water here in Vietnam is extremely drying. Proof is that I’ve been using Dr. Bronner’s soap when I shower since who knows when, as I love the way it makes me feel super clean. I was in Vietnam maybe 2 days when I started to notice that my skin was unbearably itchy, especially after a shower. I know that it wasn’t any of my products, since I was using the same stuff I used in Korea, but I was showering more often, up to 3 times a day. Johnny suggested that I switch my body wash, since Dr. Bronner’s is pretty drying, and that changed everything. I’m not itchy anymore, but that also means I’ve had to make slight adjustments to my skincare routine, since I have noticed my face is a little dry after I wash it.

And now, on to the routine. First, I wash my face with my holy grail su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick. I’ve already raved about it, but know that it’s fucking amazing and actually the best cleanser in the history of the world. After I wash my face, I use the Benton Aloe AHA/BHA toner. I haven’t reviewed it yet (keep your eyes peeled next week), but I like it! It’s slightly hydrating without being sticky, and it helps keep my breakouts at bay. It’s incredibly soothing, and feels wonderful after I wash my face, since like I said earlier, the water is a bit drying here. I switch between just applying it directly with my hands or using a cotton pad. Either way is fine.

After I tone my skin, I use an essence. My essence of choice is the Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence. Another one that I’ll be reviewing soon, but know that everything you’ve read about it is right. I’ve realized that bee venom works really well for me at keeping my random pimples in check, and I’ve noticed I don’t scar as easily when I do get pimples. It isn’t the most hydrating essence I’ve used, but I do like it because it’s just so hot here that by the time I do go outside, I’m a sweaty mess within minutes.

After my essence, I apply my emulsion. I’m currently using the su:m37 Waterfull Rebalancing Gel Lotion. I’ve talked in previous posts about how much I love gel/creams and gel/lotion hybrids, and this one is no exception. I LOVE this emulsion. Some ingredients include fermented bamboo sap extract, fermented hibiscus flower extract, and fermented snow lotus extract. Something about fermented ingredients in my skin care products makes my skin quite happy, so I’ve been quietly stockpiling everything from su:m37, as their main focus is fermented skin care. It’s incredibly hydrating, while being completely lightweight. It absorbs into the skin almost immediately, and doesn’t leave behind any stickiness or shine. It’s a wonderful emulsion for summer, or for those living in tropical climates.

Since it’s so hot here, I skip a cream and go straight to my sunscreen. I currently use the su:m37 Sun Away Cooling Watery Sunblock in SPF 50. This was a impulse buy at Incheon Duty Free before I moved to Vietnam. The saleswoman swatched it on my arm and after feeling how lightweight it was, PLUS the fact that it absorbs ridiculously fast, PLUS the fact that it doesn’t leave behind a grey cast on the skin…I was sold. It’s so hard for me to find a sunscreen with a high SPF that isn’t tinted, or one that doesn’t leave a weird grey/white cast on my face. I get the feeling I’ll be repurchasing this one for a long time.

After my sunscreen has had time to absorb, I continue with the rest of my makeup routine, which I detailed a few days ago here.

All in all, my morning routine is quite simple. I like to focus on lightweight moisture, with a little bit of blemish control for good measure. What’s your morning routine?

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Also, please make sure to check out my interview with WISHtrend TV! I’m so excited I had the chance to do a video, so you all can see me live, talking and stuff. It was so much fun, and I wish I was in Korea to do more videos. Or maybe I’ll just start my own channel…ooooh!

There’s also an awesome giveaway, featuring a Wishbox full of Klairs products, which I have been using during my nighttime routine, and they are awesome! I can’t wait to get back to you all with a full review.

To enter the giveaway:

1. Like my Facebook Page.
2. Subscribe to Wishtrend TV and share this video on one of your social media accounts. (Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest, etc).
3. Make sure to add the hashtag, #WishtrendGiveaway and also mention @wishtrend.
4. Leave a comment on the video mentioning why you want to win this giveaway.

The giveaway ends April 25th. The winner will be announced on Wishtrend’s Facebook page.

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My Makeup Essentials

by Sheryll on April 14, 2014

everydaymakeupessentials2 My Makeup Essentials

While I love skincare, makeup has always been my one true love. I still remember the first time my mom said I could use makeup – a clear mascara and clear lip gloss. I felt like a whole new woman.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve ditched the heavy makeup of my college years for a more natural, fresh faced look. Also, I’m lazy and ain’t nobody got time to do a smokey eye every single day, I save that for special occasions and nights out. I’ve narrowed down my makeup essentials for a look that I can do in about 5 to 7 minutes.

After I cleanse my face and finish my morning skincare routine, I apply a primer. To me, a primer is a must have in any makeup stash. I prefer ones that not only blur out any imperfections, but also help my makeup last longer, as I’m not a big fan of having to touch up multiple times a day. I found a few that I loved in Korea, namely the Faceshop Velvet Primer, and the Innisfree No-Sebum primer, but before I left I repurchased the Etude House Goodbye Pore Ever Primer and fell in love again. The creamy texture doesn’t slide around on your face like most primers, and it really helps create a smooth canvas for makeup. Plus, my makeup lasts all day! I love it.

After priming my face, I use my NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in the color Seychelles. I don’t like really heavy makeup, so tinted moisturizers are my base of choice. I was using Laura Mercier’s offering for a few years, but the NARS one is a better option for my skin tone, as it has quite a golden undertone. I put a bit on the back of my hand and use my Too Cool for School beauty blender dupe to apply. It creates a flawless finish that’s incredibly lightweight, almost like I’m not wearing makeup. After that, I apply my NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Caramel, which I raved about here. I find that the NARS tinted moisturizer does a good job of evening out my skin tone and covering any acne scars, so I only use the concealer for under my eyes. It instantly makes me look more awake.

After my base has been covered, I go in with a bit of bronzer. My favorite is the Laura Mercier Mineral Powder in Warm Bronze. I get so many compliments on this every time I wear it, and people are always asking me what blush I’m using that looks so natural. It’s this bronzer! It’s lightweight and very finely milled, giving me a natural, healthy, bronzed glow. I’ve found that using blush alone sort of gives me a one dimensional look, but the bronzer takes it up a notch. I apply it using my Real Techniques retractable kabuki brush on my cheekbones and a bit on my hairline and jawline. After the bronzer, I apply my blush. If I want something a bit more natural, I use my favorite NARS blush in Lovejoy. If I’m going full blown bronzed goddess, I use NARS Taj Mahal, which is the orange blush pictured above. Yes, it looks insane in the pan but it’s the most glorious blush of all time. If you’re a dark skinned woman, YOU NEED IT. It gives you the most gorgeous golden color that looks like you’ve been hanging out on a tropical island all day. Obsessed.

I then move on to my eyes. Before I apply any eye makeup, I always use my Etude House Proof 10 Eye Primer. It’s a dead on dupe for Urban Decay’s Primer Potion, and it’s a fraction of the cost, at about 6,000W. I used this primer faithfully in Korea, and bought a few extras to Vietnam with me. I have incredibly oily eyelids, and without fail, this primer helps keep my makeup crease free (even in crazy ass weather), for up to 10 hours. After my primer, if I’m really running low on time, I’ll just smudge a bit of my holy grail cream eye shadow on my eyelid, the MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Eclair (sadly limited edition, but the formula is still amazing). It adds a bit of dimension to the eye and lasts all day. If I have more time, I’ll add a bit of color to the crease, usually MAC’s Cork, and a little bit of a golden eyeshadow in the inner corner, normally either the Etude House or Too Cool for School offerings I mentioned here. I then use my all time favorite eyeliner, the Clio Kill Black Eye Liner pen, and finish it off with a generous dose of Maybelline’s Rocket Volum’ Express Mascara.

When I’m in a rush, I don’t do a bold lip, so I keep things natural. I’m obsessed with NYX’s Lipstick in the color Mocha, or MAC’s Lust. Both are amazing nude colors for women of color. I top my lipstick off with a bit of gloss, usually from MAC. I love the Creamsheen Glass in Deelight or Over Indulgence, or the Lustre Glass in Love Nectar.

As a final step, I do a light dusting of translucent mineral powder all over my face. I currently use the Innisfree No-Sebum Mineral Pact, which is so much more convenient than the loose powder version. I can take it on my purse with me for touchups and don’t have to worry about powder getting everywhere. Throughout the day whenever I see myself getting a bit shiny, I use the Etude House Blotting Paper Pact, which is a super adorable compact that has blotting tissues that attach to a beauty sponge. It’s so much nicer than using a blotting sheet and your hands!

I know it seems like a lot, but trust, I always woke up late for work in Korea and always managed to squeak out this makeup routine in just enough time to make the bus. Simple, glowy, natural makeup for the win!

Do you have any favorite makeup tips? How long does it take you to do your makeup in the morning? Let me know in the comments! 

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My New Neighborhood – Phu My Hung

by Sheryll on April 10, 2014

Hi Everyone!

It’s been almost a week that I’ve moved to Vietnam, and it weirdly feels like I’ve been out of Korea for ages now. I am so incredibly happy here. Ho Chi Minh City is freaking fantastic. The weather is gorgeous. It’s hot and humid, but it’s not the ridiculously stifling heat of Korea. The nights are particularly wonderful, with a great breezes and tons of outdoor cafes, wine bars, and restaurants to hang out in and people watch. Our apartment is freaking fantastic too! It’s actually Johnny and I’s first apartment together. We’ve always had roommates or lived separately. It feels so nice to have a place we can call our own (for now).

Johnny and I live in District 7 in Saigon, in an area called Phu My Hung. This area is a favorite for expats, as there are a lot of schools, restaurants, cafes, malls, bars, grocery stores, spas, massage parlors, nail salons, all within at least a 10 to 15 minute walking distance. This is particularly helpful for me, as I’m not even toying with the idea of riding my own motorbike (although I’ve rode with Johnny and it’s pretty fun/completely insane). Literally everything I could ever want or need is within walking distance. The food options are limitless, with options including Vietnamese, Korean, Indian, Chinese, Western, you name it. It’s such a stark difference for me because for 2 years I lived in areas where my dining options were pretty limited. It’s like a whole new world for me! And the area is so gorgeous, featuring really wide tree lined streets and gorgeous villas that look like they belong in Beverly Hills…swoon. Apparently each little neighborhood in Phu My Hung was assigned to a different designer, so every little area has it’s own flavor. And there isn’t nearly as much traffic here as in other districts like D1…where I swear that I was going to get murdered by a giant crowd of people on motorbikes.

And everything is just SO CHEAP. No one was exaggerating the costs here. There’s a fresh fruit juice stand on my corner that has juice for basically a dollar. I got a world class pedicure (with ADORABLE nail art) for about 12 dollars. I even got a facial randomly the other night for about 15 dollars. And I don’t even want to get started on the food. THE FOOD. Sigh. It’s amazing. So cheap, so delicious. I think I’m officially addicted to pho.

I’m giving myself a 2 week vacation to just sort of relax after my time in Korea, to learn my new neighborhood, to polish my resumes and media kit, and work on my pitches for freelance work. I’m so much more productive here. I don’t know if it’s the endless sunshine, the great weather, or the fact that I’m eating so many fruits and veggies now, but I just feel great. I’ve been waking up early (without an alarm!), making myself breakfast, and working on my blog/writing work until the afternoon. After that, Johnny and I usually go and have lunch, walk around, then hang out and grab a drink somewhere before coming home and relaxing, where I usually end up doing more blog work.

All in all, I was a bit worried that I was making a wrong decision by leaving Korea, but I can say with 940534985% certainty that I made the right decision. I just feel like there’s been this huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Once I start going to the gym, and hopefully doing yoga, I’m going to be unstoppable!

Before I go, I wanted to show you all some photos of my new neighborhood. I hope you like them!

bytheriverside My New Neighborhood   Phu My Hung villaphumyhung My New Neighborhood   Phu My Hung phumyhungsunset My New Neighborhood   Phu My Hung phumyhungmotorbike My New Neighborhood   Phu My Hung icedvietnamesecoffee My New Neighborhood   Phu My Hung wrapandroll My New Neighborhood   Phu My Hung palmtree My New Neighborhood   Phu My Hung hugehousephumyhung My New Neighborhood   Phu My Hung housephumyhung My New Neighborhood   Phu My Hung riverside My New Neighborhood   Phu My Hung motorbikesapartment My New Neighborhood   Phu My Hung worldbeerbar My New Neighborhood   Phu My Hung nomakeup My New Neighborhood   Phu My Hung sunsetemptystreets My New Neighborhood   Phu My Hung iheartspa My New Neighborhood   Phu My Hung pho My New Neighborhood   Phu My Hung apartmentbuilding My New Neighborhood   Phu My Hung lotteriasaigon My New Neighborhood   Phu My Hung motorbikestrafficlight My New Neighborhood   Phu My Hung treelinedstreets My New Neighborhood   Phu My Hung beverlyhillsorphumyhung My New Neighborhood   Phu My Hung

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Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask Review

by Sheryll on April 8, 2014

sulwhasooovernightmask Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask Review

Before I left Korea, I told myself I was going to buy some high end Korean beauty items as a goodbye present to myself. As you know, I already raved about the su:m37 miracle rose cleansing stick, but then I read Kerry’s review of the Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask and just knew that I had to get it.

Whenever I think of high end Korean cosmetics, Sulwhasoo is one of the first brands to come to mind. Sulwhasoo focuses on natural herbs and ingredients native to S. Korea, the major one being Korean ginseng. Sulwhasoo is one of the few high end Korean brands that’s available overseas, namely in Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus. So yeah, shit is expensive. However, the Overnight Vitalizing Mask is one of the few items from Sulwhasoo that won’t completely break the bank. Sulwhasoo is known in Korea as an “ajumma” brand, meaning it’s more for older women, but who cares. I think the saleswomen were a bit surprised when I walked up to the counter at my local department store because literally everyone else there was at least 50+.  If the products work (and they do!), then I’m all for it.

Ya’ll know how I love my sleeping masks. I feel like they are one of my all time favorite Korean beauty buys. I’m totally here for all things that I can just slap on before bed and wake up with glowing skin. I bought the Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing mask at a great time because I was getting ready to move and could not sleep at all. Lack of sleep + not eating properly = me feeling like I was going to collapse at any moment. I was tired, stressed, and just all around a hot mess. But, let me tell you, my skin wasn’t showing it, and I feel like it was definitely in part to this overnight mask. The mask is designed to replenish your skin, giving you a gorgeous glow. It’s mostly for those with dry skin, but honestly, I think if you have oiler skin you could get away with using it maybe 1 or 2 times a week.

upclosesulwhasooovernightmask Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask Review

It comes packaged in a 120ml plastic tube with a plastic cap. It feels really sturdy, and looks super luxe sitting on the bathroom counter. What I also really love about the packaging is that the plastic is not completely opaque, so you can still see how much of the product you have left.

The product is a thick, creamy, easy to spread cream that smells absolutely divine (to me). It smells like ginger and other various herbs, and maybe a slight bit medicinal. Some people find the scent too heavy, while people like me are obsessed with it. Since it’s a sleeping mask, it’s designed to be used last in your skincare routine. You only need a small, dime sized amount to cover your whole face, as it’s quite thick. But even though it’s a thicker cream, it absorbs completely (and fast!), so you don’t have to worry about stickiness or an oily mess on your pillow.

productsulwhasoomask Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask Review

To apply, pat it on gently, avoiding the eye and lip area. According to the packaging, it says that the mask should be washed off in the morning with water only, but I feel weird about that so I usually use my rose cleansing stick as it’s quite gentle. I’ve tried it both ways, and didn’t feel like it made that much of a difference. I’m still super bright and glowy in the morning. As usual, less is always more, and one tube should last you quite a long time. I only use it 2 to 3 times a week, but the results are so amazing I have to stop myself from using it every night. Of course, no one is going to stop you if you want to do that, but, it is a little bit on a pricier side, so I like to consider it my little treat a few times a week.

As far as results go, the Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask blows all the other night masks I’ve tried out of the water. My results are not only plump, soft, moisturized, and hydrated skin, but very visible brightening and extreme glowy-ness. The Laneige mask is really awesome, but this one is just a whole new ball game. It’s like 15 hours of sleep in a tube and it just really takes your skin to a whole new level. And it’s not one of those masks where the effects are just visible when you first wake up…nope, it lasts ALL DAY LONG. People have been complimenting me on my skin left and right. I remember a particular day right before I moved to Vietnam I had gotten maybe 5 hours of sleep, had to work, then had to run errands and go to a dinner meeting later that evening. I felt like I should look ridiculously haggard and just in general a hot ass mess, but when I went to the bathroom to touch up my makeup, I actually still looked really great! My skin was still smooth and bright, almost like I wasn’t a stressed out disaster. I love it so much I ended up buying 2 more tubes of it in Incheon Duty Free before I came to Vietnam.

If you know you aren’t going to get a lot of sleep, or if you’ve been out all night partying, or if you’re a stressed student, or, if you just want to pamper yourself, I feel like this Sulwhasoo mask is a must have in your skincare stash. It also makes a really great gift.

I purchased my first tube of the Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask from my local Shinsegae Department Store for 52,000. Yes, it’s pricey, but I find the results are MORE than worth it. You only need a little bit, so the tube will last you quite some time. Treat yo’ self!

If you live in the US, you can purchase Sulwhasoo from a number of places, including their US online store. It’s $50.00, with free shipping from UPS ground. If you live outside of the US or Korea, w2beauty.com also carries it for $44.99, free shipping without a tracking number, and $2.50 for shipping with a tracking number. Use my code 05632401 to get $5 off your first order!

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