About a week ago, I tweeted that I should start a Korean Cosmetics blog because I use so many of the products here. I was totally joking, but a number of people responded that I should start one! Starting a new blog would be a bit overwhelming right now, but I thought I’d start doing a series of reviews of the products that I love here.
Moving to a new country, especially one where NO ONE looks like me is a bit daunting. Would I be able to find skin products without bleaching agents? Would I be able to find eye shadows? Mascara? Eyeliner? Face wash? One of my best friends, who had already spent a year in Korea told me not to worry, that I should just bring my blush and face powder/tinted moisturizer, and Korea would have any and everything else I need. And BOY was she right.
Korea is the land of beauty. There are mirrors everywhere. Advertisements for plastic surgery everywhere. And cosmetic stores EVERYWHERE. It’s not hard to be unattractive here. I’m a beauty product junkie. All of my friends will tell you that I’m somewhat of a cosmetic hoarder. I love trying new things, I love makeup, I love skincare… A total girly girl all the way. So Korea is basically playland for me.
I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to be afraid of Korean cosmetics. The ones with bleaching agents are clearly marked as having such. There’s always been at least *one* English speaking salesperson at each place I’ve been to if you aren’t sure. My skin has actually improved SO much since I’ve been here. I’ve tried so many things because every time you buy something, all of the stores give you TONS of free samples. I usually go home and try the free samples, and end up buying the full size product because I like it so much.
And without further ado, here are my favorite products. I use these daily and they are all given the A+ recommendation by me.
From Left to Right:
1. SkinFood Black Sugar Scrub Foam: I told you in an earlier post about the SkinFood Black Sugar Scrub and how much I adore it, so I had to try the foam. This stuff is AWESOME. It starts off as a sugary exfoliator, then transforms into this really nice and thick cleansing foam. It’s the best of both worlds. I use it day and night because it makes my skin feel so great. This is an item I’m going to hoard back to America for sure.
2. Etude House Wonder Pore Freshner: My toner. I love this stuff. It’s a 7 in 1 Pore solution, that maintains the pH in the skin, controls excess oil, reduces the size of pores, help with skin tone, etc. It’s in a HUGE bottle with a really convenient pump for easy application. I’ve noticed that my skin has been less oily and my pores are smaller. I use a toner day and night to help get rid of the excess dirt and makeup my cleanser didn’t get off.
3. Innisfree Jejubija Anti Trouble Lotion: My moisturizer. In Korea, they never EVER use the word acne. It’s always ‘troubled skin”. So, if you have acne, pimples, blackheads, etc., look for the products that say anti trouble. This moisturizer is from Innisfree, Korea’s all natural cosmetic store. All of their packaging is made from recycled products and all of their items are at least 90% natural. I love this moisturizer because it’s lightweight, and smells clean. Since I’ve been using this, I’ve noticed less acne, and my blackheads are at a minimum.
4. Etude House Dr. Lash Essence Remover and SkinFood Milk Shake Point Makeup Remover: My eye makeup removers. I use these both interchangeably because I like them both so much. I LOVE the mascara in Korea because it is super thick, and I love really thick, voluminous lashes. I like my lashes to almost look fake, and that’s why I love the mascara here. But, be warned, it’s a bitch and a half to get off. My eye makeup remover from home just wasn’t cutting it. I like the Dr. Lash remover from Etude House because it’s almost like a lotion. It feels really soothing to the eyes, it’s not oily at all, and it’s moisturizing. I like the SkinFood Milk Shake makeup remover because it’s also non irritating and it gets all my eye makeup off in about 2 swipes. Just remember to shake it up before using!
From Left to Right:
1. SkinFood Argan Oil Silk Hair Mask Pack: I picked this stuff up at SkinFood just curious about it, when the sales lady ran over to me and told me it would be perfect for my hair. “Argan oil good for curly hair!” I’ve heard all about the argan oil rage in the States, so I put it in my basket. Since it’s crazy humid here, my hair has been all over the place. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this stuff. The sales lady told me to wash my hair as normal, then wring it out until it’s almost dry, apply the mask, put it up, take my shower as normal (or leave on for 10 to 12 minutes), and rinse with cool water. My hair has not felt so soft and silky in a while, and I use awesome hair products. The smell is heavenly as well. I’ve noticed after I used this stuff I had more defined curls and less frizz, days after I’ve washed it. If there is anything you should buy, it’s this. Trust me.
2. Innisfree Daily Brush Cleaner: If you use makeup brushes, please make sure to wash them often. I like this because it smells nice, it’s really easy to use, and the brushes dry quickly. One quick spritz every 2 days and my brushes are always clean. Love!
3. SkinFood Food Therapy Stick Perfume in Vanilla: Smells like heaven. I’ve gotten so many compliments wearing this perfume. It’s not overly sweet, and it has just the right hints of spice.
4. Underneath the perfume stick: SkinFood Black Raspberry Anti Wrinkle Eye Cream: I know, I’m not going to be wrinkly anytime soon, but eye cream is just something that everyone would have in their skin regimen. The smell is a bit off putting at first, almost like dirt, but I’ve come to actually like the smell now. Is it working? Well, I met one of my friends for dinner a few weeks ago and she complimented me on my under eye skin and asked what I’ve been using. I like it, and a little bit goes a LONG way!
5. SkinFood Red Orange Makeup Finish (Matte): I normally use finishing/setting spray in the States, but I didn’t bring any with me for some reason. The weather has been stifling humid at times, and sometimes I’m not even out of my house before I can feel my makeup melting away. Insert this finishing spray. I love this stuff. It smells really good, and it really does help keep my makeup stay on longer than normal.
6. SkinFood Quinoa Rich Body Milk: Yes, quinoa. Sounds weird, but totally awesome. Man oh man I LOVE this lotion. I was really worried because everyone told me how shitty the lotion is in Korea, that it’s basically just scented cream water. And I’ve come across some pretty fucking horrible lotion since I’ve been here. I ran out of my lotion from America and was really worried I’d have to spend $17 on a small bottle of Aveeno (true story), when I wandered into SkinFood and found this lotion. It’s very lightweight, but really moisturizing, so it’s perfect for summer. And I absolutely love the smell. It’s sort of a spicy, earthy scent.
Etude House Goodbye Pore Ever Primer: First of all, the packaging is adorable. Second of all, this stuff is the holy grail of primers. I’ve tried SO many: Mac, Smashbox, Urban Decay. All of them were okay, but this stuff is INCREDIBLE. The texture is really smooth, almost like a lotion, and not too slick like most silicone based primers. It provides really good oil control, and it helps even out the texture of my skin so my makeup goes on smooth. I love love love love love this stuff and I’ll buy it again and again.
Left to Right:
1, SkinFood Vita Tok Lipstick: Nothing bad I can say about this stuff, I want it in every color. It’s a mix between a lipstick and a chapstick, but definitely has a lot of pigmentation. The taste/smell is awesome.
2. Etude House Apricot Stick: Love. Nice when you want moisturized lips, but with a hint of color. I like wearing this to school because it’s just enough color where it’s not overboard.
3. Innisfree Lip Gloss: I just really like this color. Also, I like this lipgloss because it’s not super sticky like most other kinds. It’s moisturizing and long lasting.
4. Etude House Lip stick: I adore this nude color from Etude House. I also love the packaging of their lipsticks, it reminds me of a princess! I especially love the crowned heart imprint in the stick.
5. Periperi Milky Lip Tint in Milky Peach: I am obsessed with this stuff. The packaging is just too cute! A lot of my students use lip tints at school to try and get around the whole no makeup thing, even though it’s pretty obvious that they are using some sort of color on their lips (at least to me). This color is a pretty peach, and adds just enough tint to your lips to still look natural and pretty. The taste is meh, but the color is awesome and long lasting.
6. SkinFood Vita Tok Lip Gloss: Hands down my favorite lip gloss I’ve tried so far. I love the color, I love the taste, I love how well it moisturizes. Another color I can wear to school, or layer on top of something else if I’m going out.
So, as you can see, I use a ton of Korean cosmetics and an overwhelming majority have been awesome. If you are looking into buying something, I say the must buys are the SkinFod Black Sugar Scrub Foam, the Argan Oil Hair Mask and the Etude House Face Primer. Those are the items I want to buy for all of my friends and send back home.
This is a pic I took of myself today, and decorated with the DecoPic app. I didn’t use a filter because I wanted you to see how much my skin has improved. I still have a few problem areas, but I’m definitely not getting acne breakouts like I used to. I’m also wearing a little bit of the Periperi lip tint.
I still plan on going to the dermatologist during my vacation and getting some moles removed, and look into getting some acne scars removed. I’ll let you know how it goes!
Next week I’m covering face masks because that’s a whole different world.
If you are in Korea, have you tried using any of these products? Let me know!