Posts Written On September 2012

Seoul Subway Challenge: Line 8

A few months ago, a few of the travel bloggers got together for lunch in Hongdae. It was there that a brilliant idea was spawned, and the Seoul Subway Challenge was born.

Each blogger participating in the challenge was given a Seoul subway line, and we were left to our own devices to explore, take photos, and share our findings with all of you.

I was assigned line 8, the short pink line all the way to the East of Seoul. At first glance, line 8 might not seem too happening, but there’s actually tons of cool things to explore!

I did some research on the stops, and one of the interesting ones is Cheonho. Cheonho means “thousands of houses”, because according to Feng shui, Cheonho is in the perfect location geographically to live in Seoul. It’s also home to the historical landmark Pungnaptoseong, which is a flat, earthen wall that runs along the Han river and dates back to the Baekje era.

Seokchon is home to Seokchon lake, and is a pretty residential area. Not too much going on around here, but it’s really nice to see all of the different neighborhoods, especially since mine is so small.

Amsa is at the North end of line 8 in Seoul (The other end is Moran, in Seongnam). By the time I made it there, it was already pretty late, and I sadly missed getting to see the Amsa Prehistoric Settlement Site. I was so sad! The Amsa Prehistoric Settlement Site is a replica of the settlement that was established in this area during the Neolithic period. During a big flood in 1925, the grounds washed away and revealed a large number of earthware, pottery, and all sorts of cool stuff. The site was excavated and is now the Prehistoric Settlement Site that is there today. Who knew?!

Jamsil. OHH JAMSIL. Jamsil is the 2nd busiest subway stop in Seoul, the first being Gangnam. It might be one of the biggest because it seemed ENDLESS. When I went, I got a bit distracted and did some shopping (oops), and went to Taco Bell (YES). Lotte World is connected to the inside of the station, as well as the huge Lotte department store. And there’s a random replica of the Trevi Fountain.

The Garak Market stop was my last place to explore on line 8. It is home to the large Garak Fish Market. I am a weirdo and cannot stand the smell of fresh fish (it really makes me gag and want to die), so I knew there was no way I could step into a giant fish market. I’m missing out on a lot in life, I know.

I’m so grateful I got to participate in the Seoul Subway Challenge. Since I don’t live in Seoul, whenever I do go, I usually go to one of 3 places: Gangnam, Hongdae or Itaewon. I now know that there’s a Taco Bell WAY closer to me than going to Itaewon or Hongdae, and that line 8 is full of awesome historical sites and shopping malls. AND LOTTE WORLD! (which I’m hoping to go to over Chuseok!)

Wanna see some more of Seoul? Check out the other awesome bloggers participating in the Seoul Subway Challenge!

World Flavor: Line 1
Backpacking Travel Blog: Line 2

World Walk About: Line 3

Mapping Words: Line 4

Farsickness: Line 5

Chincha?!: Line 6
Waegook Tom: Line 7

My Korea Quest: Line 9

And a big special THANK YOU to Waegook Tom for putting this all together!

I’m Obsessed with Korean Cosmetics: Part 2!

This post has been a long while coming, because I just didn’t buy many things the past few months. I didn’t want to do a review with only like 2 things, so I’ve been stock piling so I could make a better post!

99.9% of the time, when I go cosmetics shopping, I never have a particular thing I *need* to buy. I just fall for the cute packaging or smell of something and decide to try it. And I’m usually really impressed and surprised with the things I find. So without further ado!

First we have lip glosses. From left to right:

1. I’m Shea Butter Lip Cream from The Face Shop: I never go to The Face Shop. And it’s completely superficial. I’ve never been impressed with the packaging and nothing really stands out to me, until I saw this lip cream. It smells delicious and it’s really slick and smooth. It also has a bit of shine so it can easily double as a gloss.

2. Innisfree Eco Windy Lip Balm, Green Tea: I am so on the fence about this stuff. On one hand, it’s really moisturizing and the scent is nice, but it’s also super thick. Uncomfortably thick. I’m thinking that this stuff was obviously made for windy/cold weather (as the name implies), so under those circumstances, I can see it being perfect. As of right now, it’s a bit thick for my liking, but I’m going to hold on to it until winter time.

3. Lost Identity Lip Balm (?) from Too Cool for School: This will be my first time reviewing something from Too Cool for School, but let it be known that I’m pretty obsessed with the brand. I’m not entirely sure of the name, but let’s just call it the Lost Identity Lip Balm. It is AMAZING. So, it’s one of those lip balms that’s green, but once you put it on your lips it oxidizes to match your skin color. I AM IN LOVE. It’s the prettiest shade of pink on my skin, just enough color to make me look put together and light enough for school. Anyone can buy it, and the shade will definitely match you. Plus, look at the packaging!! Adorable. I’m not sure if this is a seasonal/limited edition buy, but I’m already thinking I need to stock up.

4. Innisfree Lipstick in 38: With fall here, I’ve been dreaming of dark berry lips, slouchy beanies and boots. So once I saw this gorgeous berry purple lipstick, I knew I had to buy it no matter what. It’s really unusual to see such a dark colored lipstick in a Korean cosmetics store, so I took advantage. I love it. It’s such a gorgeous, rich color and the texture is really nice too. It’s moisturizing, but not really long lasting. It’s definitely something you’d have to keep applying through the night, so be warned!

5. Innisfree Lip Gloss in 13: This is just the matching berry lip gloss. I like Innisfree lip gloss as it’s not sticky or tacky, and it is moisturizing. Plus, it’s 90% natural! What’s not to love.

6. SkinFood Vita Tok Lip Gloss in PK03: I reviewed this lip gloss before, but I fell in love with a different color. Out of all the lip glosses I’ve tried in Korea, the Vita Tok line is my absolute favorite. The PK 03 color is a bright, hot pink. It’s a great going out with the girls color, or even an everyday lip gloss color. It smells and tastes great, it’s not sticky at all, and it’s super moisturizing. I want to hoard this stuff. Seriously.

The Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder is a MUST HAVE. My dear friend Rae told me about this finishing powder and said I needed to buy it immediately. She said it was basically the same thing as the Makeup Forever HD Powder, which is a cool 45,000W(ish) here. The No Sebum Mineral Powder is a sweet 6,000W and does the SAME THING. I use this on top of my tinted moisturizer or even without makeup to give myself a clean, polished, look. Buy it. You won’t regret it.

Too Cool for School Eyeliners in Aqua (?) and Black: Guys. GUYS. Buy this eyeliner. I am consistently amazed at the quality of the products from Too Cool for School, and this is no exception. I’ve had the hardest time trying to find a jet black eye pencil. Most of them are an off black, grey, or just not black enough for my liking. And if they are, they’re watery and weird and smudge easily. These eyeliners are the real deal. The black is a super inky black, it does not smudge, and it’s waterproof. The aqua/blue color is simply to die for. I’ve actually started wearing it daily, because it’s just that gorgeous. I went shopping with one of my friends and told her to try it, and she instantly fell in love. It’s about 8,500W and worth every bit.

The Face Shop Herb Day Cleansing Tissue: Like I said earlier, I never really go to The Face Shop, but my friend recommended these face wipes to me, and they were on sale, so…why not? I actually really like them! They aren’t anything super special, but they smell really good, they’re great at removing makeup and they don’t leave my skin feeling like a desert. I usually use them before/after the gym, and it’s the perfect refresher.

1. Innisfree Canola Honey Body Butter: I am beyond obsessed with this body butter. I have terrible, terrible dry skin, so I need my moisture levels to be 200% at all times. This body butter is simply perfect. It’s thick, it’s super moisturizing, and it smells like heaven. It’s 15,000W, and a little goes a long way. I’ve had it for almost 2 months now and it’s just now half empty.

2. Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Scrub Foam: I ran out of my SkinFood Black Sugar scrub foam, so I wanted to try something different. I opted to get the Innisfree scrub foam. It’s…okay. I definitely like the SkinFood scrub better. The Innisfree scrub foam seems a little drying, and the smell is a tad bit overwhelming for me. I think I just fell in love with the SkinFood scrub and nothing will compare. I use this scrub maybe once a week as a skin pick me up, but I don’t think I’ll be purchasing it again.

3. SkinFood Coconut Body Scrub: I loooooooooooooooooooooove this body scrub. I had been eying it for ages, and I finally just bit the bullet and bought it. I’m so glad I did. My shower experience is forever amazing now. It smells really good, but not super strong. The scrub granules are just gritty enough, and you can even see the flecks of coconut in it. It lathers really well, and leaves your skin super soft afterwards. A little goes a long way!

4. SkinFood Cool Mint Tea Shower Cologne: I’m assuming ‘shower cologne’ means body splash/spray. But anyways, I love this scent. It smells like a mix of green tea and sweet mint.  It’s really clean, crisp, and refreshing, and it’s definitely perfect as an after shower spray, or as a pick me up throughout the day. Johnny always compliments me when I wear it. As you can see from the picture, the bottle is almost finished, so you know I like it!

And there it is! The latest in my Korean beauty chronicles. I know it may seem like I like everything…and actually, I do like pretty much everything I buy. I usually buy the full product if I like the free samples that are given away, and there’s always samples of every single product available at all stores, so I usually know what I’m getting myself into before I make the commitment. There’s been a few things that I haven’t liked at all (the SkinFood Hair Argan Oil Serum comes to mind), but mostly, everything I’ve bought here has been really awesome!

Have you tried any of the products I’ve recommended? Any recommendations of things I should try? I’m always looking out for new products!


Warming Up… and the Story of the Handsome Bad Boy

A shift happened this semester.

Last semester, my students were, for the most part, extremely shy. Some students would talk to me outside of class, but anytime I tried to start a conversation in the halls or during lunch, they’d turn beet red and run away. In class, they’d shy away from answering even the simplest questions like, “What did you do this weekend?”.

But now, oh NOW, they’re all about me. I can’t even walk through the halls without a student yelling “SHERYLL TEACHA! HOW ARE YOU TODAAAAY!”. It makes my heart happy. They all crowd in my office after school and show me pictures of their pets, food they ate, or to tell me about G Dragon’s new CD. It’s as if something clicked this semester and everyone isn’t shy anymore. I’m actually learning a lot of their names, which is super helpful in the classroom. And if you are teaching, or have ever taught at a Korean public school, you know that learning names is no easy feat.

Today, as I was setting up my computer before class, I heard a group of girls shriek, then laugh. I went outside to see what all the commotion was about and they all gathered around me.

Me: Girls! Why are you yelling?
Girls: Oh Sheryll! Handsome boy! Very handsome boy!
Me: Where? Who?
Girls: *pointing* In the bathroom! *hysterically screaming again*
Me: Ohh, okay. Well, what does he look like?
Girls: *basically swooning all over the place* He has ummm….dark skin, high nose, nice hair, but he’s a BAD BOY! A VERY HANDSOME AND BAD BOY!
Me: Why is he a bad boy?
Girls: Because he talks very bad….he says many bad words. And he is trouble. And he always has punishment. BUT HE IS SOOO HANDSOME! *screaming again*
Me: OHHH! So you like him because he’s a handsome bad boy?
Me: *pointing to one girl* But you already have a boyfriend! Isn’t Minju your boyfriend?
Girl: YES! But I just like other boy’s face! VERY HANDSOME! *whispers to me* But Minju must not know! Do not tell him!
At this point, the very handsome boy walks out of the bathroom and all the girls SCREAM at him. He turns bright red and rushes away. All the girls get very close to me.
Girls: Sheryll teacha….how…can..we, how can we make him like us?!
Me: Just be yourself! You are all very beautiful and nice, I’m sure he will like you. But…maybe, you shouldn’t scream at him. He probably doesn’t like that.

The girls all just stood silent and nodded their heads for a grand total of 3 seconds before running away, screaming after him.

I love my students.


5 months down, 7 more to go

I’ve been in Korea just over 5 months now. Time is FLYING.

I was sadly one of the people who didn’t really do much this summer. Instead, I stayed in my apartment underneath the air conditioner as much as possible. Now that the weather’s been so nice, I’ve been venturing outside more to take photos and actually…do things. I’ve been taking long walks around Bundang Central Park and Johnny’s neighborhood, having sangria and empanadas on the patio of my new favorite cafe, dining in Itaewon, watching free concerts in the park, and just enjoying the weather before winter comes and I REALLY don’t go outside.

This weekend, I’m going to an MMA fight in Wonju and I am BEYOND excited. I’ve never been to a live MMA event before, and I’ve never really traveled around Korea outside of Seoul, Bundang and Yongin, so it’ll be a nice change of scenery.

What are you up to this weekend? Anything fun? Let me know in the comments!


What the Hell are Korean Paper Face Masks?

If you’ve ever shopped at a Korean cosmetic store, or down the streets in Myeongdong, you have inevitably been handed a Korean paper face mask. They are everywhere.

I’ve gotten so many I actually had to buy a basket to keep them all in. I don’t know if that’s awesome or really sad. I’ll admit, the idea of putting a weird paper mask covered in a lotion type substance sort of freaked me out. Will this thing really fit over my eyes? Why is the mouth hole so little? Do they actually work?

So what do Korean paper face masks actually do? Some claim to moisturize, some claim to shrink pores, get rid of problem skin, help fight wrinkles, brighten and tighten. Do they actually work? Well..sort of.

According to my co–teachers, you are supposed to use a paper mask between 5 to 7 days a week. I usually use them 1 to 2 times a week. They all claim that the masks are miracle workers and it keeps their skin looking fresh (and they all have great skin). So maybe I’m just not using them enough to see results. But they do feel really nice! And after a long day, I put on a mask and I feel really relaxed. That has to count for something right?

According to this article, Korean paper face masks are now being sold at Sephora in America. They’re being marketed as an on to go facial treatment for busy, working women who don’t have time or money to get a facial. Apparently Korean face masks are the equivalent to a facial! Who knew?!

So, for those of you that may not be familiar, I decided to show you exactly what a paper mask looks like. Warning: you are about to see the most flattering, amazing, breathtaking pictures of me that have ever been taken. You’ve been warned.

Fresh out of the shower. I’m going to use one of my favorites, the SkinFood Peach Sake Pore Mask. I have no idea if it shrinks my pores, but I like the way my skin fees afterwards, and it smells really nice.

What a paper mask looks like. Creepy as shit, I know. It’s normally made of cotton, or some sort of cotton blend, and completely saturated in face glowing goodness. And don’t be afraid if the eye holes and the lip hole looks a little too small. A gentle tear will open up the holes. Stretch the mask taut and smooth over your face. And yes, once you put one on, you will be transformed into a goddess from another world.

See! GORGEOUS! I don’t look like a crazy serial killer AT ALL. After you put the mask on, if you have friends or a significant other, don’t let them see you. They may fall off of your bed from laughing at you. Not that this happened to me or anything *cough cough*

Leave the mask on for about 15 to 20 minutes. I normally wash my dishes, paint my nails, or just watch an episode of Golden Girls in the meantime. After you take off the mask, your face will have all of the liquid from the mask still on it, so rub it in and let it glow! It’s best to do a mask after a shower, when your face has been cleaned and after your toner.

People in Korea, have you used a paper face mask? For those living outside of Korea, would you ever use one? I think my next challenge is to use them 5 days a week and see if I have any results. I have SO many of them, it can’t hurt right?