Browsing Category Korean Cosmetics

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!


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?


True Life: I’m Obsessed with Korean Cosmetics

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!