Browsing Category South Korea

w2Beauty Haul #2


I’m back with another w2beauty haul! My skin has *finally* cleared up after a disastrous few months with a jawline breakout, so I decided to treat myself to some goodies. I’m now stuck with some pretty awful scarring, but I’m hoping that eventually everything will return to normal. This haul features a lot of products I’ve already tried and loved, but there are some new finds as well. I’m trying to create a baseline skincare routine that I can stick to, and switch just one product out at a time, to keep my skin calm.

First, from the left, we have some Missha Blemish Clear Patches. I haven’t reviewed any blemish patches yet, but know that I am obsessed with them. I usually keep mine on at night, since I don’t like wearing them in the day when everyone can see them. If you have one of those big, nasty, ugly whiteheads, one of these blemish patches can help dramatically. I like to keep them on hand for that time of the month, when my skin tends to get a bit cray cray.

Up at the top is a new toner – the Innisfree Rose Clear Skin toner. I’ve only been using it for a couple of weeks, but I really like it. It smells great and it leaves my skin hydrated and smooth. Let me know if you’d like a full-on review!

Next to the toner are two of my long-time favorite Innisfree products – the Jejubija Anti-Trouble lotion and the spot essence R. The lotion is an amazing if you suffer from acne. It’s lightweight, non-greasy, and absorbs quickly. I’ve talked about the spot essence previously, and whenever you have a nasty little blemish, just sleep with this on and BAM. Your blemish is dramatically decreased by the next morning. Whenever people ask me about an affordable acne care line that works, I always point them in the direction of the Jejubija line. It’s great!

The Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence is another favorite of mine that I definitely had to repurchase. I literally used my last one until I had to use a q-tip to scrape the contents from the sides and bottom…yes it’s that serious. Whenever my breakout would flare up really bad, this was the first product I’d reach for. It really calms your skin and decreases the amount of angry, angry blemishes. I haven’t done a full review, but I am definitely planning one because everyone needs to buy this. It’s really that great.

Ohhhhh the Missha First Treatment Essence. Skincare is a passion, and I’ve tried so many different things, but once I got this back into my life, I just knew that it’s forever going to be a staple. The full review is here, and nothing has changed. Seriously, this stuff is a miracle worker. I used it the first night I got it, and the very next day it looked like I had a whole new face. I don’t understand it. It’s obviously made with fairy dust, and I’ll continue to repurchase forever and ever. I also bought the First Treatment Essence sheet mask because I obviously need to let the magical fermented amazing-ness sit on my face for 30 minutes. I haven’t tried it yet because I’m a sheet mask hoarder, but expect a full report soon.

I’ve heard so many good things about the Banila Co. Clean It Zero so I obviously had to get one. Kerry’s blog is the skincare Bible, so when she said she liked it, I just had to get it. Initial thoughts? I really love it! I haven’t had much luck with Banila Co., so my expectations weren’t that high, but it’s really great. I’ve been using my Sulwhasoo Gentle Oil Cleanser for like 6 months now (and it’s STILL not finished, omg), but I think I like the balm texture better. It leaves my skin smooth and clean, without any film or greasiness. I’ll definitely be doing a full review on this one.

This is now my 4th (!!!!) tube of Benton High Content Steam Cream. If that isn’t a testament to how much I love this stuff, I don’t know what is. It’s definitely my cream of choice (full review here), and Johnny is hooked too. I just have to keep a constant supply in stock because if I run out, it’s a skincare disaster for me.

I’ve never been a big shopper at The Face Shop, but one of my all-time favorite products are the Herb Day Cleansing Tissues. I’ve purchased a few packages over the years, and even though I try a lot of face wipes, I always come back to these. They are so unbelievably soft and smooth, and won’t irritate your skin like most face wipes do. They can remove all makeup, including waterproof mascara and eyeliner. I love them because they’re just so convenient to toss in your gym bag, or in your carry-on for travel days.

All items were purchased at If you like anything you see, head over to w2beauty and make sure to use my sponsor code 05632401 to get $5 off your first order!


Farewell Korea!

sunset korea

The day is here. I’m really leaving Korea and moving to Vietnam. I still felt like I was just taking a vacation, until I pulled my last piece of luggage out of my empty apartment. And then it hit me.

I’m sitting in Incheon airport, sipping on a too sweet lemonade from the Hello Kitty cafe, looking out of the huge windows as the planes taxi away. I definitely hit up duty free, and walked away with 2 tubes of the Sulwhasoo Overnight Revitalizing Mask (review coming soon, get your wallets out), a new bottle of perfume for summer, and some su:m37 sun cream. I could’ve done way worse, and part of me is debating going back just ONE more time…hahaha!

Korea has been wonderful to me for 2 amazing years. I’ve met some incredible friends, friendships I know will forever be in my heart. And can you believe I actually REALLY love kimchi? I never thought that it would happen. I’ll miss my Korean grandma, the woman who rode the bus with me and gave me candy every morning, and even gave me her homemade kimchi. I’ll miss the bus driver who used to wait an extra few minutes in the morning if I was running late. I’ll miss the saleswoman at Innisfree, who used to give me a million face masks every time I bought something. I’ll miss the adjumma at the kimbap restaurant who knew my order and would put it in as soon as I walked in the door. I’ll miss picnics by the Han river. I’ll miss the Jukjeon Shinsegae Department store, and specifically the super fabulous guy who worked at the MAC counter. I’ll miss my hilarious students. I’ll miss my co-teachers. I’ll miss the subway. I’ll miss the shopping. I’ll definitely miss all of the beauty stores.

I’ve thought long and hard about my favorite memory in Korea, because I have a ton. From exploring independent cafes, to my wonderful students, to making snow angels for the first time, I’m definitely leaving Korea with a ton of fond memories. But there’s one in particular that sticks out in my mind.

I don’t have any photographs of this day, but it’s just one of the times I’m grateful I didn’t take pictures and just allowed myself to be in the moment. When I first started working at my last school, my co-teachers and I had an English discussion group. Every week, someone would bring in an article, or a TED talk, or whatever sort of topic they wanted, and we’d have hour long discussions. It was amazing! We talked about our dreams, our goals, our families, our personal lives. I’m usually quite guarded in real life about my struggle with depression, but I found myself telling them everything: my weight gain, my therapy, finally quitting my job, etc. And they were nothing but supportive, kind, and warm.

During one of our discussions, my co-teacher (the one I actually taught 6th grade with last year), said that one of her dreams was to go to a trampoline place, sort of like a Discovery Zone type place where kids go and jump on trampolines. So right then and there, we all decided to go to a trampoline house and get dinner afterwards a few weeks later.

The day came, and right after school we all hopped in her car to go trampolining. The trampoline house was located on the 10th floor of a building in Dongbaek, and not only were there trampolines inside, but outside on the rooftop as well. We all went in and I’m 99.9% sure the clerks were like um why the hell are you grown ass women gonna jump on the trampolines, but we didn’t care. We went out to the roof, the view was gorgeous. I remember the sun was just starting to set, and the weather was warm and balmy. We started jumping on the trampolines, shrieking as we jumped higher and higher, trying to avoid falling on the random kids that were jumping as well. It was all so carefree, so fun, no worries. I remember jumping ridiculously high, looking out at the view over Dongbaek and just having an incredible feeling of happiness wash over me. Just typing about it now makes me happy.

I get the feeling that I won’t be away from Korea forever. It’s a part of my heart now. But I’m really looking forward to this next adventure in Vietnam. I’m already planning on having brunch on Sunday morning with Johnny, and a much needed mani/pedi. My nails are a hot ass mess from moving.

Thank you Korea for being awesome. Here’s to new adventures! Bring it on Vietnam!


8 Days

june8….I leave S. Korea in 8 days.

I just.


How is this happening?

I’m having so many different emotions. A few months ago, I told you all I was ready to go, and I am. But I’m definitely leaving a huge chunk of my heart here. I know that if I were staying a 3rd year, I wouldn’t be happy. But I’m not exactly doing cartwheels over having to leave either.

I can’t really put it into words. I’m SO excited to move to a new country. Part of me can’t believe I’m moving to Vietnam. I Skype with Johnny everyday and have seen our cute loft apartment (with tons of natural light omg) and I know that it’s the best decision for me right now. I’m excited to eat new food, see new sights, ride of the back of a motorbike, try not to die from heat stroke, you know, the usual. But then the other half of me is like..girl, are you making the best decision? There are SO many things happening with the blog and the Korean cosmetics part of it, that part of me is thinking, maybe I should have stay. But until I can make a living from blogging, that’s not going to happen. And like I said before, hagwon life is not for me. But, it’s not like I’m going to the US, so if there’s something insane that happens in the next few months, I’m only a plane ride away.

And I’m just SO tired. All the time. These last few weeks have been non-stop with packing, meeting friends, cleaning, throwing away things, having’s just a lot. I’m happy, but I just really, really dislike being busy. Busy is SO overrated. I don’t understand people who can do it all. I need to sleep and have quiet time and relax with wine and watch Golden Girls.  I’ve also been having trouble sleeping because there are just constantly more things to do and I can’t keep it all straight. AND I’m also dealing with the fact that I have 8 days left in Korea and I’ve run out of toilet tissue, laundry detergent and fabric softener. All at the same time. Why me?!?!?!?! I need Jesus to take the wheel, ASAP.

But in an effort to not lose my mind completely, I wanted to share some cute stories with you. Since I started teaching a month into the school year last year, I feel like the students and I didn’t connect as much as I’d hoped to, mostly because I sort of just came in and started teaching. This year, I was able to teach the kids from the start, and I’m sad I won’t be able to see them finish the year. They are SO much fun, and so sweet. This of course, will most likely change because 6th graders are a bit crazy, but, so far, they’re awesome.

Student: Sheryll teacher, I like when you come to our class.
Me: Really? Thank you! That’s so nice!
Student: Yes. You smell special.
Me: …..Special? Is that good or bad?
Student: GOOD! You smell like cookies!


Me: I’m sad today.
Students: Why?
Me: Because I’m leaving Korea next week.
Student 1: I will pay you 10 dollars.
Student 2: I will pay you 100 dollars!
Student 3: I WILL PAY YOU 1000 DOLLARS!

They are amazing. And I’m gonna miss them tons.

Oh yeah, you just may be seeing me on YouTube really soon! SOOOOO EXCITED!

And I just now realized when I went through my pictures of Korea there are so many places I’ve been that I never blogged about. I focus so much on beauty that I sort of forgot to talk about my trip to the DMZ, or the Korean folk village, or any other things I’ve done. If you’re interested in seeing pictures/hearing about it, let me know!


Seoul Snapshots

I now have three weeks left in Korea. EEEEEK. I’m sort of freaking out, especially since I haven’t started packing. This weekend is going to be dedicated to cleaning out my closet, and going through my beauty stash for the 3rd time (I’m really attached to my beauty stuff okay), and actually start putting stuff into my suitcases. Shit is getting real!

In an effort to try and get as much time in Seoul as I can, I’ve been spending my weekends exploring areas I never get to go to, mostly because they are SO far away. Last weekend was Johnny’s last in Seoul, and we went wandering around Insadong, Gyeongbokgung Palace and Hyewha theatre district. We’d both never been to Hyewha and now I’m kicking myself that we didn’t go earlier. It’s such a cool area, dotted with tons of little independent theatres, coffee shops, restaurants, and bars.

I just wanted to share a bit of the shots I took while we were out. I hope you enjoy! Have an awesome weekend!

temple colorfullanterns palaceguards gyeongbukpalace guardsupclose kingsejong hyewha ticketbooththeatre hyewha2 hyewharestaurant hyewha7 signs hyewha4 hyewha3 abikocurry bar ticketbooth motorbike


The Countdown Begins: 31 Days

deskatschoolIn approximately 31 days, this desk and I shall be parting ways. Sort of surreal.

I can’t believe I’m leaving Korea. I know I’ve been counting down for awhile now, and I had always planned on staying 2 years, but it seems sort of weird. S. Korea is my home now. This is evident by the massive amount of things I have accumulated in just 2 short years. I opened my storage closet (aka the place where I just throw shit and pretend it doesn’t exist) this weekend and immediately shut it. Don’t want to deal. When did I get 2 heating fans? A yoga mat? A bag of forgotten cosmetics?! The world may never know.

Johnny is already finished with his contract, but he doesn’t leave for Vietnam until the 10th. Yeah, I’m the weird one with a contract that ends in April while everyone else was finished February 28th. I’m jealous he gets to sleep in while I drag myself to work for the next month.

Today, I didn’t have class, so I used my last day of desk-warming freedom to live tweet the Oscars and drink coffee. Tomorrow real life starts and I’ll have to start teaching again. It’s sort of weird the kids will have me around for a month and then no more native teacher for them. At least when I had a random month of work at the middle school, I already knew the kids so it wasn’t as awkward. I have a new co-teacher, and I know we’ll get along, but I’m not going to lie, I miss my old co-teacher. She was amazing and we got along really well. Tears. She’s still at the school though, just a homeroom teacher, so I can still go and hang out with her before I leave.

There are approximately one billion things I need to do before I go. These include: selling/getting rid of my things, updating my cover letter and resume, getting reference letters from my co-teachers, going to the pension office, going to the dentist, getting passport photos taken, get my visa on arrival letter, etc. etc. And of course I gotta make time to get my last minute shopping done (NARS matte multiple, I’m looking at you), see my friends, and make time for one last trip to the Hello Kitty cafe.

This post has no point, other than to make a note of the fact I have one month left in Korea. Never did I think I’d end up here..and now I’m leaving after 2 years. That shit is CRAY. I’ve been taking my camera everywhere with me and taking pictures of all the random things I don’t want to forget, like the inside of the buses and restaurant menus and graffti murals. I’m planning on a huge Korea photo essay before I go, so I wanted to take as many pictures as possible.

PS Did you watch the Oscars? What did you think of the beauty looks? I was obsessed with Lupita (DUH!), and Kerry Washington’s lipstick was amaaaazing. Overall, I really loved the toned down looks this year. Down with the heavy contour and piles of falsies! (although, Kim and Khloe SLAYED at the Oscar parties…omg)