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Quick Update

Hey everyone! It’s 530am here in LA and jet lag is killing me and I can’t sleep so I figured I might as well write a very quick update.

I’m back in the US and it’s just at glorious as I remember. Everything is SO cheap. I walked around the grocery store in awe the other night. Grapes for 2 dollars. Strawberries for 3. Avocados for 1 dollar. Organic yogurt. TRADER JOES. Cookie butter is my life source now. It’s also weird driving through Koreatown and being able to read everything. I feel like a badass.

I got a hair cut and I legit feel like I have new hair. Shai Amiel at Capella Salon is a freaking genius and if you have curly hair you must make the pilgrimage to LA to see him. It’s SO soft and bouncy and my curls MOVE. I can’t describe it. Be on the lookout on my Instagram page for pictures soon.

Tomorrow I fly to the Alabama to hang with my parents for 2 weeks. I’m hoping I’ll finally get on a normal sleeping pattern and since I’ll be home and relaxing, I’ll have more time to update the blog. I can’t wait to detail what skincare I brought on the flight because trust and believe my skin looked GREAT when I got off the plane. Ain’t nobody got time for dry skin.

But all in all, I’m ridiculously happy to be back home and I’m 99.9% sure I’m going to leave the US kicking and screaming. I love love love traveling, but there’s really nothing like home.

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My Drugstore Beauty Wish List

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So I’m going to admit that before I moved to Korea, I was not a big drugstore makeup fan (besides mascara…Maybelline mascara for life!). I was a bit of a makeup and skincare snob. I always thought that drugstore makeup = awful quality. I preferred MAC, NARS, Bobbi Brown, Lush, etc. First, mostly because the salespeople are knowledgeable and can help you find exactly what you need, and second, because you can actually test things! I still don’t understand why there aren’t any sort of testers in drugstores. Ugh. Sadly, in Korea, brands like MAC and NARS are really the only ones where I can find things in my color, and the markup here for MAC and the like is insane. For example, the new holiday MAC eye shadow palette is only $39.90 in the States. In Korea, it’s 80,000W, or fucking $75 USD. GIRL WHAT?!?!??!!??!!???!?! It makes me want to cry, but I cannot find my foundation, blush, and quality (non-sparkly/highly pigmented) eye shadow in any other brand here, so I have to pay out of my ass. It’s the same with skincare. Don’t even think about going to Kiehl’s or Origins or Fresh or any of that in Korea.  Just don’t. You’ll cry. Thankfully there are more than enough Korean brands to try.

Of course, I’m sure you’re like “BUT SHERYLL KOREAN COSMETICS ARE AMAZING AND WONDERFUL WHY WOULD YOU EVER WANT TO BUY OTHER THINGS!?!?” And yes, this is true. Korean cosmetics currently make up about 90% of my skincare products. And yea, drugstore brands like Covergirl, Aveeno, Burt’s Bees, Maybelline, NYX, L’Oreal, etc., are sold in Korea, but again….very expensive. I just refuse to pay for it when I know it’s so cheap back home. It makes me sad when I see a new product that I really want to try and know that the markup will be at least 50% or more here. Sigh. Hashtag Beauty junkie problems.

I know I’m ridiculously and terribly behind, but before I moved to Korea I just bought shit, I never read reviews. Now, I’m *trying* to be a conscious shopper so I try to read reviews of all my makeup and skincare purchases before I buy them. One night, while I was in the YouTube labyrinth, I happened upon the great, awesome, amazing world of YouTube beauty gurus, and their amazing reviews of popular drugstore dupes for more expensive brands. I never realized that many of my favorite brands actually have really cheap and AWESOME dupes! I feel like I was living under a rock for 27 years and I’ve finally seen the light.

So in preparation for my trip home next month (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), I’ve been making lists for all of the things I want to try and stock up on, since I probably won’t be returning to the US immediately after I leave Korea.

  • First things first, I had NO idea that Queen Latifah had a makeup collection with Covergirl. I’m so late, I know. I am dying a bit on the inside over the bronzers from her Queen collection. SWOON. I’ve read reviews and people are all about them. They seem like a wonderful dupe for MAC Mineralize Skin Finishes.
  • I also keep hearing so many great things about Milani’s Baked Blushes. A few bloggers have even called them dupes for my favorite blush brand ever, NARS. Seriously, if they end up being a great dupe for NARS blushes, I’ll buy 12.
  • Maybelline Color Tattoo Cream Shadows are actually available in Korea at Olive Young, but I just can’t pay 15,000W for a product that costs $6.99 in the US. They look like amazing dupes for my beloved MAC Paint Pots. I can’t wait to try the Pomegranate color.
  • I need L’Oreal’s Infallible Eye Shadow in ALL THE COLORS. I sort of screamed when I saw Makeup Geek’s review and swatches, comparing it against the super expensive Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill shadow. I cannot deal with the rich pigmentation, and the wide range of colors. And best, they’re only $7.00! SEVEN!
  • If you know anything about me, you know that I’m beyond obsessed with body lotions, body butters, whipped butters…basically any type of lotion. My skin is basically the sahara desert, especially my legs, so I’m always and forever searching for new body creams to try. I saw the Aveeno Positively Nourishing Comforting Whipped Soufflé on Target.com and I swear my soul did a jig. A) It sounds magical, B) I’m obsessed with Aveeno (which is sold in Korea, but OUTRAGEOUSLY priced, talking 17,000 for a small bottle of lotion), and C) All of the reviews are of people raving about it. I’m sold.
  • And I cannot believe that in the 1st edition of this post, I failed to mention the Covergirl Lash Blast Clump Crusher mascara. One of my best friends in Korea swears by this mascara, and seriously every time I see her I compliment her on her lashes. It makes her lashes look SO good, they aren’t clumpy at all, and they’re super black. Swoon. She told me she brought back a few tubes with her, and I may have to do the same.

I also want everything from Bath and Body Works and Victoria’s Secret, but that could be an entirely new post. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be home during the semi-annual sales and I’m already crying on the inside. We all know how I feel about underwear in Korea, so basically I’m coming back with an entire suitcase full.

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Pangyo Cafe Street

As you may have sort of guessed, I’ve hit my wall in Korea. I’m ready to go.

Not to say that I’m not currently enjoying myself, or that I don’t like Korea, because that’s not true, but it’s just definitely time to move on. I’m a true Sagittarius, I gotta roam! I’m at that point of my time in Korea where I’ve been here long enough that I’ve seen everything I want to see, I have my routine, my favorite restaurants to go to, my favorite bars. I’m a creature of habit, and when I find something I like, I tend to stick to it.

But now that it’s getting colder and the time keeps ticking, I find myself sort of freaking out that I’m leaving in 4 months. FOUR. 1.2.3.4. EEK. I’ve been trying to get out more often, explore new areas and take more photos of my time here. I went on the DMZ Tour (so awesome, and a post is definitely coming soon), visited the Suwon Fortress, tried a few new restaurants in Seoul, and discovered my new go-to cafe area.

I heard about Pangyo cafe street from a few Tumblr bloggers and people on the Bundang group on Facebook, but no one could tell me how to get there. After months of putting it off, I just said fuck it, and decided to try and find it myself. So glad I did! If you’re in the Bundang area, the easiest way I can tell you to get there is to take the subway to Seohyeon station, and search for Craftworks Pangyo in your GPS. Just follow the walking directions! I think it took maybe 10 minutes, at the most 15. The walk was so pretty!

paintsplatterOn my way out of the door, I decided to snap this picture. This is the wall of a kindergarten right outside of my apartment. I’m assuming they let the little kids go wild with the paint. It’s so pretty, and definitely adds a nice touch of color to my otherwise drab neighborhood.

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I snapped these pictures on the walk to Pangyo cafe street. Early October is easily my favorite time of year in Korea. The weather is beautiful, and everything is still lush and green. I miss it already!

I found that Pangyo cafe street was not nearly as crowded as Jukjeon cafe street. Pangyo was quiet, peaceful, and much, much larger than Jukjeon. It seems like a lot of the spaces were unoccupied, so I’m sure that Pangyo will probably have a huge boom over the next few months. Pangyo cafe street covers everything that I love about the cafe scene in Korea: lots of tiny, independent cafes with their own spin on things. Adorable cafes will probably be the #2 thing I’ll miss about living in Korea (#1 is obviously Korean cosmetics…I’m already crying about how much I’ll have to ship home).

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Even though I gotta save a majority of my money for my trip home (HELLO SEPHORA AND TARGET I’M DREAMING OF YOU!!!), I’m still carving out some days to enjoy myself. I’m having dinner with one of my close friends tomorrow, and on Saturday night I’m going to a meet-up party. What are you up to this weekend?

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I’m Going Homeeee!

I’m so excited I could burst. In less than 2 months, I’M GOING HOME FOR WINTER VACATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can’t deal! I haven’t been back home in almost 2 years. Last winter, I stayed in Korea and that ended up being a terrible decision. I don’t even remember what I did last winter for vacation. I’m pretty sure I just slept and watched TV. Sad, sad, sad. It’s too cold in Korea in January to enjoy yourself, so I’m glad I’m able to leave and GO HOMEEE!

I’m flying into LA and staying for a few days, then I’m flying to Huntsville to see my parents, then back to LA, then back to Korea. After being an expat for 2 years, there are many, many, many, many things I’m looking forward to doing/eating.

I can’t wait for:

Target (!!!)
CVS/Walgreens
Sephora
Ulta
TJ Maxx
Nordstrom Rack
In N Out
Lucy’s Tacos
Urth Caffe
Souplantation
Zaxby’s
The Grove Farmer’s Market
3rd Street Promenade
Sonic
Chick-fil-A
Carl’s Jr.
Publix
Whole Foods
Trader Joes
Real cheese
Pizza without corn
Happy hour
Affordable beer/wine/cocktails
Getting a haircut
Getting my brows threaded
FINALLY going to be able to try a BB cream (!!!)
Jolly Ranchers
Victoria’s Secret
Bath and Body Works 

I could probably type a list for days. I’ve already started setting aside my travel sized cosmetics for the long flight, and planning an outfit. I’ve been suffering from a bit of Korea burn out for awhile now, so this trip is going to be like a breath of fresh air.  Not going to lie, I’ve been missing the US like crazy. I miss my family and friends. I miss the warm, friendly smiles of people in South. I miss good Mexican food. I miss being able to shop without having to worry if a store will carry my size. There won’t be any ajummas staring at me, or shoving me out of the way, there will be abundant diversity , and best of all: WARM WEATHER. SUBFSIFBSJFBSLJB!!!! I’m seriously over the moon.

Once it gets closer to the date, I’m planning on writing a post on beauty tips for long haul flights (ugh airplane air is the actual worst). In the meantime, do you have any tips or tricks for long haul flights? I’d love to hear them!

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Is a BB Cream the Right Product for You?

I get so many questions about BB creams, and sadly I can’t answer them. I have yet to find a BB cream in Korea, Korean brand or otherwise, that matches my skin tone. I’ve seen darker toned women on YouTube mixing BB creams with their foundations to achieve the right shade, but that just seems like too much work/sort of defeats the purpose of a BB Cream in the first place. So, if you’re on the fence about buying a BB cream, or you aren’t sure what one is in the first place, I have a great guest post by Amanda from SkincareHQ.org. She’ll explain everything to you that I can’t!

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