Since I will probably have to move later this year, I didn’t want to buy and bring back a lot of stuff with me from Korea this winter break. Nevertheless, there were some essentials and cool items that I could not help but purchase… and here they are! This year, my purchases seem to be heavily leaning towards products from Innisfree (understandably because there are no store in New York and it happens to be one of my favorite brands). Anyway, let’s dive in!
1.Innisfree Green Tea Mineral Mist. This is a frequent repurchase item for me, and Innisfree stores often have great deals for these facial mists. I got two bottles for the price of one, and these travel-sized bottles are great to carry around in my purse as well. It has a very refreshing scent, and with the heater on when the weather is cold outside, this is a must-have item to keep your face moisturized. One thing to remember is to NOT shake the bottle – otherwise it will spray in little blotches.
2.Innisfree Green Barley Multi-cleansing Tissue. I had just run out of makeup removing wipes when I arrived in Seoul, so this was one of the first items I bought in Korea. I remember one of my high school friends telling me that Innisfree’s facial wipes were famous, so I decided to try them out! Indeed, these wipes make my skin feel super clean and effectively removes all of my face makeup. However, it’s not so good at taking down that waterproof mascara… I would suggest going in with an eye makeup remover beforehand. I rather like the slightly oily feeling the wipes leave on my skin, because I often hang around the house for a good while after using one of these wipes to take off most of my makeup. That lotion-y effect keeps my skin hydrated before I cleanse further right before bed.
3.Missha Super Aqua PORE-Kling Toner. This one takes the cake for the most surprisingly great skincare purchase this winter. Originally around $11-12, I found this toner on sale for just around $3. I had for some reason only brought a travel-sized bottle of toner, so this seemed like a good purchase. I figured that must be a reason for the sale, but this toner is actually pretty good! It contains sparkling water from Napoli, Italy that has fine bubbles rich in potassium. It’s supposed to tighten and purify the pores, and I think it does a good job. The bottle carries 180 ml of product, which was more than a generous amount for me to douse my face in this freshly-scented toner water day and night for an entire month (I’ve used up less than a quarter so far). I like the minimal design and the lightness of the bottle, and overall, highly recommend this toner!
4.Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Blackhead Out Balm. Did you know that pore strips are actually worse for your pores in the long run? I might still go for one (just to feel that satisfaction of pulling out the gunk and seeing it happen) from time to time, but I was looking for a milder alternative for getting rid of white/blackheads when I found this balm. Before cleansing, I just take a dime-sized amount and massage it onto my nose and chin area, and the product draws out all the sebum and melts away the blackhead. It’s somewhat less satisfying than a pore strip, but I think it’s healthier for my pores.
5.CLIO Kill Cover Pro Artist Liquid Concealer. After hearing numerous Korean YouTubers raving about this concealer, I decided to try it out, and I think it’s safe to say that this concealer is an effective alternative for the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (in Custard, which I have been using religiously for the past two years or so). I purchased the darkest shade available (#4 in Ginger), which is still slightly brighter than the NARS Custard in my opinion. Nonetheless, it blends in really nicely with my skin tone, and it does a good job of brightening my undereye area as well! I like the consistency of the product – not too thick, but creamy enough to provide good coverage.
6.Benefit’s Cha Cha Tint. This item is not from a Korean ‘road shop’ like many others in this haul – I picked up this little bottle at the airport Duty-free when I was on the plane to Seoul. For that natural, subtle, and buildable hint of coral on your lips, the Cha Cha Tint never lets you down. I’ve been loving to use this tint in the winter when my lips tend to get too dry for lipstick or other tinted balms.
7.Innisfree No-Sebum Mineral Powder. Also a repurchase. There are no other loose powders in this price range that set my makeup and absorbs excess facial oil this well. Enough said.
[HAND & NAILS]
8.Innisfree Nail Stickers. After several months of having multiple-coat nail polish on my fingers, my nails seemed like they were starting to yellow a bit. So this winter, I experimented with various non-polish nails; I tried stick-on acrylic nails for a while, but the glue on those fake nails was so strong that it kind of defeated the purpose of keeping my nails healthy. These stickers from Innisfree, however, are much gentler and simpler to use. It comes with 16 stickers to accommodate various nail shapes and sizes, and all you have to do is stick it on, and file off the ends with the mini nail file that comes with the packet! I added a thin layer of top coat just to give my nails a finished look.
9.Innisfree Canola Honey Hand Butter. When it comes to hand cream, I usually go for the cooler, fresher scents, but this honey hand cream smelled so good when I first sampled it at the store that I ended up getting one. The honey scent is not too overpowering, and rather seems to be infused with the refreshing floral scent of canola flowers. The consistency is buttery but not oily, and it absorbs well into my skin to keep it moisturized. The tube is quite big as well!
- Nature Republic’s Semi-matte Cashmere Gray
- Innifree’s Matte Topcoat
I’ve been loving anything with a matte finish lately, and these two bottles go perfectly together! As of now, I have the marble nail stickers on, and the matte top coat on top of these stickers just gives my nails a really chic, modern finish.
11.Disposable Filtered Masks. Can’t end the haul without some funky little items spotted around town! During my stay in Seoul, there were days when the air quality would drop substantially – to the point where I couldn’t really make out the shape of the buildings outside my window. These disposable masks were a must if you wanted to wander around outside; the top is lined with wire so it keeps your mask secure and prevents your breath from fogging up your glasses (for those of you who wear them). Here in NYC air pollution might not be a huge problem, but I might still have to use these to block my face from the freaking wind!
12.Daiso Soap Nets. These little nets make your soap bubble up twice as much and last twice as longer. If you want, you can also use the string to hang up the soap.
13.Innisfree My Secret Body Spot Whitening Cream. This product seems a little gimmicky, but it works. I think it is meant to work like temporary makeup for the dark spots of your body (such as elbows, knees, and armpits), and not necessarily a brightener for permanently brighter skin. I would have to test it out for a longer period of time to make an exact conclusion. In the meantime, I think it would still be a good product for trips to the beach, a hot summer day, or for any occasion that requires you to wear sleeveless shirts or short skirts. I like that this product doesn’t smear on clothing (if I had used foundation to cover up dark spots on my body, it might come off on my clothes).
14. Daiso’s Makeup Sponge Holder. A single packet comes with two of these little egg-shaped plastic containers, where you can store your makeup sponges without contaminating them (AND YOU CAN ACTUALLY PUT REAL EGGS IN THEM TOO.). Since makeup sponges are something that I use almost every day, these containers are a nice and convenient addition to my makeup storage.
Aaaand that concludes this year’s short and sweet Korea makeup haul! Hope you all enjoyed it 🙂