Korea Haul | Winter 2017

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!

[SKINCARE]

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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.

[MAKEUP]

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DIY Haircut: See-through Bangs for the Fall!

So… I have bangs now!

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For the first time since high school. But this time, I decided to use the $70 that would go to my haircut elsewhere…. and cut my bangs by myself.

As a kid, I had always sported thick bangs, as many other asian girls do. So I understand the painstaking process of trying to grow out your bangs…(especially at that awkward length where you can’t pin it up but you can’t tuck it behind your ears either!!!) So I wanted to test out the “see-though” bangs, a relatively recent Korean trend where the bangs are light and wispy. I gotta say, this was a very spontaneous, creative whirlwind of last-minute Youtube-tutorials and shuffling through my stuff to find a pair of scissors.

Basically, you take a comb and you part your hair down the middle. Then, you grab a very small amount of hair in the shape of a triangle like the diagram below:

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EMPTIES 1: Toners/Mists, Hair Care, and More!

I’ll be honest, I am a serious product hoarder. Whenever I’m inside a Sephora (or any store for that matter), I tend to go bananas with my desire to test out new things. Unfortunately, sometimes those products go past their expiration date untouched or used only halfway… When I use up an entire bottle or tube of something, it means that I really, really liked it.

So I’ve been saving up a box of empties to rave about some of those products.

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Well, let’s dive in!

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August Beauty Favorites – Lush, Lancôme, Hair Products and More!

Although the summer months are officially over, it seems like the hot and humid summer weather hit us a little late this year, so summer is going to spill over a little after Labor Day. August was exceptionally ridden with sweat, oily skin, and hair that is somehow flat and frizzy at the same time. Anyway, I wanted to share with you some of the products that I really enjoyed using this month. August was all about those time-saving products for those lazy summer days, and of course, lots of glitter and color.

MAKEUP

LOC One & Done Shadow Stick – Day Trip

I received this stick shadow in the shade Day Trip in one of my Birchboxes a while ago, but I hadn’t gotten around to using it until now. I find that anything shimmery or glittery is just so much more fun to show off during the summer months. This eyeshadow is in a pencil form, so it’s super convenient to use. I just swipe it across my eyelids after applying eyelid primer, and add a little but of contour by using a slightly darker color on the outer edges of my lids. Then, after a quick blend with a blending brush and eyeliner, my eyes are done!

E.l.f Bronzer

I’ve always been a fan of using bronzer, but the Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil bronzer that I had been using since the beginning of this year was getting a little to hard to use on my tanner skin. I purchased this E.l.f bronzer palette at Target and it has a variety of colors that are nicely pigmented so that I can easily contour my face with just a few strokes. I use the white shade to highlight the area right above my cheekbones to make the bronze more striking. I love E.l.f cosmetics because they offer high quality products at a fraction of the price of anything at Sephora, or even drugstores.

Innisfree Mineral Highlighter – 2 Shiny Sugar Candy

Speaking of tanner skin, nothing complements golden summer skin better than a nice highlight. When paired with the bronzer, this highlighter from Innisfree has been my go-to for giving my face a glow. I purchased this item during my last trip to Korea (haul post here), and I’ve really been loving it for the last few weeks.

MAC Lipstick – Call the Hairdresser

Last summer I was super into bright pink shades and shocking corals, but this summer I feel like I leaned towards a more natural, glowy look overall. That’s why I really enjoyed using this MAC lipstick in the shade “Call the Hairdresser”. It has a lustre finish, so the formula is pretty lightweight with a sheer to medium buildable coverage. When I put on lipstick, I usually go for the matte ones, but for a more natural summer look, I feel like this lipstick had been perfect for giving my lips a noticeable tint without being too heavy. It doesn’t amplify any creases on my lips and glides on smoothly with a creamy (but not too shiny) finish. I like the rosy mauve that really gives my entire face a bright and natural color.

SKINCARE

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Eyelash Extensions!

Quick update! Gone are the days of making spidery eyelashes with multiple coats of mascara – I finally decided to try out eyelash extensions this month! I got a pretty good deal on Groupon, so I made an appointment at Forever Eyelash in Koreatown.

The salon is located on the 16th floor of a building on 31st street and 5th. The whole studio is covered in everything pink – I walked in (after a quick visit to the ATM after realizing that tip was in cash only, haha) and was welcomed with smiles. They asked to take a look at my eyes to see what kind and length of lashes would work the best for me. They suggested the 11 mm J-curl, which would give me natural looking lashes with just the right amount of curl to replicate an effortless mascara job.

The whole process took about 40 minutes (I would set aside an hour or so for a single appointment just in case), and I basically lay on one of the pink beds for the whole time, with my eyes closed. I was super paranoid that the glue might sting like crazy, but turns out I just felt a slight cool sensation on my eyelids for a few minutes and that was it. The fake lashes are glued to the real ones one by one, so they basically stay with you until your lashes naturally fall off. You can get a refill after a few weeks, or just wait until all of them fall off and hop back on the mascara train (maybe.)

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Here’s the pic! What I really like about these eyelash extensions are less about volume (my natural lashes are quite full), and more about the length and of course, the beautiful curl! I have super straight ‘Asian’ lashes; they’re not short, but since they tend to disappear under my monolids, I have to elongate and fix them with mascara if I want to actually see some aesthetically appealing lashes – not to mention multiple pinches with the eyelash curler beforehand!

It’s only been a few days since I got the extensions, but I can already tell you that it’s cut back on a lot of time and energy that I have to spend on my makeup routine. Because the longer lashes frame my eyes nicely, I haven’t even been wearing eyeliner these days! Without the worry of mascara and eyeliner melting down in the summer heat, I have more time to work on bronzing and highlighting, which I have been wanting to experiment with this summer.

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I can’t say that the cost isn’t hefty – especially for my college student budget – but it wasn’t bad with the Groupon deal. Plus, refills cost less, so once you get them done the first time, the prices are tolerable. I don’t know if I want to keep going back – I’ve heard some stories from friends that these eyelashes can get heavy, so they kind of stress out your real lashes and make them fall off faster and more easily. Anyway, I wanted to go a little easy on the eye makeup this summer, so these extensions are the perfect solution for this lazy girl.

UNBOXING: Ole Henriksen VoxBox

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I recently received this gift box from Ole Henriksen – and I was super excited to try it out! I wanted to wait for a bit until I could fully test out all the products before I posted a review, and here it is!

 

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Image from Sephora.com.
  1. The Truth Serum

The Truth Serum Collagen Booster has a vitamin C complex, and the product has a very subtle sweet and citrus scent. I squeeze two pumps and apply it evenly all over my face; it sets into my skin and makes it super smooth and supple. Just this serum alone feels enough to replace a lot of the products I use for my night skin care routine. For the past week, I’ve just been using this serum in the morning and at night, right before my moisturizer.

 

 

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Image from Sephora.com.

2.Sheer Transformation Moisturizer

This unscented moisturizer has been my next step after applying the Truth Serum. I tend to stay away from oily products as much as possible, and this moisturizer does a really nice job of hydrating my skin without being greasy. I only have to use a pea-sized amount to moisturize my entire face and neck.

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3. POWER Bright 3-step System

This stuff was seriously magic to me. Sure, three steps is a lot and might seem like a hassle at first, but once I went through all the steps, I went to bed with my skin glowing! All the products are charged with potent vitamin C concentrates, so not only is the mask good for fine lines and wrinkles, it’s also super effective for dull or uneven skin tone.

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The first step is a sugar polishing mask, and second is a vitamin C concentrate.With the concentrate still on your skin, you’re supposed to apply the third step – the melting cleanser – which causes a tingling, warm sensation. That means it’s working! To wipe off all the product off my face, I used the disposable sponges that came with the product, which swells up to a bigger size once wet.

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This Ole Henriksen VoxBox was the perfect solution for a clean, radiant skin for the summer! I think the serum and the moisturizer have definitely been helping me lighten the load on my skin by powerfully brightening and
moisturizing my face with minimal amounts of product. And the POWER Bright masks take long but what the hell? Treat yo’self because it’s effective.

 

Jenn Im X COLOURPOP: Jenn Ne Sais Quoi Review

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Jenn Im from Clothesencounters is one of my favorite Youtubers, and she recently did a collaboration with ColourPop and launched her JENN NE SAIS QUOI collection. I love how it really reflects her personality and her style, and what’s better is that I can play around with these rather new colors and manage to pull them off!

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