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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Kbeauty Haul Summer 2016

Happy first day of July and the long Fourth of July weekend! How are your summers going so far? I’ve been pretty busy since the start of my internship, but I finally had some time to put together a Korea haul (oh man, my trip to Seoul feels like ages ago!). Each time I visit, I bring back a bag full of beauty products to try. Since I’m probably going back this winter, I didn’t splurge as much as I would normally, but was really on the lookout for things that I absolutely needed or those that looked pretty unique. Well, let’s get right to it!

Banila Co. Clean it Zero Cleansing Balm

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Banila Co has become one of my favorite Korean cosmetics brands and I had heard so many good things about this cleaning balm. On my last trip I purchased a cleansing cream from Nature Republic that had a softer, lotion-y consistency, but this one feels like a sherbert, almost like coconut oil (you know how it semi-crumbles up into a greasy dollop as you grab onto it?!). I was actually pleasantly surprised by how effective it was at melting down all the makeup, and actually prefer this texture over the creamier one. After using up a sample size that I got as a gift, I knew I had to get the full-sized tub. I found it kind of similar to Clinique’s Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm, but  I love how this one leaves a fruity, herbal fragrance as I wipe it across my face, and also the fact that it turns soapy as I wash it off with water (kind of like double cleansing, haha). On days I don’t feel like taking a gazillion cotton pads to remove all of my makeup, this cleansing balm is the way to go.

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Foodventure in Korea: Trip Across Jeolla Province!

My dad has always been pretty busy with his work; too often our family vacations have been canceled or changed to a closer location. But not this time! Since both my sister and I are studying abroad in the US while my parents are in Korea, we decided that this summer was the chance to set some time aside and embark on a family road trip!

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We drove from our home in Seoul (see it way up at the top?) down to Jeollanam-do (aka South Jeolla Province), where the different cities within it are rich with character and best of all, LOTS OF DELICIOUS FOOD! My family doesn’t have much association with this particular province (my mom’s side is from Gyeongsangnam-d0/Busan, and my dad’s side takes roots in Gyeongsang buk-do/Daejeon), so most of the things we saw and did on this trip were a first for all four of us.

Without further ado, here’s the video of my trip:

Read on for the detailed itinerary of our amazing trip!

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Bad Farmers – Healthy Food Bowls

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The list of cool places around Garosugil never ceases to exhaust; a few days ago, I visited a healthy food-themed restaurant called Bad Farmers. A couple of my friends who know about my obsession with healthy food had told me about this place, and I’m excited to say that this place will probably be my go-to spot for a healthy brunch at Garosugil from now on.

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Vlog: Korea Summer 2k16!

OMG! Can you believe that we’re already at the halfway point of 2016? I’m starting my summer internship in NYC in about a week, but I made the decision to fly back home to Seoul for a few weeks before I do. It was awesome to surprise all of my relatives and catch up with friends in Korea! I’m probably gonna upload more detailed posts about the things I’ve done here, as well as reviews about the different products I’ve been trying or have purchased. But in the meantime, I wanted to share with you the first two parts of my stay here so far… As always, shopping around, eating amazing food, and enjoying the hot summer weather in different spots of the city is super fun.

 

 

 

Common Ground: Seoul’s Container Shopping Mall

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The air felt more than freezing cold today when I met up with my friend to visit Seoul’s pop-up container mall called Common Ground. I was surprised by the interesting stack of containers (yes, like the ones on freight trains) that somehow comprised a building, but was soon satisfied by the experiences of both eating and shopping in the warm, bright blue boxes with plenty to enjoy.

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Dessert in Itaewon: Milk Gongbang

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The second part of my day out in Itaewon was a wonderful ice cream shop called 밀크工房.

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Front entrance of the store

They had still displays of milk being spilled everywhere – I think they add a soft and cute touch to the overall interior of the store!

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