With them hot pink flip flops, because that’s how I roll.
If I asked you to describe the Dolce & Gabbana style without searching for any of their pictures right now, what would you say? Perhaps it depends on the season, since after all the runway changes every 3 months, right? Not exactly.
Every brand has its signature look. It’s like how when you think of Chanel and tweed comes into mind. Or Burberry, and the classic English camel trench with its big buttons blows you away. The Dolce & Gabbana look is one that’s luxurious, bold and self-assuredly Italian. You may not hold all these qualities at the same time all the time, but there are definitely moments when you feel one or the other. And when you travel, no matter where you end up in, you can look and feel the same way.
A while back, makeup artist and beauty blogger Renee wrote a blog entry asking if beauty blogs could still be trusted. In recent months, or maybe years, blogging has been put in the spotlight for the right and wrong reasons. Bloggers making a decent living out of sponsorships, non-disclosure of said sponsorships resulting in possible misperceptions, blatant lying, plagiarism and so on and so forth. Even our local government has stepped in with an attempt to regulate how bloggers work.
But the thing is, what about you, the reader? How trusting are you? Do you do your background checks before buying into what a blogger says? Do you go back to believing a blogger if a product he or she has previously endorsed didn’t work out for you? You see, blogging works both ways, and ultimately, everyone has to be smart about it.
Busan is a charming little city that although has fewer people than Seoul, also has something a bit more than what Seoul can give. It’s got a city center, where you can do some shopping if you like, and where the shops aren’t too many in numbers or don’t all sell the same thing. There’s a great night scene in this city, where clubs are still sounding strong at 10pm on a Sunday night – at least from the outside.
Street food stalls go strong till late at night, and you also feel safe where you are. My favourite part of this city is Haeundae Beach, but maybe only because I’m a beach girl at heart. We went there three times in our four days here! If you love seafood, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Check out our travel video below.
Here are some things to do in Busan, if you’re looking for something other than Seoul to visit.
1. Shop at the Seomyeon Underground Shopping Center
It rained half the time we were in Busan, but thank God there are still things to do when the weather threatens to spoil everything. Shopaholics may enjoy this underground shopping center, but beware of shops that do not display prices.
2. Visit Seomyeon, the city center, in the day and night
Seomyeon is where everything happens. You’ve got shops, tons of restaurants and even street side food stalls. ‘Nuff said! In the day, it’s just like any other lively city but things liven up a lot at night. The neon lights, flashy signs and music escaping clubs’ entrances will remind one of Tokyo, even if you’ve never been there yourself.
If you’ve missed Yoogane before, you can try dining here too. There is an Artbox branch, where I ended up buying a card reader and selfie lens for my camera. I was so tempted to get one of those cute cloud night lights but stopped myself because I don’t really have space at home for it. Oh, and I might have also bought a new pair of sports shoes from one of the several Nike stores located in this area.
3. Visit Beomeosa Temple
Beomeosa Temple is one of the temples that can be found in Busan. It’s in the north of Busan, and you can easily get there if you can get by with the metro in a foreign land. It rained the whole time we had planned to be there, and even when we optimistically paused at a cafe at Beomeosa’s metro exit to wait for the rain to stop, it didn’t. Needless to say, we ended up not visiting this temple even though we were so close. Maybe next time.
Oh my God. This year’s trip to Korea has been nothing short of awesome! Should I write a blog post that’s more like a guide to fellow travellers, a diary of sorts for friends who read my blog, or something that’s more for beauty mavens who just want a dose of Korean beauty? Yet thinking about it, writing this blog post in only one of those formats doesn’t really do Korea justice. So here it is, my blog post that’s all of the above!
Here are my 11 top things to do in Seoul, in no particular order except for their appearance in the video above.
1. Shop at Edae (a.k.a. Ewha Women’s University Shopping Street)
Edae is where shopping comes cheap. Almost all clothing stores sell their items in free size, which is sadly too big for me. I didn’t do much clothes shopping but skincare is another thing all together. I finally went and found the Tomaru store after walking around for ages and realised I couldn’t find it because the store front had changed its design from the last time I visited. This is what it looks like now.
The Edae Tomaru storefront.
To get to the Edae Tomaru store, just head straight down the main shopping street once you exit the metro station. When you get to the end of the street (it ends just before reaching the university), turn left. The Tomaru store will be on your left, maybe about 100m after you turn, and it is opposite a Banila Co store. I hope you find it, because it seems that the Tomaru store is the only place you can find Dear Packer masks, and that’s pretty much the only thing I bought this time there too! I featured these masks in my haul video last year, and you can check it out here.
Just a note that this is not the only Tomaru store in Korea. I’m not sure where the others are, but I’ve seen them around now and then during our trip. It’s just that this seems to be the most straightforward branch to find.
2. Shop or sightsee at Myeongdong in the day and night
Myeongdong is one of the most active areas in Seoul. It’s got all the skincare and fashion shops you can find, and is ever so lively at night. I skipped all the deep-fried food, but the strawberry mochis that are being sold at any street side food stall are a must-try.
3. Try Dakgalbi at restaurant chain Yoogane
We visited the newer of the two Yoogane branches in Myeongdong. It’s quite an interesting experience if you’re looking for authentic Korean food but aren’t quite ready to try live squid yet. The dish is cooked in several stages in the hot pot right in front of you, complete with a timer for 3-minute intervals and a member of the staff who would do everything for you each time the timer rings. Watch my video above and you’ll see what I mean!
Each order is for two servings, so go with at least one other person. We added one serving of ramen and lots of cheese in ours. That’s why it looks so good. You can also check out The Seoul Guide’s review on the main restaurant here.
We’re in Jeju today, and what a wonderful time to be here! Being overseas for a short time means you should always only have with you your travel beauty essentials, things that you would naturally reach out for when time allows for it. I’ve brought along some of mine, and thought it would be nice to share them with you.
Everything’s here, except for my Diorskin Forever Compact Foundation.
3CE Eyeshadow Palette in Bitter Sweet
Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette
Kiko Milano Shade Fusion Trio Blush in 04
Australis AC On Tour Contouring & Highlighting Kit (available on Zalora here)
Julie Hewett Belle Noir Lipstick in Femme Noir
Tom Ford Lip Colour Matte in Black Dahlia (awesomely available on Nordstrom here)
Heroine Make Long and Curl Mascara Super Waterproof
Bourgois Brow Design Brow Mascara in 03 Châtain
Laura Mercier Paint Wash Liquid Lip Colour in Nude Rose (available on Nordstrom here)
Sara Happ The Pink Slip
3CE Pore Silky Balm
Galeries Lafayette Angled Blush Brush
Mary Kay Eye Colour Brush
Sigma Flat Kabuki F80 Brush (5th Year Anniversary Edition)
The Australis AC On Tour Contouring & Highlighting Kit.
In My Travel Beauty Essentials: Skincare Edition, I mentioned that the Australis AC On Tour Contouring & Highlighting Kit is the only contouring product I own – and I can’t be more glad to feature it here. It’s a product that has everything you need for decent contouring and highlighting, and because it’s in a compact powder form, it works great for oily skin. You can read my detailed review on this palette and see more close ups of it here.
Introducing my travel beauty essentials for my trip to Korea.
Hello from the sunny land of South Korea! It’s my third time here in Seoul, but this time I’m visiting Busan and Jeju Island for the first time as well and I can’t wait. It’s also my first time in Korea in the summer, and my skincare routine has since changed. Here are the skincare products I have with me this time round, and I hope you might find something new to try out from today’s post.
ANIA Skincare Moroccan Rosewater (available on ANIASkincare.com here)
DCS Nutriderm Ultra Nutrition Night Cream (read my blog review on it here)
L’Oreal Gentle Lip and Eye Make-up Remover (For Waterproof Makeup)
Neutrogena Deep Clean Brightening Cleansing Oil
Dr. Wu Intensive Acnecur Spot Treatment with BHA
Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye (available on Nordstrom here)
Beauty shopping does not have to be expensive – all the time.
I wrote an article some years back on how you can save on makeup, and it’s right on the blog here. Nevertheless, I recently rediscovered this topic and found that many of us still do need some help when it comes to spending properly on beauty-related products and services. Here are 7 more tips you can bank on to help you ensure you spend smartly.
1. Skip the gelish.
Having everlasting unchipped nails is a thing of unicorn dreams. And just like dreams, perfect nails don’t last. But that doesn’t mean you need to get a gelish manicure every other month just so your nails always look their best. A single gelish session can set you back anywhere from $30 to $120, and if you have to get it done every 4 weeks or so, it will become a great cumulated expense. In addition, gelish is bad for your nails. If you really, really need to get gelish done, save it for special occasions like your best friend’s wedding.
2. DIY your brows.
Your brows can be difficult to manage, and that’s why I created this tutorial to help you with it. If you can do them on your own, you’ll save money going to the beautician every few weeks.
3. Don’t overlook drugstore beauty products.
Drugstore beauty products may be on the cheaper side, but that doesn’t mean they don’t work. A lot of drugstore brands are sister brands of larger, more high-end brands, so their formulations don’t differ too much (an example is YSL and L’Oreal). Furthermore, if you are a member of your local drugstore, you can also earn points and rebates, which will save you money in the long run.
Some drugstore products you need to check out are the Maybelline Fit Me Concealor (available on Drugstore.com here), or my Holy Grail Heroine Make Long & Curl Mascara Super Waterproof (available on YesStyle here, with free international shipping).
4. Buy only what you need, whenever you need it.
Research has shown that when we buy more often, as opposed to when we buy at the last minute during a big trip to the store, we actually end up spending less. So if you find that going on a no-buy period doesn’t really help, then ditch that plan and just buy what you need, as and when you need it. Remember, the key word here is “need.”
When you think of beauty, what exactly comes to mind? Is it having wide, doubly-lidded eyes and hairless shins? Is it having thin thighs and arms, and a flat tummy? Is it having a sharp nose, hair that perfectly frames the face and full brows?
Or perhaps, could it be the courage to stand out there on your own? Is it the twinkle in your mother’s eyes when you cook up a storm for her? Is it when you hold hours-old baby turtles in your hands? Or is it the ability to run for half an hour straight without feeling tired out by the end of it?
Beauty holds many definitions and there isn’t one that stands true for all of us. While most people see beauty as something tangible, it is, most of the time, not. Something beautiful doesn’t last forever, its transience is what makes it all the more precious. And when you think about life, which in itself is but short, then you will realise that there is beauty in everything and everyone – you just have to look for it.
Brows never used to be my forte, especially since I have close to none. But that doesn’t mean I can’t create presentable ones. I came up with this list of points to note when it comes to your brows, and I hope they will help you manage yours.
1. Get them professionally shaped.
Tell the beautician or artist what type of shape you are looking for, and they will know what to do to help you achieve the closest thing possible. Some times, what you want isn’t the shape of your natural brows but that’s OK. Mine aren’t either.
2. Maintain your brows weekly.
This means tweezing, shaving or plucking off any hairs that shouldn’t be there. To help you, take a picture of your brows when they are freshly groomed from the brow artist so that you can remember what they should look like.
I usually shave off the hairs between my two brows (those strands are the most painful for me to pluck out), pluck out the ones that are growing underneath the main brows and then trim off any ends that are too long. A small pair of curved scissors is great for this.
3. Fill in Your Brows.
Depending on whether you are looking to achieve soft or strong, defined brows, the products you use will also differ. For soft brows, all you’ll need is a brow powder or pencil. For strong brows, you’ll need something with more pigmentation and staying power, like a brow mascara.
Lately, I’ve discovered a technique which combines both of the above, actually. I apply a thin layer of the Bourgeois Instant Brow Mascara in the middle of my brows and then layer over it with my brow powder. I follow up with a light dusting of my foundation to help set it in place. This helps my brow powder to stay on for longer and nothing smudges at the end of the day, provided I don’t absent-mindedly scratch them. I’ll do a video of this soon enough, so keep a lookout for it on this page!
In the meantime, here are some products that I think you will like.
There’s this little something that I’ve been wanting to show you, and that’s my brand new skin moisture analyser. It’s a little tool that measures the amount of moisture and oil on your skin, so that you can tell if your skincare products are working and whether your skin is healthy.
There are many models of skin moisture analysers out there but they all work via the same technology, known as the bioelectrical impedance analysis technology. If you’re thinking that means electricity is involved, you are right. Do read on to find out more about this technology, why it’s important for you to understand it, and see how it works on me in real life.