Friday, 6 March 2015

I'm actually ready for spring...

Generally I am very much a winter girl. I love the cold weather and the snow. I love bundling up in scarves and coats and I love watching movies with the heating turned up. Being all cosy inside, while outside is freezing is very satisfying. 
This year however, I have felt a real need for the warmer weather to come back. Maybe it is because this winter in Korea has not been the winter wonderland ideal. We didn't see much snow and to be honest being freezing cold in the morning is kind of the pits. 

Here are some pictures I took last summer, that have really got me into the warm weather mood. My friends and I took a trip to Gyeongju. A lovely traditional place that is a great place to hike and relax. Its also a nice way to get away from the busy city, although it does get busy here the lack of tall buildings and cars makes it feel much more calm.


Cute sculptures on one of the paths we took.
Such a beautiful place. 
Beautiful entrance way. I really love seeing this kind of architecture. Its such different aesthetic to what we see in the UK. I recommend visiting Gyeongju if you have chance. 

I hope you liked this photographs. They have really got me in the mood for spring ^^ 
Thanks for stopping by. 

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Cosy up your borrowed space...

Hello everyone, I hope everyone is doing well. 

I recently came across the bedding company Parachute. They are a bedding company that makes beautiful looking, bedding that aims to delivery quality without the hefty price tag.

I took a look through the website and I saw some amazing looking bed sets and lovely collections of products that have a very clean, chic look to them. This is very much my vision for my permanent home, one day. Here is the link to the website  

That being said, I am a teacher in South Korea and my current living arrangement is temporary. My housing is provided by the school I work for and when I decide to leave said school, I will leave the apartment. 

This is something that holds me back from decor in general. I am not in the space to spend my time and money on this apartment, making it exactly how I would like. I have so many ideas about decorating. That doesn't mean however that I do not want a nice place to curl up into after a hard day of teaching 5 year olds. 

So this post will be a few tips on how to update your place if you are in the same situation as me. Maybe your in a university dorm room, a rented place or a teacher in a foreign country like myself. 

Tip 1:  Hang photographs...


 its surprising how much brighter your room will feel if you have some pretty pictures that make you smile. I know whenever I feel sad, looking at old memories makes me feel 100 times better. Your room will feel more like your personal space with the inclusion of photographs. I like to use very inexpensive string and cute coloured pegs. This is a very cute way to brighten up your room and cheap as chips. 

Tip 2: Make your room cosy...


Little touches like a candle and defuser will make your room feel much more homey and give a comforting scent. I recommend the yankee candles (but I am sure most people are aware of them by now). I love this scent in 'loves me loves me not' its a pretty, fresh daisy fragrance that has me in the mood for spring time. Also the glow of candle light is so relaxing and a perfect accent to wind down with at the end of a long day.  
A nice lamp will also make the room feel more cosy. There is nothing I hate more than bright, harsh over head lights. I much prefer a soft, moody atmosphere. This lamp was another bargain but it gives a nice soft glow to my room and instantly makes me ready to get comfy and get stuck into my book. 
I am about to start 'This is what happy looks like'. So lets see how that goes ^^

Tip 3: Get some nice bedding 


When I said I didn't want to spend much money here, I was excluding bedding. I feel that a good set of bedding can make a huge difference in the quality of your sleep. This is something that I have learned over my 3 years here and it has made a big difference to my life (how dramatic that sounds!). If I get a good sleep I am a nice teacher, so for the sake of my wee ones, I try to get my 40 winks ^^. 
Getting a nice soft bedding set is something worth investing in. 
Curling up in a nice soft bed is one of the best feelings in the world. I decided on a nice floral set and picked up some affordable throw pillows to make it look more like a home than a hotel room. 

All of these things can be easily removed before you leave and are not too time consuming or expensive. I find that even a borrowed space can feel like home with a few changes and add ons. Making myself feel at home in a new country was not an easy, over night thing. But these changes make me feel much more settled. 

I want to thank Mia from parachute for giving me the idea for this post. Again, check out their website, they have some lovely looking bedding that I am sure will excite some of my readers. 

Thank you for reading. I hope I was able to give you some ideas and I hope your all settled in a cosy room, where ever you are. 




Friday, 20 February 2015

Misha Guemsul Vitalising eye cream review (미사 금설 기윤 아이크림)

Hello, I hope everyone is doing well...

Today I am here to share one of my favourite products that I use everyday without fail. The Missha geumsul Vitalizing eye cream. What a mouth full ey? 

The eye cream is one of the products that I have really become devoted to and I will tell you why ^^


I bought this from the Missha store in the closest shopping area and I have repurchased around 4 for these in my 3 years spent in Korea. This is an eye cream that boasts an arsenal of ingredients that supposedly keep ageing at bay. While I am forever a sceptic about 'anti-aging' products, I have seen some improvement in the skin around my eyes when using this.  The eye cream has gold flakes and makes me feel rather fancy when I use it, Always a plus. It also includes deer antler that is supposed to have super anti agin properties. 

The guemsul (golden snowflake) line is very much keeping with the popular herbal, ginseng skin care that is prominent here in Korea. The ideas coming from old, time tested beauty practices and using natural ingredients. One stand out brand that uses this idea is Sulwhasoo. Sulwhasoo is a high end, department store brand and as you would expect: very expensive. Cheaper brands usually offer their own versions of the products, even packaging them in a similar style. 

There is no denying the connection between the expensive and the cheap. This is an idea that was strange to me at first, some of them seem like blatant rip offs and sort of flirt with the edges of plagerism. In cheaper stores you can see which line is imitating expensive brands such as SKII and Sulwhasoo, they boast similar ingredients and very (very) similar packaging.  

My scepticism at the 'rip-offs' was soon extinguished by the price comparison however. Missha eye cream : 45,000 won Sulwhasoo eye cream : 260,000 won. 
MISA Revitalizing Eye Cream helps treat signs of aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and shadows around eyes.

Contains Ginseng Water, Wild Ginseng Extract, Deer Antler Extract, and Reishi Mushroom Extract for a more youthful and brighter appearance.
The mild formula is free of Paraben, Colorants, Triclosan, Benzophenone, Talc, and Mineral Oil.


I really love this product and like I said, have seen some improvement in the smoothness around my eyes. I am only 25 and therefore I have no real prominent 'wrinkles' but I have dryness that emphasises the fine lines. This is made noticeably better when I use this eye cream. I also see that my concealer blends much easier around my dark circles, making them easier to cover up.

The winter here is really cold and the icy air plays havoc with my skin. Before I used this I had very dry, irritated skin around my eyes. Now I no longer have that problem! If you have very dry under eyes I would say give this product a try. 

Another way I love to use this is on my lips. That might sound strange to some but I promise its amazing. I get chronic dry lips and most lipsticks make it 1000 time worse. But I love lipstick, to an unhealthy degree. So at night I put a thin layer of this eye cream under my Nuxe lip balm and it acts as a sort of booster for the lip balm. I feel like it really gets down below the skin surface and helps to sooth and moisturise the lips. I find regular lip balm alone is not enough but this routine keeps those lips soft. I don't think anyone could argue with that ^^

Performance : 9/10 - Great, does what it says on the tin and I obviously love it.
Packaging: - 5 /10 - Some might like the gold but personally it is a little garish for my taste. Also the jar format is not ideal. However it does come with a spatula. 
Price: - This is one of the more expensive in the usually cheap Missha store, I paid 45,000 won. It is worth the extra pennies though. 

I hope my review was useful. If your in the market for an eye cream then check this one out. Its excellent. 

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

MAC Azalea Blossom blush review...

Hello all! 

A recent trip to Lotte Department store lead me to pretty much my favourite place, the make up floor. I really love browsing and drooling over all of the pretty, expensive make up even if its just a window shopping kind of day. 

I headed to the MAC store and spotted the Toledo collection. The packaging is really eye catching, with its black and white design. I have not been up to date with the latest MAC collections and generally my devotion of the brand has wavered over the past few years. Maybe being in Korea surrounded by so many amazing new make up collections has distracted me. But this collection sparked my interest. 

Like I said the packaging is really eye catching. I love the simple, abstract look of the designs. Isabel and Ruben Toledo are fashion designers, and admittedly I hadn't heard about them until I saw this collection. I do however like what I have seen so far. The two of them have a sort of Morticia and Gomez Adams feel in the promotional images, which I love! 
(image from google)
I only purchased one item from the collection and that was the ombre blush in 'Azalea Blossom'. I have had my eye on this particular colour since I first saw it in another collection. I missed out and once more when it was re-promoted. As you can guess I snapped it up (after some faffing around asking myself 'do you really need this?). 


As you can see this is a beautiful looking blush with a soft pink to lavender gradient. The colour looks harmless in the pan and when swatched with a finger it comes up a little lack lustre. Do not let this deter you, when applied to the cheek with a brush the colour pay off it lovely. I would even say be careful, I feel I entered clown territory the first time I used it. 

I have very pale skin and this works a dream to give a flushed, healthy look to the cheeks. I feel a darker skin could use a heavier hand and also find what they where looking for. I am also interested in using this as an eye shadow. I know my favourite colour to add to the crease to warm up my face is MAC's peaches blush. So for a more cool toned look, maybe I will try this out. 

Ratings...

Colour pay off : 8/10 - good medium coverage that can be built up.
Lasting power : 8/10 - lasted well with a little fading during the day. No more than other blushes.
Packaging : 9/10 - cool, interesting packaging. One point taken for it being plastic. 

Thanks for stopping by. I hope my review was useful. 



Sunday, 15 February 2015

A few of my favourite things...

Hello again...
(insert reason for not updating my blog here) I am pretty sure nobody wants to read about such things so lets be on with the post...

Here are a few things that have been bringing a smile to my face for the past few months or so. I hope this post is interesting to some. I for one am the kind of nosy person who loves to see what people have bought or the things that adorn their dressing tables. Hence why I watch so many vloggers. ^^

Books...

I am the first to admit that I have little patience and this aspect of my personality has never been more apparent than when I am reading a book. That being said, when I click with a book I get really engrossed and want to talk the ear off everyone I see (My sister usually bares the brunt of such ramblings). This is what happened with the books pictured. 

'Room' by Emma Donoghue, 'In the woods' by Tana French 'Fan girl' by Rainbow Rowell and 'Sharp objects' and 'Gone Girl' by Gillian Flynn. 

I won't go into the plot of each book now, I would recommend you look up each title on goodreads or another such website. (be careful about spoilers in the comments). 

I will say that 'In the woods', 'Gone Girl' and 'Sharp Objects' are among my favourites and reside in the crime, mystery genre. I personally love a good suspenseful novel and these really ticked all my boxes. If your lucky enough to have no idea about the plot of 'Gone girl' I would say refrain from any google searches as the twist is what makes this book stand out. 

'Fangirl' is a little different as it sits nicely in the YA genre, but its a nice enjoyable read that I am sure will appeal to girls of all tastes. If you appreciate a little of the old 'geek chic' you will love this book. 

'Room' is a heart wrenching tale about a young boy born into terrible circumstances and the way his Mother tries to build a 'normal' life for him. It is told from the young boys perspective and is a beautiful look at the unconditional love of a mother and child. 

Fragrance...

I have been obsessed with these two perfumes recently. The first being Chloe 'Roses de Chloe'. Its a lovely sophisticated scent that always makes me feel really feminine. The lasting power is great and it dries down to a soft rosy fragrance that makes me think of soft cashmere cardigans and delicate, rose gold jewellery. Of soft tumbling curls and my favourite Chanel rose comet lipstick. 

The second fragrance is a little different. Tom Ford's 'Black Orchid' This is a very deep, sexy fragrance that is a real statement. It has very spicy, woody notes and is perfect for the colder weather. Whereas the Chloe perfume has a light feminine feeling, this has a dark tone that makes me think of red wine coloured lips and film noir femme fatales. 

Make up...

I have a new make up product that has made its way into my daily routine. The Etude House Face Blur base. It is a lovely make up base that helps to 'blur' away imperfections and give your foundation a more air brushed look. It works really well when combined with my Missha perfect cover BB cream. I will post a full review of the product soon so check back if you're interested. 

The second, if you can call it make up, is the Elizabeth Adren 8 hour cream. With the terribly harsh, cold air of Korean winter and the heating at school my lips have been in a terrible state. This product has really helped them look their best and has enabled me to wear my favourite lip colours. 

Speaking of which I have two lipsticks that I have been obsessing over. 
They are the Tom Ford Lip colours in 10 Cherry Lush and 27 Bruised plum. Again I will have a full review of the two with switches soon so keep an eye out if you want to know more. All I can say is I am hooked and clearly bruised plum is the more loved of the two. 

Candle...

Another contributor to my good moods has been the cute wee candle you see tucked away in the back. I purchased this from Innisfree. I got the red berry scent and it is really lovely. I also love how it looks all bundled in a cosy jumper, too cute! Theres not much I can say about it other than I love the scent. Candles are somewhat of an obsession of mine and I burn them every chance I get. I really hate bright lighting in a room and much prefer the dim, cosy, warm feeling candles give to a room. 

Well thank you for reading, I hope your Valentines Day was brilliant. Weather you spent it with your loved one or spent it with a friend chatting and eating delicious curry (as I did ^^)



Monday, 13 October 2014

Innisfree Super volcanic pore clay mask (review)

Hello everyone...

There comes a time in every beauty obsessed girl, or guys life where you discover a product that is everything you hoped it would be. It's perfect, it works, it's just great. Admittedly I am fickle and switch from one product to the next due to boredom and curiosity but sometimes products stand out and you don't need to go looking elsewhere.  This is how I feel about the innisfree super volcanic pore clay mask.
This Mask claims it: 
Tightens pores + Removes sebum + Exfoliates dead skin cells + Offers deep cleansing + Enhances skin tone + Provides cooling effects

When I first used this I was surprised at how bright my skin looked and how clean and matte it looked. Then the next time, and the time after I wasn't disappointed.

Being in the middle of a skincare and cosmetics obsessed country means lots of products are constantly catching my eye, from billboards to tv and youtube adverts. This means I have tried a fair few and had some lovely breakouts as a result. I found that this product cleared them up and soothed them in no time. I am sure all ladies are familiar with those painful, hormonal breakouts that seem to be a nightmare to shift. Well this product did an amazing job at soothing even those, and thats no easy task.


What's in it?
The mask contains 'Jeju volcanic scoria, made with hardened lava when the volcanos erupted in Jeju, is a purely natural ingredient with powerful sebum control capacities'. (taken from the website). They say that these ingredients are better at absorbing sebum and clearing the skin, than red clay or mud. I have noticed that this mask is much better at clearing blemishes than other clay masks I have tried.
How do I use it?
First I cleanse my face, with what ever I am using at the time. Then I use a hot flannel to open up my pores, laying it on my face for a few minuets. Then I dry my face and spread the mask evenly, avoiding the eye area. I put a thicker layer over my nose, chin and forehead (basically anywhere that has large pores or is breakout prone). Then wait for it to dry.

The mask dries but not in a harsh, itchy irritating way. I find most clay masks to be too dry and difficult to wash off. I usually feel like I am tugging at my skin but this one still has a little give after around 15 minuets.

If you are looking for a nice clay mask to help with the appearance of black heads and sooth blemishes, this is one to try. I highly recommend this to anyone. The only thing I would say is if you had really dry skin then it might dry out your skin even more. I would however say those with really dry skin probably don't need a clay mask anyway.

Here is the link to the website if anyone is interested in learning more about it. Thanks for reading. I hope it was useful to someone!




Saturday, 11 October 2014

At home gel nails. Modi gel nail kit. (review and tutorial)

Hello all, I hope your having a lovely weekend. The weather here is crazy. It suddenly feels like winter, many people will claim korea has 4 seasons but I know this to be a lie! There are two seasons 1. Hotter than the depths of hell and 2. hypothermia inducing cold (but maybe I am just exaggerating ^^ we brits are notorious for complaining about the weather, no matter what the state).

So the point of this post was not in fact to talk about the weather, but to introduce my new favourite toy. My gel nails kit from Modi. I got this from Aritaum (a korean beauty store that stocks a variety of brands) and I am very pleased that I did.

What's inside? 
Inside the kit you get the UV lamp, Gel base coat, Gel top coat, Nail cleanser and Gel remover. 
The UV lamp is a nice compact size, so its easy to carry around and store. There is also a power lead included. Note that the lamp should be plugged in to be used, I was under the impression that it could be 'charged' but I was obviously mistaken. This is no big deal however.

The kit cost me 70,000 won. I think this is quite a bargain! Considering I went to a salon and paid 60,000 won for a gel manicure. If you are a nail art junkie (like myself) and want to save yourself some dosh in the long run, I would say get on investing! 

How do I use it?
It is a relatively easy process to follow and with a little practice, anyone can do it. If you already know how to paint your nails, you're half way there my friend. 
Step 1. Remove any existing polish and wash hands.
Step 2. Usual cuticle management, buffing and all that jazz.
Step 4. This is where the fun begins. Cleanse your nails with the Nail surface cleanser. Pop a few drops onto a cotton pad and swipe the nails clean.
Step 5. Paint a very thin layer of the base coat onto your nails. 
Step 6. Open the UV lamp and place fingers inside (there are little bumps so you know where you should put each finger) Then press the power button and wait. (it will go off after around 45 seconds)
Step 7. Your nails will have a layer of sticky residue. Cleanse this off using the nail surface cleanser again. 
step 8. Now its time for colour. Apply a thin layer of your desired colour, and repeat step 6 and 7 until you have the preferred opacity. I find 3 or 4 coats is necessary. 
Step 9. Apply the gel top coat and cure under the UV lamp again. I find a few layers of top coat to be necessary.

What are the colour options?
There are a serious amount of colours to choose from if you decide to go for it, I have a selection that I am happy with and will be returning to stock up on more pretty soon. 
These are the colours I have so far. My favourites are Mint candy (a creamy mint colour) and wild coral (a creamy neon coral). They look pretty when paired together. The mixed fruit colour is a soft pink with specks of blue, yellow, green and orange. it gives a pretty polka dot effect but it is very difficult to use. (I ended up painting it onto a sheet of paper and tweezing out the coloured specks so I could get an even distribution). 

Using water decals!
For my latest gel adventure I decided to use some water decals for an intricate look. I was going for a china tea set look, with a white background and colourful flowers. 
(Something like this...Image from google images)
Water decals are about as easy as it gets and give the impression that you spent hours perfecting your manicure. Basically you need to cut out the design, soak it in water, tweeze off the design, place it onto your nails and apply a top coat.
I like to let mine rest in a small cup of water for around 30 seconds. Then the flowers are easy to remove. If you are using them with a gel manicure you should apply them after colour and before top coat. The top coat will stop them lifting and make them last. Also I found it useful to gently dabb them with a tissue to remove excess water, while on the nail. This meant I could paint the top coat easily. 
Here is the finished result! Please excuse my claw hand. I find it near enough impossible to position my hand in a flattering way when photographing nail art. So claw hand it is.

The manicure lasted really nicely and everyone was oh so impressed that I did it at home.

General tips for gel nails:
1. Paint in very thin layers. This takes some getting used to. The way you paint regular nail varnish is way too thick when using gels. The thinner the application the easier it is for the UV to penetrate the polish (not a good enough reason to use the word penetrate o.O)
2. Take your time. The polish is very thin and can lead to mistakes. 
3. Clean off any mistakes BEFORE you cure it with the UV lamp.
4. Maintain your cuticles and be careful not to get the polish on your skin. 
5. Don't peel off the polish once your sick of it. Its really damaging to the nails and you will be peeling off a couple of layers from your nails. Trust me its not worth it. Just soak it off. 

I hope this was helpful to anyone considering the gel nail kit. I love it and I am sure you will too. If I can do it you can too! Good luck!