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! 

Friday, 10 October 2014

A surprise new edition. Goodal waterest lasting water oil (review)

While shopping in seoul I was checking out all of the skin care and make up shops that are not present in my neck of the woods. This lead me to the Clio store, and as soon as I walked in I was greeted by a lovely assistant. the sales staff in Korea are so helpful and they will escort you around the store and recommend products along the way, you get a real personal experience which is really nice, but sometimes this can feel overwhelming. But this particular assistant was so sweet and she pointed out this product.

Assistant : 'Many Korean girls love this one, so hydrating and will give you glowing skin'
Me: 'Take my money!'

I personally love the whole dewy skin look and any product that claims to give you a 'glow' is always worth trying in my eyes ^^

This is the waterest lasting water oil from goodal. I have not heard much about the brand before now and still struggle to find information about it. This is also the 1st and only product from the brand that I have tried. 

Claims: Illuminate your skin and moisture with real fermented watery oil'

I would say the claims are justified in this little beauty. It's a light water oil (as the name would suggest) that I like to use in place of serum in the morning and as a serum booster in the evening (my evening  routine is as follows: toner, first essence, whitening serum, this product, hydrating serum, night cream, eye cream, oil...bloody hell thats a lot!) 

The product claims to have a list of  7 lovely oils to help seemingly any skin troubles:

Sunflower seed oil (restore vitality)
Jojoba seed oil (boost hydration)
camilla flower oil (prolong hydration)
green tea seed oil (brighten)
argan oil (firming and elasticity)
olive oil (sooth sensitive skin)
macadamia oil (restore vital nutrients)

Now I am no expert when it comes to active ingredients and fancy pants terminology, but I know what I like and this one of those products. It gives a good amount of hydration to the skin and at the end of the day my face still feels plump and soft. Even when my air conditioner has been blasting and I have been teaching a dance to a group of rowdy 5 year olds. 

As I mentioned I am all about getting a dewy glow these days, which my not be to everyones taste. But if you are looking for that aesthetic I would say give this a try under your foundation or bb cream. Those of you who prefer a matte look might want to stick to using this at night. 

To apply I dispense a pump into my hands a gently pat (another trait I have picked up from being here, never rub always pat in skincare) 

Over all I would say I really enjoy using this product and the result I get from it. I have had no reactions or break outs and my skin feels nicely moisturised and nourished. If your considering buying it I would say take the plunge. I was not disappointed and I'm sure you won't be either! 
Thanks for stopping by 

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Skin food Tomato Whitening Essence (review)

Hello, welcome back! ^^ I have been loving the skin care routine I have at the moment. I haven't had any major breakouts since I have been following this routine (I'm tempting fate by even uttering those words I know, all in the name of a review) I have had some small bumps but actually no breakouts or spots! 

I feel like this product is one of the key factors in keeping the dreaded pimples at bay...

This is the skin food tomato whitening essence. I got this from my local skin food store and I must have re-purchased it maybe 4 or 5 time, I love it! 

Walking around the shopping streets you are constantly seeing images of korean actresses and pop stars with perfect glowing, dewy skin. I know that this is not a true representation of anyone blah blah blah, but I am easily swayed by promotional images. (don't pretend that you're not ^^)

I was drawn to the whitening element of this serum as I have red marks left from past spots and redness that needs combating around my nose. This serum seems to have really helped to lighten the marks and prevent any new ones from emerging. 

I use it in the day and night and I think it sits well under make up. It will give you a dewy look, so if your into the matte finishes I would recommend it for night only. I use this 2nd after my Missha 1st essence in my routine. Then moisture serum, then cream. Two pumps is enough to cover my face and a little down my neck, so the bottle lasts for a long time. If you're in a hot climate ,I tip I like is to keep it in the fridge so its nice and refreshing in the morning ^^ wakes you right up.

Tomatos are great for your skin and make lovely exfoliating masks and really help to brighten the skin. The bottle claims to have 30% tomato extract and 'mild whitening'. Don't let this worry you, whitening is, in my opinion, not the correct term to use. I would describe it as 'brightening and smoothing'. Generally high street 'whitening' products from korea are products designed for evening skin tone, lightening redness and smoothing. They are not skin bleaching products. 

Generally I love this product and the rest of the tomato line is lovely too (its just not moisturising enough for me to use exclusively, and I have tried most of them). If your looking to lighten pigmentation from break outs and brighten dull skin, I would say give it a go! 

Thank you for reading ^^

Monday, 22 September 2014

too cool for school Dinoplatz cushy blusher (review)

Hello and welcome back. I wanted to share an exceptionally cute product with you today. First of all how could anyone resist that packaging? Dinosaur wearing shorts? Whats not to like?

This is a cream blush with a stamp, sponge applicator. The built in applicator makes it good to take on trips and negates the need for an extra brush, if you have limited space. The box came with a replacement sponge to switch out when it gets dirty. This being said, I think you would have to change it frequently, as you stamp it directly on your face. Which is a problem...if your overly sensitive about germs and the like.

The stamp dispenses a good amount of product and helps to blend it out. I would recommend re-blending with a brush afterwards to get a smooth finish. The colour I have is 'surfs up'. Its a lovely pale pink colour that brightens up my face. I think pale skinned lovelies, or people fractionally darker, will appreciate this but you sun kissed beauties and darker should opt for a different colour. 

This is one of my new favourite blushers and I have been wearing it almost everyday. If I was to pick a fault I would say its the applicator. If you have a dewy skin it can smear your base and leave the cheeks a little patchy. That is avoidable with practice and a light hand. The lasting power is good, even in the korean heat.

Generally I would say I really love this blush and I would recommend it to anyone. It's a really cute, fun product that does a good job. What more could you want? 

Sunday, 21 September 2014

too cool for school O2 Bubble cleansing pack. (review)

Hello all,

I wanted to share a lovely product I have been using recently. This is one of my favourite purchases I made when I took a trip to seoul.

This classing pack is lovely if you have tired, dull or clogged up skin. I was amazed at how light and soft my face felt after I used this. I have sensitive skin thats prone to reactions and break outs and I have been perfectly fine. 

How to use it...

Step one. Cleanse you face as normal
Step two. apply the pack in a smoothing motion (try not to massage too much)
Step three. Wait for the fun bubbly sensation.
Step four. Rinse away and admire your light, bouncy skin. 
Step 5. wonder why it took you so long to use this amazing product.
Step 6. come back and thank yours truly for pointing you in the right direction ^^

As you can see the product foams up to this soft bubbly texture when its left in contact with water. I don't exactly know what magical process this is but it works. My skin felt really clean but in no way dry. I recommend using this product after an exfoliating treatment. (mine being dark angels from lush).

The too cool for school store is amazing and the products have the most lovely packaging. My part of town doesn't have this brand and I wanted to buy everything (to be honest I feel like that in most places.)

So in conclusion...If your looking for an extra addition to your skincare routine to combat that tired and dull feeling we get, then this is a good option. I really love it and highly recommend it! 

Thans for reading!!

Monday, 15 September 2014

long time no see!

Well well well its been a good while since I have been in the swing of things, blogging wise. I guess you could say life got in the way. I'm hoping that I can find time and motivation to get things going again. So I will focus on a little update, for those who have stuck around. I'm sure a lot of you will be confused when this pops up in your feed. 'aint that who?'

Ok so I'm still living and teaching in South Korea. This will be my 3rd contract. I still teach at the same kindergarten and still loving sharing my adventure with my twin sister. Theres so much to talk about here that I feel silly not blogging about it. So here goes my 100th attempt at committing and sticking to this platform. Wish me luck!

Maybe a 'what I have been loving' post will help kickstart this whole spectacle.
Nail art! 

It is no secret that I love nail polish and I had really gotten into the whole nail art thing. I have quite the extensive collection, seeing as the polishes are cheap as chip here in korea. Places like Etude house and Skinfood have the nicest shades and brilliant formulas. Best of all they are super cheap. Just what I like to hear. 

I generally use tiny paint brushes to play around with designs and I've also been experimenting with arcylic paints. I recently purchased an at home gel kit so I will surly review that at a later date!

September sees the horrifically hot weather dying down and also chuseok (korean thanksgiving) this gave us a lovely 5 day weekend!! Also my students came in traditional dress, or hanbok. Seeing them all dressed up really is one of the highlights of my year at school! They are so cute and the girls feel like princesses. adorable. 

My sister and I managed to take a trip to Seoul in the long weekend and we had some fun sightseeing and doing LOTS of shopping. The big city is so big and can sometimes be overwhelming. That being said, I do love all the variety and the very convenient subway system. 

I'm not sure I could live in seoul (my bank account would be much emptier for a start) its extremely busy and you do feel kind of lost in the crowd. I enjoy the occasional trip though ^^

So there you have it! Thats my update for now and hopefully I will be seeing you all soon with another post! Cross your fingers for me that I snap back into it ^^. Ta ta for now!