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! 

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 ^^