The Case Full of Seoul: Korean Beauty in a Few Easy Steps

The Case Full of Seoul

I would have never, ever guessed that the first place from which I’d get legitimate Korean beauty and skincare products would be Costco. I’ve found some products in stores along Bloor Street in old Koreatown, and even a slew of products from Shopper’s Drug Mart which had writing in Hangeul (Korean characters). Until now, none of these products have actually been made in Korea.

“Discover all that K-Beauty has to offer with The Case Full of Seoul. K-Beauty is a skincare regimen designed by beauty experts in Korea. Korean skincare is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.

It is a daily routine rather than a one-off treatment – It is a commitment. UMMA has gathered 8 skin-changing products that work best when used together, and has designed a beauty plan to help you get the most out of each product. Follow these beauty plans and get ready to see results.”

Step One: 9 Wishes Rice Foaming Cleanser $20.90

Step one in any Korean skincare routine I’ve ever heard of is cleansing. The scent of this particular cleanser reminds me of wandering through rice paddies in Bali. It’s light in every sense of the word. The formula features micro-ground rice texture which lightly and gently exfoliates dead skin cells. I wouldn’t use it as your make-up remover (again – it’s light), but the formula is designed to cleanse oil, sebum, blackheads, and other impurities from make-up. The design is to even out skin tone and hydrate the skin.

Step Two: MayCoop Raw Sauce Mini $28

The product is a combination toner and an emulsion. As step two, it prepares the skin to absorb the hydrating formulas you’ll apply throughout the rest of the process. The scent and viscosity are both quite light. The description is that it “hydrates and revitalizes dull skin” and “uses ingredients that mimic molecules in human skin, such as maple tress sap, to help retain extra-high absorbency”. This was a step I really enjoyed as it wasn’t sticky and it was absorbed very quickly.

Step Three: URANG True Rose Repair Essence $47

The rose scent on the repair essence is quite a bit stronger than the other products, so take note if you’re sensitive. This formula contains organic Bulgarian rose water and rose essential oil. The substance is thicker than the previous step. The texture is designed to have a cooling effect. It should calm down redness, although I found it just wasn’t all that effective in balancing my skin tone especially around particularly dry areas like my nose.

Step Four: Tov Camellia Wrinkle-free Eye Solution $25

This product was hands down one of my favourites. This formula contains shea butter and macadamia nut oil. Obviously, it’s safe to use around the eye area which can be quite delicate. The product goes on so smooth it’s almost like a primer in an of itself. It’s quite thick and a little goes a long way. My under-eye area calmed down almost instantly. This is a holy grail item I’d definitely purchase on its own if it weren’t already in The Case Full of Seoul.

Step Five: MayCoop Raw Moisturizer $40

I found this product to smell quite clean and fresh. My guess would be something close to fresh linen, but even that would be too strong a scent. The description states that it “uses moisture balls filled with oil that pop onto the skin to provide the ultimate hydration experience” – I didn’t experience that. It went on like my regular day/ night moisturizer. I would use this in the spring as it’s not quite thick enough for winter, but it would be too much for summer.

Optional: Touch In Sol No Poreblem Primer $18

This is another fabulous find I would have never heard of without The Case Full of Seoul. I would say this primer (at least for me) is another holy grail. I typically use Smashbox Primer, but felt it just wasn’t working with my skin lately. This product goes on like the first time I ever used a primer. My foundation works over it like silk it’s so smooth. I’ve never has any film from it either. It conceals my pores and nearly all my wrinkles for a really even complexion. I love the way my makeup looks when I use this primer!

Optional: URANG Vitamin Oil Serum $57

I wasn’t a huge fan of this oil, to be candid, and found myself swapping in my Chantecaille Rose Oil instead. With so many rose infused items, it made sense to me. The fragrance of this product (with rosehip and jojoba oils) was so overwhelming it gave me headaches. The idea is to seal in all the aforementioned hydrating ingredients to hide discolouration, reduce fine lines, and give an overall brightening effect.

I Woke Up Like This All-In-One Concentrate Treatment Mask

Most of the sheet masks I’ve tried in Korea have some sort of gimmicky ingredient. Some have gold or diamonds, some wine or beer, others have snail serum. This sheet mask is made with pearl powder, Vitamin C and Niacinamide to (again!) boost hydration, provide a brightening effect and even out skin tone. The fit is good, but I wouldn’t say there’s anything insanely exciting about this mask. Pop it on for 20 minutes, then remove and massage the excess essence into your skin.

This kit is easy to use for even the most sensitive skin and the newest K-Beauty user. The case itself gives directions for morning, evening, self-care Sunday, and even “get ready with me” and also comes with a booklet full of ingredients and instructions. The case brings huge discounts vs. purchasing each product individually (on Costco’s website the price listed it $79.98). If you’d been doing your math along the way, you’ll note that the value of the case is upwards of $235 USD.

I enjoy taking care of my skin and enjoy trying new products – especially those from my old home, Seoul. The proof is in the pudding, however. Go check out my recent skin analysis where you’ll find that my skin is dialing in at almost 5 years younger than my actual age! Thanks for letting me try some of the hot commodity products which came out directly after I left Korea!

Skincare Review: Leegeehaam has quick-drying formulae which I love when I'm in a rush.  My skin feels soft and there's never any hint of shine.

This article was written in unpaid partnership in exchange for an honest reviewThatGirlCartier.com only features products or services I genuinely adore and would repurchase again and again.

Vita Cosmetic & Laser Clinic: Medical Experts in Toronto

Photo: Robert Evans

When I lived in Korea, I was absolutely astounded by the number of cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery clinics there were just in the Sinsa-dong area of Seoul. 1 in 3 women in South Korea have had plastic surgery. South Korea has the highest rate of plastic surgeries per capita in the world. That’s why they say Seoul is the plastic surgery capital of the planet. I spent 2015 – 2018 in South Korea; two of those years living in Seoul.

Photo: Robert Evans

Cosmetic Surgery in Toronto

Since returning to Toronto two years ago, I have been invited to visit several clinics. My first question is always, “Do you have a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon performing injections and cosmetic surgery procedures?” Until a couple of weeks ago, 100% of the representatives for the clinics replied that they only had medical esthetic practitioners, or nurse injectors. I don’t know about you, but if someone is sticking a needle near my eye, I want to know that they have more experience than a handful of Saturdays of training.

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Vita Cosmetic & Laser Clinic

I met with Dr. Diego Delgado, Medical Director of Vita Cosmetic & Laser Clinic who is also a Clinician Investigator at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, an Associate Professor in the Division of Cardiology and Cardiac Transplantation at the University Health Network, and a faculty member of the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto. Procedures at Vita Cosmetic & Laser Clinic are carried out by medical professionals who are certified by both the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and the Ontario Nursing Association.

The Team at Vita Cosmetic & Laser Clinic

I also met with Managing Director, Olga Olenka, and Nurse Anna, who you can see in the video above talking about some of my favourite skincare products from Vivier Skin. We discussed some of the procedures I’ve had in Korea as well as those I’ve tried out since returning to Toronto. I’ve had Dysport (a competitor of Botox) twice (forehead and crow’s feet once each), a facial peel, dermaplaning (an exfoliation technique to rid the face of hair and the first layer of dead skin), a Fire and Ice facial, and an IPL.

VISIA Facial Assessment Report

Since I do take care of my skin fairly well, the team suggested that rather than going straight for the lasers, I should have my skin analysed by their VISIA Facial Assessment machine.

“IntelliFlash®, cross-polarized and UV lighting are used to record and measure surface and subsurface skin conditions. UV photography provides the most complete data set available for sun damage assessment and analysis, including UV fluorescence imaging to reveal porphyrins.

Canfield’s RBX® Technology separates the unique color signatures of Red and Brown skin components for unequaled visualization of conditions that result in color concentration, such as spider veins, hyperpigmentation, inflammation and other conditions.”

My VISIA Facial Assessment Report at Vita Cosmetic & Laser Clinic was actually a lot better than expected. You never really know what’s going on with your skin until you can see deeper into the layers on skin. The ideal score is 100%, but that would be wild considering most skin damage occurs in the first 5 years of life.

My scores:

  • Spots: 66%
  • Wrinkles: 61%
  • Texture: 79%
  • Pores: 67%
  • UV Spots: 61%
  • Brown Spots: 58%
  • Red Areas: 67%
  • Porphyrins (Bacteria): 89%

The system suggested a number of treatments to get my skin to its best. They’re fairly non-invasive treatments which I’ve already been doing. Looks like if I continue with my current regimen and add just a few more treatments, I’ll have the best chance of great skin as I age.

My Custom Suggestions:

  • Botox (a 10-minute treatment which can last for up to 4 months)
  • Latisse (an FDA-approved treatment to grow fuller, longer lashes)
  • Silk Peel (a 3-in-1 dermatological treatment that exfoliates, extracts, and infuses skin with condition-specific serums for a one-step all-inclusive treatment)
  • Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing (laser technology which generates collagen and elastin to improve fine lines, wrinkles, scars, and other surface imperfections)
  • Platelet-rich plasma Vampire Facial (An injectable treatment that will increase rebuilding of tissue by stimulating new collagen and blood vessel formation. Helps with acne scars, wrinkles, sun damage, dark circles, and overall skin tone).
  • Photofacial IPL (Laser treatment for brown spots, sun damage, and vessels without harming the surrounding skin)
  • Skin Tightening (Multi-polar radio frequency and pulsed electro magnetic fields to produce heat under the skin’s surface. The process helps icrease collagen and elastin fibers while also shrinking the volume of fat cells)

Trust

Any type of procedure – be it elective or emergency – requires a high degree of trust between the patient and the Doctor of Nurse. Having visited Vita Cosmetic & Laser Clinic yesterday for my VISIA Facial Assessment (as well as an other procedure I’m excited to tell you all about) I think I’ve found my new spot. The team is dedicated, present, and friendly. I felt very well taken-care of by Dr. Diego, Olga, and Anna throughout my visit!

How to Get to Vita Cosmetic & Laser Clinic

  • Address: 27 Rean Dr Unit 7, North York, ON M2K 0A6
  • Phone: (416) 639-1882
  • Hours:
    Sunday: Closed
    Monday: 9 AM – 7 PM
    Tuesday: 9 AM – 7 PM
    Wednesday: 9 AM – 7 PM
    Thursday: 9 AM – 7 PM
    Friday: 9 AM – 7 PM
    Saturday: 10 AM – 3 PM

Miracle 10’s Kabuki Brush – Worth the Splurge

Kabuki Brush

“This super soft multi-purpose Kabuki brush can sweep, finish, bronze and mattify. Safe for even the most sensitive skin. Plus, it’s totally cute and fits in any makeup bag (even the tiny ones).”

Adding a Kabuki Brush to my Standard Rotation

Adding a Kabuki Brush to my kit changed my relationship with foundation. I suppose my skin had adapted to the pollution in Seoul, because I rarely wore all-over makeup when living in Korea. In Toronto, however, my skin just doesn’t look as bright or flawless, and I’ve been finding myself wanting to smooth things out more and more. I hate the caked on look of foundation. When Miracle 10 Cosmetics offered me a chance to scoop up a few items from their brand new line, I figured I might as well give it a try. It’s not such a crazy splurge as a Kabuki Brush from Fenty or Mac Cosmetics will run around the same price (or higher).

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Take your pick 🤔😍 ⁣#miracle10 #glowgetter

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How to Use the Miracle 10 Cosmetics Kabuki Brush

I’ve been using this brush exclusively with foundation, and am obsessed with the results. Other brushed have left broken bristles (and black flecks all over my face – no thanks). This one has held strong. As opposed to a makeup sponge, with the Kabuki brush I get that ultra-smooth look. I don’t have to use too much product, either. I haven’t used it with bronzer or blush, but the website suggests the following if you choose multi-use:
“Using this brush is an absolute dream. It can be used with your bronzer, powder, blush or to create an airbrushed look with your foundation. When switching between products, spritz with a little Rejuvenating Mist and dab onto a tissue. When applying blush tighten the surface area of the brush by pinching the bristles together a bit (as opposed to holding the handle).”
What does she really want for Valentine’s Day? If she’s like me, probably not chocolates; maybe roses. Definitely some great-quality, locally-sourced (Yorkville, bébé) skincare and cosmetics from an innovative, nimble company like Miracle 10 which is led by and largely run by women.

The St. Regis Spa – Treat Yourself, Toronto!

Every so often, I’ll feel the need to get myself home as quickly as possible on Friday night. I’ll stay in bed catching up on bad television and UberEats until Monday morning when I wait to emerge from my duvet until the absolute last possible moment. This past weekend I could feel myself submitting to those cravings. Instead, I booked myself some indulgent treats: an aromatherapy massage at the St. Regis Spa Toronto, dermaplaning, a “fire and ice” facial, and a workout in a vacuum.

The St. Regis Spa in Toronto

The St. Regis spa is, above all, guest service-focused. I was really impressed by the team effort made by all the staff. Once you’ve checked in, everyone knows your name. You’re escorted to all the areas at your disposal, and all options are explained with as much detail as you’re ready to hear. I was offered pluck tea (Earl Grey Cream was so divine), coffee, fruit-infused water, dried pineapple, chocolate-covered blueberries, and white/ milk chocolate-covered pretzels. No wonder they asked me to arrive at least 30 minutes before my treatment!

The St. Regis Spa change-rooms are bright white and are frequently manicured. It’s a little awkward having people rushing in and out the whole time you’re getting ready for your treatment/ getting ready to leave, but those rolled up towels have to be symmetrical, right? You’ll find disposable razors and a shower cap with the robe and slippers in your lockers, and there’s hairspray, blow-dryers, and mouthwash at the vanity. If you require moisturizer or a straightening iron, they’re available upon request.

St. Regis Spa AROMATHERAPY MASSAGE
Weekdays : 60 min $180 / 90 min $255
Weekends and holidays : 60 min $190 / 90 min $265
By combining a blend of healing essential oils with a therapeutic massage technique, tension and stress simply fade away. This treatment is proven to help with migraines, sinus pain, fatigue and low energy.

I opted for the aromatherapy massage. After 60 minutes with my masseur, Devon, I felt like I was just starting to relax. I usually have a female masseuse (an aggressive ajumma, actually!), so I wasn’t sure how I’d react to treatment by a male practitioner. Devon explained everything that was happening and made sure that the pressure was perfect. If you have the time/ budget, I highly recommend opting for the 90. After my massage, I went back down to the lounge to grab some water and relax. I was brought a glass of prosecco, too. Treat yourself!

One of the loveliest things about going to a spa in a hotel is that you’re typically able to use the pool and fitness amenities before and after your treatment. Next time I’ll be sure to use the gym before having a pre-massage steam/ shower. This time, I had the entire pool, hot tub, and dry sauna to myself after my treatment. A team-member brought me up and showed me around before leaving me to my own devices. When I was ready to primp, prime, and take-off, I was even able to have a martini from Louix Louis delivered to the St. Regis Spa change-room. If that’s not peak luxury, I don’t know what is!

Getting to the St. Regis Spa

* If you’re lucky enough to have health benefits through work, make sure to get an insurance receipt so that your treatments by an RMT may be eligible!

The Publicist Group – Beauty Inside Out

Publicist Group: Beauty Head to Toe & Inside-Out

The Publicist Group is made up of a small, but mighty, group of motivated, business-savvy, stunning, and strong women.  Led by Melissa “MJ” Jovanoski and Cheryl Willberg, the entire TPG squad is worthy of a mega girl crush/ #WCW/ #goals. The women of TPG would have sat at the “popular table” in high school. This time, however, they actually want you to be the best you can be (and they invite you to every party!) Over the past year I’ve been invited to a number of events and activations all with a common goal: Beauty and Strength Inside & Out.

We are The Publicist Group aka TPG! We are a full-service communications agency that offers everything from traditional PR programs and marketing initiatives to ambassador programs and direct-to-consumer activations at the retail level, utilizing both traditional and digital platforms. Most importantly – we work with brands we love, including fashion, beauty, food, health & wellness, and lifestyle. Check us out @PublicistGroup! #TPG

Be seen and heard in all the right places with The Publicist Group. As a full-service communications agency located in the heart of downtown Toronto,
TPG offers an array of services from PR and marketing to events and influencer programs. Our team executes 360-degree strategies; delivers original, creative and result-driven campaigns; and loves to make noise across  the country with our clients’ initiatives.

We’ve got you covered, literally.

The Publicist Group is a collective of digital strategists, event planners, marketers, creative geniuses, social media gurus, and publicists. We don’t follow trends; we are trendsetters. Staying in tune with current events around the globe, the TPG team identifies shifts in the marketplace and are experts in creating relevant, newsworthy, and impactful programs that leave a lasting impression.

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How do you stay on track when results are slow? . . It's no secret that fitness has played an **active** role in my life, especially over the past 4 years. When I went to Korea, I had way more time to dedicate to my goals by spending time in the gym AND in the kitchen. Over the past 7 months my body has been recalibrating, and even though I spend as much time in the gym (if not more!), am drinking less, and sleeping more, I've gained about 25 lbs back. Does that mean I'm giving up? Absolutely not! I am, however, looking for new ways to keep on track. . . One way I stay focused is by watching/ reading the content of other creators in our social media/ content marketing space locally. Check out my new pal @theventiblonde for healthy ways to refuel after breaking a sweat! This is when we met at @fitfactoryto earlier this year 🥊💪 // #fitness . . . . . . #gym #fit #fitgirls #fitgirl #fitgirlsguide #fitfactory #toronto #416 #progressnotperfection #progress #cardio #boxing #girlswholift #blondeshavemorefun #healthy #healthylifestyle #gymrat #gymtime💪 #goodlife #yyz #torontofitness #resolutions #newyearsameme #피트니스 #휘트니스 #복싱다이어트 #복싱

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Fit Factory

The Publicist Group introduced me to the Fit Factory Fitness when I was right in the middle of tapering off at Big Hit Studios and kicking off a challenge at F45 St. Clair West. Conveniently located on King St. West a few blocks East of Spadina, it’s billed as the #1 Gym in Toronto. Personally, I found their Bootcamp to be overcrowded. With only one trainer providing a very quick overview of an intense workout, I was concerned about my safety as veterans tossed around heavy weights and newbies tried to follow suit. The boxing class, on the other hand, was a stellar workout. The trainers were energetic and the class itself had varying levels of intensity. The water bags were also pretty wild and fun to smack around!

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IT'S #CONTEST TIME! 🔥 This St. Patrick's Day, I will, of course, be seeing green. This time, it won't start with green beer. 🍀🍻 @city_shred is taking it to the turf to honour the strength of women in the #fitness community in #Toronto! Want to win 2 tickets to #workout with me on March 17, 2019 from 9 AM to 1:30 PM? Steps to enter: 1. Like this photo 2 Follow @thatgirlcartier and @city_shred 3. Comment your No. 1 fitness goal for 2019! 4. For additional entries, tag your #gym buddy and/ or your fave place to break a sweat in #YYZ! 💪 *Canadian residents only. Winner chosen at random. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Instagram. Tickets are being generously donated by @publicistgroup and City Shred (thank you!) Contest closes at 12 PM EST on Thursday March 14, 2019 and winner announced shortly thereafter! 🏋️‍♀️ One Day. One Community. One EPIC workout. // #Cityshred #giveaway #prize #416 #fit #gymrat #progressnotperfection #progress #fitfam #fitnessmotivation #fitlife #cardio #health #getstrong #weightlifting #girlswholift #sweat #youcandoit #noexcuses #goals #fitfluential #exercise #active #iamstrong

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City Shred

City Shred is a massive group workout hosted once a quarter by The Publicist Group and sponsored by Genuine Health. The energy is electric and it’s an opportunity to meet some of the biggest names in fitness in Toronto, as well as special guests from around the world. I missed the July edition due to the rat situation, but back in March I crushed their Women’s edition. I got to enjoy a day which started with round-table discussion with the coaches who would be leading us through the day.

The key to mastering City Shred is to go at your own pace. I’m not the machine I was 2 years ago, and I certainly wasn’t prepared to compete with fitness professionals who coach several classes a day while I’m at my desk. Find your own space, take yourself beyond your comfort level, and have fun making friends and admiring those showing off their bad-ass muscles. Ps. Can you spot me in the preview of the video above? #SweatyBetty

Sproos Life

Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. Taking a collagen supplement can help improve your skin, relieve joint pain, boost muscle mass, prevent bone loss, promote heart health, aid in digestion and gut health, and make your hair and nails grow. The benefits of adding collagen to my diet weren’t clear until I stopped taking it daily. Subtle aches and pains after sitting at my desk for a while suddenly returned. Bouncing back after a night out wasn’t quite so easy. My poor bleached and butchered hair started to break again. Sproos Life is a collagen supplement to which I was introduced by TPG at the gorgeous Pray Tell on College St. We mixed cocktails and mocktails which each had a serving of collagen mixed-in.

sproos-02-grass-fed-tub-A-front@2x

Hydrolyzed bovine collagen peptides sourced from the hides of grass-fed, pasture-raised North American cattle, to help restore and rebuild your body’s natural collagen.

  • 10 g of grass-fed bovine collagen per serving
  • Pure collagen – nothing else added
  • Highly soluble
  • 100% grass-fed and grass-finished
  • Free of antibiotics, hormones and pesticides
  • Add to your favourite hot or cold beverage, or even to soups or oatmeal

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The 4th Annual T.O. Vegan Social Pop Up

Toronto Vegan Social Pop-Up is happening Thursday September 5th from 6:30 PM – 10:30 PM at Love Child Social House!

Reserve your tickets by 9 PM EST on Monday, September 2nd, 2019, to automatically be entered in the draw to WIN AN EPIC $1,000+ VEGAN PRIZE PACK!

Tickets are $35 and available on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/toronto-vegan-social-pop-up-presented-by-vegan-social-events-tickets-48658251139

This year, Vegan Social Events will be collecting donations on the Eventbrite page, in support of Save Our Scruff, a registered charitable organization dedicated to rescuing dogs.

Vivier

At the end of February, the team introduced me to Vivier. We learned about how to combat signs of aging using skincare products including retinol and spf. With my upcoming vacation to The Philippines, I wasn’t quite ready to play with tools which would initially irritate my skin (the purge!). So, I waited until the beginning of May to get started with this line. I haven’t yet written a full-scale review because 3 of the 5 products in the kit we were so generously gifted are still trucking along 4 months later!

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Running through the 6 & Looking for love in all the wrong places. Self love is a good place to start though, right? ♡ Last night we took in a guided meditation at @myndfulme right above @caliiloveco on King West in Toronto. They have an amazing deal right now: 30 days for $30 (which I purchased yesterday at their media event and which is available to the public T O D A Y only!) 💗 // #bemindful . . . . . . . . . . . . #mindfulness #yoga #pilates #selflove #heart #Toronto #yyz #yyzblogger #blonde #expat #expatwomen #gltlove #calilove #cali #california #yogastudio #meditation #meditate #416 #dametraveler #sheisnotlost #eatingfortheinsta #cravethe6ix #girlswhotravel #tbt #throwback #throwbackthursday #style

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Myndful Me

Myndful Me was sadly a bit of a bust for me. We went checked out the space and learned how to make charcoal cookies with adaptogens after being led through a meditation practice. The music and the direction made for a very pensive, but relaxing evening. I purchased their $30 unlimited 1-month special and was told I could use it whenever. I had a couple of upcoming trips, so I didn’t want to use it until the new year. When I tried to apply my purchase I was told it had expired. Correspondence to correct the issue was never responded to. Not so zen, eh?

Toppik Canada & Viviscal Canada

Big thanks to @publicistgroup for bringing me along to the stunning #LoveYourStory event at @stregistoronto! I got to hear from a plethora of women who have learned to love their own stories of struggle and trauma and turn them into an armor of confidence with a lining of understanding.

  • Events with this team always have motivational speakers, the most stunning décor, phenomenal food, and an interactive component so you don’t just see a product/ brand, you become part of it.
  • I woke up the next morning and treated my stressed tresses to @viviscal@viviscalcanada shampoo, conditioner, and desensifying elixir. My hair is already thick, so this leo was rocking a full mane that day! It actually dried faster and was easier to manage when straightening. I typically have a lot of breakage (bottle blonde) , so let’s see if we can put an end to my split ends! 👱‍♀️

Featuring a PR team on my personal blog isn’t exactly the status quo around here. Every time I get an e-mail about an event or activation from TPG I think to myself, “Wow – that’s out of the box”. There’s only so much you can see on my  feed/ in my stories, and because of this I wanted to share something a little more permanent. Over the past year The Publicist Group has proven that  being true to yourself and your vision, rather than accepting business for the sake of having business, goes a long way.

Fears, Tears & Transition Years – 10 Ways to Destress & Feel Youthful

Thirty, Flirty, and Thriving

Jenna Rink (13 Going on Thirty) gave me unrealistic expectations about what “Thirty, Flirty, and Thriving” might mean. I am all of those things, for the most part, but when I envisioned life in my early thirties I remembered the movie with rose-coloured goggles and neglected the negatives. Millennials on the whole are reflected in these lenses. Contrary to popular belief, we don’t grow up and inherit a closet full of designer dresses which we wear to parties choreographed by legends of the past. We’re struggling to meet many of the milestones and youthful hopes and dreams we expected to achieve by a particular time in our lives.

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For me, the biggest of these milestones is home ownership. I genuinely thought that since I was managing a department at a pretty well-known online media company before finishing my Bachelors degree, I could take success for granted. For others, climbing the corporate ladder hasn’t been as linear a path as anticipated. Some of my friends thought reproduction would be more straightforward. Others, like myself, find dating to be pretty pathetic. I’ve set it aside for the moment.

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These are what I like to call “transition years”. We’re no longer halfway there/ livin’ on a prayer partying and living large on $20/ night. We’re not curling up and falling asleep on the couch to 60 minutes, either. My world through these transition years has been stressing me out. On top of it all, I’m approaching another rotation around the sun. At a time when I should be celebrating, I’m just kind of over it. I’d rather be celebrating exciting moments of accomplishment rather than reminding myself that time marches on. Maybe I’ll celebrate my career anniversary with a housewarming party (yes friends, we’re rat-free!)

Brave the Brow Bar

I had been tweezing for some time and thought I was doing a decent enough job of cleaning up. Wowza – how could I have been so wrong? After a few hackjobs in the past, I went to WAXON in Riverside. Latifah not only kept my shape natural, she gave my brows a bit of a trim which made all the difference. Your brows surround the windows to your soul. Make sure they’re a pretty frame!

BONUS: I bought this Citrus Twist Loofah Scrub (Blood Orange & White Grapefruit) and it’s making my morning! “This loofah scrub duals as a loofah and luxurious soap in one! Exfoliate and cleanse daily with your favourite delicious scent while saving time in your daily body wash routine. Perfect for everyday use to help keep those pesky ingrown hairs away! Oh, and did we mention… it smells DELICIOUS!”

Available scents:

  • CITRUS TWIST – Blood Orange & White Grapefruit
  • LEMONRAZZ – Raspberry Lemonade
  • POMTINI – Pomegranate Mango

I love that it’s smooth on one side and exfoliating on the other. The scent is out of this world, too. Will let you know how long it takes for the full loofah to emerge!

Bet on a Blowout

I got to enjoy a blow-out in Leaside earlier this year at their Grand Opening, which was to dye die for. I’m kind of obsessed with the community Farah (owner of Blo Blow Dry Bar Leaside) has created. The small shop leaves lots of room for inclusive conversation and lots of laughs!

Farah’s words of wisdom? “It’s important to be coifed, kissable and connected – never leave home without a comb, gloss and phone! Oh, and keep your head, heels and standard high. When it comes to hair, Farah’s mantra is Big Hair For Life.”

BONUS: They do makeup applications (their GLO brand makes insanely beautiful lip glosses). They also stock some of my fave hair care brands like UNITE Hair  7 Seconds Condition Leave In Detangler and the Color Wow Dream Coat (to de-frizz and tame your tresses!)

 

Get a Manicure

Her Majesty’s Pleasure is one of the pricier places you can go for a manicure in Toronto. The ambiance, décor, and cheerful chatter (due to some fantastic cocktails, no doubt) are a can’t-miss for those who want to feel whimsical and girly.

BONUS: Look at these *perfect for the ‘gram* “Call for Champagne” rotary phones? We did, in fact, call for some bubbly – a bottle is virtually the same price as 2 cocktails.

Invest in Skincare

This one I can’t stress enough. A new, easy to follow skincare routine is such a blessing and a great way to rejuvenate. I’ve been alternating Miracle 10 Skincare with other great quality brands for 7 years. Their starter collection is perfect for someone like me who has aging skin, but who isn’t quite a prune. The sticker price may shock you ($328), but when you think about the ease of use and how long the products last (months, truth be told) it’s worth it.

“This combination is designed to visibly improve damage caused by sun exposure, extreme weather, pollutants, smoking, dehydration and age-related conditions such as fine lines, wrinkles, sun spots, dull skin surface and uneven pigmentation. Highly effective ingredients including exfoliants, antioxidants, decongesting botanicals, along with skin brightening agents provide correction and healing.”

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Looking at you😍 #glowgetter 📸 @revealwinnipeg

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BONUS: They have seasonal events with wine, hors d’oeuvres, a speaker series, and plenty of deals. I’m talking buy $150 worth of product and get $250 – $500 worth of products free. Last time I bought their Platinum cleanser and got a facial, a giftcard for cosmetic services, a make-up application (for a later date), and a full-size toner as gifts with purchase. Sign up for their e-mail list – it’s a total no-brainer!

Fancy a Facial

Getting your glam on all in one place is easy. After the winter beauty event at Miracle 10 Skincare, I booked a facial at The Plastic Surgery Clinic. Both are located on Scollard Street in Yorkville, so you can feel completely chic (and Gangnam Style) for your treatment. The easiest way to glow up quickly is through dermaplaning. This treatment is often added to a facial. It removes the fine hairs which are known for trapping dirt, oil and dead skin cells in your pores. This is the main cause of acne. Dermaplaning leaves your skin brighter giving you that “baby smooth” and glowing look and feel!

Investigate Botox

I did that thing everyone warns you against. Finding my nurse injector, Fresh Cosmetic Clinic, through Groupon was a massive gamble, and thank goodness it turned out well! In Korea, the only people who did my botox or lip injections were board certified plastic surgeons. Here, they tend to be done by nurse injectors, which for some reason made me really nervous.

Botox/ fillers were not at all taboo in Seoul. In Toronto, it’s becoming more popular to discuss openly, and I hope people feel more comfortable sharing their experiences soon. We go to the dentist to keep out teeth clean and cavity free. The gym’s the spot to keep heart healthy and in good shape. Why shouldn’t we invest in our faces which change with diminished collagen production and elasticity?

High Quality H20

Stop, drop, and drink! I try to ensure that I’m getting about 4 L of water throughout my day. It gives me something on which to focus and gets me out of my chair and away from my desk when I fill up my water bottle. I don’t need to lecture you on the benefits of drinking water, do I?

Go See Some Stand-Up

I love to sit back and listen. I also love a good belly laugh. Seeing a set at your local comedy bar and watering hole accomplishes both! If you go on an amateur night you’ve got the added bonus of seeing someone else worth through their issues. The last time I caught a show one of the comics was a later in life laugh who was going deaf. Hearing about some of his life experiences being more than hard of hearing had me in stitches. The man’s timing was impeccable!

Run Through a Sprinkler

…or do something equally as juvenile, refreshing, and deliciously youthful. We’ve literally coined a term to show how poorly we’re doing as grown-ups (“Adulting for Dummies”, amirite?), so why not flip back to the joys of earlier days?

What do you do to relax, look your best, and feel youthful?

Let us know in the comments!

Buy This, Not That: Cosrx One Step Moisture Up Pad vs. Pixi Beauty Glow Tonic To-Go

Korean Beauty Skincare Review Hydrating Toner Pads COSRX One Step Moisture Up Pad Pixi Beauty Glow Tonic To-Go That Girl Cartier

Buy This, Not That: Cosrx vs. Pixi Beauty

When I came back to Canada after my 3-year stint in Korea I was in a bit of a pickle.  Several of my Korean beauty products had been confiscated from my carry-on at the airport in Bali.  With the heat, I had used up all of my hydrating toner pads.  Granted, I clumsily packed in an attempt to avoid overweight charges.  My toners and essences took the hit and I was stuck waiting for my slow shipment from Seoul.  I went to Shoppers Drug Mart in search of some local goodies to test out.  It was especially exciting because, for the first time in 3 years, the ingredients would be in English (and French! – sometimes).  My eyes grew wide and glazed over as I saw the ever increasing prices.  What had I done?  What a mistake I had made leaving all that liquid gold in Indonesia.

people girl boxing gloves fitness exercise work out woman athlete
Matheus Ferrero

Battle of the Hydrating Toner Pads

Both of these pads claim to have hydrating and exfoliating properties.  One left my skin feeling like a rough astringent had been applied.  It made my more viscous products tough to apply.  The other makes my skin feel clean, but soft and supple, too.  We all have different kinds of skin, but in my experience the value of one one of these hydrating toner pads far outweighs the other.  Read through for my verdict in Buy This, Not That: The Battle of the Hydrating Toner Pads!

Glow Tonic To-Go Pads

Pixi Beauty Glow Tonic To-Go

Regular price $24.00

“Everything you love about the Glow Tonic, TO GO! Travel-friendly pads pre-soaked in Glow Tonic to tone, brighten, hydrate and gently exfoliate for clean renewed skin.”

The best routine is the one you’ll actually repeat, so toner pads are a no-brainer for a lazy K-Beauty lover like me!  These were the only ones under $50 at Shoppers, and since I needed something that day, I decided to suck it up and hope my pension came through sooner than later.  I picked out the Pixi Beauty brand based on their clean, feminine packaging and prices which I thought were high for the product type, but better than the others.  I looked them up online and found that a number of other beauty bloggers and influencers had featured the products in their feed, so I should give them a fair shot.  What exactly was in these products, though?  What was I really putting on my skin?  Is it the right product for my skin type?  Why did I spend nearly $110 on 3 itty bitty items which would probably have cost me $30 in Korea?   These hydrating toner pads cost me $24 plus tax.  A lot of the time we skim over certain products assuming because the price is low the product must not be good quality.  Now, I feel far more inclined than ever to buy Korean beauty products online.

Product Details

  • These pre-soaked pads tone, brighten, hydrate, and gently exfoliate.
    • Skin looks clearer & feels smoother.
    • The ultimate travel-friendly, gentle skin renewal
    • Formulated with 5% Glycolic Acid
    • Suited for all skin types
    • Alcohol free
    • Not tested on animals

How To-Apply

  • Use: Either in the AM and PM or when needed
    • Step 1: Cleanse your face
    • Step 2: Sweep pre-soaked pads across face , neck and décolletage after cleansing, avoiding eye area.
    • Step 3: Follow with a serum or moisturizer. (no need to rinse off)

Ingredients

Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycolic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Sodium Hydroxide, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Seed Extract, Hexylene Glycol, Fructose, Glucose, Sucrose, Urea, Dextrin, Alanine, Glutamic Acid, Aspartic Acid, Hexyl Nicotinate, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, Biotin, Panthenol, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum), Caramel, Red 4 (CI 14700). Made in USA / Fabriqué aux États-Unis.


Cosrx, One Step Moisture Up Pad, 70 Pads (135 ml)

Cosrx One Step Moisture Up Pad

“It is a daily moisturizing pad presoaked in a toner of Propolis Extract and Hyaluronic Acid. It helps to fight against main features of dehydrated, delicate and flaky skin.  TIP: It is convenient to wipe off and fix makeups during the day. You can also use as a mini sheet mask on specific dry areas such as cheek or chin.  Do not use BHA products if you are allergic to aspirin.”

HOW TO USE

  1. Swipe the embossing side across the face avoiding eye area after cleansing.
  2. Swipe the softer side across the face to pick up the remaining debris.
  3. Replace the lid tightly to make sure the pads stay wet and clean.

INGREDIENTS

Propolis Extract, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Betaine, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Betaine Salicylate, Panthenol, Allantoin, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hydroxide, Xanthan Gum, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil

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#mybeautyawards @influencer Had to pick up some essentials before leaving Seoul. Yes, you can get most of them in Canada, but aren't they gorgeous against the marble in our luxurious bathroom at @seouldragoncity @novotelhotels? Thank you @cosrx for hooking me up! ♡ 1. #cosrx One Step Moisture Pad – pads smell amazing and are full of a liquid which gently exfoliates and softens the skin with 0.5% BHA and 79.14% propolis extract. Leaves my face looking soft and dewy and feeling fresh! 2. @chanelofficial Joues Contraste Blush in Rose Glacier- actually smells like roses and is a less shimmery version of @narsissist orgasm. 3. #Chanel Les quatres ombres multi-effect quadra eyeshadow. I haven't worn green eyeshadow in a while. With blue eyes this quad is perfect for my almond lid and blends amazingly well! 4. @leegeehaam_global Grow Matcha Green Tea Clay Pack – tightens and leaves skin soft and bright. I'm not one for strong scents, but I like a little something something and this one totally hits the spot! 5. @lanvinofficial Modern Princess – cheesy name, great, light scent for daytime! Pink lady apple for a clean and crisp fragrance and white musk, vanilla orchids, jasmine, and freesia flower. 6. @banilaco_official #CleanItZero is my favourite make-up remover bar none. It's a balm that you rub between your hands to turn it into a silky, naturally exfoliating oil remover. This product takes off even the most stubborn mascara! 7. @burberry fresh glow luminous foundation – goes on looking like my own skin is perfectly flawless! 8. @diormakeup #Dior #LipGlow in Holo Purple. When you've got a giftcard, do the FUN thing! 💄// #travelwithcosrx . . . . . . . . . . . #imagineyourkorea #Korea  #seoultrip #kbeauty #koreanstyle #beauty #데일리 #맞팔#맞팔해요 #새벽 #서울 #선팔 #셀카 #소통 #웃스타그램#인스타그램 #인친 #일상 #일상스타그램 #좋아요#팔로우#팔로우미

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I first tried the Cosrx One Step Moisture Up Pads at the Novotel in Seoul.  Cosrx partnered up with the Novotel Ambassador Seoul Yongsan (Seoul Dragon City) and placed their Korean skincare goodies in the uber luxurious bathrooms.  What a genius idea!  I was hooked on several of their products right away, including these hydrating toner pads!  You’ve seen Cosrx on my site before.  They have the most fabulous cleanser which isn’t on the market quite yet.  This cleanser is gentle and doesn’t leave a residue.  The same can be said for these hydrating moisture pads (the Cosrx One Step Moisture Up Pads).  You can use them for spot treating, prepping for more viscous parts of your skincare routine, or tidying up makeup gone wrong. After trying the Pixi Glow To-Go pads, there’s just no comparison.  Cosrx Moisture up pads are a big BUY THIS.

balloon birthday bright carnival celebrating celebration color colorful decorating decoration exclamation expression festive hand hand lettering message party pastel person sign text word yeah yes

BUY THIS: Cosrx One Step Moisture Up Pads, NOT THAT: Pixi Beauty Glow Tonic To-Go Pads

I’ve made a chart for you of the different ingredients in both hydrating toner pads.  You’ll notice that there are a few overlapping ingredients.  For the most part, the Pixi pads have a lot more colouring (I’m not sure why – they’re white), fragrance, and additives.  Personally, I prefer a shorter list of ingredients with elements I actually understand.  For example, I know some beauty bloggers work with natural ingredients like lemon which can be extraordinarily drying and damaging to the skin.  I prefer to leave that to the professionals (Cosrx).  Why Pixi is putting caramel and red dye in their white pads is beyond me.  I’ve left the Pixi at my parents’ place to use the couple of times a month I go visit, but for daily use opt for the gentler, more nourishing blend.

Ingredients

Pixi Beauty “Glow Tonic To-Go” Pads: Acne-Fighting, Brightening, Anti-Aging
Safe for Oily Skin, Risk for Dry or Sensitive Skin
Ingredients: Purpose: Notes:
Water/Aqua/Eau Solvent
Glycolic Acid Whitening, Ph Adjuster, Buffering Agent, Exfoliant Anti-aging, Good for Oily Skin, Bad for Sensitive Skin
Butylene Glycol Solvent, Skin Conditioning, Masking, Fragrance, Humectant (retaining or preserving moisture), Viscosity Controlling, Viscosity decreasing Agent Good for Dry Skin, Comedogenic Rating 2- slight chance of clogged pores
Glycerin Solvent, Perfuming, Fragrance, Humectant, Viscosity Decreasing Agent, Hair Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Denaturant Good for Dry Skin
Sodium Hydroxid Ph Adjuster, Buffering Agent, Denaturant
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Skin Conditioning Good for Sensitive Skin
Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water Skin Conditioning, Drug Astringent – Skin Protecting Good for Oily Skin
Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Seed Extract Skin Conditioning
Hexylene Glycol Solvent, Skin Conditioning, Perfuming, Surfactant (foaming agent), Fragrance, Viscosity Decreasing Agent, Emulsifying Comedogenic Rating 2- potential to clog pores
Fructose Humectant, Flavoring Agent
Glucose Humectant, Flavoring Agent, Skin-Conditioning Agent- Miscellaneous
Sucrose Skin Conditioning, Humectant, Flavoring Agent, Soothing
Urea Skin Conditioning, Humectant, Antistatic Agent, Buffering Agent
Dextrin Viscosity Controlling, Viscosity Increasing Agent, Binding Agent, Binding, Absorbent, Bulking Agent
Alanine Skin Conditioning, Masking, Fragrance, Antistatic Agent, Hair Conditioning
Glutamic Acid Fragrance, Humectant, Antistatic Agent, Hair Conditioning
Aspartic Acid Skin Conditioning, Masking, Fragrance, Antistatic Agent, Hair Conditioning
Hexyl Nicotinate Skin Conditioning, Emollient, Antistatic Agent
Panax Ginseng Root Extract Emollient, Hair Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Tonic
Ethylhexylglycerin Skin Conditioning, Deodorant
Disodium EDTA Viscosity Controlling, Chelating (bonding) Agent
Biotin Skin Conditioning, Hair Conditioning, Antiseborrhoeic (breaks up oils/ removes flakes)
Panthenol Skin Conditioning, Antistatic Agent, Hair Conditioning Promotes Wound-Healing, Good for Dry Skin
PPG-26-Buteth-26 Skin Conditioning, Surfactant, Fragrance, Emulsifying, Hair Conditioning
PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil Perfuming, Surfactant, Fragrance, Emulsifying
Phenoxyethanol Fragrance, Preservative
Fragrance (Parfum) Masking, Perfuming, Deodorant
Caramel Masking, Fragrance, Colorant, Cosmetic Colorant
Red 4 (CI 14700) Cosmetic Colorant
Cosrx “One Step Moisture Up” Pads: Promote Wound-Healing, Acne-Fighting
Low Risk for All Skin Types
Ingredients: Purpose: Notes:
Propolis Extract Skin Conditioning
Butylene Glycol Solvent, Skin Conditioning, Masking, Fragrance, Humectant (retaining or preserving moisture), Viscosity Controlling, Viscosity Decreasing Agent Good for Dry Skin, Comedogenic Rating 2- slight chance of clogged pores
Glycerin Solvent, Perfuming, Fragrance, Humectant, Viscosity Decreasing Agent, Hair Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Denaturant Good for Dry Skin
Betaine Skin Conditioning, Humectant, Viscosity Controlling, Antistatic Agent, Hair Conditioning
Cetearyl Olivate Hair Conditioning
Sorbitan Olivate Surfactant (foaming agent), Emulsifying
1,2-Hexanediol Solvent
Betaine Salicylate Antimicrobial Agent, Exfoliant, Keratolytic (remove warts, calluses and other lesions) Acne-Fighting
Panthenol Skin Conditioning, Antistatic Agent, Hair Conditioning Promotes Wound Healing. Good for Dry Skin
Allantoin Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Soothing Good for Oily Skin, Good for Sensitive Skin
Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer Viscosity Controlling, Emulsion Stabilizing
Sodium Hyaluronate Skin Conditioning, Humectant Promotes Wound Healing. Good for Dry Skin
Ethylhexylglycerin Skin Conditioning, Deodorant
Sodium Hydroxide Ph Adjuster, Buffering Agent, Denaturant
Xanthan Gum Skin Conditioning, Viscosity Controlling, Viscosity Increasing Agent, Emulsion Stabilizing, Binding Agent, Binding, Surfactant -Emulsifying Agent, Gel Forming
Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil
Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil Masking, Fragrance

iUNIK Korea: Summer Skincare for Sweaty Sallies

Sugar Beach Toronto Pink Umbrellas Muskoka Chairs Skincare Summer
Sugar Beach in Toronto

 

It’s been one scorcher of a summer here in humid Toronto.  I’ve heard back in Seoul it’s been record-breaking for humidity, too!  If you’ve read any of my other skincare articles, you’ll know I’m a “no muss, no fuss” kinda gal.  When I moved to Korea, I tried to improve my soap and water habits.  Why wouldn’t I take advantage of the best skincare in the world?  That said, I didn’t have time for 12 steps including a mask every night.  I’m busy and actually have to make time to sleep.  I make an effort to keep an hour or more of fitness 5x a week part of my routine.  Nobody of sound heart and mind is going to lug 12 bottles and jars to the gym.  When it comes to skincare, I want to keep things simple.  If there are too many steps, I lose interest and bail.

ThatGirlCartier Summer Skincare Seoul Toronto iunik vitamin hyaluronic acid vitalizing toner moisturizer cream serum that girl cartier

Toners, Serums, Essences – OH MY!

Back in April (I’m writing this in mid-July), a company called iUNIK reached out to me to review a few products.  They’re a 10-year old company located in Paju, which is the city closest to the North Korean border.  They claim to make products designed simply and for the whole family.  “With minimalism finding skin happiness contrary to the times of excess supply age.”  I have no idea what that might mean, but the word “minimalism” drew me right in!

Always on the hunt for the latest and greatest, I was excited to receive their Propolis Vitamin Synergy Serum, Vitamin Hyaluronic Acid Vitalizing Toner, and Beta Glucan Daily Moisture Cream.  They also sent me their Lime Moisture Mild Peeling Gel, but it was a miss for me and I only want to bring you products I would buy over and over again.  The whole time I was in Korea, I admit, I had no idea what the difference was among toners, serums, and essences.  All of them felt fairly similar to me.  The only thing I knew for certain was that they went on before your moisturizer.  The biggest takeaway?  All of the above prepare your skin to absorb the lovely little goodies found in your moisturizer or cream, or even other serums and essences if you choose a multi-step routine.  Here’s how I apply my favourite iUNIK products.

 

ThatGirlCartier Summer Skincare Seoul Toronto iunik vitamin hyaluronic acid vitalizing toner that girl cartier

Skincare Step 1

Vitamin Hyaluronic Acid Vitalizing Toner $21.99
​Hyaluronic Acid 45%
Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruits Extract 5%
(Whitening Functional Cosmetics)

The Claim: “This gel type toner can help to make powerful vitalizing and moisturizing with Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruits Extract 5% and Hyaluronic acid 45%.”

The Vitamin Hyaluronic Acid Vitalizing Toner has no scent.  This toner is really watery and doesn’t have the astringent feeling I tend to associate with others.  I’ve been using it for months now and the bottle looks like it’s barely taken a dent, so great value there!  In my experience, toner can be exfoliating.  This toner is intensely hydrating, instead.  If you put it on your hand you might think it will leave a sticky feeling, but it doesn’t at all.  You’re left with plump, nourished skin!  A lot of people shy away from the word “acid” thinking that it will damage the skin or strip it away.  Hyaluronic acid actually acts as a moisture-binding ingredient in skincare – perfect to prep and prime your skin for whats next, right?

ThatGirlCartier Summer Skincare Seoul Toronto iUNIK Propolis Vitamin Synergy Serum That Girl Cartier

Skincare Step 2

Propolis Vitamin Synergy Serum 
Propolis Extract 70%, Double Functional Cosmetics (Whitening & Wrinkle Care)

The Claim: “This Effective Optimal Synergy Serum includes the unique and optimal ratio, Propolis 70% and Vitamin C (Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruit Extract) 12% by iUNIK. It can make Calming & Brightening for Sensitive Skin.”

The Propolis Vitamin Synergy Serum actually smells like honey!  I’m surprised that other bloggers referred to it as viscous or thick.  Like the toner, it wasn’t at all the consistency I expected.  In fact, it was also quite watery in my opinion.  Maybe my skin is just super thirsty constantly, but it was absorbed quite quickly in a thin layer.  My skin immediately feels as though it’s been soothed after application of this skincare product.  The look of my skin after application is bright and dewy.  There’s a definitely glow-factor with this serum!  In this summer heat, I can’t be waiting around for my skincare to settle.  The combination of the toner and the serum soak up quite quickly and I’m ready for my third, and final, step.

Skincare Step 3

Beta Glucan Daily Moisture Cream $14.99

The Claim: “Amazing skin moisturizer Beta Glucan, Super Moisture Recharge.  This cream can help to make moisturizing dry skin and improve skin barrier function with Beta Glucan.  Improve skin barrier function calming and protecting sensitive skin. Moisturizing. Light Skin. Skin clearing. Whitening and wrinkle care.”

Beta Glucan is active in cereal and fungus and is found to lower cholesterol.  In skincare products, it reduces redness and soothes sensitive skin.  I had horrible skin as a child, but throughout my teens and adult years have been fairly lucky.  I get quite a bit of dryness/ redness around my t-zone (my nose especially).  Since adding the iUNIK Beta-Gulcan Daily Moisture Cream to my routine the redness and sensitivity has reduced significantly, but is still ever-present.  My face has a dewy glow and feels supple to the touch without feeling greasy.  In the summer especially, I can’t stand that feeling of your moisturizer sweating off.  Thankfully I haven’t had to with this product.  I’ve been using this moisture cream Monday – Friday mornings since April, and the bottle is only starting to dwindle now.  This product is unscented.

 

My iUNIK Skincare Verdit

Now that I’m back in Toronto, I’m making an effort to live my best life naturally.  I had my hair fixed so that moving forward I’ll be letting my natural brown locks grow in – gray and all.  We’ll see how long that lasts.  I don’t have quite as much time in the morning as I did when I was in Korea.  The gym has taken priority over looking entirely polished and put together.  Unless I’m client-facing or going out on the town, I’ve stopped wearing make-up entirely.  Because of this, I need to treat my skin the best I can.  The ease of use, glowy complexion, and unbeatable pricepoint makes iUNIK an exceptional skincare line.  My morning routine is a lot easier with this trio of iUNIK tools!

Skincare Review: Leegeehaam has quick-drying formulae which I love when I'm in a rush.  My skin feels soft and there's never any hint of shine.

This article was written in unpaid partnership in exchange for an honest review of iUNIK products.  ThatGirlCartier.com only features products or services I genuinely adore and would repurchase again and again.

Step 1: Breathe, just breathe – Holy Grail Skincare

Seoul Korea Botox Fillers Eunogo MH Clinic Ruby Plastic Surgery MVP Clinic VIP Plastic Surgery Whoo Spa Sinsa Facial
Photo: Robert Evans

Korean Holy Grail Skincare: Cleansers Available in Canada

Skincare isn’t this mystifying secret combination of product formulas and equations. It’s actually quite simple to have a skincare regimen that works!  To have clear, flawless, pore-less skin, we’ve got to get back to basics.  This starts with a clean, make-up free face.  With winged liners out the wazoo and Fenty foundation a-flutter, how do you actually get that gunk off you face (and out ya dang pores) at the end of the night?  …and how do you fix the damage from those dreaded nights when you pass out with a full face on?  Love, I have 2 holy grail products for you.

Skincare Good Night Mild Oil Cleanser Cosrx Holy Grail Korean Skin Care Clean it Zero Banila Co.

Banila Co. Clean it Zero

Get a Discount by Buying Through iHerb

Banila Co. is a cosmetics and skincare shop in Korea much like the others.  It’s a bright, airy shop with plenty of cute models shot making goofy faces.  I like their liquid eyeliner, but haven’t tried much in the way of makeup there.  Banila Co. has one item, however, for which I’d trek all over Seoul.  I made sure to pick up the largest container they had before leaving Korea for good.  This skincare holy grail item is the one which takes off the majority of my makeup.  Many Koreans use a double or triple cleansing system because of the pollution, but also because normal make-up removers just can’t get everything off.  I like to begin with the “sorbet” textured product because it takes off the majority of my make-up and cleans out pores.  “Lightweight sorbet-like textured makeup removing cleansing balm that whisks away pore-clogging impurities.  Use the spatula to take a small amount and massage gently in circular motions. Rinse well with lukewarm water, or use tissue to wipe off the balm with gentle strokes.”

Ingredients

Ingredients: Mineral Oil, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, PEG-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate, PEG -10Isostearate, Polyethylene, Butylene Glycol, Water, Rubus Suavissimus (Raspberry) Leaf Extract, Bambusa Arundinacea Stem Extract, Aspalathus Linearis Leaf Extract, Viscum Album, (Mistletoe) Leaf Extract, Angelica Polymorpha Sinensis Root Extract, Carica Papaya, (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Malpighia Glabra (Acerola) Fruit Extract, Epilobium, Angustifolium Leaf Extract, BHT, Butylparaben, CI 16255, CI 15985, Fragrance

Skincare Good Night Mild Oil Cleanser Cosrx Holy Grail Korean Skin Care

Cosrx: Good Night Mild Oil Cleanser

Get a Discount by Buying Through iHerb

I got to try the series of Cosrx products when I won a 2-night stay at the new Seoul Novotel Ambassador Dragon City near Yongsan.  I’m such a fan of Accor Hotels, and this stay was even better because my massive bathroom was fully stocked with Cosrx samples.  Some of these samples aren’t even on the market quite yet.  I’m hoping that a glowing review (and my glowing skin) will help Cosrx make the choice to start selling Good Night Mild Oil Cleanser in Korea, and hopefully soon in Canada (or at least on iHerb).  While Clean it Zero can get most of my mascara off, the Cosrx formula makes certain that any hint of CC cream, liquid eyeliner, or mascara is erased.  The formula is really mild.  Unlike other oil cleansers I’ve tried. it doesn’t stick around when I go to rinse it off.

Bad News/ Good News

While the Oil Cleanser doesn’t seem to be on the market quite yet, Good Morning Gel Cleanser is available  online for shipping to Canada.  It is described as: “Start the day right by treating your skin to a mild and gentle cleanser with a low pH that effectively removes excess oil and dead skin. Formulated with tea tree oil and natural BHA to refine skin texture, the Good Morning Gel Cleanser’s pH level is the closest to your skin’s natural pH levels and leaves skin soft, moist and refreshed without stripping it of its natural oils.”

Do you have any cleansers you swear by?  Are the available in Canada (or online to ship here)?  Let us know in the comments!

Leegeehaam: Easy 3-Step Korean Skincare Morning Routine

Korean Skincare Review: Leegeehaam has quick-drying formulae which I love when I'm in a rush.  My skin feels soft and there's never any hint of shine.

I always jump at the opportunity to try a new skincare routine, especially those local to Korea.  Leegeehaam is located practically in my backyard – as my office is super close to theirs!  When I’m asked to review skincare products I often worry that I won’t be able to give a positive review.  I have fairly sensitive skin and can’t handle much in the way of fragrance.  I’ve been really lucky lately to have found mild formulas with a hint of scent which actually get the job done.  Recommending the following products is easy for a number of reasons.  First, the application is simple.  I only have 3 steps to fulfill.  The formulas are nourishing, but dry quickly enough that I can put my makeup on right away.  I’m not exactly a morning person, so when it comes to my morning routine I want to moisturize, pop on a little concealer if I’m looking/ feeling tired, add a little blush, and be well on my merry way.

Backed by leading dermatologists, Leegeehaam (LGH) Cosmetics, formerly Leejiham (LJH) Cosmetics, was first established in year 2000 and it pioneered the concept of cosmeceutical in Korea with its innovative and advanced products, each specialized in treating specific skin concern.  

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Oily-dehydrated #kbeauty #bloggers🙋‍♂️🙋‍♀️ . It's time to show your great review for all #beauty #lovers!! Moisturizing secret for oily-dehydrated skin📍 Been in the market for more than 15 years, this powerful oil/shine removing "5 Alpha Control" is combined with #oasis "Hyal B5 Ampoule" for fresh and lightweight, yet deeply hydrated moisturizing skin care. Perfect #skincareroutine for oily-dehydrated skin❤ in this cold windy winter First oil control with toner-like "5 Alpha Control Emulsion" Second, deep moisturizing with Hyal B5 Ampoule Third, finishing shine control and in-depth moisturizing with "5 Alpha Control Cream" Experience this amazing #secret and share it with your friends!!! . Email us at 📧 leisha@leegeehaam.com for your review opportunity!! (full name/Instagram/country info required) . #ljh #ljhcosmetics #leegeehaam #kbeauty #koreanskincare #koreancosmetics #skincare #moisturizer #oilyskin #dehydratedskin #kbeautybloggers #bloggers #beautybloggers #beautycommunity #productreview #beauty #matte #skincareroutine #selfcare #instabeauty #winter #5alphareductase #oilfree #secret #beautytips #이지함화장품

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I tried out the Leegeehaam GROW Hyal B5 Ampoule, HOPE 5a Control Emulsion, and HOPE 5a Control Cream.  As you can see above, the 3 products are not from the same line, so you can mix and match to support your moisturizing goals.  This trio acts to reduce shine and provide moisture as the temperatures dip colder and colder.  This line is a lot more affordable with fewer products to include and lower price-points than my nightly routine (these range from KRW 28,000 – KRW 48,000).  This routine is super quick and easy.  I would definitely have this as a repurchase in my Korean skincare arsenal.  If you’re a girl on the go looking to get into Korean beauty and skincare, this is your gateway…

  1. Right after my shower, I’ll dry my face and pop on the Leegeehaam GROW Hyal B5 Ampoule.  This comes with an eye-drop applicator.  2 drops really go a long way!  This is the only product from the trio I tried which has much of a fragrance.  It’s a very subtle scent which always reminds me a little of chai.
  2. The Hyal B5 Ampoule dries very quickly, so I don’t have to waste too much time before my second step: applying the 5a Control Emulsion.  Ampoules and emulsions are designed to prepare your skin to soak up all the moisturizing goodness of a cream, so I don’t skip any of the 3 steps.  The emulsion dries fairly quickly, too.  Because it has cinnamon as a key ingredient, it has a subtle scent which goes very nicely with the ampoule.  This step is designed to reduce excess sebum – the oily, waxy substance which can block pores and contribute to acne break-outs.
  3. I’ll usually wait a couple of minutes before cracking open the 5a Control Cream.  The consistency is less cream-like and more gel-like.  Again, it has a quick-drying formula which I love in the morning when I’m in a rush.  My skin feels soft all day and there’s never any hint of shine.

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Leegeehaam Hyal B5 Line Information

Formulated with true oasis made from 5-Hyaluronic Complex for deep, yet long lasing moisturizing for dehydrated skin suffering from dry, puffy, and rough skin caused by lack of hydration. A strong moisture barrier formed by Vitamin B5 and B3 holds onto rich hydration from 5-Hyaluronic Complex by preventing future water loss, leaving skin hydrated, plump, and glowing all day. Hyal B5 fills, retains, and protects moisture with 5-Hyaluronic Complex and Vitamin B3 & B5 barrier for deep hydration throughout the year.

* 5-hyaluronic complex
Hydroxypropyltrimonium hyaluronate,  hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid, sodium acetylated hyaluronate, sodium hyaluronate, ascorbyl propyl hyaluronateKorean Skincare Review: Leegeehaam has quick-drying formulae which I love when I'm in a rush.  My skin feels soft and there's never any hint of shine.

Leegeehaam Grow Hyal B5 Ampoule

이지함 그로우
히알 B5 앰플

28,000

Leegeehaam Grow Hyal B5 Ampoule Product Details

As known as moisture retaining ampoule, ultra-hydrating formula of 5-Hyaluronic Complex replenishes the skin with deep moisturizing, while retaining moisture inside with visibly improved plumpness and radiance.  Special jelly-like texture adheres tightly to the skin for intensive hydration and nourishing, improving fine lines, flakiness, and tightness from dehydration. High concentration of hyaluronic acid restores youthful hydration to dry skin, while vitamin B5 and B3 retains maximum level of moisturizing.

Leegeehaam Grow Hyal B5 Ampoule Size

30ml

How to Use Leegeehaam Grow Hyal B5 Ampoule

Squeeze out 2~3 droplets and apply over the face after toning.  Gently pat to absorb better.

Leegeehaam Grow Hyal B5 Ampoule Key Ingredients

  • Penta-Hyaluronic Acid
    (Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ascorbyl Propyl Hyaluronate)
    Infuses intensive and deep moisturizing to the skin.
  • Vitamin B5 (panthenol) & B3 (niacinamide)
    Forms a moisture barrier on skin surface as it is applied, preventing any moisture loss and at the same time, protects skin from outer stimulation.

Leegeehaam Grow Hyal B5 Ampoule Full Ingredients

Water, Glycerin, Methylpropanediol, 1,2-hexanediol, Niacinamide, Dioscorea japonica root extract, Sodium hyaluronate, Panthenol, Saccharomyces ferment filtrate, Octyldodeceth-16, Peg-40 hydrogenated castor oil, Polyquaternium-51, Hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid, Piper methysticum leaf/root/stem extract, Centella asiatica extract, Panax ginseng berry extract, Vanilla planifolia fruit extract, Hydrogenated lecithin, Glycosyl trehalose, Glyceryl glucoside, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hydrogenated starch hydrolysate, Adenosine, Biosaccharide gum-1, Raffinose, Disodium edta, Olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, Lecithin, Carbomer, Tromethamine, Beta-glucan, Michelia alba leaf oil, Myristica fragrans (nutmeg) kernel oil, Daucus carota sativa (carrot) seed oil, Elettaria cardamomum seed oil, Michelia alba flower oil, Butylene glycol, Tagetes minuta flower oil, Hydroxypropyltrimonium hyaluronate, Ascorbyl propyl hyaluronate, Sodium acetylated hyaluronate

Korean Skincare Review: Leegeehaam has quick-drying formulae which I love when I'm in a rush.  My skin feels soft and there's never any hint of shine.

Leegeehaam 5α Control

Named after a hormone called “5 Alpha Reductase,” which causes abnormal sebum production if imbalanced, the patented and mineral oil free formula of 5 Alpha Control series offers the perfect solution for controlling skin oil and shine. Moreover, it not only removes the unnecessary sebum but at the same time, soothes skin from inflammation to relieve skin trouble, leaving it healthy and refined.

Korean Skincare Review: Leegeehaam has quick-drying formulae which I love when I'm in a rush.  My skin feels soft and there's never any hint of shine.

36,000

Leegeehaam Hope 5a Control Emulsion – Product Details

Contains a high concentration of Sepicontrol A5, the key ingredient for shine control, to soothe and balance oily skin. Mineral oil free texture gently controls skin shine and oil, especially around the T-zone without the stickiness. It fills skin with natural moisturizing factors, making it plump and vital with the reduced sebum secretion.

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#RepostSave @fabulous_faces2016 with @repostsaveapp ・・・ Mondays are for fresh faces! Up on my blog is my newest discovery to keeping my face shine-free for the whole day! We all know that Leegeehaam is the first company in Korea to develop cosmeceutical (combining cosmetic and pharmaceutical) for the enhancement of skin health. The LGH 5-Alpha Control Series really brings forward and showcases the innovative technology and science behind Korean skin care by targeting and control oil and acne at its source. I'm reviewing their Emulsion on my blog. Let me tell you, it works! What I love about this product is that it effectively controls shine, while keeping the skin healthy, moisturized and softened! I may just have to stock up on the entire 5-Alpha Series of cleanser, toner, peeling pads, essence…. . .#mondaymood #acnetreatment #블로거 #살리실산 #여드름 #newpost #sebumcontrol @leegeehaam_global @leegeehaam #emulsion #leejiham #kbeauty #koreanskincare #flatlay #shinecontrol

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Leegeehaam Hope 5a Control Emulsion – Size

100 ml

How to Use Leegeehaam Hope 5a Control Emulsion

Pump 2~3 times and apply over the face.
Gently pat to absorb better.

Leegeehaam Hope 5a Control Emulsion – Key Ingredients

  • Witch Hazel
    Tightens the widened pores.
  • Cinnamomum Zeylanicum Bark Extract 
    Balances the skin by controlling unnecessary oil and shine.

Leegeehaam Hope 5a Control Emulsion – Full Ingredients

Water, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Sorbitan Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Hydroxyacetophenone, Capryloyl Glycine, Sucrose Stearate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Hexylene Glycol, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum ParkII (Shea) Butter Extract, Polysorbate 60, Tocopheryl Acetate, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Bisabolol, Sarcosine, Sucrose Cocoate, Fragrance, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Carbomer, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Tromethamine, Caprylyl Glycol, Serenoa Serrulata Fruit Extract, Cinnamomum Zeylanicum Bark Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Spent Grain Wax, Panthenol, Xanthan Gum, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Disodium EDTA, Beta-Sitosterol, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycerin, PVP, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract, Tocopherol, Pantolactone, Sodium Metabisulfite, Phellinus Linteus Extract, Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid, Oleanolic Acid, Ganoderma Lucidum (Mushroom) Extract, Cordyceps Sinensis Extract

Korean Skincare Review: Leegeehaam has quick-drying formulae which I love when I'm in a rush.  My skin feels soft and there's never any hint of shine.

48,000

Leegeehaam Hope 5a Control Cream – Product Details

Lightweight mineral oil-free technology with patented special formula of LGH is combined together to provide the optimal oil and shine control effect. It is a strongly recommended cream for those who have shiny skin surface but dehydrated inside (a good moisturizing cream for oily skin types).

Korean Skincare Review: Leegeehaam has quick-drying formulae which I love when I'm in a rush.  My skin feels soft and there's never any hint of shine.

Leegeehaam Hope 5a Control Cream – Size

50ml

How to Use Leegeehaam Hope 5a Control Cream

Apply an appropriate amount on face, morning and night.

Leegeehaam Hope 5a Control Cream Key Ingredients

  • Witch Hazel
    Tightens the widened pores.
  • Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice
    Soothes and relieves acne/trouble skin.

Leegeehaam Hope 5a Control Cream Full Ingredients

Water, Glycerin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Butylene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Betaine, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract, Phellinus Linteus Extract, Cordyceps Sinensis Extract, Ganoderma Lucidum (Mushroom) Extract, Serenoa Serrulata Fruit Extract, Cinnamomum Zeylanicum Bark Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Candida Bombicola/Glucose/Methyl Rapeseedate Ferment, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Oleanolic Acid, Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid, Bisabolol, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Tocopherol, Beta-Sitosterol, Capryloyl Glycine, Sarcosine, Potassium Sorbate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Cetearyl Glucoside, Glucose, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Polysorbate 80, Sorbitan Oleate, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Carbomer, Tromethamine, Propylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Fragrance

Korean Skincare Review: Leegeehaam has quick-drying formulae which I love when I'm in a rush.  My skin feels soft and there's never any hint of shine.

Leegeehaam Contact Information

이지함화장품

18F 157 Dosandaero Gangnamgu Seoul, Korea
T. +82 70 4639 0538~9
aileen@leegeehaam.com
leisha@leegeehaam.com

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@Leegeehaam_global on instagramSkincare Review: Leegeehaam has quick-drying formulae which I love when I'm in a rush.  My skin feels soft and there's never any hint of shine.

This article was written in unpaid partnership in exchange for an honest review of Leegeehaam products.  ThatGirlCartier.com only features products or services I genuinely adore and would repurchase again and again.