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

Accidental Korean Beauty Blogger // Seoul Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery

Accidental Korean Beauty Blogger Seoul Korea That Girl Cartier bathroom sink faucet tap water backsplash tiles soap toothpaste
Photographer: Dan Watson

I’ve always been a bit of a wash n’ wear kind of girl.  The kind of girl who used to take her makeup off with just soap and water.  I tried a day and night moisturizing combo back in 3rd year university.  The cost-benefit analysis of it all became too much.  In Canada, my options were high-end department store brands or questionable drug store brands.  Why buy a daily AND a nightly moisturizer when they ultimately did the same thing, right?  By the time I was 25, the only time I took care of my skin was when I was gifted product at a fashion show or marketing event.  Before moving to Seoul, I think I had used a sheet mask once or twice in my life – including the time I had spent in Busan, South Korea!  I definitely didn’t think I’d ever brand myself as a Korean Beauty Blogger.

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The Insta – Korean Beauty Blogger

Nobody seems to have the time to do anything.  I feel like I’m busier than I’ve ever been in my life!  Everything has to be fast and direct, which makes the new trend of “Insta-blogging” pretty simple and successful.  I own and operate @TorontoSeoulcialite & TorontoSeoulcialite.com, but ThatGirlCartier was just my personal instagram until I bought this domain in December 2016.  I always shared my life in Korea, but wanted to differentiate the two accounts further.  An old friend suggested I become a Korean Beauty Blogger even though I hadn’t a clue about pH levels, ingredients, or benefits.  Usually, sharing favourite products through insta-stories and snap chat stories is far more successful than posting a photo.  Adding short reviews to my captions was, however, a great way to explore writing about Korean Beauty products.  Cosmetics and Skin Care are more accessible in Korea than your next cup of coffee.  The K-Beauty industry has a ton of opportunity, and competition.

Seoul Korea Botox Fillers Eunogo MH Clinic Ruby Plastic Surgery MVP Clinic VIP Plastic Surgery Whoo Spa Sinsa Facial
Photo @ Ruby Plastic Surgery c/o @SkinfullofSeoul

The Accidental Korean Beauty Blogger Does Get Botox

Just over a year ago I braved needles for botox.  Since then, I’ve managed the upkeep with significantly fewer shots (maybe 3 per eye?) at 6 or 7 month intervals.  This means I’ve now had botox to reduce the significance of my crows’ feet three times.  The second time I went, my doctor used a much, much smaller needle.  I was prepared for agony, but there was actually hardly any pain.  This past Thursday, my friends at Eunogo invited me to an information session and demonstration of fillers and botox as part of their Korean Beauty Blogger team.  Before coming to Korea, I thought botox and fillers were just for frozen-faced Real Housewives.  Now that I’ve had botox, I realize starting at almost 29 was pretty much the perfect time to prevent deeper creases.  Was I judgmental at first?  Sure.  Having had botox doesn’t make a significant difference to my appearance, but it sure helps boost my confidence!

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

What Other Treatments?

As an accidental Korean Beauty Blogger, I always get asked what treatments I’ve had done and what I would recommend.  I am always honest about my experiences and would never recommend you go to a clinic just because they’ve invited me to try their services.  The links that follow each have a partnership disclosure.  I have not been paid for reviews.  If you have any questions about any of the clinics I encourage you to leave a comment, contact me on Facebook, or shoot me an email (thetorontoseoulcialite@gmail.com)!  I’ve had people in the past tell me they would die before getting a cosmetic enhancement (some by other Korean Beauty Blogger types!).  I’ve had past boyfriends tell me that botox or cosmetic/ plastic surgery is just deception.  I think in some ways it can be, but by getting botox I’m not getting a new face, I’ve simply maintaining the one I already have.  Let’s keep in mind these are the men who told me wearing makeup was a lie.  Please… the next time you see someone with naturally glittery gold eyelids I BEG you to give me a call!  The following treatments have been in partnership.

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

Vitamin C Facial – VIP Plastic Surgery Clinic c/o Seoul Cosmetic Surgery

VIP Plastic Surgery has created a proprietary line of skin care items including a sheet mask based on elements of this facial.  The idea of using a cold ultrasound hammer for the facial is to “produce ultrasonic wave to adjust main and collateral channels and regulate blood circulation to flow circularly in order to reach the best status of the facial tissues.”  It combines the effect of ultrasound capillaries with the skill of ancient massage therapy.  “It could enhance immune function in lymphoid tissues so as to achieve vitality and flexibility of facial skin.”  I’m not sure if the cold hammer did anything extra for me, but the various essences, ampoules, and creams involved made my skin feel incredibly soft and smooth!

Guess who had surprise #botox today? Went in for a general #consultation (halfway expecting them to suggest #lipo) and they were running a bit behind so I got a #free #facial. Then I went in and they said I didn't need any actual #plasticsurgery. The #doctor was surprised I had never had any botox or #fillers before. I was really nervous, so they gave me a teddy bear LOL. The #needles hurt a LOT but it was short and the pain was gone once the needle was removed. There was some bruising and swelling but it's gone down a LOT over the past half hour. Just looking at my #selfie, I'm pretty happy with the results so far. My #crowsfeet I've been so self-conscious about have been reduced dramatically from my perspective. Let's see how I feel in a few hours! I don't feel stiff or like I can't smile or express myself. Can't wait to see how doing #makeup goes over tonight since I've been #makeupfree all day…yes, even in #Apgujeong! #Sinsa #Gangnam #Seoul #seoulplasticsurgeryclinic #skincare #신사 #압구정 #모델 #강남 #외국인 #셀카 #Korean #Koreanstyle #lifeinism #SouthKorea #셀스타그램

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Botox (Crows’ Feet and Forehead) – VIP Plastic Surgery Clinic c/o Seoul Cosmetic Surgery

My first botox experience was a little intense.  They went WAY overboard on my forehead, and I was left with massive bruising and hard bump under one of my eyes.  The second time I went in they used a way smaller needle and only a couple of shots for my crows’ feet.  It was a lot easier and I was in and out quickly.  The deep creases I had beside my eyes are completely gone and I feel like myself again!

IPL Photofacial – VIP Plastic Surgery Clinic c/o Seoul Cosmetic Surgery

I had tried the IPL Photofacial in Toronto and found it hurt quite a bit (read on for a similar experience with MVP Clinic).  At VIP Plastic Surgery, my IPL didn’t hurt at all.  The experience was very different as instead of using a device with a lazer to attack small parts of the dermis, the device felt  was almost like getting your school picture taken.  It didn’t hurt at all!  Click the link to see my results.

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Lip Fillers – MH Clinic c/o Eunogo

Here are my before and after pictures from my experience at MH Clinic in Cheongdam.  As you can see, my lip fillers weren’t huge, but I did get a defined cupid’s bow and a glossy, puffed up finish.  It was such an easy process with Joy from Eunogo helping me every step of the way from filling out my paperwork to getting me into a taxi home!  Getting lip fillers was really painful, but the results are definitely worth it!

Clatuu 360 – MVP Plastic Surgery – Groove Magazine (click here for the full article!)

I went through the process of becoming an actual human popsicle for an article in Groove Korea Magazine.  For 30 minutes, the area which had been blown up for my appendectomy back in 2014 was frozen to – 9 degrees celsius.  Within a few days I noticed a flatter lower stomach, but I’ll need to go back for 2 more appointments for the full effect.  After the procedure, my skin felt like an actual popsicle.  I definitely do not recommend you try touching it with your own hand until you’ve thawed as it was pretty frightening!  Your nurses will massage the treated areas – let them finish and leave well alone!

Stem-Hydro Skinbooster/ IPL Photofacial – MVP Plastic Surgery

“Stem-Hydro Skinbooster Injections are a brand new approach to nourishing your skin, especially designed to deliver deep skin hydration. This means increasing hydration levels within the skin to deliver lasting moisturisation and improvements on the skin’s surface. Stem-Hydro Skinbooster involves multiple injections of a scientifically customized blend of hyaluronic acid (HA), Stem Cell, collagenstimulating vitamins, injected into the layer of skin just below the surface using a very fine needle.” – MVP Plastic Surgery

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

For this treatment and the accompanying IPL they actually had me under sedation.  That was terrifying to come out of.  If you can avoid it, definitely opt for the pain/ numbing cream instead of going under.  I woke up crying and then had some incredibly weird dreams.  I really didn’t notice much of a difference until now.  It’s been about 2 months (my treatment was and I was July 8th) told that I would see results 2 – 3 months after treatment.  All of a sudden this weekend I noticed glowy skin, and my friends did too!  I’m wondering if it’s this treatment, the use of some of my favourite new products (post coming soon!), or a combination.  Either way, my skin is softer than ever…and even a little shiny!

Refresh Care Facial and Massage – Whoo Spa c/o Eastasy 

Aroma Resfresh Care package (100 minutes).  This package includes a basic facial accompanied by an aromatherapy body massage.  The facial was anything but basic!  It started with a soft, peeling cleansing.  Then, was followed by an exfoliating, deep cleansing, bubbling facial.  I got a face slimming massage, too, which included a decolletage massage.  While this wasn’t cosmetic or plastic surgery, it was definitely an advanced facial that those considering a lift, botox, or fraxel could try first.

Botox (Crows’ Feet & V-Line) – Ruby Plastic Surgery c/o Eunogo

My experience at Ruby Plastic Surgery in the Sinsa area of Seoul, Korea was organized by Eunogo.  Eunogo has 60 clinics and medical spas in Seoul.  They offer 2 kinds of services: Concierge Service for Plastic Surgery and Eunogo Shops.  Eunogo Shops enables a client to book trendy medical spa facials and treatments, while the concierge service is more comprehensive.  There are over 1,800 plastic surgery clinics in Korea.  Eunogo partners with a clinic based on rigorous testing pertaining to Safety, Expertise (they work with specialized clinics only.  You won’t be going to a clinic for rhinoplasty if they specialize in breast augmentation, for example), Convenience (location, facility, and language support), and Patient Satisfaction.  Eunogo and the clinics also offer a 1-year guarantee for all services.

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

 

My experience at Ruby Plastic Surgery was very quick and easy.  Dr. Hu had a very gentle, professional demeanor.  He would give me and the other Korean Beauty Blogger quick notices by waiting a couple of 1-2 beats then on 3 he’d say “pain” and insert the needle.  I’ve never had an experience whether it be taking an IV, having blood drawn, or getting botox that was so easy and painless!  I would definitely recommend getting your botox injections or fillers (lip or facial) by Dr. Hu at Ruby Plastic Surgery.

Seoul Korea Breast Implants Modiva Botox Fillers Eunogo MH Clinic Ruby Plastic Surgery MVP Clinic VIP Plastic Surgery Whoo Spa Sinsa Facial

What’s Next for this Korean Beauty Blogger?

Being open to trying out new procedures (especially ones with needles LOL) has enabled me to become a trusted source for expats and medical tourists in Korea.  I probably would have never tried any sort of botox or filler before coming to Korea (or had it not been in partnership), but I’m so glad I did.  Looking in the mirror and feeling like an old lady at 28 was a horrible feeling.  Now that I’m officially 30, I think I’ll definitely be investing in my botox upkeep once I move back to Toronto in 6 months.  By then I’ll no longer be an accidental Korean Beauty Blogger, but I do hope to continue to bring you the latest and greatest technology and advancements in Skin Care and Cosmetic Surgery wherever I end up.  What next?  Well, look to my Korean Beauty Blogger pals @SkinfullofSeoul and @OhMyGloss above for a hint!

Saturn Return-ing 30 in Korea

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Saturn Return

This week, I prepare to bid farewell to my roaries twenties and celebrate entry into the dirty thirty club.  This year in particular (29) has been pretty magnificent, but it hasn’t been without heartache and disappointment.  People keep bringing up this idea of Saturn Return .  “The longer, more elaborate version: This is the astrological period of our life when the planet Saturn completes its orbit around the Sun, coinciding with the time of our birth. It happens every 29.5 years, so if you have skated by in your late 20s, this period could get you in your late 50s.”  Is this where the No Doubt album name originated?  Gwen Stefani was 30 or 31 when it was released.  I was obsessed with these tracks.  I was 13 when Return of Saturn was released, but the lyrics seem more relevant now than ever!

I don’t hold steadfast and true to astrology, but one can find poetry and life lessons in just about anything.  The idea that I should learn something from the craziness of my twenties is certainly not lost on me.  While I’ve been a teacher in Korea, life in Seoul in Busan has thrown me some curveballs.  I’d like to share what teaching and living in Korea has taught me in an elementary kind of way.  Here are a few Dr. Seuss memes to, pardon the pun, bring it all full circle.

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I’ve Learned to Love My Body

Being naked isn’t a crime.  Ajummas (the old gals) at jimjilbangs (bath houses/ spas) strut around, full bush and fupas out with pride.  They don’t give a rat’s ass about my curvy stomach and hips or my prickly legs.  I’ve worked hard to drop the weight I gained after joining the workforce and quitting my varsity days.  Now I’m in the maintenance stage which means I really have to dedicate quite a bit of time and energy to not balloon again.  I have to nourish my body even if that means being a hunter for protein and veggies at my own grocery store.  Now that I’m mere days away from 30, I know I’m never going to be perfect.  Getting a luxurious facial or massage is allowed and should damn well be in the budget.  If I want to get botox or lip injections then that’s my own personal choice.  Through fitness, nutrition, a Korean skin care regime, and time to treat myself I aim to strike a balance.  I strive to be a better me than yesterday.

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What the Fuck is this Shit?

Sometimes you’re just not going to have a damn clue what’s on your plate, written on a kid’s test, or walking down a runway.  Just learn to roll with it.  There’s no point in getting up in arms over something you don’t understand.  Culturally – take some time to do some research if you’re even feigning an interest.  If you’re living in or even just visiting another country, their customs will likely be foreign to you.  Try to figure ’em out.  If it’s just some other expat prick leaving you scratching your head – dealbreaker.  Move the fuck along.

 

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Tough Memories

Is dating shitty guys all part of Saturn Return?  Looking back on Taipei and Tokyo suuuuuucks.  I remember the amazing moments we shared and the distances we traveled together.  I try to see the silver lining in it all, but it’s not easy especially when I’m pinpointing the exact moments in Tokyo when he was texting his…less than reputable woman.  The best I can do is reflect on the good times and, instead of looking for negatives, think of learning opportunities for the future.  I got to feel the bliss of romance in Taiwan and Japan.  That’s pretty rad.

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Ghosting

A decent person will respond when txted, messaged, or called.  Don’t give out your phone number if you have no intention of ever seeing the person again.  If you’ve had interactions you don’t want to continue, find a nice way to tell the person.  It’s one thing to have a friendship or dating situation fizzle out, but hiding behind technology is so cowardly.

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No Fucks Left

Guys, I’m 30.  I’m exhausted.  This isn’t my first rodeo.  If you’re a flakey friend or a douchey date I’m over it.  I have zero fucks (red, blue or otherwise) left to give.  Sorry if that offends you, but I’m just outta chances to hand out.

  • If he’s not giving me what I need, I should just move on.
  • I’m not going to change him.  If he wants to become a better version of himself he will.  If I can help…great!
  • Change yourself for yourself.  Never change for him.

 

 

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On the Subject of Impact

Sometimes it’s hard to be a lifestyle blogger with a major focus on dating.  The impact of constantly trying to put myself out there has definitely taken a toll.  Of course I believe in love and want to find the right companion…for me.  The whole idea that I have to work on myself by myself is a little ridiculous, in my opinion.  My gal pals keep telling me to stay single and work on myself.  I think that’s a load of hooey.  I’m definitely a more organized and productive person when in a relationship.  I’m a busy person and I really have to carve out time to spend it with the people I like.  “Love yourself first” is an over-used phrase.  I love myself just fine, thank-you very much.  Why is it that the last three men who have tossed those three little words my way suddenly run in the opposite direction when I finally return their affection and say them back?  I say “I love you” to my friends constantly.  There are plenty of poetic ways to speak and show your affection.  By the time I return home I’ll have no partner and no job.  Will I have prospects?  Who knows…but it’s terrifying to look into the unknown.  Hopefully “terrifying” will be spun as “exhilirating” sometime soon.

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Most People Are Cunts

This, ladies and gentlemen, is truer than true.  While there are some great, salt of the Earth human beings out there, most people are only looking out for #1.  I’ve seen countless men and women be treated like absolute shit because they’re just an option and not a priority.  So much time is wasted because people are shitty to people.  We like to hurt one-another.  Plus, let’s talk bloggers.  I’ve encountered some amazing, supportive women in Korea.  Most people think that expat/ travel/ beauty/ foodie bloggers are all in competition.  That’s not true at all.  If you look through any of my posts here or on The Toronto Seoulcialite you’ll find I try to take any opportunity to link to the supporters in the community.  That said, there are some real assholes around.  I don’t know how I’ve been unable to identify the patterns.  I want to give everyone a fair chance, but it’s exhausting when people want a piece of you for a free hotel stay or meal.  Boys and girls, there’s no such thing as a free meal.  If I’m working in contra with a brand there’s a multi-faceted marketing plan to go along with a post.  You don’t just get to share 1 sly pic on instagram and live a life of luxury.  There’s plenty of work to share around.  Stop being cunts and just support one-another, dammit.

 

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The Internet

Can people on the internet just stop and realise that bloggers are people too?  The number of degrading comments and threats I’ve received for discussing fluffed up dating scenarios is insane.  You can’t take anything some angry troll with a firewall security blanket says seriously.  This one is still something with which I struggle, as these people know exactly who I am (and often where to find me), but they’re safely behind fake profiles with stolen profile pictures (or none at all).  I love to get helpful suggestions from readers.  They’re few and far between, so if you’ve got something then please go ahead and e-mail me or leave it in the comments.  Recently a faceless Korean instagrammer told me to start YouTube as my lengthy posts aren’t always the easiest to understand.  That was a great suggestion!  Telling me to go back to Canada because I’m clearly someone who couldn’t get a job back home?  Not so helpful.  Ps. I was the Director of Sales and Marketing for a group of companies back in Toronto.  I took a major pay cut to come to Korea and don’t regret it for a second.

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Stand Out

In the Apgujeong area of Seoul, Korea, there are so many versions of the same face it’s scary.  I don’t want to look like anyone else.  I want to feel authentic.  I don’t, however, need to have my natural hair colour or bags under my eyes to feel authentic.  If someone is telling me I look tired and should ‘take a rest’, maybe I am tired and should slow down.  Having blonde hair in Korea constantly means I stand out.  Will I keep it back in Canada?  Who knows!  I definitely feel more like myself as a blonde (having gone back to the dark side earlier this year).  I enjoy the liberties Koreans take with style.  Some of the conventions are a little weird (the shortest skirts, most conservative tops, and most heinous shoes).  I hope I can feel free enough to stand out with my own personal style when I go back to Toronto.

 

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Those Who Matter Don’t Mind

I don’t think in 30 years I’ve had a birthday as amazing as this one.  The most important people showed up and completely showered me with love (and food – the true way to my heart and Seoul).  Having all of those people in one room was overwhelming, hysterical, and incredibly fun.  I’m amazed and humbled that I can be the brassy, unapologetically honest, wild, and sensitive person I am with the people I have met in Korea.  We’re never gunna survive unless we get a little crazy, but I know mine can be a lot to handle.  Thank you for showing me all kinds of crazy love.  My Saturn Return feels like a positive renaissance.  Here’s to the next 30.  Peace out, Saturn.