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!

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!

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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!