‘Tis the season for better skincare, ladies and gentlemen! I recently saw a post from a family member asking for skincare recommendations since she prided herself on great, but aging, skin using just soap and water. I can’t judge. Before I lived in South Korea, a 12 step skincare routine would have seemed absolutely ludicrous. To me, it would have been a waste of money. You live and you learn, however, and now I’m going to introduce you to yet another thing which may have seemed of no importance in the past. It’s essential to your essence and a must for micellar. This year, we’re asking Santa for cotton sheets. Specifically, White Rabbit Naked Cotton : biodegradable, 100% pure cotton pads that are lint-free and super durable (no pills or rips).
Why Are Cotton Pads Important?
I know what you must be thinking: “cotton pads are just a way to get me to spend more money on things I simply do not need.” Well, that’s not the case. Read on – these little bunnies will actually save you money! If you’ve been using tissue or toilet paper to remove your makeup (or even just the pollution/ grime of the day), you’re at risk of irritating your skin and your eyes. They also have a tendency to rip, which means you’ll be missing residue all over. Cotton sheets are the most hygienic way to remove makeup and apply skincare products. They will also save you product since you can control application and spread evenly in a way that’s impossible using your hands.
I remember getting a huge box of cotton sheets as “service” when I purchased skincare in Seoul for my entire family for Christmas. It was the first time I had used cotton sheets, and have to admit that I was a little irked I wasn’t given additional product as I had spent a lot. I gave them a go and they were game changers.
Ethical and Sustainable Production
In Toronto, up until now I’ve been using circular cotton pads. The other day I pulled a nice long fibre from my eye having thought for hours that I had an eyelash floating around. My baby blues were bloodshot and I had to shoot later. It wasn’t ideal, let me tell you. I had no idea that the cotton products I had been buying had been bleached and contained rayon and viscose (harsh chemicals which can trigger allergic reactions). NAKED COTTON™ sheets are chemical and plastic-free and made of sustainably-sourced 100% pure natural cotton that is unbleached, untreated and grown without pesticides. They are also 100% biodegradable.
NAKED COTTON™ offers two kinds of cotton sheets depending on your sensitivity and goals. The “textured” sheet is just as soft as the “classic”. It has tiny holes which make it ideal for cleansing. Its perforated surface will make your skin feel extra clean.
DIY Sheet Mask
The “classic” version is an extra soft cotton pad. It can be used when applying toner and/ or essence. When they’re folded, each cotton pad is approximately 2 by 3 inches. When they’re unfolded, the full size is 4 by 6 inches. Apply a liberal amount of toner or moisturizer and you can turn the pads into a DIY sheet mask!
Where to Buy?
NAKED COTTON™ products are available on their website, their instagram @whiterabbit_official, Soko Glam, and on Amazon (where they are currently ranked #20). They have also been featured in glam magazines and online publications such as Allure, Bustle, the Strategist, and the Klog. The prices are affordable (200 cotton sheets for USD $14.99) / 100 for USD $10.99). Just in time for the holidays, they’re running a 10% off special for all orders, and *free shipping* for US orders over $35 throughout December 2020.
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 out these Naked Cotton pads, White Rabbit Beauty. They’re created and manufactured in South Korea. The products are tried and true and you’ve got a loyal new customer in me.
As much as I hate to see the end of summer (and the beginning of Lockdown 2.0) I am excited to try out new skincare products. I have tried and true products which I always keep on my shelf, but feel the need to switch things up every now and then. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned I love going out with a fresh face. Many of the following products are designed to soothe irritated skin, which is often a problem for me as the seasons change. As autumn becomes winter I know I’ll be adding more moisturisers. For now, just like fall clothing, I’m keeping things light, but just adding more layers as temperatures fall. Hold on tight – it’s a marathon, not a sprint!
Vivier Medicated Wash & Cosrx Cica Cleanser
I alternate this medicated wash with the CosrxCica Cleanser. Vivier‘s medicated wash (active ingredient being – 2% Salicylic Acid USP) is designed to be an all-in-one cleanser (so you don’t have to use toner -I still do, though). Both of these products dispense as a light cream. A little goes a long way to foam up. They both wash off leaving no greasy films. I tend to use the Vivier wash if I’ve had makeup on, whereas the Cosrx product I’ll use to gently wipe away my day.
Cosrx Pure Fit Cica Toner & Powder
This toner contains seven types of centella asiatica extracts which are said to aid in accelerating skin cell production and collagen synthesis. It’s also said to protect the skin’s barrier. The powder (which contains maritime pine bark extract and green calamine) comes out quickly, so definitely be careful when shaking it out of the packaging. I mix it with my toner and apply directly with my fingertips, but you can use a cotton pad as well. These paraben-free and cruelty-free products help with inflammation and, as someone with occasional redness, I can attest to their calming properties.
Clean Skin Club – Vitamin C Brightening Booster
I love the mild scent of of pineapple, watermelon, and green tea and the silky smooth texture of this serum. It comes in a dark bottle (as all vitamin C serums should) with an eyedropper so that the perfect amount can be distributed each time. It goes on evenly and soaks into the skin quickly. I’ve noticed an almost immediate glow using this product, which also claims to protect against UV damage, and helping to reduce eventual signs of ageing. I use it as a standalone serum, however it can be added to a moisturiser or night cream for a vitamin-c boost.
Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence
This Advanced Snail Gel Lotion protects skin from moisture loss and keeps skin smooth and healthy. Snail Secretion Filtrate improves damaged skin through moisture, promotion of collagen production, and elasticity. It’s said that proteins in the snail goo can have anti-aging properties proven through clinical trial. It can also reverse sun damage. It’s a great choice for dry skin and sensitive skin, which is typical for me as the seasons change. It’s not going to make great strides for deep, deep folds, but I’ll lather it on with the promise to improve my skin’s texture.
Vivier Derma-V Repair Cream
Derma-V is a blend of 5 skin repairing ingredients: Prebiotics (to help repair and strengthen skin), Antioxidants (anti-aging properties and skin protection), Peptides (for strength and elasticity), Hydration Boosters (for smoother and more radiant skin), and Repairing Boosters (Teprenone – increasing skin hydration and improving barrier integrity). I use this product after my toner, essences, serums, and retinol, but before any other creams. It has a mild scent (I’m often sensitive to scented products) and I always look forward to applying it and smelling the bright, natural citrus fragrance from Orange Peel Oil.
Farmacy – CHEER UP Brightening Vitamin C Eye Cream with Acerola Cherry
I’ve been using this product for about a month and (granted, I do get botox every 9 months or so) I’ve noticed that my crows feet haven’t been returning quite so quickly, and my under-eyes haven’t been quite as puffy. This product has a mild, fruity scent and a very smooth texture, thicker than most of my eye creams.
Cosrx Pure Fit Cica Cream
I like to use products from the same set and switch things up when I have empties. This Cica Cream is very mild and isn’t quite as moisturising as I would like, but on your warmer autumn days this product will offer a nice layer before your sunscreen and does offer a number of soothing properties.
Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water – Waterproof
I absolutely hate using makeup remover, but it works better and is significantly less irritating to the skin than cleansing wipes. Micellar water is a gentle alternative to makeup remover. In my experience, it’s a little too gentle, so even though I refuse to wear waterproof mascara, I need to use Micellar Water designed with waterproof cosmetics in mind. It can be used on the eyes, lips, and face. I prefer is to the irritating makeup remover which is typically astringent or oily.
Gifted Product Acknowledgement
Some of these seasonal skincare products were PR samples sent to me for honest reviews, while others came as part of Boxy Charm. I would NEVER recommend Boxy Charm. Their customer service is non-existent, their billing system is confusing, and the boxes do not align with the quiz answers you provide upon registration. As always, these honest opinions are my own and not for sale.
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.
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!
This article was written in unpaid partnership in exchange for an honest review. ThatGirlCartier.com only features products or services I genuinely adore and would repurchase again and again.
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.
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!
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.
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
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)
“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
Swipe the embossing side across the face avoiding eye area after cleansing.
Swipe the softer side across the face to pick up the remaining debris.
Replace the lid tightly to make sure the pads stay wet and clean.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
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.
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.
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: 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
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!
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
(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.
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.
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.
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).
Leegeehaam Hope 5a Control Cream – Size
How to Use Leegeehaam Hope 5a Control Cream
Apply an appropriate amount on face, morning and night.
Leegeehaam Hope 5a Control Cream Key Ingredients
Tightens the widened pores.
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice
Soothes and relieves acne/trouble skin.
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.
The #1 cheapest and most talked about Korean beauty product is the sheetmask. You can find them in any Olive Young, Tony Moly, Etude House, Innisfree, The Face Shop, and more. There seem to be cute new sheetmask options coming out every week! From Star Wars to Pokemon to Placenta, there’s constantly a new Korean sheetmask gimmick. Which masks actually work? I tried a bunch last year, but it wasn’t until I found a brand from a plastic surgery company after an ultrasound hammer treatment that I actually felt a difference. Check out my go-to brands when I choose from my big bag of K-Beauty sheetmasks!
I was introduced to G2CELL at the Euno.go and Ruby Plastic Surgery event. This is by far my favourite sheetmask of the bunch. While the fit isn’t amazing, the results are almost immediate! I had super glowy skin all afternoon and evening after trying it on a Saturday morning.
G2Cell uses Biomimetic Water (composed of minerals, amino acid, peptide) and milk protein from New Zealand milk phospholipid. SYN-COLL is used to used to reduce wrinkles and increase firmness through collagen configuration and the promotion of Hyaluronan. Palmitoyl Tripeptide is also included. Aquaporin protects skin from moisture loss and improves elasticity. Carob Extract prevents wrinkle creation and improves skin elasticity. Elderberry Extract acts as an anti-aging, polyphenol ingredient.
Phospholipid: Linoleic acids play an important role in the human skin’s own synthesis of Ceramide 1. This is a a lipid that is important for intact barrier function. Natural phospholipids contain relatively high amounts of linoleic acids thus resulting in soft, hydrated, and protected skin.
Hyaluronan: Hyaluronic acid is a substance that is found naturally in the body. It is found in the highest concentrations in fluids in the eyes and joints. The hyaluronic acid that is used as medicine is extracted from rooster combs or created by bacteria in a lab.
Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5 is used in a number of different anti-aging products because it can communicate with skin cells and boost collagen production. The older your skin gets, the less collagen it produces.
This sheetmask is super creamy, has plenty of essence, but doesn’t drip! I love using this sheetmask before bed, especially if I’m about to fall asleep in a mask. This is a luxurious home sheetmask facial made using the same ingredients you’ll find in a fancy facial treatment at VIP clinic itself in Sinsa! Each sheetmask is used for different skin types and purposes: moisturizing, brightening, anti-aging, firm, and more. VIP also has its own line of facial sheetmask called ‘DR VIP’ White Pearl Mask, which is effective in anti-wrinkle and whitening care.
It is a daily care sheetmask (although a little pricy for daily use) that consists of a soft and fresh essence that moisturizes the skin. It consists of ingredients, such as Glutathione, pomegranate extract and persimmon tree leaf extract, which enhance clean and lively skin. In addition, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 and Noni extract provide healthy and elastic skin.
Glutathione: Glutathione is a substance found in every cell in the body, where it acts as an antioxidant to neutralize free radicals and prevent cellular damage. Chemically, glutathione is a simple molecule composed of three protein building blocks or amino acids- cysteine, glutamine and glycine.
Acetyl Hexapeptide-8: Acetyl hexapeptide-8 or acetyl hexapeptide-3 is a synthetic anti-wrinkle cosmetics ingredient. It is a peptide which is a fragment of SNAP-25, a substrate of Botulinum toxin (“Botox in a Jar”).
Noni: Noni juice is a dietary supplement extracted from the exotic fruit noni, and is commonly marketed as a general health tonic. Manufacturers promote noni for lowering cholesterol, promoting healthy blood sugar levels and for cancer fighting benefits.
After you wash your face, apply skin toner.
Then, wear the mask for around 10 to 20 minutes (depending on the product).
After you remove the mask, pat the remaining essence so that it can be absorbed into the skin.
Voila, you’ll experience improved skin!
VIP Plastic Surgery Center Seoul, Korea
For free consultation, please send email at firstname.lastname@example.org
My friends at GlamRecipe have really hooked me up over the past few months through their GlamRecipe StoreFront on Amazon.Both the Vitamin B & C Honey “Ggultamin (Honey Vitamin)” Real Jel Sheetmasks offer tons of essence and actually feel like they make a difference for my skin. I love the 2-step process including a finger peeling pad to remove dirt and dead skin. Even when using a two-step cleansing process (make-up remover and either Banila Clean-It Zero or a foaming facial cleanser), this finger peeling pad always grabs more dirt I’ve not managed to remove.
The sheetmask itself is very wet and full of jelly essence. Once you remove it from the packaging you’ll have plenty of leftover essence. I usually put it on my neck, chest, and shoulders for additional hydration. These masks are great because they hold really securely and you can actually feel the difference in hydration in the morning. These masks I’ll typically use after a big night out to revitalize my tired skin. My personal favourite is the Vitamin C for the mild, citrus and honey scent, but find what works for you!
Common Sheetmask Ingredients
Each sheetmask contains both AHA and BHA. Alpha hydroxy acid products containing lactic acid, tartaric acid, gluconolactone, or glycolic acid are typically applied to sun-damaged and wrinkled skin twice a day. AHAs and BHAs as exfoliants can really change the look and feel of skin for the better!
TWO STEP MASK with FINGER PAD FOR MILD PEELING: for the best effect, dead skin cells should be removed before applying any type of sheetmask. The GGULTAMIN Vitamin C Sheetmask is an all-in-one sheetmask containing a finger peeling pad, which effectively removes dead skin cells and any dirt left on your skin. Containing AHA and BHA the sheetmask delivers a mild peeling effect.
HONEY AND PROPOLIS: each sheetmask contains 33ml of essence with honey and propolis extracts for intense moisturisation. Honey is one of the best natural ingredients to provide and maintain moisture in your skin. Propolis contains Flavonoid, a natural anti-aging ingredient that helps to protect vitamin destruction.
GEL TYPE ESSENCE (33ML): thick jelly texture delivers active ingredients deeply into your skin without drying up. The generous amount of essence allows you to also use it for your face and neck.
Honey Mask GGULTAMIN (HONEY VITAMIN) B REAL JEL MASK 10 masks for $2799
by COMMON LABS
About the product
VITAMIN B: it contains Vitamin B5 to help stabilize the skin’s barrier, reducing the amount of water lost through the skin. Applying a provitamin B5 formulation to the skin will increase hydration and improve softness and elasticity for your skin.
LYOCELL SHEET: the GGULTAMIN sheetmask uses a natural Lyocell fiber mask that perfectly adheres to your skin. It provides extra softness and effective absorption of essence.
Honey Mask GGULTAMIN (HONEY VITAMIN) C REAL JEL MASK 10 masks for $2799
by COMMON LABS
About the product
VITAMIN C: the sheetmask contains Vitamin C complex to help brighten, boost collagen, and minimize fine lines and wrinkles.
CUPRA SHEET : GGULTAMIN sheetmask uses cupra mask that perfectly adheres to your skin with extra softness and effective absorption of essence.
All XAIVITA Dr. sheetmasks have similar promises. They aim to help “to nourish and improve elasticity on the skin, which is tired from the external environment and” relieving “skin trouble and due to the soft adhesiveness of the sheet, it makes soft and fresh skin.” Whenever I get a new version of their 3-step sheetmask I’m wary of the strange ingredients. I suggest you try them laying down as these sheetmasks are super wet and drippy. Your skin will feel intensely hydrated almost immediately, so make sure to use this brand before bed so you can let the essence really get to work without obstacles like makeup!
Ampoule: Using the toner after washing, take proper amount of the content and evenly put on whole face.
Lightly touch the face so that the content can be absorbed.
Mask: After cleansing, take out the sheet and apply it over your face. Remove the sheet after 10-20 minutes.
Cream: After the Mask, spread uniformly along skin’s texture and massage gently.
Gold Spider Anti-Wrinkle Cellulose Sheetmask
Fine Dust Protector-Soothing and Moisturizing. 8.88% Gold Spider secretion filtrate helps to nourish and improve elasticity on the skin, which can become tired from the external environment.
Horse Oil Premium Cellulose Mask
Fine Dust Protector-Moisturizing and Nutrition Supplying Horse oil. Premium secretion filtrate helps to nourish and improve elasticity on the skin, which is tired from the external environment. It relieves skin trouble and due to the soft adhesiveness of the sheet, it makes soft and fresh skin.
The blackhead sheetmask really does bring dirt and grime (blackheads and sebum) to the surface. I haven’t mastered the black stick quite yet, so I’ve been using a peel away mask instead. After that, I use the pore tightening serum which soothes skin quite well. The next day I find my sensitive skin on and around my nose is incredibly soft and the pores appear much smaller!
About the product
BLACKHEAD REMOVAL KIT: a complete kit including a black sheet, pore tightening serum, and black stick work to gently take care of blackheads and pores.
9 NATURAL EXTRACTS: ingredients from lemon balm, sage, witch hazel, mistletoe, peppermint, jack burdock, needle juniper, soapwort, and St. John’s wort work effectively to dissolve blackheads and sebum.
PORE TIGHTENING SERUM: consists of patented active ingredients to tighten pores and soothe skin, resulting in a silky smooth texture.
Go ahead, set up the bubble bath and pour yourself a glass of wine. These awesome Korean sheetmask options will have your skin silky smooth in no time! What are your favourite K-Beauty quick picks? Leave them in the comments so I can give them a try! While some items on this list were gifts from friends, former clients, and current partners, all reviews are honest and opinions are my own. Where to buy links are in pink however none of them are affiliate links.
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.
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.
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!
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 (email@example.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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
The Nail Bar Korea has opened their second location, this one in Hannam-dong. Finding the location wasn’t exactly simple for our taxi driver, but after a quick call we were swept away to a ritzy new complex. Head down the stairs and you’ll find The Nail Bar Korea right across from a new pasta place I’m obviously now dying to try!
The Nail Bar Korea: Atmosphere
I’ve never been to their Gyeongnidan 경리단길 location, so I can’t comment on size difference too much. I’m pretty sure I’ve passed it and it was quite small in comparison to this sprawling space. I was totally overwhelmed by the large white space with gold accents and en entire wall of nail polish. I came in with an idea of the gel nails I wanted to get, but once I was hit with the wall I became pretty indecisive.
The Nail Bar Korea: Experience
Upon arrival we were greeted and asked if we’d like water or coffee (see iced Americani above). There was a big screen playing old school Whitney, Mariah, and TLC as well as plenty of Katy Perry and Ariana Grande. The owners two adorable pitbulls Butter and Gamja had free reign of the place, too. Perfect for a dog lover like myself, but just be aware there are a couple of cuddly, furry members on staff! My nail designer had spent about 9 months in Australia and spoke perfect English. We talked about life in Seoul, workouts, and different restaurants. She asked me about style and shape every step of the way. She made sure my sensitive skin was comfortable. The took my busted cuticles and made them soft. She took my claw-like talons and gave my tips a much daintier look. This definitely wasn’t an express manicure, however. I expected to be in the chair for about 45 minutes. I left after about 2 hours!
The Nail Bar Korea: Price
This is where I was actually a little shocked. I had been speaking with my nail designer on KakaoTalk the day before our appointments. She sent me their menus and I expected to pay about KRW 50,000 for my manicure. My friend was told that if she wanted a 3rd colour it would cost an extra KRW 10,000 so she opted just for 2 colours (a pale pink with one nail on each hand in a sparkly colour). My nail design included 2 colours and my technician didn’t mention anything about extra costs (for having a design nor for having matte nails). I anticipated there would be a bit of a top up, but since she didn’t say anything I was a little sticker-shocked when it came to paying our tabs. My friend’s pretty pink came to KRW 50,000 (we were told there was a cash discount – nope). Mine came to a whopping KRW 80,000. That’s a pretty penny on a teacher’s salary. I couldn’t believe she didn’t mention there would be a KRW 30,000 increase on what I had been quoted. Make SURE to be clear when discussing your style so that you’re not forking over 40% more than expected…
Contact: The Nail Bar Korea
Make appointments over the phone or via KakaoTalk!