Tag: Korean Beauty

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

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

Buy This, Not That: Cosrx vs. Pixi Beauty

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

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Matheus Ferrero

Battle of the Hydrating Toner Pads

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

Glow Tonic To-Go Pads

Pixi Beauty Glow Tonic To-Go

Regular price $24.00

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

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

Product Details

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

How To-Apply

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

Ingredients

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


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

Cosrx One Step Moisture Up Pad

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

HOW TO USE

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

INGREDIENTS

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

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

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

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

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

Ingredients

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

iUNIK Korea: Summer Skincare for Sweaty Sallies

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

 

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

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

Toners, Serums, Essences – OH MY!

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

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

 

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

Skincare Step 1

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

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

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

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

Skincare Step 2

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

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

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

Skincare Step 3

Beta Glucan Daily Moisture Cream $14.99

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

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

 

My iUNIK Skincare Verdit

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

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

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

Step 1: Breathe, just breathe – Holy Grail Skincare

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Photo: Robert Evans

Korean Holy Grail Skincare: Cleansers Available in Canada

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

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

Banila Co. Clean it Zero

Get a Discount by Buying Through iHerb

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

Ingredients

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

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

Cosrx: Good Night Mild Oil Cleanser

Get a Discount by Buying Through iHerb

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

Bad News/ Good News

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

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

Leegeehaam: Easy 3-Step Korean Skincare Morning Routine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Leegeehaam Hyal B5 Line Information

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

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

Leegeehaam Grow Hyal B5 Ampoule

이지함 그로우
히알 B5 앰플

28,000

Leegeehaam Grow Hyal B5 Ampoule Product Details

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

Leegeehaam Grow Hyal B5 Ampoule Size

30ml

How to Use Leegeehaam Grow Hyal B5 Ampoule

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

Leegeehaam Grow Hyal B5 Ampoule Key Ingredients

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

Leegeehaam Grow Hyal B5 Ampoule Full Ingredients

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

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

Leegeehaam 5α Control

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

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

36,000

Leegeehaam Hope 5a Control Emulsion – Product Details

100 ml

How to Use Leegeehaam Hope 5a Control Emulsion

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

Leegeehaam Hope 5a Control Emulsion – Key Ingredients

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

Leegeehaam Hope 5a Control Emulsion – Full Ingredients

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

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

48,000

Leegeehaam Hope 5a Control Cream – Product Details

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

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

Leegeehaam Hope 5a Control Cream – Size

50ml

How to Use Leegeehaam Hope 5a Control Cream

Apply an appropriate amount on face, morning and night.

Leegeehaam Hope 5a Control Cream Key Ingredients

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

Leegeehaam Hope 5a Control Cream Full Ingredients

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

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

Leegeehaam Contact Information

이지함화장품

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

Leegeehaam on Facebook

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

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

2017 Best Sheetmask Brands

 Korean Beauty Bliss: 2017 Best Sheetmask in Korea - ThatGirlCartier Seoul Korea Botox Fillers Eunogo MH Clinic Ruby Plastic Surgery MVP Clinic VIP Plastic Surgery Whoo Spa Sinsa Facial
Photo: Robert Evans

My Top 5 Korean Sheetmask Brands

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!

Review Advanced Anti-Wrinkle Mask Pack G2Cell Genomics Code A Korean Beauty Bliss: 2017 Best Sheetmask in Korea - ThatGirlCartier

G2CELL (Genomics Code GenoHeal.com)

Advanced Anti-Wrinkle Mask Pack ($40 for 5-mask kit)

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.

 dr vip white pearl mask VIP Plastic Surgery Korean Beauty Bliss: 2017 Best Sheetmask in Korea - ThatGirlCartier

Dr. VIP Korea (VIP Plastic Surgery)

DR VIP White Pearl Sheetmask 

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.

Directions:

  • 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 vipps@vipps.kr
www.beauty-korea.com

 

Common Labs

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.

Review Common Labs Honey Mask GGULTAMIN (HONEY VITAMIN) B REAL JEL MASK Korean Beauty Bliss: 2017 Best Sheetmask in Korea - ThatGirlCartier

 Honey Mask GGULTAMIN (HONEY VITAMIN) B REAL JEL MASK 10 masks for $ 27 99 

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.

    Common Labs Honey Mask GGULTAMIN (HONEY VITAMIN) C REAL JEL MASK Korean Beauty Bliss: 2017 Best Sheetmask in Korea - ThatGirlCartier

Honey Mask GGULTAMIN (HONEY VITAMIN) C REAL JEL MASK 10 masks for $ 27 99 

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.

xaivita dr. sheet mask review Korean Beauty Bliss: 2017 Best Sheetmask in Korea - ThatGirlCartier

XAIVITA Dr.

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!

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. Mask: After cleansing, take out the sheet and apply it over your face.  Remove the sheet after 10-20 minutes.
  3. Cream: After the Mask, spread uniformly along skin’s texture and massage gently.
 XAIVITA Dr. Gold Spider Anti-Wrinkle Cellulose Mask Review Korean Beauty Bliss: 2017 Best Sheetmask in Korea - ThatGirlCartier
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.
xaivita dr. sheet mask Horse Oil Premium Cellulose Mask Review Korean Beauty Bliss: 2017 Best Sheetmask in Korea - ThatGirlCartier
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.

Wish Formula Review Blackhead & BlackMask Home Spa Kit Korean Beauty Bliss: 2017 Best Sheetmask in Korea - ThatGirlCartier

WISH FORMULA

BLACKHEAD & BLACKMASK HOME SPA KIT (Black Sheet, Pore Tightening Serum & Black Stick) 10 kits for $ 9 99 

by WISH FORMULA
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.

Korean Beauty Bliss: 2017 Best Sheetmask in Korea - ThatGirlCartier spa white towels tiles bench yellow rubber duck massage

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.

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.

people woman girl cellphone instagram social media technology mobile smartphone business

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

A post shared by Kate Carter Hickey 🛫 Travel (@torontoseoulcialite) on

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.

That Girl Cartier Lip Fillers Lip Injections Seoul Korea MH Clinic Eunogo 입술필러 전

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!

The Nail Bar Korea (더네일바 already in Gyeongnidan 경리단길) has opened up a second location in Hannam, Seoul. That Girl Cartier went to scope it out...nail'd it! Where to get gel nails done in Seoul, South Korea (Itaewon & Hannam)

Nail’d it: The Nail Bar (더네일바) Hannam

The Nail Bar Korea Hannam

(더네일바/이태원네일/젤네일)

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!

Phone: 02-7948549 (Gyeongnidan) // 010-650-28549 (Hannam)

카카오톡 // KakaoTalk: thenailbar

Facebook: www.facebook.com/thenailbarkorea

Getting to The Nail Bar Korea (Hannam location)

Gyeongnidan Location: 경리단길 서울 이태원동 658 번지 1층 ☎ 02-7948549

Hannam Location: 한남동이태원로55나길 6/ITAEWON-RO 55NA GIL 6  📲 010-650-28549

 

That Girl Cartier Lip Fillers Lip Injections Seoul Korea MH Clinic Eunogo 입술필러 전

Fill’er Up: Lip Fillers at MH Clinic, Seoul with Eunogo

Seoul is the mecca of Korean beauty products.  There are tons of amazing cosmetics with boldly pigmented, long-lasting colours in adorable packaging.  In Korea you can find sheet masks with every bizarre essence or oil humans have dared apply to their skin.  Koreans are known to have exceptionally rigorous skin care regimes in the morning and before going to sleep.  Korea, and Sinsa in particular, is known to have the best plastic surgeons in the world.  Plastic surgery and cosmetic enhancements are as common as colonics have come to be in the West.  I was congratulated by my Korean colleagues the first time I got botox, so when Eunogo approached me about partnering I considered Lip Fillers.  

** Scroll all the way to the bottom for promo code + details! **

How Does Eunogo Work?

Eunogo is an award-winning medical tourism concierge service dedicated to foreigners in or traveling to Korea.  They are licensed by the Korea Ministry of Health, only work with the best certified doctors, and they personalize your experience at no extra cost.  Actually, you’ll often get services at a reduced rate as clinics open up to the foreigner market.  First, you’ll be assigned a personal co-ordinator responsible for handling any requests or questions you may have.  One-on-one consultations can take place with multi-lingual medical co-ordinators fluent in Korean, English, Mandarin, and Bahasa.  Your co-ordinator is responsible for pick-up arrangement to recovery care, and every detail in between.

That Girl Cartier Lip Fillers with Eunogo Medical Tourism Seoul Korea Lip Injections Review MH Clinic Apgujeong

Why Lip Fillers?

I’ve been asked a few times why I would ever consider getting lip fillers or lip injections in Seoul.  When I was 8 or 9 I was playing soccer and a wasp found its way into my juice.  I took a big gulp right as I was getting off of the field and the wasp stung my lip. Once I recovered from my fat lip, I noticed my right upper lip was a little droopy.  Looks like it had been depressed permanently.   

McDonald’s French Fry Lips

Years later, I was on a date and the guy thought it would be cute to ask me to kiss him with my “sweet little McDonald’s Frency fry lips”.  I nearly threw up right then and there.  Needless to say I didn’t see him again, but years later I can still hear his neg ringing in my ears.  I’m generally pretty secure in my looks, but feel I can always upgrade and refresh!  Turning 30 in August certainly makes me want to take care of myself more.  I’m tuning into ways I can feel happier and more confident.  Why not get this little lip filler issue fixed while living in the beauty capital of the world?

That Girl Cartier's Cosmetic Surgery Lip Fillers Review MH Clinic Review Eunogo Apgujeong Sinsa Seoul Korea Lip Injections

After Work Lip Fillers at MH Clinic (MH 크리닉) with Eunogo

There are a variety of different kinds of lip fillers and lip injections in Korea.  I went for the basic package as I didn’t want a full Kylie Jenner overboard look.  For more information on the types of lip fillers available with Eunogo, visit their site!

MH Clinic is located near ritzy Apgujeong Rodeo and situated directly above a Rolls Royce dealership.  When I arrived at the clinic, I was ushered in and invited to take a seat with my personal co-ordinator, Joy Kang.  Ms. Kang is the Co-Founder and CEO of Eunogo, and could not have made my experience more personal or relaxed.  When you’re about to get needles to your face, it’s nice to have someone who is very attentive, but also keeps her composure completely.  I felt at ease in her care.

Once we were settled, we filled out the paperwork together.  Joy made sure to go through each line-item thoroughly so that I understood everything and, more importantly, the Doctor would understand me.  Once the (fairly standard) paperwork was complete, we had a meeting with a very professional, friendly, and beautiful consultant at the clinic.  She actually held my hand once the procedure began!  We discussed the steps clearly and ensured that I was ready and a good candidate for lip fillers.

The images above are so that you can see some more natural lip filler “before” pictures.  As you can see, I had a pretty mixed bag of emotions as the preparations, procedure, and down time were explained!  

That Girl Cartier's Cosmetic Surgery Lip Fillers Review MH Clinic Review Eunogo Apgujeong Sinsa Seoul Korea Lip Injections
After the consultation, we went up to the 4th floor.  They removed my make-up and took some “before” pictures.  It’s nice to have some pictures directly before and after lip fillers, but the before pictures do look like mugshots! 
That Girl Cartier's Cosmetic Surgery Lip Fillers Review MH Clinic Review Eunogo Apgujeong Sinsa Seoul Korea Lip Injections
Before my lip fillers procedure I was also given 2 booster shots as I have sensitive skin with a sensitivity to metal.
The clinician applied numbing cream to my lips.  It had to sit covered in plastic for 30 minutes before we would be able to proceed.  My lips felt like they were bubbling (around the 30 minute mark I started to feel some heat).  It was really weird to have plastic wrap on my lips.  I wondered what I would do for the next 30 minutes when I was told I’d be getting a hydrating facial, as well.  Bonus!  Once that was applied, I actually fell asleep for a while.
While my Doctor spoke English, she wanted to convey everything very clearly in Korean to Joy, who then translated to me.  I understood some of what the staff were saying, but would have been helpless without Eunogo.  The Doctor explained that, for lips, the top to bottom ratio should be 1 to 1.5.  Mine were 1 to almost 2, so my “French Fry Lips” nickname may actually have been well-earned.
I had many thoughts before the procedure actually began.  The Doctor wanted to know if I had any celebrity aim-to-look-alikes.  I completely drew a blank and told her I wanted a natural enhancement.  I also didn’t want to my lip fillers look like Kylie Jenner or a Real Housewife after lip injections!
The actual procedure did hurt quite a bit eventually.  The first 3 needles were nothing – very easy.  The top hurt much more than the bottom.  I had a plush toy and someone to hold my hand.  I think I was more nervous than I needed to be in all honesty and it made the pain worse cause I was tense. Even though I got the basic lip fillers (1 cc of Restylane Vital – the smallest particle for lip fillers) there were still about 16 (maybe more) injections overall.
As you can see, the difference is pretty significant!  I think the results still appear natural, but my lower lip is a tad more plump.  My upper lips have the definition and fullness I wanted to achieve from lip fillers.  After the procedure I felt tired, my stomach hurt, and I wondered how it was possible for people to get this on their lunch break.  I took a taxi home and upon arrival couldn’t figure out if I was ravenous or nauseated.  I couldn’t eat or drink for 2 hours after my procedure, so I settled in for a little Rn’R.  The next morning I felt extremely tired.  I had some mild bruising which became more pronounced by evening.  They looked very even and smooth already even though they still felt a bit lumpy.  I felt kind of like I was a toddler or a puppy growing into these new lips.
That Girl Cartier's Cosmetic Surgery Lip Fillers Review MH Clinic Review Eunogo Apgujeong Sinsa Seoul Korea Lip Injections
Still bruised but now also a little chapped.  Guess my lips are healing from the injection points?
By day 3 my lips felt much more full in certain areas, but not unnaturally so.  My face appears thinner (to myself and others) post lip fillers.  The men at work asked if I did something to make my face “glowier”.  By day 4 I felt like I had fully recovered, save for a bit of dryness.  I like that my cupid’s bow is more even and defined.  My upper and lower lip now have a sense of symetry.  I can’t imagine anyone will refer to mine as “French Fry lips” ever again!

Contact Eunogo

#04-14 51 Cuppage Road, Singapore

408 Open Square D, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea

contact@eunogo.com  |  Tel: +65 8522 4529 (SG)  |  KakaoTalk: eunogo

Thanks so much again to Eunogo (@euno.go) and MH Clinic (@mhskin) for making me look as young as my maturity level!  While this article has been written in partnership, all reviews are honest and opinions are my own.
Lip Filler - Eunogo Shop

* EUNOGO PROMO-CODE **

Get an additional US$10 OFF all lip filler programs (already discounted through Eunogo)!  In the Eunogo Shop, input : thatgirlcartier (limited to one use per customer, promo-code valid until August 31 2017 [purchase by August 31 but you can do the procedure after August 31]).  

Whoo Spa dominates the VVIP service (K-Pop/ K-Drama Stars) space in Korea as they use the latest technology and have an exclusive, tucked away location...

Eastasy: Whoo Spa & O Hui Skincare

Whoo Spa dominates the VVIP service (K-Pop/ K-Drama Stars) space in Korea as they use the latest technology and have an exclusive, tucked away location...My experience at Whoo Spa O Hui Sinsa Seoul via Eastacy ICE therapy, refresh care, aromatherapy, massage, and facial

I was recently invited to Whoo Spa in ritzy Sinsa right across the street from Garosugil by a company called Eastasy.  They partner with brands and experiences across Asia and offer massive discounts.  After a whirlwind weekend in Taipei, I was definitely due for a massage.  The experience I had at Whoo Spa was very thorough, as is my breakdown!  Leave any questions in the comments and I’ll get back to you shortly…

My "after" picture from my experience at Whoo Spa with Eastasy
Fresh-faced with just a little mascara and lip balm the day after my Refresh Care experience at Whoo Spa in Sinsa (Seoul, Korea) via Eastasy.

Whoo Spa Atmosphere

Whoo Spa (formerly O Hui Spa) in Sinsa dominates the VVIP spa service space in Korea.  They are very popular because they use the most up to date technology to stay current for their clients.  They have a variety of K-Pop Stars and famous American and Korean actors (Kim Tae-Hee and Shin Min-A use O Hui) who visit due to the great service and tucked away location.  They also sell a vast array of high-quality, exceptional skincare products made from South Korean natural medicinal herbs, from luxurious brands such as O HUI, Whoo, and SU:M 37Clients get 25% off products the same day as their service.  Make sure to check out Eastasy for a wicked deal on packages!

The Whoo Spa Treatments

I opted for the 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.

Upgraded

I was upgraded to the ICE care, which is good for brightening and moisturizing.  This is very similar to a Vitamin C procedure I’ve had previously.  They also offer hot care (for anti-aging), pore tightening, and aqua peeling (generally for patients with acne).  Once my ICE treatment was over, a facial ampoule and an essence was applied, then secured with a molding facial mask pack.  After that, there was revitalizing care before I went on my way.  My back and shoulders were massaged using products from the Gongjinhyang line.  It containes ingredients such as ginseng and cordyceps (a popular fungus used in ancient Chinese medicine).  Throughout the majority of the facial, they places electronic leg and foot boots on and I was treated to a full body experience for the entire two hours.

Personal Preferences

Usually I’m pretty tense when I go for a massage.  I work out quite a bit and lift heavy weights (and all kinds of children daily!).  When I was in Thailand I found that when I asked for medium pressure it just wasn’t enough to get the knots out.  On my questionnaire I still put medium, but the pressure was a lot stronger than I expected.  My masseuse was not shy at all, and whenever she neared my lower back or decolletage I could tell there was certainly no modesty in this treatment.  I would have preferred not to be on a plastic sheet, but I totally understand their hygenic needs.

Whoo Spa dominates the VVIP service (K-Pop/ K-Drama Stars) space in Korea as they use the latest technology and have an exclusive, tucked away location...

Whoo Spa Seoul Massage

There were several areas of my body that could have used very strong pressure: my calves, ankles, and lower back.  I felt like she kind of skimmed those areas focusing primarily on the upper back, middle back, shoulders, and traps.  They needed a lot of attention, but I was much more sensitive in those areas.  I also got a hand massage.  I didn’t realise that I needed one, but it was heaven!

Whoo Spa Seoul Aromatherapy

The aromatherapy aspect of the treatment is not what I expected, and I was glad.  Usually the scents are fairly strong and irritate my allergies.  The earthy, yet still sweet smells were pretty mild.  I got whiffs of honey, lemon, and oaky notes.  If you’ve read my Vineworks Korea article you’ll notice my nose isn’t always spot on, but these pleasant fragrances were neither sickly sweet, nor heavy on the Chinese medicine.  I would likely use them at home, too.

My masseuse used plenty of warm towels (bordering on hot) at the beginning and end of the treatment.  I always want to roll around in warm laundry fresh out of the dryer (I miss dryers living in Korea!) so they felt amazing.  They were also the perfect way to get any remaining oils off before changing and heading home.

 

Whoo (后) SPA (후(后)스파)

Whoo Spa Seoul Facial

My facial was longer than I expected because of the facial massage and surprise upgrade (thank you!).  In terms of the steps, they were pretty similar to what I’ve experienced in the past.  My bubbling, cleansing facial was very effective, however it wasn’t as itchy as I normally find they can be.  I normally have to stay very still or risk 15 minutes of agony wanting to scratch my face.  This was fine.  The ICE facial was a lot colder than I expected.  They placed a cream on my face.  They then pressed a flat, cold, metal plate in circular motions across my whole face.  At some points I questioned the necessity of the low temperature.  They told me this particular one was good for moisture.  They recommended it to me as apparently my skin is quite dry and sensitive.

Image result for su:m37 white award sheet mask

Whoo Spa Aftercare

After my 2 hour treatment whizzed by (I totally fell asleep throughout the molding facial), I was taken to a reception area where tea and a small pastry was waiting for me.  The Whoo Spa manager explained that it was very important to rehydrate the skin within a couple of days.  She presented me with 2 samples of Su:m37 ampoule, and a sheet mask from their “white awards” brightening series.

Directions to Whoo Spa (formerly O Hui Spa)

The Spa itself is tucked away across from Hak-dong Park.  It took me a little while to find, so allow yourself plenty of time if you’re not taking a taxi.  They’re open 10:00am-10:00pm, Monday to Sunday.

From Sinsa Station (Seoul Subway Line 3)

Take Exit 1.  Walk straight and turn right before you reach Yeongdong Tourist Hotel.
Continue walking and look for the spa on your left.

From Hak-dong Station (Seoul Subway Line 7) 

Take Exit 6 Walk straight and turn right on the second street.
Continue swalking straight and you’ll find the spa on your right-hand side.

Displaying 외부사진.jpeg

Big thanks to Eastasy for inviting me to relax my body and revive my skin at Whoo Spa in Sinsa, Seoul, Korea.  This article is in partnership with Eastasy, but all opinions shared with regards to Whoo Spa are my own.  Explore Asia through Eastasy: click here for all kinds of deals on experiences and accomodations in Korea and beyond!

Skinfood Cafe Seoul

SkinFood Cafe Seoul

SkinFood has quickly become a favourite brand of mine lately.  The quality of the products paired with their subtle, fun scents, adorable packaging, and affordable price range has got my collection growing quickly.  Imagine my surprise to have found the SkinFood Cafe Seoul!

THE BRAND

According to SkinFood, it “is the first cosmetic brand to root itself in food.  (Their) food philosophy drives (their) product development to ensure that only the highest quality food ingredients are used to create a more beautiful, healthier lifestyle.”  I’ve used products with avocado, tomato, apple, vanilla, and even salmon of all things!  If you’ve seen my 4 Minute makeup routine you’ll recognize a few of those products.  “Food components (like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants) deliver targeted nourishment and care. The key to maximizing beauty can be found in the food around us.”

THE DECOR

The decor of the cafe is just like their skincare and cosmetics shops.  There’s bright yellow everywhere!  They have tons of books and motivational quotations framed and selectively placed.  There’s a variety of seating options for the individual guest, group of diners, or cute couple.  There was an adorable couple snacking away sitting on the couch near the photo opp area.  This is a super sweet date spot if you’re looking for all things cutesy without making him uncomfortable.

THE BEST FOOD

The SkinFood Cafe Seoul is, of course, part of the SkinFood cosmetics and skin care brand.  Their attitude towards food isn’t just part of the branding, it’s their core belief.

“Nutritive, wholesome food has the power and the ability to keep skin radiantly beautiful.
SKINFOOD is always searching for the best ingredients to utilize in product development.

The SKINFOOD initiative for the best food ingredients is a journey across the world.
Method matters. As a result, SKINFOOD upholds eco-friendly and
sustainable growing methods as a pillar to our philosophy.
We meet with farmers across the country to ensure that the best food is grown under the best methods.
The journey to discover the best food never ends.
Come with SKINFOOD and discover how food can transform beauty.”

According to the SkinFood Cafe Seoul, “You are what you eat.” and “Healthy skin starts with food.”  I ordered what I remember being named something like the Yummy Yummy Platter which was KRW 12,000 (about $12 Canadian, $10 USD).  There were three slices of baguette.  One was topped with half an avocado, some cherry tomatoes, and parmesan cheese.  Another was topped with grainy mustard pulled chicken and topped with parmesan and a little bit of honey.  Another was topped with rich, clotted cream, blueberries, and mint sprigs.  The baguette was a little crusty and stale, but the toppings were full of flavour.  You can’t go wrong with half an avocado in any meal in my opinion!  The two slider buns were topped with iceberg lettuce, ham, and a Kraft single.  This is a poor girl’s afternoon tea, and I loved it!

Even the bathrooms at the SkinFood Cafe Seoul are cute, clean, and full of SkinFood soaps and lotions to sample before heading on your way!

Go check out the SkinFood Cafe Seoul!  The chic Garosugil area of Apgujeong in Seoul is the perfect place to spend a sunny day, so why not pop into this adorable little cafe?