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.

G2Cell: The Holy Grail of Korean Skin Care

G2Cell: The Holy Grail of Korean Skin Care - ThatGirlCartier - Genoheal Review

G2Cell

As most of you know, I like to simplify my routines whenever possible.  As far as beauty goes, I take care of my own blonde, I leave the K-Beauty treatments to the professionals, and my nightly skin care routine has to be easy and effective.  I’m over the novelty of buying a gazillion skin care and beauty products in an attempt to find the next best thing in Korea.  Now, if I find a product I love, I’ll invest in the set in the hopes that I can save time and money.  When I went to Ruby Plastic Surgery for the Eunogo influencer open house, I was gifted a product which had immediate hydrating results on my dry, often sensitive skin. G2Cell’s Intensive Hydrating Capsule Cream was my gateway drug into the entire line.  I think the 12-step Korean skincare regimen is kind of absurd, but these 7-steps have made all the difference.  I’m high as a kite (on compliments, of course) and my skin has never felt better!

G2Cell: The Holy Grail of Korean Skin Care - ThatGirlCartier - Genoheal Review

Sticker Shock

The price per item might shock you, but consider how long each product lasts.  When I was buying my masks, moisturizers, ampoules, and essences at places like Olive Young or Etude House (I know, I know), I’d be lucky if they lasted longer than a month.  I’ve been using G2Cell products daily since the beginning of October, and the bottles are still about 3/4 full.  Investing in products like G2Cell’s means that you won’t be forking over more each month or having to go out of your way to replenish frequently.  The ultimate revival line is designed to simulate the effects of botox (cha-ching) by using technology designed for a lifting effect.  G2Cell is designed for low-irritation and high-function using ingredients like:

  • Biometric Water: This water is designed to activate tired cells.  It uses natural ingredients with minerals, phospholipids, amino acids, proteins, and peptide solutions.
  • SYN-COLL: This ingredient generates collagen in the skin.  It’s designed for skin regeneration.
  • Plant-Cell Extracts: Lotus flower callus culture extract rounds out the anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties.

G2Cell: DTC Examination

These skincare products have been created with research based on genetics.  The idea is that your clinic can test your skin and recommend the ideal line for your skin type.  I can’t speak to that as I haven’t done the test, but going into the fall/ winter months the Intensive Hydrating line seems to be the best bet.  For more information on the examination, contact C&D Blue Company (info@cndblue.com or visit their website here).

 

 

G2Cell: The Holy Grail of Korean Skin Care - ThatGirlCartier - Genoheal Review - Intensive Hydrating Cleansing Gel

G2Cell Intensive Hydrating Cleansing Gel

인텐시브 하이드레이팅 클렌징 젤

49,000원

This is the first product I use after removing my make-up.  It helps to remove any residue from cosmetics or remover, especially around the eyes.  Just a bit of the silky cleansing gel goes a long way.  It lathers well and leaves my skin feeling clean without the dry or tight feeling of other cleansers.  I keep this bottle right on my sink and use it before bed no matter what!

G2Cell: The Holy Grail of Korean Skin Care - ThatGirlCartier - Genoheal Review - Intensive Hydrating Cleansing Gel

 

G2Cell: The Holy Grail of Korean Skin Care - ThatGirlCartier - Genoheal Review - Ultimate Revival First Essence

G2Cell Ultimate Revival First Essence

얼티메이트 리바이벌 퍼스트 에센스

105,000원

The G2Cell Ultimate Revival First Essence reminds me a lot of the clarifying lotion (toner) from Clinique.  After cleansing, I’ll pop this on a cotton pad and gently wipe in a natural direction (remember to avoid the eye area).  It’s amazing just how much dirt, grime, and gunk remains even after double cleansing.  The first essence is what prepares your skin to absorb other hydrating products, so it’s a pretty important step!

G2Cell: The Holy Grail of Korean Skin Care - ThatGirlCartier - Genoheal Review - Ultimate Revival First Essence

G2Cell: The Holy Grail of Korean Skin Care - ThatGirlCartier - Genoheal Review - Intensive Hydrating Ampoule Essence

G2Cell Intensive Hydrating Ampoule Essence

인텐시브 하이드레이팅 앰플 에센스

125,000원

$ 91 (101,310 원)

Once I’ve finished with the first essence, I move onto the G2Cell Intensive Hydrating Ampoule Essence.  A couple of pumps are all you really need to get your entire face and neck.  This is a very quick drying formula to prepare your skin for further moisturizing.

Contains:

  • INOSITOL: Excellent hydrating ingredient
  • NATURAL PROTECTOR: Quickly calming irritated skin with 7 natural mixed substances
  • DEXTRAN: Supplying moisture to skin

G2Cell: The Holy Grail of Korean Skin Care - ThatGirlCartier - Genoheal Review - Intensive Hydrating Ampoule Essence

“This ampoule provides long-lasting hydration and absorbs into the skin quickly. It will also helps the balance of the skin tone, giving the skin a more healthier look.  This ampoule retains the moisture balance of the skin and creates a non-sticky moisture barrier which is very smooth.  Because of the enhancing skin barrier, it helps provide nutrition and increase the skin’s elasticity.  “

G2Cell: The Holy Grail of Korean Skin Care - ThatGirlCartier - Genoheal Review - Intensive Hydrating Emulsion

G2Cell Intensive Hydrating Emulsion

인텐시브 하이드레이팅 에멀젼

79,000원

I have a couple of gripes about the packaging of this line.  I find that the tough plastic makes the G2Cell Intensive Hydrating Emulsion difficult to get out of the bottle.  You really do have to hit it to your hand almost like ketchup.  This step involves a light cream which absorbs quickly.

G2Cell: The Holy Grail of Korean Skin Care - ThatGirlCartier - Genoheal Review - Intensive Hydrating Emulsion

G2Cell: The Holy Grail of Korean Skin Care - ThatGirlCartier - Genoheal Review - Intensive Hydrating Capsule Cream

G2Cell Intensive Hydrating Capsule Cream

인텐시브 하이드레이팅 캡슐크림

80,000원

$58.00 (64,570원) 

G2Cell’s Intensive Hydrating Capsule Cream has got to be my favourite part of the entire line.  This is the first product I tried and is what made me fall in love.  The week I started using the capsule cream I starting getting compliments on my fresh, glowy, soft skin.  The design is to retain “an optimal moisture balance to treat rough and dry skin”.  This is a thick moisturizer which signals the finale of your evening skincare routine.

Contains:

  • INOSITOL: Excellent hydrating ingredient
  • AGAVE TEQUILANA LEAF EXTRACT: Outstanding moisturizing and abundant nutrition
  • FUCUS VESICULOSUS EXTRACT: Supplying moisture to skin and helping moisture barrier creation

G2Cell: The Holy Grail of Korean Skin Care - ThatGirlCartier - Genoheal Review - Intensive Hydrating Capsule Cream

“This blending hydrating cream provides moisture and essential nutrients to the skin. The skin absorbs the cream quickly to prolong the moisture and helps in activating the moisture circulation.”

 

G2Cell: The Holy Grail of Korean Skin Care - ThatGirlCartier - Genoheal Review - Ultimate Revival Eye Cream

G2Cell Ultimate Revival Eye Cream

얼티메이트 리바이벌 아이크림

115,000원

$84.00 (93,520원)

I’m a kindergarten teacher, so by the end of the day my eyes are pretty puffy from staring at a screen, drawing on a boards, and chasing around my rugrats.  I’ve used an eye cream since I turned 20 and find I prefer a less viscous formula like the G2Cell Ultimate Revival Eye Cream.  Again, the packaging is a bit of a miss as it keeps falling down from its shelf in my medicine cabinet.  I also can’t tell how much or how little I’ve used, so I probably won’t know when you re-order until it’s a bit too late.  Regardless, I love the fact that it has a pump as well and I only need a pump or two to completely cover the Balenciagas below my lids.

Contains:

  • ARGIRELINE (ACETYL HEXAPEPTIDE-8): Reducing the appearance of wrinkles and preventing skin aging
  • OLANUM LYC OPERSICUM (TOMATO) FRUIT EXTRACT: Helping to maintain skin firmness by antioxidant
  • GLUTATHIONE: Maximizing Whitening Effect (Cartier note: whitening = brightening – not bleach!

G2Cell: The Holy Grail of Korean Skin Care - ThatGirlCartier - Genoheal Review - Ultimate Revival Eye Cream

“Improving skin texture to leave it soft and smooth with a healthy glow, especially eye contour area.  Restoring cream which highly concentrates on wrinkle improvement.  Additional lifting effects will improve the wrinkle and tighten up the muscles from beneath.  It also prevents skin tissue damaging with antioxidant ingredients within the product.”

 

G2Cell: The Holy Grail of Korean Skin Care - ThatGirlCartier - Genoheal Review - Ultimate Revival Draw Mist

G2Cell Ultimate Revival Draw Mist

얼티메이트 리바이벌 드로 미스트

59,000원

Is the Ultimate Revival Draw Mist absolutely essential to my nightly routine?  Probably not.  I finish up with the final step of spraying the mist in a circular motion.  The directions say I can use this before or after applying my make-up.  It didn’t really make much of a difference for me as a setting spray, but I haven’t had much luck with those either.  If you’re on a budget, I’d probably skip out on the mist.  If you’re looking to dramatic change the overall look and feel of your skin, I’d invest in the entire line.  I have always had rough patches (even in the humid summer months!), but this year has made all the difference.  We’re into the frigid cold of November and I don’t have a dry patch in sight!

G2Cell: The Holy Grail of Korean Skin Care - ThatGirlCartier - Genoheal Review - Ultimate Revival Draw Mist

G2Cell Skin Care products are available at several cosmetic & plastic surgery clinics throughout Seoul, the official G2CELL site, the GENOHEAL website, or the Entas Duty Free Shop.   For special discounts, follow @ThatGirlCartier on instagram and send me a direct message!

If you’d prefer to purchase products in person, are a reader from outside of Korea, or for international distribution contact:
office #: +82 – 70 – 7402 – 9880
office address: 강남구 역삼동 641-20 Y&C 빌딩 4층 / 4th F. 641-20,  Y&C B/d, Yeoksamdong, Gangnamgu, Seoul, Korea
G2Cell “provides a gene based customized product to each person by having gene test, which analyzes the skin type. It’s much more convenient to choose a product before using cosmetic products because you will know which one will fit with your skin.”
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This article was written in unpaid partnership in exchange for an honest review of G2Cell products.  ThatGirlCartier.com only features products or services I genuinely adore and would repurchase again and again.

Saturn Return-ing 30 in Korea

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Saturn Return

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

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

Image result for dr seuss meme

I’ve Learned to Love My Body

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

Image result for dr seuss meme

What the Fuck is this Shit?

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

 

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Tough Memories

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

Image result for dr seuss meme

Ghosting

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

Image result for dr seuss meme

No Fucks Left

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

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

 

 

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On the Subject of Impact

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

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Most People Are Cunts

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

 

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The Internet

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

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Stand Out

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

 

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Those Who Matter Don’t Mind

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

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.

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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.

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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!

My VIP Facial: IPL in Seoul

My IPL Facial experience at VIP Plastic Surgery in Seoul, South Korea. That Girl Cartier

If you follow my Korean adventures on The Toronto Seoulcialite, you may remember that at the end of July 2016 I got botox.  I think we played a little fast and loose with my forehead, but getting my crows feet taken care of was kind of life changing.  After getting botox I went traveling to Thailand.  Rather than the 29 I had just turned (August 6th), people were guessing that I was somewhere between 22 and 24.  As I edge closer to a single, nomadic 30, this was good news!

In 2015, just before coming to Korea, I was tying up some loose ends and used a gift certificate for and IPL facial in Toronto.  The procedure was only about $150, and I thought I was going in for a lovely, relaxing time.  This was not the case at all.  For 15-20 minutes I had a cold gel all over my face and what felt like a tattoo gun piercing my skin at frequent intervals.  It was one of the most painful beauty experiences of my life, and it’s one I would gladly repeat at bi-annual intervals.  The results were amazing.  My gray, Canadian winter skin had colour again.  My broken capillaries were no longer visible.  My IPL experience in Toronto was horrendous.  This blogger’s experience was like my reaction when I had IPL in Toronto.  Traumatic!  I mean, it worked, but it was so painful!

Fast forward nearly two years to Seoul, Korea.  I decided to face my fears and try it out again.  This time, my IPL in Seoul was done by an actual surgeon (the same one who did my botox, actually).  My IPL in Seoul started differently than in Toronto.  In Toronto, they actually shaved every tiny hair off my face (except for my eyebrows, of course).  Then they applied the gel.  Here, the team was confused as to why I would want them removed.  That made me a bit nervous (I was on edge because of my Toronto experience already), but we went ahead.

I don’t know why I was so worried!  The procedure was a breeze and didn’t hurt a bit.  Once the gel was on and I was comfy, we popped some goggles on and my surgeon got to work.  a device was used to deliver a spectral range of light to my skin.  It felt and sounded like the bright light from school pictures.  The whole thing only took 15 to 20 minutes.  My photofacial IPL in Seoul was such a difference to my hot, tattoo gun experience back home!

IPL treatments can be used to help restore the skin’s youthful appearance as it can remove age spots, sun damage, and redness from broken capillaries (something I struggled with after about 25).  This process is called photo rejuvenation.  Since there’s no down-time, it’s great for people on the go.  I was shopping in Sinsa for a friends birthday immediately after.  It’s a non-invasive procedure (it’s a facial, right?) and this round was quick and gentle.

My IPL in Seoul at VIP Plastic Surgery was 200,00 KRW, however the average price is about 567,174 KRW.  Connect with English-speaking VIP consultants at vipps@vipps.kr

Have you ever had an IPL in Seoul?  What were your experiences here like vs. anywhere else you’ve tried the IPL?  Let us know in the comments below!

Winter Wonderland: Beating Dry Skin in Korea

Miracle 10 Skin Care Yorkville Toronto

From the time I was 8 until I was around 10 years old, I had some strange breakouts that plagued me (and my poor Mother while we were in France!).  I got teased quite a bit because of it.  When kids called me the traditional, silly, childhood names reserved for acne I wasn’t really bothered because they were mislabeling the issue.  They weren’t zits, but nobody really knew what was going on with my face.  At one point it all just cleared up, and since then I’ve always been the kind of person who found pride in being able to wash my makeup off with soap and water and still have pretty flawless skin.

Since coming to Korea, I’ve made much more of an effort to use a proper cleanser to take off my make-up before bed.  Since I’ve started teaching, my crows feet and forehead wrinkles have gotten out of hand.  It’s sudden, too.  I woke up in Osaka, Japan last summer and smiled at my reflection in the mirror while putting on make-up.  To my sheer horror, there were crows feet.  Aging: not a subtle bitch!  That’s actually why I decided to get botox once I moved to Seoul.

When I wrote this article, I hadn’t gotten botox, but you had better believe that my medicine cabinet had more than a few moisturizers.  Even with my twice daily moisturizing routine, the air quality in Korea combined with the dry winter cold (they don’t heat places like they do in Canada!  I’m constantly wearing my winter coat indoors) has left my skin really dry.  I know that a lot of my friends have had their fair share of weird and unexpected changes in how their bodies react to things in Korea, but the most common issue (beyond gut rot) has been related to skin.

My face is the biggest concern because that’s the only place where the dry skin actually feels itchy.  I don’t want to constantly be scratching my face – I’m (finally) trying to be good to my skin!  One of my kindergarten students actually pointed out that I had some red patches along the lower half of my face closer to the jaw-line.  My bronzer or blush actually clumps up in these patches.  It’s not pretty, y’all.

Miracle 10 Spa in Yorkville Toronto

I think it’s important to note that while this is in no way a sponsored post, The Plastic Surgery Clinic and Miracle10 skincare were in a Brand Ambassador-style partnership back in 2014 and 2015.  Miracle 10 skincare had been very good to me when I was in Toronto and had my lifestyle blog up and running, and my Twitter feed was more Toronto-centric.  I had been given the entire starter line of skincare products  ($249.00 on their website) tailored to my particular skin type.  The scents are very, very subtle (which I loved) and my skin felt fresh, clean, and healthy.  After running out of the products I unfortunately just did not have the money to purchase the set, but now that I’m getting older I think it would be a really wise investment (especially with this air quality and pollution in Asia).  Since their products are available with international shipping on miracle10.com, as well as on The Shopping Channel and Amazon.com, I can’t imagine I’ll have a problem getting them shipped to Seoul.  Fast forward to cleaning out my Busan closets and going through my  beauty collection, I found I actually still had quite a bit of one product left: Super C.

Miracle 10 Super C

Super C is designed for Normal/Maturing and Delicate/Dry Skin.  It helps to refine the appearance of fine lines, refines the texture and tone of the skin, and aids with skin brightening and fortifying.  When I see skin brightening in Korea it usually means whitening agents (eek – bleach!), but since this product is from Canada I felt fine going right ahead.  The Miracle10 skincare  website also provides the following information:

Your unique skin type may need a little extra boost to help it look its radiant best. Super C is 100% pure Vitamin C. This powerful anti-oxidant helps to repair the look of sun damage, hyper-pigmentation, and the signs of aging.

Super C
100% pure topical vitamin C (l-ascorbic acid) is a highly stable antioxidant powder formulated to dissolve into and instantly supercharge any Miracle10 gel or cream formulation. Powerful antioxidant properties may help to repair and heal damaged skin. Super C assists in collagen production and the repair of sun damage to restore vitality, clarity and refinement to all skin types.

Features

  • Over time, skin becomes accustomed to certain ingredients, so it becomes important to adjust your skin care system.
  • This powerful antioxidant instantly dissolves into and supercharges any Miracle 10 cream or gel.
  • Improves skin texture and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Within 2 days and 3 applications my dry patches are almost entirely gone.  I’m pretty thrilled with the change in how those dry patches reacted, and wanted to pass on this little beauty fix to you!  Have you tried any of the Miracle10 products?  Are there any Korean beauty products that corrected an unexpected problem?  Let me know in the comments!