Hello, hello. Life is good right now. I have a Business of Fashion podcast playing and I have a Dr. Jart Firming Rubber Mask on, ready to share all the goodies I found in Seoul.
Before going to Seoul I went through articles on Allure and Refinery29, to see what all I wanted to buy in Seoul. I also made a promise to myself to avoid buying clothes and bags, because honestly I am running out of closet space.
Just as a head’s up I do want to warn you that there will be a lot of products mentioned, so I hope you can follow along. With all these new products below, I will do a clear skincare routine once I finally come with a consistent routine.
On my first night in Seoul, I headed to Myeongdong and oh my god. Myeongdong was an explosion of k-beauty. There was skincare everywhere and in my head I kept doing the conversion in my head and everything was so affordable. It was mind boggling. And the amount of samples and deals that there were I was in skincare heaven. Be it Etude House, Dr. Jart or innisfree, all of them had deals such as buy 5 and get 5 more. I went a few places for the benefit of you and my ability to remember everything, I am going to divide this into two; items I found in Myeongdong and then Gangnam.
If I ever get a chance to drop by Seoul again, I really want to spend an entire day just going through the streets of Myeongdong and also be smart and carry a bigger suitcase.
First on my way back from dinner I stepped into Etude House. In Tokyo, I had mostly seen Etude House as just a cosmetics brand so it did come as a surprise when I saw sheet masks. There I picked up 20 Vitamin C sheet masks. Each sheet mask turned out be less than half a dollar!! I personally swear by Vitamin C masks and in my daily night routine, I will either use a Vitamin C sheet mask or The Ordinary’s Vitamin C Cream mixed with an innisfree Jeju Orchid Essence. ( I don’t use the Vitamin C Cream directly because it is very strong.)
So the second place that I stopped by was innisfree on my first day. I had picked up a few things but unfortunately due to some technical difficulty there was a power outage and I had to go back the next day.
But while I was waiting I stepped into Missha. I knew a little about Missha, but I wasn’t very familiar with the brand, like many stores that carry K-beauty, a lot of the lipsticks were the tints and blotted effect ones. On Instagram and in Tokyo, I have seen a quite a number of people rock the blotted lip look, but I am a Matte girl. So at Missha I picked up the Glow Skin Balm. I haven’t started using it yet, but I am sure I will be adding into by everyday rotation as the weather gets cooler and my skin starts to lack brightness.
I then stopped by a multi-brand store, and picked up the Laneige Sleeping Lip Mask in Grapefruit. When I had read about the product, I thought I should pick up the original one, since I am not the biggest fan of sweet scented products, but the original had a berry scent which was pretty strong for me. I was sure that I would not be able to stand the berry scent on a daily basis, so I picked up the grapefruit scent one. The scent is very fresh compared to the others so it didn’t give me an instant headache.
And that was a wrap on my first Myeongdong expedition.
The next night was when I explored a few more places.
I had taken a cab from my hotel and stopped in front of Lotte Young Plaza, so naturally I went in to the Plaza. That’s where I spotted La Cosmetique (LACO). This place had so many brands that I have wanted to try that I felt like I was hopped up on sugar. First of all the staff there was just the nicest people I have met at a skincare retail store. I got so many samples, that I did not realize till I reached my hotel room and started packing things away. And mind you, they were not small sizes. Most of the Caudalie samples were 30 ml and a lip mask was actually the full size!!!
Going back to the potential skincare holy grails I got there. I first picked up the Caudalie Beauty Elixir. I was hoping to pick up the travel size, but as that was out of stock, I ended up going for the full size. I have had this on my skincare wishlist for the longest time. I have tried shipping it from Sephora, but couldn’t do that to Japan. The reason I wanted to try this is that on Twitter or Instagram, I had seen that this was part of Shawn Mendes’ skincare routine, and have you seen that man’s (he’s 21 now so boy is weird) skin. His skin is just flawless, much like his music. (If you are rolling your eyes just about now, hey! It’s been a while since I have mentioned him.) I haven’t tried the face mist yet, I am currently using another one that I will mention ahead.
I also picked up Kora’s Citrus Mist. Okay, disclaimer, I haven’t been much of a face mist person, but I feel like that is slowly changing as I am discovering what I truly like on my skin and how I like my skin to feel. I picked this from Kora, because as it is Miranda Kerr’s brand I felt like I could trust the brand as she uses a lot of natural ingredients.
The last thing I picked up were a box of Dr. Jart’s Soothing Hydra Solution Mask. The lady then said that they were 5+5 so I got an extra box for free! I am a sucker for hydrating masks because no matter the season my skin is always dry, especially my cheeks. And as the weather gets colder, it reaches the point that my cheeks hurt.
So the things I picked up at La Cosmetique were mostly things I have had on my skincare wishlist for a long time but I was unable to get them here in Tokyo, because of shipping restrictions or simply the lack of their existence here.
Once I was able to check off a few things off from this wishlist, I headed back to innisfree to pick up things I had to leave on hold the night before.
Even while in Tokyo, innisfree has gradually become one of my top 3 brands that are constantly in my skincare rotation. So I was pretty familiar with the range of products, and the main purpose of stopping by one of the store in Seoul was to perhaps get sheet masks that I use on a bi-weekly basis at a cheaper price. So let’s start with the sheet mask that I actually bought.
The My Real Squeeze Rice Sheet Masks at innisfree have become a favorite of mine. I have tried the Ginseng (Moisturizing, but tinging sensation) Oatmeal (Moisturizing, but strong oatmeal-y scent) and Acai (it’s close to the Rice one, but always is limited in stock). The Rice sheet masks are moisturizing plus they have been helping immensely with the my cheeks dry patches. The extra liquid product that is left in the packaging turns into a soothing moisturizer for my hands too.
As a gift because I had to come back after the power outage, they kindly gave me a few of the Green Tea version of the Real Squeeze Sheet Masks. I have just once tried the water type sheet masks, I think it was the Tea Tree one. I’m really hoping that the green tea sheet mask is similar to the Green Tea Sleeping Mask because that makes my skin so soft and healthy looking.
The water type ones in my experience really turn messy, especially if you are anything like me and use sheet masks while sitting on your bed.
The next thing I picked up was the Bija Cica Balm. I previously had a squeeze tube sample of this from the Tokyo store, and I am still using the sample size; but the Bija Cica Balm has started to lighten the acne scars that have carried over from my teen acne stuggles. That’s almost 7-8 years ago! If you have oily skin, there is a gel version of this balm too.
The last thing from the innisfree and also the last from Myeongdong is the Tangerine Extract Whitening Pore Eye Cream. I had tried the facial cleanser from the same line, had seen results in how it was helping the dark pigmentation on my skin, so I thought I should try a targeted approach just for the dark circles that I can not get rid of just like Bart Bass would not go away till the final season.
(Okay, I’m going to be honest. I am writing this in parts. Currently at a Starbucks in Omotesando on a Sunday… lol, it does not get more basic than this.)
Like most people would have the Palace on their must go list for Seoul, I had the Dr. Jart flagship store on my must go list. And Dr. Jart had great deals too!!
The first thing that was on my wishlist were the rubber masks. I picked up the Firming, Brightening, Moist Lover ones. I have used one of the Moist Lover and the Firming ones. The Hydra Lover one made my skin look bouncy and energized even though I had only slept for three hours.
The Firming one gave my skin a natural contour literally. Check out the effect, I posted on my Instagram Stories.
They had a four for four deal. So I picked up a double of 2 Firming, 1 Brightening, 1 Hydra Lover.
I had a hard time figuring out what I really wanted to try from Dr. Jart because a.) my suitcase was getting pretty full and b.) there was a lot for other skin concerns, such as teen acne and ageing.
Nevertheless, I picked up the Every Sun Day Sunstick, I know I should be wearing sunscreen on a daily basis, but I personally have a hate hate relationship with normal sunscreen creams. They have never really sat well on my skin, and every time I wear them, my skin breaks out. So fingers crossed for this sunstick.
The last think I picked were the Teatreement Invisible Patch. This is for emergency purposes when my skin may be going against my schedule and decides that it’s a perfect time for a very visible zit.
I also visited the different spaces in the Dr. Jart’s store in Gangnam.
I then popped into the Laneige store. I say popped in because I was literally out of the store in under five minutes. I just wanted to to pick up the Water Sleeping Mask. I have started using it two times a week. And it helps my skin stay hydrated even with the air conditioning running most of the night.
(Last two places, I promise. Also, I am amazed and can I say proud that you have stuck around still. FYI you’ve crossed 1900 words.)
On my way to the street where I took this Instagram picture, there was an Its Skin store. From the window I could see that there were many face mists, and with my new found intrigue about face mists, I picked up a Nutrition Mist and Vitamin C Mist.
Vitamin C makes sense, but Nutrition was a new concept for me. I have now been using this for the last three months and I am already half way through the bottle. Every time I need to just give my face I spritz the mist over my face, even with make up on (I have stopped wearing foundation on a daily basis).
The last place I went was the Chicor Store in Shinsegae. There I just picked up Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer, Urban Decay’s Setting Spray, and the NARS Lipglow Mini Duo. These have been in my Sephora Loves list, but I can’t get these shipped to Japan.
As I am writing this, it does seem like a lot of stuff, but everywhere I got great deals, and I am pretty much set for the fall winter season. Besides, I am not going to be able to go to Seoul any time soon.
Stay tuned at the end of September I will do another skincare blogpost!