Friday, 29 August 2014

KOREA TRAVEL DIARY DAY 3&4: National Museum of Korea & Shopping in Myeongdong.

Good evening everyone!

After exploring Changdeokgung Palace and strolling around the streets for the first two days, my boyfriend really felt the jetlag and we slept in the next day until 1PM. This never happens, as my boyfriend always wakes up early and is not really a person to sleep in (contrary to myself, I need at least 10 hours of sleep or I will be very very grumpy.)

So we decided to keep it at a slower pace and visited the National Museum of Korea which of course is located in Seoul. What is really really amazing: Almost every museum in Seoul is free of charge. So you can just go there for free. I wish we had that in Germany too! I love to educate myself and would spend rainy weekends a lot more often in museums if they were free or at least cheaper. Also, the National Museum of Korea has a lot to offer; It's not just a big museum but also has a park nearby, a pavillon and architecture to explore. If the weather is too bad for going around town this would be my main recommendation :)

As it was already too late for breakfast.. had to breakfast in our room as I cannot work before I didn't have my tea. Don't talk to me, like ever, before I didn't sip my tea. It's an unspoken rule that all my friends know of.

Entrance to the National Museum is on the left with the park nearby being upfront.

Pavillon in front of the National Museum where we rested for a little bit.

The view climbing up the stairs near National Museum; you can see Namsan Hill (which we climbed on day 6) and Seoul Tower!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

FIRST KOREAN SKINCARE HAUL

Good evening everyone!

Although in the same line as my Korea Travel Diary posts, I decided to make a separate post about my very first Korean skincare haul. It was extremely hard for me the last weeks in Japan to not buy anything. While Japan has to offer a lot when it comes to skincare it is with no doubt also very expensive. I heard and read that the quality in Korea is better while the products are still cheaper so I tried really hard to not buy anything (Actually, the UV Base I reviewed was the last item I bought somewhen in June/July. So proud!).

But it even got better! As I already told you, my boyfriend and I were staying at Seoul Station where Lotte is located. Dangerous. Very, very dangerous. In Lotte Mart is almost every popular skincare shop accumulated on a single floor. You basically have Missha, Skin Food, Etude House, Tony Moly, The Face Shop, Innisfree and many many more right next to each other. To top it off, they have a lot of great deals at Lotte Mart for example buying sheet masks in bulk or pay 1 get 2 (or even 3 (Missha) ). Usual products seem to cost the same as I attempted to compare but if you're looking for some great deals on certain products, this is a place you def. should try out!

Back to topic: I was in awe. Wherever I go in Korea, there are beauty shops. Everywhere. This is no an exaggeration, they are literally everywhere. I don't quite live in the center of Seoul. (my dorm is on top of a mountain) but still, I do have all the major brands in 10 minutes walking distance around me. It's great. I already miss it although I just arrived.

But the whole thing even got better: My boyfriend did not get me something for my birthday as I was in Japan during my birthday. I was expecting him to bring me a little gift to Korea (as we usually give the gifts next time we see each other) but this time something happened, that has never happened before. Like, in 7 years. NEVER. He actually said: "Your birthday present is a shopping tour in Seoul". !! My boyfriend, who hates to spend money and doesn't understand fashion or beauty stuff at all wants to go shopping. With me! If you knew my boyfriend, you would know that this was quite a huge proof of his love. So I went a little crazy when we went shopping and got some of the skincare items I had my eye set on for a while:




Monday, 25 August 2014

KOREA TRAVEL DIARY DAY 1&2: Changdeokgung Palace & Gwangjang Market.

Welcome back my dear readers!

I finally finally moved into my dorm in Korea and now the dust has settled a bit. I had the craziest two weeks with travelling to Kyoto, Osaka, spending one week in Seoul with my boyfriend and teaching German for 4 days in Yongin. I intended to write this post yesterday but life got in my way and now it's already past 12AM but I have to get at least the first post going. I think I'll split this into 3-4 parts since I don't want to stretch it too much but I also don't want to overwhelm you guys with pictures.

But let's start at the beginning which would be a week with my boyfriend in Seoul. It was so awesome that he flew 9000 kilometers to see me and he was SO happy to see me! You probably could totally tell from our faces. We found each other instantly at Incheon Airport which was great and then spend almost an hour searching for our hotel... apparently it was in front of our noses the whole time but we just did not see it because Seoul is full with buildings.

Our hotel The Manu was almost in front of Seoul station which was really convenient for travelling around main Seoul. I would definitely stay again as the accommodation was really nice, the staff was friendly and we could even watch the latest movies for free in English on the TV (which we needed as my boyfriend was super jetlagged and could not really sleep.) If you ever go to Seoul and want to explore the main centers this might be a good hotel for you as it is very close to the two main subway lines 1 and 4.



So after check-in at 2PM we already had our first experience with Korean food (as spicy as expected) and explored the area around the main station in Seoul. Since there is a Lotte Outlet and a Lotte Mart this is an excellent spot for shopping adventures and the cosmetic floor left me just in awe since it was overflowing with everything. But I should learn soon that that's the standard here in Korea. 

We didn't really set to do anything on the first day; we were just too excited to finally be together in Korea so we hopped on the subway the next day and see where we ended up. Of course, we took a completely different road than expected but it turned out to be great because we stumbled upon Changdeokgung Palace.

Walking along the main road this beautiful building just pops out of nowhere. Since we were not finding our intended destination we decided to pay this beautiful palace a visit.

There was a lot to see inside and we were surprised how little people there were! Maybe 30 visitors but since it was a huge place we walked there almost by ourselved which was really lovely. I highly recommend to visit this place if you come to Seoul :)

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Japanese Skincare Review: Shigaisen Yohou UV Base Make Keep 50+ PA++++

Hello my dear ones,

How are you all doing? Remember as you're reading this post I'll be moving around Kyoto or heading over to Seoul so answers to any comments will be a lot later than usual! Should be back around the 23rd August :)

Today I want to share with you an amazing product that I found & tested and you all deserve to know about it especially now that we are in the midst of summer! I was having a talk with my beloved Filomena from Filosophie! and she asked me about sunscreen lotions and powders since Japan has a huge market when it comes to harming UV rays. I was not really interested in sunscreen before but somehow our conversations sparked an interest in me and while I was looking for products for her I was picking up some for myself. And boy, am I excited for this review!

What I am going to talk about it today is the UV Base Make Keep with SPF 50+ amd PA++++ (that's a lot of + you can get out there!) Of course, the packaging kind of cought my eye and especially the magic number of "50+". As you all may know I am extremely pale with having the palest shade in almost every foundation (MAC NC15) so my skin is very very sensitive when it comes to getting harmed by the sun and I burn extremely easy if I don't engage in counter measures.

I already talked it in my latest blog post about cultural differences and beauty ideals; In Europe and especially in Germany the general beauty ideal is to have tanned skin because it is associated with health. I have always been the "black sheep" and always liked my pale skin tone, I never really cared about getting a tan (Also, my skin does not tan. It just refuses to, so I won't force it.) I personally know a lot about how harmful the sun can be to our skin exposed on a daily basis and I think one of the main causes for Europeans looking a lot older than Asians from certain years on is tanning and taking no precautions when it comes to that. 

Seriously, taking care of your skin and making sure that it is not damaged should be common knowledge but only a few people in Germany take that seriously, at least from the people I have met. (I don't know how often I tried to convince my cousin that her heavy tanning is not healthy when on vacation... yes Jacky, I am talking about you and you know it! :P )


So cute yet kind of elegant packaging and no matter what everyone tells you: Packaging. Is. Important.

So this is a highly sun-protective make-up base that, as the name indicates, is used before applying make-up. I had my doubts about this but my curiosity won above all doubts. As you all know I have blemished & acne-prone skin and usually sunscreen is so rich that it breaks me out even more. (BTW, I highly recommend to only use sunscreen that is suitable for face use, especially if you plan to put make-up on top of that.) It turned so incredibly hot these last days and the sun is burning down that I am very happy I got this in advance!

Ingredients: Please see this post from Ratzillacosme for the product's ingredients, I unfortunately threw away the package as I was moving between countries, my apologies. This sunscreen also ranks in the Top 6 of Japanese sunscreens from her 2013 ranking.

Upon application this looks tinted but actually the beige color is dissolving pretty soon leaving nothing but your skin. It does not make your face any whiter or leave a white cast; it dries very fast (less than 30 seconds) and leaves the skin with a very nice finish that looks natural and not even the tiniest greasy (which was my main concern.) Application example:


Sorry for the bad lighting, I hate the light in my dorm room :( Hope the next one is better! 

As you can see, the cream appears to have a white/beige/pinkish color but it completely dissolves, leaving just a white cast for some 10-20 seconds until it is completely dried up. After application my face feels very even and smooth and doesn't look the tiniest bit greasy which of course is great for a make-up base :)

The texture of the base is not light and not thick; somewhere in between. It is a bit more thick than a regular moisturizer which is due to the heavy sunscreen I think. However, this doesn't feel heavy on my skin at all, I love the feeling it gives me. It also has a very unique, sweet smell which is not too overwhelming. As a plus, I used this base for 1-2 weeks now whenever I went out and didn't experience any breakouts so this might be safe for acne! (Of course, this can -as always- differ individually)

Would I repurchase again? Definite YES. I love this make-up base and highly recommend this product, so far only good experiences. Love that is has high SPF and PA which is not true with every product. I feel a lot safer with this going outside and feel very well protected. It also works like a charm as a make-up base and dries quickly. Love everything about it.

Do you always protect your skin from the sun? How about your country? If you know any other good products I always gladly take recommendations :)

Have a nice day & take care!

Sam
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