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beautiFriday: Olive Young Shingmulnara Honey Mask

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BeautiFriday: Olive Young Shingmulnara Honey Mask

Written by Ji | 16 December 2016



The holidays are always filled with never ending errands causing quite a bit of people to roll their eyes every time they hear holiday music.  For me, it’s that time of year where my Christmas cards go out a little too late, my Christmas tree still needs ornaments and I am only half way done with my Christmas shopping.  But I love this time of year.  No matter what I have on my plate, I do it with a smile.  After all, it only comes once a year!  I mean, technically I still have a little over a week to accomplish all my goals and attend at least four parties.  No rush, right?  Well today, I needed a little R&R, and took a much needed 2-hour break at Disneyland.  I went to my cabinet to check out my arsenal of face mask and choose one at random and went into the kitchen and picked out a snack for “Snack Sunday”.

On today’s BeautiFriday adventure, I decided to try a mask I got from the Olive Young booth at KCON.  I know what you’re thinking, “A face mask at Disneyland?  Have you gone crazy?”  Not really, this isn’t the first or will my last time doing this.  I know of a nice secluded area with seating, that I always go to when I want to work outdoors or just have some quiet time.  Today, Disneyland had very light traffic, so I was able to kill two birds with one stone and get both my articles done.

As I sat down at my super-secret location, I put down my mint julep, my snack, face mask and enjoyed the scenery.   I wasted no time and tore into my Shingmulara Honey Mask packet, removed the plastic film, and placed the transparent face mask onto my face.  I am no stranger to Olive Young Shingmulara mask.  I use that brand frequently because I love the light aroma coming from the mask.  The light scent is perfect when you are closing your eyes and enjoying the tranquility around you.  It’s like you lit a beautifully scented candle.  I never had the opportunity to try the Honey mask before today, so this was a treat.

After 20 minutes, I took off the face mask and patted the excess product into my face, neck, arms, legs and I still had product left over on the mask.  I don’t like wasting product, if I were at home, I would of rubbed all excess product everywhere until the face mask was dry. I love using face mask, I love the after face mask glow.  And this mask was no exception.  It left a nice youthful dewy look.  But I did have one issue.  The stickiness.  After removing the mask, my skin did feel sticky, but I was quick to apply all the left over product all over my body before it dried up.  For the next ten minutes, I sat there fanning myself in hopes that the stickiness would dissipate.  Thank goodness, the stickiness did not last.  Around 12-minute mark, I noticed a change.  My skin was no longer sticky, but instead it felt nourished and moisturized.  I was relived.  I feared I was going to walk around the rest of the day sticky.


Would I buy this again?

Yes!  I normally get aloe one, but I will be adding honey to the mix.  While, I probably won’t be bringing this mask to Disneyland with me next time, I loved the afterglow the mask left behind. I’m happy the stickiness disappeared, but I’m even happier that the glow stayed most of the day.


beautiFRIDAY: Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask

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BeautiFriday: Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask

Written by Ji | 2 December 2016


Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask was introduced to the market in 2015 and was instantly successful.  Why?  Because this product works instantly.  Any time you use a new skincare item, it normally takes weeks before you see any improvement.  This amazing and impactful product shows improvement overnight.

The product came in a frosted pink plastic container with a spatula.  I used the spatula to scoop out a tiny bit of the product and transferred it to my index finger.  I applied a very thin layer of the berry scented lip mask to my lips before bedtime and woke up with soft, plump luxurious looking lips.  What I loved about the product was how easy the product smoothly glided on my lips without being sticky, waxy or heavy on my lips.

After adding this item to my skincare regime, I noticed that my lipstick, lip gloss or lip balm has been lasting longer than usual.  Which is a huge bonus on days were it’s hard to do a simple touch up.


Would I buy this product again?

Yes!  I would recommend this product.  This is one step of your daily skin regime you should never miss.  Dry, chapped lips are never sexy.  If this was a KDrama, chapped lips would imply you were either very sick or close to dying.  So during this winter season, keep your lips soft, plump and kissable.




beautiFRIDAY: MISSHA Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule

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beautiFRIDAY: MISSHA Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule

Written by Ji | 4 November 2016




MISSHA Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule is a popular ampoule used and reviewed by an army of beauty bloggers.  So why in the world would I choose this product to review, when it has been reviewed so many times?  Easy, because skin is sensitive, no matter what product you use, there is no easy answer for skincare.  What works for one person, may not work for another but for someone with my type of skin (oily and sensitive) might learn a trick or two. What can I say about MISSHA Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule that hasn’t been said before?  I love the way it hydrates, brightens and repairs my skin but when I used the product too much, my skin breaks out.  But I wasn’t about to give up, there had to be a way.


The packaging was nicely designed. The esthetically pleasing glass container came with a convenient dropper.  Honestly, if all liquid products came with a dropper, it would be easier to use the proper amount instead of wasting product.  But that could just be my personal problem of clumsiness.  The product has a very light scent.  The scent is familiar but I could not, for the life of me, figure it out.  But it wasn’t strong or unpleasant.  The ampoule is thicker than most serums and if you don’t use too much, it not as sticky.


When using this product, I follow the saying, “Less is more”.  A few drops of the product are more than enough to cover your whole face.  The more you use, the heavier and stickier the product will be.  Your goal is to have the ampoule absorbs right into your skin not clog your pores.  When I first started using this product, I did have some complications.  I used a whole dropper full of ampoule, it was enough to cover my face, neck, arms and hands.  I don’t like wasting product, so if there are any leftover product, I use it everywhere.   Because of my unorthodox method, I was punished.  My face broke out after a few days.  After a month of trial and error, I figured out what works for me.  By using this product at night, every other day or sometimes every two days, I still noticed a difference.  My skin elasticity and texture improved.  I was getting compliments from strangers about my “natural glow”.  Stubbornness is my downfall, but thankfully in the end, it worked out in my favor.



Would I buy this product again?

For me, this product was like liquid gold, which had a curse placed upon it by the Gods.  A product too good to be used every day because of the benefits it contains.  I would buy this product again, but I will use it with caution.  Only at night and every other day.








Skincare 101

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Skincare is a huge deal in South Korea. The need for healthy, radiant skin has made Korean Skincare lines some of the highest grossing and constantly advancing industries in Korea. And the rest of the world is getting in on the action. We’ve see the cleverly placed products in our favorite dramas, music videos, variety shows, and movies. In fact, if you’ve seen any K-Drama where a character sits in front of a mirror, odds are their vanity is piled high with skincare products or the leading lady conveniently pulls out some makeup and the camera just so happens to capture the brand of the item.
But what goes into a Korean Skincare Routine? Well, that’s entirely up to you. Each routine should be personalized to fit you and your lifestyle. Everything from your allergies to the amount of time you have in the day dedicated to skincare will influence how long your routine is. So for me to be here and tell you what your routine is going to look like would be silly. This isn’t cut and paste. It’s a very hands on find-out-what-works-and-what-doesn’t-work process. And it might take you a while to find the perfect combination of products but I can assure you that when you find the routine that works for you and your skin, you will see brighter, clearer days!

So, let’s get down to the core of all of this. While your routine will be unique, it should follow a basic format. And even then, this format also varies. A lot. Your routine can be as quick and simple as 4 steps. Or something a little bit heftier like the oh so popular 11 step routine. Remember your routine is exactly that…YOURS. Play around with the order of it all, add or skip steps you may not need, just make sure it works for your skin.

  1. Oil Cleanser/Cleansing Balm

Oil-Based Cleansers are amazing when removing makeup. Using an oil cleanser to help remove the gunk off your face is an excellent first step in starting your routine. While it may seem counterproductive to add oil to your face during cleansing, rest assured, these are “good oils” that’ll do wonders for your face.


Cleansing Balms are similar to cleansing oils in the sense that they’re both multipurpose cleansers, that not only clean makeup, but also clean dirt and grime off your skin. The big difference between the two is the application method; balms are thicker than oils so some people warm the balm in their hands before applying to the face. It can be applied straight from the container if you’d prefer it that way.SK101-3


  1. Foaming Cleanser/Gel Cleanser

Foaming Cleansers are fun. At least I think so. This works as the secondary cleanser that fully cleans the skin after the initial cleaning with your oil or balm cleanser. There are also the gel cleansers that work similarly to foams.


  1. Exfoliation

This step isn’t for everyone. Your skin may be too sensitive to exfoliate so if you have sensitive skin keep that in mind. There are a lot of different exfoliating products, the most popular being sugar scrubs and are often mixed with other ingredients such as honey, coffee, and strawberries. Exfoliating the skin helps remove dead skin cells lingering on the skin and can help rid you of blackheads and even tighten noticeably large pores. But don’t forget, over exfoliating is just as bad, maybe even worse, than not exfoliating.


  1. Toner

Toners are popular in Western skincare routines, just like in a Korean routine. The difference being that in a Western routine, toners are used as the secondary cleanser. This is done by putting toner on a cotton pad and wiping your face with it until you see noticeable gunk on the once clean cotton pad. I will admit, this is what I used to do before adopting my new routine. Korean toners are used to “reset” your skin to prepare it for the other products you will be applying. Toners may also be labeled as “skins”. And a good alternative to toners are boosters that do just that, boost the skin. On top of all that, there’s a third option you can use. “Booskins”…which are essentially boosters and skins already put together for you. I personally alternate between a toner and a booskin.


  1. Eye Cream

This is another optional step. Not everyone uses an eye cream, which is fine. Those that do have told me that they like to apply the eye cream before essences and serums to fully penetrate the skin. But it can be used in whatever step. More power to you!


  1. Essence/Serum/Ampoule

Essences and serums are very similar. The only notable difference I’ve been able to gather is that the essence tends to be much more lightweight than serums. Serums and ampoules have a thicker consistency than most essences and have key active ingredients that target specific skin concerns. Because these three are similar in what they do, I know a few people that only use 1 or 2 of them, but there’s no harm in using all three, especially since different essences, serums, and ampoules have different areas of concentration.



  1. Sheet Mask

Sheet masks are my favorite part of this whole process. They were what piqued my interest in Korean skincare. Sheet masks are thin sheets soaked in an essence (yup, more essence) that target different skin problems. There are different kinds of sheet mask, some made out of cotton, others out of gel, but most tend to be fairly inexpensive and very easy to find. I’ve been able to find some pretty good masks at TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Burlington, Ulta, and Sephora.  Masks are perfect for a relaxing night in, and when chilled in the refrigerator, make for a cool summer treat.


  1. Moisturizer

Pretty straight forward. If you have dry skin you may need to use an emulsion (basically a lotion) and then a cream on top of that. Those with oily skin can get away with just using an emulsion.


  1. Sleep Mask

Optional. This is to be applied at night (or if your sleep schedule is all upside down, during the day works…just as long as it’s used before sleep). Using a sleep mask helps lock in the products used earlier.


  1. Sunscreen

Optional. Another pretty straight forward step. Sunscreen is a huge deal in South Korea because Korean women want to protect their skin from UV damage. Korean sunscreens are especially nice because they don’t leave you feeling greasy. This should be used in the morning.

SK101-12Well, that’s about it. Don’t let this whole mess scare you off. My skin has never felt better than after I developed my own routine. And I can’t stress it enough that your routine needs to be personalized to fit your skin. And if you need any help don’t e afraid to ask! Or join a Korean beauty group on FB, that’s ultimately how I figured out my routine and made tons of new friends that were able to walk down the K-Beauty road with me.