30 Oct 2013

Facebook Giveaway Preview!

Here's a little preview of the lovely products that'll be up for grabs as soon as my Facebook page reaches 50 likes. Only 8 to go 'till I run the competition, so please keep on liking and sharing :)

Double Review: Etude House Collagen Moistfull + Aloe Moistfull

The Moistfull collection is one of Etude House's most popular skin care lines and comes in three ranges: Collagen Moistfull, Aloe Moistfull and White Moistfull. A few weeks ago I received a free trial kit and some extra samples of the Collagen Moistfull range when I purchased my Aloha V-line Slim Maker and some makeup brushes that I'll be reviewing soon. After using it for a few weeks, I decided to get my two favourite products in the Aloe Moistfull range, too. Here's what I thought:

The Collagen trial kit and samples I received are as follows:

- Facial Freshener     
- Emulsion           
- First essence    
- Cream               
- Enriched cream 
- Sleeping pack  
- Firming eye cream  
I could review each one of these samples individually, but I feel this would be a waste of your time, because you're going to want to buy only two or three of the above products. Allow me to explain why. You see, I have come to the conclusion that the facial freshener, emulsion, first essence, cream, enriched cream, sleeping pack and eye cream are pretty much the same thing with only a minor difference in concentration or with an added ingredient that simply does not change the fact that they all perform exactly the same. This is not a bad thing though, I have been very pleased with the results on my skin, but (in my opinion) you only need the first essence, the cream/enriched cream and the sleeping pack ( if you have very dry skin.)

The range is intended to be used in this order:
peeling wash -->first essence -->facial freshener -->essence -->eye cream --.emulsion -->cream -->mist
As you can see this is a bit much (even for an enthusiast like myself) and I can't help but wonder if it's a bit of a money-making scheme. Either way, the three products I mentioned above are all you're going to need to achieve results.

The Collagen range promises firmer skin, better moisture retention and deeply hydrated skin. Its key ingredients are baobab extracts and marine collagen and contains no parabens, talc or ethanol. The first essence has a watery, but slightly gel-like texture and is a little sticky after applying, but the stickiness disappears as soon as it absorbs into the skin. The cream also has a gel-like texture, but it's not runny like the essence and gives a velvety feel to skin (it reminds me of Clinique's Total Turnaround visible skin renewer). The Enriched cream is less velvety, and the texture is more like a regular face lotion.

After the first application my skin immediately felt moisturised and incredibly silky smooth! I was very impressed. I applied the first essence with a cotton pad (but you can use your hands to press it over your face too) and followed with the cream (I jumped between the normal cream and the enriched cream, but couldn't really tell a difference, except that the normal cream feels more silky than the enriched cream.) On days that my skin feels extra dry, I use the sleeping pack, which is basically an overnight intensive moisturiser that you wash off the next morning. It doesn't leave any residue, so I can't imagine it would be a problem if you don't wash it off.

I am very happy with these products and they've actually impressed me enough to move my trusted Cetaphil to the side and go for designated face care again. My skin didn't break out at all and felt very soft and moisturised for hours upon hours, but I wasn't surprised to see it made no difference in firming the skin as collagen is pretty much useless on top of skin, because its molecules are way too big to be absorbed, so don't be fooled ladies! The only real downside to this range is the fact that it makes my skin a little bit oily in my t-zone, so I can't use it under my makeup, but it works amazingly as a night regime. I imagine as the weather turns colder here in Korea, my skin will become drier than usual, so then I might be able to use it as my day regime too.

For now though, I'm better off with the Aloe Moistfull first essence and cream as this is marketed at those with an oily to combination complexion. These two products conveniently come in a set for W13 000 (The Collagen set is a bit more expensive at W15 000 for the regular cream set and W18 000 for the enriched cream set.) This range is noticeably more lightweight and leaves skin looking matte and feeling fresh- perfect for daytime use. It also contains baobab extracts as well as soothing aloe, which is great for anyone with oily skin that's prone to breakouts and redness. I also noticed that the aloe first essence is a bit sticky at first, but this also disappears after drying. The gel-like cream almost feels like water (it's that light) and absorbs quickly into my skin, giving enough moisture without exacerbating the oiliness.
The Collagen range is ideal for normal to dry skin while the Aloe range is great for oily to combination skin.

Using these two ranges concurrently has made my skin feel wonderful. I've been having a lot of ups and downs since quitting the pill, so I'm happy to finally have a balance when it comes to my skin care regime as my skin can go from really dry to really oily in a matter of days. I'm more than pleased with the quality of these products and the lovely scent of the Collagen range is a great little bonus for me. If you're looking for good skin care, without the insane price tag that so often accompanies it, look no further.


26 Oct 2013

Almost there!

Can't believe how quickly the number of Facebook page likes has grown in the past week! Thank you so much!! Only 9 to go and I'll put up the details of the Giveaway competition. Have a great weekend!

25 Oct 2013

20 Grooming Tips I Swear By: Part 2

11. Give yourself regular manicures and pedicures
Or treat yourself to them at the nail salon! Either way, take care of your hands and feet as they take a lot of punishment. Buy a manicure and pedicure set and take some me-time on a Sunday afternoon to pamper yourself. If you love high heels as much as I do, you know how harsh they can be on your feet, so also use a pumice stone daily to keep them soft and smooth. Having well-groomed hands and feet reflect well on a person, so don't skimp on it. Which brings me to the next point.

12. Wear nail polish
I've been wearing nail polish for so long that I almost feel naked without it. I sometimes leave my hands bare just to give them a breather, but my toes are so ugly to me that I simply cannot go without nail polish! I find that my feet look so much better with a splash of wine red or bright pink polish on them. Nail polish on my toes last much longer before I need to redo them, but my fingers only last a week and so I make the best of it and pick a new colour for some variation each time I redo them.

13. Get a haircut at least every second month
If you want hair to look it's best, you have to trim the ends frequently. No magic here, it's plain and simple: dry, split ends just don't look good, so take some time and visit the hair salon. And while you're there...

14. Why not try a new hairstyle or colour?
Freshen up your look by cutting some layers or a fringe. Trying a new colour that's a few shades lighter or darker than your natural tone or even some highlights can drastically improve your appearance too. If you're on a tight budget, however, you might want to skip this tip as changing your hair colour requires ongoing maintenance that can run you a hefty amount each month. Otherwise opt for a semi-permanent colour that will wash out after a few shampoos.

15. Do a deep hair cleanse once a month
Noticed your hair sometimes feels lifeless, dull, dry and virtually impossible to style? Hair gets build-up from using silicone-laden shampoos and conditioners, hair product, styling, hard or soft water and pollution. Make sure to do a deep cleanse to get back your beautiful, bouncy hair again. Here's a natural hair build-up remover recipe I posted a while ago. I still do this weekly, because of the water here, but once a month is fine if your hair isn't exposed to a lot of chemicals.

16. Do a deep hair conditioning treatment once a week.
If you dye, perm, wash or style your hair often, your hair is likely to suffer a lot of damage, so it's really important to do a deep conditioning treatment once a week. There are many different products available: hot oil, hair masks, deep conditioners etc. But in my experience the salon stuff is the best. I put my poor hair through A LOT last year (chemical straightened, dyed monthly, then stripped it at the salon to lighten the black, then dyed it auburn red- yup!) and I was left with very dry hair that tangled very quickly. Needless to say, I'm in the process of growing out my natural colour because my hair deserves a break from 13 years of non-stop dyeing. I've been using the L'Oreal Mythic Oil Masque and can vouch for the fact that this is the number one product that saved my hair from looking like straw. It deeply nourishes my hair and I'm actually able to comb through it while it's wet.

17. Blush and mascara can save any ugly day!
These two are my stuck-on-an-island-what-would-you-take products as they never fail. If there are only two makeup items you are willing to wear, let it be blush and mascara. Both will make you look fresh and youthful in an instant, so if you're a natural kind of girl wanting to try out this makeup thing, go get yourself a pretty light peach colour blush and dark brown mascara and let me know what you think! :)

18. Take some time to practise doing your makeup
The only way you're going to be able to create a perfect face is by practising. I still take some time every now and again to try out a new look and because of this, my makeup style has evolved through the years. In my early twenties I wore much more makeup than I do now. I loved charcoal eyes, smokey eyeliner and bare lips, but in recent years I prefer natural browns, nudes and other neutral tones in my eye shadow palette with some mascara and a tiny bit of brown  liner in the outer corners of my eyes and a slight splash of colour on my lips. It's never to late to start experimenting with makeup and once you become proficient, you'll be good to go in 15 minutes or less!

19. Don't ever tell yourself you're not important enough to make an effort
If you're not happy with the way you look or are one of those ladies who want to look good, but aren't quite sure where to start or constantly making excuses why you can't do it, then this tip is for you. You deserve to look and feel beautiful. If it's what you want, it's your right and privilege to have some me-time to groom each day. So make a change: wake up a little earlier, spend less time in front of the television, get your partner to help out a bit more- do whatever it takes to secure those few extra minutes to take care of yourself. Once you do, you'll notice how you start to feel better about yourself. Everybody deserves to feel this way.

20. Smile often (not just when you apply your blush *wink wink*)
The quickest way to look pretty is by smiling, so smile often and make the world more beautiful!


23 Oct 2013

20 Grooming Tips I Swear By: Part 1

1. Start a 3-step skin care regime
Wash, tone and moisturise. There are many different brands in various price ranges to choose from and you can even make your own if you prefer a natural approach. Either way, invest in your skin- you deserve it.

2. Exfoliate once a week
Not just your face, I'm talking your whole body! Dead skin cells accumulate on your skin and makes it look dull, so scrub weekly to reveal new, glowing skin. Be careful not to overdo it, though, as this will have the opposite effect.

3. Moisturise often
Because skin types differ, so will the need to moisturise. Oily skin types can get away with weekly moisturising while dry skin needs daily moisture replacement. I moisturise daily due to the fact that Korea has an extreme climate compared to South Africa and the hard water here leaves my skin parched too. The best time to apply your body lotion is right after taking a bath or shower. It also absorbs and locks the moisture in much better if you pat skin dry instead of rubbing.

4. Use a face mask once or twice a week
Face masks are one of those items that make me feel extra pampered. Investing in a good mask will have long-term benefits for your skin, but even the more affordable ones provide nice temporary effects and add to the pampering experience.

5. Coconut oil is your friend
I did a post on my favourite beauty uses for coconut oil not too long ago and maintain that it's one of nature's little 'miracle products'. With so many uses from moisturising to removing makeup as well as soothing skin conditions like eczema, I am never without my coconut oil and neither should you be!

6. Pluck and fill those brows!
I cannot stress this enough. Until you've groomed your brows you have no idea what you're missing out on. This is an instant, guaranteed way of looking more attractive and, really, who needs bushy brows that do nothing for the eyes except draw attention away from them? If you've never groomed your brows, please don't try it yourself. It's super cheap to have them professionally done at a salon and the result will be much nicer. You can choose between waxing, plucking or threading, so ask your beauty therapist about the best solution for your particular brows. When you're done with shaping, go get yourself a nice eyebrow palette and pencil and start practising how to fill them in to make them look even better. It might take some time to figure out the best look for you, but it will be so worth it.

7. Remove ALL your unwanted hair
I prefer to have as little hair on my body as possible. The only hair I actually keep are the ones on my head, my brows and the ones I can't see- the rest comes off. There's this common misconception that removing hair will result in it growing back thicker, darker and denser, but this is a myth. I can write an entire post on this, so to spare me the time I'll refer you to this article and this one too. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that all women have to go bare, but if it's something that bothers you, do something about it, my dear! There are so many options available: shaving, waxing, laser hair removal, creams and even safe cream bleaches if you want to lighten body hair. You really don't have to put up with it :)

8. Invest in a flat iron/ hair straightener
My life was forever changed when I used my first ghd flat iron and yours will be too! If you like styling your hair, but have little time to do it, then a hair straightener is a great tool to have. I do my hair in 15 minutes in the morning before going to work, but if your mornings are hectic you can even wash and straighten your hair the night before- it will still look pretty the next morning and if you need to do touch-ups it won't even take 5 minutes.

9. Use tinted lip balm
I'm not exactly a fan of lipstick. There's something about the taste and texture I just can't get used to and I also find it dries my lips a lot. A wonderful alternative is tinted lip balm as it moisturises, while adding some colour and lips are super kissable without the burden of staining your partner's lips. If you're like me and want colour without the cons of lipstick, try some lip balm. It's also great for ladies who like natural-looking makeup. I'll do a post soon on my favourite tinted lip balms.

10. Wear perfume!
I can't leave my house without spraying on some perfume. It's the absolute make-me-feel-pretty product and really finishes off your look. I've owned just about a thousand different  perfumes and love trying out new ones as they come out. There's such a big variety to choose from and they make the perfect gift too! So if you can't afford that really nice, but very expensive bottle you've been eyeing, why not request it as a birthday or Christmas gift?


22 Oct 2013

Review: Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask

The Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask is the upgraded version of their popular Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask. It promises to:
  • deep cleanse pores, ridding them of sebum and impurities 
  • exfoliate the skin by removing dead skin cells
  • enhance skin tone 
  • tighten pores, and
  • provide a cooling effect
I've been using this mask once a week for almost three months now and can safely say it's the nicest clay mask I've tried in Korea so far. I prefer clay masks nowadays, because my skin is oily and dry at the same time, so this type works better for me than those soaked fabric mask sheets that are widely available in every cosmetic store here. If you have normal or dry skin, I think those would work better as they are very moisturising.

The super volcanic clay mask contains volcanic clusters in the form of little beads which supposedly carry all the magic properties, like instantly removing all kinds of skin troubles such as blackheads, whiteheads, enlarged pores. The formula is "4-free" i.e. free of animal ingredients, ethanol, artificial colour and mineral oil.

The mask texture is very thick and contains the volcanic cluster capsules which is pretty unique, but I was quite disappointed with how quickly the product went stiff/thick after opening. The initial texture was smoother and easier to apply, but after a couple of weeks I noticed that the product was getting harder and harder to get out of the jar. I now have to mix it with a few drops of water in order to get it smooth enough to apply. I also wish they had given a spatula with it as I really don't like using my fingers in the jar as it makes a mess and is unhygienic. They recommend leaving the mask on for 10-15 minutes, so that's what I do. The mask dries pretty quickly, but doesn't become so stiff that you're unable to talk or move your face. It's a little hard to rinse if you don't massage some water into your face to soften the dried product, but if you do this first it comes off pretty easily.

I really like the way my skin feels after using this product. True to their claims, it does have a cooling effect and my skin is softer and smoother too. The effects don't last very long though, and I also haven't noticed that it rids my pores of black or whiteheads, (perhaps slightly, but nothing to write home about.) I do, however, like the fresh, deep cleansed feeling after using this mask and it hasn't irritated my sensitive skin at all.

At only KRW13 000 ($13) for a 100ml jar it's really affordable and while it's no miracle in a jar, it's not awful by any means and a nice one to try if it's your first time buying a clay mask or if you have only slightly unbalanced skin or simply want to give your skin a bit of a pamper.


17 Oct 2013


I've decided to do my first giveaway as soon as my facebook page reaches 50 likes and my second when it hits the 100 mark. My page is currently on 29 likes and it would mean a lot to me if you would show your support by liking and sharing my page! I'm so excited to go shopping this weekend for some ideas on what beauty items to include in my first giveaway! To all of you who have liked my page, visited my blog and sent me a message to ask for advice or just to say hi- thank you! This blog is for you and I really enjoy every second I spend on it!


Review: Etude House Aloha V-line Slim Maker (bronzer/highlighter)

I've never been that big on bronzers. I purchased my first bronzer a good while ago and ended up not using it because I didn't know the correct application method and ended up looking like a muddy mess. Highlighters on the other hand, are one of my favourite makeup items and I started using them when we came to Korea for the first time, back in 2008.

I've been watching tons of makeup tutorials on youtube and I keep seeing the incredible transformation bronzing brings about. It sculpts cheekbones beautifully and hides common issues like chubby cheeks, undefined cheekbones, a large forehead and can even create a more defined nose line for those ladies with cute button noses.

Seeing all this awesomeness, I decided it's time to try again and so I went to Etude House and got myself the Aloha V-line Slim Maker bronzer/highlighter combo compact in shade #1 Sun Gold/Wood Brown for KRW14 000 ($14). The compact has a mirror inside and comes with a brush which (surprisingly) isn't too bad for applying the product, but I wouldn't use it for blending though. The outcome of your bronzer is very much influenced not only by technique, but the quality of your brushes (and ofcourse using the correct brushes!) The actual powder is floral embossed- a nice little touch commonly found with Etude House products. The powder has a slight perfumed scent, but this hasn't affected my usually sensitive skin at all.

As far as the quality is concerned, I was less than pleased with the bronzer-half of the compact. It has very poor pigmentation and it doesn't apply well to my face. It's almost like the powder is too compact so I need to keep swooshing my brush in there to get enough colour on it. The result is also very....meh...to say the least. My face looked a little muddy, almost as though I took brown eye shadow and used it as bronzer. Perhaps it's just not the right shade for my skin tone. Perhaps shade #2 would have worked better, but I doubt it though. Compared to my Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder (I use the shade 'Light Gold') this bronzer falls to the floor like a fast deflating balloon.

But, dear readers, every yin has its yang and in this case it's the amasing highlighter that manages to redeem this compact. I was amased at the gorgeous glow it gives my skin. I apply highlighter to the center of my forehead, above my brows, on top of my cheek bone (above the area I apply my blush), my nose, my Cupid's bow above my top lip and my chin. If you've never tried highlighting I highly recommend you do as it really looks so lovely. Highlighting the right areas on your face can hide a multitude of flaws as it casts light on just the right spots so the focus is drawn away from the not-so-great ones. Beware of going overboard though, or you might end up looking like a Twilight vampire.

Because the bronzer is so terrible, I highly doubt that I'll repurchase this compact again. The highlighter is really great, which is why i decided to give it a 3/5 rating for quality. But since Etude House, as well as all other makeup brands, usually have quite a variety of highlighters in their range, there's no reason for me to stick with this one.


13 Oct 2013

Review: Coastal Scents 88 Ultra Shimmer Palette

I recently bought myself the Coastal Scents Ultra Shimmer eye shadow palette after my trusty Etude House four colour palette was fast approaching empty. I've always loved having big palettes filled with all kinds of beautiful shades that could be paired with any outfit or accessory, but after moving to Korea I hadn't managed to find any nice ones that didn't cost a fortune- and if there's one beauty product I'm shamelessly cheap on, it's eye shadow!

I've bought many palettes in my life and what I really dislike is eye shadow that has almost zero pigmentation, or the kinds that go sit in my eyelid crease after a few hours. Well, this palette passed with flying colours (no pun intended!) The colours are absolutely stunning- so bright and shimmery, without looking like clowns' makeup and they last all day. Some colours are more shimmery than others and expect to have some "fall out" (when the colour falls onto your cheeks) as they are in a compact powder form. This can be combated if you apply some loose powder to your cheeks before applying your eye shadow or simply holding a tissue under the eye area.

The palette case has a mirror and comes with two (crappy) dual-tipped foam applicators. It's a little thin and flimsy, so be sure not to drop it as I'm almost 100 percent sure you'll suffer some damage if you do. Another minor problem I had was when three colours fell out when I turned my palette sideways. The glue must have come loose, but that wasn't the end of the world as I was able to easily glue them back into place.

Coastal Scents have a very impressive palette collection: shimmer, matte, warm tones, mirage, prism...the list really does go on and on. There's a palette for each taste and they come in different sizes too. I chose the 88 palette as this one has more than enough colours to choose from, but for the real enthusiast there's the 252 palette as well as combo sets if you need them all! I bought my palette for KRW24 000 here on Gmarket, but you can also buy it from the Coastal Scents site for $19.95 (but they're on sale for $10 at the moment- yay!) and lucky for us they ship worldwide.

All in all, this palette is excellent value for money and my favourite palette to date. If you like eye shadow and, like me, don't want to spend a fortune then go get yourself one of these palettes- you won't be sorry.


11 Oct 2013

A little preview: Etude House Collagen Moistfull Collection

I did some makeup shopping again yesterday and got a lovely Collagen Moistfull sample set with my purchase. Thought I'd give you a preview of the products I'll be reviewing in about two weeks when the samples are all used up. I've only used it once, but I must say, I'm quite impressed by the improved formula! Let's see how it goes over the next few weeks!


Review: Etude House Total Age Repair BB Cream

I've been using Etude House's Total Age Repair BB cream for two years now, and it's definitely one of the better BB creams I've tried so far. While you can use BB cream as a base for your foundation or a replacement thereof, I prefer the latter as I like a more natural look. The BB creams in Asia are also generally known to give a little more coverage than their Western counterparts, so they work quite well as a substitute for foundation.

The Total Age Repair BB cream is Etude's top of the line BB cream and at KRW20 000 ($20) per tube, it's a bit more expensive than the others. It's aimed at an older age group than the average BB cream, but I feel they might be losing a big chunk of their target market, because any age group can benefit from this BB cream- not just those who are looking for anti-ageing solutions.

This BB cream comes in a long tube with a pump- something I love, because it's much more hygienic and every pump dispenses enough product for a single application. The active ingredients are Immortelle flowers and royal jelly as well as grape and ginseng extract and red ginseng snail extract. There are two shades available: #1 Light Beige and #2 Natural Beige. I use #2 and while it initially has that typical BB cream grey cast, the colour blends flawlessly with my skin after a few minutes and gives a beautiful, dewy finish. This BB cream provides medium coverage.

I really love how moisturising this BB cream is- it never cakes or flakes on my skin. It needs to be lightly set with a powder though, and lasts about six hours before I need to touch up. Because my skin is quite oily in my T-zone, the BB cream tends to 'melt' in this area, so that's the main area where I need retouching. Another major plus point for this product is the fact that it doesn't make my skin breakout and doesn't contain parabens, talc, benzophenone or mineral oils.

It claims to be anti-wrinkle and whitening, but I haven't noticed either. I don't like the idea of anything whitening my skin anyway, but so many Korean cosmetics claim this and I'm starting to think they misadvertise to lure their Asian customers (who strive to have the whitest skin imaginable). I do, however, trust that it prevents ageing due to sun exposure as well as tanning; with an SPF45 (the highest I've seen) and PA+++ rating this baby is pretty potent against UVA and UVB rays!

This is my go-to BB cream and while I'm still on the lookout for the 'perfect' one, this one is more than sufficient for my skin's needs and therefore I can recommend it to anyone who tends to flake in some areas, needs some moisture and likes a natural, dewy finish.

10 Oct 2013

Review: B2Y Scarlet Edition Hair Straightener

My flat iron is the single most important beauty tool I own. I got my first one when I was about 17, but didn't use it much as I had no idea how to do it quickly with good results. In my first year of varsity I really started experimenting and after a couple of months I was doing my hair in under 30 minutes. Now I can't imagine life without one.

I always used the Verimark hair straighteners because I succumbed to TV infomercials, but my lovely mom bought me my very first ghd in 2009, after returning from my first stint in Korea. It's a pretty, light pink colour and as far as I remember a portion of the money went towards a breast cancer fund. It wasn't until I started using my ghd that I realised what I was missing out on. It was like a little bit of beauty magic was bestowed upon me and I was so pleased with the results. The time it took to do my hair went down to only 10~15  minutes and my hair was soft, glossy and the style lasted so much longer. Anyone who's into beauty knows that ghd's are rather pricey, but I honestly feel that the money you spend is more than worth it, because you have an appliance that delivers on its promises.

I have been using my pink ghd for four years now and it's still working, although after hundreds of uses it's starting to look a little beat up. The plates are getting hotter than usual and it has started making a slight buzzing sound that makes me nervous that it might explode or catch on fire or something (I'm paranoid that way). I'm in no way disappointed that it's retiring on me- I feel that with 4 years of daily straightening it had good innings, but it was time to get a new one. I started searching online to see where I could find ghd in Korea and didn't think it could be too difficult seeing as they are made here. But, alas, I could not find a single one.


After doing some research I came across a few posts mentioning B2Y and started investigating. Turns out, (for whatever reason) the Korean company that makes ghd is not allowed to/ doesn't want to sell the ghd brand here and they released the exact same flat iron under the B2Y name. The only difference is the price and here's the awesome part: it's half to a third of the price you'd pay for a ghd back home. We got mine online at Gmarket for KRW84 000 ($84). There are two different ones available in this style: the Scarlet and Purple Rain. I chose the former, because the white colour in the Purple Rain might become ugly and faded after a few months or years. Also (and this is just me being picky) I feel like the purple coloured plates might not be as effective as the darker ones. The Scarlet just feels more classic to me.

So, onto its actual performance. I won't lie, I was a little sceptical about this cheaper version as I've (sadly) started to equate massive price tags with good quality when it comes to flat irons- but I couldn't be more wrong. The B2Y is the real deal, ladies, and it works exactly the same as my ghd (same plates, same 360° swivel cord,same body design) but there's a special feature that makes the Korean version a little nicer in my opinion and I'm sure you'll agree: The B2Y has a temperature control! You can choose between temperatures of 100°C~200°C which I find great, because not all of us have the same hair texture or thickness so why on earth should we all be using the exact same temperature on our tresses? The B2Y also comes with two hair clips (which aren't too great, but that doesn't matter to me) as well as a comb that I use when straightening my hair.

I just want to add that the first 3~4 times I used the B2Y the plates felt like they didn't run smoothly through my hair, but this is not a B2Y thing- I remember this happening with my ghd in the beginning too (anyone else experience this, too?). The plates are running 100% perfectly smooth now though, so I think they just need to be used a few times.

I am honestly, very happy that I got the B2Y hair straightener and highly recommend it- just as I do ghd. The price is a wonderful perk and I'll probably buy and extra B2Y, so that I'm covered for a good while after leaving Korea next year.

4 Oct 2013

Review: Etude House Pro Skill 003 Foundation Brush

The 003 Foundation Brush forms part of the new Pro Skill range by Etude House. At KRW11 000 ($11), it's slightly pricier than the original Etude brushes, but the quality is very good. I've always preferred to use makeup sponges (the flat, square ones, to be precise) as they give a natural, even finish that doesn't look caked on, but after watching an online makeup tutorial using a flat top foundation brush, I simply had to try it out for myself.

Let me start by saying that applying your foundation/ BB cream with a brush is MUCH different from using a sponge or your fingers. With a flat top brush you need to press it against the skin and use circular motions to achieve good results. Swooping the brush from side to side doesn't allow for even application and will leave your face looking streaky and 'painted-on'. It took me a few minutes to get the hang of it but, my goodness, when I did, the result was stunning! My skin looked glowing and absolutely flawless, although I must admit that the brush gives a bit more coverage than I like. I love fresh and natural looking foundation for everyday wear, so I'll probably stick to my sponge and leave the brush for special occasions only. For ladies who like full coverage though, the brush is a must-have item.

What I love most about this brush is when I use it to blend and buff my concealer under my eyes, it really makes my dark circles disappear instantly- without allowing the concealer to hide in the fine lines under my eyes. This is a major deal for me and will probably be the biggest use for this brush.

The 003 Foundation Brush has a 15cm total length of which 2cm consist of the brush bristles. The bristles are soft and compact enough to give a beautiful finish, but I would have liked if it were a bit more dense, simply for ease of application, as it takes quite a while to apply foundation with a brush as it is. All in all, this is a lovely brush at a fair price and I'm sure many girls would benefit from having it in their makeup collection.

1 Oct 2013

My top 10 Beauty Uses for Coconut Oil

Lately I've been looking into a more natural approach to beauty and in the process have discovered many wonderful products straight from mother nature. I've really become conscious about what I put in and on my body in recent years and have been trying to limit the amount of potentially harmful parabens, sulphates and other chemicals. If you don't know what these are, do yourself a favour and read up on them and decide for yourself- it never hurts to educate yourself :)

So I recently bought a jar of extra virgin organic coconut oil and I'm in love so far, ladies! In a single jar you have several beauty products that are so gentle and effective you'll never be without it again. Because I love it so much, I decided to make a top 10 favourite uses list- here they are:

It's not very practical using the oil straight from the jar, so I went to the Daiso (which is Korea's version of the Crazy Store or dollar store) and got a set of travel sized plastic bottles and transferred some of the oil into them. When using the oil as a face moisturiser, you can put a few drops onto a cotton ball and sweep it across your face- not too much oil though, as it absorbs better when you apply a thin layer. You can apply your usual moisturiser/serum on top of this, if you wish. 
I must quickly add that a few days ago I used a face wash sample from Etude House and without reading the info, I used it- bad idea to say the least! My skin felt raw and was burning like crazy afterwards. As I expected, I started drying and flaking on my forehead, around my nose and my chin area the very next day; but after applying some coconut oil with a cotton disc, my skin was back to normal in only two days.
I'm really looking forward to seeing how continued use will affect my skin and clear up the upside-down-hormones-blemishes I've been getting. If you're on a tight budget or like an organic, natural approach to beauty, I recommend you try some coconut oil as it can replace several costly beauty products and feels and smells divine on your skin!
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