April 22, 2015

Sharing some pictures taken a couple weeks ago

Here are some photos from a couple weeks back. I didn't really love any of these, but it still seems a shame to trash them!

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I've been doing a lot of multi-colored eyeshadow looks like this lately :)

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Bf prefers me with no bangs ><


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The following pictures may seem strange out of context, but they were meant for a post I am working on ^^

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Thanks for reading! ^^ Be sure to check out my latest post where I compare 12 different Korean sunscreens if you haven't already!

April 20, 2015

Korean sunscreen comparison—Which one is best?

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Korean sunscreen comparison—Which one is best?



Well, it depends on you!

But to help you get started, here is an overview of 12 different sunscreens. These are all from mainstream, affordable Korean brands that we know and love, and have fairly easy access to.

Here are the sunscreens:

(click to enlarge)


My rating system:
In the following chart, I have grouped them first by texture. Then, I rated them using a system of check marks, where having a ✓ = ‘yes’ and not having one = ‘no.’

Basically, these check marks (or lack there of) correspond to the following questions/criteria:
  • white cast:
    Does it leave a white cast?

  • friction:
    Is there friction when applying?

  • heavy: After it’s applied, does it feel heavy on the skin?

  • oily:
    After it’s applied, does it leave an oily shine/feel?

  • tacky:
    After it’s applied, does it leave a tacky after-feel that could potentially affect makeup application?
Now if you notice, most of the criteria I listed above are, in a way, bad traits (friction, oiliness, heaviness.)
So unless you have specific needs—for example, you want to look paler with sunscreen, or you have dry skin and want oily products—you’ll probably want to look for something that doesn’t have check marks. But of course, everyone has different preferences! Just know that having more check marks doesn’t necessarily mean better in this case.

Also, please note that the following ratings are under the premise of a liberal application, since that’s how sunscreen should be applied! And for reference, I have dry skin.

Summary chart:

Korean Sunscreens Overview
Texture Product Name White cast? Friction? Oily? Heavy? Tacky?
Thin
lightweight, liquidy
A’pieu
Pure Block Aqua Sun Gel
SPF 50+ PA +++
The Saem
Eco Earth Power Light Sun Cream
SPF 50+ PA+++
Etude House
Sunprise Must Daily
SPF 50+ PA+++
Beyond
Hug Sun Moisture Milk
SPF 50+ PA+++

Medium
like a lightweight cream/emulsion
Missha
All Around Safe Block Essence Sun
SPF 45 PA+++
Nature Republic
California Aloe Daily Moisture Sunblock
SPF 50+ PA+++
The Face Shop
Natural Sun Eco Sebum Control
Moisture Sun
SPF 40 PA+++
It's Skin
UV Away Perfect Sunblock
SPF 50+ PA+++
Thick and rich Tony Moly
UV Maximum Sunblock
SPF 50+ PA+++
Skinfood
Broccoli Sun Cream
SPF 42 PA+++
Etude House
Sunprise Natural Corrector
SPF 50+ PA+++
Holika Holika
UV Wonder Shield Primer Sun
SPF 36 PA++


Or if you prefer the axis reversed, here they are:


Thin
lightweight, liquidy
Medium
like a lightweight cream/emulsion
Thick and rich
A’pieu
Pure Block Aqua Sun Gel
SPF 50+ PA +++
The Saem
Eco Earth Power Light Sun Cream
SPF 50+ PA+++
Etude House
Sunprise Must Daily
SPF 50+ PA+++
Beyond
Hug Sun Moisture Milk
SPF 50+ PA+++
Missha
All Around Safe Block Essence Sun
SPF 45 PA+++
Nature Republic
California Aloe Daily Moisture Sunblock
SPF 50+ PA+++
The Face Shop
Natural Sun Eco Sebum Control
Moisture Sun
SPF 40 PA+++
It's Skin
UV Away Perfect Sunblock
SPF 50+ PA+++
Tony Moly
UV Maximum Sunblock
SPF 50+ PA+++
Skinfood
Broccoli Sun Cream
SPF 42 PA+++
Etude House
Sunprise Natural Corrector
SPF 50+ PA+++
Holika Holika
UV Wonder Shield Primer Sun
SPF 36 PA++
White cast?
Friction?
Oily?
Heavy?
Tacky?



Now, obviously, this is just a rudimentary overview, so I’ve left out details such as how sticky something is, or how heavy something feels. The point of this chart is to give you an idea of where to start—what products to look into that might match your criteria.

For more detailed information on these products: Please check my upcoming reviews! I will be writing detailed reviews on all of these and will update this page with the links as time goes on.


Links to Reviews:
coming soon!



But if there is something you would like to know now, feel free to ask me in the comments section below! I’ll also go ahead and give my 2 cents. I find myself reaching for these 4 the most:
1.) Skinfood Broccoli Sun Cream SPF 42 PA+++
2.) Nature Republic California Aloe Daily Moisture Sun Block SPF 50+ PA+++
I like these two because they leave an oily coat on my skin, which is helpful for makeup on super dry days!

I also like these 2 for their lightweight feel and effortless application. They literally glide on like watery emulsions.
3.) A’pieu Pure Block Aqua Sun Gel SPF 50+ PA+++
4.) Etude House Sunprise Must Daily SPF 50+/PA+++
Everything else is in the middle—pretty similar, and all pretty good! I like them all; I just don’t love them. The only exception is the Holika Holika one (UV Wonder Shield Primer Sun.) That one is tacky and I don’t like it at all.



Thank you for reading! I hope that helped, and let me know if you have any questions or comments.

April 17, 2015

Fruity and sparkly: Holika Holika Honey Bouquet Shine Gloss SWH001 Twinkle Drop Review

Audio recording (Sorry it's late!)




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Here we have an all-around cute lip gloss: cute packaging, fruity scent, and most of all…sparkles! As far as texture, it’s thin and sticky.




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Brand: Holika Holika
Name: Honey Bouquet Shine Gloss
Color: SWH001 Twinkle Drop
Amount: 5.2g
Actual Weight: 28g
Price in Korea: 6,000KRW











The cap is light purple with a bow design in the center:



You can’t really see the text since it’s white on white, so I’ve darkened it for clarity:


The back:


The bottom/expiration date (2 years from now):


Open:











Scent: Sweet and peachy. It’s the heavy, over-saturated type of sweet smell, although truth be told, I don’t notice the scent anymore after using it a few times.

Taste: It has a bit of an oily taste, but it isn’t gag-inducing at all. It doesn’t affect my meals or drinks.









It’s clear but sparkly. The gloss contains tiny specks of glitter that, if you look closely, come in white, pink, purple, and blue (but mostly pink and white.)

Hand swatch
left: less light reflection; right: more light reflection


On my lips:

From a normal distance, though, it mainly looks glossy and wet. (You can refer to my very first picture for this!)







Thin and sticky.

By thin, I mean that it doesn’t apply in thick, huge goops. For one, notice how little product the wand picks up:



And because it’s sticky, it tugs on your lips when you apply it:


So unlike some lip glosses which can be applied with a gentle dab or swipe, this one requires a bit of pressure due to its stickiness. And as a result, the wand does get pretty dirty from catching all the lipstick underneath.

That being said, the stickiness also causes it to last through food and drink quite well. Or at least, the sparkles do!

lip gloss after a meal:

I should note, however, that this mainly applies when your product underneath is textureless (such as a lip tint.) If the gloss is applied over something like lipstick, it’ll still wipe right off with the lipstick.








I like it! The speckles are adorable, perfect for spring and summer! The texture is sticky, but it’s not too bad, especially since it applies in (relatively) thin layers and doesn’t have much taste.

Would I recommend it? Sure, I don’t see why not! If you’re in search of a sparkly clear lip gloss, consider this a good option!




Thanks for reading!

April 13, 2015

How I changed after Korea, Part 3/5: Being a ninja with broken English

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To contrast with How I changed after Korea Part 2, which was a little serious, here are two minor behavioral things that changed about me from living in Korea.







-- 1. I squeeze past people without saying excuse me.--

That’s just what you do in Korea. Now, it’s not that you actually push people—well, some people do—but most of the time, it’s more that Koreans are able to squeeze past someone without more than a slight brush against their bag. So that’s what they do. And once you do start squeezing past, the other person usually gets the clue and moves forward ~6 inches.

This entire process is done without eye contact, words, or even acknowledgment. Most of the time, people don’t bother to say “Chamsimanyeon” or “Chakkaman” unless they really can’t fit through, like if they have a baby stroller, they’re in a rush to get off the subway, or the person blocking the way is completely oblivious.


As a small, quiet person, this was veeeery comfortable for me. I never liked saying, “Excuse me.” I can’t tell you how many times people wouldn’t hear me, which left me awkwardly trying again and again (to still no avail), all the while dying with shame. But in Korea, I could finally slip past people in peace. No guilt, no shame, and no need to get out of my comfort zone.

After coming back to America, though, I realized that this is actually considered quite rude over here! In America, even if you don’t actually touch the other person, the mere action of squeezing past them is rude and invasive of their personal space. I had relearn that the proper way is to instead stand half a foot away, say loudly “Excuse me”, wait till they move, and then walk past. Siiigh ToT






-- 2. My English went downhill and I picked up Korean speech patterns instead. --

Even though I had only been there a little over a year, my English deteriorated quite noticeably. If this sounds surprising, I don’t blame you! I didn’t expect it myself, especially considering that…my Korean wasn’t good, either, haha! But for whatever reason, it became increasingly difficult to write eloquently. I struggled with my blog posts. I still managed, but it took 10x the effort. And towards the end of my trip, I found myself spitting out Korean words faster than English.

But above all, I started imitating Korean speech patterns. I paused after certain words, dragged out others, added vibrato, and used the word “why” out of conversation–most of which do not translate well into English, by the way!

Now that I’m back in America, the majority of these habits have obviously worn off quite a bit. I’ve re-salvaged my ability to use proper intonation…but it takes effort. When I’m at ease with my boyfriend, for example, I still revert back to using improper English, like:

My here is hurt. *pointing at body part in pain*

Oh, very yummy!

Oh whyyyyyy?! ← annoyed voice


And when it comes to typing, I often mix up homophones and spelling. Heck, just now I mistyped “ophen” for often!

Thank you for reading! Time for me to go watch some TV shoes. ;)