Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Korean Beauty Product Haul (not bought on the internet!) and Review

This just in Shine and Sparkles Readers,

I have the best Dad ever!  World traveler that he is, my Dad was in Korea last month (just a wee bit jelly). Naturally, when he asked if there were any souvenirs I wanted, beauty products were #1!  Korea is known for being one of the world leaders in innovate skin care and make up.  I was so excited to make my Dad a shopping list by going on the internet and doing a little research.  I'm sure you are imagining a pretty interesting scenario.  Enter my Dad, wandering around Korea alone.  Facing not only a language barrier but quizzical looks as a male asking about make-up at beauty counters.

But never fear!  My Dad's friend's wife and her other female friend acted as amazing guides to collect items off of my Korean beauty product list.  If I ever get to make a pilgrimage there, you bet there will be a blog post all about it!

Needless to say, thank you sooooo much to the 3 awesome and wonderful people who went out of their way to bring me this haul.  Way cooler than buying online.  Take that Amazon!

So excited by this Korean Beauty Product Haul.  I took pictures for you readers right away at my parents house!  See the receipts all in Korean? *sqee*

Close Up #1
Close Up #2

Some of the things on my list were sold out, though I think I go more than enough stuff to keep me entertained for months.  My dad also got me some sea cucumber soap from Malaysia (the 3 large colored things in Close Up #1).  I also apparently got a ton of samples!  In this report, I will not be reviewing the samples, but if there is something I did not review that you want to know about, let me know in the comments and I will gladly oblige.  I will mention really quick that the "Black pearl O2 Bubble Mask"* was super crazy.  It goes on like a gel, then puffs up into a foam all over your face.  While it didn't do all that much for my skin, the novelty of it was very niffty.

If you are really inspired to buy any of these products (and you don't live in Korea or have an amazing world-traveling Dad.)  You can probably purchase online from http://en.koreadepart.com/.

 The Saem Snail Three Musketeers Hand Creams:

By far the cutest packaging I received in this haul and the most unique.  Why? Because they are made with SNAIL GOO...ehem...I mean Snail Essence.  Before you go ewwww and race to that little "x" that closes your browser window, let me explain.  Snail slime...er...essence is rich in proteins of high and low molecular weight hyaluronic acid and antioxidants.  Hyaluronic acid is a humectant which means that it attracts water, making it an excellent moisturizer.  The proteins and antioxidants are supposed to reduce signs of aging by stimulating the formation of collagen, elastin, and minimizing damage from free-radicals. Oooooh ahhhh. 

I can definitely say that while sounding pretty gross, these are AMAZING products.  The fragrance is strong but very pleasant.  As the little names on the snails suggest, the blue is Lilly scented, yellow is freesia, and the pink is cherry blossom.  They are extremely moisturizing.  I love using them on my hands, focusing on my cuticles and nails.  I use it before painting my nails and let it soak in. My nails have been so much stronger and splitting less. Hooray. The only con is that they are kind of bulk for taking around with you.  Also, untwisting a snail shell is not conducive to moisturizing your hands on the go.  That being said, they look adorable on a vanity table and are great for at-home use.

Ac Care Bee's Sheet Mask: 

I was very excited to try Korean sheet masks.  We just don't have things like this in the United States yet.  They are pretty much like thick, smooth baby wipes that are soaked in liquid that is good for your skin.  The mask has cut outs for your eyes nose and mouth.  The pros are that you don't have to rinse it off like a traditional mask.  They are also very easy, open packet and go.  Cons are that the cut outs don't account for various face shapes so I ended up having to take the extra cut out parts and place them around my (apparently) large nose.  The AC Care Bee's mask is meant for sensitive skin.  I really liked it.  My skin felt very moisturized and my skin had a nice brightness and glow to it.  It also reduced the appearance of pores.  I'm a fan.  I got a sample sheet mask with rice proteins (large white packet in close up #2) and another one (large red packet in close up #1).  I thought the rice one was ok but I did not see great results.  I did not like the red one as much.  It did reduce pores, but had stronger chemicals (and chemical smell) and felt slightly irritating on my skin.

Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask (Original):

I have not had a chance to try this yet.  I'm still working my way through my Body Shop: Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask .  I am hoping that this will be very similar to that.  Able to dry out any acne and pull impurities from my skin.  From the little test patch on my hand, I know that it has a pleasant smell and seems like it will fit the bill of a very detoxifying mask.  I found the quantity of product a bit small for the price compared to the body shop clay mask, however Jeju Volcanic clay is probably harder to get/rarer than "ionic clay" (whatever that is...)

Innisfree No sebum mineral powder:

In terms of function, it is probably one of the best oil controlling powders I have ever used.  It is also probably the finest milled mineral powder I have used.  I'm obsessed with it.  Even though it is a white powder, it goes on translucent and keeps your face matte for hours and hours.  I'm a little sad that it doesn't contain a whole lot of powder but it will last a good amount of time if you just concentrate it in your t-zone.  If you want a fragrance free powder this isn't for you.  But I think there is something really luxurious about putting this powder on a big soft fluffy brush and having the perfume of it fill the air (don't worry, the smell dissipates quickly, so you will not be smelling it on your face all day).  You can also use the little sponge that is included to get a more concentrated application in your t-zone for even more intense oil control.  I will be ordering more of this online when it runs out.

CLIO Water-proof Turnliner Twisturn in Black:

Last but not least, a black eye liner.  While this seems like it would be a basic product that doesn't need to come across the sea from a foreign land....it does.  The perfect liquid eyeliner varies by eye shape and need.  For instance, I love M.A.C's Liquid Last eyeliner.  It's a bit pricey but nothing works better for my lower lash line.  It doesn't smudge at all and even eye make-up remover fails to get rid of it.  Pure olive or coconut oil is the only thing I have found that removes that stuff quickly and painlessly.  Even though it works great for the part of my eye that smudges the most and is not oily, it is a pain in the butt if it is all over my upper lash line (which can get oily and is a rather large area to cover with hard to remove stuff.)  Which is where CLIO Water-proof Turn Liner comes in.  It has a long, fine tipped brush that fills with a somewhat runny liner fluid when you twist the end of it.  Something about the shape and stiffness of the brush gives excellent control for perfect lines and the formula glides on quickly and easily.  It is a great brush for Asian eyes that sometimes need a longer brush and to cover more space due to mono lids/hooded eyes/in-the-way-lashes resulting from almond shaped eyes.  Most of all, it doesn't budge at all with oil but removes easily with make up remover.  So, pair M.A.C's liquid last on the bottom with CLIO on the top, and I have the perfect eyeliner that can stand up to 12+ hours of wear without a worry in the world (other than a 2 step process to remove it later).  Yeah, it's that cool a combo.

So there you have it mini (or not so mini) report on my Korean beauty products brought to you by plane from Ms. Sparkle's Dad & Co.    Hope you enjoyed.  If you have any Korean beauty favorites let me know, I'd love to try them!

Shine & Sparkle!

*I am not paid or contacted by any of the companies mentioned in this post.  These are my honest feelings and opinions.

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