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korean skincare

    [REVIEW] Shara Shara Honey Bomb All-in-One Ampoule

    I want to let my readers in the know of a great ampoule (serum like product) that injects moisture into the most thirsty of skins and plumps up dull and tired skin. It is from a Korean brand Shara Shara and it is their Honey Bomb All-in-One Ampoule. There are plenty of websites you can get it from (Glow Recipe, Memebox, and others).
    Use this link to get your 20% on Memebox 🙂 
    Use this link to get $5 off your first purchase on Glow Recipe 🙂 
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    Korean Beauty/Skincare Haul, Part One. ISOI SKINCARE

    When my mother told me she was going to visit South Korea for a mere week, I took it upon myself to give her a list of things I wanted her to get for me. And kindly, she did. But I have to say, all she had to do was go to the isoi counter and get a bunch of their products. When I went to a Korean skincare/beauty PR event a few months back (read it here), I tried out a product from isoi. It was quite pricey, but what really sold me was that they had a whole line using Bulgarian rose.
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    Korea Cosmetic Bliss PR Event!

    Hey guys! So today I thought I’d share with you my day at the Korea Cosmetic Bliss 2014 PR Event. I was invited by Missha to attend this event to learn about more Korean skincare brands that are planning to launch into the US markets. A few of them I’ve heard, but most of them were new for me as well.

    The event took place at the long-term pop-up store called Korea Cosmetic Bliss located in Soho, New York. They opened last September(?) and have been selling Korean beauty products the past few months, and they plan to close the pop-up store in two weeks. So, I got to see around right before they closed! (Whew!)

    pictures from my instagram (ID: etherealellie) 

    Due to traffic (an hour and a half!!!), I arrived at the event way too late and missed the product demonstrations. But, the amazingly lovely Ms. Shin from Missha‘s marketing team was kind enough to show me around the counters and introduce me to the reps of each brand. The main focus for me was whether these products were available to US customers, even if they were selling it through other wholesalers so that I wasn’t just talking about products that most of my readers wouldn’t be able to get their hands on. Because most of them were in their starting stage of just getting their names out there, I kept that in mind and thought I should try some for myself.

    So I ended up picking up a few products to test out for myself. I, for one, had to restock up on my Missha super aqua essence and cream that I completely used up and totally love! Then, the rest were exploratory brands.

    The brand that intrigued me the most was a brand called ISOI because their line used Bulgarian Rose. Now, if you are an avid reader of my blog, you’ll know that I highly respect Bulgarian rose because when my sister last went to Bulgaria, she was told that the country was most famous for their rose valleys and in its season, perfumists and beauty specialists from all over the world would haul loads and loads of Bulgarian roses to create their products. So, I asked my sister to bring a bunch of their products back here and seriously, I loved every single one of their products. I was more surprised to hear how cheap their products were, considering how good they were (especially their hand creams. To die for!)

    Anyway, I was also sold when their CEO during its launch of a particular serum, actually ate the product to show people that it was completely natural and made of good stuff — stuff that would not harm the skin at all. I was sold right then and there! And I got myself that serum. I will blog more about it once I really try it out 🙂

    The other brand that I next found fascinating was a brand called Elensila which uses snail extracts (mucus) to create their skincare line. I knew snail products were becoming really popular in the U.S., but Korea has since been using snails to make, market, and promote their products. Supposedly, the story comes about like this: they found that people who worked at snail forms had unusually great skin on their hands, and found that the snail mucus was the cause for such youthful healthy skin.

    I’ve never tried any snail products, but I thought I might as well! I bought their best-selling original formulation cream. It’s called the “Escargot Original Repair Cream”, and it supposedly evens out the skin and it is a gel formulation, and so ideal for oily/combination skin. And the word “repair” always wins my hart. So, I picked one up to try.

    The last brand that I got my hands on was a brand called Manefit, and this isn’t a totally new brand for me. They are most famous for their sheet masks, usually sold in a small box with several sheets in it called “beauty planner”. Every time I go to Korea, I see tons of these boxes everywhere and I myself, have tried a few of them and did love them. So, I thought I might try them again. I picked out two sheets and one high-end version of their everyday masks.

    After getting a good tour of the brands and having a lovely talk with the people there, I headed up with two bags of goodies. One bag was all full of freebies and samples that I was quite excited for, as much as the purchased items themselves! Just as a peak, it came with full-size lipstick and lipgloss that I tried today, and love.

    Keep a watch out for my blog as I slowly try them out and review them. Tell me if you’ve ever or are interested in some the brands I just mentioned and what you think of them? I’d love to know your thoughts 🙂


    What I Wore:
    The weather was horrible that day, (I mean the signature New York humidity was reaching its peak). Regardless of the weather, I went out with a bright red-lip (Nars Mexican Rose) to the event. I loved my makeup when it was fresh, not knowing just how humid it was going to be that day. Little did I know… By the time I arrived at the event, I already felt so icky and I desperately wanted to take my red lip off. But I stuck with it, being that the Nars gloss lip pencils are serious lip tattoos.

    Whew. Well after the event, I chilled at Laduree down in Soho that recently opened. I enjoyed the macarons, but oh if anything, don’t waste your dollars on their nonalcoholic cold beverages made with tea and juice. It wasn’t good at all! But still, it was nice and relaxing, which I needed the most 🙂 x


    My Beauty Picks #5⎪February

    February has been about missing the summer. Makeup was all about orange. It involved constant obsession with Giorgio Armani‘s lip pencil in no. 6, a hot vibrant orange. You can read more about it here. If you pair that with the Hourglass “Muse”, which is a neon coral, you’ll get that perfect summer shade. 
    As for blush, Shu Uemura blush [read here] in “Soft Orange 542” has hit home run for me. Orange has a tendency to make you look tan-n-er but because this particular shade is so light, it has the affect of brightening the face. I recommend to people who are tan, and are afraid that this might be too light. What I love about it is that the color stay power is amazing! You know how makeup gets oxidized throughout the day, and soon the color you saw when you first applied by the end of the day, looks like a different color? Well, this blush is amazing because the color you first see is the last color you’ll see before you take it off!

    MAC eyeshadows are still a bit daunting. There’s just so many to try, use, experiment with. I’m slowly getting a feel for what suits me. I find that it’s not enough to go off recommendations, but to really try them and see if they suit your skin tone. Two particular eyeshadows have been en pointe for me. First is the MAC “Soba” which is a brown-tan gold-shimmer eyeshadow. Perfect for defining the eyes without making you look like you have too much going on. It’s soft, and it’ll do the slight defining you need- and sometimes LESS IS MORE. You add mascara to your eyes, and you are set. 
    Another shade that I’ve been loving wearing on its own is MAC “Paradisco”. Such. a. pretty. shade. I would’ve never imagined picking this one out of their many colors to buy! After much research and swatches, seeing it on people with similar skin tone as me, I went for it. Although it looks like a scary pink-red, when you swatch it you’ll see how soft it is. What I do is dust this all over my lids, very lightly. What you get is the no-makeup-makeup-look. A soft eye that has a slight pink but barely there look, and somehow, it works. If you want something natural yet feminine, try this one out! I love the effects of it so much. 
    Then, for the final summer-reminsciencing product. Burberry Sheer Concealer No.2. Not only is the color highlighting, but something in it (pearls maybe?) helps the face look young, glowing, and healthy. Gotta love that, right? 

    In terms of skincare, I’ve got to give a round of applause to two particular products: IPKN “Pore Fresh Cleansing Foam”. Best detoxifying cleanser by far! I got off of foaming cleansers after the beauty world has informed the world how bad foaming cleansers can be on the skin. I went for gel cleansers, balms, oils, etc., But what I took this product out for a try, I put the rest of my mild cleansers away. Because, this did the job. I haven’t used clay masks ever since. There was no need to, because this did what cleansers are supposed to do.
    Take the guck out. 
    Another product that blew me away unexpectedly was Mario Badescu‘s “Drying Cream”. [read here] I mean, I know Mario Badescu always gets it right, but I didn’t expect it to get it this right. I don’t know how it does what it does, but it’s a miracle product. It gets all those fine oily bumps on your face. It does, I swear. This cream kind of soaks up all the nasty oil heads, and soon you are left with a clean bump less layer of skin! I usually apply this only at time, since it is a thick consistency- even when you put very little on. You take a little, rub until invisible. Your face gets a bit white because of the product. You sleep, wake up the next day with a smooth skin. Within two days, small little bumps were gone. 
    I call that a miracle.