Thursday, September 22, 2016

Product Review: Skinfood "Tea Tree Secret Spot Patch"

There's a kind of trend in Korea that I had never seen before when I lived in The States. That is, people wear these little round patches on their skin for their pimples. They come in clear, matte, and skin tone, and I've seen people wear them around as they go about their day. Originally I was told it was to help you not pick at your acne, but there are some that also have benefits of helping your pimples go down as you wear them. I never really wanted to try them that badly, but when a friend offered to buy me something small from the store I figured it was worth a try!

Product: Tea Tree Secret Spot Patch
Expiration: 12 Months (before opening) 
Price: ~ $1 per sheet 
Overall rating: 5 out of 5

When I first tried these out I was having a particularly stubborn breakout on my chin and a pimple coming in on my cheek. (You know when you feel one coming in and it's all sore and red? One of those...) No amount of masks, face wash, oil treatments, toner, or anything would make it go away and it lasted over a week. Since I had a sheet of these I decided to try them out and was amazed by the results!

Tea tree oil is used to treat infections, acne, dandruff, etc. because it's used as an antiseptic and has antimicrobial properties. I've seen several different products that use tea tree oil, and people who use pure tea tree oil on their pimples. But because it's very strong I think that it should only be used in small amounts. That's why I loved the idea of using it in spot patches, which you only apply for 8~12 hours. I don't really like the idea of wearing them outside still, but because of the amount of time you can leave them on they work really well while you sleep. To use them you simply peel one off the plastic sheet and apply it to the pimple or red area. There are 12 in a pack, 6 smaller and 6 larger ones. You do have to be careful when peeling them off the sheet since they're thin and you may accidentally fold it over while trying to put it on.

You can take the sheet apart in sections if you feel the need to.

You also need to press them on firmly (especially on areas of your face that you move more like your chin) to make sure they don't slowly peel off. The patches are really comfortable and you can barely feel them on your skin. (Sometimes I almost forget I have them on when I wash my face in the morning.)

Under a light it's visible but in general you cannot tell if
someone has them on unless you look close. 

There is a very light scent when you first put them on (if you're sensitive to smells that is) but after a minute it fades and you don't notice it anymore. I also felt a slight tingling sensation about a minute after putting them on, but that also fades after a couple minutes. They peel off painlessly without too much effort (a lot less painful than a nose strip that's for sure!).


After one use


After one use
I saw a noticeable difference after using them only one night. After using them for a few days everything mostly cleared up. The redness went away and the pimples themselves shrunk in size. I did a "control" when using them to make sure it was the patch working and not just them healing over time. The area that I didn't apply the patch got bigger and the redness didn't go down, so I was able to tell that it really was the spot patches that did the work. You may notice that your skin is slightly lighter where the patch was right after you take them off but eventually it will turn to your regular skin tone, but the redness doesn't come back. Your skin may also feel a bit tight, so make sure to use your usual face wash to remove any leftover residue.

After I got back to Korea I bought about a handful of these things because they're so cheap and work so well. I would really recommend them for people who get stubborn pimples or have breakout areas or redness that won't clear up on their own. I bought these at the Skinfood store itself for about 800 won, but you can also find them online at Amazon, Sokoglam, the Skinfood online store, or any other online shop you prefer.

If you've ever tried these out before, or have your own brand you prefer, let me know in the comments! It's always good to see how products work for different people and I love hearing other peoples opinion's.

See you next time you're down the rabbit hole,


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Product Review: Peripera "Rouge Pang Lipstick"

It used to be very difficult to buy red lipstick in Korea because pinks and oranges were the most popular. Lately, red lipsticks have been gaining popularity and it's becoming easier to find them. I had wanted a deep red one for a while and this was one of the first that I saw that didn't have strong pink or orange undertones, although it's still a brighter cherry red color, and I've been using it ever since. This is the first time I bought a product from the brand Peripera, and after this one I actually bought a few other products for them (which I will be writing about soon).

Brand: Peripera 
Product: Rouge Pang Lipstick (RD01 Mature)
Lasting Time: 5 - 8 Hours 
Color/Tone: Bright Red
Finish: Slight Gloss
Expiration: 12 Months
Overall rating: 5 out of 5

The Rouge Pang series of lipsticks comes in 8 different colors ranging from hot pink to burgundy and red. All of them are extremely vibrant colors that stand out, and were made for people who want their lips to "pop!" (aka "pang!"). While I only bought one at the time it was difficult to decide which to buy because all of the colors were really nice. When I bought this one I was currently working on a project where I dressed in vintage style for 30 days, so I went for a bright cherry red color.

I've applied it with a brush before which gave the top that texture

The shape is flatter than the classic lipstick shape, however there is still a slight slant. I really liked the packaging because it's simple and you can tell what color it is before opening because the outside matches the lipstick color almost exactly. I've had lipsticks in the past where all of the tubes were identical so I had to open them all before finding the one I wanted. But with this brand I could always find the one I wanted fast, which is helpful for busy people like myself. The cap pops off easily and it also twists up and down smoothly. The shape of the lipstick matches the shape of my lips well, so it's easy to just dab it on when applying.

The lipstick has moisturizers in it and a very smooth and creamy texture. It glides on well and doesn't show the creases in your lips or dry spots as much as others I've used. This is usually a problem because despite all my attempts at making them smooth my lips are constantly dry. You can either use a brush or apply it directly, whichever you are more comfortable with. You can also line your lips first with the outside of the lipstick because of the sharp edges that it has from the flat shape. The color is not a deep red, however I like the playfulness of the bright red tone. 

You can either apply a thick layer and really define the edges, but I prefer to blend it slightly on the edges and wear a lighter layer. I have very pale skin so the contrast is really strong on me, and to be honest it took a while for me to adjust t having my lips stand out so much! But after wearing it a few times I grew really attached to the look. As far as lasting power goes, I've eaten with this lipstick on and worn it for a full day before and only needed to apply it after wiping my mouth, and even then it wasn't necessary but I just wanted to keep the colors bright. It doesn't come off with water and takes a bit of scrubbing with makeup remover to completely come off, so I would say that it really sticks on once you apply it.

Tip: When applying lipstick I learned that the best way to get it to stay on for a long time is to apply it once and use a tissue to get off the excess, then apply another coat and dab with the tissue again slightly, and then finish with a light dusting translucent powder (this can also make it look more matte depending on the powder you use).


Overall, I would highly recommend trying out this brand. I bought mine at Olive Young for around 10,000 won on a sale, and you can also find it online at shops like Amazon for around $12. I've had this tube for about 6 months now and still have a lot left, so I don't think I'll need to replace it until the expiration date.

If you've ever tried out this lipstick, in Mature or any other colors, please let me know in the comments what you thought! Lipstick can look different depending on your skin tone so I'm always curious to know what others think. And if you have any other brands or colors you think I should try let me know!

See you next time you jump down the rabbit hole,

- C.A.M.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Eurwangni Beach : 을왕리해수욕장

few days ago I posted a video with footage from a trip that I took to Eurwangni Beach a while ago. I've been there a few times now so I wanted to write about what it's like. Most of the beaches in Korea are about 4 or more hours away from where I live, however Eurwangni Beach is only about 40 minutes away. You can take the 302 or 306 bus from Incheon Airport to get there, and from the airport to the beach is about 20 minutes or so (depending on traffic). It hasn't been crowded when I went because I tend to go "off-season", but I think it may be much busier as it heats up. These photos are all from the same area but on separate days that I went, one of them being clear and sunny and the other more overcast and rainy.

The bus ride to the beach is really pleasant and you can watch the boats and ships go by as you get closer. There are fishermen, ferries, and sometimes even jet skis on the water along the road and the beach. (One day I would really like to go for a ferry ride here!) 

The first time I went I got off a stop early and had to walk a bit to get to the "main area", so after that trip I got off the bus when I saw the arch for the beach. There are a lot of hotels, cafes, and seafood restaurants around and of course other towns close by if this one doesn't suit you. One of the down sides to going here is that the people who are in the restaurants are a bit more...aggressive in trying to get customers, and I'm really not used to people shouting for me to eat some place at the top of their lungs. (I saw several signs put up saying that they are not supposed to call people off the street to try to get them to come inside, however many people did this anyways.) There's also a convenience store and restrooms around so you don't need to bring much with you, especially for a day trip. 

Some areas of the beach have softer sand but the majority of it has a lot of crushed up shells so it's not the best place to go running around barefoot. The waves are very small but this is actually a bit more relaxing because you can hear the soft sound of the waves going against the shore without worrying about suddenly getting drenched by a huge one. 

"Are you lookin' at me?"


One of my favorite things about this beach is all of the seagulls around. You may find them annoying in most places but they don't really bother anyone here and it's fun to just watch them fly around and interact with each other. They are all over the beach so if you are not a fan of seagulls it may not be the best place to go. 

The area is quite large so you can choose to go wherever you want to sit down really. This beach is in a crescent shape which is why the waves aren't very large, so it's purposely kept very mild and shallow so that people can walk around along the beach and go for a swim without worrying about the water being too deep. I would simply call this a "casual beach". 

I collected a few really pretty shells after walking around a bit, and I even found one that still had it's owner, a little crab, inside (which I let go of course). So although it's a real pain for your feet having so many shells along the beach, it's great if you like to collect them! 

There's also an area with benches and a playground behind the shore that you can enjoy. I really love that there were trees just planted in the sand to provide some shade and it was nice to take a break and go on the swings after playing in the water for a while. I also saw a few people who set up tents around this part of the beach, which seems like it would be really fun!

The area where you can rent a place or get a hotel behind the beach is also nice and has lots of plants and trees

Of course, my favorite thing about my trips to Eurwangni Beach has to be how beautiful it is at sunset. Everything looks so warm, you can hear the water and seagulls and snack on some fruit or ice cream while you walk around, and it all feels really peaceful and somewhat magical. Sure, it's not a huge beach and it's really nothing fancy, but it feels warm and cozy in a way. If you go when there aren't many people it almost feels like a private, secluded beach that you have all to yourself. 

At night lights turn on and a lot of the buildings and restaurants are decorated so it's also very beautiful, and if you're in luck people may even be setting off fireworks. So if you get a pension, a hotel, or just go for a day trip I really recommend check out this small and sandy spot as a nice getaway from the city or whatever stress you may have.

If you didn't see the video that I posted from one of my trips you can click here to watch it! And if you've ever been to this beach or have one that you would recommend let me know in the comments! Also tell me if there's a place in Korea you think I should write about in the future! 

See you next time you jump down the rabbit hole, 

- C.A.M. 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Product Review: Etude House "Play Nail Sticker Galaxy Express 999"

It can be really tough painting your nails. When I go online I see a lot of crazy nail art and want to do it myself, and then I realize it would take a lot of products, a steady hand, and not to mention hours of my time, to do it right. I love to paint my nails (I recently did a post on Panda Nails) but I don't do anything that would be overly complicated or realistic looking. So when I was out and saw a sale on these nail stickers I thought that I should give them a try. There were two versions available at the time, but I've always wanted galaxy nails so I bought the space themed version. 

Brand: Etude House
Product: Play Nail Sticker
Version: Galaxy Express 999 No. 02
Expiration: None
Overall rating: 1 out of 5

Galaxy Express 999 is a manga and anime series from the late '70s through the '80s, which won several awards. While I'm not sure why there's a renewed surge of popularity now, but it was a very popular series in Korea a while ago and it looks like a great series from what I've seen (it's under the "space western" category which is always fun). Etude House came out with different stickers and nail polish that was all galaxy themed based off of this series. There were two types of stickers and different sparkling polish in pinks, silvers, and blues, and the other version of the nail stickers has the characters on them. I believe these were all a limited collection so they may be a bit more difficult to find now, but I think that the polish especially looks really pretty.

The package comes with 16 stickers in different sizes and a small nail file. You can either use them on all of your nails or alternate between stickers and polish to make them last more than one wear. The variety of the sizes is great because you can match them to your own nail types, however it can be sad when one of the stickers you like most is too big or small for any of your nails. These are supposed to be easy to apply and after you stick them on you seal it with a clear top coat. However, as you will see, these aren't really easy to apply and don't really look how I wanted...

So first you are supposed to start the sticker at the base of your nail and gradually pull and press as you cover you nail up to the top. The texture is pretty much like latex and feels a bit weird. Because none of the stickers were an exact match it went on my cuticle a bit, which I had to clean up later.

After you attach it completely to your nail you use the file to remove the excess by filing the tip at a slight angle. The file has a really rough texture and is stronger than other files I've used before. (I actually still use it just for my nails now and I think it's the best thing I got from this set.) This part is actually really satisfying to do, but you have to be careful not to file off too much. 

After I filed off the tip I used it against the parts by my cuticle to remove that part as well. This was my first attempt and I noticed that while the base was smooth looking, the sides and top were all wrinkled. 

I  used the same method and practiced on all my other nails and still got the wrinkled look. Then I tried using my cuticle pusher to smooth it out instead of my finger and it worked a little better but still left the creases when I finished no matter how long I took trying to smooth them out during and after application. 

When I finished let's just say I was not happy with the finished product... The stickers felt a bit heavy on top of my nails and uncomfortable, and because of the creases and the texture of the stickers (very shiny and plastic looking) it clearly looked like I was wearing stickers and not polish. I've seen other stickers from different brands that you can tell are stickers, but not in a bad way because they still are smooth and blend well with other painted nails. Maybe my nails are too arched for them to work well, or maybe I just can't do it right, but they were supposed to look like this and not what mine looked like at all. In general it was very artificial and were not easy to apply and were just overall frustrating to apply and I ended up removing them right after use. 

I bought these along with some nail polish in Etude House on a two-for-one sale so it only cost me about $4 for both of them together. You can buy them for about $3 around Korea if the shop still has them in stock. I've seen these for sale online too, from $4 in different online stores to $17 on ebay, if you're really interested in trying them yourself anyways or are a fan of the manga/anime. However I would suggest getting the polish instead if that's the case. I'm sure if I practiced over and over maybe I could have gotten out the creases eventually, but the texture and feel would still be a problem for me. Maybe there are people who got it right out there but I am not one of them. 

If you have tried "Etude House Play" brand nail stickers yourself and had better luck than I did please let me know in the comments! And of course feel free to ask for any specific reviews that you would like to see in the future!

See you next time you jump down the rabbit hole,


Saturday, May 7, 2016

Product Review: Holika Holika "Face 2 Change White Cushion BB Cream"

After I ran out of my last CC Cream I started to look for a new one to replace it. In Korea any time I go out I see lots of women using these compacts. After doing a little research on which ones people thought were the best I decided to try the one from Holika Holika. I usually use a sponge and a regular squeeze bottle type instead, so this was a change for me, but not necessarily a bad change. 

Brand: Holika Holika
Product: Face 2 Change White Cushion (BB Cream)
Coverage: Good
Color/Tone: Fair to Medium-fair
Finish: Glossy/Dewy
Expiration: 12 Months
Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5

The reason why people like compacts is right in the name, they're compact. You can take them with you and use them any time. Everything you need to apply is inside including the product, a cushion/sponge, and a mirror. Over the last few months pretty much every cosmetic brand in Korea has come out with at least one version of the BB or CC cream cushion to call their own. I seriously cannot go anywhere without seeing an ad for one of these things. So after seeing the popularity everywhere I finally broke down and bought this one in a local store. The lady gave me the compact, along with an extra replacement cushion (which I have not needed yet). 

This is one of many compacts that Holika Holika is selling, they also have Photo Ready, Water, Moist, and Glow versions. They also sell primers, CC creams, and other products in their Face 2 Change line. What makes the one I bought different from the other options is that it is made to help even out and brighten your complexion underneath as you wear it, and is for dry skin types. 

The White Cushion that I bought comes in two shades, light beige and natural beige (of course "natural" for me is the lightest shade, so I have the light beige version). There are several different extracts and ingredients that were added to the BB cream including menthol, tea tree oil, peony and lily extracts, as well as sunblock and anti-wrinkle ingredients. First, the menthol/mint extract helps to sooth skin and can even reduce pore size. Tea tree oil helps for people who have sensitive skin and can prevent breakouts. The flower extracts are to gradually lighten and even out skin tone, which they claim will brighten your complexion. One of my favorite things about this BB cream is that it has SPF 50 sunblock built into it, especially since it's summer and I need that extra protection against the sun. Finally, this BB cream was formulated for dry skin, so there are a lot of moisturizers (as apparently "fresh cliff water") added to keep your skin healthy and prevent dry patches and wrinkles

When you first open the compact you'll need to pull a sticker off of the BB cream pod. It comes off cleanly and without any mess, and after that you can use the compact right away. The packaging is nice, and it's easy to open and close the lid and has a nice, tight seal. The cushion is separated from the BB cream part, which is great for keeping it mostly dry and clean when you aren't using it. You can hold it upside down and nothing is going to drip out, and all of the little pores in the sponge that keeps in the BB cream holds the product well until you press down to use it. I do like the clean and simple look of the packaging because it gives a really fresh feeling, which I can appreciate when using something on my skin.

The cushion has a really soft and smooth texture, and because it's thin and flexible you can get into the difficult spaces (like around your nose), so it makes it very easy to apply the makeup. However I found that after using it for a few weeks most of the cream in the center had been used up so I had to start getting it from the sides, which is a bit messier. The first time I used the cushion I applied way too much on my skin and it felt very heavy. This is mainly because at first it was difficult to tell how much I was using (when you use a tube you know exactly how much when you squeeze it out). After a few tries however I got the hang of how hard to dab it in and was able to spread it more evenly. 

The color matched my skin fairly well and the coverage is good enough to help cover up red spots and even most of my dark circles, but dry patches still show up if they are more severe. Although it claims to have a matte finish it has a very glossy look to me, so if you prefer a matte finish you will need to apply some powder afterwards. It feels very light on the skin, although before it sets in it's a bit sticky to the touch, especially if you are applying more than one layer of it.

Overall, I didn't get any breakouts from this product, even with my sensitive skin, and I'm happy with the amount of coverage as well as the convenience of keeping everything in one, cute package. If you have sensitive or dry skin (as well as combination) I would suggest trying this out! I have been using the same little pod of BB cream for a month now and still have not run out, and also have the replacement left, so I think you can get a lot out of the product. I bought this in a makeup store here in Korea, however you can also find it online in select places including Amazon or Ebay for around $20 (I believe I bought it for around 25,000 won, about $23, including the replacement). The amount that you get for the price, as well as the fact it's a mirror too, makes it a great deal I think.

If you have ever tried this out yourself or have similar recommendations let me know in the comments! It's always great to hear how products work on different people and skin types. Also, please let me know if there's any product you would like me to review in the future!

See you next time you jump down the rabbit hole,

- C.A.M.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Nail Day: Panda Nails

I used to paint my nails regularly until recently, and when I did them I didn't simply paint them one color but would have different themes. It's a really fun and relaxing thing that I like to do when I have free time. Of course the problem is having free time to do it. But I thought it may be fun to start painting my nails again (at least once a month) and to post the photos along with a brief tutorial.

I am not an expert when it comes to nail art, and I'm also out of practice. So these posts won't look perfect, but they're fun to make and I hope that people can enjoy them.

I recently got a cute stuffed panda gifted to me, which inspired me to make these panda and bamboo nails. Think of this post like guidelines more than rules, because nothing is mandatory here. I used mainly "Play" nail polish by Etude House because it was on sale, and also I like that it dries quickly since I'm pretty clumsy.

So let's get to the how-to part, so you can try these out yourself!

You will need: 

1. White nail polish 
2. Black nail polish
3. Green or aqua nail polish 
4. Top coat 
5. Sparkly nail polish (optional) 
6. A piece of paper and a bobby pin or toothpick 
7. Nail polish remover and cotton swabs 

I'm using cheap nail polish because I'm not exactly Bill Gates

Step One: The base 

Usually I like to have at least one or two nails that are different from the rest to add some variety. So I painted my pinky and ring fingers with white and the rest with the bluesh-green color. Because they are light colors you will need to do at least two coats. Make sure you let your nails dry for 5-10 minutes after this, to reduce the chances of colors bleeding together later on.

Obviously you can do all in the blue if you want, doesn't matter to me

Step Two: Adding the heads 

The next thing to do is add the little panda heads to the blue nails. I found it best to do this in 3 steps. It may take practice to make these half circle shapes. (I usually take far too many deep breaths and shake like crazy while steadying my hand when doing it) and mine came out okay, so no worries.

Angle the brush and go from the center down
Repeat on the other side 
Last, fill in the center as best you can 

Step Three: Practice the panda face 

If you want to do a good job on the face it's best to practice using paper first, so you can see how much polish you need for each part. I usually dab some nail polish on a piece of scrap paper and then use a stretched out bobby pin or a flat toothpick, and draw out what I want it to look like. 

Because it dried quickly you don't want to put too much at once
Once it thickens it's harder to use so try to "refresh" often

My final design ended up looking a bit different, so practice is good 

Step Four: The ears 

Once everything is dry and you've got in your practice, use your tool to make little ears on top of the white. I just did two "dots" really close together to make it into a half circle type shape. Then I repeated this on my thumb using the silver/sparkly color to add more variation.

Just keep dabbing slowly until the ears are the size that you want

If you don't want a "bling panda" you can use black
Or make them all bling pandas
Up to you

Step Five: The eyes 

While having bags under my eyes just looks like I'm tired, it makes pandas cute (lucky...). Using the same tools and colors as before make the eyes as thick little stripes that are slightly tilted downwards. Start at the top and pull to the left or right at a slight angle, then thicken it up after if you need to. 

Honestly, they look cute just like this too 

Step Six: The nose and pupils 

Next you'll need to use much lighter pressure (and fast speeds can help too) to make little dots. For the nose just "boop" the center under the eyes. After that you're going to use white and very gently add a tiny white center to the eyes right in the middle. The lighter the pressure you use the smaller the dot. 
Not all noses are the same size.
But you should be proud of your nose, Mr. Panda!
You can tell that one of them was done... More heavy handed 

Step Seven: The bamboo 

You can't have pandas without making them a snack too. Also, it's hard to make tiny little pinky pandas, so we're going to add bamboo to the two white nails. First you need to make a line, as thin as you can, across your nail. You can go in a straight line, at a slight slant, or both depending on mood really. After that add two or three little leaves by pulling small lines next to the main "stalk". 

It doesn't need to be perfect, clearly 
They aren't really dots or lines, something in-between 

Step Eight: Clean up time and final coat

After you've painted everything you need to let it dry and then you can clean up the edges with some nail polish remover. Once it's dried for about 10 minutes you can apply the clear coat on top.

This is why being messy it okay, you can also fix it later 

Step Nine: Taking photos and letting them dry 

Here's a big tip, take photos quickly if you want nice ones, because chances are you may just smear a nail and mess it up (from experience). This gives you proof of what you've done. You also need to let you nails dry a long time. If you take breaks between coats it will help a lot, but usually I take how long I think it will take to dry and then double that. If you're in a hurry you can just soak your nails in ice water for a while to quick dry them too.

Now you're all done! If you try this out let me know in the comments, or you can show my on Instagram or Twitter. I hope you think they are as cute as I do!

See you next time you jump down the rabbit hole,

- C.A.M.