CONTRIBUTED BY SIBO LUNGU
I’ve never had particularly troublesome skin, but I have always had very sensitive skin. I am allergic to many products and I bruise very easily, so when I get a little blemish the mark stays for months. I’ve tried it all, from drug store brands to department store brands and nothing really worked. Then I came to Korea. A month of snail oil and my skin was clear!
Walking through any Korean shopping street you’ll see cosmetic store after cosmetic store. It honestly surprises me how they are all still in business – Tony Moly, Etude House, Missha, Atrium, Skin Food, the Face shop, and many more. Sometimes there may be even more than one in a neighborhood. Myeong-Dong in Seoul, with as many cosmetics stores as restaurants, is the place for cosmetics shopping. The first time I went, I didn’t even buy anything but ended up with a bag full of samples!
Many of us are loyal to the brands that work so it is hard to experiment with something new, but some Korean products are definitely worth giving a shot.
For feet, many women (and guys; hubby is often my test dummy) absolutely love the foot packs. It’s basically an exfoliating liquid (alpha-hydroxyl acid, I think) that you put on your feet for an hour or so. In a few days, all the dead skin cells peel off, and voila! Silky smooth feet! I love the Tony Moly brand, but there are several others.
Another favorite are the face masks. It is literally a cloth mask saturated in your essence of choice that promises to lighten, brighten, hydrate, smooth, or energize your face. You put that on your face for 10 -15 minutes, and I promise you that your face never felt softer! There are many essences to choose from like aloe, rice, lemon, and avocado… pretty much any kitchen ingredient you can think of or have tried in your kitchen before. It’s weird but my favorite one that works best for my skin type is the one with the Kpop boy band on there.
Unfortunately, I can’t use foundation or tint creams (bb and cc creams) since they don’t come in my skin tone, but my coworkers all swear by them. They give you that natural skin glow those Kpop stars have where it looks like they may not even have any make up on. In the summer humidity you probably don’t want anything thick caked on anyways. I do use the mascaras, eyeliners and their wonderful lip colors. My newest obsession is a tattoo lip color. The name says it all; once it’s on, it’s not going anywhere!
As I was taking photos of all my products, I realized that I am probably bordering along the lines of becoming a product junkie. Korea does have four seasons though, so in my defense, I don’t use then all at once! The snail oil is my absolute favorite and the rest were purchases based on what was happening to my skin. Negative temperatures in January called for reinforcements!
My latest fun product is for nails. I love going to the nail spa like the next girl, but $40 a pop and finding time can be a pain. So hubby dearest bought me my own nail gel kit that I had been dying to get from Atrium for $50! It works great and now I just collect my gel polishes either online from Gmarket, or from the Atruim store. We PCS out this summer and I am already dedicating one suitcase for my cosmetics! Shhh, hubby can’t know!