I don’t normally buy into trends especially cutesy animal shaped packaging that’s pink, but I don’t know what came over me upon learning Elena had a stopover in Seoul. This meant Korean beauty products. I searched the internet, frantically emailing Elena screen shots and links of what I wanted before her 4 hour layover ended. She became so determined with finding as many amazing and fun products that she ended up on a one way tram to a different terminal and then had to be escorted by airport personnel through the underbelly of Incheon International back to her terminal. We take beauty seriously.
Tony Moly was top of my list. This brand is coveted and is an Instagram favorite amongst beauty lovers all the way to fashion editors. This is mainly due to the fact that the packaging is adorable, with fruit packaging resembling Fisher Price toys more than a serious beauty routine. Buyers beware if you do not read Korean this may be a problem. A large number of TM products are whitening. This is popular in Asia due to the belief that a whiter complexion is associated with wealth and if you are tanned it is due to the fact that you work outdoors which is considered lower class and frowned upon. I prefer to keep my natural olive complexion, but I do use Tony’s Tangerine cream to help lighten dark spots on my elbows and knees.
The Face Shop is available in Toronto at CF Eaton Centre. They don’t carry the full range of products, but enough to satisfy your curiosity. Known for their adorable animal face masks, Elena’s choice, panda bear. We carefully pulled it apart as not to rip it. Delicate and slimy, we spread the mask over our face so that our eyes, nose, and mouth aligned with the openings in the mask. Distracted by trying to apply it correctly we didn’t realize how ridiculous we looked until we turned to each other, causing hysterical laughing fits. An abnormal amount of time went by before we could straighten out our faces enough to take a proper photo.
Made on the South Korean island of Jeju, Innisfree is committed to reducing carbon emissions while bringing you quality beauty products. They have a bottle recycling program in place, as well as using soy ink on packaging, and a 5-free system : no parabens, synthetic colorants, mineral oil, animal-originated ingredients, and imidazolidinyl urea. Their Green Tea Mint Fresh Scalp Scaler is refreshing. I’ve only tried it once since Elena brought it back, but it was very invigorating and healing. I would definitely buy more when I visit Asia. Hands down the weirdest thing, yes, more weird than the panda mask, was Innisfree’s Eco Finger Masks. As the name suggests they are mini sheet masks that fit like little gloves over your individual finger tips to “add vitality and energy to your finger” according to the package. I wouldn’t recommend doing this alone, because once you put one hand on there’s no way to put on the other hand. They have a wide range of products, Bija Trouble Spot Patch, and Eco Science Eye Mask as well as makeup are available online and they deliver to Canada.
3CE (3 Concept Eyes) was launched in 2009 by Korean fashion brand STYLENANDA. Their concept is that everything is easy to follow using three main colors, pink, orange, and beige. Elena discovered this brand while shopping in Bangkok between shoots. The Pink Rumour Lip Color in Dangerous Matte #808 is a berry hue which Ele knew would be perfect for me.
3CE describes their Nail Lacquer Jelly in PK17 as a warm indie pink. It’s slightly flesh tone with a mauve undertone and creates a glossy finish without a top coat. It took about three coats for it to not be sheer. I found it to be extremely quick drying. My new go to shade.
When the little Skin Finger Sponge came home to me I thought it was wild. Elena’s never seen anything like it before, “Definitely not the typical sponge you’d find in a makeup artist’s kit or on a vanity”. It’s a great blending tool for applying liquid foundation, “the sponge emulates fingers with its multi surfaced design”, Elena says.
These new beauties don’t even begin to skim the surface of the amount of beauty products Korea has to offer. Don’t even get me started on the creams that have eggs, placenta, or snail in them. This vegan will skip those. There are a ton I still want to try, especially from Innisfree. I’m sure if you can find some of these products in Little Korea located in Toronto but, now that Elena has introduced me to these brands, I can’t wait to plan a sister trip to Seoul.
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