The Inspiration: Myeongdong, South Korea
I’m a girl who loves her make-up. Always have been. Just like clothes, it can reflect you as a person and the mood you are in. I have always enjoyed my little morning ritual. Before moving to South Korea, I usually cleansed, moisturised, and er, that was about it. I’d heard of K-beauty and Asian skincare routines, but mostly just stuck to my BB cream and occasionally dabbled with a matcha mask. Skincare products appealed to me, but in Spain, where I lived, they were hard to get my hands on, and expensive when I could.
Now I’m living and working in Korea, which is bad news for my purse and good news for my face. Make-up and skincare shopping is a weekly occurrence, so what better way to channel my never-ending spendaholic energy than through a beauty blog?
On this blog, I will write about my experiences in Korea; the products I buy; reviews and opinions on them; and the cutesy stuff there is to be had on every street corner.
I’ve just returned from a trip to Seoul, where I spent four days basking in its cool-ness: large cities always have that vibe. One of the first places I checked out was Myeongdong shopping area, famed for its beauty stores, or road shops, as they’re called here in Korea. In a country so beauty-obsessed, it’s normal to see a fair few on most streets here. In Myeongdong, you can see more than a few – virtually the entire street is packed full of beauty-based road shops, and in the space of just one block I encountered seven Nature Republics. It truly is a skincare addict’s paradise.
On a wet May day, I was pleased to see the streets were relatively bare. Google the name of the area and you’ll see pictures of it crammed to the hilt with happy shoppers. The lack of people meant I could easily enjoy browsing around the shops in peace, admiring the leafy streets and theme park-esque storefront designs.
If you’re interested in a trip to Myeongdong, you should probably go with something in mind. If not, your mind and purse can easily run away with you. Sales assistants can be pushy, and the free samples they dole out tempt eager shoppers in to buy. Don’t be afraid to say no, or state simply what you are looking for – if not, many shops try to push their current promotion on you. I’ve learned the hard way and caved in to a few shop assistants, finding the product is good, but regretting not sticking to my guns and noping the hell out of the store. If they push it, and you (Holika Holika, I’m glaring in your direction here), it’s probably not the best idea.
To find beauty street, leave Myeongdong station at exit 6, and you can’t miss Myeongdong 8-gil right in front of you. Walk down the street, and you’ll be met with a whole host of beauty shops, including Innisfree, La Neige, Etude House, Nature Republic, TonyMoly, The Face Shop, Aritaum, Skinfood, It’s Skin, and…well, we could be here for hours. Suffice to say they are there in droves. Go on a busy shopping day and you’re more likely to be given free samples (they’ll want to draw you in). Go on a dead day like me, and you’ll still get some. I got 5 free face masks before even walking in the door (yay snails!). Be savvy and strong-willed – not only will you have to try to say no to the shop assistants, but you will also have to say no to yourself!
Below are some pictures of the haul I got, and bonus pictures of the Totoro goodies I bought from the Ghibli store in Hongdae. The list of products is underneath, and reviews will be sure to follow up soon! Enjoy, everyone.
The Yeon Charcoal Oil to Foam Cleanser
Etude House Eyeliner and cat ears
TonyMoly Goat Milk Moisture Eye Cream
Nature Republic Bee Venom Spot Treatment, Bee Venom Facial Mist, Charcoal Face Puff
It’s Skin L10 Effector (Liquorice)
Banila Co. VV Cushion, Sun Primer
(Samples and freebies)
10 x TonyMoly Goat Milk Moisture Sheet Masks
Snail Masks from The Saem, Tony Moly, Nature Republic. I also got one at The Face Shop but used it XD
Etude House: Baking Powder Pore Cleansing Foam, Pink Vital Water Emulsion/Toner/Serum
The Yeon: Lotus Leaf Milky Foam Cleanser, Snail Cream 80
Banila Co.: White Wedding Dream Cream, Clean It Zero Foam Cleanser, Prime Primer, Radiant CC Cream
Nature Republic: Argan Oil Deep Care Shampoo
It’s Skin: Mangowhite Cleansing Cream