Asian Beauty Products You Need in Your Life
A few years ago I got the chance to stop in Seoul, South Korea for several days. We had been in China for my husband’s job and they asked him to go to a couple meetings in South Korea since we were “in the neighborhood.” Being from China I had heard a lot of amazing things about Asian makeup for a long time, especially Korean and Japanese makeup. But I have never tried anything from Korea. Before I went to Seoul, I did some research and, while my husband was busy with his meetings, I spent a couple days shopping for beauty products. I have to say, I definitely got the better end of that deal! I was super happy and excited for this trip just because I found so many hidden treasures. How can such a tiny country have so many high quality, low price and thoughtful products? Literally you can find anything and everything that a person can imagine and sometimes even beyond imagining. In China we have a saying to express sort of ultimate happiness; “As happy as a mouse falling into the rice jar”. By the way, in China, mice love rice, not cheese. We didn’t have cheese, so the local mice never acquired the taste for it. Anyway, for a couple days in Seoul, I was that mouse!
Long story made short; I bought as many as I (well, my husband actually) could carry and would have lived happily ever after. But. Ah, there’s that terrible word. All good things must come to an end and after a few years, my extensive inventory of wonderful South Korean cosmetics was gone. It is quite difficult to find them in America, at least where we live. And most of the websites that I found them on did not have them very highly rated. So I turned to my old trusty standby, Amazon. But it turned out that all the Korean makeup I bought there was fake. Of course I don’t have any proof of that but the results were doing the talking. My skin was damaged and I ended up throwing away a few hundred dollars worth of products that did NOT perform the same way as the wonderful collection I brought back from Seoul. After so many disappointments, I gave up on the hope of buying them again.
Life is always like this. It seems that when you are not looking anymore, the right person, or the right seller in this case, pop up directly in front of you. This website is called Yesstyle.com and there are loads of Asian fashion and beauty products on it. Of course, my first thought was “great, another too good to be true website that’s trying to trick me with fake and potentially harmful products. But after I looked at their customer reviews, my hope of finding my long lost beauty products was alive again. On Google.com, it said their Rating: 9.3/10 – 9,929 reviews. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t easily trust online businesses, especially those that I may be recommending to you, my readers. I know that if I let you down, I won’t see you again. And that is NOT the way I run ColorAndGrace. I will not just believe their website, I need more to prove I will not throw away my money again. So I kept checking and I got more! Here are those results. It got 4.6 out of 5 with 730 reviews from productreview.com.au. Honestly, I haven’t seen such a high rating for an Asian company. I know, it is pretty hard, and kind of sad, for a Chinese person to say that, but it is the truth.
Anyway, I was now confident enough to give them a try. So I ordered several different items to see how they worked. Now, after a few weeks of using them, I am so pleased and excited to share with you my best recommendations and new finds. If you are tired of your routine products and looking to try something new, read on! If you are searching for the best fit for you, then you are lucky that this website might just help you out.
1. Innisfree – Eco Eyebrow Pencil ( 98.4% customers satisfied | 65 reviews)
The double-ended eyebrow pencil is the first product I ran out of. Over these past few years I bought a few similar ones in America. Wow! They are expensive! All the ones I got here not only didn’t work nearly as well but cost over $20, EACH! I truly didn’t feel there was anything better than those $5 and $6 ones I got across the Pacific. Why are they so good and reasonably priced?
The style I came to love includes a flat oval head on one end. For me, this is the key for easily drawing the line, it is whole lot more user friendly than using the traditional pointy one. And don’t you hate sharpening those old eyebrow pencils? It seemed that every twist in the sharpener cut off another dollar of my pencil! The other end is a spiral brush for a soft and natural finish. You simply outline your brows with the pencil and smooth them out from end to end using the spiral brush. You can find many examples of this type of eye brow pencil on this website and some are even cheaper than the one I ordered. I bought two. That way I leave one at home and one is always with me in my bag for a quick touch up. I mean, at that price, why not?
2. Skinfood – Rice Mask Wash Off( 100% customers satisfied | 260 reviews)
This is a new one I fell in love with. The box tells you all about it. A best seller, Rice Mask Wash Off is a creamy and luxurious face mask that lifts off excess oil and dirt from the skin’s surface to keep the complexion clear and soft. Rice grains, vitamins, minerals and gamma oryzanol moisturize and whiten skin for a fairer look. Apply on cleansed face with a gentle massaging motion, avoiding the eyes and lips. Leave on for 10-15 minutes and then rinse off. Anyway, I do notice my skin is smoother after using it and I do see the whitening result as well. And it is only $13.90. I mean, I’ve bought more expensive double mocha caramel lattes!
3. DHC – Deep Cleansing Oil (98.3% customers satisfied | 63 reviews)
This is not a Korean product. It is from just a short boat ride away in Japan. I have used it since I was in China and I loved it very much. But for the same reasons, it is quite hard to find locally. You can’t imagine how very happy I am to be reunited with it again. I have to say it is the best makeup remover for me that I have ever found. I have tried many different brands (some very expensive), but this one takes off my makeup like magic. So quick and easy and doesn’t hurt my skin or my eyes. By the way, I use the same product to remove my eye liner, eye shadow and mascarra as well. It truly is multi-purpose.
4. Nature Republic – Soothing & Moisture Aloe Vera 92% Soothing Gel (99.3% customers satisfied | 476 reviews)
Now from my old favorite, this is my new bestie. It can be used all over the body to add a dab of moisture or a downpour of hydration exactly where it is needed the most. I have unknown allergies; to the extent that I take a Zyrtec tablet every night. It’s terrible. I can’t get off the medication long enough to take the tests to tell me what exactly I’m allergic to. After the second day, I’m so itchy I scratch myself bloody. It seems my skin is especially sensitive to poor quality products which is why I try to be so careful. I mean I still get occasional rashes here and there, even with the medicine. But the great news is, after I apply this cream, a few minutes later my rash is gone. The soothing gel formula even allows it to be applied to hair or nails, without a sticky or heavy feel. The main ingredient is Aloe Vera which makes it a must-have in any household to provide immediate relief from razor burn and sunburn, or revitalize a stressed complexion when used as a face pack. Paraben-, mineral oil- and artificial color-free formula makes it safe to use on all skin types. It is certainly worth $11.90! Again, are you seeing a pattern here?
5. Tony Moly – Panda’s Dream White Sleeping Pack 50g (100% customers satisfied | 28 reviews)
This sleeping pack comes in an adorable panda-shaped container that is a cute addition to your vanity. You may remember that I am a middle school teacher in my civilian life and I use panda puppets when I’m teaching. It’s really not fair to use these super cute animals in marketing anything to me. But fortunately the product also lived up to it’s claim. The mask moisturizes and gently brightens your skin while you sleep, and absorbs easily without the heavy texture or residue. The formula contains lavender, rosemary, bamboo sap, bamboo shoot extract, blueberry, raspberry and blackberry extracts to nourish and whiten skin, and is free from parabens, benzophenone, mineral oil, triethanolamine and tar dye. Apply on cleansed face and neck at night and pat gently until fully absorbed. I honestly couldn’t tell a triethanolamine from a paraben but I’m happy there aren’t any of either in my panda jar.
I have been using a different brand of sleeping mask and loved it. The only down side is it’s a little bit sticky. Sometimes I can’t fall asleep because it feels weird with the wet skin feeling. But this one totally fixed that problem. It is so lightweight and even my husband noticed the whitening result. The first night I used it, I had some red bumps and sensitive spots. But the next morning, they were all gone. I was worried the new product may make it worse but I am so happy that it actually seems to have cleared it up. And it is only $12.26. There it is again. Prices more resembling a combo meal at a drive thru window than great beauty products!
My skin is very sensitive and these products worked very well for me. I ordered 7 different items and absolutely love 6 of them. I’m still evaluating number seven for now. But, I have to say, for ordering things online and trying new products, I am pretty happy with the result. The best thing about Asian beauty products is that great combination of good quality and low prices. Next best things? How about, they fill your order within 24 hours? And you’ll get your package in about 8 days. I mean that’s a lot better than a lot of products I’ve ordered that didn’t come from half way around the world! How’s that for taking some of the nasty surprises out of your shopping experiences? Of course it really helps if some brave fashion blogger put her skin’s safety on the line to find out what to buy and where to buy it. No. No. You are welcome. It’s all part of the job! 😉
Thanks for reading and have a great day!
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NYFW trip I just want to go home!
So, we got to NYFW in February. The flight out was a little tough and the time there was a little freezing but now it was time to go home. We had only been there for 2 nights but that’s all the time I had off work. Well, actually I had Monday and Tuesday off for the President’s Day holiday weekend but I always like to have at least one day to relax before I head back into the office. So we flew out early Saturday morning and had a 5pm return flight on Monday scheduled. My plan was to do a few hours of shopping in the morning, grab some lunch and head to the airport. Mother Nature, however, had a plan of her own. Quite a different one. The day started without any problems. We had a nice breakfast at the hotel and got to my department store of choice easily. I went in and got down to business. About an hour into my session, my husband decided he wanted a coffee. He knew there was a Starbucks just across the street so went to get a cup. A few minutes later he came back with his latte macchiato and the latest weather report. It had been crazy cold the whole trip but now it was adding some snow into the mix. He had just seen a poor girl fall down hard when she stepped off the sidewalk in front of the store right onto a small patch of ice. But he had been checking his airline app on his iPhone all morning and everything was still on time according to that. So, he sipped his coffee and I continued to load up my cart with bargain designer clothes.
I finally had a good enough collection (OK, I couldn’t fit any more into my cart) to make it worth while to go to the fitting room, so in I went. My husband had a bit of time to kill and pulled out his phone to check out the flight status again. Hmmm. That’s not the same message. Flight Cancelled. Not delayed. Cancelled. As in there wasn’t going to be an airplane at our gate that afternoon, or evening, or night. But the app offered to search for another flight at the same airport. We had flown into JFK for this trip. They had the best flight times for our schedule. OK, it seems they had a flight we could get on and it left in…1 hour! Well, since we still had to get back to our hotel, finish packing, check out and then get to the airport we were pretty sure this was NOT an option. Looking at other flights, they all had connections that would add hours and sometimes even a day to what should have been about a 2-hour trip. Well, this wasn’t looking very promising. My husband knows not to bother me when I’m trying on clothes unless maybe the store is on fire. And then only if the Fire Department can’t control it. So he kept investigating other options.
There was a button in the app to try other airports. We didn’t really care what airport we left out of as long as the other end of the trip was in Detroit. So he checked on the La Guardia flights. There was one! OK, it was a bit later (at 8pm) than we had hoped for but at least it was non-stop. He got us booked and then sent me a text in the dressing room to let me know the change in plans. He really is the best husband. He told me we were all set and I could take my time with the clothes because we had a few extra hours. So, I did. After making my purchase, we went outside to make our way back to the hotel. Wow, it really was snowing now. There was maybe two inches and it wasn’t looking like it would stop any time soon. We now had time for a real lunch and stopped at a very old restaurant near our hotel that had actually been visited by George Washington back in the day. It’s called the Fraunces Tavern and we had a very delicious and relaxing meal while we watched the snow pile up. But we kept checking the app and our flight was on time. Uh huh.
We walked the short block back to our hotel for our final packing and then got ready to head out to our new airport to wait for our flight. The roads were looking pretty bad so we decided to abandon our first thought of taking an Uber car or taxi to the airport. Traffic is bad enough in NYC but throw in several inches of snow, and now sleet, and it wasn’t a good combination. So we walked back to the subway station and waited for our train. The desk manager at the hotel told us that the best way to get to La Guardia was a combination of subway and bus. The subway part was no problem. There was no snow at all 40 feet below the ground. When we got to our stop and went outside to walk the block and a half to the bus stop however, it was a very different story. By now there was easily 6 or 7 inches of snow but the really good news was the sleet was not changing over to freezing rain. When I said that was good news, that was sarcasm by the way, just in case you weren’t sure. But we got on the bus and headed to the airport. By the time we neared the terminals we were the only ones on the bus but the driver was very helpful and made sure we got off at the right stop.
Back inside where it was warm and dry, my husband pulled out his phone to check the airline app. On the bus he had read that the plane was now expected to be delayed about half an hour. Oh well, better than cancelled. We got into the security check line and started emptying our pockets and taking off our shoes. Bags on the conveyer belt and into the body scanner we went. Out the other end and the TSA officer is asking if they can look through my carry-on bag. Really? I mean does anyone ever say no? So they are moving things around and feeling under my clothes when I asked what they are looking for so maybe I can help. They showed me on the screen and I knew immediately it was our travel corkscrew. Hey, when you’re a fashion and lifestyle blogger you NEVER want to be caught in a situation where you can’t open up a nice bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. I had completely forgotten about it being in my bag. And apparently the officers in Detroit a couple days before didn’t think it was a weapon of mass destruction so let it go through. But here in La Guardia, that little knife blade that cuts the foil so you can get to the cork was NOT going to get on their airplane. Oh well, the chances of me needing in on the flight home were pretty small so I turned it in and we went to put on our shoes and find our gate.
I won’t bore you with all the details but lets just say there was a gate change, 3 more delays and more than a few cancellations of flights in nearby gates before we got the word. Our plane was actually going to arrive at our gate. We finally boarded at 11:30pm and were in the air just before midnight. So I guess technically we still flew on Monday, but just barely. Oh, this plane was much nicer and bigger than the one we took to NYC, but the gate attendant still wouldn’t let us take our bags on. She made us check them to be stored under the plane. I was NOT happy! For two reasons. First, all my expensive makeup and jewelry was in that bag. And second, if I knew I was going to have to check that bag, I could have kept my stupid and dangerous corkscrew! And of course to make me even grumpier, when we actually got on the plane they had lots of room for bags. But the carry-ons did show up again on the baggage belt in Detroit. They were still wet from sitting in the NYC freezing rain but at least they didn’t get lost. By the time we got to our car and drove home, we finally collapsed into bed about 3am. As I was falling asleep I remember thinking to myself, maybe the September NYFW would be a better idea. I’ll let you know how that one turns out later!
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Meet our co-host Rania from The Wardrobe Stylist
Branding herself The Wardrobe Stylist, Rania began styling and blogging nearly a decade ago. She worked with a long list of clients and as a blogger, she covered several coveted events. She recently launched the Reversible Pocket Square. Made from 2 distinct fabrics, the reversible pocket square takes a modern and innovative shift on the age old accessory, allowing the wearer to choose which side to showcase or have both sides conveniently peak through.