20 May 2014

bloom and goûté - garosugil

bloom and goûté review

Today was a good day. The sun was shining, it was a lovely 26 degrees C, and I got to feel really important (or pretentious) by wearing my (new!!) sunglasses until the minute the sun set.  It probably wasn't the best day to wear a skirt, but hey I was prepared. (With these super cute lace trim biker shorts from forever21). The best thing about today though, was no doubt, finding bloom and goûté during my Adventures Through Sinsa-dong. 

19 May 2014

The Food Series: PatBingSu

where to get patbingsu in south korea

When the weather heats up to the point I'd consider it to be the temperatures of an English Summer, South Korea, very sweetly, bring out all the summer desserts. Like PatBingSu.


11 May 2014

A Guide to Korean Cosmetic Brands: the 'bubblegum' stores

Korean Cosmetic Brands Guide: Post header

This is, by no means, a perfect, definitive, bible-type post about the cosmetic brands hailing from South Korea. It is merely a collection of my own musings about what each brand, in my opinion, does well or badly, in the vast ocean of Korean Cosmetics. I'm also not trying to promote one brand over others, I really have tried to be as neutral as possible in my descriptions. Additionally, I hope this little disclaimer type thing doesn't come off as too harsh or brusque. Eep.

With that out of the way, let's get started then.

I've mentioned before - ok, really glossed over - how overwhelming the amount of choice available here in South Korea is, seeing as these brands aren't displayed as a counter in a drugstore or a bigger retail outlet, they all have their own stores. Multiple stores. You literally cannot walk down a street without seeing at least three brands in close proximity. The choice is great, but it can be incredibly frustrating when you want something specific, but don't know where is good to go.

And that is where I'm going to try and help, or, at the very least, make a valiant attempt at trying to help, seeing as diving into the world of asian-brand cosmetics from the western brands can be really daunting.

I tend to categorise the brands into three main groups: 'sophisticated', 'transitional' and 'bubblegum'. Brands under 'sophisticated' tend to carry more muted, neutral and dark tones, and are generally targeted at a slightly older market without being too 'high-end' expensive. 'Transitional' brands are the in-between, aimed at girls that want high pigmentation but not in childish colours. 'Bubblegum' brands are the stores that a lot of girls who enjoy the 'ulzzang/eoljjang/best face' look shop at - products generally come in super cute packaging, and the target market is generally a smidge younger too. For those stores that focus less on the makeup and more on the skincare, I categorise them really imaginatively as 'skincare'.

I know that there are probably much better ways to categorise the brands, but seeing as a lot of the them have a varying price range within their own product lines, and the distribution of brands per post would be too uneven, it seemed a little silly. So I'll take the chance to apologise now if the categories seem a little odd.

So on to the brands. As there are so many brands available in South Korea I've decided to focus on one 'category' per post. (I was making a list of all the stores I've seen regularly or knew of as I was preparing to write this, and hit 30 easily... and there are still more.)


5 May 2014

I love Korea in the the Springtime

Lanterns against trees and a gorgeous blue sky

Usually summer is my favourite season. Long days, short nights, dining al fresco and I get to wear the majority of my wardrobe. (I will never be good at buying winter clothes.) But summer in Korea was a previously undiscovered hell. Humidity mixed with stagnant heat and sun and dust and and and... I remember spending the entirety of it lying on my floor because it was the coolest part of the room. Also cicadas. In all honesty, it was the first time I was glad to see it go. I welcomed autumn with very open arms and was incredibly disappointed when it left me to deal with winter. Eurgh.

So when spring rolled around, finally, with it's blue skies and british-summer temperatures, I can quite safely say that I really, really, really like this weather, even with the unpredictable rain. At least it isn't monsooning (yet).

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