Korean & Japanese Make Up & Skincare Haul

Korea and Japan are renowned for affordable, good quality skincare and makeup brands. On my recent trips to Seoul and Tokyo I wanted to stock up on my favourite products and also try some new stuff. I am so happy with everything I purchased this time and would highly recommend some of these products.

If you are interested in trying out some of these products then Jolse is the place to go. This online site stocks most of the popular Korean makeup and skincare brands at a really affordable price. The shipping is often free and delivery to the UK normally takes around 2-3 weeks. The store even has a credit system which gives you discounts on a variety of items. Descriptions of the products come in English, too, which is really handy as you know exactly what you are purchasing.

I have put also put a love heart symbol (♡) in front of my favourite products which I purchased this time, so you guys know which products I am really loving at the moment.

Skincare

Cosrx 

Corsx is one of Korea’s most popular and well-loved skincare brands at the moment. This brand caters for those with acne-prone skin; it aims to ‘transform skin’ and create a flawless complexion. My friend Becky introduced me to this brand and I am so glad that she did! All of the products that I have bought from them have been great and I have really noticed a difference.

♡ One Step Original Clear Pad

The One Step Original Clear Pads are another product I would highly recommend. These pads help to remove any excess oil and sebum from your pores, refining skin. I wipe my whole face with one of these pads every night after using a cleanser. These are great at exfoliating skin without drying it out. Each pack contains 70 pads so they last a long time too.

In Korea, these retail for around 17,500원 (£12.27)

Two in One Poreless Power Liquid

The Two in One Poreless Power Liquid is something I wanted to try for quite a while. The product claims tighten pores and keep them clear of blackheads. It uses a blend of BHAs to not only help reduce redness but reduce the size of pores too. I have used this product every night for the last week or so and I love the results I am seeing so far. I have noticed that my skin feels and looks a lot calmer and that some of my pores have reduced in size slightly. However, I will need to continue using this to see if these results are maintained.

In Korea, this retails for around 19,000원 (£13.32)

♡ Acne Pimple Patch

If you are going to get one product from Cosrx, it has to be a set of Acne Pimple Patches. Honestly, these have been a game changer for me. These acne pimple patches are perfect for those annoying surprise spots. All you have to do is put one of the different-sized stickers on your face at night and in the morning, 9 times out of 10, the spot will have either reduced in size or completely disappeared. The stickers clear out all of the dirt from your spot, helping to reduce its size and appearance. You can purchase a set of 5 packs on Jolse for cheap which will come in handy if you go through them as quickly as I do.

In Korea these retail for around 5,000원 (around £3.50)

Etude House 

Etude House is another popular, if not the most popular, makeup and skincare brand. It is popular with the younger generation because it is so inexpensive and such amazing quality. I have bought quite a bit from here and it is one of my favourite brands. You will find countless Etude House stores throughout Seoul and even in Tokyo. You will definitely want to stock up if you shop here – you will instantly fall in love with their products.

Etude House stocks some amazing skincare products. Their Baking Powder Cleanser has honestly improved my skin drastically. What is great is that it is also very inexpensive so you can keep your skin flawless on a budget.

The Soon Jung range has been created for those with sensitive skin, helping to calm the skin down.

Soon Jung: Barrier Intensive Cream

I have started using the Soon Jung Barrier Intensive Cream as my daily moisturiser and so far I love the results. This product aims to ‘strengthen skin’s resistance with a protein barrier’. This product feels light on the face and is not too oily. My skin feels much softer and more hydrated since I’ve started using this product. If you are looking for a good daily moisturiser then this a great choice.

Retails for 8,500원 (£5.96)

Soon Jung: pH 5.5 Relief Toner 
I have actually not used this product yet but it claims to ‘soothe heated skin caused by external stimulation’. The slightly acidic toner helps to stop skin feeling dry or becoming irritated. When I finally incorporate this product into my skincare routine I will use it once a day, probably at night before I go to sleep.

Retails for 18,000원 (£9.12)

♡ Bifesta 

I bought this oil-based eye and lip makeup remover from one of the tax-free shops in Japan. I use this every night to take off my eyeliner which is often a pain to get off. This remover is designed for those really resistant mascaras and eyeliners common in Japan. I used to use Garnier Micellar Water but I’ve actually found this product more effective. The only downside is how small the bottle is. This item can purchased on Amazon.

Retails for around ¥1000 (£6.99)

Make Up

3CE

3CE is a makeup brand that accompanies the famously beautiful fashion brand Stylenanda. I really wanted to buy some 3CE products when I went to Seoul as last time I was in Japan a 3CE opened during the last week of my trip and I didn’t get a chance to visit. The packaging alone is gorgeous. Even though this brand is a little pricier than Etude House it is still relatively affordable. The flagship store is in Hongdae and sells every product they have to offer, so if you are ever in Seoul make sure to check it out.

♡ 3CE Mood Recipe Multi Eye Colour Palette #Overtake

I am genuinely so excited to use this palette. The only reason I have not used it yet is because I am waiting for a special occasion (probably my 21st Birthday). The Mood Recipe Multi Eye Colour Palette is for sure one of my favourite purchases from this trip. The colours are actually colours that I could wear on a daily basis and the pigment on the glitter shadows is incredible. I like the fact that #overtake has such natural, wearable, colours as well as a great range of glitters. For a palette this was relatively cheap and retails at around £26.64.

Retails for 38,000원 (£26.64)

3CE Maison Kitsune Eye Switch #Petal

I had to buy something from the Maison Kitsune range. This gorgeous pink-tone glitter is the perfect finishing touch for any eye look, helping to create a glamorous yet elegant effect. I am so excited to use this product again on special occasions and nights out. It is so simple yet effective. The glitter has a lovely shimmer to it but manages to not be overbearing. If you are looking for a nice glitter then 3CE’s eye switch is a great option.

Retails for 15,000원 (£10.52)

3CE Back to Baby Make Up Base Lavender
This primer and makeup base helps to brighten skin’s appearance whilst ensuring makeup stays put throughout the day. When using this primer I have noticed that it also reduces the appearance of redness on my face too. It really does help keep my makeup looking fresh and at the end of the day my face is left looking softer and smoother.

Retails for 18,000원 (£12.62)

3CE Blush Cushion #Coral

These gorgeous blushes are great for everyday wear. The cushion includes a mirror and a puff so it’s a perfect product to carry around. What is great about Cushions is that you do not need to use a lot of product as a little bit goes a long way. If you want to create a soft and girly look then these are products to use. I got the colour #Coral which is great for someone like me who has a more tanned skin tone. The packaging for this product is also lovely.

Retails for 17,000원 (£11.92)

3CE Square Mini Hand Mirror
I have wanted one of the 3CE square mirrors for a while now as they are so aesthetically pleasing. I decided to get the smaller one as I wanted to use it when doing eye makeup. The quality of the mirror itself is excellent and that’s all there really is to say about this product.

Retails for 7,000원 (£4.91)

♡ 3CE Velvet Lip Tint #Going Right
This is another of my favourites. The formula for this tint is amazing and so long lasting; lips look matte throughout the day. The 3CE Velvet Lip Tints are very popular and for good reason. This tint feels very light and moisturising. The range of colours on offer is incredible too. I purchased #Going Right which is a gorgeous ‘rosy peach’. This is definitely a product to get your hands on – your lips will be looking rich and luscious in no time.

Retails for 15,000원 (£10.52)

Etude House 

♡ Look At My Eyes Jewel, RD305

These single shadows are some of the best I have ever bought. I purchased two last year when I was living in Japan and I have used them so often that I just had to get another one. The single shadows are highly pigmented and glittery yet very affordable and there is a great range of colours. This time I opted for RD305: a dark coppery glitter. It has been a go-to for me ever since I got back. If you get one product from Etude House, it has to be this.

Retails for 4,000원 (£2.80)

♡ Bling Bling Eye Stick, Colour: Moon Star (1622)

I fell in love with this product when I purchased it last year. However, I ended up breaking it by accident pretty soon after I bought it. I decided to try a different colour this time and got Moon Star which is a coppery colour. The Bling Bling Eye Stick is a multi-functional eye product. It can be applied to the eyelids to create a glitter eye look or applied around the eyes to help brighten them up a bit. This is another of my go-to products. It’s so cheap and useful, I use it every day.

Retails for 4,000원 (£2.80)

Dear Darling Tint

These fruity and glossy tints are vivid in colour and perfect for those days when you want a more natural look. I normally go for red and pink tones but this time I decided to try something a bit more peachy and orange. I got the colour OR205 and I love it. The formula itself is really good and the gloss has a great shine to it. It is a lovely product which can help create that subtle illusion of perfectly soft lips.

Retails for 5,000원 (£3.50)

Mini Two Match Lip Topper, My Rosy Life 

This ‘hologram pearl’ lip topper helps make lips look fuller and fancier. You mainly use it on top of other lipsticks to make your lips shinier and add glitter. I got the shade ‘My Rosy Life’ (which I love the name of too) and it is a gorgeous glittery pale pink. I think this will be perfect for a nice soft makeup look or for a special occasion.

Retails for 5,800원 (£4.07)

♡ Drawing Eye Brow

This product has been a favourite of mine for a long time. I purchased this for the first time last year and I love how easily it fills in my eyebrows. It creates a more natural brow and therefore can help if you want to go for a natural look. The product includes both a pencil and a brush. I use the colour Drawing Brow #1. For such an affordable price, you really cannot go wrong with this product.

Retails for 2,800원 (£1.97)

Lash Perm Curl- Fix Mascara Long Lash

Etude House mascaras are known for being some of the best on the market. The Lash Perm Curl- Fix Mascara Long Lash was actually recommended to me by one of the workers in the store who was nice enough to give me a free gift as well. I got this mascara in the colour black and I find that it does make my lashes appear longer. I have been cursed with straight lashes so they often look short and unnoticeable but this product has helped make my lashes appear more dramatic and voluminous. Another great eyelash product by Etude House is the eyelash serum and primer which would accompany this product nicely.

Retails for 12,000원 (£8.42)

The Saem

The Saem is another brand which is currently very popular and home to some of the most-loved products on the market. The ingredients used in their products are sourced from all around the world.

The Saem Eco Soul Pigment Shadow

I am so happy I found this pigment. I was debating buying one of the MAC pigments for a while but I personally just could not justify the price. Then, when I was browsing in Seoul, I found this gorgeous Rose Gold Pigment from The Saem. What I love about this pigment is that the brush is attached to the lid and the packaging is designed to ensure that the product does not spill out of the bottle. The shadow is SO pigmented and the Rose Gold is a beautiful colour.

Retails for 13,000원 (£4.92)

♡ Cover Perfection Ideal Concealer Duo (Colour: 02)
My friend Becky recommended this product to me and I have completely fallen in love with it. This duo includes both a liquid and a solid stick concealer. I have started using this instead of foundation and it helps make my skin look more natural and soft whilst maintaining great coverage. Although this is a great product, it does not come in many shades so it may not suit a lot of skin tones. I had to go for the darkest shade they had which was the colour 02. Luckily, it is a pretty good match against my tanned skin. This is a product I will for sure be buying again.

Retails for 11,000원 (£7.72)

InnisFree

Innisfree is another popular skincare and makeup brand and it is known for using fresh ingredients from Jeju island. All of their products are natural and organic. They are well-known for their face masks but they do also stock a wide range of makeup and other bits.

No Sebum Mineral Pact

The No Sebum Mineral Pact is another amazing Korean makeup product. This product is currently on the top of quite a few people’s lists of favourites and is a best seller. Understandably so. An alternative to oil blotting sheets, it helps to remove excess oil from your face and to keep makeup intact for the whole day. In addition to this, the No Sebum Mineral Pact will make your face look softer, helping to moisturise and hydrate your skin. Use this product after you have put on foundation. Apply it all over the face but focus particularly on areas which tend to get oily.

Retails for 13,000원 (£4.92)

(My Palette) My Eyeshadow Glitter

I also bought a beautiful glitter lilac colour (Shade 28) from Innisfree to add to my collection of single shadows. This is another highly pigmented shadow and the brand offers an amazing range of shades to choose from. I decided to opt for a lilac colour because I didn’t have anything like it in my makeup collection at the time.

Retails for 7,000원 (£4.92)

Fake Eyelashes

♡ Miche Bloomin’ (Pure Nude)

I had to stock up on my favourite fake eyelashes, Miche Bloomin ’02 Pure Nude’, whilst in Japan again. I love these lashes so much. They look really natural whilst still managing to add a great amount of length and volume. I use these for everyday wear as well as on nights out. The lashes do not come with adhesive but this is easy enough to find in the UK.

Retails for around ¥1000 (£6.98)

Miche Bloomin’ (Mode, Rich, Sweet Eyes)

This time I also bought three other styles of Miche Bloomin’ lashes (Mode, Rich and Sweet Eyes) from the ¥100 shop in Harajuku. I have no idea how good these will be as they were so cheap but, being made by Miche Bloomin’, I am confident that they will look relatively nice. I picked these 3 as the bands were a good thickness. Some of the others were too thick for me so if you are looking to buy lashes cheaply just know exactly what you are looking for.

Retails for around ¥100 each (70p each)

Gel Nails

Last year, whilst living in Japan, I splashed out and bought a gel nail machine. I am so glad I did. I prefer gel nails to painted nails as they look neater and last longer. I have used my gel nail machine LOADS and saw this trip to Tokyo as a great opportunity to stock up on gel nail varnishes. I recommend buying gel nail varnishes from Japan if you can because they are so much cheaper and there is an amazing range of colours, glitters and styles available.

From Eternal Basics (my go-to gel nail brand and one I would highly recommend) I got: a Top & Base and the colours Coral Shine, Lilac Blue and Baby Blue

These cost ¥ 900 each (£6.27)

I also bought some gel nail varnishes from brands I had not tried before. I bought a gorgeous pearl blue metallic shade named ‘Don’t Cry’ from the brand Homei which even included nail stickers and retailed for around ¥1000 (£6.99).

When I was tax-free shopping I also came across a gel varnish from Lady Palette. This gel varnish is not a base coat but a top coat which has pretty Sakura stickers in it. This will look so gorgeous on the top of the coral shine colour I bought from Eternal Basics and it retailed for around ¥1000 (£6.99) as well.

♡ Pore Putty 

I have used this product for years now. This is one of the first Japanese makeup products I bought in the days when I was just starting to wear makeup. When I was younger I had quite bad acne and was always looking for ways to cover it up and make my skin appear smoother. This helped. It is a great product and one I still use today even though my skin is now pretty much clear of breakouts.

This powder helps to cover up the appearance of pores and includes SF40 PA+++. I use this powder after I have applied my foundation and it helps to create a smooth and matte appearance. You can purchase a translucent version (which is in a white packaging) but I opted for a beige colour this time. My only advice would be to not use too much of this product at once as the resultant look can be a bit cakey. Build coverage gradually.

Retails for ¥1,300 (£9.00)

Contact Lens

I love coloured contact lenses (even if I am terrible at putting them in) because they can create such a fun look. Last year I purchased some blue contacts in Japan. However, they were a bit too doll-like and false-looking for me personally. This time in Seoul I decided to try again with different colours. I really wanted green and blue (as I would love my eyes to be these colours in reality) and I found some in The Lens.

I can’t exactly remember how much these cost but they were a relatively good price, under £20 for two. If you buy from The Lens you also get a free eye-contact solution and lens case.

I love these contacts so much because they are the same size as my actual eyes so don’t look too fake. In fact, they look completely natural.

My eyes are naturally brown and it is often hard to find bright colours such as blue that work on brown eyes. However, these two shades Spanish Olive (Left) and Russian Velvet (Right) are such beautiful colours and complement brown eyes perfectly. I particularly love Russian Velvet, such a gorgeous mix of blues, whites and grey, such a striking colour.

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Packing for Korea and Japan

Packing for a holiday is always kind of stressful as much as it is exciting and fun. You are always left wondering, what clothes do I need to bring? What extras do I need? What should go in my hand luggage?

Well, today I am here to help you answer some of those questions by providing with a small checklist of what you should bring on your travels and showing you what I have packed for my trip to Korea and Japan.

If you are looking to pack light, I’m sorry, this post will not show you how purely because I always pack a lot more then I need, it’s an awful habit and it is something I want to get out of one day, but for now, I am just going to continue lugging around a huge suitcase.

So let’s start.

The Essentials

CLOTHES

TIP: Think about the weather

Little bit of an obvious thing but this can often affect how heavy your suitcase may become. If you are going somewhere colder, you may need to pack more jumpers and coats, making your suitcase heavier. Currently, in Japan and Korea, the weather is around 30 degrees and above so I tried to pack more on the lighter side because I will not need as much.

Also consider, Tokyo and Seoul are renound for their cool fashion and all that. If you are like me and know you want to revamp your wardrobe and you are going to buy quite a bit there, then pack less clothes with you to begin with to make more space. You can always wear your new clothes when you are travelling, that’s what I am planning to do.

Here is a rough checklist of what I am bringing clothes wise:

2 x Jackets (just for those colder nights and the plane)

5 x tops (Mixtures of crop tops and simple t-shirts. It is always best to pack more plain tops so they can match with more items)

4 x Dresses (Cute summer dresses are always a good option, means you basically have one day’s outfit sorted)

1 x Jeans (just in case it gets a bit colder)

5 x Skirts (mixture of more formal/dressy skirts and day skirts)

2 x Shorts (Comfy shorts- perfect for days when you will be walking around a lot)

2 x Swimming Costumes (Always good to have an extra set)

3 x Shoes (Pair of trainers, Vans and then some sandals)

 

TOILETRIES 

I often find it is my toiletries which make my suitcase heavy. Try and bring minimal amount of toiletries as possible because these are things you can buy when you arrive.

  • Buy travel sized items or buy travel sized bottles. I got a pack of 6 bottles from Primark for like £1
  • I am bringing my own shampoo and conditioner and all of that because this time I will be staying in Air BNBs rather than hotels
  • All my skin products: Cleanser, Moisturiser, Eye Cream (essential when visiting hot places where your skin will probably dry out)
  • I have these brilliant acne pimple patches from CORSX (a Korean beauty brand). They are these little stickers you put on problematic spots overnight and honestly by the next morning they are gone. A nice and lightweight skincare item to have when travelling.
  • Suncream. You could also try and bring make up which has SPF included in it.
  • Make Up: Probably what I find most difficult, I always end up packing too much make up. I am trying not to pack that much this time as I know I am going to be buying quite a bit, especially in Korea. My tip is to try and just pack one of everything. If you are wanting to bring some eye shadow palettes, try and pack two as a maximum because these often make your suitcase heavier too. Another option is to pack the single eye shadows so you save space as well.

DOCUMENTATION 

  • Passport
  • Student ID: If you are a student, it is worth bringing your ID. Often in museums and shops you can get a student discount and therefore, you can save money.
  • Flight Details: I always try and print out a copy of all my flight details just as a back up.
  • Copy of Insurance: I always try and print out a copy of my insurance just as a back up.
  • For Tokyo- Suica Card: If you don’t know what a Suica card is, it is like London’s Oyster Card. You can load money onto it to use on the trains around Tokyo. You can buy Suica cards in Tokyo but you can also order them online as well. It is worth having one of these, as it just makes travelling around Tokyo a lot easier and you don’t need to worry about constantly buying tickets to travel everywhere.

 

ELECTRICS

  • Camera: Bringing a tripod is also a nice idea as then you can easily take group photos and record things much easier. You can get small and portable tripods from any leading electric or camera shop.
  • Chargers: I would recommend packing these in your hand luggage as you never know when you may need to quickly charge your phone.
  • Portable Phone Chargers: These are really useful. If you are lucky enough to get portable WiFi in country and are able to use WiFi on the go, this can often drain your battery and you do not want to be out of phone battery in a country you may not know that well. Always bring a portable phone charger as they are super handy.
  • Adapters: Important that you remember to bring adapters. In South Korea, the standard voltage is 220 volts, so you will need the European plug/adapter (e.g. the ones used in Germany and other places in Europe). Japan, uses a different voltage, its voltage is 100 volts, so you will need a different adapter if visiting Japan as well. I find that in Japan, the voltage is quite weak and some of my electrical appliances such as my curlers will not work that well over there. So if you need any of these items, research into whether they will work when visiting Japan. These adapters are sold in Supermarkets, Boots, the airport and many other places. You can even get a adapter which covers every country, which I believe is around £30.

 

PERSONAL STUFF 

  • Money: In Japan, the official currency is the ¥ (Yen) and in South Korea it is the ₩ (Won). These currencies are very different from the British £ as both currencies start from around 100-10000. In the UK, we are not use to such high numbers on our notes, so I recommend doing some research before you go away to these countries to understand how much each note is worth.
  • Another important thing is to exchange your money before you get to the airport. It is widely recognised that at the airport, you will probably get the worst rate you could get. You can exchange your money at some large chain stores like Sainsburys and Marks and Spencer’s or through a Travel Company such as Thomas Cook. Think about converting your money a week or so before you are meant to go away, as some places won’t stock the currency you are looking for. The Post Office is a good option as they supply most of the currencies. Place your order on their website and it will normally be ready in the next couple of days- you can either get it delivered to your house or your local post office, it is a really flexible and easy system to use.
  • A Book: I think it is always nice to bring something to read when you are going away. Long haul flights can sometimes be a drag and at times I know I get bored of just continuously staring at a screen watching films. If you are spending ages flying, it is a great opportunity to get through a book. I would recommend bringing one decent/long book so that it has the potential to last you the whole trip. I decided to only bring one book this time as it is 600 pages long and I am a slow reader.
  • A Guidebook: Not only does it give you something else to read but it will give you more knowledge on the country you are visiting and will allow you to see what places you will want to visit.
  • A Notebook and Pen: I think this is always a nice thing to bring as well. I actually now have a small notebook dedicated to this trip where I have written all the places I want to visit, what things I am looking to buy and also some key phrases in Korean and Japanese. Bringing a small notebook like this means you also have the chance to write down new phrases or words you learn in the country you are visiting so it gives you a great chance to expand your knowledge as well.
  • A Luggage Weight Scale: Super important! If you are like me and have a tendency to bring a lot or buy a lot when you go away, you can often find your suitcase slowly increasing in weight. I always opt to purchase the biggest baggage allowance to give me leeway, however bringing a weight scale can save you a lot of hassle. I know in Japan especially, they are very strict with luggage allowance, anything slightly over, they will be charging you so it’s best that you know how much is in your case.
  • Medicine: I always bring Headache and Cold and Flu tablets and plasters. It is important to bring your own medicine because it is often hard to find these items in other countries if you don’t speak the language well. These items also have the potential to be quite expensive in other countries.

Top Tips for Packing

  • Try and pack everything in small bags: Not only does this make everything neater but it also helps to make finding things easier. Say if you have one bag for electric plugs, a shoe bag, a bag for all your toiletries etc. this makes the whole process of finding your things less stressful.
  • Pack a face mask: Often on long haul flights, your skin can get very dry. Pack a face mask in your hand luggage so you can use it during your trip. Also, pack some travel size skincare items so your skin is feeling fresh and looking glowy when you land.
  • Try and pack a couple of days before: Honestly, it is not worth the hassle trying to pack everything the night before. If you pack a couple of days in advance, this allows you to thoroughly check if you have everything you need. It also means you can always double check what you have and haven’t packed.
  • Hand Luggage? For a trip like this, I am using a backpack I brought from Japan as my hand luggage. This is because it is sturdy, secure and a good size. Using a backpack for your hand luggage is always a good idea as it means you can take a good amount of stuff with you onboard and it can often help you reduce the amount of items in your suitcase. I have also packed a smaller day backpack, a totebag and a nice side bag in my suitcase, these will come in handy for daytrips, nights out and for general shopping.

 

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