Korean Beauty Products – Are They Worth the Hype?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or somewhere without cellphones, TVs, internet, … so basically in a cave), South Korea is taking the world by storm.  Whether it’s the cutting edge tech or catchy dance tunes, beauty products are equally as serious business as the sought after dewiness of glowing, healthy skin is prized above all else.

During my most recent trip to Taiwan, Korean beauty brands were like the new Starbucks; there seemed to be a Korean beauty store on every corner.  If you live on the coasts in a major city here in the US, chances are you’ve passed by one of their bright, beautifully airy, and freakishly clean boutiques, over spilling with delicious smelling products in adorable containers that are impossible to resist.  They target every single skin concern out there including ones you didn’t know existed; you’d be hard pressed to walk out without finding something to purchase.

Even Sephora is jumping on the wagon:

sephora korean trend

I wanted to share and review the products I got to try, most notably from Etude House and Innisfree.  Are they worth the hype?  Let’s see how they fared.

Innisfree

Innisfree focuses on their products being “natural”, mainly derived from nature’s ingredients and uniquely derived from a volcanic island off the sea of South Korea known as Jeju.  They boast a product line with concepts that encompass the island – clean, pure, and free from pollution.  They even let you recycle the bottles back to the stores after you’re done with them!

Out of the countless options, I decided to try products that were more for aging prevention and I was pointed to the Repair 9 wine themed collection.  I think I bought it more for the smell than anything else, actually.

innisfree-wine-collection

Surprisingly, the toner is now one of my favorite skin care products of all time.  It reminds me of the Sephora brand softening toner, but instead of just sitting on your face, this actually gets absorbed quickly and makes my face feel supple, not sticky. It’s more like a light moisturizer instead of a toner.

The lotion I felt was more of a night time product; it was wonderfully moisturizing but felt sticky afterwards, it didn’t feel like I should be stacking make up on top.  The Peeling Jelly Softener was pleasant to use; it made my face feel smooth and soft after messaging the product in and rinsing it off.

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I use the Green Tea Sleeping pack almost every night (or get it from Amazon here).  I’ll message it into my skin after the last step of my skin care and by the time my head actually hit the pillow it would have mostly absorbed.  I wash it off in the morning and my face always feels oh so soft and fresh.  Love this stuff!

innisfree-sleeping-mask

Korean brands never disappoint with samples, and boy did I get a handful along with my purchase.  I probably have enough to keep me entertained for a year!

Etude House

Etude House has probably the most saturated presence in Korea and in Taiwan too.  Their stores are so princess themed and pink-explosion that my boyfriend would stubbornly stop outside the store and promptly take out his phone to conquer the internet every time I wanted to go in to one of them.  Also, their product packaging is dead on adorable.

etude-house-collection

I used the Moistfull Super Collagen cream for the better part of a year and repurchased, it’s a great night cream that keeps my skin moisturized through dry winters and didn’t make my face oily.  I didn’t really care too much for the Eye Cream in the same collection though, it was only meh.

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The Moist Up Sleeping Pack is awesome.  I alternate between this one and the Innisfree one, and I think I might like this one more.  The Wonder Pore Toner is only okay.  I think we know by now there is no magic toner that will shrink your pores, but this does take care of any sebum and freshens my face.

Have I piqued your interest in Korean beauty yet?  Off to Sephora?  Let me know what products you’re using or planning on trying/acquiring!

 

 

Wanderlust Holiday Wardrobe – An O What Fun Travel Outfit Survival Guide

wanderlust-title

Now, maybe there is NOTHING wrong with dashing through the madness of the airport during the holidays in your Lululemons (your mother isn’t going to give a sh*t what you show up in as long as you show up right?) but in case you don’t have the luxury of such a casual arrival and have visions of a chic landing dancing in your head, read on.

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What in your bag?

Before you can sip on that delicious mai tai and really enjoy the fruits of your labor, first you need to survive getting there.  Flying on a regular basis is bad enough, it’s exponentially worse during the holidays.  Grumpy travelers, harassed workers, and angry parents yelling at their uncontrollably bored children.  Insulate yourself from this black hole of emotions also known as the airport by dressing chic, being prepared, and proceed to sail above it all.

Get ready for my piece by piece guide to the perfect traveling outfit from easy to find sources and your favorite local retailers.  And the best part is, you most likely already have a few of these in your closet!

Tops

Layering is key to staying comfortable. It can be tempting to throw on a big warm chunky sweater and call it a day, but unpredictable temperatures throughout the airport and on the flight itself can make you sweat your make up right off if you’re wearing too much or have you shivering in a long miserable flight if you’re wearing too little.  Try these soft tees below, and go tunic length if you’re planning on leggings or tights.

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01. Zara Tee – soft graphic tee, so comfy // 02. Modcloth Henley Tunic – Henleys are casual and chic at the same time! // 03. Aritzia Split Hem Tank – perfect to layer on and chic on its own. // 04. Free People Cowl Neck Tunic – long and cozy. // 05. Free People Swing Tee – comfortable with sporty details. // 06. Betabrand Two Piece Tunic – an asymmetric tunic tank and a separate crop long sleeve top, a perfect traveling ensemble!

2nd Layer / Sweaters and Cardis

Looking well put together is easy with the right second layer, AND it keeps you cozy when it’s chilly and removable if that plane cabin gets stuffy!  Try a cropped length sweater if wearing a tunic length tee, or a cool asymmetric hem cardi for some variation.

2nd-layer-collage

01. Zara Graphic Sweater – Soft and adorable. // 02. Oak Funnel Neck Sweatshirt – funnel necks double as a hood and scarf // 03. Betabrand 50/50 Cardigan – Another Betabrand invention, convertible from a sweater to a cardi!  // 04. Betabrand Red Eye Shurg – A handy hood for shut eyes, and hidden pockets for traveling essentials. // 05. Aritzia Ionic Cape – short open sleeves make it a breeze to layer. // 06. AllSaints Itat Convertible Shrug – can’t get enough of these convertibles, from cross front to a keyhole back cardi.

Bottoms 

I like to stay away from jeans on flights and go with softer fabrics.  Stretchy leggings allows for comfy movement while looser wovens like joggers feel totally lived in and pairs great with sneakers or boots.  Winter weight maxi skirts are also an ultra comfortable option.

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01. Aritiza Feliz Pants – Minute details make these joggers casual yet stylish. // 02. Nike Printed Leggings – a staple pair of fun printed leggings. // 03. Aritzia Skirt – be prepared for attention in this faux suede asymmetrically cut skirt. // 04. Betabrand Dress/Yoga Pants – dress pants details in the comfort of yoga pants fabric?  Better believe it! // 05. Aritzia Joggers – classic pair of woven joggers. // 06. Free People Leggings – piping details and a cute crop length make these the perfect runaround leggings.

Shoes

This ain’t time for those glitter heels – but that doesn’t mean your feet can’t be dressed!  I personally always opt for boots; it’s nice to have socks on so you don’t have to walk barefoot over that nasty airport TSA carpet.  Ugh.  Anyway, check out these stylish functional options below.

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01. Asos Mouse Face Flats – Too adorable for words. // 02. Free People Ankle Boots – so soft, and easy to slip off. // 03. Eileen Fisher Mid Calf Boots – Mid calf length gives the illusion of tall boots with the benefit of gymnastics-free removal. // 04. Zara Ankle Boots – contrast elastic panels makes these a breeze to slip on. // 05. Zara Plimsoll – the classic simple sneaks every girl should own! // 06. Mango Slip On Sneaks – go hipster with these, pairs well with anything!

Travel Bag

I recommend not going with your usual bag unless it’s big enough to fit your valuables like laptop, camera, etc.  Keep those out of the carry on, just in case your carry on ends up getting checked due to a full/overbooked flight, which like, never happens.  And God forbid it gets lost.  Check out some roomy bags below.

Bags-collage

01. Zara Tote – Large and spacious for all your travel essentials. // 02. Street Level Tote – love the smaller interior organization pouch, plus it’s reversible! // 03. Fossil Satchel – classic good looks. // 04. Asos Shopper – bang for your buck with wide comfy straps and braided detail. // 05. Forever 21 Tote – simple and straightforward. // 06. Herschel Supply Tote – a dependable bag that’s shaped to fit your laptop and all other goodies.

Accessories

Running through the airport is a hot mess, and you’ll want to avoid easy to break jewelry – anything that’s too delicate or breakable that can catch or get yanked during TSA or hauling your carry on to and from those pesky overhead bins.  Keeping it simple here is the key to happiness; there’s already too much on your mind without adding the stress of losing or breaking a favorite piece.  A few layered necklaces, stack on your favorite rings, and throw on a pair of low maintenance earrings.  Grab a seasonal scarf, and you’re off to the races.  Find some of my favorite travel accessories below.

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01. Madewell Ring // 02. Inconnue Double Layer Necklace // 03. Aritzia Scarf // 04. Aloha Gaia Ear Jackets // 05. Betabrand Purse Wallet // 06. Zara Blanket Scarf // 07. Pinch Provisions Shemergency Kit // 08. Topshop Fringe Scarf

A Few More Inspirations…

Here are some additional idea boards to get your creativity flowing:

 

A few last minute tips for your carry on: always keep a “disaster bag” in it with items for night survival like mouthwash and fresh wipes in case of canceled flights and you have no access to your checked luggage.  Kits like the Shemergency from Pinch Provisions are great; you can easily make your own though to save some money, but only if you can pass up that adorable little tiny pouch.  Throw in a pair of fresh underwear too, trust me on this one.

There you have it ladies, these fail proof wardrobe pieces are your guide to navigating the skies with style; you’ll be sure to catch jealous glances from harassed travelers as you breeze through the grounds slowly sipping on that nice hot latte.  Mmm…bliss.

What are some of your tried and true travel outfit tips?  Drop me a line below!

Check out Inconnue’s Style Goals Pinterest board for more similar options if you liked today’s pieces!

Alive Again: Summer Break, and Cute New Things

Hello lovelies!!

I took a break over the summer months from blogging, suddenly there was just a flurry of life events that really took me away from being able to sit down and concentrate at the computer for more than 5 minutes at a time.

But that’s boring stuff.  What’s new?!  Even though my blog has been missing out on love, I’m still working hard over on Etsy and I’m here to share some cute new things!

Cat lovers out there rejoice!

KITTY EARS RING!

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KITTY SILO RING

Are these not adorable.  Hope you liked them as much as I did!  As always, take 15% off your entire order this month with code: AUG15.  Deck out your hands for Fall and Back to School!

Happy shopping!

Runway Resort 2016 Favorites Batch #2

Laying out my second batch of favorites from the Resort 2016 runway!  It’s been a great season so far, and usually Resort collections are pretty doozy so I’m loving it.

If you missed my first batch and wants to check them out, find it here!

Alexander Wang

What he does best – the statement urban cool.

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Alexis Mabille

Sometimes he’s so girly it hurts, but here I think he’s got a good balance.

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Anna Sui

Feminine, soft, and flirty in a spectrum of textures and colors.  What else can we ask for?

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Balenciaga

Wang working his magic, but I do feel this is a bit too Alexander Wang and not enough Balenciaga.

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Monday Coffee and Instagram Feeds

Happy Monday guys!

This morning while doing my usual daily ritual of coffee pounding, I look at my IG feed and thought to myself, wow everything looks fantastic!  I couldn’t hit the like button fast enough.  So I thought, why not share my feed with you guys?

So without further ado, here are some solids from my IG feed.

@moomooi

@freshtangerine

@wearforest

@basicsnyc

@basicsnyc

@thebloomerie

@_nutssss

@thehautepursuit

@heyokreal

@maxxsera

@redwolfpdx

@honeybellewordblog

@megmunro_

@small_text

@top_fox_prints

@house.inconnue (that’s me!)

A healthy dose of art, fashion, motivations, and locations.  It’s a good Monday indeed!

Until next time!

Happy Friday! I’ve Been a Busy Bee

Phew it’s been a week of working hard on the shop!  Listed new items, re-photoed other items, purchased materials and non-shop related items….heh heh that last part was just me taking advantage of a mid week trip into San Francisco.  I was carrying a gazillion things so I only got a few snaps while trying not to faint:

DSC01659 ramenoutfit tower

New shiny things that are now up in the shop:

XO STUd Earrings

BAR CODE STUD EARRINGS

URBAN SPIKE RINGS

Oh my gosh I’m seriously so excited about these little guys.  The Spike Ring and the Bar Code studs especially are now my most popular contenders!  Quantities are limited since it’s just me going at it so grab ’em if you like ’em

Oh and by the way just for you guys….. 20% off with code ‘IMPULSE’ (Etsy only).  Shhhh.

That’s all folks, happy Fuuuuuriiiiday!  Don’t forget to drop me a line!