Sunday, December 30, 2012

BB Cream Reviews

Being in Korea, it's hard to resist the temptation of buying cosmetics - especially BB Creams. They are the base makeup that most Korean girls choose to use and the secret to their flawless, porcelain skin.

BB Creams originated from Germany - as a way to protect patient's skin after surgery. It was then introduced into Korea and Japan in 1985 and since then, the Koreans have developed BB Cream to the point that it's one of the most well known products associated with Asian cosmetics.
Its popularity has risen to the point that now even Western cosmetic companies are developing their own BB Creams for the Western market.

BB Cream is considered an all-in-one base product. It contains properties of certain skin care - serum, moisturiser - and properties of base makeup - primer, foundation and sunblock.

BB Creams made by Korean cosmetic companies often have many other properties bundled into the creams such as whitening, anti-ageing and anti-darkening.

BB Cream can be used to replace your everyday foundation or tinted moisturiser. It is best applied with the fingers since they warm up the product and makes the application extremely smooth as opposed to using a brush. After spreading it evenly on your face, you should pat your face gently to help smooth and fill in any fine lines you may have missed. Pressing your hand on your face helps the BB cream to smooth down on your face better too.


  • Missha M Signature Real Complete BB Cream - No.23 Natural Yellow Beige
  • Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream Bright Fit - Natural Beige
  • Skin79 Super Beblesh Balm BB 


Missha's BB Creams were one of those who brought immense popularity to BB Creams - especially to the Western Asian market (Asians who reside in Western countries). Many may be familiar with the Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream - the one that comes in the red tube. 

In response to the popularity of this BB Cream, they released another BB Cream - M Signature Real Complete BB Cream. 

I own shade No. 23 which is also the shade I have for the Perfect Cover BB Cream. Of the three I'm reviewing, this matches my skin tone best (comparison swatches on my hand are at the end of the post). It has a slight grey tint, but like all BB Creams, it oxides after a couple of minutes. 

On application, it covers all my blemishes to the point I don't need concealer. However, that does not mean that you can't see my blemishes and flaws. This BB cream - like the Perfect Cover - has just the right amount of coverage so that I'm happy with how minimal my blemishes seem. It smooths out my skin around my nose and cheeks too. It looks excellent when applied.

 The finish is dewy and luminous - a very popular look these days. It does not look greasy at all. If you don't like that look, then you can always use a powder which can also prolong wear. 

However, this BB Cream breaks down the fastest of the three. I do get a decent amount of wear out of it, just not as long as the others. The shade range is also very limited. No. 23 is still a tad too light for my skin. 

Compared to the Perfect Cover BB Cream, this one is thinner but only slightly. And like all BB Creams, this one does have SPF 25 so it's not ideal for flash photography. However, I dislike flash photography with a passion. Unless I'm in a really dark place, I won't use flash photography.


Etude House is another popular street brand cosmetic store. Their concept is very girly, princess-like. Their latest collection features Marie Antoinette inspired packaging (which looks totally gorgeous, but a little pricey for street brand cosmetics). Previous faces of Etude House include Park Shinhye, Jang Geunsuk and Lee Minho. Currently Sandara Park and Shinee are their models.

The shade I have is No. 3 Natural Beige. It's more yellow toned than the M Signature BB Cream. It's lighter in shade and texture than the Missha. Because of this, it also has less coverage. If my under eye circles are dark, I'll use a concealer too. 

It lasts a decent amount of time but I usually like to use a powder on top ( Chanel Le Blanc Fond de Teint Compact) for more long lasting wear. 

This BB Cream offers four shades as opposed to Missha's two, which is a plus, however in terms of darker shades, there is only one. So the range isn't that huge, but it's better than nothing. 

The finish is slightly glossy as opposed to dewy. The difference isn't huge, but it's there.


This Skin79 BB Cream is the most popular in their line. This product caused the second 'hype wave' for BB Creams in the community - especially on YouTube. It received very good reviews from most people.
Originally, I was going to purchase this toward the end of my trip to bring back home, but there was a store in 이대 ( Edae ) that offered this for much cheaper than its retail price. I purchased it then and was so curious that I opened it.

This BB Cream only comes in one shade. It is the lightest of the three BB Creams and also the thickest. It does oxidise after a few minutes but my face is still significantly lighter than my neck. The shade is slightly more pink too. 

I don't think the coverage is as nice as the Missha, but it is still very nice. The finish is lovely and it fills in any fine lines well. The pinkness actually gives me a really nice "glow" and I actually don't mind that the shade is too light. 

I would not recommend this to anyone who is tanner/darker in skin tone. 


I think they're all very nice BB Creams. If you are able to access Korean BB Creams and they're not too light for you, I would strongly recommend them! 
I am not a fan of the Western BB Creams despite them having a wider shade range. I don't believe they do the job as well as Korean BB creams. Korean BB creams are constantly being improved as they are a staple in most Korean girls' makeup routines. In fact, the choices in foundations are extremely limited and not as popular. 
I don't believe the Skin79 BB Cream deserves the level of hype it has received on YouTube. It's nice, sure. But if I were to choose one, I would pick either the Etude House or the Missha over the Skin79. 

Of the three, my favourite would have to be the Missha M Signature Real Complete BB Cream. The Etude House comes in at a close second. I would definitely repurchase them.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Juno Hair - Review

Today I decided to get my hair cut. I've been meaning to get my hair cut for a while now since I have a lot of split ends. I haven't been taking care of my hair very well - and never have. I only really bother with shampoo!

Taking on the advice of Simon and Martina, I decided to pay a visit to Juno Hair. Thankfully they did have someone who spoke English there to consult our options.

My purpose of visiting Juno Hair was simply to get my hair cut. However, something I've noticed about hair salons in Asia in particular, is that people don't just go into hair salons for a simple hair cut. Usually people go to get treatments done, their hair dyed and all the other time consuming hair procedures that these places offer.

The hair stylist we talked to was pushy to say the least. While Brigritte and I both knew our hair was damaged, we weren't really there to get it treated. I personally don't like getting my hair treated at the salon for several reasons.

{ 1 } I hate small talk. While my part time job sometimes does require to make small talk with customers, I've learnt a couple of lines I can use. However, I'm not comfortable talking to people who are serving me. I don't mean it in a snobbish way or anything, don't get me wrong. I just feel that I'm a boring person and I'm just awkward.
{ 2 } I have little patience and a very short attention span. Sitting for a few hours at a salon with nothing to do but read or talk to the hair stylists and assistant hair stylists is not my idea of fun.
{ 3 } They're expensive. At Juno they're especially expensive I feel. Although these feelings are unfair since I'm comparing across China, Australia and Korea rather than relative to Korea, it's not a sum of money I'm willing to pay.

Hence I didn't want a treatment or dye. Brigritte wasn't interested in them either. When we told the stylist this, you could visibly see her mood change.

And it affected the way she cut our hair.

I came in with a photo for reference:

However the photo wasn't for an exact reference. I wanted an example of the style I wanted - longer layers instead of short, and thinned out under layers.

Due to the fact that she said all this, I assumed that she was going to cut my hair the way I wanted it.

Boy was I wrong.

I think she spent a total of 10 minutes cutting my hair before calling over an assistant hair stylist to blow dry my hair. She trimmed my hair by running her scissors across horizontally and "evened" out the ends by shearing a few sections of hair. She didn't touch my overgrown fringe whatsoever or the top few layers of my hair.

The result reminds me of Rachel's hair in Season 3 of Friends. Even I could cut my hair like this, if not even better.

While the hair stylist herself was less than professional to say the least, everyone else who served me was completely lovely. The assistant who washed my hair attempted to make small talk with me which was extremely sweet and was very patient with my beginner Korean. The girl who blow dried my hair didn't speak to me, but she did put quite a bit of effort into making the hair stylist's shabby hair cut as attractive as possible.

I had specifically asked her to cut my hair a certain way, and in no way did she deliver. In my opinion, it was completely unacceptable from her service, skill and her attitude.

However, it did only cost us 20,000 KRW (roughly $20 AUD) so I'll just treat it as a cheap haircut you get from a dodgy looking Asian hairdresser in Box Hill.

The Lesson? Either get your hair treated and have a hair cut as a side dish, or cut it yourself. I think this experience at the hair dresser is definitely the final nail in the coffin. I'll continue to cut my own hair from now on, thank you very much!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Cake Face

Because my friend Tony thought my makeup was "natural" when in fact... this is how much I put on my face everyday...

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Day 10+11: Edae~

Edae is a well known shopping district in Seoul. It's located near the Ewha Women's University. It's close by Hongdae and Sinchon (which are also other shopping districts). However, the charm of Edae is how cheap everything is. The clothes are mostly aimed at female students, but you can also find some male clothes too. 

You can find some really great bargains here! I bought 2 tops for 15,000 KRW, 2 pairs of leggings (which are super warm!) for 20,000 KRW and these boots for 42,000 KRW. Bags here are also super cheap. The quality isn't that great, but it isn't falling apart or anything. 

I did end up going back again to buy another pair of boots because I can't walk on the ice and snow too well with these. 

My Tips~
  • Don't pay more than about 30,000 KRW for any one piece of clothing (unless it's a coat). Things go for extremely cheap and you can find really great pieces for about 5,000-20,000 KRW.
  • When shopping for shoes, know exactly what you want to buy! Shop keepers won't like it if you keep trying on different pairs of shoes because the more you try, the more they think you'll buy something. 
  • If you're confident with bargaining, then do so! I'm pretty terrible with bargaining because it makes me feel bad, but some people are really great.
  • You cannot bargain however, if the price is already marked on the shoe. Usually it'll be on sale items. 
  • Don't ever pay more than 55,000 KRW for shoes! Especially if they're a ankle boot or something like that. 
  • If you see something you like, then buy it! There's no real point shopping around for the cheapest price because they're all around the same price anyway! Sometimes its a few thousand KRW difference only. 

Finally tried potato twirls! Because of how cold it was outside, my potato twirl was pretty much cold within the first 10 seconds of buying it. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Day 7: 리쌍's Restaurant, Variety of Food

My trip is probably going to consist of food. Nonetheless, it's an adventure trying to find good food, cheap food, bad food, cute food...

Yesterday, classes started officially. I'm in the beginner's class since my language foundation is really weak. I wanted to really consolidate it. I mean, how can you improve upwards when your foundations are weak?

But anyway, since it was raining and snowing (!) yesterday, the 6 of us decided against finding the school cafeteria and instead, taxi-ed it down to our subway station. We went to the nearby department store for lunch. 

The best thing about Korea is how incredibly cheap food is. You don't have to always eat cheap food - as some nice things are a little bit more expensive (but it's still about the same price as lunch in Melbourne). 
This set here was 5,500KRW (about $5.50 AUD). It was extremely filling! I'm trying to make a habit out of eating everything - including the kimchi - because I have a really terrible habit of half eating things when I'm out. Besides, the more I eat at meals, the longer I can wait before eating my next meal. 

Later, I met up with Tony so we could eat 곱창 ( gopchang ) or 막창 ( makchang ). The difference between the two is that gopchang is the small intestines of either pork or beef while makchang is the large intestines. Both equally delicious. 

I'm pretty nonchalant when eating things like this. The guts are fine with me. However, the one thing I can't really eat are feet - chicken feet, pig trotters... 

Anyway, we found 리쌍's ( Leessang ) makchang restaurant. 

The decor is wall graffiti (which I think is quite cool) and the staff were really friendly.

So how do you get there?

The subway station you want is 건대입구역 or Konkuk University Station. It's fairly close by to the station, so just walk toward the bright lights of the restaurants and look out for the Leessang poster.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Day 5: 홍대, 이태원

Today was shopping day. I met up with Tony to start our day. 

Tony really likes these vitamin drinks. So he bought one for me...

Our first stop for the day was 홍대 ( Hongdae ). Hongdae's feel is very indie and urban. Plenty of restaurants and cafes around but most open after around 2pm. There are also many little clothing stores that have clothing for cheap. I believe Haha and Gary's restaurants are around too.

Originally, we wanted to eat at Bar Sak but they weren't open till later. So we found La Lieto for some Italian food (I was craving something with cheese!)


After lunch, we decided to do a bit of shopping, but on our way to the part of Hongdae with heaps of shopping, we saw this.

The Hello Kitty Cafe!

The prices are alright for a cafe. To be honest, you really just pay for the novelty. The Green Tea Iced Latte was okay... there was a little too much ice for my liking but most places put too much ice anyway.

The interior is super pink and so cute! It's actually a great place to chill and hang out if you're out with friends. 

If any of you watch Running Man, then you'll know that Song Jihyo wears a very memorable hat in an episode.

Well, the shop is called Hats On!

This is the hat I ended up buying. It's a bit of cute mixed with quirky punk (?).

Finally got myself a pair of Vans :) Navy blue

Our shopping haul... Not all of it was mine, but I did manage to get most of my shopping done. I'm not the type to take it slow on a trip and get my shopping done bits and pieces at a time. I either do all my shopping or none at all.

이태원 ( Itaewon ) was our next stop. Itaewon is known as the foreign town of Seoul. There are many foreign restaurants around. It's popular with a lot of tourist and hence, many of the shop assistants and owners speak a little bit more English than anywhere else.

We decided to eat dinner at the Korean Pancake ( 전 ) restaurant that Kim Jongkook, Lee Gwangsoo and Ji Sukjin went to in Episode 44 of Running Man. 

김치전 ( kimchi pancake ), 감자전 ( potato pancake ), 막걸리 ( rice wine )

We did a little bit more wandering and looking around places. We went back to Myeongdong (again) to buy a few more things since the shops were closed when we went yesterday. We eventually got really hungry since the pancakes didn't really fill us up. 

So we found a BBQ place near the COEX mall. The meat was so spicy! Tony ended up eating most of it (hehe) but I did train my tastebuds a little. Kimchi isn't so spicy to me anymore. 

Icecream to finish the night.


Day 4: 동대문 (Dongdaemun), 명동 Night, Beauty Haul

Another day of doing tourist-esque things. Today, the 6 of us took an excursion to 동대문 and explored the Doota 백화점. Unfortunately, I completely forgot about photos... 

The Doota Department Store is 9 floors (including one basement floor). For clothing for young adults at reasonable prices, you want B1 and 2F. I did end up buying two items of clothing. 

This sweater/top caught my eye on the sale rack. It has two holes in the shoulder area (which you can't see in the photo...) which is the main reason why I bought it. It was super cheap at 12,000 KRW (about $12 AUD). 

I've been really liking vests for the winter season and I really wanted one. This one is quite a long one and it has two pockets and a hood. I'll take a better photo featuring it later on. Again, quite cheap at 20,000 KRW (about $20 AUD).

I met up with my friend Tony and we ate near his hotel, close to COEX (?).

And then took at trip to 명동, but we couldn't shop a lot because we came too late as the shops were all closing.

We did manage to shop at a few cosmetic stores (hehe) before stopping at the cafe featured in We Got Married - 용서 (Yongseo).

Sweet Pumpkin Latte + ... (?)

This is what I hauled tonight. I know I'm buying a lot of things it seems, but I won't be in the mood to buy anything once classes start. I'm going to focus on studying. I prefer to buy all the things I need at the very start, rather than pick up bits and pieces on the way. I have a good idea of the things that I want to buy so I'm not exactly impulse purchasing.

The sheer amount of samples that makeup stores give out is insane. I love samples yet I can't bear to use them... 

Faceshop High Lighter Beam, Etude House Proof 10 Primer

The Face Shop Lovely Me:ex You and Face Blusher 07 Pink Peach
(The actual colour of the blush is a little darker than what shows up in the photo.)

Tony Moly Party Gel Liners - 01 Black and 02 Brown

Tony Moly Petite Bunny Gloss Bar

I have a big day ahead tomorrow so a mega post tomorrow?