Reviewing: Etude House Kissful lip care line

I have a total of 3 products from the Kissful lip line: the Kissful lip care scrub, Kissful lip care concealer and the Lip perfume – the Kissful lip care scrub being the most recent addition to my collection. However, instead of just reviewing the lip care scrub, I have decided to review all 3 of the products I own from this line since they are somewhat related (all lip products).

2014-01-23-16-21-45_deco

This line is extremely cute – but then again, what else would you expect from Etude House? The packaging features a picture of a cute girl that for some reason, gives me a very vintage vibe.

I’ll begin with the lip scrub since that is the first step you would take when applying these products. The scrub is a clear gel (not sticky at all) with very fine sugar crystals which help to scrub off the dead skin, giving you softer lips. According to the instructions, you should first apply and gently massage into your moist lips and wash away with lukewarm water. I recommend dampening a cloth by running lukewarm over it and gently dab it on your lips until the scrub is removed/dissolved.

2014-01-23-16-26-56_deco

Ok, let’s get right into the Pros and Cons of this product:

Pros:

1. This scrub smells AMAZING! A very strong, authentic juicy peach smell.

2. This scrub is gentle and wont hurt or scratch your lips but is strong enough to effectively remove the dead skin.

Cons:

1. The packaging is a little disappointing for Etude House. There is just a cheap sticker with a matte finish covering the tube. I can tell that the image printed on the sticker may wear off over time.

2. The taste is a little strong – the sugar part tastes good but there is a bitter aftertaste. I know your not supposed to eat it, but since it goes over your lips, you can’t help but taste it sometimes.

3. If you have extremely dry lips with a lot of dead skin this product may be too mild. You may need a scrub with coarse sugar crystals in it.

Here it shows the ingredients in this product: Vitamin E acetate, Marine collegian, chamomile flower extract, macadamia Shea oil and mango seed butter.

Overall I do recommend this product as it does work. However, I don’t have much to compare it too as I have only ever used one other lip scrub before. (Bubblegum from Lush, and I don’t like it) But if you only have minor dead skin on your lips, or sensitive lips, I think this would work well for you. I don’t think I will be re-purchasing it though because I’m not crazy about the packaging and I do want to try other lip scrubs (like the one from Tony Moly in the cute lip shape container).

Now on to the lip concealer! First of all, why would you need a lip concealer? Well it’s the perfect tool if you want to try out the hot Korean makeup trend: Gradient lips/ Ombre lips. It’s also useful if you have a dark natural lip and you want to get the true color of your lipstick to show up on your lip. Another use I can see is if you have really full lips and you want to make them appear smaller for the cute innocent look.

2014-01-23-16-35-52_deco

According to this product, it evens out redness in lips, creating a smooth and natural surface for long-lasting lipstick application. Does this product live up to its claims? Lets find out.

Pros:

1: the color really matched my skin and totally erased my lips.

2. I really appreciate how this lip concealer is in a chapstick tube instead of a pot like many other lip concealers on the market, because it makes it easier to apply to the lips.

3. If you blot this on your lips and then spread evenly by  dabbing with your finger, this product will not be drying. However, you wont get very great coverage using this method.

Cons:

1. Like the lip scrub, the packaging looks cheap. I love the cute picture of the girl, but I just don’t like how it’s just printed on a cheap sticker.

2. This product is very very drying if you apply it the way you would apply a lip product (directly gliding it over your lips generously) This method gives you the best coverage but emphasizes/creates dead skin on your lips (even if you use the lip scrub prior).

cc_img1

Overall, I only recommend you buy this product if you do not have dry lips. I do not recommend you use this in the winter.

Finally I will review the lip perfume! This is the first product I bought from this line. I bought it in 2011 while I was in Korea for vacation. Even though the name may be confusing (what is a lip perfume??) this product is just a lip gloss. This product comes in 4 different flavors: Peach, Pink Grapefruit, Passionfruit and Green Apple.

I bought the one in Peach.

2014-01-23-16-41-11_deco

Pros:

1. Amazing mouth watering peach smell, the same smell as the lip scrub (but no flavor).

2. Adorable packaging. There is no cheap sticker on this product, it came in a cute little box and the lip gloss is in a lip pot that is very high quality.

3. The lip gloss gives your lips a beautiful sheer tint and a lovely shine.

4. Very moisturizing and hydrating for my lips.

5. The product feels sticky on your fingers but I do not find this product sticky once it’s on my lips.

Cons:

1. Some people may find the packaging to be unhygienic since you have to put your finger in the pot in order to apply the product.

2. The lack of flavor may disappoint some people as the smell makes you so tempted to lick your lips but the flavorlessness is just disappointing.

Overall I recommend this product! I’m not sure if it’s still available in stores because like I said, I bought it in 2011. But for those who order their Korean makeup online, it’s still available.

Advertisements

Diary: E2 Visa application and why the forces of nature are against me

From the moment I received my degree certificate from my convocation, I began the process of gathering my documents for my E-2 Visa so that I can teach English in South Korea. That was about 4 months ago and I am still trying to get everything together in time for the start date (March 1) of the job I have applied for. The job I applied to is at a widely known private franchise called ‘YBM ecc’. I chose YBM not because I have read many good reviews about it, because I really haven’t. In fact if you are searching online for a “Good Hagwon” (private school) the results will turn up slim to none. That is because people like to share their bad experiences on the internet and rant – much like what I am about to do in this post. Sadly, the internet is a medium for complainers to come online and -for a lack of a better term, “piss and moan” about all their problems and bad experiences. Am I saying that there is no weight to their complaints? No of course not, but when you read these reviews take them with a grain of salt, and keep in mind that half of the problem is probably the posters attitude. That’s why despite the complaints made online about YBM and every other hagwon out there, I have decided to go ahead and apply because I know that YBM will at least honor the contract by paying me on time and I also wont have to worry about them going bankrupt and me losing my job randomly. Other complaints to me are not important because first of all I know the reason why I am going to Korea and that is to teach children English, not to party or to take advantage of all the benefits my job will provide, but to take my job seriously and teach. Although I have no prior teaching experience I am confident that I will have a good attitude, act professional and take my job seriously. Even if, heaven forbid, I have to go to work on a scatter Saturday or stay a little later than scheduled.

I took this in 2011 during my Korea trip, at that time I didn’t even know what YBM was, I just used this as a reference point so I would know where I was.

I took this pic of YBM again when I visited Korea in 2012, I was still oblivious that YBM was a school, I thought it was a bank. I just used this pic again as a reference point.

I took this pic of YBM again when I visited Korea in 2012, I was still oblivious that YBM was a school, I thought it was a bank. I just used this pic again as a reference point. See? It’s fate haha.

The YBM website is very organized and they clearly tell you all the steps of the application process. I will copy and paste the entire process for you:

  1. Send the following documents to the YBM Head Office Attn: Danny Kim (HR Manager) eccmain@ybmsisa.co.kr
    • Your resume with contact email and phone number
    • Digital Photo (Does not have to be formal) Please use .jpg format
    • State the month you are looking to depart from
    • State any cities or specific locations you want to apply for
  2. YBM head office will contact you after your application has been reviewed. Sponsorship for the teaching visa will require these documents:
    • Nationwide background check issued by your gov’t with the apostille certification affixed
    • Photocopy of your Bachelors/Masters degree with apostille certification affixed*
    • Passport with at least a year or more of validation left
    • 5 passport size color photos
    • * Canadians must get these 2 documents notarized at the Korean Consulate nearest to them.
  3. A phone interview will be set up once you have (all/most of) your documents in order.
  4. When one of our company-owned schools and you mutually agree upon a position, an official contract with the specific school and salary will be sent to you by email directly from the YBM Head office. View our sample contract also posted on this website.
  5. To confirm and accept the official contract, the applicant would send the required documents directly to the school by FedEx, UPS, DHL or drop them off in person.
    For those who live too far to take your documents in, you will have to mail it in using secure express mail.
  6. Once we have your documents we will apply for the E2 visa with the Korean Immigration Office.
  7. Once the E2 visa issuance/confirmation # is given out by the Korean Immigration Office it will be emailed to you.
  8. You will then submit your passport, E2 visa application form, application fee, photo and transcript to the Korean Consulate.
  9. The final E-2 application process will be completed with the Korean Consulate.
  10. After receiving the E-2 visa stamp in your passport please inform your school.

As of right now, I am between step 3 and 4. I have already had my phone interview* on December 23 with Danny (YBM HR manager) – *not so much of an interview as it is him selling you the school – and now I am currently waiting on the very last document needed before he can send me a contract: The notarized RCMP background check (If you didn’t know by now, I’m Canadian). This is where my frustration ensues.

First of all, as I said before in my introduction in the “home” section, I live on an isolated island, in an isolated town which is pretty much in the forest. Therefore, resources are very limited. I have to drive an hour away to get any of the documents I need for my application. And, the nearest Korean consulate to me is in another province, therefore, I have to send everything away and wait days and days before I ever hear from them. I first applied for my police check back in October, the same day I received my diploma. The first step was to pick up an application at the police station and fill it out. Then, before moving further, I was told I needed to get a Provincial court check. The nearest court was an hour away so I had to wait until a day when my parents and I had no work. After I drove to get my court check, I gave the court check and application form to my mom and got her to drop off after work (this police station is not in my town, but in the same town my mom works in 15 minutes away from me). Then, when she brought it back they told her: “Oh, we have new forms to fill out now, the one she filled out is wrong so get her to fill this one out instead.” That was kind of annoying but no big deal. This form though needed detailed information about about my employer and job. However, at this point I had not even applied for a job as I was told it was a good idea to start gathering your documents before applying for a job. Therefore, I held onto that form for a little while before handing it to the police station for processing. My plan was to wait until I completed my 120 hour TEFL certificate and had all of my other documents like my notarized degree and transcripts before applying. The end of November was when that happened. I applied to YBM and filled out all the required information on the police check form. However, at this point, Danny was telling me I should get the fingerprint version of the RCMP check. So, I went to the police station the next day and passed in my completed form and got my fingerprints rolled on paper. I asked them how long do they think it would take and they said about 1 week. Three weeks later, I got a call from them to pick it up. Written across it said: “this is not a certified RCMP check as fingerprints are required.” I was very confused about this since I had my fingerprints taken. I then found out that it was a Vulnerable sector check (not at all what I needed) and I was required to send in my fingerprints myself to Ottawa in order to get them processed. This, I was told, would take up to 2 months. By the way, we are now up to late December. My job offer remember starts on March 1. However, I found online that if you get your fingerprints taken electronically, it only takes 3 days to process (in Canada time, this means at least 1 week). Therefore I called and got an appointment asap (a week later) at the nearest police station that has the technology (1 hour away). Anyways, I got the results back on Jan. 9th and on the 10th after work I sent them to the Korean consulate to get it notarized (however, the 10th was on a Friday and mail don’t go out in my town on the weekend so technically Monday is when it sent). I thought it would only take a week until it got back to me because that’s how long it took them to notarize my degree so I was anxiously waiting today for the mail to arrive. However, instead of mail from the Korean consulate, I received a phone call from them telling me that they were going to process my docs today. This means I probably wont get them back in the mail until Thursday at the earliest.

That is why I am so frustrated now 😦  time is ticking! If I want to start my job on March 1 Danny said I will have to be there at least a week before the start date to go to orientation! February only has 28 days so I am freaking out right now! I can’t afford any more mix ups because even if things go 100% smoothly, I will still be pressed for time. As you can see by the application steps, there are still many more steps to go and a lot of them require me to mail out my documents which take a long time!

Anyways, my next step is to upload a pic of my notarized RCMP check to Danny as soon as I get it so he can see I have all my documents and send me a contract. Then, I have to sign it and send it to Korea along with all my other gathered documents. Then, after they receive my docs, they will begin to apply for my E2 visa through the immigration office (I read online that this takes about 5-10 days hopefully in my case it will be 5!) Then they will email my my visa # and I will fill out a visa form and send it as well as my passport, passport sized color photo and transcript to the Korean consulate so they can stamp my passport and send it back to me. Then I will tell my employer and they will book my flight whoooo. I just hope I can make it on time for my job start date, wish me luck!

Stephanie xox

P.S: Feel free to ask me any question you may have regarding this. Or, share your frustrating experiences with me so I will feel better 😛

Reviewing: Lovely me:ex Design my Eyebrow

Ok so my next review will be on this ‘eyebrow maker’ by Lovely me:ex. I believe this brand is from The Face Shop but I’m not 100% sure.

1598292_10153912480045413_1657244076_n

I have always had a love-hate relationship with my eyebrows, one reason is because my hair is naturally dark brown and my eyebrows are an unforgiving JET BLACK. Another reason is that my eyebrows are very thick and dense. For a lot of people struggling with sparse eyebrows, they might envy my eyebrow situation but for me it’s a curse rather than a blessing because it gives me a strong/harsh look to my face. With that said, it seems like I would be the last person on the planet that needs an eyebrow pencil since my brows are very full and dense on their own. However, since I pluck my eyebrows myself, I am bound to make a mistake and since they are so bold an unforgiving, if I pluck one wrong hair there is a very noticeable gap that needs covering. This pencil allows me to cover that gap. Also, I have been changing my eyebrow shape over the past few months. I used to have a very arched eyebrow but I decided that it made me look too intimidating so I decided to grown them “Korean style” straight/flat and full. This gives my face a more youthful/innocent look – even with the bold blackness of my eyebrow. This pencil has helped me shape my eyebrow into the shape I want and gave me a guideline of where I need to grow the hair. It has also helped me a lot during the awkward stages of trying to grow fuller brows by masking all the gaps until it grew back fully.

The color I got was ‘black brown’ but there were many different colors to chose from in this line, such as, grey brown, dark brown, brown, dark grey and black brown. Usually when I buy a eyebrow product, the color is either too brown with reddish undertones or too black and makes my eyebrow look like it was drawn on with a permanent marker. This product is not like this and I have to say I really do like this product, here’s why:

Pros:

1. The color selection is great and realistic, giving a natural look.

2. It gives me the perfect amount of coverage that I want. If you look at the swatch pic I posted above, you can see that it glides on very lightly, I had to apply some pressure in order for it to look that dark. Therefore, you are in total control; the harder you apply this product, the darker it will become.

3. the pen part is triangular shaped instead of a narrow pen tip so it covers more area at once making it look less “drawn on” and more natural (also I want to mention that there’s no sharpening involved, you just twist the bottom and like a lipstick, more product will come up, you can also twist it to make it go back down).

4. It also comes with a spooly on the end so that you can easily blend the color in with your eyebrow hair.

5. The formula is great! (Apparently it contains vegetable wax and Vitamin E) It’s long lasting and smudge proof.

Cons:

1. If you are a blonde, these colors may not work for you.

That is the only con I can think of, overall this is a great product and I highly recommend it!

Reviewing: It’s Skin Babyface Pore Powder

Hey guys and gals, I am officially welcoming you to my blog! This is my first ever review~ It seriously took me forever fiddling with the aesthetics of this blog, I’m still not 100% happy with it but it will do for now. Anyways, to kick things off I will do a haul and  review for some Korean makeup products that I have accumulated over the past month. The seller I bought these particular items from is quite generous with the samples which I appreciated. If your interested in buying from this seller you can see her website name on the business card in the photo below.

I made different 4 different orders from different sellers, so this is just the first batch that I will be hauling/reviewing for you.

I made different 4 different orders from different sellers, so this is just the first batch of products that I will be hauling/reviewing for you.

Before starting though, I want to tell you a sad story about my previous makeup collection. In summer 2012, I went to South Korea to study Korean for a summer program hosted by my University. Going to Korea, I used Air Canada and I was allowed to bring my checked suitcase and one other checked backpack that I strapped onto my suitcase, I was also allowed to have 1 carry on bag (backpack) and my purse. However, they changed the rules when it was time to comeback home. I checked my suitcase (which was COMPLETELY full, like I had to sit on it in order to close it) but this time, I was not allowed to check the backpack that I strapped onto my suitcase on the way to Korea unless I payed a fee (that I was unable to make at that time). SO I literally had to ditch that backpack in the Incheon Airport. That backpack had a lot of my clothes in it: skirts, shorts, dresses, shirts even a lot of the new clothes I purchased while in Korea. It also had ALL my skincare and makeup in it and there was no way I could transfer any of it into my carry on because of the liquid and gel rule (not to mention, my carry on bag was full to the point where the zipper broke) Anyways, one of the products alone in my makeup bag was over $40… I was so depressed. I’m sure there would have been a way to arrange for them to hold my bag and get one of my friends in Korea to pick it up and send it to me but I had no time to wait in line at the service desk because I would miss my flight and the people who I did manage to talk to were not at all helpful… so I ended up just ditching my backpack on a chair while no one was looking to make it seem like I just forgot it haha… it was so sad. So since then, I have been trying to slowly rebuild my makeup/skincare collection. Obviously, I had to repurchase my skincare right away because it’s something I NEED but as for makeup, I just made due with some drugstore products and some of the products I found around my house because it would cost WAAAY too much to buy everything again. However, the positive part of this story is that now I get to try new things as I slowly rebuild the basics of my makeup collection and I also get the opportunity to review them for you 🙂

First thing on my list is the babyface pore powder. Basically, I just wanted a loose translucent powder to set my foundation. There were many options in the magical land known as ebay – however, when I saw this one I knew I had to get it! (I am a SUCKER for cute packaging) You got to admit, this is the cutest little thing ever! And as an added bonus, this line is endorsed by the baby face king himself, Nichkhun ❤ ❤ (fangirl moment)

Note: this is not the same product that I am reviewing, but it’s from the same line

However – if I knew then what I know now, I would not have bought this little guy. Keep reading to find out why.

2014-01-13-23-53-17_deco

The scratches on my hand are from my kitty, Honey Bun :3 hehe

First of all, I will tell you what I like about this product:

1. It is freakin cute! It has personality, I mean just look at that face :’)

2. The powder is really fine and soft and blends in well. It’s also colorless and does not make me look more pale than I am like some other “translucent” powders I have tried in the past.

Ok, now for the Cons:

1. I was really disappointed by the size of this product. It’s waaay to small! Like seriously for what your paying for, the size is very disappointing! You can see in my photo that I have placed a quarter next to him so you can get a sense of his size (yes I will refer to this inanimate object as ‘him’ – that’s because he has a face :’))

2. When I tap him to try and get the powder to come out of the little holes, nothing comes out so I literally have to smack him down and even then, barely any product comes out I think the only way is shake it like crazy and then you will probably have a mess on your hands.

3. Ok, so i’m not sure if he is to blame or if it’s my primers fault, but he really finds a way to settle into my fine lines on my face, lines I didn’t even know existed until I bought this product. (but again, may be my primers fault)

Overall, I do not recommend this product, unless you just love to collect makeup because he really is just a pretty face.

If you are looking for a good translucent powder to set your makeup, (especially if you have oily skin, or plan to visit Korea in the summer – because if you don’t have oily skin you will!) I would recommend the Etude House BB magic Pact. It comes in two shades No. 1 Light Beige and No. 2 Natural Beige. It really brightens your complexion and absorbs oil well – much like oil blotting sheets. As well, it transfers translucently to your face. It also smells great and the purple compact is so fancy, like a princess! I have already hit pan on mine. I recommend you use a makeup brush when applying though just so you don’t cake it on and get the perfect finish.

Diary: From Fat to Thin and still not Happy

So today when I woke up I was really pleased to know that my package from http://www.nastygal.com had finally arrived. I was in a great mood because I couldn’t wait to try on my new shoes and dress that I had been contemplating ordering since October – because they were pretty expensive to my standard, especially when you add the $60 custom fee I had to pay… grrrrrr. Anyways, I raced up to my room tearing open the package. The dress was completely wrinkled but I had expected that. When I tried it on though, the dress immediately swallowed my entire body with the excess fabric ESPECIALLY in the chest region. Honestly, for some people trying to lose weight, such as myself this would seem like a great sign! However, for me it was just a low blow that depressed me for the rest of the night.

This is the dress I’m talking about

Ok so I didn’t really think that my first diary entry would be about my boobs but here we go… back when I was a lot heavier my boobs were a full C cup and I was so proud, not too big – not too small, just right. I used to think it was my best asset! Now that I have lost over 50 lbs, my boobs are so small – that if there were about 3 letters in the alphabet before A, that would be my size! Honestly, my boob is like swimming around in the smallest cup I can find… it’s sad!

So to put things into perspective for you, I’m 5’3 and at my heaviest I was 163 lbs and that is when I had my full C cup. Then, in 2011 I got sick of being overweight so I decided to completely change my lifestyle and I dropped 43 lbs. At this weight (120 lbs – for those like me who are too lazy to do the math), my boobs shrank to a size B. For me this was completely fine because it made them in proportion with my new body. However, at my current weight, 109 lbs – which I just recently became, my boobs are completely non-existent. Some people would say “well go back to 120 lbs” well the problem with that is, at 120 and even now at 109, my hips are much much larger than my top half and looks so strange therefore, taking my height and bone structure into consideration (I’m extremely petite),  I think the best weight for me is 100 lbs and that’s what I’m aiming for. I mean the damage is already done with my boobs, there is no way possible for them to shrink any more. The only part left that’s chubby is my thighs and hips. It’s always interesting though, being at both ends of the spectrum; before being too large to fit into any of the clothes I liked, and now being too small.

Back at 120 though, my body looked amazing in dresses. Now, everything is too big and shapeless and just drapes on my body. I feel so discouraged because before when I was overweight, I used to get made fun of and I felt so unattractive and now that I took control over my body, I am too thin  (in certain areas) and still feel unattractive and ashamed. There’s no way to fix this. Also even when I was 120, (which is not fat at all) guys who I dated also used to tease me and tell me I need to lose weight. Like it’s really rude, I just lost 43 lbs and totally transformed my body and life and then to hear that I’m still not good enough or still “too fat” is just disheartening. So now I’m 109 lbs and I look totally different from when I was 120 lbs and now I hear comments (from the same guys as before) telling me I have no boobs… like seriously. As women, sometimes we have to sacrifice one thing for the other so I traded my love handles and saddle bags for my boobs, sorry that we cannot chose where we want to lose weight!

Anyways, I feel that it is important to mention here that I did not lose weight for anyone other than myself. And I’m still “transforming.” My goal is to own a swimsuit  and wear it in public for the first time in my life. So I’m giving myself these months to get toned and in shape for the summer. I’m doing good things for myself and doing it in a safe and healthy way but I there are bound to be bumps along the way and today I experienced one of those bumps. Sometimes I feel like getting a breast augmentation but then I know I will be judged and ridiculed by my family so for now I’ll just have to stuff my bra. (just kidding) I still have a long ways to go with making myself beautiful on the inside and learning to love myself. This entry just reflects how I am feeling in this particular moment in time and I felt that the healthy thing to do is share it. Wish me luck with my journey and thanks for listening to me while I go through these emotions♡

Stephanie xox