Restaurants in Seoul: Gril5Taco Hongdae

Saturday, June 21, 2014

A few weeks back, I was skimming through some food pictures on instagram and I stumbled on this delicious fries platter. I asked the poster for the location, and to my delight, the restaurant is right here in Seoul - in Hongdae. I love Mexican fushion food - I've probably never had truely authentic Mexican before as it's hard to find, but I've always enjoyed the fushion options available.

The restaurant that I went to is called Grill 5 Taco. The sign says Grills but I've also heard it being refered to as Grill5Taco.

They have two floors for indoor dining, and a few tables set up outside.

The music is quite loud inside but it adds to the youthful and hip atmosphere. 

If you have trouble finding it, it's right across from The Design Museum - I've never been in there but it looks interesting. Grills is located on one of the smaller streets. It's not close to the main Hongdae street. It's best to GPS it beforehand.

On the outside, you can see their menu. Here's a sneek peak of the inside. I didn't feel right taking pictures inside because I really want to respect the other diners' privacy. You have to order at the front, then they give you a little round thing, that buzzes off when your food is ready. You have to get your own forks, knives, and napkins from the little stand. You also have to take your trash and tray back to the stand when you're finished. It's kind of like a fast food restaurant but with better atmosphere and pricier dishes.

Because, I couldn't handle the loud music (I'm getting old!), I sat outside - which was great because instead of sitting on a metal chair, I was able to get a cool low table and cot chairs. Thursday Island is a clothing brand. They might be doing a collaboration. I'm really not sure but there was this projector outside.

There as also this little room called Mr. Beau's Room where you can walk in and check out the things Thursday Island has to offer and a photobooth. The photobooth is there for a facebook event. 

I ordered the Short Ribs Burrito and the Seoul Fries. It took close to 20 minutes for the food to arrive. I think it was during their busy time. The burrito was smaller than I had imagine but it was so incredibly delicious!!

Seoul Fries: a bit of kimchi, bulgogi, onion, and mayonnaise.

I think the Seoul Fries were about 10 000Won (around $10 U.S.D.)

Would I go back again? Absolutely. I wasn't thrilled with the wait time but the food was great and I love the patio atmosphere.

[REVIEW] Aritaum Honey Melting Tint: #4 Raspberry Cake, #5 Apple Tart, #S14 Pink Lemonade, # S16 Lady Dessert

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

For something that is so highly hyped up in the Korean beauty community, I'm really surprised that there aren't many reviews here in the English Korean beauty community. I'm a big fan of the Aritaum lip collections - loved their Wannabe Cushion Tints, World Glam Coating Tints, and Pudding Tints but the Honey Melting Tint never really appealed to me. I've swatched them a quite a few times in stores and they always seem kind of thick and sticky. Not to mention, a majority of the ten colors were orangey. Most koreans have warm skin tones so corals and oranges look absolutely beautiful on them. However, I'm more of a cool tone girl and bright pinks look best on me. Orangey corals and orange tend to make my skin look dull. I do like pink based corals though. Those are okay.  I remember this one time back in my early college days when I put on this orangey red lipstick from Revlon and taking tons of selfies with it. At the time I thought I looked amazing but looking back now, I cringe every time I see those photos and hesitate everytime I see an orangey red lipstick.  I made an exception for the 3CE Kitsch Biker lipstick (review here).

There are originally ten colors for the Honey Melting Tint line. Recently, Aritaum released six new summer colors and I couldn't resist anymore so I picked up two of them during the 1 + 1 sale to see where this hype comes from. I went in stores and in my beauty maniac mode - swatched like eight colors on my arms. Out of the eight colors I chose, I picked up S14 Pink Lemonade, S16 Lady Dessert, and #5 Apple Tart. I LOVE the summer names. They're so fun!

I've been meaning to upload this post last week, but I've been so busy with work. Plus, some of the pictures didn't turn out right and the on and off rainstorms made it hard to find good lighting.

S11 Mango Smoothie, S12 Orange Sherbet, S13 Ruby Grapefruit, S14 Pink Lemonade, S15 Fruits Bubble, S16 Lady Dessert

*source: - Official Korean Aritaum website 

I always get this strong impatient and excited feeling whenever I buy a new product. It's absolutely torture for me to wait 'til I get home, take some pictures of the packaging, and then try it. Sometimes, this feeling is so strong that I would buy something and rush into the nearest bathroom to put it on. Which is what happened in this case. Totally a bad idea since the washrooms in Korea almost NEVER have proper lighting. What's with all this dim lighting?! This product fooled me with its balm looking package. I was completely NOT prepare for this level of pigmentation. Many people said this has the pigmentation of a lipstick, but I didn't believe it til now. If you think you can just slap this on without proper lighting - think again. Not only is it highly pigmented, it actually has quite a resistant texture. It dragged against my lips when I tried to put it on like a lip balm and the outcome was one hot mess. It picked up on the dry bits on my lips because I didn't exfoliate and it felt quite thick and a little bit sticky. It also started to feel a little bit tight like it was clinging onto my lips.

However, this product is not all bad. After I played around with it a little bit at home, I think I know how to make it work. The trick to this lip tint is to dab it on not drag/swipe it on. When you dab it on, the product applies lightly thus creating a thin but pigmented layer. Also, you can do a beautiful gradiation with some lip concealer. It does start to feel a little bit dry after application. You need to exfoliate and apply a lip balm before hand as well so the product won't catch onto any dry bits. It also slides on like a breeze when you've got oily base of a lip balm on first. Although it will still feel just a bit sticky, by dabbing it on, the stickiness will be hardly noticeable.

The wear time on this is pretty good. I'd say it ususally stays on my lips until I eat. After eating, I usually find a stain left behind. Sometimes, that stain is especially noticeable around the dry cracks and lines of my lips. Also, if you apply a heavy layer, a bit of the product tend to build up in the inner rim of  your lips so make sure you be careful of that.

One thing to be extremely careful of is to not leave this in a warm area for too long. I've seen these melt pretty badly in stores.

No. 4 Raspberry Cake: this is a beautiful red with slight pink undertones. 

No. 5 Apple Tart - regular line. This is a beautiful classic red. It's perfect for gradation purposes but on its own, it's quite a stand out color. It's very similar to Raspberry Cake but with an orange undertone.

No. S14 Pink Lemonade. I love this color. It's bold and it's bright. It's similar to No. 3 Strawberry Chips but this has a cooler undertone. 

* I didn't notice the dry bits until after I uploaded the pictures.  

No. S16 Lady Dessert. This was the color I was most excited about and it does not disappoint. Truely lovely coral with a hint of pink.

Gradation with  #5 Apple Tart

The Good
- beautiful colors
- highly pigmented
- relatively long lasting
- leaves a beautiful tint (for the brighter colors)
- affordable
- doesn't feather
- has a beautiful gloss

The Bad
- you can easily apply too much product
- it can catch onto dry bits
- transfers a bit onto cups
- you can definitely feel like you're wearing something
- can melt in warm areas.
- build up in the inner rim of the lips

Overall: While I say this product is over hyped (they're really nice but I wouldn't say they are a must-have), they are to be admired for their beautiful colors and great pigmentation.  In my beauty hoarder mode, I've gone back and picked up a few more (of the same colors - the act of a true hoarder).

Edit: I've recently purchased #3 in Strawberry Chip. If you'd like to see my swatches, please click here: Strawberry Chip.

Korean Pastries: Traditional Gift Set from Paris Baguette!

Sunday, June 8, 2014
Hello everyone, I recieved this gift set from someone recently and I thought I should share some pictures with you! This gift set is from Paris Baguette, a large cafe franchise here in Korea. Paris Baguette is one of the more affordable cafes in Seoul. 25 pieces came in the gift set. They were all individually packed in their own plastic box which was very cute! They taste a little bit sweet but not too much. They kind of remind me of the Chinese moon cakes. There aren't any special filling in them.

The cover of the box.

This one was by far my favorite because I love almonds and I love how it is presented.

Almond flake covered!

Eating the walnut was my favorite part. It was huge.

I think this has pieces of various sugared citron rinds.  There wasn't any zest nor sourness. 

Hmm... I'm still not sure what this is!

Group photo! 

Overall, a very interesting experience.


Dear Readers,

Recently, I've found out that someone has been copying quite a few of my posts and reposting it on her website. She did not ask for my permission first nor let me know about it at all. Although she did link the post back to me at the end, I still don't think her actions are right. I spend a lot of my time and effort on my blog and it pains me to see my things copied entirely. Also, I wonder if the other posts are also taken without their owner's permission.

I don't mind if you repost a preview of my post and link it back to my blog but please ask me first. I definitely don't want my entire posts reposted without my permission. 

I hope that in the future, we can all respect each other here on the internet and avoid situations like this.

~ Chrissie

P.S. If you would like to check if your posts are also on that website without your permission, send me a PM through google hangout.

Etude House Sweet Idea Bunny Nail Set in #5 Mint Golden Moon Bunny

Saturday, June 7, 2014

When I saw this new line of nail polish collection in Etude House, I just couldn't resist.  Aren't they just the cutest? I know I'm suppose to be a grown woman, but I just LOVE Etude House's packagings - especially this one. 

The black bunnies are bigger in real life than they appear in picture. Either they have smaller bunnies or a bigger nail. Also, the wand for the white nail polish is toothpick size (so that you can do the dots). If you want to paint your nails black or white, you'll have to buy those "colors" separately. 

The white bunnies are a little bit bigger in real life or the nail is bigger than the average finger nail. The applicator for the black is also a thin toothpick size brush. So if you want to paint your nails completely black or white, you'll have to buy those "colors" separately.

The applicator for the silver is a thin wand (like toothpick size) so you can draw on the line. I found the tester's wand to be a bit flimsy. The lilac shade has a regular brush.

The applicator for the gold is actually a thin wand (like toothpick size) so you can draw on your French Tip. I did find the texture of the gold polish to be a little bit thick. The red polish had a regular brush.

Retro green in real life is brighter than in this promo picture. It's more of a Tiffsny blue than the pastel mint shown. Review down below!

This set is from the Sweet Idea Bunny Nail Collection and there are five sets available. I got #5  Mint Golden Moon Bunny (민트 골든문 버니). All the sets come with two bottles that compliment one another. On the back is a little picture and some instructions on how to use it. For someone like me who is absolutely clueless and clumsy when it comes to nail art, this is an absolute gem. 

#5 Mint Golden Moon Bunny come with one bottle of a nice mint color called Retro Mint - think Tiffiny blue but a shade greener and another bottle Jewel Gold Pearl Powder of golden sparkles. The sparkles vary in size. Some are very fine and some are a bit bigger. The variation in sparkle size gives a nice realistic golden dust effect that shines just right in any lighting. At first I thought the sparkles came in a regular polish form, but then I realized they are actually loose. 

1.Thoroughly apply "Retro Mint" color  onto nail after base coat. 
2. Sprinkle "Jewel Gold Pearl Powder" onto areas you wish to emphasize. Shine lasts lnger if finished off by applying transparent top coat.

I would have to say that I need to give this set a big thumbs up. It was really easy to use even for a clutz like me. Retro Mint applied on superbly smooth. It dried pretty quickly. One coat was opaque enough for me. I used two in the picture. During this time, make sure you dust on the Jewel Gold Pearl Powder so that it can adhere to the wet polish because the powder is actually in a loose form. After that finish off with a top coat. I used Aritaum's Modi Top Coat. I've worn these nails for almost a week now, and just a tiny chip on my index finger! Usually I get chippings around my thumb and index finger easily but I have to say these wore relatively well. 

I love how simple and chic my nails look with this set. It makes it seem like I've put a lot of time and effort when I've actually just spent probably around 10 minutes. The lively mint cheers me up and refreshes me every time I look at it. This is especially needed as the the hot and humid weather of Seoul puts everyone in a depressive PMS mode. 

Note: I don't know if it's just my camera or if it's the lighting, but the polish comes off a little bit bluer in picture. It's actually a just a slight greener in real life.

The Good:
- really easy to use
- simple glammed up chic nails
- cheap
- colors really complement each other
- gold sparkles are amazing!

The Bad:
- I don't know where I can get a refill of Jewel Gold Pearl Powder - if anyone at Etude knows, let me know.  I didn't see it in their nail art section.
- The bottles are only 4ml each! 
- loose sparkles can get messy.
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