Coffee Addiction: Maxim Coffee Mix

Friday, August 21, 2015

Back when I lived in Korea, I used to pay $3 - $4 for a cup of coffee. The most basic and cheap type of coffee was the Americano - which as a Canadian, I was really unfamiliar with. In Canada, we say things like "One coffee - regular, please". By regular we mean "one cream, one sugar." Sometimes we might say "One double-double, please" meaning two cream and two sugar. So having grown up in an area where it was the norm to put sugar, cream, or milk into coffee, my tastebuds were quite surprise by the rather bitter Americano. 

However, one day I visited a park with some of my friends and we stopped by a vending machine. The machine looked quite old but it still worked. It offered milk coffee and such for around 400 Won a cup (which is $0.40USD). It was a relatively cold day so we decided to have some. To my surprise, the vending machine dispensed a small little paper cup (a little bit bigger than that of a shot glass) and soon filled the cup with hot coffee. It was steaming hot and a perfect way to warm up during that cold, chilly day. It was sweet, yet it retained a coffee taste - and it definitely had caffeine. 

Each packet contains instant coffee, powder creamer, and sugar. 

Soon afterwards, I began noticing this instant coffee everywhere. I saw smaller versions of coffee machines at the exits of traditional Korean restaurant. After paying for a meal, people can enjoy a free small cup of instant coffee. When people went hiking, they might carry a tumbler of hot water and enjoy this instant coffee on the mountain. In hotel rooms, instant coffee packages were offered beside tea bags. 

This instant coffee is convenient, affordable, and sharable. 

Having to start work every in the morning, I began to rely on this instant coffee. I made sure that my apartment never ran out of it. When I left Korea, I remembered wanting to carry boxes with me but didn't. 

It's to my delight that I found these boxes in my local asian supermarket. Although I no longer rely on it as much as I used to, I still really enjoy these hot, sweet, and comforting cups of coffee. 

[REVIEW] Missha Signature Glam Art Gloss (SCR06 LOTTA CORAL)

Monday, August 17, 2015

Missha Signature Glam Art Gloss (SCR06 Lotta Coral) ~ $16 USD
with SPF 12

ClaimsShiny, vivid colors for glamorous lips.

Botanical Ingredients keep lips moisturized for up to 12 hours.

Sweet Almond Peptide and Marine Collagen help restore elasticity.

Gloss has subtle pearls for a beautiful shimmering look.
The slim fitting lip gloss applies on lightly for a comfortable wear.
Provides high stay power - 12 hours moisture and color fix system for clear long lasting color. 
(Source: Missha U.S. Website (here).)

I first saw this product one day as I was leaving HomePlus (HomePlus is a Korean supermarket - they have some Korean beauty stores - like Tony Moly and Missha -  near the entrance /exits). Missha had set up a display with three different sets of colours - Lotta Orange, Lotta Coral, and Lotta Pink. This gloss belongs to the Lotta Coral family which also includes a lipstick, eyeshadows, and some nail colors. 

Missha's Signature line packaging always manages to capture my attention with it's beautiful and sophicated looks.  It's the type of packaging that I wouldn't mind buying collections of (if I had the money) and displaying  them on my vanity and just admire and sigh over them all day long. 

The tilted applicator is pretty standard. It holds onto the product well enough for the application process to be mess free and non-streaky. It applies on with a bit of resistance but it doesn't feel too thick nor too streaky. 

I've never been a gloss fan but I was so drawn to the swatch color of this product that I made an impulse buy. It's a corally pink color that looks beautiful swatched across the back of my hand. As someone who is used to wearing brights, this soft corally pink color is a very toned down color for me. I've been trying to get into nudes and I still haven't found the perfect one. For the time being, this is as "nude" as I'm getting.

As you can see, the gloss is not the super shiny-in-your-face type. It's more subtle and soft and this makes it wearable throughout the day. This color is rather forgiving should you apply it without a mirror because it doesn't accentuate dry areas and even when applied out of the lip lines, it makes the lips look plump rather than messy.  Even when it wears off, it comes off evenly so you don't have to worry about random patches or lines left behind. 

Although it claims to be long lasting, I found the lasting time to be pretty average (around 2-3 hours or pretty much wiped out after eating) on my lips. However, it meets it's claims in comfort because it's  moisturizing but not sticky despite a definite cling on the lips. 

Overall,  I really like this product. It is a really pretty gloss housed in beautiful packaging and it does all the things a gloss should. 

[REVIEW] Aritaum Fair Smile Fermentation Lip and Eye Remover

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Aritaum ~ 7 000 Won / 120mL
Get It Beauty 1st Place Winner (2013)

I have really oily eyelids which prompts me to wear waterproof eye makeup. It's essential that I find a good makeup remover and luckily, I've discovered several affordable options from the drugstore price range. Although I had really enjoyed Missha's Green Tea Makeup Remover (reviewed here), my curiosity drew me to Aritaum's Lip and Eye Makeup Remover. This remover has won the Get It Beauty blind test with high points in effectiveness and low irritant. 

It claims to have fermented grains [extracts] - rice, beans, and barley - to gently clear lip and eye makeup.

It's a dual phase makeup remover which you have to shake first in order for it to be effective. Once you shake it, it becomes a cloudy mixture that is crazy effective at removing makeup. There is a stopper with a little hole which helps to control the amount you dispense. I usually soak a cotton pad and hold that to my eyes for a few seconds before just gently swiping it off. My eyeliner slips right off and even my most stubborn waterproof mascara comes off with a bit of gentle rubbing. 

It has a very soft floral scent that is barely noticeable. It's a little bit like the smell of rice water.

I usually go through two pieces of cotton pad for each eye. My eyes neither get blurry nor irritated when I use this remover. It also doesn't feel as oily as other makeup removers can feel. I still follow up with water to rinse off the residue though. Korean makeup removers usually work pretty well for me but I think this is the best one I've used so far. 

Thanks for reading! If you've any questions, please feel free to leave it in the comments.

[REVIEW] Innisfree Glow Liquid Shadow

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Innisfree ~ 9 000Won

What’s unique about this product is that it is one of the first liquid eyeshadows to hit the “drugstore” market. I know that just in the last two years, many of the higher end brands, such as Dior and Georgio Armani, have came out with their own liquid eye shadows. These liquid eye shadows have been quite a hit amongst consumers. Korean make up trends and products usually quickly follows any type of hypes so I knew it was just a matter of time before liquid eye shadows would start appearing in the Korean market.

Have you watched the KDrama Warm and Cozy? It takes place on Jeju Island and these lady divers remind me of the ones in the drama!

From the side: the tip of the applicator is tilted. It allows for easy application and control.

The back of the applicator - it's wider than the side.

There are five colors in this range and they are all inspired by the earthly beauty of Jeju - for example, the rocks, water, greens and so on. Jeju is an island at the very southern part of Korea. It’s known for it’s lush natural beauty and is the source and inspiration for all Innisfree products.


Blended Out


#1 is a cool tone champagne color. It’s inspired by the soft sand of Jeju. I usually see this product being dabbed and blended out to achieve a light layer of shimmer – that is very subtle and natural. However, I find that you can achieve an almost foiled look when you swipe it on and just gently blend it out. This creates a more dramatic shiney look that I feel is perfect if you want people to really catch onto your eyes without being in their face.  I really like to use this on the center of my lids on top of a matte eyeshadow to give my eyes more depth.

I've swiped the product on the centre of my lids and blended out the edges.

When this product is applied, there is an odd cooling sensation. It only lasts a few minutes but you can definitely feel it. I think this cooling sensation comes from the wetness of the product because the longer you wear this eyeshadow, the less shine it has.  Also, you have only a little bit of time to smudge the product out. Once it sets, it's won't budge.

Overall, I think this is a really versatile product. I really like that it provides a lot of shine without being sparkly. Just a little bit will give you a sheer, slightly shimmery base but swiped and you have yourself a little bit of glam. I am really glad to have #1 and I'm thinking of getting #5 too. I love Jeju Island and I love how these colors take inspiration from it. 
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