Seoul is the perfect girls' trip destination. The city is huge (I mean HUGE) on beauty. All the local girls have beautiful makeup and flawless skin, and Korean beauty brands flood the shopping districts with tons of makeup, face cream and face masks options. So when I was in town last week for the New Year countdown, I was so so excited to check everything out. Walking along the streets of Myeong Dong (one of the main shopping areas) made me feel like a fat kid in a giant, giant candy shop! It's like Black Friday, except it's every day, everywhere. I felt so overwhelmed with choices that it took me a couple hours of walking around till I finally made a few purchases.
Etude House Lip Perfume Breath Mist (available here)
tastes like minty fuzzy peaches, yum
The Face Shop Extreme Brush Pen Eyeliner (available here)
allure korea best eyeliner award, a highly precise liquid liner
Tony Moly Petite Bunny Gloss Bars (available here)
similar consistency to revlon lip stains, but i'll admit i merely got sucked in because of the packaging
The Face Shop Escargot Mask Sheets
"Snail skincare" has been a huge beauty trend in Korea for a good couple years now. Every beauty brand had it's own line of snail-based skincare (I found a really informative blog post on it here). And yes by snail I mean those slow crawly beings. The products are made from snail mucus, and claim to translate snails' self-repairing and rejuvenating properties onto skin. Not to worry, I tried these masks and they do NOT smell or look like snail slime in any way or form. Nor were any snails harmed to produce these. Each mask contains 30% filtered snail mucus. My mom and I tried these masks together last night (high 5 for mother-daughter spa time) and we absolutely love them. Both of us felt tighter and plumper skin after.
For these sheet masks, check out the Face Shop branches on their international website, or alternatively I found this website that sells the masks and ships internationally.
In case you ever visit Seoul, Myeong Dong is where all the beauty stores are concentrated at. It's a great shopping area to spend the day with your girlfriends. My boyfriend, on the other hand, only found the yummy hawker-stand honey buns appealing.
Last but not least, here are a few random snapshots that I took around the city. (Warning: do not scroll down if you're feeling hungry!)
Shopping in Myeong Dong
Delicious noodles in soup and dumplings for lunch.
Hawker selling honey buns (pancakey things stuffed with honey). I loved these!
Budae Jjigae (a.k.a. Army Base Stew) - a pot of spicy tomato based soup with noodles, rice cakes, veggies, meat and more. The best comfort food for a snowy night. Best meal of the trip in my opinion.