Sunday, August 27, 2017

Shiseido: WASO skincare for millenials. All things beautiful come from nature.

Japanese cult brand, and also one of the oldest beauty companies in the world, Shiseido has released a new skincare line called WASO targeted for millennials with fast-paced lives and addresses the needs of 20-something skin (such as impurities, visible pores and dryness). Sounded all too familiar.... so I happily accepted the offer to try out the 5-piece set from WASO. 

 "WASO is inspired by the Japanese culinary tradition of washoku, which ensures that each and every product has been created with respect for nature, whilst harnessing the power of botanical ingredients.
Formulated with traditional Washoku ingredients like carrot, loquat, honey, tofu, and white jelly mushroom, the collection helps balance and build skin’s stress defense, hydrates skin, and targets oiliness and visible pores."

How beautiful is this packaging.... designed to be compact and easy to use on the go. 

With busy schedules, who has time for 10-step skincare, millions of different serums, essences, oils, and masks. Shiseido WASO line is fuss-free and makes skincare very easy and straightforward. Products supposedly fit well for all the skin types: normal, oily, dry, sensitive, and combination.
 I tried out the following five products and I feel now that's really all I need on daily basis... for some reason my skincare routine was a lot more complicated before and I used an endless array of different products which all took up too much space in my cabinet/suitcase (blaming Seoul and all the K-beauty stores here..). 
less things feels good. 

1. WASO Quick Gentle Cleanser (yellow bottle)
This alcohol- and oil-free honey-gel cleanser foams without water and rinses off clean. It works really well for removing make-up and mascara too (although, I didn't try with waterproof mascara). Very easy to use and didn't irritate my eyes like most cleansers do.
2. WASO Fresh Jelly Lotion (blue bottle)
As the second step of my morning and evening skincare routine I used Fresh Jelly Lotion instead of a toner. It helps with oiliness on the forehead, makes the skin look very dewy and moisturized at the same time. I feel like if you haven't used any Japanese or Korean skincare before, the concept of lotion might be strange. It leaves your skin somewhat glossy and sticky and I remember at first I always felt an urge to wash it off... but better leave it on! It helps to restore moisture, lock in water and prepare skin for the last step - cream.
I liked that you don't need cotton pads to apply the product, just 1-2 drops on the palm of hands, smooth it all over the face and then gently pat until it's absorbed.

3. WASO Clear Mega-Hydrating Cream
Cream is a bit misleading name because it's actually thick gel that becomes incredibly smooth and nice when applied on face. It contains whole carrot cells for hydration and anti-pollution powder that helps skin resist the effects of pollutants. You can also apply it over the make-up during the day when extra hydration is needed. 
4. WASO Color-Smart Day Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30
This is probably the most exciting product from the WASO line. It comes out of the tube white, turns red on my face and then adapts to my skin color making the tone even and leaving a healthy glow. Ever since I've started using it, I've skipped sunscreen, primer and BB cream altogether and only add some concealer where necessary and I'm ready to go! Total game changer.  

5. WASO Soft + Cushy Polisher
I would use the face scrub only once a week after cleansing because too much exfoliating is never good. It's made with soy extracts, has a nice whipped, tofu-like texture and doesn't feel too harsh on my skin like many face scrubs do. It is also good to know that WASO polisher is made with biodegradable and plant-based granules instead of environmentally harmful plastic microbeads(!)

Ming Yu Wang FW 17/18

new for Ming Yu Wang 17/18 jewelry campaign.

director: Gerald Ding
photographer: Leeor Wild

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Seoul: Ikseon-dong

Before all the high-rises popped up, Koreans were living in traditional small houses called hanoks. Some hanok villages have still remained in Seoul, Ikseon-dong is one of the few of them that hasn't been taken over commerce and tourists yet. Even though, quite a few coffee shops, restaurants and boutiques have been established there in the recent years, it still has an unpolished, authentic vibe.
 I am rather bummed about discovering this area very late, only 2 weeks before leaving Seoul. I hope when I go back in future, they haven't opened a Starbucks there yet. 

Waiting for mandus (Korean dumplings) is better when tables are gorgeously inlaid with mother-of-pearl. Changhwa Dang boasts traditional dishes and decorations which are hard to come across these days.

Changhwa Dang (창화당) 
23, Supyo-ro, Jongro-gu, Seoul (서울 종로구 수표로28길 23) 
12:00~21:30 (break time 14:00~15:00) (Close on every 1st, 3rd Monday)

Sikmul (식물, literally translating to “plant,”)
Very cool coffee shop / bar integrating traditional Korean architecture and furniture with eclectic vintage style and retro tableware. Sikmul was founded by renowned Korean fashion photographer Louis Park and draws a lot of fashionable hip young crowd.

Sikmul 식물
 46-1, Donhwamun-ro 11da-gil, Jongno-guSeoul, South Korea(Gwanghwamun / Jongno) 
+82 2-747-4854

It was one of the few places in Seoul where I felt okay drinking cocktails alone. Although, it didn't take long until I befriended the people in the next table.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

goodbye, Seoul

It might be hard to believe but that's the Seoul I miss the most - worn down, dirty, ugly yet always fascinating.  

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Busan, South Korea

The neighborhood I stayed in when Busan, close to Busan railway station, had a weird mix of Chinese and Russian impacts... Nevertheless, I would highly recommend Morning Dew Guesthouse, (if you don't mind climbing up to 7th floor for a room with a view)

Santorini of South Korea

Nested high in the hills of Saha-gu, Gamcheon village has always been one of the poorest residential areas in Busan ( South Korea's second-largest city), being home for many war refugees after Korean War started in 1950. Since 2009, the government has been investing more money into the village and funding restorations and art projects making it into a tourist attraction called Gamcheon Culture Village. Although many cafes and souvenir shops have popped up in the recent years, the authentic old-time charm still remains. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Busan Harbour

The largest port in South Korea

/wearing: shirt - Indiebrand (Korean), pants - Theory, sunglasses - & Other Stories, and 10$ slides I found from the local market because my own shoes gave me blisters/

Monday, July 31, 2017


I love that these sites in Seoul can coexist within 500 m radius.

Thousands of white lanterns representing the dead Bongeunsa Temple and 50 000 books at the new COEX Starfield Library across the road. Must say that the both places were very relaxing. 

Seoul: Milestone Coffee

서울시 강남구 신사동 554-4
Seoul, South Korea
(49 Nonhyeon-ro 159-gil, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul)

The best matcha affogato

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Seoul: Coffee Hanyakbang

I am always joking that all I do in Seoul is drinking coffee at as many different coffee shops as possible. Most of them look and feel more or less the same - white floors, house plants, neon signs, hip typography on the walls, and most of all - easily forgotten. 

Last week I came across an hidden gem that I'll probably remember for years from now. It was so amazing that I even went back the next day to try other items in the menu and take more photos.

Coffee Hanyakbang ( 커피한약방  )
Address: 16-6 Samil-daero 12-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, Korea
서울 중구 삼일대로12길 16-6 커피한약방 )
Euljiro-3ga Station

 Hanyakbang is hided in a small alley amongst shabby buildings in Euljiro. And by small, I really mean it, I hardly fit through this "street". Before that I circled around the block for 20 minutes to even find the right place. 
I can't even imagine how did they even transport all the equipment and furniture there..

Once I stepped in the coffee shop, I felt like I was instantly transported into Wong Kar-wai movie scene (If you have seen In The Mood For Love, you know what I'm talking about). The cafe is delicately decorated with exquisite antique furniture, some of this coming directly from China, for example the medicine cabinet and a spectacular counter inlaid with mother-of-pearl. Their drip coffee is reasonably priced and barista makes sure he knows your taste preference before choosing the beans. They even roast the coffee beans in the shop manually (so the whole place smells heavenly!) Can't get any more artisan than that.

Besides coffee being delicious, it's one of the few cafes I've been here that doesn't blast load K-pop music all day every day.. instead they have a collection of old records they switch from time to time. While I was there, they were playing Chuck Berry.

Second floor features a huge wooden table for those who wish to work on their laptops (feels very out of place though..), more antique lamps, sofas, and a huge decorative wall piece inlaid with mother-of-pearl.