One of the things that has kept me here in Korea for about 3 1/2 years now is, without a doubt, jjimjilbang culture. When I first arrived to Korea, my skin was in rough shape. I’ve always been acne prone, and I have giant pores. Once I got over the fear of jjimjilbang (it’s really quite liberating!), I started noticing my skin felt better. With time, I started window shopping at all the different skincare shops near my apartment. The cute packaging drew me in, but it was the effects (and the service!) that got me hooked.
I wouldn’t say I go as often as others, but I do have tendencies to go on mini hauls. I personally find great joy in seeing what friends or others online are buying and/or recommend, so I figured I would do the same. 🙂
This mini haul was done at the Gangnam Station Underground Shopping Mall. I went to Tony Moly, Too Cool for School, and Nature Republic (the place that spoils me the most!). While I’ve been a Nature Republic fangirl for quite some time, I’ve just recently started getting into Too Cool for School. I was on the fence about Tony Moly for awhile. I found a few of their locations to be a bit stingy with their freebies; however, I feel that they have recently really upped their game. I should also mention that I have a membership to Tony Moly and Nature Republic but not Too Cool for School? Potentially blonde question, but can you even get one for Too Cool for School? If so, how?
First stop: Tony Moly. As alluring as I find all the different Korean skincare products (and their packaging!), I really do try not to go to crazy. I do quite well with directing my spending money into a travel fund instead. I only went in to get the Intense Care Gold 24k Snail Cream, and I was proud of myself for not caving in. It said that it was a “special”, but part of me honestly thinks it’s a marketing ploy. It was a 1+1 for 58,000 won. I love this stuff, and it feels quite rich on my skin, so it’s worth it to me. Plus, for two containers and all the free stuff I got? A pretty good deal!
I use this stuff both morning and night. While my skin still isn’t perfect, I feel that it’s helped with texture considerably. If you have any other cream recommendations for oily skin, please let me know in the comments. 🙂
Andddd…this was all the stuff (disregarding the two boxes in the back) I got in return. Standard samples, comb, cotton squares for sure, but the Ferment Snail Foam Cleanser is what really sealed the deal for me. I actually never tried it before and oh my gosh it’s my new best friend. That was definitely the best service item I’ve ever received from Tony Moly.
I didn’t buy anything at Too Cool for School except for the Egg Mousse Soup and the Pumpkin 24k Gold Mask. I bought the Egg Mousse Soap because most Skinfood locations are now closed. For oily, pore-y skin like mind, I found the egg white stuff from Skinfood to be a godsend.
Great news: this face wash is also fantastic. I still get a little weirded out by washing my face with what I tend to have to forget isn’t shaving cream, but it still works wonders on my skin. My skin feels nice, soft, and fresh after this. I feel that I have the perfect balance of dryness without my skin peeling (a common issue I’ve had since I used to dry my oily skin out), and it doesn’t seem to get oily again straightaway either.
As for the Pumpkin 24K Gold Mask, I’ve had such high hopes, and it was a bit of a letdown. The sheet mask was rather thick and heavy, and it wouldn’t stick to when I would pat it around the side of my face. Also, because it was so heavy, it kept sliding off, something I never experience with other face masks. Was the actual solution good though? I guess? It was nice enough, but not particularly memorable. I won’t be buying this again.
HOWEVER! I’m a complete and total sucker for “service” products. One of my favorite things about Korea is all the free stuff I get whenever I go skincare shopping. I’m saving the body scrub and lotion for my next jjimjilbang trip, but the Pumpkin Sleeping Pack is the best thing ever. Actually, I found them to be so amazing that the three little samples actually made up for the sheet mask.
As for Nature Republic, I really didn’t buy anything that impressive. In a few months, I’ll definitely have something much larger and more impressive to share. I’ve used clear spot patches from a brand at Olive Young once, but they were too thin, and didn’t seem to clear up my skin like these do. My gosh, these really do work. They are great for bed, and you wake up and everything is basically gone. I should really start hoarding these in the event of the zombie apocalypse…
The Aqua Collagen Solution Eye Patches are great, especially when put in the fridge first. Being someone who is always out and about, these are perfect for having to wake up early or just existing on little sleep (Mommy friends, take note!). If anything, it takes an extra couple seconds to perfect adjust them under your eyes (at least for me), but once it’s there, I just go about my life around the apartment. These have helped tremendously. Stockpile these too.
This is what I would consider a “standard” Nature Republic “service pack”. I’ve received entire palettes, large facial bars of soap, handfuls of face masks, an entire travel kit with travel size products, and a whole snail solution kit. So, in all, this one is just okay, but still really cool. Inside the little white box is a bunch of those cotton squares for removing makeup, which I hoard like there’s no tomorrow. I find the snail masks to be perfect after my skin is slightly dehydrated from hot baths and heat rooms at the jjimjilbang. It’s the perfect amount of moisture for me.
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