Monday, 27 April 2015

Korean Beauty Products and Skin Care "Secrets"

No, this isn't a post dedicated to a scene of Eyes Wide Shut.
This isn't the Korean Zorro either.

This is a mannequin demonstrating the various treatment masks for all parts of the body.

Front and back.

I don't know about you but I just hate it when my saddlebags get a bit dry.

Except this mannequin wasn't displaying one of my favorite moisturizing mask types.
In case you are questioning yourself, that mask is specifically in regards to moisturizing under your buttocks.

Actually, you probably looked at the mannequin and noted that they missed the mask for nipples but alas they have that too.

This doubles as a mask for lips and nipples.

Koreans have led the way in the last decade in all things cosmetic and the Japanese and Chinese are the biggest export markets with American slowly growing year on year.

France used to be the innovator for the cheaper range of cosmetics but now it seems in Asia at least that 
Koreans have overtaken that niche.

Moisture mist sprays are considered essential and most women have one in their bag and they spray their face at every opportunity.

There are more high tech products other than spritzed water such as mini versions of red light and blue light hand held devices meant to stimulate collagen or kill bacteria that could cause spots.

They not only have all sorts of moisturizing packs for the body

and for different ages such as these masks that have animal faces for young mothers to entertain their children

but they have safety air filtered masks that also have uv protection.
This isn't something you get at your local chemists in Europe or America for that matter.

Different types of masks depending on your preference that you didn't know you had.

Now that I have discovered cuticle and finger masks - 
I will find it hard to live without these.

Why isn't lipstick with two colors the norm? 
I don't' know about you but I rarely use one whole tube of lipstick.
This is so clever and I feel like I am getting value out of this product.

No Korean would stick a finger into a pot of cream and most people use spatulas to retrieve the amount of product for hygiene issues.  Any flare up or spot just isn't worth the risk.

Most Korean women have a special fridge by their vanity table where they store cosmetics to keep the products fresh.  They also find that the coolness makes the experience of cleansing and moisturizing the face more pleasant. 
Quick but essential tips for those interested in skin care.

Double cleanse.
 Double cleanse.
Because of pollution and prepping the skin for absorption of moisture this is the second most important step.
Most women will cleanse with an oily balm and massage the face and then cleanse again with a SLS free soap like cleanser.
Put a blue light pulse ( kills bacteria) on sections of the skin that need it.
They tone at least once if not twice.
They acid tone and/or moisture tone.

Serum is essential and for all ages and not something that 40 plus year old women do.
Put the red light pulse( increase collagen) on the areas of skin that need it.
Eye cream is another essential - 
I have been doing this since I was 18. 
No ifs ands or buts.

They do moisture/special masks at least twice a week. 
Even those with oily skin do it this because it is possible to have dry and oily skin.

They don't do proper facials as often as 
western women do probably because they do all of the above as part of their normal routine.

Korean women go to the dermatologist for facials
and like expert advice or treatments 
that they can't do themselves at home.

Another huge must is sunscreen - 
if it's a sunny day, they will apply sunscreen on at home.
They will also apply sunscreen in the winter and on a cloudy day because the aging rays of the sun filter through regardless of clouds or not.

Korean women are known for nice skin in Asia but all my Korean friends will admit that it isn't always something you are born with but good habits they develop and maintain for a lifetime.

For those interested in beauty and skin care, here is a link that will open many more links.
It is for a show called Get It Beauty which is one of the most in depth and informative Korean TV shows - it has subtitles!
PS I have tried to keep this short because I could have gone on and on and on...

Saturday, 18 April 2015

The Socio-Politics of External House Decoration

Don't worry...
It's not the tome it might, could, or should be.

If you like decor and / or original writing 
then I have the blog for you.
I just read another marvelous post from the most articulate and amusing 
Blue at The Blue Remembered Hills.

The timing of the article was so pertinent as I had just finished reading this article about a house painted in red and white stripes in one of the poshest areas if not the poshest area of London. 

"Circus house" in Kensington Via
This house has been in the headlines from 
broadsheets, local gazettes to redtops 
( links on all three if you wish to read further ) 
because it touches on 
British obsessions of home ownership, class, money and taste.

The house is worth an estimated £15 million pounds and neighbours think she painted it like this as revenge for the street for objecting to basement and redevelopment applications.

Interestingly we had a situation on our street last year.
We have a house on my street where the newest just moved in owner occupant states she is an artist. 
I normally love artists - if they actually are artists. 
Apart from various behavior patterns that I shan't bore you with, she put fake green astroturf grass in front of her house.
( The street is a cobbled mews and there is a few feet in front of the house in which most people put plants and chairs - 
she chose astroturf as a base.)

A few of the neighbours raised the literal and proverbial eyebrow. Fake flowers indoors is pushing limits at the best of time but fake grass outside!
So one neighbour took action and found a clause pertaining to our council with the help of a local planning officer that stated any display on the exterior of the house that is not considered in good taste must be removed.  ( I wanted to ask him more about this but he's not around this weekend.)
He got a local councillor in our borough to mention this to the "artist" and luckily she got rid of the eyesore without it having to escalate into an unnecessary squabble.

But in the case of this red and white striped home, the owner is being insistent and the matter has become litigious.

But it is also very telling about the U.K. psyche that the Telegraph has done a front page article about the personality and biography on the lady who has done this deed.  There have not been such lateral attacks and exposes on some convicted criminals! 

The article is also ranking as the most popular link today.
I am sure this story will be followed and the nation will be updated on any change in the facade or planning approvals and rejections.

I suppose when such large sums of money are at stake that a gentle word and lending out cups of sugar or a pint of milk doesn't do the trick.  All I can suggest is bake a batch of gluten and wheat free cookies ( one can't be too safe these days) or have a street party to maintain and foster good neighbor relations!  
You don't want to be on the front page...

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Miscellaenous moments April 2015

How have you all been?

It's well and truly a new season and I feel change in the air.
Must be the change in weather and that lunar eclipse.
Fresh start.

I really missed Millie while I was away.
We hung out yesterday and it felt like I was on holiday.

Because the opening of the sliding bi-fold doors means 24 degree weather
which adjusted for London in April is a scorcher.
Even my Greek husband asked for some sunscreen.

It's good to come back home to great weather.

Spring bloom time in London is rather underrated.

There are blossoms everywhere and London soil handles magnolia trees better
than some of the home counties.
But I have to be careful about my freckles so took some time out to go to the auction house to check out some bargains.

I put in a failed bid for this games table that looked like fun.
It was quite damaged but it was from Fortnum and Mason's 100 years ago so some decorator or store dealer must have snapped it up.
But it's things like this why I love an auction house.

Sorry Tabitha but I will admit to flipping this over a few times when I got this as change in a store.
The only time we all use the term "legal tender" is in this instance.

My trip to Korea was lovely - I get so spoiled with care and food.
This item below is the first stage of miso!

Basically it's like a blue cheese.
It's still drying and has a bit more to go until it ripens.

Korean appliances are hilarious.
I have a relative that has crystals and flowers on their fridge.
This was a popular model because it has a drinks only opening  ( center right ) to save energy.

More kitchen paraphernalia are these oil blotters for your food.

We went to Jeonju in the southwest of Korea which is a historic village and saw this traditional door that was souped up with a modern pincode lock.

It was a pivotal city that was a fort in the 1300's.

We went there because it has one of the few remaining portraits of one of my mother's ancestors.
He's the guy who started the Jeonju Lee clan which was named when he moved south to this city.
Apparently he was a powerful warrior which explains my mother's temperament! ;P

This was his horse with which he won battles.
It was like one of those Who do you think you are trips.

Don't tell my family but my highlight was eating bibimbap which was invented there.

Koreans take botany just as seriously as the Japanese but political turmoil and wars ruined their gardens.  In the last century people stopped gardening so much which makes me realize that the saying the planting a garden means you have hope.
So it's a treat to see color and flowers of any kind.
It means Korea has settled from the last 100 years.

I finally visited Zaha Hadid's building in Seoul.
They preserved a historic site from a few thousand years back and juxtaposed so well with the lines created randomly by technology that Zaha uses.

Walking around the building was so interesting because it looked so different from every angle.

It happened to be fashion week and this blogger was hilarious and so hungry for press because I kept bumping into him again and again as I was walking around the building myself!

Here's my uncle and dog walking along the pines in a completely different atmosphere.
I love the light from the sunsets in Seoul.

I wish my family lived closer but then again it gives me an excuse to get out of London!

Muriel from the French Yummy Mummy nominated me for the Sisterhood bloggers.
I didn't really follow the rules because it's a wonder I got this post out at all but I thank her!

Stay well xx