Dupe it up: 4 Korean beauty holy grail finds!

You might want to think twice before shelling out the big bucks for that night essence. Here are four high end dupes you can find in Korea (and purchase online) for a fraction of the cost.

1) Estee lauder advanced night repair vs. Missha time revolution night ampoule


The Missha serum has been said to be almost an exact dupe to Estee lauders advanced night repair. I bought it for my mom when she visited for ₩33,000 (about $29.00 USD) but you can purchase it for $50.00 on sokoglam.com . Compare that to the $91.00 estee lauder serum in the same size, and its a steal.

But how does it compare? Head over to skin and tonics review HERE to read an amazing breakdown of not only pricing and ingredients, but review over months of use as well.

2) Urban decay eye primer vs. Etude house eye primer



Having used the first product,  I was shocked and overjoyed with the amazing quality and price of the etude house dupe! When you experience humidity like Korea has in the summer, a good primer is a staple in your routine. Come the price of $24 for urban’s to ₩6,000 ($5.00) for etude’s, and it is even more worth it.

You can purchase it for $7.00 at sokoglam  or for $8.00 at memebox.

3) SK ii facial treatment essence vs. Missha time revolution essence.


And Missha does it again,  with an affordable and highly rated dupe for a very high end product! Coming in at $110.00 USD, SK ii is said to be well worth the money. However, for between $35-50.00, Missha takes the win again.
Buy it on sokoglam or memebox.

For another amazingly written  breakdown of the ingredients and a review, head to skin and tonics review HERE. She writes such well researched and planned reviews, it’s worth the glance!

4) makeup forever HD powder vs. Innisfree anti-sebum powder



My best friend, who lives with oily skin, is in love with this dupe, as am I! I love the soft finish and how it helps to keep my makeup in place, without drying out my already dry/normal skin.
Coming in at ₩6,000 ($5.00) vs. $19-34.00, it is a steal!

Buy it from memebox for $9.00. You can also purchase a non loose powder version for $12.00

May your bank accounts stay fuller and your skin look even better!

Have any questions or posts you would like to see? Leave a comment below! 🙂



5 Korean nail trends I’m on like donkey kong.

I previously posted about certain Korean nail trends that needed to kick the bucket, but what would I be without posting about current nail trends I actually enjoy? So here they are…5 current Korean nail trends that are the icing on my cake.



Why have a normally French mani when you can skip the impressionist era and go straight for modern art? All you need is a steady hand and a brush!




In Korea, they love their nail art. Now, sometimes this can go very wrong (I’m talking about the tiger claws with the crown jewels AND the queen herself glued to them), but sometimes, they can go very right.



Probably the newest trend to hit…makeup roadshop étude house and Laniege both released stickers with eyes and lips…now your nails can look like Chiara’s line of shoes and purses. Plus, if you hit the small local shops in any of the shopping areas, you can get a knock off phone case to match. Tread with caution…your nails don’t want to look like mrs. Potato head exploded on them…


When it is not being used for evil (see previous nail post), cellophane can actually take the graphic look that has recently gained popularity and give it some glam.


probably one of my favorite new trends. Unlike it’s brother, the reverse moon, it doesn’t make me want to re polish people’s nails….



When done well, this takes you back to the joys of middle school…bask street boys, first crushes and….cartoon network. Yes please.


I usually don’t like things that are too girly, but this trend that has been quite popular (and typically in pastel colors) is so sweet I’m getting cavities.

That is it for now!

Surviving Korea (1): 5 things to know before arrival

(note: this blog post is directed at those applying for teaching positions through EPIK, but may prove helpful for others coming to Korea through different companies)

There are definitely some things I wish I would have known before arriving in Korea. My trials and tribulations are here to help you! Here are some things to be prepared for!

1) YouTube apartment tours

Like many prospective teachers, when I made it through my EPIK application process, I instantly went to YouTube to learn about what my future life may look like.  Let me tell you…the chances of you getting that apartment with that small loft? Pretty remote. Most of my fellow teachers were welcomed into a one room studio that is about the size of a bedroom in the USA. Studios with a loft can actually be expensive to rent, therefore it is not common that your school would have one for you. Don’t be dismayed though! I actually quite enjoy my little space.  It has everything I need and although I don’t entertain guests very often (mine, although the newest, also is the smallest, about 1/3 to half the size of some of my friend’s studios) the space is 100% mine and you will find you really didn’t need that much space to begin with!

2. Hawaiian pizza and cookie dough


My search for either of these (without making it myself) has so far proved fruitless….(get it? No pineapple 😉 ) If you want cookie dough, you will need to make it yourself…but you will have to go to Costco to get butter that isn’t sweet.

BUT…Korea has a great selection of different pizzas, from potato, to quesadilla pizzas, beef pizza, and more! As long as you don’t mind that it comes with corn! It can be very expensive. Dominos and pizza hut are definitely now out of my price range. That is where pizza school comes in. 6,000 won for a pepperoni pizza? Dream come true.

(killer cookie dough craving? Baskin robins is in Korea, and the brought along their cookie dough ice cream.)

3) Surrounded but lonely

One thing I highly recommend is to take Korean classes. Do you need to speak Korean to survive here? Not at all! But there will come a time where you are at lunch with your fellow teachers at your school and everyone is speaking Korean.  When you first arrive, that can be pretty isolating to say the least. So the more you learn before you arrive, the more you’ll understand their conversation and the less isolated you will feel. Plus, they love it when you try and speak Korean! Koreans are incredibly supportive and helpful when you express interest in learning Korean! (and many will also happily teach you about their culture as well!)


4) Wait…where is my bed?

Be prepared for what one of my orientation teachers called “the Korean surprise!” Don’t take for granted that your apartment will be furnished. Don’t feel entitled that your school should have bought it for you…you school already  will cover your rent and put down the deposit on your apartment. EPIK set up the extra 300 in your first paycheck for a reason.  I know a few teachers who were exhausted and finally reached their apartment only to find that nothing was in it.  Be prepared that this might happen…ask your coteacher on your first day if there is anything you might need for your apartment. If you arrive, open the door, and your apartment is empty, turn and ask where the nearest Home plus or Emart is. You can buy floor sleeping pads and comforters and pillows there. Also, that 300 dollars won’t be there until the end of the month so bring enough money for the first month and some extra just in case. EPIK recommended 1000 dollars (keep an eye on the exchange rate). I would say you can easily live on that. Want to buy a bed frame and mattress for your empty apartment?  Just be patient and wait for your first  paycheck.  Being frugal at the start  is a good way to go!

5) Wait….is this a steamy shower or an icebox?

If you arrive in August, be prepared for muggy and sweaty for your first few months.

If you arrive in February…it will be cold, but spring starts in April and it will start to warm up. In the meantime, it is pretty cold…then again I hail from Oregon in the USA…it rarely goes below freezing there…

I hope those first 5 tips prove helpful! If you have any other questions, please post your questions in the comments below and I will try to answer them!

5 Korean nail trends I can’t get behind…

Trends come and go and here in Korea it’s no different, but being in a society where nail art is much more prevalent than in the states, you are bound to come a across a few trends thatdon’t float your boat! Without further ado, here are 5 nail trends that make me feel a little titanic.

1) THE OUTLINE image While this trend is (thankfully) on the out, I never understood it’s initial appeal. It only makes the nail appear smaller.

2 ) THE LONG NAIL image When I was a child, I associated long nails with older women who smelled of gardenia perfume. I still find it impractical. Anyone with contacts will understand the difficulty of trying to get them out when your nails have grown too long! Ouch…

3) THE CLEAR AND COLORFUL image I’m instantly brought back to my nail art attempts in middle school. I dont mind the colorful change to a french mani, but I prefer the choice of one color that draws your eye, but doesn’t blind it.

4) CELLOPHANE image I have seen this done beautifully, typically when the cellophane has a beautiful pearly iridescence that is paired with white…but lately this green and white versus black and pink has been popping up on many an instagram post. The color clash and graphic confusion feels less like art and more like a broken stained glass window.

5) REVERSE MOON image This is the newest fad to be popping up in nail shops in Korea, and probably my least favorite. It reminds me of acrylic nails that have grown out, and I can’t shake the urge to want to finish painting the nail. I find solice in the fact that trends come and go, and that with every trend I don’t like, there is always one I do. 🙂

The Dutch

Stay tuned for my top 5 nail trends in Korea, coming soon!