My Korea Travel Website: THEVYPEFFECT

Hello my dearest readers!

As some of you may already know, I’ve been writing a blog about my travel experiences in Korea, so after my 4th trip last December and a lot of contemplation, I finally decided to upgrade my plan, get myself a domain, and thus…

THEVYPEFFECT.COM is now up!

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Why did I do this? Well, it’s been long overdue haha, but mostly because I figured that since I was sharing and getting quite a number of views from it, I might as well run ads on WordAds and earn a bit of money. And that required me to upgrade my plan, so yeah.

I know I probably haven’t travelled as much in Korea compared to the locals, or to expats, or to those who have been on exchange there for 6 months (and more), but I sincerely value all my experiences in the country. I took many photos, recorded as much info as I could, and of course remember vividly many details of each experience I’ve had.

Some online websites or guide books always tell you to go certain tourist attractions, and sometimes I’ve been, well, disappointed, so I always think it’s good to show clearly what really goes on there, and whether it’s worth your time and money. I’m not paid to endorse anything, so everything is my own truthful opinion!

I’ll update more over the next couple of weeks – still clearing a lot of backlog from all my trips tbh, but in the mean time please do enjoy the content I have now, and I hope it will be useful for you if you’re planning a trip to Korea soon!

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6 Favourite Beauty Products in 2018

2018 has been one of my favourite years in terms of experimenting with new makeup and skincare, so I’ll round up some of the ones I loved the most last year. I know this post is a little late, but better late than never, right? 😉


Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup SPF 10

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The BEST foundation I’ve ever used. I’ve even stopped using BB creams because this stuff is even better, be it in terms of coverage or staying power. I also love that it doesn’t clog up my skin, so it’s great to use even if you have oily skin with easily-clogged pores.

It’s a tad expensive, but a good foundation like this is honestly worth the investment, even more so than a luxury lipstick. This is coming from a lipstick lover, so you know how much I treasure this foundation. You also don’t need a lot of product because of the high coverage, so a little can go a long way.


the SAEM Cover Perfection Tip Concealer

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Best concealer I’ve ever used – and the cheapest one ever! This stuff is creamy, promises super good coverage, and doesn’t oxidize. I’ve been using this (rather small) tube for months and still haven’t finished it – super worth it!


MISSHA Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream

 

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I didn’t really dare to take the leap when it came to using snail mucin, but when I finally did with this product, I was absolutely blown away. I find this perfect for soothing and clearing up skin irritations, acne, and sunburns while hydrating skin. Now, where have you been my whole life??


COSRX Natural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol

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Probably my favourite toner this year for being really effective (at least for the most part). This is very good for clearing up acne and preventing breakouts from happening, so acne-prone people should definitely try this.


CLIO Kill Brown Waterproof Brush Liner

CLIO Kill Brown Waterproof Brush Liner

No one should be left feeling like a noob at using liquid eyeliner, not when CLIO has provided one of the best tools available. I find that the brush is much easier to control and use than the pen, so you can easily brush (haha) across your eyelids and create a clean line. Plus points for being waterproof.


Colourpop Ultra Blotted Liquid Lipstick

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I couldn’t end this favourites list without a lip product, and after much deliberation I finally decided that Colourpop’s Ultra Blotted Lip was truly the gem of the year. Comfort, great staying power, and beautiful colours – this highly affordable product truly provides them all.

5 Brands On My 2019 Wishlist

Last year, I had the opportunity to try out a wide range of brands, and my hope for this year, of course, is that I can explore and experiment with many other brands.

Here are my personal top 5 brands to try out this year.


Drunk Elephant

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I’ve heard so many good things about this skincare brand that just entered Singapore! I think the prices are really expensive though, so I’m a bit afraid of committing my money to Drunk Elephant’s products 😂 if anyone has recommendations for Drunk Elephant products that will definitely work for oily, acne-prone & sensitive skin, let me know!


Mario Badescu

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I’ve heard about their facial sprays being really good for sensitive skin, so I’m really keen on trying them! Let me know if their toners are good as well, will be looking to try out a new toner once my current Muji one is depleted!


The History of Whoo

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I seriously love the packaging – definitely something that looks Korean royalty-worthy Most reviews I’ve read of The History of Whoo’s products are very positive, but the one thing holding me back is, of course, the price. I certainly don’t have that kind of income to support such a luxurious skincare routine and makeup collection TT__TT I might try something from this brand if I really can afford it, otherwise I’ll put it in my wishlist… for 2020 😂


Jill Stuart

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You know I’m a huge sucker for beautiful packaging, so how could I leave out Jill Stuart? Everything looks so luxurious and fit for a princess. I’ve seen some product swatches and they look really lovely. In fact, I think this brand looks a little like Japanese drugstore favourites Canmake and Cezanne, right? I know the prices aren’t super affordable either, so I’ll really have to save up to buy these beauties…


dear, Klairs

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I was this close to buying their Vitamin C serum when I saw it in Korea but I eventually decided not to. I regret it. I am definitely going to try this brand in 2019 – watch me!!

My Top 10 Cosmetic Products of 2017

As 2017 is about to end, it is also time to do a round-up.

I started writing on THERAGEFFECT just this year, which was also when I actually first started playing around with makeup. I try my best to give honest and frank reviews because I’m not paid or sponsored to do any, and I hope they have been useful in your shopping decisions, or at least interesting to read 🙂 Although I generally don’t regret many of my purchases, I definitely have a few star favourites.

Here is my list of 10 products tried and loved in 2017.

Note: not ranked in any particular order 


1/ Innisfree Eco Flower Tint

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I’ve raved about this so many times that it’s no wonder it made my list of top 10 cosmetics in 2017. One of the best lip tints and lip products I’ve ever used, I wish this product will never disappear, and just maybeee add more shades?


2/ banila co. It Radiant Glow BB Cream

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Good coverage, no oily or sticky feeling, minimal oxidation – what more can I ask for in a BB cream? I’m still on my first tube for 4 months, and I’m probably only halfway through even though I use this almost everyday. My only worry is that I tried to repurchase this in Korea recently and they changed the packaging – let’s just hope that they didn’t change the formula (for the worse) as well.


3/ banila co. Prime Primer Hydrating

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If you haven’t been actively using primer, 2018 is the year you should start doing so. I used to be a naysayer until I bought one of these. Not only do they hydrate my skin and prep it for my makeup, it also helps my BB cream (see above) stay on longer. Again, my worry is that banila co. changed the designs for only 3 of the primers, so it could really mean that the formula is not the same anymore 😦


4/ shu uemura hard formula

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I bought this after long deliberation (months to be exact) because it is not the cheapest eyebrow pencil out there in the market. The lead pigment only comes off when in contact with the oils secreted in eyebrows, and I find that it really helps to shape and fill my eyebrows in easily. Only downside – you have to sharpen it at the shu uemura store.


5/ Innisfree No-Sebum Mineral Powder

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My face becomes an oil well very easily, so I bought this for sebum control. I ended up loving this powder for its ability to keep my makeup in place for hours, in addition to its commitment to anti-sebum.


6/ Innisfree Vivid Tint Rouge

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Another star lip product from Innisfree, what is most impressive isn’t just long staying power and beautiful colour payoff. From personal experience, I can apply one layer of peachy-pink on initial application, which eventually leaves behind a brighter and more intense pink tint on your lips. I’m sure you’ll love the dual colours as well.


7/ THEFACESHOP Moisture Touch Lipstick

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Another high-raved about product (raved by me, at least) that definitely topped my list. In fact, I love the formula so much that I bought 3 shades of this. I also appreciate how easy it is to apply to look ready – just one swipe and you’re good to go.


8/ THEFACESHOP Inkgel Pencil Eyeliner

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I’ve experimented with many different types of eyeliners over the year because I’m not great at drawing so sometimes I blame it on the pencil. I had one of my liquid eyeliners smudge completely in Korea because my eyelids were too oily, but this pencil eyeliner has held up strong with zero smudging through long bouts of bad weather – highly impressive.


9/ peripera Ink The Airy Velvet

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Long lasting, soft colours and extremely affordable price are everything that makes peripera’s lip tint so famous. I was initially not very impressed with my first try of the product; now, I am a converted fan with 3 shades bought on 3 different occasions.


10/ IOPE Air Cushion

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How could I leave out this cushion that changed the way I look at compacts? IOPE’s Air Cushion provides much better coverage than you could expect from a compact cushion. Together with moisture and longwear properties to stay on your skin for hours without feeling like your makeup is flaking off, this cushion is one that you’ll definitely want to keep in your makeup pouch.

K-Beauty Items For SGD10 & Less

K-Beauty, with a heavy focus on 10-step skincare regimes, natural make-up looks that uses more products than you can count, as well multiple celebrity endorsements, is often viewed as an expensive affair. Indeed, having to keep up with multiple award-winning K-Beauty products doesn’t seem to bode well for your wallet. Luckily, you don’t have to break your bank to get the best of K-Beauty, thanks to these affordable gems:


COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch

(Watsons SGD5.20, 24 patches)

COSRX is the skincare brand that everyone is talking about, including Youtubers such as Joan Kim, who sings praises of their products in almost all her videos. COSRX’s Acne Pimple Master Patch is one of their star products, and has even had an entire Buzzfeed article dedicated to how effective it is. All you need to do is paste one of these patches on your pimples – the patches absorb oil and dirt from the zits so that they literally flatten and disappear overnight. Miracles do exist, and at an affordable price!

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Etude House Dear Darling Water Gel Tint

(SGD8.90, 4.5g)

You know that a product is truly worth buying when it is awarded an accolade by one of the biggest K-Beauty curators. This tint from Etude House is a 2017 Soko Glam Best of K-beauty Award winner for its smooth application, vibrant colour payoff and of course, its lasting power.

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Etude House Drawing Eye Brow

(SGD5.90)

Everyone needs good brows, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be an expensive and complicated affair. This product from Etude House not only boasts a triangular-shaped pencil to help you draw from appropriate angles but also a brush to help your eyebrows look naturally on-point.

Read my review of this product here. 

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Innisfree Eco Flower Tint

(SGD10, 10ML)

Lip tints are a lazy people’s answer to surviving long days without any reapplication. Innisfree’s Eco Flower Tint ensures that your lips look as good as when you first applied it, with its long-lasting, beautiful tint. The product also tastes and smells as good as it looks – almost as though you have flowers blooming on your lips.

 Read my review of this product here 

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Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder

(SGD10, 5g)

What’s better than an affordable product? An affordable multi-purpose product!

A holy grail item for many beauty bloggers, Innisfree’s No Sebum Mineral Powder is guaranteed to win you over with its 10 different uses. Besides functioning as a finishing powder, you can also use it to blot oil from your face throughout the day, prime your eyes, and even freshen up by using it as dry shampoo and deodorant. Talk about maximizing your every cent!

Read my review of this product here.  

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 Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Color Clay Mask

(SGD7.90, 70ML, Shopee)

Innisfree’s Jeju Volcanic products are famous for their effectiveness in cleaning pores without being rough on the skin. Now, you can clean your pores while combating different skin concerns such as rough skin, dryness, dullness etc with the Color Clay Masks. With 7 different mask packs to choose from, this is a godsend for people with combination skin, or those who have multiple problems on the same face.

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[REVIEW] IOPE Air Cushion

I had heard multiple wonderful reviews of IOPE’s Air Cushion, therefore I finally decided to buy one even though I’m not a heavy user of cushion compacts.


Product description

Cushion foundation that provides powerful protection against UV rays and delivers complete coverage for natural, luminous complexion.

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 37.34 (Lazada)

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 After my bad experience trying to match my shade for the Etude House Any Cushion All Day Perfect, I gave up and asked the salesgirl to help recommend a suitable cushion for me. She explained that there were 3 types (Natural, Shimmer, Cover) as you can see in the product description above. Natural gives you the dewy, moisturized skin that Koreans love, Shimmer a brighter skin that glows (much like the banila co. It Radiant Glow BB Cream) and Cover promises a higher coverage for skin as terrible as mine. I was recommended 21C (or C21) for a shade that was slightly lighter than my original colour, so I trusted the salesgirl and hoped that she was right.

Thankfully, she was.

21 is a nice colour, but the coverage provided is not as good as I expected. It’s probably because my skin is really bad and I have no hopes of covering 3D acne with just foundation. It takes me at least 2 layers on a particular spot in order to get a decent coverage – I shudder to think what would have happened if I underestimated my skin condition and bought, say, Natural. It feels quite hydrating, and not a single bit oily – good for my dry & oily skin! It feels lightweight and comfortable on the skin, which is why I guess it’s called Air Cushion.

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I try not to be a sucker for packaging because it doesn’t say much about product quality, but I’m honestly in love with the IOPE cushion’s. It’s of a much better finishing than the Etude House cushion, and vaguely resembles a pearl with its holographic cover. It feels really luxurious, and it’s little wonder that you see a lot of Korean girls whipping this out in public because it’s so pretty.

I’ve used this quite a few times before I wrote this, and every time I’m still very amazed by its long wear time. I tested this again just last week, putting my banila co. primer first and then finishing off with the Innisfree No-Sebum powder. I had it on for about 6 hours, walking around in hot weather and then staying in an air-conditioned room for 3 hours. At the end of the day, it still looked as fresh as when I first applied it, which was amazing! I also could not see much signs of oxidation. My skin was neither too dry nor too oily, and I figured the foundation could probably even last me for 5 more hours if I didn’t take it off.


Final Verdict

This product has been highly raved about so often and by so many people that it made me really cynical at the beginning, but trying it for myself got me completely sold.

Initially, you might think that this is rather expensive (I bought it for more than 40 000 won in Seoul), but you’ll realize that it comes with a refill, meaning that this product can probably last you for 6 months to 1 year, depending on how often you use it. I think the price is absolutely worth it.

I was originally not a fan of cushion compacts because I associated it with poor coverage, high oxidation and short wear time. However, IOPE’s Air Cushion has totally changed my perspective on cushions. The rave reviews are absolutely valid and substantiated, and I now finally understand why every single girl in Korea seems to be using this to touch up their makeup in public. This product truly deserves all the hype and awards it receives, and I will definitely repurchase this.

I’m just hoping my skin clears up soon so that I can try the Natural and Shimmer ranges, which might offer even more fantastic results than the Coverage one.


Rating

Colour payoff: ✮✮✮✮
Ease of use: ✮✮✮✮✮
Staying power: ✮✮✮✮✮
Value for money: ✮✮✮✮✮

mustbuy

[REVIEW] Etude House Play Color Eyes #Cherry Blossom

Having previously bought Etude House’s eyeshadow palette, I was convinced to buy its new launch this year as well. I have yellow/red undertones, therefore warm colours like pink and mauve would be a nice fit for me.


Product description

The 10-color eye shadow palette colors your eyes with pink color resembling cherry blossoms dancing in spring

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 24.85 (from Lazada)

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The pink colours look gorgeous, and I personally really like the glitter shades more than the matte ones.

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If you do a quick Google search of this palette, you see really good swatches. I have no idea how those bloggers did it because I sure had a hard time with this. As I mentioned previously, the one gripe I have with Etude House’s eyeshadows is its poor colour payoff. It took me a few swipes to get each colour swatch, and the lighter colours look almost nonexistent on my skin.

Nonetheless, I really like the colours in this palette. My go-to colours for a natural look are The End of Spring, Cherry Blossom Rain, and Sweet Jujube Tea. The muted colours help in softening your eye look, especially if your eyeliner game is strong.

When I want to go for a stronger look with more emphasis on the eyes, I’d go for Cherry Blossom Festival and Pink Bakery. Popped Cherry Blossom Popcorn, the white glitter shade, is also a good substitute for white eyeliner, and I sometimes use it to draw my waterline.


Final Verdict

For its price, I’d say this palette is definitely a steal.

However, as with most of Etude House’s eyeshadows, I still lament about the poor colour payoff and its durability. The colours are so gorgeous – it’s such a waste that they’re not coming off as strong and nicely as they should.


Rating

Colour payoff: ✮✮✮
Ease of use: ✮✮✮✮✮
Staying power: ✮✮
Value for money: ✮✮✮✮