Saturday, March 31, 2012

100th Post Beauty Surprise Giveaway!!!

I have been a blogger for a little over three months now... and can I just say, I am really loving it!

With 100 posts and close to 5,000 page views. I want to thank you all very much for spending the time to read about all my ramblings, nonsensical as it may be at times. It really gives me pleasure when friends I meet tell me that they enjoy reading my blog.

To show my appreciation to everyone, and to be considered a proper blogger... I am going to do my first blog giveaway.

Since I am dead-set on doing a macaron giveaway... I am raffling off a beauty package with one It's Skin Macaron Lip Balm and a lot of other surprise goodies.

Blog giveaway mechanics:

1. No need to follow me on twitter or add me on facebook. Hahahaha. Just Saying.
2. Just leave a comment on this post with your name to enter. You can leave as many comments as you want... but I will only count your entry once. Please remember to include your email address so that I can get in touch with you if you win.
3. Re-posting about the contest details on facebook will give you an chance to win. Just tell me in your comment if you have done this so I can check.
4. Tweeting about the contest details on twitter will also give you another extra chance to win. Just mention me @c0leysan.

The contest will end on 8th April, Easter Sunday at 11:59PM SGT and is open to all the readers worldwide. The winner will be notified through email and the prize will be sent through SingPost.

It's my last night in Seoul and together with my friends, we attempted to go shopping in Dongdaemon (again!) until 4:00am, however, just like the last time, I was unable to find anything I wanted to spend my hard earned money on, so I just bought an extra Macaron Lip Balm instead and we decided to call it a night earlier than the 4am planned. I need to catch more ZZZzzzz's again so I can check out the Hello Kitty Cafe before I fly back to Singapore tomorrow. Goodnight :)

Friday, March 30, 2012

I love Myeongdong, Seoul's cosmetics heaven

Shopping in Myeongdong came highly recommended by my friend JJEB (Jay Jerrick Epping Boy from my Australia posts), and after I visited all the markets that travel books and sites recommended (which I did not really enjoy that much if you've observed from my post on the Markets in Seoul that you can read here), my friends and I finally found ourselves in Myeongdong.

We started off with a really good dinner at Bulgogi Brothers, also recommended by JJEB but to be covered at a later date since this will be all about shopping, then we were eager to explore all the little streets that were so alive with cosmetics stores left and right, interspersed with stores with cute clothes (if the sweet Korean look is your thing), colorful shoes, street vendors, international chain stores like H&M and Forever 21, and restaurants we wanted to try for another day.  

Lying on a bed of Face Masks. Literally.
Very popular and cheap in Korea. All from Myeongdong.

Myeongdong is actually a cosmetics heaven, not only because they have all the popular Korean Cosmetics chains present there like Skin Food, Etude House, Into Skin, The Saem, Bavi Phat, Innisfree (libreng inis? hahaha), Missha, Tha Face Shop, etc (some are even familiar because they have branches in the Philippines and Singapore) but these stores actually have branches in almost every side street and every alley in the Myeongdong area. I was told that they are very popular, especially among Japanese tourists, because the quality is good but the price is really cheap.

Myeongdong at night
Myeongdong in the afternoon.

I am not really much of a cosmetics girl. My cleansing routine is just facial wash... with the face moisturizer only used when I'm in cold countries. My make-up routine is just as simple, eyeshadow to complement my outfit, curl eyelashes, and lip balm. However, the come on of Myeongdong for me is different. Most of the cosmetic stores in Myeongdong has a promoter lady by the door handing out a shopping basket with a free gift. They give you this gift for window shopping, their words not mine, as long as you enter their store. There is no obligation to buy, and most of the time, there is no pesky sales assistant, or the unpleasant experience of a hard sell. You get to keep your window shopping gift even without buying anything, but if you do (even if you pick one piece of the cheapest thing in the store), you still get more gifts! The sucker for freebies in me was so happy. 

The first time we went there, we didn't realize that the stores start closing around 10pm and by 11pm almost everything was closed, so we spent a lot of time at dinner when we could have been more productive.Thus the day picture above. The place definitely warranted a second visit.

Day 1 Freebie Haul:
Cotton pads, Face Mask, Serum
Day 1 Shopping Haul:
Pink Nail Polish (for summer) KRW700 (around SG$0.80 or Php27)
Dau 2 Freebie Haul
Includes both window shopping gifts, and gifts when you buy something.
I love gifts in nice packaging.
I sometimes see paper bags by the entrance of Etude house in Singapore.
Must check in window shopping gift concept exists.
Goodbye PoreEver!
Day 2 Shopping Haul
These are things I bought because I got more freebies.
I only like buying cute stuff.
This store caught my eye on the first day, and is one of the reasons we came back.
I did my research first, and even eatyourkimchi reviewed the same mask!
I never say no to a good bargain. I had to buy 40 masks to get 10 free.
It seemed like such a good deal I got both my friends to buy 50 each.

So now, despite my glowing skin, which I've used masks on for the past two days (more on that next time), I really need to catch more Zzzzzzzzzz's.

Good night folks. Stay tuned for more of our Korean adventures, my mask reviews... and maybe a blog giveaway coming up!!!  BTW, there are still no takers for the Macarons offered here. Hahaha. You may be missing a lot. Just Saying.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Best Korean Travel Advice Blog

Dunkin' Donuts Korea
photo credit:

I was just googling something on Korea and I found this video by simonandmartina.

They are super hilarious. It makes me want to go and have Dunkin' Donuts for breakfast today and every other day after that till I try all the weird donuts like the Glutinous Rice Cream Cheese one.

The other day at work, interns were walking around giving everyone donuts, because they just received their first salary. We were lucky enough to be their last stop, so we got a full box that we sort of worked our way through the whole day. I have tried the normal flavored Chewistys (almond was good, the strawberry with dried fruit bits on top was good too) and they have an addictive chewy texture. I may have also tried the sweet potato one because I remember eating part of something that looked like that, but it wasn't that yellow so maybe it was something else. It was quite bland though.

They have a lot more videos, but you have to sift through the topic that interests you more. This was also one of my favorite ones.

I want to go to the Hello Kitty Cafe!!!

You can visit simon and martina's blog at

I think I like them better than Oh, Tokyo Girl... They will definitely serve as an inspiration for my future videos. Hahaha. Scary thought.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Markets, markets and more markets in Seoul

I have really been looking forward to shopping in Seoul's markets. I got quite intrigued by the fact that the Dongdaemun Market opens at around 10:30am and they stay open until 4:00am the following day. I've been wanting to go there since we arrived last Sunday but hotel concierge discouraged us because it seems like some of the stores are closed on Sundays.

The market we did end up going to was Insadong Market, the traditional market with souvenirs, art and antique stores that is around 10 minutes away on foot from the Changdeokgung Palace which I wrote about here.

My favorite part of the market was this cozy Korean restaurant we found in one of the side streets.
The lower floor was quite full of locals.
Every meal in Korea comes with a lot of side dishes.
I loved the green veggies and the bean sprouts so I even asked for a refill.
I ordered Bulgogi and it's served in this heated stone pot.
It was the best Bulgogi I've ever had. It was served a bit soupy, and that was good too.
My friend Husainee ordered fish (in Korea they call it fishy) that came with some soup with tofu.
We were so hungry we were only able to take a picture after we finished all our food.
In the second floor, you sit on the heated floor, which was so comfortable compared to the cold outside.

We attempted to do some shopping after lunch but I wasn't really into the stores in Insadong.
It's quite busy on a weekend.
My friend (the one who dragged us to all the palaces) went into every antique and art store in that stretch.
Antique kids shoes. May be purely decorative.
Cats fishing in a side street shop.
Embroidered thimbles from a souvenir shop.
This is NOT a Chanel knock-off! Hahaha.
This guys ask people to pose with them because the pictures are used as tickets for their theater group.
They give you candy for posing, then they ask you to spin the roulette on the iPad for your prize.
It was only when we got to the hotel that I saw I got a frou frou pencil.
I would have posed for more pictures with them for more prizes. Hahaha.

I didn't really buy anything, but we really enjoyed looking at and most of the time tasting too the Korean street food.

My friends tried the sugar filled Nan from the van right outside the Palace.
KRW 1,000 (just a little over SG$1 or Php40)
These really looked good, and people were really lining up for them.
I asked my friends to keep my space in the line so I could take pics.
It looks like Ice Cream when they scoop it into the hot oil.
Touristy shot with food in front of food stand.
It was yum... it had a cinnamon sugar syrup inside with some corn bits.
Korean Pancake KRW1,000 (Just a little over SG$1 or Php40)
Sharing pancake is a serious business.
Since it didn't seem like the healthiest of food, I told my friends we should just share one.
Red bean filled things.
Just looking.
Some rolls and some soupy things that look spicy.
Just looking too.
Then we saw the this BBQ stand. This we wanted!!!
My friend and I got 1 sausage and 1 chicken so we can try both.
The chicken with BBQ sauce (choice of sauce) was better.
KRW 2,000 (SG$2.15 or around Php80)
The sausage and tofu with spicy sauce was Ok too.
KRW 2,500 (SG$2.80 or around Php100)
This looked like waffles with egg.
The pans it's prepared in.
I was tempted but my stomach just had no more space.

We decided to try our luck at Namdaemun Market, it's refered to as the day counterpart of the Dongdaemun Market. We knew that some stores may be closed, but we decided to go anyway.

We saw so many police men running towards the market we thought there was some kind of Security Issue.
Did they really need that many policemen to raid the fakes?

Turns out the US President was giving a presentation in one of the nearby buildings and the police were there to ensure everything was in order. Of course it took quite some time for me to register the that there's an on-going 2012 Nuclear Security Summit with the G50 countries in Seoul.

Needless to say, this market was not my type of thing. I wouldn't come back even if the other stores were open. Just Saying. 

We were so tired that we had to call it a day. So after we got back from work the next day, I immediately dragged my friends to Dongdaemun Market. It seems that there are four big shopping buildings in the area, and the two larger ones are NOT open on Mondays. Sadness!!! The biggest one, Doota actually opened aroound 8pm so we were able to get a quick look. 

Doota! the posh mall in the wholesale market.
They had REAL marc jacobs, gucci and burberry for kids. 
We ended up shopping in helloapm. It reminded me of Platinum Mall in Bangkok but with more Korean styles. I also could not figure out how to do the wholesale bargaining since I did not really see anything I wanted to bargain for. 

I decided I wanted to buy unbranded but stylish Korean made shoes, sandals or bags as long as they were CHEAP. Hahaha... I only want to spend good money on my Gucci 1970 bag... so nothing in between cheap and that interests me.

I was not able to buy anything at all from helloapm. I got so bored waiting around for my friends to finish that I decided to step out and see if I could buy something from the street vendors or stores outside.

Good thing I did that because I found a big shoe store just outside the mall, in what seemed to be the same building where I was able to buy 3 pairs of shoes! Yay... that store saved the day. Hahaha.

shoe shopping = happiness
I've been looking for a pair of nude peeptoe pumps.
In most of the stores they would quote me KRW60,000 (which I clearly did not want to pay!)
This store started with KRW38,000, best price KRW35,000 for cash 
I saw this from a KRW10,000 pile.
I got it so I could bargain down the price to KRW40,000 for both pairs.
I also saw this in a smaller size in the KRW10,000 pile but they guy told me no size.
When I found this in my size, I convinced him to sell it to me for KRW10,000 too.

Three pairs of peep-toe heels for KRW50,000 (SG$55 or Php2,080). Save for my nude peep toe pumps the designs are quite unique too. It was enough to sustain me for today. Tomorrow, back to shopping it is!!! I want to check out the Migliore (the second largest store in Dongdaemun that was closed) branch in Myeongdong, another shopping mecca, recommended by my friend JJEB from my Aussie tales.