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Youtube giveaway + winners (CLOSED)

Hi Everyone, as promised, I have posted a video with some more giveaways on my youtube channel. After uploading the video I realized that I didn't include the skinfood black sugar foam cleanser! I'll try to give it away next time when I have a chance.

As for the youtube giveaway, here is the video.

The rules are simple.

You have to be a subscriber of my youtube channel (cl2425).
And you have to leave a comment on the video page (not on this post~) stating 'enter me' or anything else you want to say.

Also, you have to be my twitter follower (cl2425).
And you have to leave me a reply that has (1) your youtube username (2) what package you want (please list one, this will make my life so much easier when I pick the winners) and (3) a hashtag at the end, which is #cl2425giveaway2011
So, one's reply will probably look like this.

pretty simple, right? :)

Giveaway period will be from August 28 til September 5th, 2011. It is open Internationally, so please do not hesitate to try it out! :)

Below are some stock photos of the blushers that are part of the giveaway.

Below is skinfood rose essence blusher in #5 Pink

and below is skinfood rose essence blusher in #2 Orange (I really wanted to keep this for myself, haha)

Some links that were mentioned in the video are..

Missha Real Complete BB cream review: here
Etude House Black Head heating deep clean gel review: here

And please don't forget about the blog giveaway that is still ongoing too ^__^
you can read about it here

- Giveaway products -

Missha BB cream deluxe sample set
Etude house samples
Innisfree natural essential mask - Cucumber
Skinfood Rose Essence Blusher - #5 Pink
Holika Holika Rose Cleansing foam
Innisfree cotton pads
Hanskin Caco Bubble Mask
Skinfood Rose Essence Blusher - #2 Orange
Skinfood Olive cuticle Remover Pen
Hanskin Hydro Sheet Mask
Skinfood Ginseng Mask
Etude House Pomegranate Natural Mask
Holika Holika Lavender Cleansing Foam
Hanskin Perfect Veil Luxury Makeup Base (Green)
Innisfree Green Tea Mist (50ml)
Etude House Black Head Heating Deep Clean Gel
Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask
Hanskin Perfect Veil Luxury makeup Base (Violet)
Innisfree Jeju volcanic nose Pack
Innisfree vital essential C mask - Lemon
Hanskin Brightening Sheet Mask

And here are the winners + surprise package!! :)

Much love,
Catalina :)
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Small Giveaway (CLOSED)

Hey Guys,

Sorry about the delay, but here's a small giveaway to my blog supporters.
I know I've been infrequent with my postings, but I really, truly thank you guys for hanging in there with me. :)

I wish I could give out more, but as of now, this is what I have for my blog giveaway.
I will be going to Korea more often, so next time I promise I'll bring back more stuff!

As for the arranging and picking, my snow leopard did the job :p

The prizes are..

1 Hanskin Annapre Prefect Veil Luxury makeup primer (green)
2 Thefaceshop Black head ex nose clay mask (you can read a review here).
1 Innisfree green tea mineral mist
1 innisfree Jeju volcanic nose pack
+ other small samples I got but forgot to include.

You can watch the related video posted below.

The Black head ex nose clay mask is by far the most popular post on this blog, so you can check it out here.
If you want more goodies, you can subscribe to my Youtube channel since I will be posting a bigger giveaway video shortly.


- I actually go to your profile and check, so if you are not a follower, no need to dilute the chances of my real followers.
- If you have my blog on feed or any other following method, I will ask for a screenshot of it.

- If you have any suggestions about the blog, posting periods, picture qualities, etc. you wanted to tell me, please do not hesitate to write it in the comment section. If not, you can simply write "enter me."
- Only entries posted on the comment section will be considered. I can not manually enter people in the contest that have contacted me via e-mail or any other contact method.

I'm not sure if I'm going to give the prizes out to one person, or two - but I'll let you guys know how the prizes are going to be distributed when the giveaway ends.

Giveaway will be open to US domestic AND international followers.
However, if the prizes are to go internationally, there may be restriction, customs and taxes that have to be paid at the entry of the country (it really depends on the country you are in). Those fees will be have to be paid by the recipient.

I believe my blog comments automatically convert to moderation mode after 5 days of posting.
So once the comment posting is converted to moderation mode, the giveaway is over (Aug. 26 - Aug. 31)

Alright guys, have fun :)

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Korean Haul + some crazy stories.

Hi everyone!
I'm back in the states, and I wanted to share some stuff I brought back from Korea + crazy episodes at the airport on the last day.

* - * - * The Airport Fiasco * - * - *

On the day of my departure, my flight for going back to the states was scheduled at 10:40 AM. I couldn't sleep the night before because I was busy packing my bags at the last moment. I decided to go to the airport early, so I left at 4:45 and arrived at the airport around 6:00AM-ish. The Delta counter wasn't going to be open until 7:40AM, so I was using the free wifi for a while, and happened to fall asleep.

When I woke up and looked at the Delta counter, they were taking down the sky priority & economy banners (8:50AM). I rolled my cart over to the counter and put two of my four luggages on the belt. Both bags were excessively overweight and I was told that I either had to ship my stuff via cargo (pricey), or buy a box and distribute the weight and pay extra baggage fees.

I had to run around Incheon airport to find a place that sold boxes, and had to beg the guy there to help me because I was running out of time. I started to unload my heaviest bag into the box and ran to the Delta counter again. I had to pay 200 dollars for the extra box I was checking in, and when I put my other two check in bags on the belt, they were still overweight!!

I couldn't help but start pulling things out from my bags, and unfortunately, I had to throw things out that didn't have that high of a priority. I threw away all my towels and slippers, a pair of shoes, a huge body of shampoo, soaps and stuff I bought as gifts and a lot of makeup I bought from road shops. I told the unnies behind the counter that they could have the makeup products since they were all sealed and new.

While doing that, I was told that I had to run with all my might, because I was already late and if I arrived at the gate too late, they would charge me another 200 dollars for coming in late and my checkins arriving late. (wtf? is that even possible?)

So I ran towards the security gate and was stopped because I had two carryon luggages. The guy argued that I couldn't take in two carryons. I tried to explain that I called Delta and specifically asked if I could take two carryons without any additional bags, and I was given a green light on that. The guy who stopped me was such a dickhead, and snatched both my carryons from my hand and told me they were too heavy and that I had to check in one of them.

I'm already out by 200 dollars, I had to throw away a lot of stuff to avoid the 75 dollars excess weight fee, and now he wants me to check in ANOTHER bag - which will be another additional 200 dollars?!!!!
I was so furious I started snapping at him (which didn't help my cause), and I helplessly had to run back to the Delta counter. The person who had helped me out was getting ready to leave, and I explained the situation - but, the conclusion was that I had to check in one of my carryons. :( argh.

So I obliged and checked in one of my carryons (that's a total of FOUR flipping luggages I checked in), and ran my butt off to the other concourse where my gate was.
I didn't know until I got to the states that the departure time was rescheduled to an earlier time at the last minute, and that was why I was rushed. I was so frustrated because I was planning to do some duty free shopping at the airport, and I had boarded the plane with no time to even give the duty free shops a glance. With the exchange rate, it would be no use shopping duty free in Japan because the dollar is so weak against the yen. I HAD to shop in Korea, but that chance was obliterated because of my stupid baggage issues.

I had a layover in Narita Japan (which I usually enjoyed before the dollar became so worthless, thanks Bernanke), but everything was so expensive to buy with USD, I only looked at stuff with no purchases.

When I arrived at the states I only had 35 minutes to spare before boarding started on my final flight began. I was so unlucky because three international flights had arrived at the same time, and there was this HUGE line of people at the immigration/entry place. The lines were slow, and too many people were overflowing the venue. Thank geezus, at least I was in the fast lane (since US citizens seem to have an easier time entering the country) compared to the visitors line. It took me 50 minutes to finally get to the carrousel where my 2 check in bags + the extra box + my checked in carryon were tumbling around on the floor. I picked them up, went through customs and had to check them in at the Delta belt outside of customs again. I then started running (again!) across the entire airport to get to my gate. I was one of the last ones to board the plane, and I safely made it home (with one missing luggage that couldn't make it on the plane + my box all ripped open because TSA just had to be nasty and rip it open to inspect).

So that's the whole Airport fiasco I had on the day of my departure+arrival.
I feel like I bled so much money on this trip, I'm not even sure if I made smart decisions while being pushed for time. With all this happening, I managed to bring only a handful of products with me.

Shall we watch the video then?

Products mentioned...

1. Skinfood Black Sugar Bubble Foam

2. Sulwhasoo Cleansing Oil ($36 dollars at Bergdorf Goodman)

3. Hanskin Annapre Prefect Veil Luxury makeup primer (2 greens + 1 violet)

4. Etude House Moistfull Massage Mask

5. Etude House Black Head Heating Deep Clean Gel (Review: Here)

6. Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask

They seem to be pushing the product really hard. You can watch a commercial of it below.

7. Innisfree No-Sebum Mineral Pact.

The Mineral Powder was so famous, innisfree made a powder pact of the no-sebum product. I was very excited to buy this, but it was such a huge disappointment. People raved about it making your skin look soft and fresh, but it was anything but. The texture wasn't as soft as I had imagined and the powder had color (white) to it! It also clogged around my acne scars, accentuating my imperfections while leaving my face still oily.
I don't understand what all the rave was about, but I'm still going to give this powder another chance.

8. Innisfree Green Tea Mineral Mist

I actually got three of these (one was free in the volcanic mask set), and they are okay.

9. Skinfood rose essence blusher (#2 Orange and #5 Pink)

10. Holika Holika Rose cleansing foam + Lavender Cleansing foam.

11. Beauty Credit Lovely Powder Pack matte

12. Thefaceshop Black Head EX Nose Clay Mask (Review: Here)

13. JaThree Hair care products (Review: Here)

14. Etude House Missing you Lip Balm in Penguin

LOL I think you guys know why I bought this one :p

Anyway, I forgot to mention a couple of other products, but I'll include them in the next giveaway video :)

btw, here are some photos from Korea.

Going in to the heart of Seoul. Ahhhhh... the beautiful traffic.

쳥계천 - A stream going through the middle of the heart of Seoul (different from Han River).

The grass part in front of City Hall.

충무공 이순신 장군상 seen in the distance.

Seoul N Tower.

Haha, sorry I don't have any exciting photos. I was always busy avoiding the rain or trying to get to my destination ASAP. I have a hard time trying to view Seoul from a tourist's perspective so it's kind of hard to catch the interesting bits and pieces of the city. :p

Thanks for reading/watching.


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Review: Etude House Black Head Heating Deep Clean Gel

Hey Everybody, today I wanted to share some of my thoughts about a product from Etude House. I know a lot of my readers come from Southeast Asia, and Etude products are easily (?) available in those regions, so hopefully, this will be a review that will be easily accessible to a lot of you guys.

I've been struggling with large pores + black head for a long time. I remember having gigantic pores along my nose, all the way to my cheeks since I was a kido. I never really cared about it, but I've come to realize that the pores make my face look really dull and saggy (or am I just getting too old? :p). I was browsing an Etude House store the other day, and decided to try this out.

The full name of the product is: Black Head Heating Deep Clean Gel.
I can't remember the exact price, but it was on the affordable side.

As you can tell by the product name, it heats up when you apply it on your troubled areas! It says the Ghassoul Clay attaches to the dirt and oil in your pores and reduces them.
Here's a summary of what's written on the back side.

  • The heating part opens up your pores and the oil melts the black heads.
  • It's a scrubbing and cleansing agent.
  • The clay ingredient sticks on to and pulls out the dirt and oil to minimize black heads and the mineral part helps you achieve beautiful skin.

  • So what is Ghassoul Clay?

    According to the package, it says it is a clay that has been used in Morocco for centuries and Egyptian and Roman aristocrats used it to maintain beautiful skin. It is mainly known for attaching to excess oil/dirt in one's pores.

    So, that was the packaging part, and now on to the real deal.

    The product squeezes out as a milky gel form. When it touches the skin it immediately heats up. The down fall is, it doesn't stay heated that long. By the time I have the gel on my face, the heat it gone. So I've came up with a trick to take full advantage of the heating gimmick - squeeze out the product directly on the face! This way I can feel a wave of heat on the problem areas (LOL).

    Also, it has tiny scrubbing agents in it. I first thought it was some dirt from the clay, but it's actually the scrubbing particles that help scrub off dead skin and other dirty stuff on your skin surface.

    This has to be applied on your wet face AFTER you are done with your regular washing routine.

    With your fingertips, try massaging the gel on the areas you want to clear up. The milky gel turns into oil, and that's when it starts melting away the black head bitches!
    The package recommends 1 minute of scrubbing after it becomes oily, but I usually scrub about 3-4 minutes since I have a large area to cover.

    Here's a tip - instead of making circular motions that go towards the outer part of your face, try the reverse. You will feel the difference since you are going against your pores and facial hair direction.

    After you are done, rinse it off with lukewarm water and apply your moisturizer and other stuff you normally put on your face! Repeat 1-2 times per week.

    Pretty simple isn't it? :)

    Along with a review, I wanted to share my experience of the product.

    Before I start, I want to make a lame excuse for my skin condition. I've tweeted it already, but ever since I came to Korea (which is already 2+ weeks!), I haven't had a single break out. Amazing, right? BUT, the downside is excessive oiliness. I've never been this gross in my entire life. My face is literally wet by midday. It is excessively soaked with oil and when I wipe if off it is really sticky and yellow. I don't know if it's the humidity and bad air pollution, but due to this massive oil burst I'm experiencing, my pores and black heads are more noticeable.

    Here's the before shot (right before I jumped into the shower).

    HUGE pores and black heads + a lot of oil. Mind you, I've already wiped off some oil before taking this picture.

    And here's the after.

    Aha! The nose part has cleared up drastically, but I'm wondering if the cheeks are hopeless at this stage LOL.

    I have to say my face felt less bumpier after I used this for a couple of times. I still have problems with my pores building up really quickly, but all in all, I think this deep clean gel is good for immediate resolutions. I'm not sure about the long run, but we will have to see! :)

    Price: 5/5
    Packaging: 5/5
    Immediate effectiveness: 5/5
    Long run: ?/5

    Would I recommend this product: Yes.
    Would I buy it again?: Yes.

    Downfalls: The heating part barely lasts!!

    All in all, I think it's a good buy.

    Hope this helped! If you guys have any questions, lemme know in the comments!

    PS. This is going to be one of the products I will be giving away on my Youtube channel when I get back to the states (of course a new one, not the one I used :p). If you're not already subscribed, please subscribe and participate in future giveaways :) Stay tuned!


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    Featured in Nylon Magazine

    Hi all,

    I just wanted to share a short feature in Nylon magazine. Someone told me that they saw me in the magazine, so I had to go to the book store and buy this magazine :p You know, it's not that easy to get my hands on the physical magazine (especially Korean ones), when I'm in the states.

    So here's how the August issue looks like. It's the totally trending Olivia Wilde, who seems to have itchy boobs and crotch area (or is it just me who's bothered by the hands' position?).

    and here's me..

    It loosely translates: Hello, it's Catalina. Nylonia people must be familiar/happy? with my Youtube because Korean cosmetics are often introduced and I have a lot of celebrity (BoA, IU, SNSD, 2ne1, etc.) inspired looks and hairstyle videos. That's right, I'm Korean and I live in the states. I will continue to teach how to do New York style makeup that suits Korean features. Be prepared! - Or something similar to that. It's hard to translate the exact words :p

    And here's the full page. Other gurus are Elle, Lindy, Blair, Tiffany, Michelle and yours truly.

    Sorry about the bad photos. I took a quick shot with my point and shoot, and the light is reflecting on the paper :p

    To be honest, I was thrilled to see my penguins in the magazine, hehe.
    It's a pity they were all turned around in that video. They missed their tiny window of opportunity to have their faces on a magazine!!! LOL

    If by any chance you guys happen to see me featured anywhere, please let me know!!

    Also, I haven't said this much, but I love you guys so much! Awesome things couldn't happen without the support you guys are giving me :) I'm an uber lucky person, hehe.
    I'll be back with a review on my next post.

    Til then,

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    Stuff thus far

    Hello everyone.

    I've been having a hard time dealing with my hair lately. It's beyond damage, and frizzed up like a lion's main, so I had to take a chop at it.
    Getting a trim in New York was anywhere between 75 dollars - 300 dollars. So, Korea's 20,000 won (a little shy of 20 dollars) cut was a super bargain for me! :D
    I went to Ja3 (JaThree?) salon in Myongdong and got a 20% DC from the original 25,000 won price. If you are in Korea, or if you have a chance to visit AND you want your hair done, you should visit them since they are having their 30th anniversary discount event. Cuts and trimming are 20% off, and other services are 30% off. Different locations offer different discounts, so try doing some research before you head off. :)

    요즘들어 머리 관리가 굉장히 힘들었는데, 어느 정도였냐면 사자머리가 될 정도로 머리가 너무 상해서 관리가 안될 정도였습니다. 주말에 시간도 좀 남고 해서 머리를 좀 다듬기로 결심했습니다.
    뉴욕에 있었을 때는 머리 다듬는것만 75불 (8만원 정도) 에서 300불 (30만원 이상)까지 하늘높은 줄 모르는 가격이었어요. 그래서 한국의 2만원 컷은 저에게 무지 반가운 소식이었지요 ^__^*
    저는 쟈쓰리 명동점을 갔어요. 쟈쓰리는 제가 고딩때 잠깐 한국에서 학교 다녔을 때 베프랑 도곡점 다녔었는데, 알고보니 올해가 30주년이더라구요. 그래서 지금 쟈쓰리 지점들 다 20-30% 할인행사를 하고 있답니다. 머리 해야 하는 분들은 기회를 이용하세용~~

    So, here's the aftermath of my venture to Myongdong

    Hehe.. I like the fact that I can brush my hair without ripping out a handful of tangled hair :p
    Oh, and I have this really bad(?) habit when going to beauty places (med spas, salons, aesthetic spas..etc), which is buying store products before leaving. I spent more money on these products than on my actual cut.

    I bought these two products because I was shocked to hear that my hair is thinning and I have patchy spots where I am losing hair (what?!) around my crown. The blue bottle is a scalp nutrition ample that you spray on your scalp once a day after shampooing. It leaves this really tingly feeling for a while and feels like mint on your scalp.
    The white bottle is soothing essence for my dehydrated hair.

    The reason why my hair was so big and frizzy is because it was deprived of proper nutrition and hydration. I complained that I didn't like applying essence products because it makes my hair greasy and yuck. My hair is oily to begin with, and I didn't like the idea of soaking it with more oiliness. The stylist told me that I had to apply a water base essence rather than an oil base. So, being the easily persuaded me, I bought the aqua-based essence too. :p

    As for some tips with hair care, I think taking care of the scalp is extremely important for healthy hair. Of course hydrating the ends to prevent dryness is important too, but providing good nutrition and allowing proper circulation is essential for healthy roots and strong hair. Also, dry and flaky scalp prevents regular hair growth because it clogs up the openings, reducing the amount of hair growth.
    Just invest a couple of minutes per day and try to massage your scalp with the tip of your fingers to stimulate circulation. Also, if you're in front of a desk or crouched in front of the computer all day long, try relaxing your neck and shoulders to provide a good flow of blood to your head. I've been really bad with my posture and not caring about circulation, but the alarming news of losing hair *sob* made me feel a bit more alert about how every little habit effects my appearance.

    If you are reading this post, stop what you are doing, straighten up your back and try to loosen the muscles around your neck and shoulders to release the tension. Massage your scalp from the middle of your head around the crown, all the way down to the temples by applying some pressure with the tip of your fingers. :)

    This is quite belated, but I guess I'll post it since I'm feeling a bit homesick at the moment.

    Some of you might know, some might not, but I'm in Korea until the 17th. The reason is vacation + business I guess? I've left New York, and instead of heading straight to LA, I'm staying in Texas for a short period of time to work on a project I've wanted to do for a while. That project is one of the main reasons I've left New York, so I guess you guys can stay tuned since it is launching in late August or early September.

    Leaving New York was a bit surreal, and I wanted to dedicate a post to it, but I somehow lost the right timing for it. I've lived in New York for 6 years, and the time there was great. There's this magic to the city and I feel very lucky to have actually lived, graduated school and worked in New York.

    This was my first taste of New York. It was the very first picture I took when I was at JFK in 2005. I was very impressed with the clear sky, and amazed at the view of the city when I first went into Manhattan. I was very optimistic about my future in New York, and looking back, I think I have accomplished almost everything I could in New York.

    I spent my roaring 20's in the bustling city, I went to a great school, I met some of the smartest people on the face of earth, I took many classes taught by Nobel laureates, I met great people in general, I had a great job, I lived in one of the most famous places on earth, I went to so many great world-class restaurants, I've set foot into one of the toughest industries to get into, I went to awesome museums whenever I wanted to, I jogged in central park in the mornings, I've had my share of sticking my foot in a closing subway door to force it open, I had a good piece of the delivery food scene, and the best part is, I met the love of my life in New York.

    Here are some of my souvenirs from New York.

    me, having fun at school

    me at the Rockefeller skating rink on x-mas eve :p

    resting @ central park...with my precious whole foods bag

    rainbow room

    Lincoln center after an opera

    at boyfriend's graduation

    at MoMA, cafe 2 has really good stuff to eat

    sleepless nights, consumed with writing essays, were rewarded with beautiful sunrises

    peaceful scene at central park north

    a view from my apartment building in midtown (3:00 AM)

    ..and my last glimpse of the city while heading to JFK

    I regret not taking a lot of pictures during my stay there. If you are planning to move to New York, or if you are already living there, all I want to say is "enjoy!" I think New York is a special experience and I hope everyone who has a chance will cherish their stay in the magical city.

    Hehe, thanks for reading this long post.
    I have bought some goodies for a blog giveaway today, so stay tuned for that too!
    I will post the giveaway once I get back to the states.


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