[K-Beauty] Kocostar Products You Need To Try

Korea is a country, widely known for its beauty products and skincare.  Even though a few years ago only those who were either living in Korea or highly interested in Korean culture, were aware of the K-beauty phenomena, but in 2018 almost every woman (and some men) on planet earth knows why Korean women usually have perfect skin and are aging really well.

Just a little bit more than 10 years ago Korean cosmetic products became available to the outside world, but it is growing at a speed of light. If back then we knew up to 10 major Korean cosmetic companies, now the number is uncountable.

Last weekend I had a chance to participate in CosmoBeauty Seoul 2018, exhibition and get to hear about the new hottest trends in Korean beauty industry as well as to try out some yet to release cosmetic products. I was lucky enough to get a chance to get to know some cosmetic brands I have never heard about before and I totally fell in love with some and Kocostar is definitely one of them!

Since in my opinion, skincare is more important than makeup, I have got some masks to help to improve my skin condition. Usually, I am spending too much time on the computer, so my eyes are the first one to suffer.  And I guess nobody likes tired-looking under eyes, am I right? So the first product I have got is Kocostar’s Tropical Eye Patch Acai Berry edition.

It is basically a hydrogel undereye patch, which is supposed to help your undereye area keep moisturized and stay young longer. The principle is quite simple – you take a patch,  put it on your undereye and keep it there for 10 to 15 minutes.

I really liked how it felt on my skin and applying makeup on the next day was much easier than it normally is  – I did not have my BB cream sinking into my undereye wrinkles ^^” In addition, this product has no scent at all, so it does not irritate even the most sensitive skin. The package includes 60 patches, so if you use it every day, it is going to be enough for a month. Therefore, I would prefer doing this 2 to 3 times a week instead.

When my eyes are already taken care of, it is time for the lips! Kocostart hydrogen lip mask works in the same principle as the eye patches. You take one sheet and put it on your lips. The recommended time is  10 minutes, but personally, I would keep it longer, especially if you have dry and chappy lips as I do.

The package includes 20 patches and not to mention it is incredibly cute! Do you have any ideas for reusing it after I finish the product? I think that it would perfectly serve as an accessory box. Let’s help the environment!

As any other Korean cosmetic company, Kocostar also offers a variety of one-use face masks, that are supposed to hydrate, clean, revitalize and soften your skin. I’ve got to try two of those – Camelia and Black. Even though both of the masks felt averagely similar to the other masks I’ve tried before, I would say that the concentrate of the Binchotan charcoal is much higher than usual, so it would bring a better effect! Totally recommend this one!

Therefore, I would mention that all of the Korean face masks, regardless of the company are too big for me, so even if I want to take pictures, they all end up looking really wrinkled. I feel like western and Asian face shape is somewhat different, so it will not fit perfectly.

Last but not the least are Foot and hand Moisture packs, which come in a form of socks and gloves. Even though those are actually for your body, beauty is not only in your face, right? As a person who has extremely dry hands, that kind of hand packs are the blessing. I could see some incredible results just after one use, but my hands were as dry as usual on the next day. I think, in order to get the long-term results, you would need to use them more often.

I will wrap my review here, as there are no more products to talk about this time.  Therefore, the upcoming blogs are going to feature more of K-beauty and skincare! I am getting addicted.

To check my day to day updates, follow me on Instagram @Agata0710

[Seoul Cafe] A Nest Of Vipers

ANOV  –  Rooftop Cafe & Bar in Itaewon

When it comes to cafes in Seoul, I am that kind of person who wants to try everything out for myself.

For a long time, I have been avoiding cafes and bars around Itaewon, because I thought they all had a bad reputation and were not as safe as one would hope it to be. But I have changed my mind. Maybe it is my mindset what is changing, maybe it’s Itaewon itself, that is becoming much different from before.

The cafe I wanted to introduce today is a rooftop bar & cafe ANOV located in Hannam-dong, not that far from Hannam station.

The title itself is an acronym for “A Nest of Vipers“, but a viper here does not represent a person you would call one. It does represent an actual snake, so you can see some terrariums which will serve you as a table and decorations, that might make you feel like you ar in the jungle, but don’t get scared – those cold-blooded reptiles are not actually there.

The cafe itself consists of 2 parts – a cafe/bar on the 3rd floor and a rooftop, which has a perfect design to both, take a rest or get some amazing shots for your Instagram!

Prices vary from 4 to 20 thousand Korean won but can go up higher if you would buy bottled alcohol. As for someone, who came there for some coffee and tasty bagels, it was completely reasonable, especially since I wanted to take some pictures as well!

Just how tasty are those?


In between the floors they also have a nice gallery which you should not miss.

Personally, I would recommend going there on a sunny day and if you have a change – be there early to grab a great seat. I have visited this cafe twice and even though one of the times we were the only customers (we arrived at 12 when it opens) the other time it was hard t get a seat.

Place: ANOV Rooftop Bar&Cafe
Adress: Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Opening times:   12:00 – 01:00 (Fri – Sat 12:00 – 03:00)
Closed on Mondays
Instagram: @anestofvipers

For more interesting places, follow me on Instagram @agata0710 🙂

Gyeongchun Line Railroad Forest Park (Hwarangdae)

Surprisingly, even though Seoul is known for its urban areas the most it is a city rich in forests and parks. Of course, everyone is aware of Han River parks, Seoul Forest, Children’s Grand Park, Olympic Park and other major areas, that make you forget that you are in the most populated city in the country. But the capital of South Korea has much more to offer to its residents and visitors, who might feel tired from the urban atmosphere Seoul breathes.

When I first moved to Seoul, I thought that I have seen the most beautiful parts of it, but the longer I live here, the more I find to explore. Since the weather is getting better and summer is just around the corner, we decided to explore the northern parts of Seoul, that are much closer to our home than usual areas we hang out at.

After a little bit of searching, we stumbled upon the comparatively new  Gyeongchun Line Railroad Forest Park (the old Hwarangdae station), which was opened to the public on November 18, 2017.

The Gyeongchun Line was the first railway originally built during the Japanese colonial era in order to transport natural recourses, so it gives away some Japanese vibes and even has the and old train from that era in the exposition.

Since it was disused and served no purpose for quite a long time, Seoul metropolitan government decided to transform it into a 6.3 kilometers long linear park, which would transform discontinued railroad into a peaceful area for families to relax at or couples to take a long romantic walk along the monorail.

The main forest area is located in the former area of the old Hwarangdae station (not to confuse with the Hwarangdae station Subway Line 6), which is not completely empty, but open for the visitors. The park itself stores some different type of train examples and even an old tram!

Unfortunately, because (almost) all of the trains are really old, it is prohibited to enter them because of the safety reasons. Therefore, in order for visitors to experience the inside of an old train, one of them was renovated and opened to the public. Because of its’ white color, it gives away some mystic vibe. Not to mention, your pictures will turn out just great!

If you are looking for a peaceful walk with a spice of history, Gyeongchun Line Railroad Forest Park is a place just for you! Don’t forget to bring your camera and a good mood!

P.S. There is no convenience store nor a cafe there, so if you are planning to stay there for a longer time, just as we did, don’t forget to bring some water as well, otherwise you’ll need to take a walk to the closest convenience store, which is not as close as I would hope it to be.

We also filmed a Vlog there, but it is going to be released a little bit later. If you are interested in watching it later, make sure to follow me on Instagram for daily updates or subscribe to our YouTube Channel!

As always, Thank You for reading and I hope you enjoy your trip!

Place: Seoul (Disused Gyeongchun Line railway, Kwangwoon University Station – Seoul boundary)
Opening times: Opened all the time, but it is not allowed to be there after 10 PM
Admission fee: FREE

Korean Skin Care: Visiting DA Plastic Surgery and Dermatology Clinic


South Korea is a country which already earned its name in the beauty society as one of the most progressive, looks-centered societies, where everyone, regardless of their age or gender are concerned about their looks in one way or another.
        
K-beauty is everywhere and people all around the world are talking about it. If you would compare it to few years ago, you could see that now you can get Korean cosmetic products anywhere in the world and more and more people are coming here to get various beauty procedures done here, in Seoul. It’s high quality, effective and cheap at the same time, so why not?


If in 2000’s only East and South-East Asians were coming to  Korea to enhance their beauty 2010’s is a new era, where everyone, even westerners are welcomed. I am also no different.

Staying in Korea and using local beauty products long enough made me wonder, what’s it like to have your skin taken care of by a professional, so I did some research and decided to visit one of the beauty clinics in Gangnam – a neighborhood well-known for its beauty industry.

The clinic I went to is called “DA Plastic Surgery & Dermatology” and even though they are famous for their facial contouring and other major plastic surgeries, they also offer a wide range of various dermatology and skin care services. As I did not want any drastic changes, I decided I would like to have my general skin condition improved and registered for a consultation.

My major concerns were pollution-caused damage and discoloration of my skin. Air quality is getting worse these days in Korea and yellow dust is dangerous not only for your general health but for the skin as well and I felt like simple masks you can buy in the beauty stores were not enough to save it from a long-term damage.


After checking my skin condition, DA dermatologist suggested getting a hydration treatment, since my skin got really dry and was losing its elasticity. This is what we proceeded with.

The treatment consisted of 5 steps:
1. Blackhead and Dead Skin Removal
2. Hydrating Treatment with Green Tea Extract and Aloe
3. Regeneration Laser
4. Hydrating Mask
5. Moisturizer + Sunscreen

<IF YOU WANT TO SEE THE FULL PROCESS, CHECK OUT MY VLOG BY CLICKING THIS LINK>

After the treatment, I felt relaxed and clean. Even though there were no visible differences in my skin, it felt fresher than before and the next day it was easier to apply makeup.  Even though I feel like you should constantly do those kinds of treatments to see long-term results, for the starters it is ok to treat yourself a procedure like this at least once a few months.

I am very thankful to DA Plastic Surgery and Dermatology clinic for giving me this opportunity to get hydration treatment done. People working in the clinic are really professional and kind to their customers, which is one of the most important points in receiving any kind of service.

Even though I speak Korean, I was positively surprised that they have English interpretation services for those foreigners who don’t speak Korean. They also can interpret other foreign languages frequently used in Korea, such as Chinese and Japanese.  This means that clinic is foreigner friendly and it will make your visit much easier.

As I mentioned before, they are focusing mostly on plastic surgery, but as I chose to have only a skin treatment, I cannot comment on the more serious procedures. Therefore, based on my personal experience, DA is a great place for those who want to improve their looks if they happen to be in Korea.


Disclaimer:  Even though I received this procedure for free, I am not paid to write this review, so this review purely based on my personal experience.

Don’t forget to checkout my VLOG as well!

Place: DA Plastic Surgery & Dermatology
Web page: www.daprseng.com
Kakao: daprsen
Line: daplasticsurgery
WhatsApp: +82 10 3455 7111

[Seoul Cafe] Cafe Half – a Small Oasis In The Dark Alley


As some of you might already know, my weakest point is cute cafes! Living in Seoul, I feel like the most money I spend is all from visiting various coffee shops and taking buying prettiest drinks and desserts only for the sake of Instagram!

Most of the beautiful cafes in Seoul are located either in Apgujeong or Hongdae areas, but there are hidden gems in every area of the city, you just need to look harder. That’s why this time I wanted to introduce you a cafe “Half” which is located in Northern Seoul, next to Suyu station exit 7. I live in the surrounding area, so for the first time I stumbled upon this cafe by accident and fell in love as soon as I entered.

Its location is a little bit ungrateful – the cafe is surrounded by sketchy looking motels and bars, where people some outside every night. Therefore, I asked the owner about why he chose this location and his answer was that he wanted to create an Oasis, to brighten up a dark street.  I feel like his words were true. When you enter inside, you literally forget where you came from.

The cafe is bright and cozy, so the most of its visitors are either couples or females. The charming owner might be another reason for that because he is not only handsome but kind as well. I know I should not be saying this as a married woman, but I am just stating the facts, right?

They have a regular range of coffee and beverages, but the desserts are that make it unique! They have cheesecakes and other desserts that look really regular but as soon as you order, the owner is going to burn sugar on it and let you watch the preparation process. I really wanted to film that as well but was too shy, so there are only pictures that I have for now.

Also, the cafe is camera friendly, so if you want some pictures or even video taken, you can feel free to use it (of course, it would be nice to ask in advance if it is something more than a few shots for your Instagram). We once filmed a cafe unrelated video there and the owner was kind enough to allow us to do it without any extra payment nor reservation. I saw some clothing stores also had pictures taken there instead of a studio.

Disclaimer: I am NOT paid to write this post, nor anyone asked me to do it. I just genuinely love this cafe, which is so close to home and so Instagramable at the same time!

Place: Cafe Half
Adress: Seoul, Gangbuk-gu, Dobong-ro 89, 5-12 (Suyu Station exit 7)
Opening hours: 12:00 – 23:00
Instagram: cafe_half

[Suncheon Open Film Set] Flashback to the 80s Korean Style: What did Koreans wear to school?

Suncheon Open Film Set is the largest Korean drama and movie filming location in the country, which is made of  3 different villages, representing different periods from the 1950s to 1980s and more as well as represents the retro look of Korea as it was.  More than 700 Korean movies and dramas, such as “Werewolf boy” (2012), “Love Rain” (2012),  “East of Eden” (2008), “Lies” (2015), “Love and Ambition” (2006), Seoul 1945 (2006) were filmed in here and even one of the most popular variety shows in Korea – “Running man” also filmed some of its episodes here as well.

Open Film Set is located in Suncheon city, in the South Jeolla province and it takes about 3 to 4 hours to go there to Seoul by KTX.  Even though if you live in Seoul it would take you a whole day to go there and get back home, considering its’ accurate representation of Korean life back in the day when Korea was still a developing country, it is totally worth it!

When it comes to the South Jeolla Province, most of the travel agencies and websites are focusing on the nature of the region and concentrate on the Suncheon Bay and Damyang forest as the places worth visiting the most, so Open Film Set is often being forgotten and missed by those, who are not familiar with its existence.

Last weekend we just happened to be in the area, so we decided it was worth visiting as both of us (me and Gyu) are total history junkies and we love learning something new as we travel. In order to make out experience more unique, we even decided to try on some old Korean school uniforms and transform into 80s students.

At first, when I heard that we were going there on a Saturday afternoon, I thought that is was going to be fully packed and we will not be able to even take decent pictures, but to my surprise, it was not as crowded as I have expected. Most probably, if this place would have been in Seoul, it would have been worse, but since it is located all the way in the South, the crowd is definitely smaller.

And the most surprising thing was that I was the only foreigner there! Not sure, if it was just that day, if westerners are not really interested in such places or if they just don’t even know it exists.  To be honest, I have never even imagined it existed before, so I am leaning towards the last option. In my opinion, this place is quite underrated and needs more visitors for sure.

The entrance fee was 3,000 won (~3$) and if you want to rent a uniform would be additional 2,500 won per hour.  I think it is really affordable, so anyone could come and enjoy. Considering the size of the whole set and the fact that you could hang out there a whole day, it is more than reasonable.

I am a chubby girl, so I thought they might not have my size of the uniform, but they did, so I was relieved and happy, haha!

The villages are filled with old Korean houses of all styles, hair salons, shops (only for display they don’t really sell anything),  restaurants, disco clubs and even a movie theater! How more of a unique experience it can be?

If you are interested in how it looks in action, you should watch the video as well!
Check out our Vlog!

Suncheon Open Film Set is a place which not only represents the Korean lifestyle back in the day but also tells us many beautiful stories about the past decades.  If you don’t believe me, you should check it out for yourself!

Place name: Suncheon Open Film Set (순천 드라마 촬영장)
Adress: 24, Biryegol-gil, Suncheon-si, Jeollanam-do
전라남도 순천시 비례골길 24 (조례동)
Opening hours: 09:00-18:00 (Last admission at 17:00)
Price: Individuals – Adults 3,000 won / Teens 2,000 won / Children 1,000 won
Uniform rental: 2,500 won / hour

[Yongma Land] The not-so Abandoned Amusement Park in Seoul

There are two types of people in the world – those who like abandoned creepy places and those who don’t. Fortunately enough, in Seoul, there is a place, where both types would be satisfied.

Yongma Land (kor. 용마랜드) is an abandoned amusement park in the northeastern Seoul, which is now opened to visitors as a photo studio and a cool outdoor location for your best shots!

It was built back in the 1980s and was supposed to be a family-oriented amusement park,  but after the opening of Lotte World – the most popular Amusement Park in South Korea, Yongma land started losing its’ profits, which resulted into the park closing down in 2011.

As for not, the park is considered to be abandoned, but it still is offering visitors unique dilapidated atmosphere, where they can take pictures or just wander around.

It has become a filming location for such Kpop artists like B2ST (Ribbon, 2016),  BAP (1004 Angel, 2014),  Twice (Like OOH-AHH, 2015), Crayon Pop (Bar Bar Bar, 2013) and many others, so if you are into Kpop, you would recognize many places from the Music videos of your favorite K-pop stars.

It is also used for photo shoots, both by Kpop artists (IU and EXO went there most recently) and by regular people. Many Korean, Chinese and Japanese visitors are also having their wedding photoshoots taken here.

In 2017 Yongma Studio was opened there, so people who are willing to pay an extra fee could be shooting in the newly renovated studio as well.

This place is both, creepy and cute at the same time. Even though there were no accidents that happened in the park, potentially causing its closure, the unused rides and broken parts of various cartoon characters might make you feel uncomfortable, if you come there at a late time.

Therefore, the park is under the constant renovation and is changing as we see it. I have visited there in late 2016 and it looked fairly different from what it looks now. So, even if you have visited once, going again would not hurt you. Therefore, if you are interested in a specific ride or specific area of the park, I would recommend checking in advance, if they are already done with its’ renovation, since when we visited, we could not go on the rooftop bump cars, even though we really hoped to the best view from there.

The entrance fee is 5,000 won (~5$) for regular visitors and 10,000 won for photoshoots.  We came in with cameras, but as we were not professional, 5,000 was the price we paid. In my opinion, it is a fair price, considering the fact that there is always someone checking on the safety of the old rides, which might cause some accidents if unattended.

The park might get crowded during the weekends since most of the photoshoots are being held either on Saturday or Sunday, so I would totally recommend going there on a weekday if only possible. It takes quite a walk from the nearest bus station, so bring your comfortable shoes and get ready for a small hike.

The owner has some beverages for sale in case you might get thirsty, but I would recommend getting some water of a drink of your choice before you get there. Once you are in – enjoy the fun! But don’t forget to wash your hands after that, because all of the equipment in the rides is really old and full of bacteria.  They have bathrooms, so you can do it there as well.

On the final note, I would say – don’t miss the upper part of the park. Many people just look around the main area and don’t even bother going up, but there is some cool stuff there as well! In addition – it opens you a full view of the whole park as well.

Adress: 69-1 Mangu-dong, Jungnang-gu, Seoul
Opening Hours:  9:00 – 18:00
Entrance fee: 5,000 won (Professional photoshoot: 10,000 won)
What to bring: Camera, water, good friends and a smile!
Follow me on https://www.instagram.com/agata0710 for more!

[Seoul cafe] Drawing with watercolors in Seoul

If you are looking for a place with the countless number or trendy, cool and themed cafes – Seoul is a city just for you.

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In Korea, cafe culture is mostly based not on the coffee itself, but on the aesthetics and the way of spending some quality time with your friends, family or significant other. Maybe this is why Korea has a lot to offer when it comes to cafes. Or course, some of them might not have the best quality coffee beans, but you can be sure your instagram feed os going to look amazing!

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If you would think of any specific topic or design, most probably you would be able to find a cafe related to it in Seoul or any other major city in South Korea. Animal  and flower cafes have already become regular here and people don’t think about them as something unusual.If you either live in Seoul or just visiting, most likely you are going to stummble upon one of those cafes, spend there some time and maybe take some pictures as well.

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Exploring various cafe around Seoul and its’ suburbs have already become quite of a hobby of mine and even though I was posting about them only on Instagram (you can follow me at Agata0710)  before, I thought that sharing my experiences in a blog might be more useful and easier to discover. Who knows, maybe someone would find their next favorite destination after reading one of my posts?

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So, even though there are tons and tons of beautiful cafes in Seoul, constantly staying in cafe for coffee, desserts and pictures might become a little bit boring after a while, no matter how cute they would be. This is why we have decided to go somewhere different this time.

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“Peach Gray” is a lovely watercolor cafe in Jamsil, where you can express your artistic passion, while having a tasty cup of coffee. Yes, you read correctly – watercolor cafe. So, as you order a drink, you get a piece of paper and a tray with various water colors to draw with. There are also some basic templates, which you can simply color, if you are not confident enough with your drawing skills, but in my opinion, making your own is much more fun.

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So, we ordered two drinks and a set of pancakes, to fill us in while we were busy painting. My nut cream coffee was just perfect and pancakes tasted fresh and soft – a big plus for the food.

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As for the pictures, Nancy decided to paint me and I ended up with drawing our drinks and finishing it up with some cherry blossoms.
How do you think we managed to fullfil our tasks?

As far as I have heard, this cafe might become really crowded, especially weekends, so I would reccomend going either on weekdays or very early in the morning (they open at 11AM) so you should be at the door then, to get the best seats. ^^

Have fun and get creative!

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Peach Gray cafe / 피치그레이
Adress:  Seoul, Songpa-gu, Garak-ro21, 14-1
Opening times: 11AM – 9PM