Saturday, November 29, 2014

Review: BLACK PAINT - Easy Four Step Pore Care

Quite excited over BLACK PAINT Pore Care Pack!

Just a little background on BLACK PAINT.

BLACK PAINT is a organic skincare brand, established in Kyoto, Japan. 
They celebrate their 15th anniversary this year, and are also the proud winners of the Grand Gold Medal of Monde Selection Awards for 6 consecutive years.

BLACK PAINT's founder is researcher Miyuki Maeda.
For Maeda, it all started as a challenge to find a cure for daughter's rare kidney disease.

In the course of her research, 
she realized the importance of bacteria naturally present in our body, known generally as flora.
Flora in the gut and on the skin can function as a line of defence and protection.
For example, Staphylococcus epidermis keeps the skin hydrated and maintains pH balance.

Based on her discoveries, instead of using synthetics like anti-bacterial agents for sterilization,
Maeda focused on nourishing the flora to enable natural healing and protection.

To mimic the nutrients produced by the flora, 
BLACK PAINT uses only natural, organic ingredients in their products:
They boast a blend of more than 100 types of plant oils and 50 types of essential oils.

Woah, that's a lot. :o

In order to combat troubled skin, BLACK PAINT believes that it should start from the pores.
Pores clogged by excessive sebum, dirt and make-up can lead to various skin problems.
Skin which is not nourished is also unable to renew efficiently as well.

Their 4 step approach is: Unclog, Hydrate, Nourish and Protect.

Step 1 - Unclogging pores

For starters, BLACK PAINT soap containing high-grade Kishu Binchotan Charcoal is used.

The slightly alkaline based soap restores pH balance, and nourishes skin.
Charcoal is well known to be a good absorber of impurities.
Organic and natural oils protects the skin and minimize irritation.

To use the soap, immerse it into warm water, approximately 40 degrees Celsius.
I used the bowl provided.

Once the soap is in a paste like texture, it is ready to be applied to dry skin.
Warning, this step is a little messy!
Don't use water which is too warm.

Apply the soap directly from the bar, using all melted surfaces if possible.
It can even be applied over make-up to remove it.. Like seriously? :o

Massage the soap into skin for approximately 1 minute.
The soap adheres itself to the clogs, and the massaging motion aids in the extraction.
There is a slight floral fragrance, not too overpowering.

Rinse soap off gently with warm water.
Due to the runny texture, some of the soap got into my eyes while washing
It stung more than the usual soap I use, so be careful !

Leave the soap bar to dry naturally on a soap dish. 
Remember to keep it away from direct sunlight!

The Black Konjac Sponge helps to further exfoliate.

It contains Kishu Binchotan Charcoal as well.
The sponge removes partially exposed blackheads which were not removed by the soap 
Excess keratin is also removed to enable translucence, and also allows better penetration of lotion.

Soak the sponge completely in warm water, for 3 to 5 minutes, until totally soft.
Squeeze the excess water from the sponge by compressing it. Do not twist the sponge!

Massage face with sponge using a gentle circular motion, outwards.

Leave the sponge to dry naturally.

Step 2 - Hydration

Best Water Toner to the rescue !

With 30 types of natural minerals, it nourishes skin, restores and maintains hydration balance.
No alcohol is contained in this toner.

To use, you may apply 3 -5 pumps directly to skin, and pat for better absorption.
Another method would be to apply it onto facial paper and apply it as a mask on cheeks and forehead.

This is (trying to be) glam..

When in actual fact I'm like omg dont fall. LOL.

I prefer the pat on method, to ensure even application on my face.
There is no tight feeling after the toner dries.

Step 3 - Nourishment

Oil Water Rose Lotion is our product of the moment.
This is an emulsion lotion - made up of 2 layers : oil and water.

The top layer contains Damask Rose oil, Argan oil, Olive oil and another 8 types of plant oils.
It combats the visible effects of aging, like fine lines and pigmentation.

The bottom layer contains Damask Rose water, which soothes skin.
It contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Damask Rose also provides a soothing aromatherapeutic effect.
Honestly it smells like Bandung. hahaha !
Fragrance is not too heavy.

Before use, shake the bottle until the lotion changes into white!
Apply 3 - 5 pumps of lotion directly to skin.

Step 4 - Protection

Water Cream Moisturizer is used.

The water-based moisturizer contains Moroccan Argan oil, which improves skin metabolism.
It is also to promote moisture retention, and protects against environmental pollutants such as dust.
Lavender oil is added for its calming effect, both on the skin and for aromatherapy.

For this product, the lavender scent is very overpowering. :x

Apply a pearl sized amount onto face, gently spreading it on the skin.
Its good that they provided a spatula for clean scooping. ;p

The cream should transform into water droplets upon application.
But unfortunately, all it did for me was leave a waxy feeling.
The waxy feeling lasted for 5 minutes, and my skin felt smooth to the touch after that.
Still, it was uncomfortable, so I'm probably going to skip the cream next time.
I have normal skin, so by experience I recommend the cream only for people with dry skin.

Can you see the waxy area?

Only one puny droplet of water. :x

If you wish to apply make-up, do so after your face is dry.

Before and after!

Don't think there is much visible difference, 
but in terms of feel, there was a good hydrating effect, despite the waxy feeling from the cream.

Four step pore care complete!
I wouldn't say its an easy four step pore care, hahahah.
To stick to this routine everyday for 28 days will be a challenge, but I will try!
Share with you guys the final result then. (:

My favourite item was the Oil-Water Rose Lotion.
I liked the scent, and the hydrating feeling it gave me.

Interested in trying out BLACK PAINT?

BLACK PAINT Easy Four Step Pore Care is available at the following places:

Takashimaya Basement Level 1
West Gate Isetan Basement Level 2
BLACK PAINT online website

Monday, November 24, 2014

Seoul Travelogue: Day Three

Day Three!

Typed out a super long post then blogger decided to error me and save a blank draft. Fuck my life.

Levon's favourite station to visit to toilets.

We were due to visit Ssamziegil Mall for Hanbok photos, 
but contrary to online information, the mall is only open at 10.30 am.

So we visited Jogeysa Temple first!
Across the entrance to Ssamziegil Mall there is a signboard to the right, leading to a lane.
Walk down the lane and the temple is across the road.

Adorable Incheon Games Mascot in front of the temple!
Bimb couldn't resist.

 Laughing Budhha, without the gigantic belly. :3


The temple exudes a very peaceful and muted aura,
quite unlike the bustling and busy Kwan Im Thong Temple in Singapore.

Love the intricate and vibrant details of the roof!

The combination of modern and traditional buildings is a common sight in Seoul.
I always wonder, why can't this be the same in Singapore?
It's quite sad that we're losing our heritage as we progress on.

Found a nice spot for ootd's on our way back to Ssamziegil Mall.

My camera kept capturing the #holyrays hahahaha.

Ssamziegil Mall is located at Insadong, a place for souvenirs.
The store we're visiting allows us to take neoprints in hanboks, for a cheap price.
It's located at the top floor, all the way to the end of an extension.

Thoughtful under the (Hangul) Alphabet tree.

There was a variety of hanboks available for us to choose.

Photo credit to Bimb

In case you dont know what to choose, I've done my research, and here's a guide:

Nobility and the upper class wore bright, vibrant colors in rich material like silk,
while common people wore muted colors in simple material like cotton.
Gold can only be worn by royalty.

A woman's hanbok is made up of the jeogori (top) and chima (skirt)

Jeogori lengths vary according to the eras.
In the early Joseon era, it ended at hip length, while it was above waist for late Joseon.

Image credit: Google

Rainbow striped jeogori are worn for special occasions.

Image credit: Google

Dangui are worn over the jeogori and only by the upper class.
Gold accents can only be worn by the royalty.

Image credit: Google

And in case you're worried about being mistaken for a gisaeng (ahem, entertainer),
they usually have jeogori made of translucent material and also have a wider band at their waist.

Image credit: Google

So yay, we're nobles. :D

HAHAHA only sok's feet can be seen. #shortwoes

Taa-daa, the completed product!

Visited Jiyugaoka Cafe at Yunposun-gil 46.
They are recommended for their homemade cakes; especially Tiramisu, and Strawberry Shortcake.

Unfortunately both flavours were unavailable, and we chose Red Velvet and Mille Feuille.

Pretty cakes, but it didn't live up to the hype.
The iced chocolate was bland as well.

Levon and her HUAY.

Autumn ivy

See this tak glam bimb!!
Oh my god hahahahah laughed our shits out.

Tak glam Levon too. hahahah.

Stopped by a charity stall for Kimchi Pancake, that was bigger than Bimb's face. HAHAH.

Our next stop, Bukchon Hanok Village, is a residental area. 
Tourists are reminded to keep the volume down.
Honestly I don't think I'll like it if there were people taking photos of my house and such!

This very nice Korean guy and his girlfriend were helping us take many shots!
Gf was like, more background! left a bit more! hahahah.


Marvelous expanse of blue sky, white clouds and #holyrays hahahahah.

We also had the opportunity to enter one of the hanoks!

Proceeded on to Gyeongbokgung Palace, and along our way we chanced upon Softree!

Organic Milk soft serve with honeycomb chips - costs 4800 won.
I love the soft and not too sweet ice cream, but the honeycomb was a pain to eat.
You had to spit out the wax, which was ughh.

Levon and Bimb also showed love for the handsome model. HAHAH.

Look at which celebrity we ran into !

Photo credits to Bimb!

Paparazzi kena spotted by manager. NO PHOTOS PREASE.

Gwanghwamun Gate

We were very lucky to chance upon the changing of guards ceremony!

Love the vibrant costumes, and best yet, we had the chance to try them on for free.
It's available at the left entrance of the main gate at certain timings, and limited slots only.

Palace guards fall in for selfie!

Geunjeongjeon - Main Throne Hall

Stone markers indicated where court officials of different ranks stood.
Me and Bimb were super eggcited over this, cause we were reminscing over our fav drama.
Make that the only period drama we both love: The Moon Embracing The Sun. :3

Selfie Queen level up - group photo AND Geunjeongjeon. LOL

Now Levon's thoughtful under the real tree.

Gyeonghoeru Pavilion. 

Ahahahaha Bimb trying to disturb Levon.

We exited via the West Gate to Toksochon, which was two junctions away.
Le famous Samgyetang - Ginseng Chicken Soup.

We went at 4 pm, so there was no queue. 
During peak hours, the waiting time is approximately 30 minutes.

Both traditional floor seats and table seats are available.

Homemade Radish and Cabbage Kimchi!
The cabbage kimchi is the best I've eaten in Seoul.
Wished I could tapao it back :x

Taadaaa. Samgyetang - 15,000 won per bowl.
For additional ginseng, add 6000 won.
For black chicken, it's 22,000 won.
Minimum order of 2 bowls is required for 3 pax and above.

We poured in the ginseng wine into the soup for enhanced taste!
The soup actually is light and very comforting, perfect for cool weather slurping :B
I loved the glutinous rice too!

Backtracked to Gyeongbokgung West Gate and walked down to Gwanghwamun Plaza.

more #holyrays. ;p

Pretty bff with golden glow!

Creative use of recyclable materials to make the figures!

King Sejong the Great.

Admiral Yi Shin-Sun

Tribute for the Sewol Ferry Accident.
Saw how a bunch of very passionate adults suddenly start rallying for the cause.

Cheonggyecheon River 
Just two decades ago this was a dirty stream with people washing their laundry and dishes.
Can you imagine?

Photo credits to Bimb

We went back to Insadong for souvenir shopping.
Insadong is much busier at night, with its streets filled with performers and stalls.

Heard a singer who blew us away!

A video posted by @xinovel on
Video credits to Levon

Visited a Jjim Jil Bang - Korean Bath House after that.
Dragon Hill Spa is located at Yongsan station, Exit 1.
After a long flight of stairs from the exit, turn right and walk straight.
It's covered with neon lights so you won't miss it.

A very unique experience, I would say.

There are same gender areas and mixed areas.
If you want to enter same gender areas, you are expected to go nekkid. :O
So if you're uncomfortable with it, go to the common areas.
Which is what we did, because.. wtf.

Word of warning though, the changing rooms are probably already full of naked people.

All photos from here koped from Bimb!

I can't remember how much we paid for the entry,
but it was cheap, and there were vouchers from the subway cards we purchased earlier on.

Traditional Charcoal Kilns, with varying degrees of heat.
Its like entering a gigantic old oven; I felt like a pizza.

The kilns in the room was moderate, and the one outside was hottest.
Bimb and Levon couldn't stand it and ran out.
I wanted to run out but Sok told me to sit down and it would be better.
Which was really true!

Quite shiok cause you feel like you're really burning fats. hahah.

Cold room !
Omg I can stand the heat but not the cold.
Teeth chattering and shivering like mad, but still stayed in there with them hehe.

We also completed the experience by nomming on sauna eggs!
The eggs were weird and completely not what we expected.

3 colors - white, brown and black, but when its peeled open, the colors are opposite!
The white egg had the darkest brown egg white and the black looked like normal.
The flavours are also the opposite, with the lightest being strong and black almost normal.

Never judge an egg by its color.

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