My Journey to Korean Skincare


Source: Evydraws

For a very long time, I have always been skeptical with the Korean skincare/makeup products. Living in the States for so long I was only being exposed to western products. Even when I first moved back to Indonesia, my hubs (then boyfriend) was going for a trip to Korea when he asked if I wanted any makeup/face products for him to bring back, and I was like nope, I’m cool with my current so-called “western” products.

At the time I was so into Lancome, Chanel, YSL, MAC and the rest of high-end western brands. However, as I live longer in Jakarta, buying these high-end products are getting cumbersome and becoming a real task. Not only that the counters don’t carry the same kind of products (they have asian version of almost everything), but also the sales person is not the most friendliest like I encounter in the States. I mean, I read people in the States are complaining about the sales person in the States too, but in Jakarta.. they’re worse. Not only they’re not knowledgable about the products, but they push you to buy things just to make a sale. It’s either that or they would just ignore you altogether.

The struggle is real.

Along the way, I intentionally starting to look for alternative products. I used Obagi skincare for the years (recommended by my derm), but after I gave birth to Eric, my skin condition changed. It became less oily and more on the combination side with some dry patches here and there. I wasn’t able to use the entire Obagi system anymore because it totally dry out my skin. I slowly was skipping one skin product to another until I was left with only using my holy-grail Obagi cleanser. Let me tell you, I am on my …  maybe 15th bottle, I can’t remember but I use this cleanser since 2013 and never look back.

Obviously, arriving with the big 3-0, I consciously aware that I would need somewhat a better skincare system. As the fine lines starting to appear, I search more and more high-end skincare products. I was eyeing the SK-II  FTE that everyone is raving about, but I wasn’t raving about their prices really. I did however, get a hand to their samples and tried it for two weeks. I didn’t feel anything special. Maybe because it was only two weeks and/or I was just not able to bite the bullet and buy the full size products. It was just too damn expensive.

As I was searching online, I found many great reviews about the SK-II dupe, a Korean brand called MISSHA with a quarter of the SK-II price. I didn’t hesitate to look and bought them online right away. So now, I’m almost done with my first 150ml MISSHA FTE. I’m pretty happy with the results, not only my skin is brighter (not whiter), it made my skin soft and supple in the morning (not oily).


So the other day, I was looking to buy my second bottle of the MISSHA FTE and I saw this MISSHA gift set that include the FTE and night serum (2 bottle of each full size and travel size). I wasn’t aware of this pairing, so I went ahead and do a quick search and it turns out that the MISSHA night serum is also a dupe from the Estee Lauder night serum. Again, the reviews were great and I was intrigued – I didn’t think twice to make the purchase right away.

Also last month, I was watching videos on youtube on Korean beauty skin care and saw this oil balm cleanser product used as the first cleansing step to wipe off your makeup. The demonstration on the video was incredible, like the balm literally melts off the makeup without rubbing and scrubbing. Of course I immediately looked online and bought a full size pot. The balm is called Clean it Zero by BanillaCo. Needless to say I’m on my second pot now.


PM Routine

So what I do now these days for my face skincare is to start with my BanillaCo balm to clean my face, followed by my holy-grail Obagi facial cleanser, then I applied the MISSHA FTE (let it dry for few minutes), then applied the MISSHA night serum. I do this complete routine before bed.


AM Routine

In the mornings I would skip the BanillaCo and the MISSHA night serum. Instead I would use the Biore UV Aqua Rich Essence SPF 50 after the MISSHA FTE, then I would apply my daily makeup accordingly.

If you know THE KOREAN SKINCARE STEPS, you know that my version is missing many other products like toner, cream, moisturizer, etc. The real korean skin care steps are extensive to say the least, I think it has like 10 steps altogether. I’m not looking to have all 10 steps but I am still on the lookout  for a night cream that I could add after the night serum.


The 10 Step Korean Skincare

Now on the weekly or bi-weekly basis I sometime like to use sheet masks (not in the picture) and regular masks. Here are my two masks I currently have. The Dead Sea Mud Mask is a black clay mask that will get rid impurities and clean pores, while the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask is supposedly to be used as part of the PM Routine on the face after the serum, but I find that this particular mask makes my face itchy in the morning, so I’m salvaging this pot to be used on my neck instead.

The Obagi bottle on the left is what I use for spot treatment if I have any active acne bump, usually during PMS. I’ll take a cotton sheet and dab this solution to the affected area – works like a charm.


There you go, that’s my take on the Korean skincare craze. I’m coming from a very practical person and I think my version skincare regime is still somewhat manageable.

What’s your take on the korean skincare?





Flatlay Workshop

Yesterday I had a very exciting workshop day at Tanamera Coffee. The workshop is about Flatlay Photos in the social media and everything that it entails. Love the idea to be able to tell a story and/or communicate your message through a flatlay photo. It is a small private workshop with a group of 10 girls.

Few important key points:

Natural Light

Obviously natural lighting is very crucial in order to create a clear clean photo, therefore it was suggested to only do flatlay photos in the morning before 10AM.

Color Scheme

I’m not very good at this, but the speaker did quiet an extensive explanation about the different types of color coordinations / combination including complementary, so on and so forth. This one is very theoretical because although you think the colors dont match or go well together, but when the photos were taken, you will see how the color actually are perfect match.


Apart from the product or main item that you want to highlight in the flatlay photo, it is essential to always have other props to complete the whole photo. The idea is to fill in the void and enhance the main product that you want to show. For example: flowers, leaves, cinnamon sticks, small glass bottle, etc.

Here’s some few shots I did during the workshop

Not bad eh?



Closing the Year 2014

Late post as always, I know. As we’re getting closer to the end of the year, my brain kinda shuts down and become very uninspired for most of the time. December used to be the best month of the year as it compiles all of my favorite festivities starting from Christmas, my birthday and New Years. But nowadays I’m so pre-occupied with all the wedding to-dos and now that our new house is coming to a finish, my priorities had shifted to ensure that the house is ready to move in after the wedding. It can get very intense and stressful.

For once I had no plans during Christmas (in fact I can’t even remember what I did on Christmas). Not to mention my birthday, I wasn’t as excited as I usually am where I have gazillion plans in mind. No plans and was not in the mood to celebrate at all. All I wanted to do were these three things on my birthday – 1. go to the salon to get a much needed hair treatment ALONE. 2. watch the new Hobbit movie and 3. go to Informa to buy a dining table. Since it took me the whole day to do all that fiancee had to reschedule my birthday dinner to the next day at Turkuaz.

PicMonkey Collage - 2014

As far as New Year goes, it was still a work day for me in the office on Dec 31st, at least for half a day. We then stopped by at Galeries Lafayette in Pacific Place for two things. 1. is to look for an evening clutch as part of the “seserahan” 2. is to get help in the Lancome counter to fix my foundation color situation. My skin had become super fair ever since I moved in to Jakarta. I think it’s because the lifestyle of being indoor all the time. My current Lancome foundation had become way too dark to be worn alone, so I was seeking help from the MUA at Lancome to pick me a new color.

Came back home to rest and get ready for the night. We were all supposed to spend the new years with the rest of the family at the Ritz Carlton that night, but as sun was setting the rain started to fall hard, we ended up curling back under the blanket with movies and all. No one was willing to get out of the house. We ordered in some food for dinner and sleep some more until 11 pm. While all the other neighbors were shooting fireworks non-stop, we were just sitting outside the terrace enjoying the light rain in the back yard sipping a cup of hot Vietnamese coffee to bring our soul back from the power nap. It was a quiet time for both of us to just sit together and feel content for what it is.

A lot in my plate for the next 2 months, but I surely can’t wait to end everything with a big wedding party.

Much hope for the better in 2015.





I don’t have any excuse for my 3-month long hiatus nor do I want to replicate another empty promise to continue blogging on a weekly basis. But I do have lots of updates to catch up with.

December was busy, from prepping with the relocation back to Jakarta, handing-over the old job to the other team member, Bali trip with the big family and everything else in between (read: my awesome birthday).

Also, not blogging has been a bit addictive hence we have now come to the end of March. Oops?


I’ll start with a few highlights:

  1. Jakarta – I officially returned back to Jakarta to live. No more 5:2 ratios between KL and JKT. My passport has come to its last empty page due to those 95 flights I took in 2013. Best part – not having to fly to go to work.
  2. New Job – Transitioning my relocation to Jakarta has been pretty smooth. I secured a new job prior to my return. I can’t comment on the work itself but the location can’t be any better. It’s central and also close to Mom’s office hence car-pooling is conceivable.
  3. New Babies – Two of my best friends are expecting their babies very very soon (this week and next month). Both are boys!
  4. Sydney 2014 – The bro finally graduated as a Sound Engineer. (PROUD). The whole fam flew in to Sydney to attend the graduation ceremony with few days to spare as a valid short- vacation. A different kind of experience travelling/holidaying with my parents. More on this trip on a separate post.
  5. My Birthday – Turning 28 felt like approaching to the end of my twenties (stating the obvious?) love-hate feeling crash between maturity (inner) and youth (outer). I mean look at those wrinkles? #sigh

More updates on everything else to come!


Sari Soepono


Forget Halloween this year; I got a better party ahead of me – Airasia Horrorville Annual Party!

As tradition, Airasia throws an annual party for the employees at the end of each year. This year with no exception, we had one outdoor at the Sepang F1 Circuit Helipad area as our venue.

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I can’t even describe how cool the party was. Starting from the venue, the theme – horrorville, and how everyone who dressed up scarily. Also, I couldn’t even comprehend that the guest performer was 50 cent!! I know I know, he totally followed me to Malaysia from the States.

Second performer was Shapeshifter which played out a line of jungle house electronic music – RAD!

This was by far the best company’s party I ever attended! Hands down!


Sari Soepono