Beauty Bender Seoul Act 1: Who is Too Cool For School

 Seoul was both an interesting an obvious choice for my recent Golden Week getaway. Just a 2.5-hour flight from Tokyo, Seoul is inexpensive, navigable, and friendly for a Westerner, even with zero language skills. But for me, Seoul held an even greater allure than kimchi or K-Pop. Seoul is a Beauty Bender wonderland.  photo 2 (22)

Seoulites love beauty products, gadgets, and treatments—anything you can imagine… and a few you can’t. The BB Seoul tour starts with a trip to Dongdaemun Market, (about a five-minute cab from the PJ Hotel, where I stayed). The SWEET summer bag I bought at Doota was a fraction of what I thought I would spend, so I took my savings out on the street and while hunting for street food, I stumbled into Too Cool For School.

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Too Cool for School, as the name implies, is a Korean makeup and skincare line with a wayward academic theme. Punk rock dollhouse meets parochial school mischief, the shop was lined with doll body parts and vintage suitcases packed with the charmingly-packaged lip pots, brush cases, lotions, and palettes. Here a few of my top picks from this haul(I went off at this place…too much for a single post!):

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Clubber Highlighter: pale pink crème formula reminiscent of Benefit’s High Beam.  Blends into a subtle luminous sheen on the cheek or brow bone. Love.

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Art Class eye shadow in Real Brownie: Rich gold understone, shimmery without making you look like a magical fairy, and blends beautifully. I later realized that these shadows are packaged for palette filling, which means I need to get a full set (it’s makeup law-nothing I can do about it).

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Oil Control Primer: Summer’s coming and I know Japan’s humidity is going to turn my face into a slick sun reflector. This primer sucks up shine instantly without any sticky weirdness. Plus it has a clean, lemon verbena scent. Love!

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Rules of Body Lotion: Moringa Perfume: Super rich but absorbs quickly. I normally stay away from perfume-y lotions because they clash with my actual perfume, but this scent is so light it layers nicely without turning you into a fume bomb.

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The salesperson gave me a load of samples too…


SAMPLE: Rules of Trouble Dual Cover BB cream: A bit pale for my complexion, but mixed well with my foundation and actually stayed put without much effort. photo 4 (14)

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SAMPLE: PUMPKIN Sleeping Pack: I slapped this on before I crashed, woke up with smooth glowy skin. Not revolutionary, but a nice pick-me-up to a dull complexion from recycled plane air. These little packets are perfect for travel so I’ll probably hoard them for my Thailand trip in August.

This is just one of about ten billion makeup companies in Seoul. I’m following up Too Cool for School with some ridiculously awesome skincare goodies. Stay tuned.

Too Cool for School (Korean) This website this super creative but a little tricky to figure out!

Korea Department Store (Shop in English)


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