25 May 2016

Journey to the East (of Jeju Island) - Illustrations and Webtoon-Snippets

This post will be a little different. There's no mention of makeup (gasp!) and there's mostly just photos instead of drawings.

I wanted to introduce the region of South Korea I've been living in for now nearly three years, namely the east of Jejudo or Jeju Island, including Pyeongdae, Sehwa (and its markets) as well as Hado.

Sketch of Sehwa-Ri, 2014

Most of the imagery that's shown of Jeju is somewhat beach-life-related, so instead I'll be taking you on a little tour along one of the countless hiking routes that lead around the whole island. Still lots of beaches, though. The trails are called Ollegil and one of them actually goes by where I live (as in, five meter distance from doorstep to hiking trail) so I'm a bit protective of these. Swiss ambassador for Jeju Olle hiking trails, right here!

On that note: My self-painted doorstep for the Bistro Gris.

The sun is intense on Jeju, so I did slap on some 50 SPF sunscreen (and well, since this IS a makeup blog, too, I'll mention that it was an innisfree one. Surprise.) and a hat. Looking like a ghost I made it through the afternoon without getting burnt (my hands and neck were another story... I need to get out more...)

Selfie before moving out! 
While there are some signs and menues translated into English, you might want to brush up on some Korean vocabulary when traveling outside of large cities. 
When my parents were visiting, I drew them a little language survival map, Jeju specific version. So, let's grab that and go!

First, there's the village we live in (husband, cat and me), Pyeongdae-ri. Located on the north-eastern coast of Jeju in the region called 'Gujwaeup', and Olle gil 21 is the one leading from the village eastwards. While we do technically live in the region of Pyeongdae-ri, we're so far on the outskirts that Sehwa-ri, the next village over, is much closer.

So, that's where we live and where the Bistro Gris is located. On we go!

Leave behind your cat... (sorry)

... and follow the trail until you reach the seaside of Sehwa. 
As with many of the small villages around Jeju, there's a lot of growth happening. While the east of the island is a lot more rural than the more touristy south or west (not to even mention the north and Jeju City), the last two years have seen a bit of an explosion in little cafes, guesthouses, rental houses, cute little shops, fleamarkets, farmer markets and of course tourists. While the large tourist groups (be it Chinese or Korean) visit mostly the south, the east has become popular among young couples, groups of friends or just in general people that want a more relaxed vacation. 

This makes for some interesting contrast, because old and new clash together quite a bit.

There's new dessert cafes next to seafood restaurant that have been there for decades. Agriculture and fishing are everpresent, but so are selfie-shooting tourists and modern guesthouses. 

If you pass Sehwa harbor on a saturday, you'll notice a lot of people gravitating towards the largest pier. That's the '벨롱장' (Bellongjang? Vellong?) flea market happening - which isn't really a flea market, since you won't find second-hand goods.

Missing Hedwig... :'(

 Instead, there's a lot of small stalls selling handmade necklaces, hats, pottery, woodwork, artfully woven hangings, hand-sewn mobiles, embroidery and decorations, as well as food and drinks. 

We even found kebab and mango lassi. There's freshly baked bread, bretzels, lots of juice and coffee, and a little fire to roast marshmallows over. 
The stalls tend to change a lot, so you might want to visit again soon... it's also been growing steadily over the last two, three years (when it started out with only a couple of tables) and keeps on growing!

If Saturday is not an option, try visiting on a day where the 오일장 / O-Il-Jang / Five-Day-Market is held. The 5th, 10th, 15th... and so on of every month. Less cute little stalls, more traditional restaurants, fried food, fresh vegetables, fruit and fish. 
The Oiljang is held in a roofed but open-walled building right next to the harbor - hard to miss, especially on market day!

Well, no luck there today.

So go on ahead for a few more minutes, and take some pictures at these cute little phot zones in front of the seaside cafes. 

Don't worry if you couldn't go to either market - you won't famish on the road. There's a lot of places selling dessert and coffee, as well as traditional restaurants. 

It starts like this...

... and keeps on growing. 
 Now that shopping and eating are out of the way, it's time to, you know, actually hike.

The Jeju Olle Trails are quite forgiving. While there are some sections that take up an entire day of walking, most can be done in three to six hours. And as long as they aren't leading into the mountains, you can more or less walk them in sandals (say hello to bugs and mosquitos, though).

There's simple markers in the form of ribbons guiding the way.

Say goodbye to the sea... for now!
After Sehwa, the trail will lead inland once it reaches the Haenyeo (Diving Women) Museum. If you've got enough time, take a look at that, too. The diving women are a part of Jeju's culture even today and the museum gives some insight into their past, too.

Depending on the season, you'll be able to see them diving in the sea anyways, or pass by large amounts of seaweed drying on the streets. 

An older sketch depicting the avid seafood collecting ajummas.

You'll probably also see locals as well as tourists collecting seafood among the rocks. If you want to have a taste, a lot of the seaside restaurants get deliveries straight from the diving women.

The trail will lead through some smaller hills and fields. Jeju's climate can be near-tropical in summer, but it really depends on what part of the island you visit. While the south sports palm trees, citrus fruits and cacti, the east coast is more of a carrot fields and pine trees kind of region.

There's a lot of stray dogs running around. Don't worry, they've got better things to do than chasing after humans. :)

Another sign to watch out for are these symbols, guiding the way in places where ribbons won't quite cut it.

As you follow the trail, you'll also visit some smaller villages with traditional houses made from Jeju black stone. There's even a fortress just before you hit upon the next larger settlement.

The fortress is a historical site, but people are still living all over the place.

Housing from a generation after the stone wall houses. There's so many of these small little houses all over the island, with the roofs painted either green, red or blue without exception. One housing unit consists of several of these small buildings - one for living, one for storage, one for cooking/working, for example.

Sometimes the color combinations get ambitious.

After about one hour of walking through hills, fields and villages and after crossing through the fortress, you'll reach the coast again at Hado-Ri. You can't miss the sign.
Smaller than Sehwa-Ri, it sports a beautiful beach at the end of the Olleh Gil as well as some old-fashioned guest houses in stone houses.

If you're a bit tired from literally no walking, go have a drink at one of the seaside cafes. Personal recommendation would be the Cafe Isla right there after you've seen the large 'Hado' sign - the couple leading the cafe are avid travellers and their menu card is all the more rich for it.

Found one of the crochet mobilees sold at the fleamarket in Sehwa. Isn't the diving woman cute?

Right on cue, we spotted a whole troupe of diving women / haenyeo after leaving the cafe to follow the coastline road again. They can be found easily - you'll hear the high-pitched sound of their breathing even from very far away. At first, I thought I was hearing sea gulls, but since the haenyeo don't use any diving equipment beyond glasses and have to hold their breaths for a long time, the first intake after reaching the surface is audible before you can even see them. 

Considering that most of these women are well over their fifties, the bodily work they do is even more impressive. 

Another half hour of walking brings you to the beach of Hadori. There's canoes to be taken out into the water, so you might want to make a longer stop here.

Hadori sketch from spring 2016

After Hadori, the 21st Olle Gil continues along the beach, then moving inwards again and up one of the larger hills (Oreum) of Jeju island. 

We were in a hurry, so we didn't follow the way to its end on that day.
Made it home just in time to watch the sunset and give some love to our lonely cat. 

The view from the Bistro Gris ~ 

That's it for this little photography and illustration heavy blog post. 

I really love the region we live in - and Jeju island in general - so I'm happy I could do this little introduction!

Below is a snippet from a webtoon I'd been drawing in 2014, retelling my first time traveling to Korea and Jeju (and Asia in general) with a friend and meeting my now-husband (then-hostelstaff) while doing so. Thematically relevant. Totally.

19 May 2016

Innisfree Mineral Single Shadow Review - Eyeshadow Palette and Simple Daily Look

It's been a while! I've been sick for quite some time this month, so I didn't seem to find the time to do a blog post, despite having all the pictures at the ready...

But now there's really way too many pictures dying sad slow deaths on my harddisc, so here we go!

As you might know, I do use a lot of Innisfree's Mineral Single Shadows. While I prefer the Aritaum Mono Eyes Shadows when it comes to pigmentation, I like the more natural shades of the Mineral Single ones better for everyday use.

So recently I took the plunge and bought a large palette case to organise my stash.

This review is a two-parter: A quick look at the palette itself, and at one specific color that I've been loving recently!

First, the palette. As with a lot if not all innisfree products, the design is really simple, with an ivory base color and the logo.

The case does feel a bit clunky, since it's so big. The lid closes very, very securely, aka: I can't open it without nearly breaking off my nails every single time. I mostly just leave it half-closed. Despite that, the case feels sturdy and quite luxurious for the price of 10,000 Won.

There are two other sizes available: A six slot one for 8,000 Won and a three slot one for 6,000 Won. So if you've got a lot of shades and want to organise them without transportability being an issue, you might want to get the largest one. ;)

I've chosen the largest one, with a total of 12 empty slots, one of which is occupied by a black sponge thing to... I don't know what that's really supposed to be. To tap off excess powder? To 'clean' the brush? I'll remove it soon and put another color in that slot, as it's completely useless in my eyes.

Selling point for me was definitely that huge mirror. I now do nearly all my makeup with just that palette propped open on the table.

A quick look at my color selection: You can see I'm a warm color type of girl. Leaving out that odd indie pink shade, I mostly own bronze-brown-orange hues. I've accumulated these over the last three years, so the palette contains shades from the old as well as the new formulations (which, by the way, are a lot better than the old ones).

My most used shade is the one still in its own case, though, since I want to be able to toss it into my pouch if needed. The Mineral Single Shadows come in these small pots that have a little hole on their back that makes depotting very easy - just insert something like a needle into the hole and push, then use the glue in the pot to stick the eyeshadow into the palette.

The palette comes with a double-ended brush that was a positive surprise. While one side is a good ol' sponge applicator, the other side sports an actual mini brush. The bristles are soft and the brush is all nice and fluffy, just large enough to do some emergency blending.

I did go ahead and decorated the case. Huge white spaces do that to me.

The color I wanted to swatch for you is the deep red one in the picture below.

The new shade selection of the Mineral Single Shadows is divided into four parts: A group for matte shades, one for shimmer, one for glitter and one for 'trend' colors that are switched out every season. The red color was part of the Trend selection of last year's autumn release and is called 'Camellia Garden at Dawn'. 

Below you can see the current spring trend colors (I believe they will switch those up soon?) 
I'm eyeing the one in the middle of the top row, since it's called 'Soft Banana Pancake'. :D

Official Innisfree Homepage
While I do own my share of reddish eyeshadows, this one has turned out to be the most wearable for simple, daily point makeup while still being really, really red. Despite being a fall color, it's just bright and shimmery enough to go well with spring or summer, too.

It isn't leaning too much into a burgundy wine color, and has no cool undertones. There's a subtle, slightly golden shimmer and the pigmentation isn't too intense, so I can pull off a one layer wash all over the lid.

I mostly like to use it as a point color at the outer edge of my lid, though. Especially since my fringe is growing out and hiding my eyes, a little splash of color helps to bring them to the foreground.

The new formulations of the Mineral Single Shadows are buttery and hold up really well. I don't need to use an eye primer for these. For a more intense color, you need to layer two or three times.

This is my go-to eyemakeup look when I'm pressed for time, but do want to look like I have makeup on (as opposed to a more natural look).

A wash of my all-time favorite shade all over the lid (the old #22 Cashmere, which has been reformulated and is now shade no #3 of the Matt selection. Looks slightly lighter than the old one, though!) then adding #8 on the outer triangle of my eye, blend to the under eye. Tightline with either a gel liner or, in this case, the Aritaum Micro Brush Pen Liner in black for a very thin eyeline.

To finish the eye makeup, I only add mascara (Innisfree Microcara in brown) or leave my lashes as they are since I'm lazy.

On my lips is the Innisfree Glow Tint Stick in #6.

That's it! Very simple and quick.

Would you like to see more swatches, especially from the new range of eyeshadows? :) I'm terrible with eyemakeup, but swatching, that I can do!

Thank you for reading and see you soon!

10 May 2016

Etsy Update - Spring Beauty Illustrations


Spring is my favorite time of the year. Until summer rolls around, then I might be just a little bit more in love with that season. Because ice cream will be happening a lot.

Anyway, this is just a little update on the illustration and Etsy shop front. Most of my commission works have been in black and white (for coloring books, which are a lot of fun but take forever to do...) so I was all the happier to take my free time to create some colorful, cute makeup illustrations.

Coloring books with a doodle theme are the best!
But also challenging because how do you even come up with 50 different patterns??
Korean brands are very special edition happy, and especially VDL and Laneige have got me drooling with their gorgeous Pantone color inspired collection and their two-tone makeup products respectively. Too bad that they're two of the more pricier brands on my radar - so instead of going out and buying all the things, I soothed my cravings with drawing. For now.

The Serenity version original (already sold, thank you! ^_^)
VDL, what are you doing to me.... I really liked the look of their brand model, Sohee, so I added a little mini portrait inspired by her makeup and cat eyes. Some Innisfree eyeshadows and a lipstick made it onto the card as well, as did the Laneige Water Bank cream I'm currently using a sample of. And macarons and cupcakes and shading sticks and coffee cups.......

I actually wanted to create a spring version of my makeup illustrations in just cherry-blossom-pink, but then remembered that Rosequartz would be a good choice, too, since it's the Pantone color of the year. And then I just had to include a Serenity version as well! Which lined up really nicely with my current Korean makeup brand obsessions...

Aaand the Rosequartz version. Lots of blush and nail colors and lip products,
 as well as the ever present sweets.
The Rosequartz version thus features the mentioned cherry blossoms, and some rosequartz crystals for good measure. But mostly I went into some of my favorite rosy lip products, with a Mamonde Creamy Tint Stick and an Aritaum Water Sliding Tint. Mamonde features again with their Rose Water toner in the bottom right corner. And then there's Laneige with one of those gorgeous Two-Tone Bars. I just can't decide what color combination I should get, so for the moment I'm stuck with imitating the two-tone look by slapping on two different lip products.

Rosequartz pocket mirror with some of the illustrations arranged around the mini portrait.
As the Serenity illustration featured an actual person inspired mini portrait, I wanted something similar for the Rosequartz one. At the time of drawing these, Descendants of the Sun was all the rage in Korea, with everyone and their mother telling me to watch it. I couldn't get past the major cheesyness, but all the pretty swept me up anyway. So there's a mini Song Hye Gyo, which actually fits perfectly since she's Laneige's main model. Yay!

I did combine both portraits for the textile print this time.

Now I'm nearly through with my four seasons series. Only summer is left, and that will be a blast because ice cream, watermelons and bright colors!

I also added a little flower one because I needed gifts for mother's day :D
On the topic of summer: I'm working on new illustrations for our menu card at the Bistro Gris. Our wine card is getting ever the larger, and summer also calls for more sugary and freezing cold coffee drinks. And Sangria.

Also looking forward to drawing the food portion, since I've really enjoyed drawing desserts lately.

And when I'm not drawing, I'm decorating, DIYing and gardening. And you know, serving customers and cooking and baking. I might need a day off soon. :)

I hope you're having a great spring! May the weather be with you!