Thursday, March 10, 2016

local Korean beauty treats

Just on the outskirts of Vancouver at the corner of North Road and the Lougheed Highway, you can find lots of Korean beauty products to enjoy, usually for much less than you'd expect to pay. My favourite spot is a little independent beauty store named Ace Cosmetics, where you'll find a wide array of the famous multi-step Korean skincare regimens for sale along with high-end lines like Dermalogica, plus a good selection of colour makeup, lashes and face masks galore.

I told the saleswoman I was interested in a dark berry lipliner and she suggested this Color Auto Lip-Liner in shade 31 Purple from Korean beauty line Prorance. It's a dual-ended automatic self-sharpening liner that is creamy and lasts incredibly well, staying put for hours through food and drink without getting patchy. The color shows up as a rich violet-tinged red on my skin, and I like using it to blend into certain nude lipsticks to make them more wearable. But wait, this gorgeous lipliner has two more clever tricks up its sleeve. I mentioned that this was dual-ended, so what did they put on the opposite end of the lipliner? MORE LIPLINER!! Yes, double the product, a welcome approach at a time when it seems like everyone is trying to sell less product for more money. Which leads to my final accolade, this liner only cost me $10 CAD.

The Prorance Color Auto Eyebrow in shade 22 is a retractable brow pencil with a unique oval-shaped lead in a colour that appealed to me, so I bought it and I love it. In this dusky brown hue, it has the ideal consistency to lay down just the right amount of colour while the shape allows for fine or wide lines that make doing your brows effortless. The opposite end has a nice spoolie which I have become so accustomed to that now, any brow pencil without one seems lacking. It shouldn't surprise me that Asian beauty lines carry lots of options for products that work with my dark hair, and the quality of these two pencils is exceptional, each for only ten bucks.


Ace has loads of face sheet masks to try, with a larger selection that anywhere I can name. I picked up six of the more affordable masks in a variety of scents and formulas, enough to share and enjoy for a few weeks at least. My favourite time to enjoy one is during a relaxing bath, when I can let the mask ingredients sink into my face and neck for a good 20-30 minutes, which makes me feel like I'm really getting my money's worth from a one-off product. Among my favourites are the Snail Essence which is hugely popular in Korea, and the Pearl Essence, which is said to improve discoloration and dark patches. Whatever the specific claims, my skin appreciates the deep hydration these masks provide, so for a few dollars, they're a lovely beauty indulgence that makes me feel like I'm taking time to care for my skin.