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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Korea Diaries Day 3 (September 23, 2016)


These mermaid bras are tooooo. cuuuuute. foooor. myyyy. lifeeeee. As in waaay too cute! This is the third installment of my Charis Beautiful Journey experience in Seoul and this episode is filled with lots of very interesting experiences because this is the shopping day in the trip! We got to go to Chuu store and Dr. Althea in Hongdae as well as the Line Friends store in Itaewon! All the stores we went to had very cute interiors and items!

So to start, first stop of the day is the chuu flagship store in Hongdae! Hongdae actually stands for Hongik Daehakyo (hongik university), so it's a very young and hip kind of neighborhood. I got to stay a bit longer in Korea and was able to return to Hongdae, and indeed it's a very youthful neighborhood with plenty of primary schools and shops aimed at young college students as well as shops for the moms waiting for their young kids from school.

Today we are very lucky to be in the presence of the Chuu image models! In Korea, most brands have a few models pose for all the clothes and goods they sell, and more often than not, this catapaults the model to fame, akin to the Victoria's Secret Angels.

Inside the Chuu store, there is Beige Chuu, their makeup line. This is alongside Chuu clothing, Chuu -5Kg jeans, and Chuu Lingerie. The Beige Chuu brand is very popular for these eyebrow pencils. Shu Uemura hard eyebrow pencils are doing very well in Korea, and this is a high quality dupe for 1/3 the price. Koreans like hard eyebrow pencils because it means they can apply a thin, translucent and even layer of product. This is a far contrast from the Western ideals of a very soft eyebrow pencil that gets opaque easily.

Beige has a lot of eyeshadows, and they also have their fair share of falsies.

They are also very popular for their cushions! Their BB cushion is called the Newborn Cushion because it's supposed to give the user baby like skin.

The resident makeup artist in the store does a makeup demo on SungKyung (who else but the image model?). The importance of the Newborn cushion is further highlighted. They have this concept called DO skin-- Dehydrated Oily skin-- which totally resonated with me!!! Do you know that feeling wherein your skin is so greasy and oily that your makeup is falling off of the oily spots while your eyelids cheeks are caking up out of dryness? Or like the face feels so tight even if it's already so oily? Chuu understands all of that and put those concerns in the forefront when developing Chuu's Newborn cushion. It aims to moisturize the skin from within without contributing to the oiliness, leading to a poreless and even finish all day long. 

SungKyung is sooo pretty no matter what angle you look at her from. 

And I snuck to the lingerie department just to check things out but I ended up staying a bit longer because of these babies!!!

Too cute for my life that I needed to take a photo from another angle. This is real good value for money at 19800won (approximately 900 pesos) per bra and panty set! I am sooo in awe. The bra is not just cute but is also so soft and comfy. I wish Chuu Lingerie opens in the Philippines soon!

They even have this cute dollbox display going on! Weeelll since this blog is Doll Up Mari, some dolly action really needs to happen in this trip. 

The fitting room is craaazily pretty. It doesn't even look like a fitting room! Size wise and interiors wise. It's like a bedroom of a very sassy girl. I honestly wish my work room had this kind of interiors because it's soooo cute.


Aside from lingerie, they also have pajamas and other sleepwear. 

One other flagship product of Chuu is their -5Kg jeans. I've tried it and indeed it really does have a slimming and shaping effect! I'll upload photos when I already get to properly document things.

Next destination is just two doors away, and this is the Dr. Althea concept store! 


The entrance may be small, but the store space is quite big. It looks like a cafe or a studio that one will not really remember that it's a makeup store till one looks at the shelves.

My mom is sooooo enamored with these BB cushions when she saw my vlog! This is one of Dr. Althea's products, although their sunscreen cushion seems to be more popular in the beauty junkie circles. Dr. Althea's sunscreen cushion is making waves in the blogger circles because apparently, when sunscreen is turned to cushion form, it applies thinly and evenly that it acts like a CC Cream already instead of this blotchy white emulsion.

I wish they had this case design for the sunscreen! I think that'd be the best.

They are also making waves in the Korean scene because of their whitening creams, and the brand is gaining traction due to its glutathione cream. I think gluta is new in Korea and China, so the concept is very novel to them that products with gluta is very special to them.

I swear you will really forget that it's a makeup store with all the quaint interiors...


After our Hongdae journey, we hopped onto the bus and got to Itaewon. For lunch, we were split into several groups and spread out in the various restaurants in Itaewon. I got to eat at MyChelsea Italian restaurant.

I got to have this suuper yummy cream based pasta for lunch! I don't know its menu name as I originally ordered risotto but someone else must have changed her mind halfway and ate my risotto. I got her order instead as we were running out of time to wait for a new risotto.

After lunch, we got to the Line Friends store! This is a very big flagship store in Itaewon. 

The interiorssss. Homaygulay my pamilyyyy. The concept of this store is a theme park within the confines of the city, and I think the goal is very well achieved. This is a store in the middle of like the BGC of Korea. When we say theme park we are talking about Everland and Lotte World which can be an hour or two away from the city. This store is in the heart of the city itself.


Just looking at the merchandise is already a lot like strolling in a theme park. There is a Line version for virtually every single daily use item that people own-- there are mugs, mouse pads, stickers, patches, clothes, USB's, jewelry, aprons, bedsheets, bags, phone cases, trays, plushies, foods, beverages all bearing the Line characters. And I am sure I have forgotten something given the variety of merchandise they have.


The current collection is all about food and Line Characters, so here are some merchandise.

There are also Line Friends jewelries for sale.

This flagship store is 3 floors high (first floor has stationery and plushies, second floor has home ware and kids clothes, and third floor has cafe), and when we got to the third floor homaygash so many Line themed pastries!!!

These macarons were too cute for my life! I didn't buy these though as I was not sure if I could keep the macarons OK through the remaining days of the trip as well as the trip going back home. I think it's only nice you buy this when the people who will eat it are with you so they can enjoy it while it's fresh.


There is a whoooole plethora of Line themed sweets and I tried my best to stay calm despite seeing all of these. 

One of the high marketing executives of Line came to give a word about the store. She was the one who explained that the whole concept of the store is to give people the theme park experience whilst in the middle of the city.

While she was explaining things, we were graciously treated to snacks! This is the cuuuutest ice cream ever!!! It tasted very good, too, akin to Hokkaido milk ice cream. Beyond the novelty, this was really good soft serve.


We then got back to the hotel and paid a short visit to Lotte Star Avenue. I wasn't able to take pics during that time because we were holding shopping bags from Chuu, Dr. Althea, Beige, and Line Friends. I could only stand and listen hahaha. Here's a pic I took at another time. So this is basically lane of electronic screens playing clips of Kpop stars all day long. Some Kpop stars have their handprints cast in metal and it's on the wall. Once someone presses the handprint, the video of the person it belongs to will play. For Kpop fans, this is a must see as there are handprints of EXO members as well as Lee Min Ho. Those crushing on Twice will also get the same giddy experience.


We were given time to freshen up a bit and so I got some time to play with the Vodana Soft Bar Flat Iron. I tried to do soft curls for this look and this is what I got.

For dinner, we were brought to a place specializing in premium barbecue. This is Passion Island BBQ House in Yongsan. The Passion Island concept is like a food street and there are other establishments bearing the same name. The meats tasted reaaally good. They don't have an unli meat set up like many resto's in Manila do, but every plate contains high quality meat.

I think his face perfectly depicts the reaction of someone who is about to eat raclette. I think he was happy to be the bringer of joy, hurling heap after heap of cheese. 

We had a very healthy drizzling of cheese on grilled chicken. The thing though is that since it's cool in Korea already and this store is more of a roadside one, the chill of the outside quickly got to the cheese (and it was back to room temp and not gooey immediately). Nonetheless, we felt blessed to be in the presence of so much cheese.


Amusingly, they have this little prank on the ceiling. I can read Korean but I didn't get the inside joke here. Nonetheless a guy with a mixing bowl hat, leeches for eyebrows and extreme blush will always be funny.

They also ordered fried chicken from a nearby resto to add fun to the evening. There was also a lot of drinking being done so the peeps of Charis thought that this would go well with beer and other liquor.

The girls got drunk and noisy quite fast, and given the size of the restaurant, it was waaay too noisy for me. So I decided to take a stroll around the restaurant. This is in Yongsan, not far away from the Seoul station.

Instead of having liquor, I indulged in premium soy-almond milk from this tiny place. It was a perfect beverage for the weather.

I will be baaack for day 4, so stay tuned!!! 

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