nature republic

24 Hours in New York City // Korea Town Beauty Shopping & Yummy Dessert Tasting

Follow
Sharing my 24-Hours Adventure in NYC // Beauty shopping in Korea Town. Shown here: Nature Republic Store on W 32nd Street.

My brother flew in from Asia and one of his short stops was New York City, so I flew down there to meet up with him.  We had some great meals and museum visits, but of course, when it came to beauty shopping in Korea Town, he opted out.  No worries, my trusted roommate from college @concon95 (who lives in NYC) was more than happy to go with me since she's just starting to dabble into the exciting world of Asian Beauty!

Given my 24-hours time limit in the city, I could only afford to be in K-Town for 1.5 hours.  It's not an issue as it was a Sunday and all the shops were pretty quiet.  I drew up this so-not-to-scale map of the key part of K-Town we ventured to - On West 32nd St, between Broadway and 5th Ave.  In this short block, you can hit all the major K-Beauty brands and taste some super yummy Korean food and desserts.

~ FUeling up before our express shopping spree ~

I've been to a few really great dessert places in NYC, but I've never ventured into K-Town before.  I did some homework prior to arrival and found Grace Street as one of the new faces in the K-Town dessert scene.  It has some rave reviews and it sure did not disappoint! 

P.S. I included 2 honorary mentions on the map for food - BCD Tofu House (which I frequently visit in California and love their tofu stews) and H-Mart (which is a Korean supermarket...I don't think I need to tell you why it's a must-see!)

Sharing my 24-Hours Adventure in NYC // Fueling up for the shopping spree at Grace Street Coffee & Dessert.  Highlight // Korean Dessert and Perfect Hangout Spot  Highly Recommended // Hodduk (Korean donuts), Shaved Snow, Savory Waffle Sandwich
Sharing my 24-Hours Adventure in NYC // Fueling up for the K-Beauty shopping spree at Grace Street Coffee & Dessert.  The food here is the star, but Grace Street is also a great place to hang out or use as your remote ffice!  The staff doesn't rush you and there are plenty of space/seating for everyone. I also love all the long communal tables, giving it a very friendly, easy-going vibe. Perfect place to fuel up before your k-beauty shopping!
Sharing my 24-Hours Adventure in NYC // Fueling up for the K-Beauty shopping spree at Grace Street Coffee & Dessert.  Shaved Snow:  You can order Grace Street's signatures or you can make your own.  I opted for my own creation - Milk snow, sweet red bean, mochi and misutgaru (grain powder). Sweetness overload!  Hodduk:  These donuts are made-toorder, looking mighty golden when served.  Topped with a heavy load of powder sugar and complimented with matcha ice cream, this is a match-made in food heaven.  Savory Waffle Sandwich:  There are many choices and Miss S opted for this combo of fried eggs + avocado + sesame topping on a freshly made waffle.  Oh, and she loaded up on the "Street Sauce", a secret recipe ofG/S. Need I say more?   *  Not Shown:      Also try their specially  -blended milk tea. I picked the Jasmine version and it was so yummy.       

~ ready for some k-beauty shopping?? ~

With that yummy meal in our stomach, @concon95 and I said goodbye to Miss S and began our express shopping spree.  

Sharing my 24-Hours Adventure in NYC // Shopping for Korean beauty products in Korea Town.  Having to do an express shopping spree in less than 1.5 hours, I was only able to hit 3 stores.....But I've vowed to return!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks @concon95 for express-shopping with me!   

 

// The face shop //

Sharing my 24-Hours Adventure in NYC // Shopping for Korean beauty products in Korea Town    HIGHLIGHT //     Y  o  u     c  a  n     l  o  a  d     u  p     o  n     t  h  o  s  e     c  u  t  e     c  h  a  r  a  c  t  e  r     m  a  s  k  s     h  e  r  e  !        A  n  d     d  o  n  '  t     f  o  r  g  e  t     t  h  e     s  u  p  e  r     c  u  t  e     K  a  K  a  o     F  r  i  e  n  d  s     C  o  l  l  e  c  t  i  o  n  .        I     a  m     a  l  s  o     i  n     a  w  e     o  f     t  h  e     d  e  c  o  r     a  n  d     h  o  w     t  h  e     s  t  a  f  f     k  e  e  p  s     t  h  i  s     p  l  a  c  e     i  n     s  u  c  h     i  m  m  a  c  u  l  a  t  e     c  o  n  d  i  t  i  o  n  .          SELECTIONS //     I  t  '  s     n  o     c  o  m  p  a  r  i  s  o  n     t  o     t  h  e     M  o  t  h  e  r     L  a  n  d     s  t  o  r  e     i  n     S  e  o  u  l  ,     b  u  t     I     t  h  i  n  k     t  h  e  y     c  a  r  r  y     a     p  r  e  t  t  y     g  o  o  d     v  a  r  i  e  t  y     o  f     t  h  e  i  r     k  e  y     c  o  l  l  e  c  t  i  o  n  s  .        T  h  e  r  e     a  r  e     s  o  m  e     o  u  t  -  o  f  -  s  t  o  c  k     i  n     t  h  e     n  e  w     a  r  r  i  v  a  l     s  u  c  h     a  s     K  a  K  a  o     c  o  s  m  e  t  i  c  s  .        W  e     m  a  d  e     r  e  l  a  t  i  v  e  l  y     s  m  a  l  l     p  u  r  c  h  a  s  e  s  ,     b  u  t     w  e     w  e  r  e     o  f  f  e  r  e  d     s  a  m  p  l  e  s     (  a     m  a  s  k     +     t  r  a  v  e  l     s  i  z  e     d  u  o  )  .    PRICING //     I  t  '  s     r  e  a  s  o  n  a  b  l  y     p  r  i  c  e  d     a  n  d     c  o  m  p  a  r  a  b  l  e     t  o     t  h  e     m  a  r  k  e  t  p  l  a  c  e  .        T  h  e  r  e     a  r  e     o  n  l  i  n  e     s  t  o  r  e  s     t  h  a  t     h  a  v  e     l  o  w  e  r     p  r  i  c  e  s  ,     b  u  t     w  h  e  n     y  o  u     a  d  d     i  n     s  h  i  p  p  i  n  g     c  h  a  r  g  e  s  ,     i  t     m  a  y     e  n  d     u  p     b  e  i  n  g     t  h  e     s  a  m  e  .        P  l  u  s  ,     y  o  u     c  a  n  '  t     b  e  a  t     t  h  e     a  c  t  u  a  l     e  x  p  e  r  i  e  n  c  e  !    STAFF //     A     f  u  l  l     s  t  a  f  f     w  h  o     i  s     e  a  s  y  -  g  o  i  n  g     a  n  d     k  n  o  w  l  e  d  g  a  b  l  e  .        N  o     o  n  e     f  o  l  l  o  w  s     u  s     a  r  o  u  n  d     a  s     s  u  g  g  e  s  t  e  d     b  y     s  o  m  e     r  e  v  i  e  w  e  r  s     (  m  a  y  b  e     t  h  e  y     t  o  o  k     n  o  t  e  s     a  n  d     c  h  a  n  g  e  d     t  h  e  i  r     p  o  l  i  c  y  )  ,     b  u  t when     w  e     h  a  v  e     q  u  e  s  t  i  o  n  s  ,     t  h  e  y  '  r  e     q  u  i  c  k     t  o     h  e  l  p  .
Sharing my 24-Hours Adventure in NYC // Shopping for Korean beauty products in Korea Town    WHAT WE BOUGHT //       My Stash...   New Real Nature Peony & Lily for Brightening and Revitalizing.    KaKao Friends Character Masks for Brightening, Soothing and Revitalizing.    Real Nature Blueberry & Lemon for Firming and Brightening (Lemon was a free sample).    KaKao Friends Natural SunEco Baby Sunscreen Cushion and Melting Color Lip Creamer.    Oil Blotting Paper.    @concon95's Stash (Exclude duplicates)...   Cleansing Puff.    New Real Nature Green Tea & White Tea for Purifying and Illuminating.    Jeju Volcanic Lava Nose Strips.    *We both received free samples of  "The Therapy"  Travel Size    Duo & Real Nature Lemon Masks.

 

// nature republic //

Sharing my 24-Hours Adventure in NYC // Shopping for Korean beauty products in Korea Town    HIGHLIGHT //     I     l  o  v  e     N  R     p  r  o  d  u  c  t  s  ,     b  u  t     e  v  e  r  y     t  i  m  e     I     w  a  l  k     i  n  t  o     o  n  e     o  f     t  h  e  i  r     s  t  o  r  e  s  ,     I     a  m     m  o  r  e     d  r  a  w  n     t  o     t  h  e  i  r     s  t  o  r  e     d  e  s  i  g  n  s  .     -     T  h  e     d  r  a  m  a  t  i  c     h  i  g  h     c  e  i  l  i  n  g  ,     l  i  n  e  s     o  f     b  r  i  g  h  t  l  y  -  l  i  t     s  h  e  l  v  e  s  ,     p  e  r  f  e  c  t  l  y     s  t  o  c  k  e  d     m  e  r  c  h  a  n  d  i  s  e  .  .  .  a  n  d     t  h  e     c  e  n  t  r  a  l     t  e  s  t  i  n  g     s  t  a  t  i  o  n     t  h  a  t     r  e  a  l  l  y     e  n  c  o  u  r  a  g  e  s     c  u  s  t  o  m  e  r  s     t  o     t  r  y     t  h  e  i  r     p  r  o  d  u  c  t  s  .          SELECTIONS //     I  t  '  s     c  l  o  s  e     t  o     f  u  l  l  -  h  o  u  s  e     g  i  v  e  n     t  h  e     s  i  z  e     o  f     t  h  i  s     s  t  o  r  e  .        I     a  m     p  a  r  t  i  c  u  l  a  r  l  y     e  x  c  i  t  e  d     a  b  o  u  t     t  h  e     c  o  s  m  e  t  i  c  s     s  e  c  t  i  o  n     b  e  c  a  u  s  e     I     b  o  u  g  h  t     a     N  R     l  i  p  s  t  i  c  k     i  n     S  e  o  u  l     a  n  d     h  a  v  e     b  e  e  n     l  o  o  k  i  n  g     t  o     b  u  y     m  o  r  e     o  f     t  h  e  i  r     c  o  s  m  e  t  i  c  s  ,     b  u  t     w  a  n  t     t  o     b  e     a  b  l  e     t  o     t  r  y  /  t  e  s  t     f  i  r  s  t  .        N  o     s  a  m  p  l  e  s     w  e  r  e     o  f  f  e  r  e  d     t  o     u  s  .          PRICING //     I     s  e  e     a     r  a  n  g  e     o  f     p  r  i  c  e     d  i  f  f  e  r  e  n  c  e  s     v  s     e  -  t  a  l  i  e  r  s  .        S  o  m  e     i  t  e  m  s     a  r  e     c  h  e  a  p  e  r     h  e  r  e     a  n  d     s  o  m  e     a  r  e     m  u  c  h     c  h  e  a  p  e  r     e  l  s  e  w  h  e  r  e  ,     b  u  t     I  '  d     s  h  o  p     i  n  -  s  t  o  r  e     f  o  r     t  h  e     c  o  s  m  e  t  i  c  s     s  i  n  c  e     I     c  a  n     t  e  s  t     t  h  e     c  o  l  o  r  s  .    STAFF //     T  h  i  s     i  s     n  o  t     n  e  c  e  s  s  a  r  i  l  y     a     n  e  g  a  t  i  v  e     t  h  i  n  g  ,     b  u  t     c  o  m  p  a  r  i  n  g     t  o     t  h  e     o  t  h  e  r     2     s  t  o  r  e  s  ,     t  h  e     s  t  a  f  f     h  e  r  e     s  e  e  m  s     m  o  r  e     s  u  b  d  u  e  d     -     T  h  e  y     a  r  e     n  o  t     r  u  d  e     j  u  s  t     n  o  t     v  e  r  y     l  i  v  e  l  y  .        I     f  e  e  l     t  h  a  t     t  h  e  y     f  o  c  u  s     m  o  r  e     o  n     k  e  e  p  i  n  g     a     w  a  t  c  h  f  u  l     e  y  e  s     o  n     p  o  t  e  n  t  i  a  l     t  h  e  f  t     t  h  a  n     o  n     t  r  y  i  n  g     t  o     h  e  l  p     c  u  s  t  o  m  e  r  s  .
Sharing my 24-Hours Adventure in NYC // Shopping for Korean beauty products in Korea Town    WHAT WE BOUGHT //       My Stash...   R  e  a  l     F  r  e  s  h     O  l  i  v  e     &     B  l  u  e  b  e  r  r  y     f  o  r     H  y  d  r  a  t  i  n  g     a  n  d     R  e  v  i  t  a  l  i  z  i  n  g  .    A  q  u  a     C  o  l  l  a  g  e  n     S  o  l  u  t  i  o  n     M  a  r  i  n  e     H  y  d  r  o  g  e  l     E  y  e     P  a  t  c  h  .    M  u  l  t  i     P  a  t  c  h     A  l  o  e     (  c  a  n     b  e     u  s  e  d     a  n  y  w  h  e  r  e  )  .    G  l  o  s  s  y     L  i  p  s  t  i  c  k  .    @concon95's Stash (Exclude duplicates)...   B  l  a  c  k  h  e  a  d     C  l  e  a  r     N  o  s  e     P  a  c  k  .    A  l  o  e     V  e  r  a     9  0  %     B  o  d  y     C  r  e  a  m  .

 

// The Mask Bar//

Sharing my 24-Hours Adventure in NYC // Shopping for Korean beauty products in Korea Town   HIGHLIGHT //  If you're looking for a 1-stop-shop for sheetmasks, this is the place to go (especially if you're under a huge time crunch!).  It's also great to be able to see some of the masks in real life before purchasing.    SELECTIONS //  Although it's a very small shop, they pack in quite a large selections, from the long-time favorites to the latest and greatest.  Not sure if it's because we didn't buy enough, but there was no samples offered to me or @concon95.   PRICING //  I'd say it's comparable to the marketplace.  An example - The "I'm Sorry For My Skin" mask is $5.00 each, which is about what you'd see out there.  The plus is that you don't have to pay for shipping.    STAFF //  Love the two women who was working there during our visit.  They were friendly and helpful, but not pushy.     
Sharing my 24-Hours Adventure in NYC // Shopping for Korean beauty products in Korea Town    WHAT WE BOUGHT //       My Stash...   I  '  m     S  o  r  r  y     F  o  r     M  y     S  k  i  n     f  o  r     P  o  r  e     C  a  r  e  ,     B  r  i  g  h  t  e  n  i  n  g  ,     R  e  v  i  t  a  l  i  z  i  n  g  .    H  o  l  i  k  a     H  o  l  i  k  a     J  u  i  c  y     M  a  s  k     S  h  e  e  t     B  l  u  e  b  e  r  r  i  e  s     f  o  r     B  r  i  g  h  t  e  n  i  n  g  .    @concon95's Stash...   P  i  g     N  o  s  e     1  -  2  -  3     N  o  s  e     P  o  r  e     C  l  e  a  r  i  n  g     S  y  s  t  e  m  .    S  a  l  l  y  '  s     B  o  x     F  r  i  e  n  d  l  y     A  r  g  a  n     H  a  i  r     M  a  s  k  .

~ must shop more! ~

I can't believe I live so close to New York City and I don't go down there more often!  But now that I know all the "treasures" I can find there, plus having found my new Asian Beauty shopping buddy, I'll be making more visits to the fabulous Big Apple.  I do want to venture into Chinatown on my next trips to explore other Asian Beauty brands that are not available in K-Town.  Any suggestions on other Asian Beauty brands I should explore?  Leave me a comment below!

~ and i want to share this with you... ~

Needless-to-say, @concon95 and I have collected quite a few pieces of new masks to try (and nose strips for her)!  It's been so much fun reading all of your mask reviews on Instagram and I love it when you ladies share some honest insights to help me figure out if a mask is "worthy" to be added to the stash.  With that inspiration in mind, I am launching a new series where me and a few guest writers will share our utmost honest reviews on sheet masks we love and, sometimes, meh, not love.  I hope you'll join us on this new adventure on Hula With Me!

Thanks for stopping by!

If you're curious about the other legs of my NYC adventure, click links below for previous posts:

The Food Edition @ Caracas Arepa Bar + Spot Dessert

All About MoMA (Museum of Modern Art)


MORE FROM THE BEAUTY SERIES


Nature Republic - The Body Care Edition

#naturerepublic #exploreseoul #beautydiscovery
Reviewing Nature Republic Body Care Products:  Body Scrub, Body Cream

I hear so much about facial skin care from Korean beauty brands, but I rarely hear about their other skincare lines such as bodycare.  When I was in the Nature Republic store in Myeongdong, Seoul, I finally discovered this whole "new" side of K-beauty that are just as fun.  While my wallet won't thank me for that, my body surely will!

 

Bath & Nature Body Scrubs

Nature Republic Bath & Nature Body Scrub in Tangerine and Green Tea

The packaging of this NR line is simple and to-the-point.  I love the large image of each item's star ingredient on the front - It's a visual stimulation that creates excitement before I even use the products.  I also have the in-store testers to thank for discovering these scrubs - The scent is amazing!  I've always been an advocate for having testers available at the shelves...because even with the most imaginative souls among us, it's pretty tough to know what the scents would really smell like or how the texture would really feel like.  As soon as I pop open the lids of these body scrubs, it was sensory overload, in a good way. 

Scent  The Tangerine scent is so intense that it feels as if I'm actually eating one.  This sounds bizarre even as I'm typing it, but science does prove that smell and taste work together to help us recognize flavors.  On the other hand, the Green Tea scent doesn't quite remind me of green tea.  I suppose the true smell of green tea isn't fragrant enough, so NR added some more to it.  Nevertheless, it smells heavenly. 

Texture  I typically stay away from scrubs because most feel too harsh on the skin.  This one is different.  The initial feel on the skin does seem a bit harsh where I can feel the larger particles.  However, once it is mixed with water, most of those particles dissolve leaving just the right amount to give my skin a mini-exfoliation session.

Left: Green Tea.  Right: Tangerine.

Left: Green Tea.  Right: Tangerine.

After mixing with water.

After mixing with water.

Occasion  As with any skincare products that have exfoliating benefits, it is performing a scrubbing action against our skin.  While it's good to have dead skin removed, it's not good to overdo it because our topmost skin layer serves as a protective barrier.  Too much disruptive actions such as scrubbing will cause the skin to become more sensitive to UV rays.  All of you beauty enthusiasts out there know how much damage UV rays can do to our skin, so it's best to curb the scrubbing to a maximum of once a week. 

When Not to Scrub  The most obvious one is when you have open wound or cut as the scrub will aggravate the injury and burn the skin.  Another scenario is when you have dry flaky skin.  Scrubbing dry flaky skin will cause it to become very sensitive and it's best to skip the scrub and moisturize instead.  The last scenario is during winter months in cold & dry climates.  Skin tends to be drier during this time under such climate, so it's better to pamper your skin with deep moisturization or switch to a brown sugar scrub instead.

Pricing & Where to Shop  I paid 8,800 Won each in Korea, which is approximately USD $7.42.  In the U.S., some online options are RoseRoseShop ($6.29) and KoreaDepart ($7.16).  Surprisingly, there's no markup for these scrubs. 

[Please Note]  I did not order from these sites, so please proceed with caution and read all fine prints.  Also, these sites do not start with "https", meaning any information (personal, payment info, etc.) sent from your browser to these sites is not secured.  However, it's possible that once you get to the payment page, it may change to "https".  Just be aware as you online-shop.


Bath & Nature Body Cream

Nature Republic Bath & Nature Body Cream in Apple Mango

The packaging is again simple and to-the-point.  I smiled as I saw the image of the crisscross-cut mango on the label - It looked so juicy and I couldn't stop thinking about eating one!  I of course wanted to buy more than one scent, but I knew my luggage was dangerously close to the airline weight limit, so I opted to try the apple mango scent.

Scent  To be honest, this smells more like pineapple coconut than apple mango!  Either way, the scent is lovely.  It is a pretty strong fragrance, so I wouldn't recommend this to those who are sensitive to fragrance.   

Texture  When I see "cream" in the description, I picture something thick.  This body cream is in fact thick.  At the same time, the texture feels more like a mousse or souffle.  It feels a little fluffy as I try to scoop up the cream from the jar and once it's on my skin, it feels very moisturizing.

The body cream has a consistency of a mousse or souffle...

The body cream has a consistency of a mousse or souffle...

Once it goes onto my skin, it is thick like a cream.

Once it goes onto my skin, it is thick like a cream.

Occasion  Because of its mousse-like or souffle-like texture, I think this body cream can be used all year long and any time of the day.  While it is thick and very moisturizing, it doesn't feel greasy or sticky on the skin.  This may just become my go-to body cream for traveling! 

Pricing & Where to Shop I paid 12,000 Won in Korea, which is approximately USD $10.00.  In the U.S., some online options are eBay, Amazon, and KoreaDepart, but the price ranges from USD $14.00 to $35.00.  Another option is to visit a Nature Republic stores in the U.S., where the markup is less, at the price of $15.00.


Pamper Your Body Too!

Nature Republic store in Myeongdong, Seoul.

Nature Republic store in Myeongdong, Seoul.

I've been a fan of Nature Republic and was so excited when I finally got to shop at NR in its motherland.  What I love most is their simple, no-fuss labeling that allows me to quickly and easily understand what I'm buying and using.  And then of course I love the wonderful scents from their products.  And these bodycare items are no exception. 

Often times we focus so much on taking care of our facial skin that we neglect what's below the neckline or by the time we're done with our multi-steps facial routine, we're ready to move onto our busy life.  These heavenly-scented scrubs and cream remind me that my body skin is as important as my facial skin, and taking care of both is a must for our complete skin health.  I hope you feel the same way, too!  I've also bought a few other NR products on this trip and will share them with you soon.  In the meantime, tell me about some of your favorite Nature Republic products...would love to hear from you!

 

Thanks for stopping by!

MORE FROM THE BODY CARE SERIES