Inevitably, my trip to Seoul had me returning with a handful of cosmetic products. Like how there are multiple ads for plastic surgery in ever subway car, there is at least one cosmetic store on every block in Seoul. Original Korean cosmetic brands include Missha, Laneige, Etude, Isa Knox (who Jessica Alba has done an TV advert for), Clio, Hanskin, Banila Co, Skin Food...and that's just the start.

One of my favorite purchase that I am in love with is the Missha Signature Radiance Make-up Base. How I came upon it was purely by accident.

The girls and I had been trying on BB creams (what Korean cosmetic is known for since they started the whole trend) all day, and my skin, being on the normal to combination end of skin types, was beginning to feel dry and flaky. After applying all those creams, repeated removing them with make up remover and cotton, it was feeling more than abused. So I reached out for the closest thing to a moisturizer that I could find to sooth my dry skin. As soon as I applied the base, my skin instantly calmed down. After letting it absorb into my skin a bit, I noticed it felt silky, soft, and not at all oily. I ran back to the counter where I had found it for my own full size and went straight to the register.

It comes in two colors: green and lavender and has an SPF of 15, costing around $20USD. I got the lavender one solely on the logic that it will match better with my olive/tan skin tone than the green. I should caution that when it comes to make-up I am fairly low-maintenance. Besides sunscreen and eye make up, I usually don't put anything else on my face, so purchasing this make-up base is sort of like taking things to the next level for me. I'm a real girl now.

After getting home, I notice a little note on the box that read:

"Contains Fullerenes won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry"

Apparently this stuff is more than awesome, it's magic. From the US National Library of Medicine:

Fullerenes display a wide range of biological activities. Potent scavenging capacities against radical oxygen species (ROS) and excellent potential as biological antioxidants made fullerenes suitable active compounds in the preparation of skin rejuvenation cosmetic formulations.

Conclusion: I love this product. I use it under very light powder during the day and it effectively keeps my skin moisturized and soft all day, without making it feel the least bit oily. It also brightens my face.

You can purchase Missha products online and if you aren't in South Korea, Hong Kong is the best alternative as prices everywhere else in China are ridiculously marked up.

If this is your first time hearing about Asian cosmetics and you want to learn more, I highly suggest reading this to get yourself better acquainted.