International Beauty Report: Korean Peeling Foot Mask

Editor's note: every month writer Leslie Patrick will pen a monthly column called International Beauty Report, in which she shares beauty finds from across the globe.

Let’s face it—dry and scaly feet are hardly a topic anyone wants to confront, but it’s even less appealing to be the unfortunate owner of these appendages. Whether obtained by wearing ill-fitting shoes, dry weather or genetics, calloused tootsies are just not pretty. 

Koreans prize smooth and creamy skin above all other points of beauty, as scores of shops dedicated to the epidermis attest. And in this skin obsessed culture, the feet are certainly not left out. 

I lived in South Korea for two years, and it was in one of the myriad skin establishments there that I discovered a product that has since become the new BFF of my winter-dry feet: Nature Republic’s Foot & Nature Peeling Foot Mask

The mint green pouch contains a plastic packet of booties filled with a medley of mild acids that eat away at dead skin. Fortunately, there are directions in English. The booties must be worn for 90 minutes, aka the perfect amount of time to watch two episodes of Downton Abbey. Then remove the booties and rinse feet in cool water. 

For the first day, or two, nothing happened and I assumed the foot mask was a dud. Then suddenly, miraculously, on the third day, great swathes of skin began sloughing off in a very reptilian manner. It was quite alarming at first, but amazing to watch soft pink skin emerge from seriously calloused cocoons.   

Korea has given us K-Pop, Samsung and kimchi, but what I’m most grateful for is the Foot & Nature Peeling Foot Mask.

We're giving away three Korean Peeling Foot Masks. All you have to do is follow Leslie Patrick's blog, The Chic Adventurer, by Feb. 15. Sign up here to enter the contest.

Leslie Patrick is an international freelance journalist focused on travel, culture and lifestyle. Her work has been published in Salon, Marie Claire (UK and Australia editions), Travel + Leisure, Islands, Monocle and United Airlines’ Hemispheres Magazine among others. To read more about her travels, visit The Chic Adventurer

The Forecast is Balmy

As a long time lip balm connoisseur, I’m always game to try any tube, pot or jar I happen across. My obsession for the perfect lip product has led me to fork out anywhere from $20 for a small pot of Benetint’s highly praised tinted balm, to the 99 cent, generic variety found register side at the local drug store. It’s safe to say there’s not a lip product I won’t tinker with.

So on a recent shopping trip to Whole Foods when I came across a brand called Nanak’s Lip Smoothee for $2.50 and smelled the enticingly sweet aroma of almond and coconut, I simply couldn’t resist. It was only later that my sister reminded me we had used the brand as children and loved it even then. The texture, though slightly waxy, applies evenly and smoothly over my lips, and leaves no annoying stickiness. It’s long lasting and even after eating a meal I can smack my lips together and still feel remnants of the moisture—love that! Natural ingredients like apricot oil, beeswax and aloe vera soothe and hydrate even the most sensitive lips, and most importantly (as I recently learned when wearing only Vaseline on my lips in the sun all day), it boasts SPF 10, a must for me in a balm of any price.

Like Alexander the Great conquering great swathes of Eurasia in pursuit of the perfect empire, so goes my pursuit for lip balm perfection. I may never accumulate enough lip balms in my personal beauty empire, but like poor Alex, I will certainly die trying.

Find Nanak’s Lip Smoothees at Whole Foods or online at nanakslipsmoothie.com. I recommend the almond scent.

Photo by Leslie Patrick. 


Greener Pastures

 

As anyone who has a sister knows, the grass is always greener in your sister’s closet. In my particular case, my wardrobe is a drab shade of olive while hers appears as bright as the emerald hills of Ireland after a spring rain. She is the most stylish person I know, and try as I might, emulating her eludes even my most fashionable efforts. She knows this, and kindly tries to help, this time in the form of a birthday gift of a gorgeous liquid metal cuff bracelet. Sarah has had a similar bracelet for years, and I have always coveted it, slyly coming up with ways to “borrow” it, then conveniently forget to give it back.

Designed by Sergio Gutierrez, the mesh cuff bracelet sounds intense, punk even. And while far from diminutive, the style remains on the right side of bold while still being feminine and pretty. For any HBO “Breaking Bad” fans out there, you may remember the style as the cool bracelet Skyler wore during season three.

Now that I have my own Sergio Gutierrez creation, my poor sis’ liquid metal bracelet is safe in its perch. The rest of her closet, however, is still looking appealingly green.

Sergio Gutierrez liquid metal bracelets start at $99 and can be found at liquidmetaljewelry.com.

Just Right

Remember Goldilocks of The Three Bears fame? Everything she tried was too hot, too cold, too soft, too hard, too something—when she was simply in search of "just right." That flippant little creature had a penchant for perfection, and let’s face it, we all have a Goldilocks streak, especially when it comes to choosing beauty products. One of my beauty perfectionisms is focused on body lotion. This one is too sticky, that one too drying, and it wasn't until I discovered the oldie but goodie brand Skin Trip by Mountain Ocean that I found my “just right.”

Super lightweight but incredibly moisturizing, this lotion rubs in quickly and smells like coconut and sunshine–exactly like a beach in Maui. Fresh and soothing ingredients like coconut oil, aloe vera and lanolin nourish dry or rough skin, and the bottle is sturdy so you can toss it in your bag and not worry that it will flood your purse. The only negative comment I have is that it does not come in a bigger bottle! If you never have, give Skin Trip a try—your inner Goldilocks will thank you.

Grab a bottle of “Skin Trip” at Whole Foods.

Tee Up

Finding a T-shirt constructed of the perfect drapey fabric, that hits at the ideal (read: slenderizing) spot on your hips, and that has a flattering neckline and sleeve length is a virtually impossible feat. In fact, finding even one of these elements in a tee can be difficult enough in itself. So when I went on a T-shirt hunt last week, I didn’t have very high hopes. Until I stumbled upon the Ornamental Pullover tee from Anthropologie, that is. The fabric feels soft and broken in like a vintage T-shirt, the hem hits at the sweet spot, and I simply adore the pretty flattering neckline—it adds interest without being too flashy for a day to day T-shirt. And the colors? Vivid red, turquoise, coral, classic white, navy, all so pretty I was loath to choose just one. So, what did I do? I bought two of course.