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September 03, 2014 Charlotte Cho
Welcome to Beauty Diary: Seven days of getting glam with an industry insider. From publicists to professional makeup artists, this is a week in the life of someone who lives and breathes beauty. 
As the founder of New York-based Korean beauty e-tailer Soko Glam,Charlotte Cho's job is to source the very best cosmetics from Korea (no small task in a country where the average skincare routine involves eight products), test them out, and, if they make the cut, place them one click away from her customers—a mix of Korean expats, global beauty buffs, and women who have just discovered the multitasking pleasure of Netflix-ing in a sheet mask.
For this week's beauty diary, we followed Charlotte on a Seoul workcation—where she hit up the city's night markets, got an impulse bob, hung out with Korean it-model Soo Joo Park in a Chanel-strewn suite, and gave us a sneak peek at some adorably-packaged products that might make it on the site next season. 

Good morning! Here is a view of Seoul from my apartment window. With so many beauty trends emerging from this city, they say Korea is having a moment in beauty. IMO—biggest understatement of the year.

I accompany my friend to Korea’s Allure Beauty Fair, where the year’s leading Korean beauty products are honored. She's super stoked that she gets to take home an award for her male cosmetics line, Swagger.

We celebrate with a late-night snack.
Generous helpings of dukbokki (spicy rice cakes) and soondae (blood sausage) cost us less than $5.

I arrive at the Banila Co shop in Garosugil. I've been dying to check out their other products after curating the Clean It Zero Classic Oil Cleansing Balm. My mind is on their CC cushion and melting foundation pact.

Garosugil is an area filled with fashion boutiques, street vendors and cute coffee shops. A street vendor selling jewelry and hair accessories catches my eye so I spend a few minutes going over their goodies.
Korea has the most adorable headbands!

Etude House! *Squeal* Just because it looks like a magical doll house, doesn’t mean the goodies are not legit.

It’s been three days and I’m still jet lagging. Perfect excuse to lounge at the local jimjilbang (Korean sauna).
This involves me hanging out in PJ’s and sweating out toxins.
I doze on and off in front of a TV that is playing the latest Korean drama.

In the evening I head out to Myeongdong—the beauty district of Seoul.
Even though it’s Monday night the place is packed!

I pick up a few Innisfree face sheet masks because my face is begging for some much needed TLC.

I finally find the elusive IOPE Water Fit Lipstick that Jun Ji Hyun wore in the hit K-drama, Love from Another Star. Everyone was so obsessed with emulating her look, it was completely out of stock for awhile.
Luckily I was able to snag a few on this trip.

Wandering around Seoul and seeing so many girls with short bobs inspired me to chop off my own hair—a full inch above my shoulders! I was pretty nervous because this is the shortest I’ve ever gone, but I trusted my hairdresser. I’ve been going to her for years and she’s never disappointed me.

...and I love it. The cut was only $30, including tip! True story.

I visit Vogue Korea to hang with their beauty editor, Zoo Lee. Browsing through their September issue featuring model and actress Song Hye Gyo I am convinced that her bangs are the perfect accessory for this fall.

Zoo tells me I missed the humid, hot weather by a few days. Thankful, I indulge in the gorgeous weather by eating outside. Over lunch I soak in all the details, especially the plating and dishware.
Presentation is always on point when dining in Korea.

After lunch we go to a little cute café next door.
There is probably a perfectly legitimate reason why you need to wash your feet before you catch up over a cup of joe.

Before nail art became a thing in the US, it was huge in Korea and Japan.
Multi-colored nails, studs and bows—anything goes. I’m constantly inspired by the adventurous nail art in Seoul.

I always remember to escape from the concrete jungle, even for a moment.
This is one of my favorite spots—a hanok (aka traditional Korean house).

Soo Joo is in town for Culture Chanel so I stop by to say hello and ogle her Chanel goodies.
Her suite has a gorgeous view of Dongdaemun and the night market.

It’s my last day in Seoul and I’m in denial as per usual.
As I start packing, I look over the pile of goodies that I collected throughout the week.

Seoul never disappoints.There are so many amazing products that I can’t wait to test
and narrow down for Soko Glam’s upcoming curation. Stay tuned...

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About Charlotte

Soko Glam co-founder and chief curator. Licensed esthetician sharing the love of all things K-beauty.

About Sokoglam

Bringing the best in Korean skin care, beauty, and culture Stateside since 2012. Discover, shop, and learn with us.