Korean

Say hello to Aritaum, #KBeauty Emporium

With Korean dramas and make-up taking the world by storm, it was only a matter of time for skincare and beauty giant Aritaum to open their first flagship location in Vancouver.

Aritaum is a division of AmorePacific, South Korea’s #1 skincare and cosmetics company. With over 70 locations across Canada and the United States, their first Vancouver flagship store just celebrated their grand opening at Aberdeen Centre in Richmond. Featuring complimentary makeovers and manicures, the store introduces the largest curated collection of premium Korean beauty products outside of Asia.

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Aritaum carries a number of AmorePacific’s in-house cosmetics and beauty brands, including Laneige, IOPE, Sulwhasoo, Hanyul and Mamonde. Products include skincare (toners, moisturizers, masks, emulsions), beauty (concealers, primers, BB creams, blushers and bronzers, mascaras, eye-shadows, lipsticks), body (scrubs, oils, mists), hair (shampoo, conditioner, serums, oils, treatments), and many more within those categories.

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I spoke to one of their associates to learn more about their products.

One of their best sellers is the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask, an overnight gel fase mask that hydrates your skin while you sleep. Once applied, it dries quickly and doesn’t leave your face feeling sticky, and its light, soothing aroma will help lull you to a deep, relaxing sleep.

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Another bestseller are these Aritaum Salon Esthe Bio Cellulose Masks, that come in (from left to right) Moisturizing, Lifting, and Brightening for your complexion. Right behind the masks, there is also a wide variety of sheet masks in all sorts of scents and purposes. Love the colours!

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The Laneige Two Tone Collection are also popular, featuring a two-tone (duh) lipstick (Lip Bar) or eyeshadow (Shadow Bar) that creates a professional quality gradient make up look on your face with a single touch.

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Photo from Aritaum’s website

The Hanyul brand focuses on natural and whole ingredients that are nourishing to the body. Their Rice Essential Skin Softener is easily absorbed without a sticky after-feel, and will leave your skin feeling distinctly more moisturized and softer. The scents from these products reminds me of being surrounded by nature – like stepping into a pine forest and taking a deep breath. This brand is recommended for those with sensitive skin.

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The BB Air Cushion is a Korean multi-functional BB Cream, including wide spectrum SPF 50 sunscreen, mineral water, colour correction, and BB cream.  IOPE, Mamonde, Sulwhasoo and Laneige all have a version of the cushion, meant to allow the ingredients of the BB Cushion to be gently absorbed into the skin, leaving a thin and protective tissue on the outer skin. When applied, the coverage will even out any blemishes and imperfections, and give you a soft, dewy look on your skin.

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Mamonde, whose brand name comes from “Ma Monde” meaning “my world” in French, caters towards, though not exclusively for, a younger target market. Their products are all about the florals – flowers such as camellia, lotus, and jasmine are frequently used as ingredients. In addition to these 7 Day Project Sheet Masks, Mamonde also has an extensive line of skincare products, including Rose Water Soothing Gel, First Energy Serum, and Lotus Micro Cleansing Form. 

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And skincare isn’t just for the ladies! Aritaum also offers plenty of skincare products for men, from all the in-house brands. Whether a toner, cleanser, emulsion, or something else, there will be something for the gents as well.

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With such an extensive array of brands and products, every woman (and man!) will be able to find something for their skincare or make up routine.

BONUS!  Aritaum is currently running a promotion: Buy any Laneige (including their Two Tone Lip Bars!) or IOPE lipstick, and receive a free Aritaum lip tint for yourself! Mother’s Day gift, perhaps? Get on it while it’s still valid – this promotion runs until the end of May.

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Aritaum is located at Aberdeen Centre (on the second floor) in Richmond, easily accessible by skytrain (Canada Line – Aberdeen Centre), and open all mall hours. Take a look and treat yo’self!

Taste of Heaven: Snowy Village Dessert Cafe

This newly opened dessert cafe on Alexandra Road in Richmond is my new favourite dessert spot. And when I say favourite, I mean I’ve already visited five times since they first opened two weeks ago… (#shameless).

Snowy Village Dessert Cafe is a new Korean cafe specializing in “bingsoo”, or shaved ice milk dessert, often topped off with red bean, nuts or fruits. They already have over 80 locations around the world, including Korea, China, Taiwan, Singapore, and more.

Their store is beautifully arranged with a fun green and white colour scheme, complete with lighted signage, and glowing snowflakes on the ceiling. The order counter is made with an unfinished wood design, which gives the feeling of being in a warm toasty cabin amidst snowy weather outside.

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I’ve tried four flavours so far – my favourite is the “Green Tea Bingsoo”. This shaved ice milk is topped with matcha green tea powder, condensed milk, mochi pieces, and red bean. I love that each bingsoo is heaped into a mountain of “snow” or shaved ice, because I just can’t get enough!

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Another flavour I enjoyed is their “Oreo Bingsoo”, with chocolate powder and a perfect Oreo cookie on top. I believe their classic is the “Injeolmi Bingsoo”, topped with peanuts, mochi, red bean, and condensed milk.

When it comes to shaved ice, Snowy Village Dessert Cafe takes it to a whole new level. Instead of using ice, Korean shaved “ice” actually uses milk as the base ingredient. This unique tweak to the recipe means the texture of the shaved “ice” is super fluffy with a light milk flavour. Bonus: you don’t get the feeling of brain freeze that you do with regular shaved ice, because the Korean bingsoo doesn’t taste as cold!

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In additional to the shaved ice/milk, Snowy Village also serves a few desserts, including the popular “Taiyaki”, a fish-shaped pastry with a red bean filling (originally Japanese), but with a croissant batter. It’s served piping hot, and the contrast of the sweet crunchy outside and the soft red bean inside is absolutely delicious.

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I am very much looking forward to trying all the flavours, and I can see this dessert cafe becoming very popular when summer rolls around. Snowy Village – thank you for bringing this incredible bite of Korean heaven (that I am obsessed with) to Vancouver!

If you want to taste this unique dessert, check out their Facebook page for their menu items and hours here: Snowy Village Dessert Cafe. They’re super busy on weekend nights, so go early if you can!

Snowy Village Dessert Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato