Chapter 2: 10-Step Korean Skincare

As a mum of a teething 9 month old, I think it’s safe to say I’m currently being held together by coffee, hope and dry shampoo.

So when I saw Farmers had started stocking K-Beauty brand, TONYMOLY, it reminded me of something I’d heard on the Jules and Sarah Podcast.

The Legend of Zorro Korean Skincare

I’m a ride or die member of the Port Salut Crew (niche podcast reference), and a couple of lols back, Jules mentioned in passing that Korean eye masks (especially when kept in the fridge) were G.O.A.T for giving a tired bleugh face a much needed pep up.

Korean skincare, I thought at the time … I must remember this … I shall tuck it away in my mind next to “i before e, except after c” and the lyrics to every Spice Girls song ever made.

(Definitely not next to how to work out statistical significance, because when I have I ever needed to do that, University? Never, that is when.)

But back to the TONYMOLY display:

There was a moisturiser in a tiny banana, black eye-patch masks for dark circles that make you look like a bandit panda, and a range of sheet face masks (probably) developed by Bruce Wayne’s R&D team – plus loads more.

I was so happy I nearly started singing Spice up your life, and snaffled up the panda eye mask and a hydrating sheet mask – both of which promised to get me glowing like J-Lo and Jun Ji-hyun.

But, like – what is it?

South Korean women love skincare like Kanye loves Kanye.

So much so that they are the inventors of the 10-step skincare regime.

And it is  T H O R O U G H – with a focus on promoting hydration, layering products, preventative aging, natural and cutting-edge ingredients, super cute packaging, and holistic health (I downed two cups on green tea while writing this, and surprisingly, didn’t hate it).

Fun fact: we owe BB cream to the South Koreans.

I managed to do the morning and night routines using a random range of products I had lying around the house, because I like beauty and I have a problem. But – that does mean there were a couple things missing, so this is:

Kate’s #basic version


I’m not a morning person.

When I wake up I want coffee and silence. Which is veryyy unfortunate when you have a 9 month old.

I find washing my face soon after getting up really helps the whole feeling like an alive person thing though, so the longer skincare process was actually quite a nice way to ease into the day.

Here’s how they do it in Seoul:

  1. Wash your face with just water
  2. Toner – pop some on a cotton pad and wipe over your face
  3. Essence – this is one I didn’t have. It’s like if toner and serum had a baby. Apparently it’s amazing for skin hydration
  4. Ampoule – serum on steroids. A ‘sometimes (skin) food’, these are packed with active ingredients for some targeted intervention. You don’t use all the time
  5. Serum – like a wheatgrass shot to the face. These are concentrated formulas to help tackle specific concerns (I picked up the Natural Instinct Rejuvenating Rosehip Oil from the supermarket for under $20)
  6. Eye cream – no sebaceous glands to produce oil + the thinnest skin = very needy on the moisture front (Nutrimetics’ Ultra Care+ Platinum Tight Firm & Fill Eye Serum is  L E G I T)
  7. Moisturiser
  8. Sunblock – particularly necessary in New Zealand where we basically don’t have an ozone layer.
The products I used for my evening routine.


The evening routine is utterly onerous and indulgent. And. I. Loved. It.

Little man was in bed, and it was just the loveliest and most relaxing way to wind down from the day.

  1. Oil cleanser – to remove makeup. I think the Tailor Oil Cleanse is delish, and it’s made in NZ #chur
  2. Water based/foaming cleanser – this is called a “double-cleanse” and it’s all the rage. You could use a micellar water, or something like the foaming cleanser from Olay (which is M A G I C for removing the last of your makeup)
  3. Exfoliant – not every day though
  4. Toner – Korean skincare aficionados will aim to tone within 10 seconds of getting out of the shower. Apparently the longer you wait, the more dehydrated your skin becomes
  5. Essence 
  6. Ampoule
  7. Serum 
  8. Sheet mask – my TONYMOLY one was one of the nicest, and less murdery looking, I’ve ever used. Just don’t wash off the residue serum afterwards – that stuff is gold. I did a little facial massage with it myself – as instructed by Meghan Markle’s facialist (and Jules’ pal) Nichola Joss
  9. Eye cream
  10. Moisturiser 

Kate Rates: The 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine

I really enjoyed my foray into Korean Skincare. I probably won’t be following the 10-steps every day, but I will actually keep quite a good chunk of it.

I loved the double-cleanse and morning water wash, more regularly using toner and eye cream, and the introduction of rosehip oil and delicious delicious sheet masks.

I’m doing all of it.

I’m pretty much doing all of it.

Disclaimer: I did a lot of research before writing this, but obviously, I’m a white chick from New Zealand, so I’m hardly the go-to expert on Korean Skincare. My only hope is that I do anything as offensive as this.

Let me know if you give it a go, and what you think! 

Kate x

Ps. To my pals from Instagram (@beforekateturns30) who are like … uh, this isn’t eating a Big Mac or contouring like a Kardashian, to you I say. Soz. I had dry, tired skin and got amped when I saw the panda eye patches. What’s a girl to do?

Chapter 1: Fortnite

I did not have a misspent youth.

I had an extremely nerdy youth. Complete with braces, over-plucked brows, and a hell of a lot of NCEA Excellences, thanks very much *flips hair*

It was like, super crazy.

When I was about 12, I entered the Pokémon Card Tournament at Armageddon (the less-cool New Zealand version of Comic-Con) – and you better believe your girl came second *flips hair again*

Now I don’t admit say this to intimidate you with how much of a cool jock I was as a kid, but to say: I love geeky stuff*. I just do.

When my husband and I were in the UK in 2014, we made sure we went to Cardiff Bay in Wales just to go to the Dr Who Experience interactive museum. And. It. Was. Awesome.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

But somewhere in between watching Dragonball Z on the regular and learning how to fill in my brows, I just stopped doing as much Geeky Kate stuff.

Well. Until now.

Enter: Fortnite

You may of heard of it.

This free-to-play game has 125 million players worldwide, and its revenue just topped $1billion in May.

But you may know it more fondly as the game that periodically kidnaps your child/boyf/husband/girlfriend(#heforshe)/nan.

Or perhaps it’s the game you Taken yourself with and play. And if it is, can I just say … please don’t dance on me. For real. It’s super demoralising.

Noob life

Until this weekend I had never played Fortnite.

Which I realise is hardly trekking the Inca Trail in terms of a bucket list item, but if that’s what you were expecting friend, you’re on the wrong blog.

It seems to me that Fortnite is a mashup of The Hunger Games and Halo. And the basic aim is not dying. Which I was terrible at (RIP ME).

By some miracle I was top 20 for my first game, but I think that’s just because I was hiding in the woods panicking for most of it. Coincidentally, the same tactic I use in paintball, but that’s a story for another day.

Some 20 games later and I’m still not that great – but I did manage to take out one other person worse than me (I was going to say “my first kill”, but it sounded way too dark a developmental milestone).

And they were literally just standing alone in a field.




Even I couldn’t miss. Or more likely, push B and start building, then try and switch back to my gun by pushing Y and end up with a knife (axe) at a gun fight. While crouching. Because I can’t stop crouching.

Just as a hypothetical scenario that definitely didn’t happen to me multiple times.

Kate Rates – Fortnite:

Fortnite is hard. Much harder than that dude Ninja and your 11 year old cousin makes it out to be …

But I loved going full gamer geek.

For me, geeking out about stuff is just embracing what you’re passionate about. Not worrying if it’s “cool”, or what other people will think. It’s just you doing you, and unashamedly loving it.

So for that reason, I’m giving Fortnite a 7/10.

It was also a really nice thing to do with Taka, who Luke Skywalkered me on how to play, and for some reason wasn’t at all upset that I wanted to stay in and play XBox instead of going fruit and vege shopping at the market … which is weird.

What are you a secret geek over? Share the love.

Kate x

*SOME geeky stuff. If you’re smart cookie with some tech crunch, you will know by glancing at this site – which took me a million years to try and work out – that it is B A S I C as hell. If you try and talk coding to me I may cry. But we can for sure chat about how Firefly needed a second season.

**Also, I mean geeky 100% as a term of an endearment. Geeks are my people. LEEEROY JENKINS!! (YouTube it)


Hi, I’m Kate and I’m turning 30 soon.

Specifically, on 3 April 2019. The same day Alec Baldwin turns 61.

We’re basically soul sisters.

It’s not that I’m worried about turning the big 3-0, I trust body-swap Jen Garner from the early noughties. My 30s are gonna be bomb.

That’s not what this blog’s about.

This blog is about feeling the weight of the “grown-up-ness” of 30, and allowing it to put a fire of excitement and adventure under my ass. Which does sound like something Christian Grey would be into … but this blog isn’t about T H A T either.

It’s about truly #livingyourbestlife. It’s about telling fear to piss off. And it’s about finding joy and wonder in your every day.

So – I made a list. On Pinterest. Because I’m a Millennial, and that’s what we do. (That and pay too much for avocados.)

Except I’m not going to share my list with you just yet.

It’s a secret. On a secret Pinterest board.

Over the next six months  I’ll be sharing a series of blog posts about my adventures with “The List” – and together I hope we can add more adventure and laughter to our lives.

But before we get into my bucket list (minus the bucket-kicking) – I figured you might want to know a bit more about me.

Cue – another list:


  1. I love a rom-com reference. I think we can all see that.
  2. I’m a mum to a little dude called Ezekiel (Zeke). He’s is 9 months old and I’m a big fan of his work.
  3. I live in Wellington, New Zealand. (Hobbits. Flat whites. Sheep. That sort of thing.)
  4. I’m married to a (total hottie) named Taka.
  5. I work in Communications. Because – writing.
  6. I’m a Christian and do a lot of volunteer work with [“YOUTHS!” – Schmidt, New Girl].
  7. I have a West Highland White terrier called Bucky (of the Winter Soldier persuasion).
  8. My eyebrows are 50% makeup at any given time.
  9. I think Parks and Recreation is the greatest television show ever made.
  10. When I grow up, I want to be like @zotheysay and @juliaveach.

I think that’s enough for now.

I’ll see you again (real) soon. Mainly because I just did the math, and I’m going to need to do about a post a week to get to 30 before I turn 30. Which you’ll remember, is literally the point of my blog.

Damnit, English nerd. Do your math next time.

Kate x

[Narrator: She did in fact, not do her math next time.]