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A Timeless Ritual with Amore Pacific | Jeju Island, Korea

Any time someone throws the age-old question of what my skin routine is on social media, my reply had always been ‘foundation and Photoshop*’. More and more so I’m starting to realise that it’s one of those stupid answers, like saying ‘I’m in shape, round is a shape’. One that warrants ‘yeah… not really funny, sis‘ from my bro. As a South Korean, the topic of Korean beauty is popularly thrown into interview questions, one that stumps me entirely – because as someone who grew up in Europe and regularly gets into punch-fights with eczema, beauty alone is still a topic that scares me. Wherever’s it’s from. I don’t have a regime, let alone one rule I can stick by. Every other day my skin wages a coup d’état.

The one thing I do know, and not to sound like my mum, or Christina Aguilera circa Dirrty years, is that beauty comes from within. No matter what you put on your skin, if you eat crap, your skin will be crap – if not now then later. I learnt this the hard way. Kids, eczema truly sucks balls. Korean Beauty apparently boils down to this somewhat corny ideology – healthy, transparent skin that no diamond cream can buy, only a very specific (borderline anal) lifestyle. Put aside all whitening and cosmetic surgery taboos, that’s what drives the industry forward, products that are based on eradicating irritants and championing botanical active ingredients. Make-up is almost an afterthought.

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Jacket – Pinko. Jumpsuit – Mango. Boots – Stuart Weitzman. Bag – Gucci.

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AMOREPACIFIC is one of those S.Korean beauty giants, and their unsung hero? Green tea. Now, I am a coffee-lover who thinks green tea tastes like warmed-up pond water. I am however also someone who eats dollar-store sweets and calls it dinner and therefore should really shut up and get with the program. The Timeless Ritual program – to be precise – which launched the new anti-ageing line TIMLESS RESPONSE in Jeju, a volcanic island just off the Southern coast of the Korean peninsula. One hour from Seoul, 14 hours from London. Timed exactly in the window when the first green tea leaves sprout, the purest and most potent harvest – traditionally worth its weight in gold and main active ingredient of the line.

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Instagram @parkncube

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The first day – detoxing by way of nature, yoga (first time for me, if you can believe) and one of the most invigorating facial massages I’ve ever experienced. The second and final day, restoring through education and experience (a bit of re-toxing on my part with stolen coffee). Turns out I’d been brewing green tea the wrong way my entire life – over-brewing to the point of it tasting like expired spinach water. Hot – but not boiling – water, and 1-2 minutes infusion makes liquid gold – I was sold. I might also consider not putting frozen fish finger-equivalent on my skin, afterall. Stay tuned for a progress-report!

* sadly I do have to resort to light retouching when the going gets rough and I still want to run this blog, a bit of transparency that I hope you’ll understand.


Park & Cube was a guest of AMOREPACIFIC 너무 즐거웠어요, 감사합니다 :)

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Top – Zara. Skirt – H&M

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Cape – ASOS. Jeans – Frame Denim. Bag – Chloe. Boots – Tibi. Sunnies – Madewell. Watch - Larsson & Jennings

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3 Favourite Work Spots
in Warsaw

‘Thank you for your message, I am currently Out of Office stuffing myself with homemade cake and watching endless Korean TV with my parents. For urgent issues, please take a number and divide it by ZERO.’ Trips to Warsaw are never classed as work in my book, even if for genuine business purposes. This is one place in the world I will always consider as childhood playground, home sweet home, and at times, exciting new horizons. So, even as I lug a buttload of work and deadlines from London, in my mind I am absolutely, completely Out of Office.

In time, handy little gadgets like this HP Stream with Intel Inside® tablet snuck their way into my occasional Warsaw stints, and every time I find myself venturing a little further from home to find a happy place to work from. Anywhere with coffee and wi-fi, initially, but we all know a bit of zing goes a long way (McZing sold out since the dawn of hipster cafes). Many a local was consulted – particularly The Styledigger, my resident yellow pages since her days in Krakow – to narrow down three great spots to work in town:

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1/ Charlotte – chleb i wino
aleja Wyzwolenia 18, warsaw | bistrocharlotte.com

‘Bread and Wine’, a more-than-attractive sign-off of a trendy yet-slightly-rough-around-the-edges bistro at the Southern cusp of Warsaw centrum – one haven that I frequent whenever I’m back in town. Open from 7am, the premise is thick with the smell of fresh-baked leaven bread – plain or garnished with raisins – heroes of town. Keep an eye out for the pots of conserve, chocolate spread and lavender honey that accompanies the bread basket, for the jars are deep and the contents are finger-lickin’ good. A great place to catch up with emails, or wind down after a day – free wifi, of course. I do suggest keeping your tech gear minimal, because after a glass of wine you’ll suddenly be speaking Polish and making friends.

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Blazer - Max Mara. Skirt – YesStyle. Shoes – Aquazzura (similar). Bag – Gucci Soho

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2/ Museum of the History of Polish Jews
ul. Warecka 4/6 , warsaw | polin.pl

An important visit, if not mandatory – especially if a visit to Krakow is not yet on your itinerary. Highly educating and inspiring – a great place to work and find food for thought. Food for stomach too, in the cafe at the heart of the building.

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3/ eMeSeN
ul. panska 3,warsaw | emesen.pl

Short for MSN, or Muzeum Sztuki Nowoczesnej – not the chat application of adolescent heydays although eerily exciting in similar measure. Relatively new to the block and a rather balancing presence to Warsaw’s ‘golden’ mall a few doors down, the Modern Arts Museum houses a café-cum-foyer that sports a tasteful selection of design books and comfortable chairs/stools to work on. I’d only recently discovered it, but found myself returning more frequently than the usual spots. Free wi-fi, decent coffee, and lots of good distractions.

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Speaking of gadgets, the HP Stream is a new kind of tablet with built-in Intel Inside® Processor, which means ‘fast’ for those who, like me, only speak colouring book. I picked it up because it was kind to 1) my wallet and 2) my bag – at a size just large enough to fit in one hand, and thus inside one of those mini-bags that make you suddenly proud of a questionable skill of editing your life down to a matter of a few essential belongings. Nevermind of course, the mess of an inbox – if it fits inside a Gucci Soho, it ships. Lastly because, 3) it runs on Windows 8.1 – which might come as a surprise to some given my profession as a graphic designer, but yes, I am a PC. And guess what, since we’re sharing secrets, I eat pizzas backwards. Now what.

In collaboration with HP & Intel. All views and opinion my own.

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Trousers - Zara. Bag – Gucci. Watch – Larsson & Jennings. Trainers – Isabel Marant.

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CoNrad maldives
Pt 1.
Rangali Island, maldives | www.hilton.com/

I did receive a fair bit of warning before heading to the Maldives: that the islands will take my heart and drown it deep, deep down the Indian Ocean; that I will experience a kind of feeling not so dissimilar to love, or absolute bewilderment. Like the first time I tried Chipotle? I asked, and they all said EVEN BETTER. So I packed high hopes, along with six bikinis, because another someone said most of my time will be spent chasing Pixar characters under water. I assumed they meant Nemo but packed more racy numbers just in case they actually meant Mr Incredible.

Conrad Maldives is 30-minute seaplane flight from capital Malé down into the bluest bit of the globe – by atlas standards a practically invisible clutter of tiny islands located south of Sri Lanka, with a probability of accidental discovery from zero to drunk-and-randomly-clicking-around-Google-Earth-satellite-view. As the seaplane expertly skimmed down onto the glassy sea, I couldn’t help but feel like a bond girl, seeking refuge on a glamorous island with the aid of an international spy – nevermind the ill-digested plane food and a muffin top.

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I had never seen such unadulterated scenery, such literal exhibition of colours, and immediately took up on bumping up adjectives to superlatives: bluest sea/whitest sand/bestest trip EVER…and so on. Indeed just like my first time at Chipotle. And just as I ran out of words starting with ‘A’ to describe the view over a coconutty welcome drink, a smiley Maldivian in white beckoned towards our water villas. Modern and minimalist in style, constructed of de-saturated sea wood, and pulled together by the occasional splash of blue furnishing, mine was one of 71 water villas on the island. Although, the whereabouts of the other 61 was a mystery I never managed to solve.

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I felt right at home, if home was a house above crystal clear water and a glass globe horizon for a view. This feeling of privacy was something I’d never known I cherished in hotels/resorts, I suppose more so that I was to spend the next few days alone, wrestling with a tripod and remote for photos.

As the sea lapped at the beams of the villa and the outdoor Jacuzzi gurgled every so often to compete, I was already unbuttoning my heart to give to the sea at the Conrad Maldives. And I’d soon learn that no amount of snorkelling or diving I’d be able to retrieve it.

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Stick around for part 2, and once again a happy 10th birthday to Ithaa, Conrad Maldives’ undersea restaurant – more on this later.

Park & Cube was a guest of Conrad Maldives, all views and opinions are my own.

Swimsuit – Victoria’s Secret

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White Shirt – ASOS. Jeans – G-Star RAW (tight)

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Jeans – G-Star RAW (wide)

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Tighter jeans, wider quarters.

If you happen follow me on my satellite rant-channels such as Twitter or Instagram you’ve been subject to the live stream moaning of all things related to the joy of moving homes. For this I apologise. If you don’t however, you 1) are making smart choices in life (or at least very refined taste in internet personalities) but also 2) missing out on a whole slew of embarrassing food choices that explain for mysterious stomach bulges that excite and disappoint my mother every other day around dinnertime. (“Kebab or baby?”)

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For the past month I’ve been in nothing but jeans (these two G-Star RAW pairs, my current fav), occupying myself in packing, unpacking, and learning the art of leading a professional life in the most trashcan-like setting in the new house. But we have a marble fireplace so, we got that going for us, which is nice. So far we’ve managed to dig a path to and from the boxes containing beef jerky packets, and have sung a bit of Step in Time while vacuuming around the fireplace.

When it comes to moving uniform though, jeans all the way. Tight or wide, I just like knowing I can wipe my hands on my leg since I have no clue where we packed our towels. While I go look for some (it has now come to a point where a shower is definitely needed), you tell me whether you’re #TeamTight or Wide when it comes to jeans.

In collaboration with G-Star RAW #TightorWide. Editing P&C. Photo assistance by Simon Schmidt.

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Silk scarf – MiH. Leather vest, trench, jeans - GStar RAW. Heels – Gianvito Rossi. Bag – Gucci. Watch – Karl Lagerfeld. Earcuff – CompletedWorks

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The dark knight blossoms

When it comes to flower print anything I can’t help but see sad little faces on the petals and leaves dreading the slow, yet inevitable death courtesy of the blackest thumb of all land and time: mine. This is probably the reason why the new Kris Knight update of the Gucci Flora got me hooked in the first place, because if you look closely, underneath the sugar-sweet pastel canvas of the Resort 2015 collection, there is a shadow, and a bed of botanicals that blossom in the dark. Curious little herbs with tough roots and long vines that cast roofs over eight-legged creatures… there’s almost a rock’n’roll attitude in it all. The irony is sweet.

It’s begging for exploration, which is exactly what I wanted to do in this collaboration with Gucci’s hero holiday gifts.

In collaboation with Gucci. Photography: Shini Park & Brian Leavy.
Art Direction & Graphic Design: Shini Park

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“My colour palette is inspired by the fact that I grew up in a bakery. I began tinting icing long before tinting paint…”
- Kris Knight

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Jumpsuit – Next

Dress – Alexander mcQueen. Heels – Celine. Both via Harvey Nichols

And by the way, florals? For Christmas? Amusing, if not actually ground-breaking.

Shop the gift guide

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Top – J W Anderson via Harvey Nichols | similar at Gucci. Suede skirt – Vintage (similar). Boots – Zara.

Flora Knight: the story

I love this video by Gucci, in conversation with Kris Knight on the story behind the Flora Knight blossoms. There’s something wildly satisfactory about seeing cake-icing pastel colours being used for painting. It takes a stronger man to resist temptation to shovel in a finger-full of paint while filling in a yellow dandelion.

Watch here

White trousers
Gucci

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In collaboation with Gucci. Photography: Shini Park & Brian Leavy. Art Direction & Graphic Design: Shini Park