Chances are when you’re living somewhere for an extended period of time, you’re going to find products or amenities that you feel you can’t live without. Even things of equivalent standard: you just can’t use anything but that particular thing.
At first this feeling just comes from the stuff you leave back home when you first move abroad. It could be your particular face wash; that brand of hot sauce you douse all your meals with; that nail salon that gives you the absolute perfect manicures. In the beginning, I always encountered this with food (how could I live without maple bacon and poutine??).
But now my weakness is Korean makeup.
Before leaving Korea, I spent an embarrassing amount of money on stocking up on foundation, powder, eyeliner, and mascara. I knew I wouldn’t be back for a long time if at all, but I couldn’t live without these items anymore. They had become my staples. Sure the West has those too, but their equivalents are either affordable but horrible quality, or unrealistically expensive and better quality (but still lesser than the stuff I was finding).
I mean I have sunscreen built into my foundation, my powder is so fine it looks like peachy newborn skin, my non-waterproof mascara never runs in the rain, and my eyeliner makes the finest, most precise, most unsmudgeable lines.
But one thing I didn’t stock up on (simply because I’d never even finished the package I had in the two years I’d been there) was blush.
It became clear as soon as I left that this was a mistake. As if able to intuit my departure, my blush suddenly and unexpectedly showed itself to be on its last legs. The bottom was showing through and I only had a narrow pink ring around the empty metal bottom. Not to mention the state of my puff.
The good thing about having a partner in crime who also travels, however, is that your favourite things might still have an access point.
At my pleas, Andrea was able to pick up two beautifully fresh blushes for me during her time in Korea. Behold the refreshing sight of renewal.
I’m really lucky though – most travellers don’t get to indulge in resupplies like this. Sure you can find some things online, but most of the time they’re overpriced or shipping is impossible (either through said overpricing or just not being able to deliver to your country).
Thus it must be accepted that as you travel, your cultivation of tastes is going to probably never exist all in the same geographical space. I know at some point my Korean makeup will run out (or go rancid before I finish using it all). And then, alas, you must adapt.
Maybe you’ll have to give up that face wash, but you’ll find a super shampoo instead. And perhaps you don’t have your hot sauce brand, but you actually find one you like better.
The fun thing is you get to become a connoisseur of the world’s markets in the meantime.
What are the things you don’t/didn’t think you could live without abroad? Ever find something better that you now swear by?