Skincare in Korea!

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Why do Koreans have such perfect skin?

Why do Koreans care so much about their skin?

Why is skincare so important in Korea, why do even Korean men take such good care of their skin, why why why why why?!

There’s so many questions on Korean skincare and so many ways to word those questions. Let me go over the most common queries.

1.) Why is skincare such a big deal in Korea?

Well it’s not just Koreans that takes such close care of their skin, but I see your point. Korea is known for it’s attention to detail when it comes to skincare. There are a few reasons for this indeed, one of which is that Korea is very appearance centred. Now I don’t mean this in a bad way – again Korea has it’s reasons. But the overall image Koreans go for is naturally beautiful, and how can you uphold that image with visible breakouts and redness and cracks everywhere?

If there’s something on your skin, people will notice, especially in a society that focuses on looks quite often. To be honest, it doesn’t matter if you accentuate your eyes beautifully, or you wear a dramatic lipstick, if your skin doesn’t look healthy or clean, your art will be overlooked. Healthy skin is a sign of overall health, this doesn’t mean that everyone who experiences breakouts or pimples is unhealthy, it’s just that healthy skin most often means you’re a healthy person. So to achieve the natural and effortless beauty image, clear and, if possible, flawless skin is a must.

2.) Why do even men take such good care of their skin?

This has mostly been answered in the above response however it is also to do with the difference in Korean men’s beauty standards. In Korea, pretty much everything cosmetic nowadays is unisex.  All make-up can be worn by both genders and, unless a product specifies a gender, hygienic, cleansing and moisturising products are also unisex. My male Korean friend E and I, as I mentioned in another post, are exchanging cosmetics from our countries and I ended up showing him the Revlon CC Cream that has recently been released. It’s clearly aimed at women, but he just said he didn’t care! I was like ‘okay!’ nyaha! In fact he even went as far as mentioning that a lot of men in Korea don’t go for ‘male cosmetics’ because they tend to smell too strong – LYNX is unheard of over there.

Men, as well as women, are usually expected to take care of their skin – cleansing is a no-brainer for them over there. All types of masks are used – clay, peel off and most commonly sheet masks are regularly applied to maintain hydrated and clean skin. In fact, if you check the packaging of most sheet masks, the majority will have come been made in Korea! As I mentioned above, additionally, using BB creams and CC creams is completely normal for men. When I mentioned that everything cosmetic was unisex in Korea, this includes beauty standards! Achieving the naturally attractive image is important for men as well so decent skin is again, a must!

3.) Why does Korea as a whole promote skin care so much more?

Again, a lot of this comes down to Korea’s society and how it views and holds appearance as an important aspect of somebody. I will write a blog post on this topic soon. But what I can mention is that appearance can affect someone’s chances of becoming employed. EYK talked about how Korea has acknowledged the unfair truth that people who tend to be slightly ‘more attractive’ in general also tend to have the advantage of using their looks to get their way, seem a better option or even more employable in some cases which is why Korean companies, employers etc. always require a photo of you on your CV. In response to this, Korea has tried to “level out the playing field” by providing and promoting plastic surgery. But plastic surgery is another story, one you have find blog posts about EVERYWHERE so there’s no shortage of information about that. Check out EYK’s tl;dr video on the subject of plastic surgery, they cover literally everything you could possibly ask about Korea in general and more. Skin care is one of many elements that can contribute to an attractive image as is plastic surgery. In short? Korea promotes skincare so much in order to encourage people to achieve healthy, clear skin. Whether that’s for their own personal health or because they want to appear attractive to other people – that’s up to them, as it is everywhere in the world!

4.) Why are Korean skincare products so good?!

Why do you think! Korean skincare industries want to produce attractive people or to create a certain image, this involves having clear skin. The best way to go about this, and to obviously keep their businesses running of course, is to listen to the consumer. There are TONS AND TONS AND TONS of different needs, conditions, skin types and of course consumers who each require a certain product that will tend to their own personal needs. Therefore, in order to keep all these different levels of skin conditions at a certain desirable stage, one must listen to what the consumer wants and needs and give it to them in order to actually achieve their aim – healthy, clear skin. Unlike other countries ,who may possess certain companies that produce products advertised as fantastic spot removers or that help to clear skin immediately but really do crap all in order to make money, Korea listens to the consumer and provides them with what is necessary to achieve their certain image. The reason Korea has less companies that produce products for money and more companies that genuinely listen to the consumer is because they have this aim of creating clear, healthy skin. Other western countries don’t have this aim, and even though we do have genuine companies that make the effort to tend to the consumers actual needs, we don’t have this goal to achieve like Korea does. It has been estimated that Korean skincare technology is 12 years ahead of US skincare technology. That’s how good they are!!

Now I’m not saying that European, Australian, American, or any other non-Korean brands of cosmetics don’t tend to the consumer or work very well because a lot of them do. The brand ‘Simple’ is great for me! I also have a Japanese moisturiser called Yu-Be which I reviewed and that’s fantastic for plump skin. It just depends who you are. I am however saying that since Korea spends so much time and effort into creating skincare products with the aim of actually effectively treating skin, their products are most likely going to be…well…very effective! They take advantage of natural resources, plants, rocks, clays, muds, certain waters, oils and juices and fish! Many other countries do the same thing, it’s just that Korea’s paid a lot more attention to this whole industry than anyone else for their own reasons and I know from personal experience that any sheet mask made in Korea is seriously the shiz.

So there’s a couple of the most common questions on Korean skincare which really only go over the basics I’m sure. Anyhoodledoodle! My favourite Korean skincare products personally are those from SkinFood and Laneige! I also lurve Innisfree oh my god, Innisfree peel of jelly softeners that remove the dead skin cells are amazing. Oft!

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Best KPOP cardio!

Personally I’m all for keeping healthy and ever since the beginning of 2013 I’ve been exercising a lot more than I used to. I came across Blogilates on youtube and my god Cassey Ho has changed my life. She’s the most motivating and fun Pilates instructor I’ve ever come across and she really puts in so much work to encourage people to become fit and healthy.

I came across her POP Pilates series in early 2013 and I’ve loved it ever since, dance cardio is probably the only cardio I enjoy doing and I cannot stop…because she has PSY cardio!

The Gangnam Style cardio is brilliant!! It’s sexy and fun and really gets your heart rate up but not to the point where you want to die – it’s so do-able and I LOVE Fridays  even more now because both the PSY cardio workouts are on the January calendar that I’m following nyaha!

The Gentleman cardio is also fantastic, it’s all on the floor so if you don’t have carpet get.a.bloody.mat. or a towel or something! Also quite sexy and just as cheeky and fun as the song. I luuurveee PSY cardio and really really, hope Cassey does another PSY cardio when his next single comes out. OFT!

Check them out and when I come across any more KPOP workouts I lurve I’ll let you know!


Why most foreign English teachers tend to be American/Candian

STRAIGHT INTO IT!

1.) Because America + North America is HUGE. It’s one of the top most influential countries in the world and therefore is a central source for both producing and receiving global media (such as music, film and art). Kpop, K dramas and Japanese media get played both on technical devices and live way more than in other non-asian countries for example. This means it is more likely that East Asian produce will be advertised there and thus results in a bigger amount of East Asian fans/interests.

2.) On top the fact that America + North America is massive, it’s also a primarily English speaking country. Yep, the UK, Australia, New Zealand etc are also native English speaking countries but America + Canada is bigger. Foreign English teachers need to be native English speaker so BOOM. You have a huge group of native English speakers that have been exposed to East Asian culture from all directions.

3.) Although it’s nowhere near necessary to be able to speak Japanese, Korean or Chinese to become an English teacher there it is sometimes seen as an advantage because it means living in the country will be much easier for you.  This is not a decisive factor though as many schools will request that you don’t speak the Japnese or Korean language to students anyway in order for them to be exposed and speak English far more than they speak their own language just so they will be able to advance faster. Anyway back to the point. The USA and Canada provide a much bigger educational system for East Asian studies from a younger age. As young as 16 upwards.  [I know a guy the same age as me now (17) and he could read and write in all 3 Japanese writing systems (Hirigana, Katakana and Kanji) and Korean script (Hangul) as well as being able to speak basic Japanese and basic Korean. PFFFT! In England if we want to achieve this we have to self study until we can afford private lessons or get a place on an East Asian uni course. This is most definitely not a rant…MERGHHH! Jelly jelly.]

These 3 elements do allow many American and Canadians to be successful in quickly securing jobs in Japan and Korea because of their exposure to the culture and language slightly more than the rest of us however this does not put us at a disadvantage at all. We’re all on the same level playing field because like I said, prior lessons to achieve near fluency in the language does not make you any less or more likely to gain a job in teaching English. What matters is that you are fluent in or a native English speaker – so basically population and therefore a higher likelihood of more people being interested in teaching in East Asia makes it more likely that most foreign English teachers will come from the USA or Canada.

So obvious anyway but oh well!

My deductions! Good day bottoms! 🙂


TVXQ – Something (I cannot be more obsessed with this song)

So I’m obsessed with TVXQ’s new song ‘Something’ that was released on YouTube on the 1st of Jan 2014. Oooooh I can’t stop listening to it it’s so damn catchy and just goddamn awesome. Check it out here. The lyrics are really well constructed and I love the repeated ‘sageulsageulsageul’ at the end of the chorus. The whole structure of the song is admirable – it’s just an all round really good piece of music! Not usually what I’d personally expect from SM entertainment but then again maybe by some tragic misfortune I’ve missed all the songs they’ve produced that are similar to this one. It’s jazzy. That’s what it is!

Apart from lovin’ the vocals and melody I lurve the MV as well – the choreography is so jumpy and like BOOM and I just feel like I want to get in the video and dance as well! I could dance around my house to this song all day. I do dance around my house to this song. Not all day though, I have to restrain myself because I don’t want to get sick of it! I loved how the guys were dressed and their fluid movements were fantastic, the choreography just looks perf for them. Especially loving the ‘entwined in rope’ beginning. Yeah baby. But oft! I do like the incorporation of foreign models into the MV as well as simply Korean – this usually wouldn’t stand out that much in a music video from any other country (with the exception of Japan) but nowadays in Korea more non-Koreans are making appearances in KPOP which is interesting! Other MVs I know of with this asset include  Madonna by Secret who use a foreign orchestra and even Trouble Maker’s new single ‘Now’ briefly includes foreign girls acting sleazy with Hyunseung! If you know of any others please comment them I’d love to check ’em out! I don’t know, it feels more exotic with the foreign models in this MV not that nationality really matters. It just seems to feel different with KPOP because Korea has been a homogeneous society for so long. It’s nice to see the ice breaking a little!

Anyway. SHE GOT THAT SOMETHING! MANGSEORINDAMYEON NANEUN CRY BABY!
DEULKIJIMALGO NAEGE SALGEUMSALGEUMSALGEUM DAGAWAJUMYEON!
NAEGA MOREUNCHEOK NEOMEOGA JULTENDE! Yeaa-eahh-ehhh! Hey…hey…hey…


L’Oréal Miss Manga Mascara & model’s blog!

miss-manga-loreal-mascaraTEEHEE! Stumbled across another cute advert for a Japanese manga inspired product! This time it’s a cosmetic, a mascara, by L’Oréal called the ‘Mega Volume Miss Manga’ mascara.

I’ve been waiting for a mascara to be advertised as producing manga eyes and here it is! This mascara is supposed to volumize both your upper and lower lashes ‘so eyes look more open’. Big and wide like manga eyes – that’s what it’s comparable to. It look quite good actually! How does it achieve this?

Well apparently the “exclusive formula, made up of enlarging collagen spheres works perfectly in conjunction with the 360° flexible cone shaped brush to amplify upper lashes and reveal lower lashes. The exclusive formula also contains a trilogy of polymers for absolute hold and staying power.”

The advert for this is cute and quirky, at least the UK advert is which is the only one I’ve ever seen. If there’s a US version let me know! It begins with a cute toy being hoisted out of a novelty ‘grabber’ and Cara Delavigne appears  (English model), hair cute in little buns and she’s sporting Japanese-y fashion – a cute black dress with a white collar and tights that have black hearts running all the way up the side of the leg. Very Japan. She breathes “manga” and the music starts. DADADADADA IT’S STUCK IN MY HEAD. The tune anyway. All throughout the advert there’s manga references (no shit sherlock) in the form of chipping in “so manga”, a big panda bear placed in the middle of the room and there’s even a girl kissing a glass sheet of manga. Yep, glass. Like on art programmes or when detectives draw up their notes where they sometimes use a glass board to write on with marker? It’s like that. Cute and sexy! Check out the ad here!

I think I’d quite like to try out this mascara and if I do I’ll definitely give it a review! So far I’ve seen it in most drugstores, Superdrug stocks it at about £5.99. Not bad!

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And now for my second piece of news! Recently my friend started a blog – Drew (15) is an upcoming model signed with FM London one of the biggest UK modelling agencies (Top 5). She’s recently been offered a 6-12 month contract with ASOS and has done small photoshoots since late last year with more to come so, although it’s only just beginning with not so much material at the moment, her blog will later most likely be her experiences throughout her modelling career, what she goes through, what she does and at the present time probably loads of her personal life/thoughts. So if you’re interested in this sort of thing have a ‘follow’ of her blog! She’ll be posting more throughout this year and onward. Oh, almost forgot hohoho, she’s also on instagram (@queendrew7) which she updates far more often!

Have a great week guys! Mwah! (:


Korean ‘gummy smile’?

After reading comments on KPOP stars ‘gummy smiles’ on various forums such as ‘I can’t believe they don’t like gummy smiles…’ and ‘Oh this guy criticized Hyosung’s gummy smile too’ I was like ‘wtf is a gummy smile?’ All I could imagine were little Haribo bears under someones top lip – weird I know.

But it turns out it’s exactly what the name suggests. A ‘gummy’ smile. A smile where you show a lot of your gums. Trust Korea to come up with another name for it. Written in Hangul it’s 거미스마일 (geo-mi seu-ma-il) but apparently it can be referred to as 잇몸웃음 (meaning laughter/laughing gums) or 함박웃음 (meaning toothy smile).

Hyosung from Secret (yep again, she’s got everything baby!) has been known to have a gummy smile. And er unfortunately has been criticized for it. Not too harshly but  apparently she was told that “showing your gums excessively like that can actually be a negative for advertisements’.

1hyosungHyosung’s adorable ‘gummy smile’.

Regarding Korea as a whole, I’m certain that this ‘gummy smile’ business isn’t a massive deal across the public, but in media I suppose it can be treated as a small flaw like having a crooked nose that ‘needs’ to be fixed. To be honest, who really cares about ‘gumminess’. It’s a cute asset. But since the KPOP industry most likely rolls with striving for near perfection, of which a ‘gummy smile’ is not, differences will be pointed out if they don’t fit the set image. It’s not a matter of personal opinion really when it comes to this sort of industry which can be both a good and bad thing.

Anyway HALLELUJAH! The definition of a ‘gummy smile’? Showing lots of gum when you smile, ofttt. And  don’t mean the extra mint type. Laters guys! (:


Further tips for pronouncing ㄹ (r/l)

The first post of 2014!! I hope everyone has had a fab New Year either out partying or sat comfy at home and I wish everybody a brilliant 2014. Mwah!

So I thought I’d share something I’ve come across when talking with E. One of his names is ‘Ryeol’. Now obviously the romanization suggests you use the rolling r sound or even, as I thought after listening to him pronounce it, with a more l sound. However he eventually explained that whilst the romanization ‘Ryeol’ is correct, it’s actually prnounced more ‘Nyeol’. That’s right. With an N….whuuuut.

Now obviously this doesn’t apply to every single romanized ㄹ (every single r/l) but I’m going to guess that whenever ㄹ (r/l) is paired with a y then it takes on a more ‘ny’ sound especially when the next letters are ‘eo’ or ‘o’ and/or the last letter pronounced was a ‘ng’ sound (as in runni’NG’)

Pronouncing ‘Ryeol’ as ‘Nyeol’ at first kind of made me go ‘whuuuuu-‘ but then after I said it a couple of times fast ‘Ni’ – ‘uhl’ (a basic example of it broken down into syllables) I found it actually does sound as though there’s a hint of a muted ‘l’ sound in there.

So just a heads up! ㄹ can occasionally take on a ‘n’ sound under certain circumstances. But don’t go round wondering ‘Oh god I don’t DARE try and pronounce this ㄹ what if it’s an N!?’ Just pronounce it as you usually would, as an r/l sound and if it’s more of an ‘n’ sound somebody will correct you. Just listen to other people say whatever word it is and you’ll pick it up. (: