Skincare in Korea!

super aquasis

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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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! 🙂


Want to get to know that country more? Ask for a vlog!

Sometimes it can be difficult to get to know Japan or Korea more without actually being there. I mean there’s only so much you can learn through reading online! Even some online bloggers can only show so much of the city they’re in. The purpose of the video may not be to show you the city and even if it is it may be sped up or muted with background music or just a quick flick around a shopping centre nearby or something.

My Korean friend E eventually asked ‘Hey! Can you video your city for me!’ So E and I decided to send each other a vlog of our town/city! I’ve gone round Leeds as I went out with my friend today anyway and I took some footage of us walking round the city centre and in and out of some places we went to find somewhere to eat, we strolled around Trinity and around the side streets whilst I talked through where we were going. I actually had to separate my footage because Leeds was too big to vlog the whole thing from a camera with about 10 minutes of recording left in it but it was enough to capture ALOT. E is sending me some footage of his hometown, which isn’t in Seoul and is in fact quite a small area. I think it’s important to capture life outside of the capital of a country as well. It helps to paint the whole picture. (:

So why not ask your friend to vlog a little bit and send it your way? Of course don’t make friends with someone just for this reason, but if you have a friend who can ask for a couple of minutes. It’s not always necessary to talk, E is too shy to speak English as people will most likely stare since it’s only a small town. But it’s easy for me to, in fact nobody gave a damn in Leeds, people just walked straight past!

SO BOOM! Just a little suggestion. And if I don’t blog tomorrow I hope eveyrone has a FABULOUS New Year and I hope it all goes amazing for you! Mwah! (:


Korea’s face lines!

*TO FIND A PARTICULAR LINE QUICKLY: To jump to a certain point simply press Ctrl+f and type in EGG LINE etc.*

So the last post was one Korea’s body shapes/lines and, like I said, this one will be about Korea’s face shapes/lines! In alphabetical order here we go!

The EGG LINE: This is from a front view of a face and describes an egg shaped face. An oval or rounder face shape has apparently been becoming more desirable in the past few years more than the triangular V-line shape. Both vying for dominance here! Yoona from SNSD is known to have the ‘perfect egg-line’.

yoona snsd

The S LINE: From a profile view (side view) this is a line that is drawn from the top of the forehead down the bridge of the nose to the tip. If this results in an S shape, the face is in good proportion.

profile view

The V LINE: This is the shape of the jaw and chin and is the most popular Korean face line known overseas. A pointed chin swooping straight back in a V shape to the ears. Jenna Marbles is a good example of the V line and you’ll see many KPOP idols getting photo-shopped to achieve the V shape. Surgery is also available to achieve this specific look as well such as jaw shaving and chin and cheek bone reduction.

jennamarbles

The 1/8 LINE: In Korean, 8 Deung-shin. This line describes a face so small it only accounts for 1/8 of the body. Whether this is attractive or not is not clear however, it is known that Korea tends to find small faces attractive.

So yep, Korean face shapes/lines! Again not everyone in Korea will know of all of these but this list contains all the ones known so far. BOOM!


Korea’s body lines!

*TO FIND A PARTICULAR LINE QUICKLY: This post may be quite long so to jump to a certain point simply press Ctrl+f and type in S LINE etc. Keep in mind some may not have LINE in the title and some may not necessarily be lines as such, however they are all to do with the body*

If you’re reading this post you’re probably already aware that Korea has many names for many types of body shapes whether they are considered attractive or not! But if you didn’t already know this then WELCOME and now you know! This post is simply for BODY shapes not face shapes, simply because the post may get too long so I will definitely make a post on face shapes as well. So in alphabetical order here they are!

The B LINE- This line refers to big boobs but also a big abdomen. The letter depicts a side image of someones body and obviously the first curve of the letter B is the boobs and the second curve is the stomach. Generally concerned with more overweight women.

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The BEER BOTTLE LINE – This line refers to the front view of either a man or a woman with narrow or dropped shoulder and overall chubbiness, similar to the shape of a beer bottle.

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CHOCOLATE ABS – This phrase refers to chiseled abs on a man, imagine a chocolate bar, the little squares supposedly look similar to chiseled abs! You’ll hear a lot about male Korean celebrities showing off their chocolate abs, it’s considered very attractive.

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The D LINE- Again viewed from the side, this letter depicts an abdomen that appears to be due to pregnancy.

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HONEY THIGHS – This phrase refers to very smooth skin over the female thigh. It’s compared to honey because, well, honey is smooth! Basically the opposite of cottage cheese/cellulite.

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The JAR LINE – This line refers to lack of any sort of waist and more of a square sort of figure. Imagine a jam jar!

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The M LINE – For this line it’s better to imagine a digital m shape rather than a capitalized M shape although one may be easier to imagine than the other, takes all kinds! This line supposedly depicts a 6 pack of abdominal muscles on men.

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The O LINE – Basically this line refers to general obesity! Could be depicting an overweight body shape from the front or back.

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The S LINE– The most desired ‘line’. This body line is all about an equal balance of boob and booty, picture a side view of someone. The curve around the boobs moves to curve around the bum creating an S shape. Hyosung from Secret is known for her curves and has been noted as an idol possessing an  s-line due to her hourglass figure.

hyunsong secret s line

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The U LINE – This line refers to the exposure of a woman’s back in low cut clothing. Think of a top where the back drapes downwards like this:

low cut top back

The exposure of the back forms a U shape. This line seems to be more about fashion than an actual body shape.

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The V LINE – This line refers to the shape of the cleavage of a woman’s breasts possibly seen when wearing a low cut top/shirt. However this is probably uncommon as low cut tops are not necessarily worn or accepted to be worn in public often.

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The W LINE – This line is said to be the image of a woman’s breasts from the front. Not much else to say really, could be during nudity or when wearing a low cut top/shirt!

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The X LINE – This shape is seen from the front view of someones body. Now the X LINE can either be

long arms and long legs (this is the most used definition) or big chest and wide hips

paired with a small waist.

The X line is becoming more popular than the S line nowadays as Korean fashion regarding body types is slowly becoming more interested in curves rather than stick thin. A balanced body is becoming much more popular!

xlineyoonah(Yoona from SNSD is known for her tiny waist and lean figure)

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The 8 LINE – Similar to the S line but paired with a small waist.

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So these are all the body lines and phrases used to describe a shape or certain image. There’s a mix of what is considered attractive and not attractive and please bear in mind that not every Korean will be aware of every single one of these lines, then again some may well be! If anyone has any other legit body lines in Korea feel free to comment and let me know!

Up next later on, Korean face lines!


(neun)는 and (eun)은 and (reul)를 and (eul)을 – not as hard to remember as you think!

I’m going to debunk the assumption that learning the markers/particles in Korean is hard. Specifically when to use neun, eun, reul and eul.

Some of you reading this might wonder why I’m talking about something that’s so easy to get over but a lot of people have a hard time trying to understand WHY there are two different words/markers that mean EXACTLY the same thing but are used in different circumstances. Neun/eun goes after the subject of a sentence and reul/eul goes after the object. Neun and reul are to be used when the last letter you pronounced was a vowel and eun and eul are to be used when the last letter you pronounced was a consonant.

The circumstances you think you have to remember? Forget about them. It’s not a certain situation, it’s not a complicated reason, it’s simply the way you speak. What I mean by this is basically the natural way your mouth moves from pronouncing one letter to another and neun/eun,/reul/eul are there to make this as easy for your mouth as possible. This is not a new thing. This is not unique to Korea. WE HAVE IT IN ENGLISH!

Look at the words ‘a’ and ‘an’. Think about it. They mean the same thing. For example; ‘I stroked a cat’ and ‘I stroked an animal’.

A = the next letter you pronounce will be a consonant

An = the next letter you pronounce will be a vowel

If we said ‘I stroked an cat’ it wouldn’t make sense and our tongue feels a little forced when we try to say it. If we said ‘I stroked a animal’ it sounds a bit awkward doesn’t it? In the same way ‘a’ and ‘an’ are there to make our speech smoother neun/eun and reul/eul are there to make our speech flow.

It is definitely nowhere near as complex as you might think, if you’ve been practicing simple Korean sentences try saying ‘jeo neun namja ida’ 저는 남자 이다(I am a man) or ‘jeo neun yeoja ida’ 저는 여자 이다 (I am a woman).

*If you’re not sure how to pronounce the ‘eo’ sound watch this. To get to the pronunciation of ‘eo’ skip to 6:44, sweetandtasty is brilliant and I highly recommend watching her to understand Korean culture, pronunciation, reading and writing and expanding your vocabulary.*

As you can see once you get a bit faster at saying the sentence is feel comfortable and natural to slip into ‘neun’ right after saying ‘jeo’. Jeo neun, jeo neun ahhhhh so nice. This is why I love Korean language, it’s so flowy. (:

Eun example –  ‘jae i reum eun (your name) imnida’ 제 이 름 은 (your name) 입 니 다 (My name is—)  – reum eun, reum eun, reum eun…sounds a little like ramen but with a weird accent!

reul – just say ‘na reul’ 나를 (me)

eul – just try ‘jib eul’ 집을 (house)

How easily do they just roll of your tongue! So good, it comes naturally I promise. Try saying it wrong. Like’ reum neun’. It sounds uncomfortable. whereas ‘reum eun’ is much more comfy. Just like’ a cat’ and ‘an animal’ is to us English speakers.

So BOOM. Definitely not as hard to get your head round as you might think!Hope that helped you a little if you were struggling! 제 이 름 은 Lily 입 니 다 and I am OFF! (:


Eating live seafood- what’s it like?

eating lvie seafood

I’ve always been curious about eating live seafood like octopus and squid, how do you eat it? What does it taste like? Is it freaky? So I asked my friends from Korea and Japan about eating live seafood and they told me quite a bit actually. Some replies were online so I have had to edit the text a little and some I received in person. All of them have tried live seafood at least once in their life, this is what they told me!

I talked to my friend Yui from Japan about seafood and she asked me if I’d eaten octopus (cooked) before. I said I hadn’t and that it looked a bit scary and she said it’s good but it “only looks bad!” She said there’s also たこのおどりぐい (Tako no odori gui) which means literally ‘octopus that’s dancing food’ and that there are few people who challenge themselves to eat it. I asked her to elaborate on eating live seafood a bit more and she explained to me (in Japanese).

“There are mainly living octopus and squid/cuttlefish, shrimp/prawn/lobster etc and the these things you eat are called odorigui, dancing food! Say, octopus, you eat it’s leg in thin broiled seaweed in case it starts shaking. When I eat the moving octopus it sticks to my mouth.”

Another Japanese friend of mine, who will go by the name Rice, explained that he had eaten live seafood but couldn’t remember in detail as he was very young. He did explain that “we call that odorigui. Odori means dance and gui means food so food dances in your mouth when you are eating it!”

I asked my friend from Korea, Jungwon, what she thought of eating live seafood and she said: “OH YEAH! It is delicious when we eat that with 초장(Chojang).”

Chojang is a special sweet and spicy red-chilli pepper sauce.

“I didnt like it when I was young, but maybe I am being old…hahaha.  It just feels somewhat good when we are chewing that. And I use many sauce so I can feel just sauce!! But finally, it is delicious *.*”

Finally, my other friend from Korea, J.W, elaborated nicely after I asked him if he’s eaten live seafood before. “Yes I’ve eaten a live piece of small octopus. I’m not that into it though.” How does it taste? “Well it doesn’t taste bad because you have it with some sesame oil that has some salt in it so it tastes aromatic. You have it on a plate, yes it’s hard to chew but they
are served to be cut into small pieces so that you can eat them smoothly.”

Here I got a little confuzzled because he said it’s cut into small pieces and so I assumed after it’s been cut up it would be dead. Apparently not.

“Ahhhh it’s still alive but you know what? It means fresh, and when you chew in your mouth its almost gone. You don’t have to worry about it at all lol just very small pieces you’d swallow.”

Are there lots of places to eat live seafood in Korea?

“Yeah there are some but not everywhere on the street lol eating live octopus is somewhat common here but it doesn’t mean we love it. On the other hand there are also some koreans who cant handle it.”

Nice.

So I guess summarised, in Japan it’s slightly less common to eat moving seafood than it is in Korea, but that does not mean it’s rare, good GOD no. Both countries have different styles of serving and eating and I suppose Korea is more on the hot and spicy side of the sauce than the cool seaweed in Japan. But who knows! It’s not like I’ve interviewed the whole population, in fact I probably could have done with a few more opinions, so this is not a generalized summary it’s just based on my friends experiences. If I hear of any more from other friends I will add it to this post and share it in an update. 🙂 Later guys!

(You can find tons of videos of people eating live seafood on youtube so check it out!)