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Showing posts from 2014

South Korean Beauty Products: Face Mask Sheets

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I've never had the patience or knowledge of beauty products to have a very extensive makeup routine. (Yet I'm sure that my appearance could benefit greatly from some expertise in this area). I don't wear makeup on a daily basis. I've been told repeatedly by my Korean co-workers that I look tired, have dark circles under my eyes, etc. etc. etc. I woke up like thisssss (my apologies). Meh. After having coffee at my desk, I'll generally doodle some eyeliner on before first period.

In Korea, stores dedicated to skincare, makeup, and beauty dominate the streets such as Olive Young (my absolute favorite) The Face Shop, Nature Republic, Tony Moly, Etude House, Innisfree, and Aritaum. Spending time in these stores and familiarizing myself with their products made me feel overwhelmed and intrigued by the multitude of cosmetics available.

Let's take a moment to acknowledge the incredible store that is Olive Young. Where else can you buy a hair straightener, vitamin gumm…

Surgical Masks and Toxic Smog in South Korea

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Surgical Masks: What are they good for? (Absolutely nothing?) Depends on who you ask...
Many Westerners are unfamiliar with the habit of wearing surgical masks, and may even be internally alarmed at the sight of people wearing them in public. (Admit it!) On a recent flight home from Korea, I wore a surgical mask along with (borderline obnoxious) sunglasses during the long flight from Seoul to Vancouver. No one commented on my appearance. Once I boarded my next flight from Vancouver to Newark, I was met with apprehensive stares by other passengers. Honestly I was also surprised to see them: With the brief exception of a 2 week stint home between my teaching contracts, this was the largest group of white people I had seen in 2 years.

As I made my way to my seat like a zombie, a woman in front of me asked (loudly):"I hope we don't have to worry about that?" There was a long pause as I realized when she said "that", she was talking about me and my mask. "It…

5 Days in Tokyo

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When I landed in Tokyo I was totally burned-out. I had just finished my teaching contract in Korea less than 48 hours prior and was also trying to pack up for my trip back to America. I'd love to return to Japan and explore other cities: Osaka and Kyoto particularly. I'd also love to visit Taiji, (the tiny town made infamous for their dolphin slaughter) to document the annual dolphin drive.

Alas, in April 2014, I had only 5 days in Tokyo, at the Sakura Fleur Aoyama which I discussed in the previous entry.

So, what do you do when you're exhausted and alone in Tokyo?

Highlights of 5 Days in Tokyo, in pictures:
Harajuku: a crowded tweeny cotton-candy wonderland. This storefront was the site of that heinous Avril Lavigne video ::puke:: Why do I even know that?
Harajuku Takeshita-dori street lolz nice name.
Wandered into this side-street containing tiny, run-down bars near Shibuya.  (* This is not the famous Golden Gai, but a similar area taking up ~2 blocks)
Beautiful, peaceful …

5 Days in Tokyo: Sakura Fleur Aoyama Hotel Review

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Sakura Fleur Aoyama
Address: 2-14-15 Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0002, Japan

I booked my trip through Japanican and everything went smoothly. I only booked a few weeks in advance, as this trip was pretty last minute on my part. I would use Japanican again. This trip, (which I took back in April of this year) marked my first time in Japan and I was also traveling alone. I'm happy to report that I felt super safe in Tokyo and in the hotel. ^^

Why Shibuya? Truthfully, I am not very knowledgable about Japan. The memory of a particular scene from "Lost in Translation" was one of my only data points for deciding where to book in Tokyo....which I'm only slightly embarrassed to admit.
SCENE:  [ Scarlett Johansson....silence....blank stare.....white umbrella...raindrops....digital brontosaurus.....] #MostEmotionalPedestrianCrosswalk#whereisbillmurray #somanyfeels

As I learned from the director commentary on the Lost in Translation DVD (yeah I love that stuff) that they shot this scene ill…