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Showing posts from November, 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…