MUST SEE: Filipino Girl Group Perform Breathtaking “Let it Go” Cover on Korean Show

 

I know, I know. You’re tired of “Let it Go” covers and I don’t blame you. In fact, when this video popped up on my newsfeed, I let out an exasperated sigh with an eye roll on the side. Again? 

But what stopped me from scrolling on was the incredible amount of attention this video was receiving. Koreaboo, a K-Pop entertainment website, posted the video on their Facebook and within 4 hours, the video gained a incredible 30,000 likes and nearly 20,000 shares.  Clearly, there was something different about this cover.

As it turns out, the video features four Pinays who were on Superstar K, a South Korean television talent show series. Trust me when I say this cover blew me away, and I’ve seen quite a handful of “Let it Go” covers.

Go ahead and check it out for yourself. I promise, it’s worth it.

 

Not tired of the Frozen mania? Check out some of our favorite Youtube Covers of “Let it Go” featuring Asian artists!


Jun Ji Hyun’s Skin Secret? The Air Cushion, Korea’s Latest Beauty Innovation

 

When Korean cosmetic brand Dr. Jart+ debuted its BB cream to the U.S. market in 2011, it caused a sensation. Every cosmetic company rushed to put out its own version of BB cream and every alphabetic permutation thereof (CC and DD, anyone?). Now there are BB creams at every price point and in a much wider range of shades. But women in Korea are so beyond BB cream at this point; they’re obsessed with something even better.

Enter the Air Cushion. The first one, Color Control Cushion Compact Broad Spectrum SPF 50+, was introduced by venerable Korean brand AmorePacific last year, but had a limited following. This summer, however, with all eyes on Iope (the Korean cosmetic line was featured prominently in the hit K-drama My Love From the Stars), their Air Cushion XP just exploded.

 

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The Air Cushion solved the problem of having to reapply sunscreen every two to three hours for effectiveness — I mean, who wants to smear on a thick lotion over your foundation or powder in the middle of the day? According to Iope brand manager Song Jin-ah, parent company AmorePacific’s scientists had been researching for a solution to this reapplication problem for years. They were inspired by a “parking stamp” and created a compact with a sponge-like material. Press on the sponge with a special ruby cell puff, which holds 1.6 times more water than a synthetic latex puff, and simply “stamp” (don’t smear or rub) on the liquid sunscreen onto your face, on top of your makeup. Since it’s tinted, the product blends in even if you already have foundation or powder on. And a bonus: the Air Cushion imparts a perfectly mul gwang (“water sheen complexion” — that chok chok wet look Korean stars favor) look with one application.

And don’t think that just because the Air Cushion is a liquid that it’s less effective or protective than a heavy lotion. According to Song, existing sunscreens were either a “water-in-oil type,” which helped them last and resist sweat and water, but felt heavy and sticky, or “oil-in water type,” which are “much lighter, but have less durability.” What AmorePacific and Iope did was create a “freshwater-in-oil-type” sunscreen for both durability and a lighter feel. 

 

 

All I know is that when our Korean art director raved about it, I had to run out and get one to try it out for myself. It truly is a skin saver — no more worrying about midday or commute-home sun exposure! (It even works brilliantly on top of powder foundation — who wouldathunk?) And with dermatologists insisting that the one thing every single person must do for their skin is wear sunscreen every single day, 365 days a year, the Air Cushion could not have come at a better time.

Though Iope Air Cushion is only currently available at Korean cosmetic boutiques in Koreatown or through smaller sites on Amazon, you can get AmorePacific (they are Iope’s parent company, after all) Cushion Compact at Sephora ($60). For a less expensive alternative, Korean line Laneige, which just debuted in the States this spring, has their own BB Cushion ($34), available at Target.

 

 

Video of the Day: Korean Children Taste Warheads Sour Candy For The First Time

 

An English teacher in Korea thought he could make a fun video by introducing his students to Warheads, those disc-shaped candies sour enough to make your eyelids twitch and ears tingle. It worked. Their reactions are gold.

 

 

— STORY BY MICHELLE WOO

 

This story was originally published on iamkoream.com 

 

 

TOKiMONSTA On Being A Female DJ In A Male-Dominated Industry

Just as she steps onto the red carpet to pose for a row of photographers, what had been a light sprinkle suddenly turns into a downpour. A member of the press rushes to grab an umbrella, but TOKiMONSTA, one of the four stars being celebrated that night for the premiere of the Mnet America reality show Alpha Girls, laughs and says, “Good thing I have this hat on.” A black fur-trimmed hat sits atop her shock of blond hair — she’s been known to experiment with color over the years, mixing blues and purples at one point — and though a pair of oversized black shades cover 50 percent of her face, TOKiMONSTA stands out. It’s a part of a life she’s become used to, especially now that she’s one of the few well-known Asian American female DJs in the music industry.

Jennifer Lee, better known by her aforementioned stage name, has risen to the forefront of the electronic dance music scene with two albums, a number of EPs and high-profile appearances at festivals like Coachella and SXSW. The Torrance, Calif., native, who is of Korean descent, was ranked by LA Weekly as L.A.’s top female DJ in 2010 and was a part of the Full Flex Express Tour in 2012 that had her performing alongside electronic music gods Skrillex and Diplo. Not too shabby for a girl who began producing music in her college dorm while studying business at the University of California, Irvine.

In a crowded L.A. beat scene, Lee’s music stands out, like the recently remastered “The World Is Ours,” with its softer, chiller beats (it’s the stuff midnight dreams are made of). But what also makes Lee unique is her success in an industry that has always been dominated by males, and non-Asian males at that. It’s what made her the perfect candidate for the Asian pop culture channel Mnet America’s new web reality series, Alpha Girls.

Alpha Girls, which premiered in February, follows Lee, Korean artist and illustrator Mina Kwon, Korean American supermodel Soo Joo Park and Filipina American fashion designer Lanie Alabanza-Barcena in a series documenting their journeys in the worlds of art, music and fashion. “I joined [the show] because I loved the idea behind it,” says Lee of her Alpha Girl status. “Alpha Girls shows the rest of America that, hey, Asians can choose careers outside of the medical field, and they can still be successful.”

TOKiMONSTA (Jennifer Lee)

Lee’s segment on Alpha Girls follows her as she takes South Korea by storm, performing in her motherland for the first time. She jets around the country in stylish streetwear and looks completely at ease performing in the middle of jam-packed, ear-numbing clubs. “It was scary because I didn’t know whether Korean audiences would be used to my music,” she says, “but I ended up having a blast. I hope girls can watch this show and see us all doing our thing and know that they can succeed at whatever they want to. I didn’t discover the underground scene until college, and now here I am in Korea playing my own music!”

Catch full webisodes of Alpha Girls on Mnet America’s YouTube channel or at alphagirlstv.com. 

 

–Story by Taylor Weik

This story was originally published in our Summer 2014 issue. Get your copy here

 

ASIAN STREET STYLE: Seoul’s Oversized Clutch Trend

With the ever-changing size of our phones and tablets after every new product launch, the usually chic and easy to carry cross body bags aren’t always up for the challenge of holding everything we need for our daily commutes.  Browsing through Seoul’s current streetwear trends, we find that oversized clutches are becoming a staple in a fast paced society.

When we think of “oversized,” we tend to assume bulky, but these street style fashionistas show us how they mold their accessories into a streamlined and sleek look which allows for timeless appeal while fitting the current trends for both women and men. Yes, you read that correctly– even men can pull off oversized clutches. And who better to follow than men in Seoul? After all, they are the leading trendsetters in men’s fashion worldwide, especially in America.

As you can see, this accessory can be paired with multiple looks and outfits. We love how each fashionista [in the picture above] kept to a neutral palette in their choice of color.  Neutrals are always safe for any outfit or event—work or play.

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Photo courtesy of sol-sol-street.tumblr.com

 

Falling in love with this trend?  Take a peek below at some of our favorite finds that we can’t wait to add to our handbag and accessories collection.  We found three gorgeous clutches from budget-friendly to investment worthy for any type of shopping pursuit!

 


 

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Natural-toned geometrics and texture give this BCBGMAXAZRIA envelope clutch a stylish edge to help play up more minimalist outfits.  With a budget-friendly price tag, this piece should definitely be considered for your handbag selection.

Measurements: 8” Height x 11” Width x 1” Depth
Available at: Lord and Taylor Stores and Online for $118.00


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Reece Hudson’s Bowery Oversized Clutch boasts beautiful embossed panels of quilted leather, cotton lining and pockets to hold anything in a fitting combination of luxury and urban.  We highly suggest you browse through Hudson’s clutch designs and see why she earned a spot in the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s Fashion Incubator Program.

Measurements: 9” Height x 15” Width x 1” Depth
Available at: Barneys New York Stores and Online for $695


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Talk about gorgeous details! The Row’s oversized clutch is made of smooth, black calfskin with woven paneling in a modern, yet classic feel.  This is definitely an investment-worthy piece that can be loved season to season beyond vintage status.

 

 Measurements: 10.5” Height x 15” Width
Available at: Farfetch.com for $2900.00


-Story by Min A. Lee

Feature Photo courtesy of kstreetstyle.tumblr.com

 

MUST-TRY Korean Beauty Trend: Ombre/Gradient Lips

Already tired of ombre hair and ombre nails? Don’t give up on the ombre craze just yet! This summer, we’re encouraging all of our readers to try out the growing Korean beauty trend, ombre lips. We know what you’re thinking– this just looks like someone who ate a cherry popsicle. But trust us when we say there is much more to this look than what meets the eye. In fact, a quick glance at these celebs may have you convinced soon enough.

Ombre lips, also known at gradient lips, has been a popular look in Korea for years. It picked up tons of fans when a few members of Girls’ Generation used the look for their “I Got A Boy” music video back in 2012.

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SNSD’s “I Got A Boy” Concept.

Since then, gradient lips have popped up everywhere in Korean pop culture. Actress Yoon Eun Hye rocked the look in the popular drama “I Miss You” and more recently, actress Han Ji Min took part in a stunning photo shoot for Elle Korea where she showed off her (you guessed it) gradient lips. 

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Yoon Eun Hye in “I Miss You”

Han Ji Min for Elle Korea

Han Ji Min for Elle Korea

There are a number of reasons this look picked up popularity. Blogger Wengie points out that gradient lips creates small and innocent, doll-like features which fits perfectly with Korea’s “cute” obsession. On the other hand, others point out that a deeper shade of red on the inner lip has the opposite effect. Lips can then achieve the “just-bitten” sexy look.

Clearly, gradient lips can work for all sorts of faces and can quickly transition from innocent to sexy depending on your mood.

So how exactly does one achieve ombre lips? Luckily for you, gradient lips are quite simple:

 

 


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STEP 1: Go nude! (Well, just your lips.) Apply nude lipstick onto all of your lips. You can also use concealer or foundation to get the desired shade.

 

 

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STEP 2: Apply red or pink lipstick to the inner portion of your lips. You may reapply the color until you reach your desired shade.

 

 

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STEP 3: Blend outwards by dabbing it with your finger or smacking your lips together. Be sure to keep the color on just the inner portion of your lips to achieve the gradient look.

 

 

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STEP 3: Move away from innocent to sexy by emphasizing the umph– I mean, the color. Add a lip tint to your inner lip once again.

 

 

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STEP 4: Apply lip balm to the outer edge of your lips.

 

 

And that’s it!

Check out the video tutorial below for a better look at how it’s done with various shades.

Trending in Korea: The Makeup Hotel

 

Korea’s the country known for its pink women-only parking spaces (though China now also has them), so it’s no surprise that the next evolution in female specific amenities now include the so-called makeup hotel.

First, some background.

When you’re visiting Seoul, and it’s cosmetics and skincare that you want, you devote a day to shopping in Myeongdong. Located in a historic section of Seoul, Myeongdong is a makeup lover’s paradise, with store after store of Korean cosmetics brands from the mainstream (Missha, Etude, Skinfood) to perhaps the lesser known (Baviphat, Tonymoly) to the cool (Too Cool For School). It’s almost always crowded with women in groups of threes or fours, loaded down with shopping bags, rabidly speaking in Chinese or Japanese. Add to the cacophony saleswomen in front of every store, calling out in (bad) Chinese or Japanese (and the occasional English), waving a free sample sheet mask, and you’ve got a perfect picture of Myeongdong.

One hotel has taken advantage of its location in the bustling shopping district and one-upped everyone else: The Hotel Skypark Myeongdong’s new women-only floors. Not only are these floors exclusive to female guests, they’re decorated either in a dollhouse theme or like a log cabin in the woods. In the dollhouse floor, the rooms are Malibu Barbie-pink and filled to the brim with chandeliers, tufted pink furniture and flowery wall decals that say “Princess” or “Play House.”

 

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And it’s not just the decor. Instead of the usual cheap-y, travel size shampoo and shower gel, you can avail yourself of an array of full-size lotions and creams from well-known Korean brands. And you don’t get a mint on your pillow at turn down; instead you are greeted with best-selling sheet masks and palettes of eyeshadow.

Oh, but the pink madness doesn’t stop there. Sure, the log cabin women-only floor, designed in collaboration with Korean brand The Face Shop, offers a more nature-inspired experience, with pale green and brown tones, eco-friendly furnishings and organic fabrics. But the rest of the public spaces in the hotel are littered with too-cute little vanities filled with makeup by Etude House, one of Korea’s top-selling makeup brands (and known for their over-the-top princess design). Just think of it as a Sephora-meets-Holiday Inn.

More photos below.

 

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Korean Golfer Ignores Suggestion to Get Plastic Surgery, Wins 16 Golf Tournaments Instead

We’ve all heard stories of models and actresses who have to deal with the sometimes unattainable expectation to be beautiful all the time, but now it appears that this expectation of beauty is expanding to the sports world. Apparently, even some athletes are now facing the pressure to be beautiful. At least that’s what it seems to be in the case of 26-year-old Korean golfer, Ahn Sun-ju.

After winning 16 tournaments and accruing nearly $5 million in prize money since 2010, Ahn has climbed her way upward and has become the top female golfer in Japan. Clearly, this is an extraordinary achievement, but it left sports columnist Lee Young-mi with questions. Namely, why was she not striving to be the best golfer in Korea?

Unfortunately, her responses to his interview questions were disheartening to say the least. Simply put, her physical appearance held her back.

“Some (potential Korean) sponsors even demanded I get plastic surgery,” she said in the article. “Companies did not consider me as a golf athlete, only that I was a woman. It mattered most to them was whether my appearance was marketable [sic]. I was deeply hurt by that.”

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The Korea Times points out that she won six tournaments in Korea, but still struggled to find a corporate sponsor. Is it really because she wasn’t pretty enough? She thinks so. During the interview, Ahn acknowledged that she doesn’t fit the stereotypical definition of “sexy” (why does that even matter?) but would not let that hinder her from playing golf. Instead, she turned to Japan.

“Japanese companies, on the other hand, focused on my ability as a golfer,” Ahn explained. “They are more concerned about my performance and how I treat my fans. I am being sponsored by six Japanese companies, including a clothing brand.”

Can we say for certain that Ahn’s decision to move to JLPGA was due to Korea’s inability to accept her physical appearance? Absolutely not. She may have just dealt with a sour company’s opinion and we certainly shouldn’t assume that the KLPGA puts those expectations on their players.

What we do know is that Ahn endured a horrible experience of someone telling her she wasn’t pretty enough. What’s even worse is the realization that we, too — sometimes not even aware of it — are told the same thing.

Many of us, especially women, are pressured on a daily basis as hundreds of advertisements tell us there’s room for improvement. That of course confirms the message we’ve grown up with our entire lives: we’re never enough and our imperfections need to be fixed. The pressure to be beautiful certainly occurs worldwide, but some countries, such as Korea, have begun to build a reputation for beauty, a reputation maybe they feel they must keep. Many people have now correlated Korea’s high beauty standards to their equally high plastic surgery rates. After all, how else is one supposed to keep up with such extreme pressure and expectations?

We may never know the details behind Ahn Sun-ju’s unfortunate experience. Nonetheless, it is safe to say that we admire her. She quickly understood that her worth was measured in her talent, not in her external beauty. Besides, last we checked, beauty never won golf tournaments. Good for you, girl.

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(Source)

New Plus-Size Fashion Magazine Launches in South Korea

Story by Michelle Woo. 

In the swarm of headlines about extreme dieting, undernourishment, slimming products and image-obsession in South Korea, here’s something that makes us scream, “AT LAST!” A new plus-size fashion magazine has launched in Seoul. Its goal is to promote healthy body images and help women accept themselves no matter what their size.

66100 is the brainchild of Vivian Kim (who goes by Kim Ji-yang in Korea), the first Korean model to debut at Full Figured Fashion Week in Los Angeles. Size 66 is the Korean equivalent of women’s XL in the United States. “100″ refers to large clothes for men.

Kim, who is 5-foot-5 and 154 pounds, told Korea Times that it’s hard finding plus-size women in Korea who feel confident enough to be featured in a magazine, but she hopes that the publication will open up a new market and encourage clothing companies to cater to different body types. She says Korean women don’t feel as stressed out while shopping in the U.S. simply because there are more sizes available.

Using her personal savings, Kim printed 1,000 copies of the first edition of 61000, and so far, it’s been well-received.

“Beauty is not about whether a person is fat or not,” her motto states. “It’s about having the confidence to know you are beautiful the way you are.”

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This story was originally published in iamkoream.com

“Grandma in Her 20′s” Gets Her Youth Back

 

The debate of the day is (once again) plastic surgery.

There are those who do not condone plastic surgery despite it’s all-time high rates in Asia and there are those who believe altering one’s appearance through surgery is the same as altering one’s appearance through make up.

Well this is finally a plastic surgery case that may gather the support of both parties. In fact, many people who disapprove of plastic surgery have admitted to understanding this particular case.

 

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It was nearly impossible to correctly guess the age of 28-year-old Moon Young Sun. Going against the Asian stereotype which says Asian women are all blessed with eternally youthful looks, Sun Young has already been mistaken for as a grandma numerous times and has even gained the nickname “Grandma in her 20′s.”

Many have associated her old appearance to her difficult, poverty-stricken life. That certainly played a factor to her teeth which were noticeably rotting because she could never afford dentistry work.

Recently, Sun Young made an appearance on “Let’s Beauty.” You may remember this Korean television program as the show that made a pair of twins completely unrecognizable. The purpose of this show is to “help those with special circumstances or people who are too ugly to feel confident in their life.” The participant facing “special circumstances” will have their plastic surgery sponsored by the television program and audiences follow along during the transformation.

Sun Young went through a number of procedures to change her face and, most importantly, her teeth. The total amount of procedures were estimated to be around $100,000.

Since her appearance on the show, Sun Young’s story has been going viral. Many people seem to agree that the work she received was much more meaningful than someone simply wishing to look prettier.

“She certainly deserved the help she received, (especially) for her teeth, at the age of 29 she almost didn’t have any upper teeth left, that must have been really hard for her!” says an allkpop commenter.

In addition to a prettier appearance, many people are pointing out the various health hazards that come along with rotting teeth and how surgery is beneficial if used to tackle these health risks. Others have pointed out that this will help her issue of bullying which can very seriously affect someone’s emotional and mental state.



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