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.



(source)

 

Get That Look: Seoul Fashion Week Street Fashion

Seoul Fashion Week for Fall and Winter of 2014 was hosted at Dongdaemun Design Plaza. With the crowds of people, all the best fashion trends were captured.

 


Floral Pattern

Bold, bright patterns are always on the lookout for a fashion trend, and floral is no exception.

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Floral Wraparound Kimono ($19.95)

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Mirrored Sunglasses

Sunglasses are the perfect accessory, and mirrored ones help bring life to any outfit.

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Quay Mirror Mirror Shades ($40)

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Color-matching

Wearing different shades of just one color instantly catches people’s eye.

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Sheer Maxi Skirt ($29.99)

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Straight Cut Coat ($139)

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After Living in South Korea, A Brazilian Man Gets Plastic Surgery to Look More Korean

Story by Michelle Woo. 

A Brazilian man has undergone plastic surgery in order to look more Korean. The results are exactly the same as whenever an Asian person goes under the knife to look more white: weird and cringe-worthy.

Brazilian television station RBS TV reports that a 25-year-old model has had 10 surgical procedures on his eyes to achieve an Asian appearance. Originally blonde and blue-eyed, the man who goes by “Xiahn” became fascinated by plastic surgery while studying in South Korea as a foreign exchange student. “Koreans have many surgeries to modify the shape of their eyes and become more like Westerners,” he said. “It was easy to tell when one of them had done it, walking on the street wearing sunglasses and a surgical mask.” Cosmetic procedures are so prevalent in the country that some hospitals offer “plastic surgery certificates” to help patients get through immigration since they often look nothing like their passport photos.

Xiahn’s mother was concerned that the surgeries would cause vision problems but he assured her otherwise. “As much as the size of the eye has decreased somewhat, I can see normally,” he said. Apparently, he has no regrets about the procedures. “I believe I have only one life and if I cannot be who I want now, I will never be able to,” he explained.

And the world has strangely shifted.

This story was originally published on iamkoream.com.
H/T The Korea Herald
Photo via RBS TV 

Beautybox : The Most-Wanted Korean Cosmetics Delivered to Your Doorstep

Have you ever wanted to try new products without buying the full size bottle? Are you looking for the most trusted and best-loved Korean beauty products, but you have no idea how to get a hold of them? Well it sounds like it’s time for you to try out a beautybox.

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The beauty box by Memebox brings together products that are sourced, packaged and shipped directly from Korea.

“There are couple of reasons behind this,” The Memebox website explains. “Firstly, we want to make sure that you get the widest choice of products, and that means not limiting ourselves to a small warehouse outside of Korea. Secondly, beauty trends evolve incredibly rapidly, and shipping directly from Korea allows us to stay on top of that.”

The best part about this is all variation between the different beauty boxes. For instance the original Memebox ($23) contains 4-8 full sized products and deluxe samples that vary from hair and body products, to skin care and cosmetics. That’s right, you get to choose specifically what type of beauty products you’re looking for.

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There are special edition boxes that focus on masks ($23), scents ($15), or colors ($15).

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Additionally, there is the Superbox which contains full-sized products and the Luckybox which combines the most popular items selected from previously sold-out Memeboxes. There are even boxes for men ($29).

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18 of Asia’s Most Bizarre Products & Trends

Everyday, it seems as if we come across products, trends and even holidays from Asia that gets us quite confused. From fuzzy-hair stockings to an actual single awareness day, Asia never seems short of these bizarre creations. Check out our list of 18 of Asia’s Most Bizarre Products & Trends below. Weird or awesome? You be the judge.


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1) The “Liberation Wrapper”
“For years, Japanese culture has encouraged women to strive for “ochobo” which is described as small and modest mouths… [The liberation wrapper] is a large burger wrapper with the image of a women’s face. The wrapper is meant to hide women as they take a big bite of their burger and maintain the appearance of ochobo.” Read the full story here.


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2) Finger Trap Beauty Test
“The concept is simple: Touch the side of your index finger to both the tip of your nose and your chin. If your lips don’t touch your finger, congratulations! You’re pretty! If they do, well, er … there’s always Photoshop?” Read the full story here. 


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3) Surgical Masks
“Apparently, there are 5 main reasons for the popular mask trend: for health purposes, to avoid social awkwardness, for warmth, for the lazy and in the name of fashion.” Read the full story here. 


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4) Black Day: Korea’s Single Awareness Day 
“As you may have guessed, Black Day is practically the opposite of [Valentine's Day and White Day]. This is a day is for those who did not receive gifts on Valentines Day or White Day. Yup, this unofficial holiday is for single people.” Read the full story here. 


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5) Double Eyelid Training Glasses
“The glasses are a non-surgical option to create the illusion of a double eyelid. The Eyelid Trainer is worn like any other pair of glasses. Apparently, 5 minutes a day with this contraption will give you the double eyelids you desire. ” Read full story here. 


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6) Tokyo Street Fashion 
“While many people find popular Japanese fashion styles such as Harajuku and Lolita confusing, New York-based photographer Thomas C. Card was intrigued by the street fashion that he spent months in Japan to document the various styles.” Read the full story here. 


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7) Edible iPhone Case
“The Survival Senbei Rice Cracker iPhone 5 Cover is handmade by “Mariko” using only brown rice and salt. For $64, you can have a phone cover that doubles as a tasty snack in case of an emergency.” Read the full story here. 


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8) Cosplay Graduation
“But the Kanazawa College of Art is not like other colleges. Graduates are apparently allowed to wear absolutely whatever they would like. So what happens when Japanese students have no dresscode for graduation? Some of the best cosplay ever.” Read the full story here.


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9) The Virtual Girlfriend
“Thousands of men and women of all ages have been captivated by this real life dating simulator which offers three girlfriends to choose from– Rinko, Nene and Manaka. All of the choices have different backstories and adjustable personalities.” Read the full story here. 


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10) The World’s Longest Kiss
“The world’s longest kiss lasted a whomping 58 hours, 35 minutes and 58 seconds. The record was set by Ekkachai Tiranarat and Laksana Tiranarat during an event organized by Ripley’s Believe It Or Not in Thailand. The annual kissathon competition happens during, you guessed it, Valentine’s Day.” Read the full story here. 


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11) Snail Facials 
“Although some of us may see snails as pesky and slimy or even a delicious delicacy, Japan is definitely transforming the use of these creatures and women are paying a pretty big price for this treatment. One session costs approximately 10,500 Yen, which is about $107.” Read the full story here. 


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12) Sex Ed For 30-Year-Olds 
“The tutorials cost more than $400, but women have been lining up to learn and lessons are booked weeks in advance. Many of these students are 30- to 40-year-olds seeking to decrease the anxiety before their first sexual encounter.” Read the full story here. 


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13) The “True Love” Bra
“Makers are claiming that the bra is able to analyze how a woman truly feels and will only pop open when the user finds her true love. The lingerie company is marketing the bra as a safety device. Apparently, the bra will ward off unwanted sexual advances and will make sure that all people, except your true love, will not have access to your breasts.” Read the full story here.


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14) The Study Cube
“Last year, South Korea’s environmentally-friendly furniture manufacturer Emok unveiled the Study Cube, a wooden box just big enough to seat one person in front of a built-in desk. The box comes with a bookshelf, whiteboard, LED light, outlet and ventilation grill. There’s even a massage bar under the desk that also serves as a footrest.” Read the full story here.


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15) Strange Asian Hairdos
“Whether its creepy, funny, or just intriguing to look at, all of these hairstyles are undeniably strange. Although strange hairdos are certainly not something people are born with, a quick google search of “strange Asian hair” is enough to let us know that this is a pretty common search.” Read the full story here.


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16) Anti-Rape Stockings
“The most recent fashion creation from China are hairy-leg stockings designed to ward off men and decrease the possibility of rape. The theory behind this creation is that the male will be so disgusted with the appearance of your legs that you don’t have to worry– they wouldn’t want to have a sexual encounter with you anyway.” Read the full story here


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17) Plastic Surgery Television Shows
“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.” Read the full story here.


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18) New Elementary Desks 
“Wuhan City, China has introduced these bars into an elementary school’s first grade classroom. Each bar is drilled into the wooden tables of school children in an effort to preserve the eyesight of the students.” Read the full story here.