Monday, May 7, 2012

Trying to Lose those Bat wings!

Hello girls.

I know you probably think I've abandoned this blog but I got side tracked for awhile with things random things going on around me but I got inspired and decided to post up something before I went to bed. 

 So lately I've been dieting due to weight gain after being back in the states for a couple months.  One thing that I struggle to lose is my upper arm fat.  You girls all know what I'm talking about when it comes to upper arm weight.  I might sound a bit judgmental but those "bat wings" really can make a girls body or break a girls body.  Even if you're skinny but you have a lot of upper arm fat you can't help but look a bit less feminine. It makes a  huuuuuuge difference when you wear sleeveless tops and dresses also.  So I've been researching here and there trying out different work outs and diets but I haven't had any luck until I came across this video.

It's something I found off naver so if you are not korean basically the blog talks about how the video is geared to upper arm fat weight loss and etc.  You have to repeat the video 3 times for one complete workout session.  So the video is only 3 mins long but to get better results you play it 2-3 times back to back so you get a full workout of 10 mins. 

I started doing this just a week ago every other day and I am already seeing results! Now I will warn you if your body isn't used to working out you will get super super sore.  If you follow it correctly then your upper arms should be the place where you ache the most.  

Hope this helps!  

goodnight all~ 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Versatile Blogger Award

Thanks to lovely Dawn for awarding me this award! Her pretty blog lovenlooks is one that I visit frequently. She has awesome blog posts so please go check it out for yourself! 

Rules of the Honor:
1. Thank the person that nominated you with a link back.
2. Tell 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass this on to 10 newly discovered blogs and let them know they received the award.

7 Things About Me:
1. I am obsessed with my polaroid camera these days. 
2. I love summer and fall! winter and spring causes me so much sicknesses! 
3. I love burning fresh scented candles all the time. 
4. I am allergic to wasabi.
5. I can't have enough skincare products.
6. I am always on the hunt for new ways to lose weight. hehe
7. My favorite color is pink!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

TaLK (Teach and Learn in Korea)

TaLK scholars in the blue shirts during our orientation field trip to Seoul.

So my cousin Angel (beautifymeeh) told me I should blog about my experience teaching english in Korea.
I actually went to Korea through the organization called TaLK (teach and learn in korea).
TaLK is different from the typical afterschool academies aka Hakwons that a lot of people are familiar with.

It's a govn't funded program that brings a lot of college students in from 6 native english speaking countries such as Canada, USA, Australia, UK..etc.   There are a lot of people who are post grads that go through the program also so it's not all college students.

The job title is...

  • Teach 15 class hours per week Mon-Fri.
  • Work at a rural elementary school that has relatively low english leveled students.
  • Most schools require you to submit lesson plans so you should expect to spend time lesson planning and preparing on top of your 15 class hours you teach. 
  • Doesn't require a bachelors degree.
  • Contract is 6 mos or 1 yr.
  • Pay is 1,500,000 won per month which is roughly 1,320-1,380 us dollars depending on the exchange rate. 
A lot of people with bachelors degrees sign up for TaLK because of the short term contract (6 mos).  If you sign up for any other teaching job in Korea the minimum contract is usually 1 yr

If you are wanting to experience Korea and your main goal isn't solely to make money then I would DEFINITELY recommend doing TaLK.  You meet a TON of new friends all across the world through orientation unlike other teaching jobs and you will end up having friends that teach EVERYWHERE in korea so you can travel and have a place to stay pretty much anywhere.  

I do have a lot of friends that teach at Academies and through Epik.  The good thing about Epik and Academy is that you make more money usually the pay is 2,000,000-3,000,000 krw per mo. and you can be placed in Seoul or other big cities which means that your students will have a higher level in english so it can be easier to teach because they will understand you for the most part.  You do work a lot more though, you can expect to work 30-40 hrs per week

These are half my 4th graders that I taught.  Most TaLK scholars will teach in very small rural schools and only teach about 5-15 kids per grade class but I got placed at a fairly big school so I taught about 22-27 kids per class. 
My kids were giving me peppero for peppero day.  

The kids are what you learn to love about the job.  Kids in Korea are extremely witty and smart, they are like little adults running around in miniature bodies. =) They are also very affectionate if you allow it they will come running into class and attach on to you like an octopus and jump on you, hold your hand, and talk to you all day long if they could.  

My some of TaLK friends that taught in the same Province as me. 

Me, Friend Gabby and Friend Sylvia at Hip hop dance academy

My friend Nathan, Julie and I at the Lantern Festival in Jinju

So while in Korea I do recommend you to travel! There are so many fun festivals that are held in different places all over Korea and also try to get something out of your experience like learning something new. I joined a hip hop dance academy, a cooking academy and a yoga academy and I absolutely loved it. It's a great way to meet the locals also.

There are 3 things that you will need to know if you haven't lived in Korea before.
  1. Prepare your liver because you will drink a LOT. Drinking in korea is something korean people take to another level.  It's even required sometimes when you go to "hwe-shiks" which are dinners with your coworkers and bosses. It's a beverage that seems to appear at all social gatherings.
  2. You will shop until you drop.  Korea is VERY VERY superficial.  Koreans are known for their stylish fashion and you will quickly realize once something is "in" everyone will be wearing the same style and if you choose to not dive into the stylish fashion I guarantee you will stand out. 
  3. You will spend a lot of time in karaoke, cafes and buses/subways/taxis.
Sorry for this extremely long post I'm hoping my TaLK friends are going to read this and pat me on the back for a good blog review. =) 

If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment to this post. 


So.... the reason why my blog post title is so intense is because I am breaking out like I am in high school all over again at the moment because of this cute little foundation!!!

So I bought this foundation about 5 months ago in Korea and used it for about a month but then stopped using it because I got addicted to a bb cream that my dermatologist office carried.  I just recently ran out of it so I had a full bottle of this mac foundation sitting around so I tried it out again last Sunday. 

All day on sunday my face was fine until I washed my face that night.  My face started itching like crazy and so I slathered on my Nature Republic Aloe Vera Soothing Gel which has saved me numerous times from my face being in flames from skin mistakes. It definitely calmed down the redness and stopped the itch that night so I thought I got to my skin just in time before I had done any damage.  

This is my go to product when my skin is in need of healing. It's cooling and moisturizing. This is the newer version the older version was only 90%.
As you can see its paraben free, mineral oil free, and no artificial colors.  It's also made from organic californian aloe plants.  So it is at it's purest form in a cosmetic product. Nature Republic actually advertises that it works for not just your face but your whole body from your hair body and nails.  =)

Back to my story, sadly.. the next morning I woke up with a face full of whiteheads, breakouts, and just random rash like bumps.  My face has been in the clear zone for a whole year now and because of this devil product I am in panic mode once again.  It's so bad that I can't to even take a picture of my skin to upload for you to see. 

Seriously.. what is in this stuff exactly?? I threw my box away so I don't even know what the ingredients are but I just know it has to have devil juice in it or something. lol  This is what it says on the website.... " Long-wear foundation that give up to 15 hours of wear in any environmental condition.  Lightweight and creamy, applies smoothly for a sheer to medium coverage. Controls oil, natural and flawless finish." 

Ok.. so despite my face breaking out in hives the foundation does wear a LONG LONG time and I do not have to blot my t-zone area all day because it has a matte finish that helps control the oil.  I was talking to my cousin Angel about this and she also said that mac face products break her out also so... from now on I am staying far far away from it! 

Sorry for the random rant about this foundation if it doesn't break you out then I would recommend it but to anyone who is considering to purchase this I HIGHLY recommend you to go to the store and test it out for a day on a small portion of your face before purchasing.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Laser removal

So while in Korea one of the things that was a MUST DO was go to the dermatologist.  It's a fraction of the price of dermatologists in America and the fact that there is an abundance of them everywhere across the whole country makes it very easily accessible.

IPL Laser treatment
There are so many things you can do with so many different lasers. I actually sort of got carried away with it.
the reason why I initially went to the dermatologist was to get rid of my birthmark that was on my cheek.  It didn't bother me until I hit my 20s and it just started getting drastically darker and more noticeable. 

As you can see on my left cheek its pretty noticeable. (I am also wearing foundation in this picture.) I don't know if you can see but I also had small moles around my face one on my forehead, other cheek and chin so I wanted to get those removed while I was at the dermatologist anyway. 

So to get rid of that thing I had to get a laser called IPL laser treatment and basically what it does is it breaks up the melanin pigments in your skin under the epidermal layer and then your skins natural response is to get rid of the damaged skin cells and repair itself so it arises to the surface of your skin as a scab. About 4 to 5 days later the scabs will fall off but precaution NEVER PEEL OFF YOUR SCABS

Many korean girls in their mid-late 20s and 30s and up get the IPL laser treatment for freckles, sunspots or age-spots (which ever you want to call them).  I actually got half my face done from my eyes down because when the doctor looks at your skin under this high powered light he can see what lies underneath your skin and he said I had a lot of age-spots that haven't come up to the surface of my skin but will with time and exposure to the sun.  So as a preventative I got it done.  

After care of IPL treatment 
First you must STAY OUT OF THE SUN  it is the #1 rule after any laser treatment unless you enjoyed the prickling burn sensation while getting it done and want to repeat the process. So if you do have to go outside the best thing to do is to wear a hat or mask and apply spf 50 pa+++. I know that sounds pretty intense but its the only way to get the best results. You should be extra careful the first 4 weeks, then following you can go back to your normal spf range. 

Second you should MOISTURIZE GENEROUSLY. Your skin gets really dry and scabs up here and there so you must use moisture creams not lotions on your face morning and night. The popular thing a lot of girls use these days are products with snail extract and EGF which are two ingredients that help with repair and renewing. (Something like the picture above.) Also your skin will feel like you had gotten a slight sunburn the first 2 nights so I advise you to slather on aloe vera gel at night along with your cream to help cool it.  

Third, as I keep mentioning your skin will arise with scabs where your freckles and spots were so you must be very careful to not take these scabs off.  Everything you do with your face you must do it very gently. When I washed my face I only used foam cleansers and I would gently wash my face without putting any pressure on my skin, then when I rinsed I would gently press the water into my face not splashing the water or use any rubbing action.   You should use the same concept when applying stuff to your skin. You can apply the products by using a light tapping motion with your finger tips.  *You can wash your face and wear BB cream the day after but foundations aren't recommended for the first couple days of treatment*

These 3 tips are the most important things to remember after getting laser treatment because it makes the biggest difference in the results you will have in the long run.  
This is what my face looks like now and I don't have anything on my skin except for my skincare products (toner, lotion, etc.) and my sunscreen.  I don't wear makeup base to correct my skin tone anymore either because its in pretty good shape without it.  Yes, I am wearing eye make up I can't live without my eye shadow and eyeliner. =) 

Heres a random picture I found off google with a lady that had IPL laser treatment done.

So back to the other lasers I had gotten done.  I did get my moles removed and that was not as painful as the IPL laser.  What the mole removing laser does it just literally burns it off.  You usually don't bleed depending on how deep the mole is and also you most likely won't scab much either.  You will literally be left with a hole in your skin where the mole was removed.  It heals within a week (meaning you won't have an open wound) but you will have a slight "dip" to your skin.  This "dip" in your skin won't fill back up completely for about 5 to 6 months.  You can think of it as getting your wisdom teeth surgically removed.  After you get it removed you have this huge hole in your gums but after time it flattens back out right?  It's the same concept with mole removal. 

After care for mole removal 
It is pretty much the same thing as IPL laser you should always protect your skin with high power sunscreen and be careful with your scabs.  

Laser hair removal 
Another thing I got lasered was my armpits.  The lasers for hair removal are extremely cheap in Korea.  For my armpits it costs 10,000 won which is close to $10 per treatment.  The only downside to this is that the lasers they use are extremely weak.  I had 7 treatments (each treatment 3-4 weeks apart) and I still have peach fuzz hairs here and there because apparently for it to be completely gone it takes about 10+ treatments depending on the thickness of your hair follicles. It definitely did thin the hair out substantially though.  The upside to this is that the laser doesn't hurt at all.  You just get this tingling feeling here and there but no pain at all.  My friends that have gotten laser hair removal in the states tell me that it hurts like no other so I was terrified the first time I had gotten it done but afterwards it was like nothing.   So if you're planning on living in korea long term its something you should definitely look into.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Korean makeup and etc. product reviews

I noticed myself grabbing for these makeup products more often han others for the past few weeks so I wanted to share them with you.

Tony Moly Partylover Gel liner #4 brown

 This liner is one "THE EYELINER" that so many korean girls use.  I actually haven't had a girl tell me that they had an issue with this liner.  Everyone always recommends it without hesitation.  So I tried it out and the formula is very similar with mac fluidline and the color payoff is really good. It's convenient also because the lid contains a brush.  I've had some people tell me they would do without the brush but I personally like it. 
As you can see you can do a thick liner on the flat side of the brush and also flip it to the side and draw a thin line.  It is a bit dry which is probably why it is smudge proof.  It is almost half the price of the mac-fluidline so if your able to get a hold of it I recommend you do so just because it's such a bargain. 

Too cool for school party time dual eyeshadow and eyebase  - #3 sunrise 
So if your not familiar with Too cool for School it's a korean brand that I came across when I was in Seoul.  It kind of reminds me of a  "makeup version"  of a lush store just by the way its set up. It's all about using natural products and etc. and has the eco-friendly layout.  It's one of my favorite makeup stores.

 So the packaging is quite cute it has a lid that consists of the two powder eye shadows and a mirror on the lid.  The bottom part consists of the  base cream shadow.   The brown color is just to die for because it's so shimmery and  very dark.  The color payoff is gorgeous.  The light pink and the pink cream base is also extremely shimmery but its not too shimmery where it makes your lids look like a grease ball.  

As you can see the swatches the shadows are very shimmery. One thing I would recommend is a primer because these shadows aren't formulated to last all day on its own.  The shadow to the left is the cream shade  and the very right is the pink powder shadow.  The pink shadow doesn't show as much but it does have bigger glitter type shimmers that look really nice on the corners of your eyes.

Thefaceshop- blackhead ex nose clay mask (peel off type) 

Before I start there are two kinds of blackhead nose clay masks at thefaceshop, one is a peel off type and one is a rinse off type please be cautious when purchasing. 

I compared the tube with my ballpoint pen to show u how small the tube is but I use it once every 1.5 weeks and I've had a tube for about 5 months and I still have like half a tube left.  So it does have quite a bit of product.  You can see this as a substitute for those nose strips because it works as the same concept. 
 The formula is very thick and sticky like the stuff you would use to make paper mache. 
The key to this is to apply a thick layer very evenly on your nose so that it will peel off easily.  Like other masks, if you apply it thinly it will break while you try to peel it off and if you apply it too thick you're basically just wasting product.  It does do it's job in pulling blackheads and clears you up.

Skinfood hair magic pad
 I know these aren't anything new but I came across these in the skinfood store and thought that is was just the cutest thing ever! Com'on how cute is that! A star and a cloud hair holder??!! LOL  So I had to pick it up and it actually makes sense more than you would think especially if you don't part your hair in the middle you can use the cloud for the side with more hair and the star for the side with less hair from your part.  lol 
  The velcro on these cute babies are also quite nice because it doesn't tug at your hair too much but does it's job in holding in place.

Eclat d'arpege by Lanvin 
I am in love with this perfume.  I had gotten it as a gift from my aunt and it has been my current fav. for about 5 months now.  It smells very fresh and an extremely slight scent of musk with a bit of floral.  If you love dolce  n gabana light blue you will fall in love with this scent because its kind of similar.  I used to love dolce n gabana but I got sick of the fruity smell it consisted of and this perfume has absolutely no fruit scent at all.   It's one of the most popular scents a lot of women in korea wear.  I always smelled it on at least one person when I would go out in to subways of seoul or just walk in the streets in the evening.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

sunscreen reviews

So my first entry is about sunscreen products.
I've been wearing sunscreen on my face and neck religiously every day since I was 15.  What made me start wearing separate sunscreen was when I went to church one day and saw an "unni" that was her in mid-late 20s not wearing any makeup and her skin looked completely different from what I originally knew it to be. She had so many dark spots and freckles on her face it scared me to think that's what my skin would eventually look like if I didn't guard my face from the evil sun rays.

I have semi-sensitive combination skin (really oily t-zone and extremely dry elsewhere) so it's really hard to find the right sunscreen especially because they don't come in a variety targeted towards special skin types.  I've tried many american brands but for 2 main reasons I just can't stand them.
1. STRONG sunscreen smell-I have what koreans call a "dog's nose" and so any lingering scent in skincare or makeup products will trigger me to have an everlasting headache until I wash it off.
2. CAN'T control oil, instead they tend to make me break out even more.
So I've learn to use mostly asian sunscreen products particulary korean because they are on the lighter side and importantly don't make me smell like the banana boat.

Lets get started.

ETUDE HOUSE - Sun Powder Cotton Touch (spf 50 pa +++) *primer base*

This is the sunscreen I'm currently using at the moment.  I was living in Korea for the past 6 months and I had gotten my face IPL lasered for my moles/birthmark/freckles.  At the dermatologist they recommend you to stay out of the sun as much as possible and always wear spf 50 pa +++ at all times for the first couple weeks after treatment. So I ended up picking this up to try out.  

The texture is somewhat rough.  When I tested this on my hand before purchasing I was a little freaked out because it felt like microbeads were literally scrubbing the back on my hand. Once you rub it in though it turns into a silky soft velvet like finish. It's pretty cool.  
As u can see it also has a purple tint to it so this helps brighten up your face especially if you have yellow undertones.  When I'm in a hurry or go out to the store I only apply this and go because it does slightly lessen the appearance of pores and red spots like most primer bases do.  It's also very light and does not cause oiliness of any sort throughout the whole day.  It actually helps cut the oily T-zone issue I struggle with after mid-day. Overall I think this is a good sunscreen for younger skin types that suffer from acne due to oil.  Especially because most spf 50 sunscreens are ridiculously heavy and thick. The only downfall to this is the microbead type capsules that u feel in the process of rubbing it in.  If you have extremely sensitive skin this may irritate or may even be uncomfortable while applying so please beware.  

Skinfood- Tomato Wrinkle Sun Cream (spf 36 pa ++)

 This is another one of my go to sunscreens I have been using on and off throughout these past few years.  Now there is another skinfood tomato sunscreen that does not have wrinkle care in it and it is geared more towards younger oily skin types just as a heads up.
The consistency of this sunscreen is the typical slightly thicker than cream/lotion type. It does have a slight white cast to it after you apply but I personally like it because it brightens up your complexion and serves as a good primer base.  It is a drier and thicker formula and it will help if you have combination skin. It may be a bit thick for oily skin and it may be a bit pulling if you have very dry skin because it has no moisture properties to it.

One thing I noticed was when I washed my face at night I did notice my skin looking brighter and refreshed looking to some extent afterwards.  It's proof that the sunscreen did its job and protected my skin from the sun throughout the day.

Iope- Whitegen suncream (spf 45 pa+++)

This sunscreen has a consistency of a very light lotion and it leaves a slight white cast after application.  It has 3 functions: wrinkle corrector, whitening and sun protection.  It contains proretinol which is the main ingredient that helps with wrinkle correction.  This is of the the more expensive sunscreens and is targeted more towards older skin types.  It is a fairly small tube of only 10ml of product so I ran through it pretty quickly.  I honestly didn't see much of a difference in my skin after using it because I felt like I ran out before I could start seeing results.  An upside to this sunscreen is that its light and moisturizing enough to be worn by all skin types. 

L'oreal - UV Perfect Long Lasting Icy UV protector moisture fresh (spf 30 uvb/uva pa +++)

This is also an asia exclusive product even though it is made by the company L'oreal.  It has a greenish tint to it and has a menthol refreshed type of feel when applied.  It has a light mousse/lotion type formula and contains hyaluronic acid.  It is non-sticky and non-greasy.  During the intial application it feels great its moisturizing, refreshing, light and non-greasy.  It doesn't help with skin tone correction but a plus to that is that it doesn't leave a white cast.  After a couple hours though I did notice that my t-zone would become more on the oily side. I would say this is a sunscreen suited more towards dry skin types.  

Skinfood- Goldkiwi suncream (spf 36 pa++)

This is also a good sun cream for the winter it has a thicker than lotion type consistency and is slightly moisturizing without the sticky finish.  One thing I don't like about this sunscreen is the initial smell that it has. It smells like overly ripe bananas.  The smell does eventually evaporate out leaving the usual korean cosmetic skincare smell.  If u apply this generously it does leave a slight white cast but its barely noticeable. It's a pretty generic sunscreen that doesn't have any extra functions and is used solely for sun protection.  It's quite nice for oily/combination skin types but it may be a bit drying for dry skin types. 

Well I hope this helps! have a beautiful day. =)