Category: Beauty

Korean Beauty Trend: 3D Eyebrow Tattoo

hyoyeun

From BB Creams to Lip Tints, South Korea is undoubtedly the leading trend setter when it comes to beauty. What was once the rage in Korea often doesn’t trickle to the North American market until years later. Such is the case with a recent beauty craze known as Microblading. What is a common semi-permanent cosmetic procedure in Korea has recently emerged as the latest fad in North America. Also identified as Korean 3D Eyebrow Tattoo or Eyebrow Embroidery, Microblading is a tattoo technique that mimics eyebrow hairs by using a row of fine needles to fill in your missing brows. The illusion of fine hair strands leaves the brows looking natural and full lasting up to two years.

My brows before and after...wow, what a difference!
My brows before and after…wow, what a difference!

Due to its low maintenance and natural look, Microblading has been a popular choice for many Koreans, including Kpop stars like Girls Generation’s, Hyo Yeon & Tae Yeon. In a bali bali (hurry hurry) culture, it is definitely one less thing to worry about when getting ready in the morning!

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kdramastars.com
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photo credit: kpopmap.com

I have to admit that I was quite skeptical at first after hearing horror stories on sharpie looking eyebrow tattoos gone bad but after seeing my sister’s perfectly symmetrical eyebrows done, I had to give it a try! Since flying to Korea wasn’t really an option nor was it within my budget, I set up an appointment with Michelle at Meraki Brow Bar in Vancouver, BC. After seeing her work on instagram and hearing great reviews from her past clients (including my sister), I decided to fully entrust her with my eyebrows.

Not only was Michelle a professional but she was extremely patient and meticulous, erasing, measuring and drawing my brows until I was 100 percent satisfied with the shape before etching semi-permanent ink on them. In the 2.5 hour session, most of the time was spent on perfecting my brows while the application of ink itself only took about 20 minutes.

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#wokeuplikethis…. literally!

The result was incredible. Not only did my eyebrows look full and on point but they looked very natural! I had been living under a rock all these years. Why did I not discover this earlier? It would have saved me a lot of time and money spent on quick brow fixes. I used to often wear baseball hats to hide my unkempt barely there eyebrows from the public but after having them filled, I can confidently walk out makeup free! For a busy mama with two small kids, this has been life changing.

Like what you see? Check out Michelle at Meraki Brow Bar and get $50 off your first Microblading session by referencing Esther from ThatKimchiLife! Your welcome. 🙂 (Please note that the discount is only applicable to the first 10 clients booked).

Meraki Brow Bar

Website: www.merakibrowbar.com

Email: merakibrowbar@gmail.com

Contact: 778.288.2686

Resources:

https://www.dramafever.com/news/the-power-of-eyebrow-tatoos

/http://www.instyle.com/news/what-is-eyebrow-microblading-guide-facts

Things to Do in Seoul: A Brow-Baring Post! (Eyebrow Tattoo) Updated 2016.09

Let Me Take A Selca: Korean Selfie 101

selfieBefore the birth of Selfies, there was Selcas.

Selca is the Korean term for selfie, a shortened version of two words – self & camera – combined together. Similar to the definition of a selfie, it also means to take one’s photo with the intention of posting it on social media. If there is one thing Koreans are extremely good at, it is taking a hellavu great Selca.

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photo credit: weheartit.com
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photo credit: weheartit.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Selfies might be a recent global phenomenon that has currently overtaken social media but in Korea, it is a past fad that has been perfected with years of practice. Korea’s obsession with selca’s long started before the birth of Instagram or Facebook, using platforms such as Cyworld (a Korean social networking service) from back in the early 2000’s to showcase one’s face. The practice of displaying one’s selfie for public viewing quickly led to what Koreans have termed an “ulzzang” culture. The word Ulzzang literally translates to “best face”. Basically, individuals would post their selfie on ulzzang communities such as Ulzzang Zone (a popular online forum) for ratings and popularity polls. It is said that some even get scouted to become celebrities in the Korean entertainment industry. It’s no wonder the whole nation is trigger happy.

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photo credit: http://leejooyeon.tumblr.com

In Korea, it is not uncommon to see people at public places snapping away in varying angles for a ridiculous amount of time for the perfect selfie. In fact, it is completely the norm and the public is unfazed by what to me seems quite odd and somewhat ego-centric behavior. Similar to how girls will whip out their mirrors in public, be it at a coffee shop or a bus station and spend hours just staring at their face – a culture shock to me as i was not raised in Korea. But as the saying goes, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”; so when in Korea, do as the Koreans do and unabashedly take that selfie until you get it right! Ain’t nobody judging!

Presenting 7 types of poses that Koreans love to snap for the ultimate selca!

1.The Victory Sign Selca: The infamous V sign is a staple when it comes to taking selcas. As soon as a camera is in sight, whipping out the V is automatic like its second nature.

v
Peace!

However, recently it seems they’ve upgraded the V sign and switched it to a heart sign. This hand motion is created by pinching your thumb and index finger together and pivoting the two slightly to form a heart shape as shown below. Apparently its the current rage in Korea!

hearts
I heart You!

2. The Puffy Face Selca: The idea of this is to look cute by puffing out your cheeks and enlarging your eyes kind of like a blowfish but its supposed to make you look adorable. This takes some serious skills. Try puffing your face, smiling and at the same time puckering your lips a little? Took a while to get this one down as I kept laughing at how ridiculous I looked.

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3. The Pouty Selca: This ones a little tricky and if you don’t do it right you end up looking like a retarded duck. To get that cute pouty look, try saying the word “Blue”. The formation of the word will slightly protrude your bottom lip giving you that desired pout.

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I suck at pouting. #selfiefail

4. The Glasses Selca: A selca collection is never complete without a picture with glasses. A trend often set by kpop stars, glasses are worn as an accessory rather than for its aid in vision. Therefore, before you start grabbing your reading/night glasses or whatever’s laying around the house, keep in mind what is trending at the moment. Currently, the craze in Korea are the Harry Potter looking glasses.

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These are not Harry Potter Glasses, but close enough..

5. The Ugly Selca: Yes, you read that correctly, the ugly selfie. Koreans will purposely post ugly selfies just to get a reaction. Even the prettiest girls will post hideous selfies of themselves just for fun. So, i tried too. My favourite part of the selfie series! 😛 Flattering much?

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well, how YOU doing?

6. The Face-Half-Cut-Off Selca: I never quite understood this one. What is the point of taking a selfie if half your face is gone? Apparently, its supposed to look like art. Either that or its supposed to highlight a facial feature one feels most confident in, be it your forehead, lips or your right eye. My sister actually likes to take these types of selcas, but then again she is an extremely talented artisteI

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Do I look artsy?

7. The Wink Selca – This one is probably universally used and not limited to just a Korean thing. You simply just wink, hold the pose and snap! Wink selfies are fun to take as it shows a playful and upbeat side of the individual.

wink

Now that we’ve established the various poses, the next step is to filter filter filter! Ulzzang fanatics swear by it. Filters will either make or break your selca. There are many filter apps that you can download to apply to your picture but the one that i am most familiar with and use besides instagram is called BeautyPlus. The filter i used for the selfies above were from snapchat. Hence, the flawless complexion. No, my skin is not that great, in fact its pretty terrible so i cheated. 😛 For more filter options, you can also check out the following link, http://www.soompi.com/2016/06/21/8-selfie-apps-thats-got-korea-hooked/.

So there it is, I welcome you to the world of Selcas. If you are a selfie virgin, I hope that this will be a good intro and if you are a selfie pro, feel free to comment and let me know what other poses i’ve missed. Happy Snapping!

Cheers,

Esther

www.thatkimchilife.com

Resources:

https://sokoglam.com/blogs/news/14438997-seoul-style-the-art-of-the-korean-selfie-meet-the-selca

http://jmsupercuteinkorea.blogspot.ca/2011/07/culture-101-selca_1603.html

http://www.poproks.com/culture/samsungs-new-selfie-camera-fueling-koreas-obsession-with-selcas

 

 

Korean Makeup Vs. North American Makeup Style

amakeup2Although I never grew up in Korea, I loved visiting my country. The food, the subway, the hustle and bustle and the familiarity of my mother tongue made me feel right at home. It wasn’t until I lived in Korea for several months that I started to blend in with the culture and my roots. One prominent change that I adapted to was my makeup style. Instead of my comfortable North American style makeup that i used to cake my face with, I unconsciously started applying less products to my face. What used to be an intense and slightly dramatic mask was replaced with a more subtle and natural visage. This was back in 2007. Fast forward to present day and a lot has changed with the Korean perception of beauty and makeup. Kpop stars are slowly taking the lead with a bold and sexy look challenging the unconventional ways of conservative Korea but the trend for a natural youthful look seems to remain steady and unwavering.

Presenting 5 feature differences between Korean vs North American makeup style. Please note not all Koreans or North Americans necessarily follow the two different styles. The following distinctions are gathered from my personal observation between the general Korean population versus the North American population. At the end of the day, everyone wants to look beautiful and beauty comes in all shapes and forms varying from culture to culture.

Eyebrows

Korean – Straight thick brows. Gives the face a soft and more youthful look.eyebrowyoona

North American – Arched thin or thick brows. Gives the face personality and bit of sass.

eyebrowmeganfox

Eyes

Korean– Neutral to sheer coloured eyeshadow is applied for a natural and youthful look. Eyeliner is angled downwards to create a puppy dog look for a sweet and innocent impression. What accentuates Korean eyes are the aegyosalAegyosal is the layer of fat located right below your eyes starting from your tear duct. Koreans like to highlight their aegyosal with a white eye pencil or shimmer to fully bring it out.

eyekorean

North American – Dark to vivid coloured eyeshadow is applied for a smoky, sexy and smouldering look. Eyeliner is angled upwards to create a cat eyed look for intensity. Forget aegyosal, hiding eye bags is a top priority. All types of concealers and eye creams are used to hide the dark patches that appear every morning.

eyeamerican

Skin

Korean – Fair skin is highly sought after. Generally, you will need to have a blemish free skin to pull this off. (This is where the famous Korean skincare routine comes to play). For those not blessed with perfect skin, bb cream is the next consolation. Many prep their skin to look dewy and moist, almost like they just got out of the shower. Almost.

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North American – Tanned skin is highly sought after. Not only do you tan your skin but you bronze and contour like crazy.

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Who needs plastic surgery when you got contouring?

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Eyelashes

Korean – Again, natural and youthful is the key point. All you need is an eyelash curler and mascara and hope that you were blessed with long lashes.

eyelash korean

North American – Long, thick and dramatic eyelashes otherwise known as falsies are a must. All you need is fake eyelashes and maybe some mascara to give it an extra oomph in case its not dramatic enough.

eyelashamerican

Lips

Korean – Small, dainty lips are desired. Like Song HyeKyo.

lipskoreann

North American – Big luscious lips are desired. Like Angelina Jolie.

lipsamerican

 

My attempt at trying Korean makeup vs. North American makeup style below.

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My first time trying the korean style brow… so awkward.

 

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Tried to curl what little eyelashes i had. If you squint really hard you might see a couple strands of lashes. lol

 

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My version of north american style makeup and what i am familiar with

 

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My eyebrows are back to normal! I can’t get used to the korean brows…. yet

 

In summary, it seems the Korean makeup style aims for a natural and youthful look while the North American makeup style aims for a sexy and sophisticated look. One is not necessarily better than the other. I definitely cant pull off the Korean style but the North American makeup style is also too intense. My personal preference is a mix of both. What makeup style is your preference?

Thanks for reading!

Esther

BB Cream Love Affair

I confess. I cheated on foundation. As soon as I was introduced to BB cream, it was love at first touch. Where have you been all my life?! The light, airy, smooth application was the beginning of a beautiful love affair.

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Introducing BB cream heaven

What is BB cream?

BB Cream, short for Blemish Balm or Beauty Balm is an all in one facial cream that is made up of but not limited to serum, moisturizer, sunscreen, concealer, primer and foundation. This miracle cream was made for lazy people (like me) who can’t be bothered to slap on several different skincare products to the face on a single sitting. (To read about the rigorous Korean skincare routine, click here). A big thank you to the dermatologist from Germany who first developed the product. Im thinking they must have also gotten frustrated with their long skincare routine and decided to dump all the products into one pot. hehe. What a genius!

So BB creams have apparently been around and popular in the South Korean beauty industry for a long time. It wasn’t until recently that BB creams were introduced to the North American markets and has since become the new craze. From Lancome to Stila, every beauty brand has made it their mission to create THE BB cream of the century.

The great thing about BB creams is not only does it do an effective job of covering the skin’s impurities and blemishes but also treats and improves the quality of the skin. You get a 6 for 1 kind of deal! Its true. Believe it. Now with so many brands of BB creams out on the shelves, one might get overwhelmed trying to decide which one to try so I’d like to share my personal favourites below.

Introducing two of my all time favourite BB creams!

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Korean brand – Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream #21

Missha M Perfect Cover BB Cream – The first thing I liked about this product was that it came with a pump. None of that twist of the cap nonsense. A single pump is enough coverage for the entire face. I was a bit turned off at first with the ashy shade but once applied, the colour actually changes and blends well with your skin. Apparently, the ash tones down redness and brightens the skin. The great thing about this product is that it contains a high SPF of 42 (yay for sunscreen!) and is quite affordable. Compared to other BB creams in North America, this BB cream is relatively cheap for the value that you get. I bought mine in Korea for about $20 but you can probably order online or drop by Hmart to pick some up. There are 5 different shades to choose from – #13 Milky Beige, #21 Light Beige, #23 Natural Beige, #27 Honey Beige, #31 Golden Beige. (Why they don’t follow proper numerical sequence is beyond me. But it is Korea… the land that confidently advertises unintelligent english phrases. For example…)

aa
They didn’t even get the translation right…–.– Its not “Choke Me!”, “Sick Me!”, “Kill You!”… It’s actually “Its Spicy!”, “I don’t Want!”, “It Hurts!” which also doesn’t really make sense… lol
aa1
Apparently you have to exist to ride…
aa3
They’ve been bought. Enough said.

Anyway back to the review, I use #21 Light Beige during the winter and switch over to #23 Natural Beige when I have a tan going during the summer.

 

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American Brand – Tarte BB Cream

Tarte BB Cream – I Love Love this product! Where to start… I am not too familiar with the brand Tarte but if I was to recommend anything from them it would be their BB Cream. This healthy, ecofriendly cream provides a coverage that is thick enough to hide blemish spots but doesn’t feel too heavy on the skin. I love that it is not too oily nor watery. This BB cream is the closest to that of a foundation (again, great coverage!) but contains all the fabulous stuff that foundations do not. As mentioned before serum, primer, moisturizer and sunscreen have been added to not only cover but improve your skin. The only downside to this product is that it is not cheap. You can get it for about $35 in the states but with the terrible currency conversion at the moment, it probably costs over $40 for a tube. Unfortunately, like most BB creams, you don’t get much of a colour selection. I believe Tarte has 4 shades to choose from – Fair, Light, Medium and Tan. I currently use Medium which surprisingly matches my skin colour but might have to switch to Tan in the summer.

In conclusion, if you decide to give BB a try I’d advice to use it consistently for a good month or two. Results are not gained overnight but through a prolonged period of time. Enjoy!

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In other news,

1. I’ve been featured as Mommy of the Month on StorkCraft, a children’s furniture manufacturer! To check out the interview, click Here. A big thank you to Dawn for the interview!

2. I got a night out last week to enjoy some delicious seafood dinner at Coast with good friends and finished the night off with some amazing dessert at Thierry. I think my sweet tooth has gotten worse after having a kid but Thierry was well worth it… Anyway, sharing some photos from the night below (Apologizing for the poor quality of photos but still figuring out stuff and learning how to use wordpress and everything in between. One day I will get there…).

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Wearing Tarte BB cream (Medium) and so excited to eat!!

 

 

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The Caesars at Coast was alright

 

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Oysters were alright as well… I recommend Joe Fortes Happy Hour Oysters! So yummy and only $1 each.

 

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My hot date

 

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Salmon was actually delicious

 

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Good sushi – Spicy Ahi Tuna Roll

 

 

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We both have a love for desserts and anything sweet. Its our reward for being a mom.

 

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Dessert Heaven at Thierry. Their macaroons are to die for
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Two thumbs up on their Tiramisu

Cheers,

Ess.

5 Quick Hairstyles For The Busy Mom

Its been a painful week – physically and mentally – with a fussy teething baby, plugged milk ducts (So painful. Cry), a broken Samsung S3 (I have converted to the iPhone cult. Welcome me with open arms oh Apple followers!) and no sleep for this mama. Thus, i was tempted to skip this week’s blog post BUT i must stay committed to my small group of followers (Thanks for keeping up with my silly blog!) so here is this week’s post – a short and light read. Enjoy! 🙂

Lately I’ve been getting pretty bored with my hair. If its not down then its up in a pony tail. Not to mention, i rarely wear makeup since it is such a chore. However, I believe that it is healthy to get dolled up once in a while and get some fresh air. Otherwise, one starts to get cabin fever.

Here are 5 different hairstyles I tried this week to spice up my kimchi life.

1. Half down, Half up – Inspired by Drew Barrymore from the movie – Ever After. Simple, yet classy.

drew
Drew Barrymore – Ever After

halfhair
This is my sweet and innocent look.

2. Side Braid – Inspired from the hit Disney movie – Frozen, Elsa’s side braid has been the talk of the town! A subtle sexy but sweet look!

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Elsa – Frozen

sidebraid
My Elsa imitation… I need longer hair. Blonde maybe?

3. Pigtails – Inspired by baby doll from the movie – Sucker Punch. Cute and fierce!

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Baby Doll – Sucker Punch

pigtail
Cheese!

4. Updo – Inspired by Reese Witherspoon…who wore this updo on some hollywood gala (not in a movie). I love updos as they are easy to style and make any outfit look classy. One of my favourite hairstyles!

updo reese
Reese Witherspoon

updo
Ess Kimchi

5. Hat – Inspired by myself. And if all fails and you can’t be bothered with styling. You can hide your hair and your face under a hat. Voila! Best accessory. Your welcome.

hat

I hope you are somewhat inspired to try something different with your hair. But if you can’t be bothered, pony tail and hair down is totally A-ok! Because really, I can blog about the different hairstyles but at the end of the day who am i kidding… back to ponytail, no makeup, chilling with my sweatpants on kinda day. All day, Err day. Yep. Babies do that to you. Have one. Do it. Dooo it.

Ciao,

Ess.

3 Exercises That Will Bring Sexy Back (Literally. A Sexy TONED Back)

 

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Before heading to the gym selfies

You did it. You’ve finally convinced your lazy bum to hit the gym. You don’t remember the last time you worked out but you certainly remember how to use the treadmill. You hop on and start jogging to warm up. Your blood is pumping, your heart is racing, your endorphins are kicking in… “YESSSS! Now this is what Im talking about!! What a great decision I made!” You tell yourself. You step down from your 15 minute warmup full of energy ready to KILL it!

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Umm…

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Now what?

You’re standing in the middle of the gym and suddenly feel lost. You have no idea what to do next. The only exercise equipment you knew how to use was the treadmill. Suddenly you feel like all eyes are on you as you awkwardly hustle over to the dumbbell section.

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Walking into a gym can be an intimidating and overwhelming experience for a newbie. Chances are unless you are a personal trainer, have hired a personal trainer or have taken a personal training course, you have absolutely no idea what you are doing.

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But of course you don’t want to look like an amateur so you pick up those dumbbells and start curling. You saw it on Kanye’s workout music video. You know how it’s done son.

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Everyone can mimic but unless you know the technique to each exercise, your workout is ineffective and can lead to injury. For the longest time that’s what I did. Mimic. I never bothered to look up different types of exercises that would benefit me. Weight training? No thanks. That’s for body builders. If I just keep running on the treadmill, I’ll be able to lose my stubborn belly fat! Or so I thought.

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Ok Mr. Jack Sparrow, I was wrong. Although cardio workouts are great, weight training is the key to that sexy figure you’ve been wanting. Let me reiterate. WEIGHT TRAINING = Jessica Alba body. Bam! (Now we know her secret).

imagesC8V73Z6M

After giving birth to my daughter, I wanted to be rid of my pregnancy weight. Fast. So I hired a personal trainer from Body by Design to help me achieve this. My goal was to lose and tone my stomach and back fat.

The following are 3 exercises that I learned from Body by Design to bring this mama her sexy back! (Oh Hai there Justin Timberlake!)

1.Squats – Emphasis is on your derriere (all about that booty booty) but the rest of your body (including ABS) are targeted as well which makes this exercise an all time favorite!

  • Keep a tall posture with a tight core. Your feet should be hip width apart. Slowly bend your knees and your hips, lowering your body towards the floor. Push your butt back so most of your weight is on your heels (imagine you are hovering over a dirty toilet). Try to get your knees as close to 90 degrees as possible. Then squeeze your butt and stand back up. (Sets:2-3, Reps:8-10)

Notes: Knees should always be behind your toes and over top of your feet. Don’t let your knees cave inwards.

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I can finally squat with a bar! (proud moment, right here). That’s an extra 35 lbs of weight!

2. Assisted Pull ups/dips – Emphasis is on your lats but also works your upper body. (A great exercise that might come in handy if you were to fall off a cliff one day and be dangling for dear life. Just saying… It could happen. You never know. Or if you want it to be a bit more realistic, how about a building? still not happening? Ok.. I was just sayin…).

  • Grab the bars with a wider than shoulder width grip, palms facing away from you. Tighten your core and let your arms fully straighten. Lead with your shoulder blades as if there were strings travelling between your shoulder blades and butt. Then pull yourself up with your arms, making sure your chin clears the bar.  Return back to the starting position in a controlled manner. (Sets: 2-3, Reps: 8-10)

Notes: Intensity always at 85% or 8.5/10

3. Deadlifts – Emphasis is on the lower back. (Can we say, “IM BRINGING SEXY BACK! WUT!” Whip out your credit card ladies cos we going shopping for a backless dress!)

  • Stand tall with your legs straight and feet about hip width apart. Maintain your long spine and straight back and keep your lower leg bone vertical while bending over using your hips to provide the motion. You should feel your butt move backwards as you bend over in order to counterbalance your weight. Lift through the hips on the way up. (Sets: 2-3, Reps: 8-10)

Notes: Don’t bend at the knees or the back while bending over. The only movement should be occurring at the hips.

There you have it my good people. No more faking it! You can hold your head high next time you step foot at the gym because you know EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE DOING.

For more exercises or inquiries, please refer to www.bodybydesign.ca.

Peace,

Ess.

3 Must-Have Skin Care Items

Ever look in the mirror and wonder what you can do to make your skin look better? I know I have. Every single day! I’ve never had great skin to begin with and this goes all the way back to my awkward teenage years where my face exploded with pimples. I had them all. Zits, pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, I even had a cluster of pimples that looked like permanent rashes. Those horrible things lived on my face until I graduated high school. It didn’t help that my bratty little sister who shall be named Juice chanted, “pimple, pimple face!” everywhere we went. I wanted to her to be shipped off to China.

frustrated

(I want to mention that many years later, she actually ended up in China for a bit. hahahah…Juice – Don’t mess with your big sis. My wish came true). Anyway, high school was not very fun with acne as my companion.

As I am writing this blog, I got inspired and decided to try this face pack. You can pick it up at any H-mart store for $1.99. Cheap, eh?

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Facial Essence – Aloe

facepack
My zoolander face

So, before I begin reviewing 3 skin care items that I personally believe are a must have, I wanted to share a summary of what a daily skincare routine consists of for the average Korean female. Be prepared to be amazed.

skin
Song HyeKyo – One of my favorite Korean actress

The following products are layered to the face in the order outlined (lightest to heaviest concentration) on a typical night before bed.

1. Cleanser – The cleansing process is broken down to two parts. First, we have the oil cleanser to remove stubborn makeup and debris from face. Then, a foam cleanser is used to completely wash off all residue. In addition, a facial exfoliator is used to shed off weekly buildup of blackheads, whiteheads, and stubborn dirt once or twice a week.

2. Toner – Softens and balances the skin’s ph and prepares skin for more add ons

3. Face Masks – clay masks, essence masks (this is what i am using now. See above), green tea masks, egg yolk masks are some of the masks used to target various skin conditions such as dryness, dullness, redness, etc…

4. Emulsion – lighter version of a moisturizer

5. Eye cream – reduces puffyness, provides intense hydration, reduces bags under the eyes

6. Moisturizer – protects the skin and prevents skin from drying. In other words, it moisturizes. Duh.

7. Essence – targets specific skin problems such as wrinkles, dryness, enlarged pores, dullness etc…

8. Serum – thicker and stronger version of essence.

9.Sheet masks/sleeping masks – mask saturated in essence (Can be used once a week or daily)

Nope, not done yet.

face palm

10. Night Cream – Heavy version of a moisturizer. the idea is that it seals all the layers slapped on your face.

Finished? yes, I am done listing it all. But as an added bonus lets add the mist spray!

11. Mist Spray –  Locks in moisture.

ALL OF THE ABOVE, I kid you not is applied to the face on a single seating. Generally, a nighttime routine takes about an hour. As this is a layering process, everything is articulated with precision and patience since you have to wait for products to sink into face before applying next in line.

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Now this might seen a bit much to those that are not familiar with this practice. In fact, I think its insane in the membrane! But I have heard that it really does lead to healthy younger looking skin. Ma korean sistas swear by it.

If you have the time, the patience and the budget and want that healthy, glowing, youthful looking skin, I recommend you give the Korean method of skincare a try.

skincare
Introducing a sample of the gazillion products to put on your face. Go crazy!

As for this busy mom, I honestly don’t have the time nor the patience to go through this rigorous routine Every Single Night. I really wish I did. Honestly, who doesn’t want healthy, younger looking skin? I do I do! But trying to catch as much snooze as possible is up there on my priority list. I just don’t have half an hr let alone 5 minutes to sit down and slather 20 products on my face while baby is howling for my attention. (But I have time to write this blog.. ahahah the irony) However, that doesn’t mean I should completely ignore my poor skin and leave it to hang dry, especially since I don’t have great skin to begin with as mentioned previously. Instead, i wanted to share what i thought are 3 must have skin care items that are essential and believe every woman should include in their daily routine.

1. Moisturizer. A must have, must use, must eat, must must must! Sooo important! I can not stress this enough but this might as well be my second skin. I slap it on my skin religiously every morning and night. As you have read above, the basic function of a moisturizer is to moisturize and keep your face from drying. This is crucial as you don’t want to be walking around with flakes on your face. I’ve experimented with various moistuizers and settled for Kiehls moisturizing lotion. I love the way it feels on my skin. Not too oily and doesn’t dry out my skin.

kiehl moisturizer

2. Serum. As soon as I hit 30, the first thing I went out to buy was Serum. Unless you want to start looking like yoda from Star Wars at a scary speed, I highly recommend including serum as part of your daily routine.

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Serums are packed with a high concentration of vitamins and anti oxidants to treat, repair and provide nutrients to your skin. The difference between a moisturizer and a serum is that a serum is made up of smaller molecules to effectively penetrate through layers of your skin. A moisturizer is made up of larger molecules that can only sink into the top layer of the skin (I aint no Einstein, so I had to do some research to get a better understanding of the various skincare products to share with y’all. Hehe. Your welcome). The serum that I currently use is also from Kiehls (Yes,  I am a Kiehls fanatic. As I don’t have the time at the moment to go into an indepth review of the products, I will cover that another day. Keep an eye out for it!)

kiehl serum

3. Sunscreen. Something that I completely ignored and didn’t realize how important it was until I started seeing some wrinkles and sunspots on my face!! FML.  I am deeply repenting from my lazy, don’t-care-im-asian-so-my-skin-Is-naturally-radiant attitude that I held in my 20’s. Learn from my mistake and drown your face in that sunscreen! Rain or shine, you better make sure you are wearing that stuff every single day. The stronger the spf the better. I now make sure to have both moisturizer and sunscreen on all day err day! The sunscreen that I am currently using is the Misscha sp 50 sunscreen. I used to use the clinique brand but I being a forgetful, careless klutz lost it somewhere on my trip to Korea. This is where Mischa enters my life and completes it once again.

misha sunscreen

As you can see, I am simple gal and a disgrace to the Koreans for ignoring their 20 step nightly routine. Believe me, I do want nice glowing skin and in a perfect world, I would definitely try to follow this religion but in mommy world, the 3 items that I have listed will have to do for now. Sigh. #aintnobodygottimeforthat!

Ess.

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How to put on fake eyelashes like a Diva!

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If my house was burning and I had to run in and grab 3 items, they would be my phone, my wallet and my lashes. (Note that my husband and baby would already be waiting for me outside, incase you were wondering if I’d be rescuing my family as well. Obviously they would be first on my list but we are talking about items here. Not that it really matters because this is really a hypothetical question and the chances of my house burning down is… well let’s just hope that it never happens).

Anyway, that’s right I said lashes as my third item to carry out. I mean a girl’s gotta look good even when running away from death.

giphyThe point is, lashes are a must-haves for me, even in the face of danger. We are like the ying and yang, like bonnie and clyde, like strawberries and cream. We compliment each other. It is my obsession. I was not born with beautiful natural long lashes like some of you. It might have to do with the part that I am Asian but who cares if you don’t have it, fake it! Now, I might sound pretty high maintenance but I assure you really I am not.  Name brand purses? No thanks. (Its advertising to be robbed.) Expensive dresses? Waste of money! (go to forever 21 and pick up a $20 dress!)  New Hairdo? This happens once a year.  Cake on the makeup? I don’t want to look like a clown. I just have an obsession with lashes. That is all. Really, all I need is a good compact and a pair of lashes and I am Good. To. Go! So anyway, having taught my friends and sisters how to put on fake lashes (yes, I take full credit for their transformation. Thank you. Thank you. Lol) here is a quick tutorial on how to put on falsies effectively. It takes me about a minute to put them on. If it’s your first time, it will take you a bit longer but remember practice makes perfect ladies…. err and gents!

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1. Buy your desired lash brand. Yes, you will need to spend a couple dollars to buy lashes as this is crucial for this tutorial. There are some DIY lashes that I’ve seen people make at home but errr just go out and buy one. I highly recommend as you don’t want to look like you have spider legs hanging from your lids. (I use benefit lashes for a night out and this Japanese brand – Diamond Lashes –  I discovered at crystal mall for a daytime look)   

benefit lash
Benefit Eyelashes

Diamond Lash

2. Remove lash from box and measure the length of the lash horizontally with the length of your eyelid. If the lash is longer than the length of your lash line, you’ll need to cut the lash to match its length. Be sure to cut from the outer edge of the lash, meaning the longer part not the short. I hope this makes sense.

3. Distribute a thin layer of glue onto the lash strip and wait 20 seconds to dry. Otherwise you’ll have glue smeared all over your eyes. And by thin I really do mean very thin. Do not dump half the tube of glue on the strip. A little goes a long way.

4. Starting from the outer corner of the eye, follow your lash line by gently pressing the strip as close to your natural lash lids as possible. This is important as the idea is to create an “oh, you have beautiful full lashes! What mascara did you use?!” we don’t want to go for, “I think you have hair growing on your eyelids…wtf”.

5. To ensure your falsies have held hands with your natural lashes, use your index and thumb finger to pinch them together starting from the outer corner of the eye and working inwards. This will create a more natural look and works more effectively than the eyelash curler.

6. Take your mascara and work it like you normally do with your natural lashes for a fuller look.Once the mascara has been applied, use your eyelash curler to curl them lashes. This will ensure your natural lash and your falsies sing that spice girls song, “when two become one~~” (Used to looove the spice girls. Lol “tell me what you what you really really want!” awesome song. Sorry off topic.)

7. Mission accomplished. Tada~~ You are now ready to show off your new and improved eyelashes to the world. You can tell will.iam that, “I got it from my mama!” Actually you got if from the genius inventors of falsies… but the key here is to make it look like you own it! Now go and work it girl!

I’m sure there are already hundreds of lash tutorials out there in cyberspace but this is my version and hope that you enjoyed reading it!

Cheers,

Ess.

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My Top 3 NYX Products!

Before reading the following, please note that I am by no means an expert in makeup nor have I had any training. The following review is just my humble opinion from experience and my  two cents on some of the products I’ve used. Enjoy!

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It’s not every day that i get to find CHEAP but EFFECTIVE makeup that I can use in my everyday routine. They say “sharing is caring” so after discovering NYX makeup, I thought to share my top 3 products that I’ve learned to absolutely love!!

 

1. Makeup Remover

One of the reasons why I was even mildly interested in the NYX line was actually from their makeup remover. I was on a search to find the golden egg of makeup removers and had heard pretty good reviews on it. After trying on dozens of makeup removers in my early 20’s I had given up resorting to baby oil to wipeoff my heavy eyeliner. The makeup removers I tried in the past were either too oily, too watery, too smelly, or just didn’t work at all. Maybe I was shopping in the wrong section. Either way, I thought makeup removers were a waste of money. Enter, NYX makeup remover…Can we say A-mazing?! It was perfect  for my acne proned skin, not too oily, smelly or watered down. With one wipe, my smokey eye makeup disappeared from my face! (Ok, maybe you have to wipe it off a couple of times, but nevertheless it worked. And it worked well!) The best part was that I paid $9.99 for it. A keeper for sure!

2. Powder Foundation

The next product that I absolutely love is the compact foundation/powder. Not only does it cover well but it is CHEAP!! I’ve tried MAC, DIOR, Benefit, Clinique, etc… and let me tell you, those companies are out to make me homeless. $40-50 for a compact foundation is about the average price. Im sorry, but that is a date night meal for me!  I don’t know about you, but I cannot afford to keep spending that much. The worst is when summer rolls around and you lay out in the sun to get that glowing tan and realize you need to buy a darker shade of compact so that your face is also matchy matchy. So what to do… do I dig into my wallet to pull out another crisp $50 bill to buy that  “tanned” compact from benefit? Oh hellz no! Enter, NYX compact/foundation! With just $12.99 you can purchase a tan coloured compact! (This totally sounds like a sales pitch…—..—NYX should pay me for this. Lol) Anyway, that’s right for $13, NYX compact not only glides onto your skin and covers your skin insecurities but the colour is purrrfect for all my Asian sistas, if you nawwatmsayin! I used to use benefit’s medium tan compact and I found it to have a red/pink tinge to it. The nyx that im currently using has a more yellow/golden tone that better matches my skin colour! You definitely get your money’s worth!

3. Wonder Pencil Concealer

The last product that I will be reviewing is the wonder pencil aka concealer of the year! I love it so much I got all three shades – Light, Medium, Dark! This multipurpose pencil can be used in so many ways. What is so spectacular about this you ask? Well, let me break it down for you. 1. You can use it as a concealer.  A little smudge goes a long ways. I usually just draw a circle on my blemish and then fill in the spot. Of course, don’t forget to blend or you are going to look like you have chicken pox all over your face. 2. You can use it for contouring. (I am guilty of contouring my nose to get that desired “highbridge” that many Koreans long for.  Some will go to extremes and get surgery to achieve it. That is insane right there.

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I might have considered it as well but for one, im broke, two I am scared of knives and three, why do surgery when you have wonder pencils on your side? (I am really starting to sound like a sales agent for nyx makeup. Lol. They should pay me for this or give me free makeup!! *cough *cough) 3. It is easy to carry around. Since this concealer is shaped exactly like an eyeliner, it doesn’t take too much space and fits into any purse! Anyway, yes I love love wonder pencils. And the best part is that it is CHEAP!!! Only $5.99! It doesn’t get better than that in the land of makeup ladies.

Anyway, as you can see the common reoccurring theme on my product reviews is just how CHEAP they are but yet so effective! Discovering NYX makeup has been pretty awesome, especially since being on mat leave has shrunk my financial pool to that of a puddle.

broke

Goodbye Sephora, Hello NYX!

Ess.