February 13th, 2014 12:11 pm

Vancouver Trip + Black Hair

Look, I have something to show for my absence! T_T

topik level 5kinat level 5, korean social integration program

I’ve been studying Korean for the past year for these language tests, TOPIK, an internationally recognized Korean language proficiency test, and KINAT, a local Korean government language program. Both are to help me get a different job in the future. Once I get to that, I’ll share with you guys!

 

Vancouver, Summer 2013

In fact, all I’ve been doing since January of 2013 was lock myself up at home and study all day. Even when I went back home to Vancouver in the summer, I was still studying and taking mandatory online Korean lessons.

Despite my studies, I still enjoyed being with my family, and took my camera around to take pictures of the beautiful Vancouver scenery and chill city life. I always love being back because the people and pace of life is so slow and casual. Unlike in Seoul, no one is rushing and pushing you out of their way. You rarely see girls dressed up limping in heels, with a full face of makeup and curls in their hair. Instead, you are usually looking at people in sweats, runners, and a backpack or riding their bicycle around the city.

My brother, Gary, and I took a few trips to Granville Island. He recently got me into longboarding, so we rode around the area, shopping local products, sitting down on the grass to watch an outdoor high school play, and just enjoying the view. Vancouver life!

Granville Island, Vancouver

Granville Island, Vancouver

Granville Island, Vancouver

Granville Island, Vancouver

Granville Island, Vancouver

Granville Island, Vancouver

Granville Island, Vancouver

Granville Island, Vancouver

Granville Island, Vancouver

Granville Island, Vancouver

Granville Island, Vancouver

Granville Island, Vancouver

Granville Island, Vancouver

Granville Island, Vancouver

Granville Island, Vancouver

Granville Island, Vancouver

Granville Island, Vancouver

The story with the longboard (not skateboard!) is, on the first day back in Vancouver, my brother asked me if I wanted to try out his longboard, which he had been riding for a while. I had just gotten home after about 30 hours busing, flying, transferring, and waiting for a flight delay. Naturally, I said no.

He insisted that I try it out quickly anyways. In the 10 minutes on the board, we were both surprised that I was actually pretty quick to learn. I also had a lot of fun. After about a week on his board, I decided to buy my own. I’ve had a really bad fall on it once, limped about for 2 weeks, but I still love being on my board.

 

Here’s the rest of my stay in Vancouver.

frostedsnow, Vancouver
Family dimsum

frostedsnow, Vancouver

frostedsnow, Vancouver
Volunteering with my friend at Rabbitat

frostedsnow, Vancouver
I swept up all that rabbit poop! It slightly killed my dream of having a rabbit >.<

frostedsnow, Vancouver
Buttercup, the friendliest and most loving rabbit ever.

frostedsnow, Vancouver
A sesame seed leaf from our garden the size of my face!

frostedsnow, Vancouver
Early birthday celebration with my family. The Sephora bag is actually Starcraft 2, which I asked Gary for.

 

 

Where’s the blondie?

Lots of people ask, why did you dye your hair back?

When I was blonde, purple, pink, blue, or whatever color I was, I felt that it reflected me. I felt like blonde was the color that belonged to my hair. I felt that black hair misrepresented me.

Then one day, I just didn’t feel that way anymore. I felt like, my hair should be black. So, I had it dyed back. Pretty simple.

Actually, there is really no way an Asian with black hair can stay light blonde forever, especially if they redo their roots frequently. My scalp was feeling more sensitive each time the bleach touched it, and even though it didn’t look it, my hair was getting super damaged and I didn’t feel like cutting it off anymore.

I’m very happy having black hair now. My next goal is to grow it long and gradient bleach and color the tips. I will share that journey with you guys, too!

frostedsnow, black hair

June 16th, 2013 11:21 pm

Back to Blonde

A while ago, I had to touch up on my roots, and thought I might as well rebleach all my hair to bring it a level lighter.

I realized that Manic Panic retains the color a lot better on the lightest parts of my hair (the ends). So, I didn’t apply any bleach to the ends of my hair where there was still some purple. It turned into a gradient pink and purple effect. This is my favorite hair color ever so far!

purple hair, lavender hair, silver hair, manic panic electric amethyst
Outfit from Lookbook: Six: Pastel Blazer

purple hair, lavender hair, silver hair, manic panic electric amethyst
Before clubbing in Hongdae. Hat from April 명동 Accessories Haul

My hair has been getting really dry after touching up almost weekly with Manic Panic so often. I found that applying deep conditioner for about 10 minutes on the driest ends of my hair before washing helped a lot. It looks less frizzy : )

 

 

The Blonde Icon: Key <3

I missed my blonde hair a lot actually. Whenever I look at Key (Shinee), I’m like, I want his blonde hair! I think he’s the longest going idol who chooses to keep his blonde hair.

On SHINee’s Wonderful Day, he said he likes to dye his hair to express his personal style. It’s only temporary and he wonders why more people don’t dye their hair. However, because it’s very expensive to do at the salon, he does it himself. In fact, it’s very easy.

I totally agree! (Does that make me wifey potential?? XD)

shinee key hair dye, shinee's wonderful day
Captures from Shinee’s Wonderful Day Episode 8

 

Here’s more blonde Key fangirling =p I’m just so absolutely in love with him. Did you guys see him teaching Taemin on We Got Married how to put on a seatbelt for a girl in the car?

“You don’t look at her but she will be looking at you.” Lady’s man! *ahemplayerahem*

shinee key blonde hair

shinee key blonde hair

shinee key blonde hair
All pictures are from Key’s Facebook Fanpage.

 

But in fact, behind all the styling and glamor, Key’s hair is actually very damaged as well. It’s really just unavoidable with bleaching.

shinee key blonde hair

shinee key blonde hair

Love him anyways <3

 

My posts have all been very hair centered, because I’ve just been having lots of fun experimenting with it nowadays. Also, the video I filmed (but still have not had time to edit yet, argh!) is hair related too. I’ll get on some other posts soon!

On a side personal note, remember I told you guys I was studying for the TOPIK test? I passed the advanced test! I was soooooo happy it was crazy. Please call me TOPIK level 5 =pp Actually, level 6 is the highest level, and I might have to try to get that in the future. Shortly after that, I had to study for a placement test to try to get into the highest level of a Korean program I have to take to finish it ASAP, and I got into the level I wanted! So, lots of good news on the Korean testing end of things.

This coming weekend, I’m going to Pusan simply to lie on the beach! Haha. I’ll probably bring my laptop to edit my next video on the 4 hour bus ride… there and back T_T

I also bought an outfit and accessories that happened to go together so absolutely well yesterday at Gunguk University (건대역). It was so weird how everything I bought just so happened to match! I really want to either shoot a look or video with that (or both!). Try my best!

Enjoy the summer everyone, and thank you for always being patient with me <3

May 14th, 2013 10:49 am

Hair Touch Up Fun With Manic Panic (part 2)

In my last post, I showed you guys my purple hair. The color was almost gone from my hair after a week, and I wash my hair everyday.

purple hair, lavender hair, silver hair, manic panic electric amethyst
Flattering or not, trying to capture the non-makeup life moments as well. Okay, actually I was just lazy to take a proper picture XD

I wasn’t really happy with my first time results. It was too purple.

When I touched up my hair a week later, I tied up a thin top layer of my hair to keep some silver, and applied Electric Amethyst with very little conditioner all over the underlying layer. I didn’t apply it to all the rest of my hair though, as it washes out so quickly anyways.

I was really apply with the results. I got the gradient and silver streaks effect that I wanted! Maybe a future video?

purple hair, lavender hair, silver hair, manic panic electric amethyst
After touch up

purple hair, lavender hair, silver hair, manic panic electric amethyst
The day after, end of the day. Oily >.<

purple hair, lavender hair, silver hair, manic panic electric amethyst
Loved the streak effect

purple hair, lavender hair, silver hair, manic panic electric amethyst
I feel like my hair color is bottled in my necklace pendant. It’s my favorite necklace to match with this hair!

 

 

Manic Panic Stock Up

You can foresee the future of my hair!

purple hair, lavender hair, silver hair, manic panic electric amethyst
Manic Panic in (top to bottom, left to right) Cotton Candy Pink, Electric Tiger Lily, Mystic Heather, Pretty Flamingo, Shocking Blue, Electric Amethyst, Hot Hot Pink: 9,000~ won ($8~ USD) each, 11st.co.kr (smcglobal), Korean seller, 4 day shipping. Also available on Gmarket and Amazon.

purple hair, lavender hair, silver hair, manic panic electric amethyst
Inside Shocking Blue and Mystic Heather

 

 

Hair Color Log

purple hair, lavender hair, silver hair, manic panic electric amethyst
Roots: Mystic Heather, Ends: Electric Amethyst (day 1)

purple hair, lavender hair, silver hair, manic panic electric amethyst
I felt like a female anime warrior =p

purple hair, lavender hair, silver hair, manic panic electric amethyst
Same hair in a different lighting (day 1). I posted on Facebook asking you guys whether I should get the pants… I got it!

 

Testing out Shocking Blue applied with lots of conditioners. Again, tied up the top layer of my hair and applied only to the underlying layer.

purple hair, lavender hair, silver hair, manic panic electric amethyst
Like the grey, purple, and blue combo? (day 1) How about my preppy outfit? Haha

purple hair, lavender hair, silver hair, manic panic electric amethyst
After fade out (day 4)

purple hair, lavender hair, silver hair, manic panic electric amethyst
Going stronger with Shocking Blue. Mystic Heather applied on the roots was barely visible with it (day 1)

 

 

Inspiration

idol hair dye
idol hair dye
My very first inspiration to get colorful hair (Gdragon)

idol hair dye
Okay, he’s just beautiful (Himchan)

idol hair dye
B.A.P. members always with an interesting hair color (Zelo)

 

I really think everyone should have some fun with their hair color at least once in their life!

April 13th, 2013 9:51 am

Lavender Grey Hair + Manic Panic Review (part 1)

I always wanted to play around with my hair color. Once you bleach it, you can get your hair to be any color of the rainbow.

It was soooo weird to see myself in the mirror with purple hair. I kept squealing and appalling at myself “Omg, I have purple hair! Gaaah!” It was my first time doing an ‘unnatural’ hair color. I know I’ve been blonde, but at least that is still a natural color (even if it’s not on me).

I was happier with the color after a few washes, as it was too purple on the first day.

I also had a really interesting time matching outfits and makeup with purple hair.

purple hair, lavender hair, silver hair, manic panic electric amethyst

I find safe and neutral colors like white, grey, and black will work well with any hair color, especially grey because there is a lot of silver-grey in my hair.

Also, a nice splash of bright color like my bright blue pants or multi-colored neon bracelet helps my hair stand out.

On the opposite end of the wheel chart, yellows, golds, and greens are supposed to go well with purple. I have a pair of bright yellow neon stud earrings (thank you unnie!) that didn’t go well with my blonde hair (yellow on yellow), but looks so awesome with my purple hair.

 

 

How to

I recently stumbled upon the brand, Manic Panic, a semi-permanent vegan hair dye. After a lot of careful consideration and picture searching, I chose Electric Amethyst. Lots of people mixed it with conditioner to get a lavender color.

I also knew the purple on top of dark blonde, especially once it washes out, will give a silver grey color. It was exactly what I wanted because I didn’t want completely purple hair. I wanted some sort of gradient between white, silver, grey, lavender, and purple.

I didn’t even do a streak test (no time!) and just went with it. I started with my hairline and the top of my hair, with 70% conditioner, 30% Electric Amethyst. As I got to the underlying and darker layers, it was about 50/50. Because my bleached hair is naturally uneven (darker roots and lighter ends), the grey and purple mix came out unevenly in a very nice way. Future video for this.

purple hair, lavender hair, silver hair, manic panic electric amethyst
Manic Panic, Electric Amethyst, 9,000 won ($8 USD), 11st.co.kr (smcglobal), Korean seller, 4 day shipping. Also available on Gmarket and Amazon.

Pros
- very well known and accessible product
- easy to use
- conditions hair and not damaging at all (especially if you mix it with conditioner, my bleached hair is SO soft now)
- can control the color outcome by mixing with conditioner or other Manic Panic colors
- strongly pigmented and results are true to the original color
- semi-permanent for people testing out colors
- no need to mix with or purchase a developer (damaging, costs money, knowledge of use required)
- apply straight from the jar without a mixing bowl (unless you are diluting or mixing colors)
- reasonably priced
- vegan product (no animal testing)

Cons
- almost completely washes out after 5 washes (and stains your hair a different color)
- requires bleaching beforehand for true color results
- small bottle, little product
- need to use a lot of conditioner to dilute the color
- does not recommend application to scalp (I did to some parts and it felt fine)
- doesn’t offer much variety in natural colors like blacks and browns

 

I mixed Electric Amethyst with a few different conditioners and a hair retaining mask product because I didn’t have enough of any one product. It was a terrible idea because my hair smelled so weird after. Also, I’m not sure which product caused it, but my hair started smoking up when I was drying it! I probably would’ve set my head on fire if I wasn’t watching carefully.

Once I started using just one conditioner, it’s been fine.

The parts of my hair I burned, though, turned pink, so it actually looked kind of nice. However, that eventually washed out as well.

purple hair, lavender hair, silver hair, manic panic electric amethyst

See the pink streaks from the burn?

 

 

Inspiration

This was the very first photo that set in my mind, I gotta have purple hair.

purple hair, lavender hair, silver hair, manic panic electric amethyst

 

I was literally looking at these photos again and again, working out in my mind how I would mix and apply it on my head. I would have been happy with any color similar to these, and I think it worked out pretty well?

purple hair, lavender hair, silver hair, manic panic electric amethyst
JunHyung from Beast

purple hair, lavender hair, silver hair, manic panic electric amethyst
N from VIXX
*insert absolute fangirl squeal even though I’m a Leo bias (the redhead in the back)* All my friends know I’m in love with their 다칠 준비가 돼 있어 vampire concept

In part two, I’ll show you guys how I touch up my hair after it washes out and some pictures from my upcoming hair styling video ^^

 

 

P.S. I actually already filmed a hair styling video, but I don’t have much time to edit it as I have to study for my TOPIK test next Sunday. Eeek! I’m trying to go for Level 5. Wish me luck~^^

April 5th, 2013 3:35 pm

Cute Socks from Korea Mini Giveaway Winner

Thank you to everyone who entered the socks giveaway. I posted a video on Facebook of how I chose the winner, just for fun XD


Next time, I will shoot videos on my phone in portrait view >.<

*drum rolls*

Congratulations to kanillabee! I will send you a message on Youtube. If she does not reply in 5 days, I will choose a another winner.

I did read every single suggestion and here are the things on my Youtube video to-do list:

      • Hair styling tutorial
      • Hair bleaching and coloring products and tutorial (coming soon)
      • Korean beauty products reviews and swatches
      • more Haul videos with OFTD and fashion tips

Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments and suggestions.

This weekend, I’ll be working on a Youtube video about how I bleach my hair and the products I use. Watch out for it ^^

 

Also, most of you guys following me on Facebook or Twitter already know, but I recently colored my hair purple. I’ll post photos for you guys in the next post.

purple hair, lavender hair, silver hair, manic panic electric amethyst
Mixing conditioner and Manic Panic

March 18th, 2013 2:11 am

Two Haircuts Later + Headband

I’ve been growing my hair out since my short boy cut. Even though my hair was long and shaggy, I was afraid to cut it for fear that the stylist will go too short. I usually kept it tied up and clipped on the side.

When my mom visited me in Korea, she asked, “When are you going to cut your hair? You look like a homeless.

seoul shopping, shopping haul

One of the few days I let my hair free. Pretty homeless.

 

Thanks to my mom’s discrete remark, I lifted up the courage to brave yet another battle with another stylist who pretends to listen and then cuts my hair completely different from what I ask.

When I went to cut my hair in January, I was put in the hands of a middle aged lady. She was the first stylist ever who actually listened to what I said, did what I asked for, and even took initiative to find pictures in the middle of my haircut to confirm what I wanted. She never looked annoyed as I watched her cut my hair and asked to her fix certain parts.

I finally found a stylist who I want to go back to!

 

Last Saturday, I made an appointment with her. I told her my hair has grown out a lot, is too thick, and all I wanted was a light trim without cutting off too much because I want to grow my hair long.

Then, I pretty much dozed off and let her do all the work. She always asks me after she cuts my bangs whether I want to go shorter. I usually do, because she is usually careful not to cut it too short.

The only thing small criticism I had was she did not blow dry my hair after the cut since I didn’t wash it, but my hair was all flat from her spraying water on it before cutting. I had to ask her to blow dry and put some volume into my hair for me, which she did very nicely.

I walked out a happy (and less homeless) lady!

seoul shopping, shopping haul

seoul shopping, shopping haul

seoul shopping, shopping haul

 

The name of my stylist is RaKyung.

seoul shopping, shopping haul

15,000won ($14 USD) cut only. 3,000won ($3) wash and dry. 3,000won to curl or style.

 

After my haircut, I quickly shopped around before drinks with my friend and bought a hairband. I love buying hairbands even though I don’t end up wearing most of them T_T I’m gonna work hard on wearing this one as often as possible!

seoul shopping, shopping haul

Small, delicate, and subtle. Nothing too crazy.

seoul shopping, shopping haul

5,000won ($5) Kangnam station (강남역) underground shopping

 

I think the gold leaves go really well with my hair color.

seoul shopping, shopping haul

 

Finally, just to put you off the hook, instead of always showing you all my made up photos, here’s me after washing, blow drying, and waking up the next morning with my new hair cut.

No makeup look. Don’t be scared!

seoul shopping, shopping haul

Even though I watched her blow dry my hair, it’s really hard to get it as perfect. I’ll work on it!

 

 

PS. 6 more days for my mini Korean socks giveaway. Since my audience is quite small, you have a good chance of winning! Details in the video.

March 8th, 2013 12:53 pm

Belated Xmas Haul Youtube Video

I went on a shopping spree for Christmas as a treat for myself, to buy gifts for others, and catch the winter sales. Here’s a video of the clothes, accessories, beauty products, and nail polishes I bought. I also included an Outfit of the Day to model and style what I bought for you guys ^^

I am also doing a mini giveaway of these super cute socks in the video as well. Please check out the video for details.

After a lot of thought on how I was going to 1) take beautiful pictures of all the many items I hauled, including the clothes and 2) how I was going to model all of them without making a big project out of turning it into a Look post instead of a Haul post, I finally decided it would be just much easier to make a haul video. Also, I have had requests from you guys to do haul videos from the comments you gave me in my last giveaway, so it works out nicely.

I found that I enjoyed making the video a lot more than I did shooting looks just because I don’t have to move the furniture around my tiny apartment to make room for a full body shoot and it seems a lot more dynamic and relatable to be talking in a video rather than just have you look at my pictures.

As a result, I decided to move more of what I do on my blog to the form of Youtube videos — hauls, reviews, beauty tips and advice, and of course, makeup tutorials. It doesn’t mean I won’t be updating my blog anymore, but more that the two will complement each other.

What do you guys think?

 

Here are some photos from my weekend, taken on my new phone. Ipod picture quality totally loses!

seoul shopping, shopping haul

01 Most people don’t realize I live in a city outside of Seoul. I stay at a hostel when I visit Seoul for the weekend 02 My total Christmas shopping haul bags 03 Back of my “new” vintage denim jacket (see video) 04 Club stamp from Club Cocoon in Hongdae (great club!)

 

seoul shopping, shopping haul

05 Outfit on display at Zara Men. Was debating whether to buy the vest or not for Gary 06 Sweat shirt on sale at Giordana 15,000 won ($15 USD) 07 Choosing a scarf for the little brother 08 Gary wearing his shirt and scarf Christmas gift

Check out the video for the rest of the haul.

 

Hope you guys enjoyed! The video came from a lot of hard work and late night editing T__T

February 13th, 2013 10:26 pm

“Skinny Skin” Sticker Phone Covers

samsung galaxy note 2 cover, note 2 phone cover, galaxy note 2 cover, skinny skin, slim phone cover

My first smartphone ever!

Purchased as a result of the Korean drama 신사의 품격, A Gentleman’s Dignity, where I was wondering if the all the characters were not holding the biggest phone ever or what.

 

samsung galaxy note 2 cover, note 2 phone cover, galaxy note 2 cover, skinny skin, slim phone cover

Purchased from: 11st.co.kr. Includes: front sticker, back sticker with customized name, star, and crystal deco, 2 screen protector films (low quality), a clear film sticker applicator, instructions sheet, etc. Also available at: english.gmarket.co.kr (english + international shipping), search ‘skinny skin’ or skinnyskin.co.kr

I don’t usually believe in covering my electronics, especially if I own a $700 phone, I’m going to flash it around! Unfortunately, I have buttery fingers (or so my unnie called it) as my hobby seems to be dropping my phone on the ground everyday, so I had to get some sort of cover.

 

samsung galaxy note 2 cover, note 2 phone cover, galaxy note 2 cover, skinny skin, slim phone cover

To Match your Screen & Border: Before removing the sticker skin, take pictures of it on your phone in various sizes and closeness. Set as your home and lock screen. Crop and adjust to fit your phone border. Play around!

Skinny Skins are custom made by order for most popular phones. They are not a clip on cover, just two sheets of stickers, stamp cut to fit the shape of your phone.

 

samsung galaxy note 2 cover, note 2 phone cover, galaxy note 2 cover, skinny skin, slim phone cover

Customizable option available on 11st.co.kr only. Available in three options: 1) writing, 2) various decorations, and 3) crystal. Details and screenshot below.

My order was name + deco + crystal with the instructions “Please write ‘Sharon’ in silver with star deco” (은색으로 영문 “Sharon” 별데코 부탁 드려요).

The writing is glossed over and the crystal applied with glue and heat. After 2 months of heavy usage, it still looks the same (in fact, I took these pictures all just yesterday, and the cover still looks new!).

 

samsung galaxy note 2 cover, note 2 phone cover, galaxy note 2 cover, skinny skin, slim phone cover

Pros

  • lightweight
  • unique artwork designs
  • matching screen and border picture
  • customizable name, design, color, and crystal decoration
  • high quality, durable, and stays in place
  • Cons

  • very difficult and time consuming self application
  • doesn’t provide fall protection
  • sticker allows only 1-3 times of reapplication
  • regular film protectors need to be cut to match the front screen
  • My first reaction when I received the skinny skin was, “Wadda heck, I gotta stick it on myself??” It took, no joke, 1.5 hours of intense concentration, removal, reapplication, and lots of hair pulling before I finally got both sides on and gave up on the screen protector film (which I tried and failed). You do get a few tries if you mess up, but in the reviews on their website, some people said they had to throw theirs away after too many failed attempts. I wish this were sold at an on-site store where I can buy the skin and ask them to put it on for me.

    Once it was on, I was in love. The moment I had seen the unearthly, evil-ish, vampire-y looking, slightly Victorian dressed little girl with the cold expression, fiery red hair, and a freaky bunny peaking from behind (a rabbit is on my pet wish list!), I knew the design was for me. Whenever I’m teaching, I always check out my student’s phones and covers, and they are all the same stuff you see on the streets. So far, I’ve not had any clashing.

    There are many designs, suit for the boys as well. Here are other ones I like:

    samsung galaxy note 2 cover, note 2 phone cover, galaxy note 2 cover, skinny skin, slim phone cover

     

     

    Q & A

    Last time I posted about Those Animal Pajamas all the Kpop Idols Wear, lots of people asked me these questions…

    1) How do I place the order? Does it ship overseas?

  • Screenshot + Instructions to Order from English Gmarket
  • Screenshot + Instructions to Order from 11st.co.kr.
  • If you live overseas, order it from Gmarket. To give you an idea of shipping costs, it’s $14 USD to ship to Canada. If you live in Korea or have a friend who can ship it to you, order it from 11st.co.kr.

    I ordered from 11st.co.kr. Skinny Skins are also available on english.gmarket.co.kr (no custom deco option). You can also buy from other shopping sites by searching ‘skinny skin’ or the original skinnyskin.co.kr.

    2) How do I make an account with Gmarket or 11st.co.kr?
    Gmarket has an English language option. You can make an account even as a foreigner living overseas and most of the registration is done in English.

    As for 11st.co.kr, I don’t think they ship overseas. If you are a registered foreigner living in Korea, but you have very little Korean language skills, I suggest asking a Korean friend to help you. Even if I translate the registration page for you, you need to type your information in Korean, and there are lots of picky glitches. Get a Korean to help you! Once you’ve made an account, ordering stuff by yourself is a lot easier.

    3) Can you buy it from a US dealer?
    I didn’t find any, but if you do, please share in the comments with us.

    Note: All products were purchased with my own money.

     

     

    PS. I keep apologizing for being so slow on updates. I’ve been working crazy overtime hours (to make up for this $700 phone I bought T_T), got the flu, had my parents over for a week, and studying Korean everyday like crazy to prepare for the TOPIK (I’m aim for level 5! >.<) in April. Thanks to my friend for finally one day calling me, investigating my schedule, asking me why I cannot both study Korean and blog as well, and demanding that I go make an update right away, that I am here... but really, these posts take a lot longer than you think! Anyways, I needed a break from studying.

    I made a huge haul for Christmas (old, I know!) that I've been meaning to post. I'll try my best to be back with that soon! <3

    December 3rd, 2012 8:02 am

    Still Alive

    Yes, I’m still alive (no BigBang pun intended!).

    The last few months has been the most stressful time for me. As you guys know, I was in Thailand doing my teacher training course (CELTA) in August, which was the most intensive and demanding thing I’ve ever done. I don’t think I’ve ever worked that hard for a full month, but I was really happy and proud of my final score; I got a Pass B, top 20% of the class.

    I came back in September getting ready for a new semester at school, was sick with a constant cold on and off (which I’m still trying to fight off!), and did some job searching and application. In between meeting friends in Seoul, hosting my wonderful friend from Vancouver for her one week Korea visit, and all the daily household errands, I was just too exhausted to do any blogging. All I could do was lay in bed and read or watched TV.

    I’m starting to feel a little better and have settled down a bit. *waves* Some of my friends were saying “You know, Sharon, it’s been a really long time since you’ve updated your blog,” and I’m happy that they have not forgotten about my little home here.

     

    Here’s a preview of the upcoming look post. I had fun playing with my hair.

    korean fashion, idol fashion, kpop hair

    Coming soon!

    July 26th, 2012 2:06 am

    Shopping for Men in Korea (part 2 of family visit to Korea)

    After our weekend trip to Soraksan in part 1, my family and I spent the rest of our time in Seoul. This post is partially to show how the rest of our trip went, and partially to show my brother’s shopping haul.

    Finally, something for the guys!

    Our goal was to buy him a new summer outfit and some other ‘stuff from Korea’. All his pants were long and too hot for the summer. He said “I don’t want to look like a preppy Korean, but I don’t want to look like a sloppy white guy either” (I’m just quoting him okay!). The dilemma of a Chinese-Canadian — not fully fresh off the boat, not fully on the white people’s ride either!

    Basically, what he meant was he didn’t want to wear the pastel blue above the knee tight short trousers as most Korean guys we saw were sporting nowadays, but he also didn’t want to wear basketball shorts all the Canadians wore back home.

    So, something in between preppy and sporty casual.

     

    shopping in seoul, travel in seoul, myungdong shopping in seoul, travel in seoul, myungdong
    Neither!

    What a mission!

    I became his personal stylist and shopping assistant for the next few days. Here’s what we bought.

     

     

    Shopping for Men

     

    Our main goal was men’s clothes. Obviously, there are always more women’s stores, but most shopping areas have clothes for men.

    In Korea, you can bargain prices down by about 5-10%, but rarely more than that, especially if you are speaking in English (just be happy they don’t quote a higher price!). Obviously, there is no bargaining at big department stores or brand names.

    Also, remember that in small Korean stores, you can only try on pants and outerwear, but not T-shirts! At the big brand names, you can try on anything.

     

     

    Myungdong (명동, subway blue line #4)

     

    For the guys, you will get the best of big brands here — Zara, H&M, Giordano, Uniqlo, etc. For shoes, there are major names like Adidas, Converse, ABC Mart, or small street shoe stalls where you can find cheap imitation styles. Higher end, especially suits and dress shirts can be found in the Lotte Department store. For unique and quirky styles, I took my brother to Aland, where you can find almost everything from accessories, clothes, socks, shoes in a variety of styles — punk, preppy, vintage, etc. However, our main purpose there was the huge variety of bags and backpacks ranging from sporty hiking backpacks, preppy canvas shoulder bags, vintage leather bags, and colorful studded hip hop backpacks. He needed a new schoolbag.

     

    things to do in seoul, shopping in seoul, travel in seoul, myungdong
    Street foods and pappingsoo (팥빙수),
    or shaved ice with red beans at Beans Bin (super yummy!)

     

    shopping in seoul for men, shopping in korea for men, men's clothes in korea, men's clothes in seoul, myungdong
    White and Blue Strip T-shirt: Giordano, 20,000~ won ($18 USD); Denim Blue Straw Rimmed Low Ankle Shoes: street shoe store, 20,000-25,000~ won ($18-23); Short Jeans: Zara, 49,000~ won ($45); Purple Studded Backpack: Aland, 125,000~ won ($115)

     

    At Giordana, I dressed Gary in this whole outfit (except for the shoes he was already wearing). He didn’t like the pants though!

    shopping in seoul for men, shopping in korea for men, men's clothes in korea, men's clothes in seoul, myungdong
    So hard understanding what this client wants!

     

     

    Eedae (이대, subway green line #2)

     

    Eedae is good for the little self merchant Korean stores to avoid the imported stuff. Although Ehwa is a women’s university, there are plenty of men’s store. You will find everything from regular T-shirts, hiphop style graphic print sweatshirts, sophisticated blazers, romantic style dress shirts, and the preppy blue and pink short trousers all the Korean guys wear.

     

    shopping in seoul for men, shopping in korea for men, men's clothes in korea, men's clothes in seoul, myungdong
    Gary sporting his new shirt, jeans, and bag on our second shopping day

     

    There is one thing you must eat at Eedae — the Herb Cup Chicken (허브 컵 치킨). There are imitations elsewhere, but the real thing is at Eedae. It’s just the combination of freshly fried chicken, the breading on the chicken, the herbs, the sticky gooey spicy and sweet sauce, the sticky chewy ddeok (rice cake) and the hashbrowns that makes my mouth water even as I type.

    I ended up going back for a second cup before we left.

    Some of you guys are into cafes, and there is a really nice, European style cafe called Migo (picture above and below). We tried the black oyster ink bread.

     

    things to do in seoul, shopping in seoul, travel in seoul, eedae, ehwa
    Do you see Gary outside of Ehwa and all the girls walking out of the university? XD

     

    I’ve gone shopping for Gary a lot before, either alone in Korea or with him in Vancouver, and with a lot of hits and misses, I’ve come to learn what his style is — casually dressed up. He likes simple and unique cutting, fitting not baggy, single neutral block colors with little color mixing or mismatching, and nothing too bright or flashy.

    I wish he would be more adventurous with the way he dresses, but he’s very set on what he will or will not wear. If I buy something for him that’s “not his style”, he will absolutely refuse to wear it -_-

    This time, I was real pro though. I would walk into a store and literally pinpoint within 0.25 seconds I look in one direction what would look good on him, is acceptable within his style, or on his wish list.

    Staring at Kpop boys all day pays off!

    Sharon: *walks straight up to the rack and pulls out targeted item*
    ………….“Try this on.”
    Gary: “Hmm… I dunno. It’s pretty blah blah *analysis here*”
    Sharon: “Just try it on.”
    Gary: *tries*
    ………“It looks pretty good… blah blah *analysis here*”
    Sharon: “Yeah, it does… blah blah *analysis here* You want it?”
    Gary: “Yeah.”

    Done.

    Girls are a lot harder to dress though T_T

     

    shopping in seoul for men, shopping in korea for men, men's clothes in korea, men's clothes in seoul, myungdong
    Denim Rimmed Half Sleeve Checkered Dress Shirt: Eedae street store (name?), 35,000~ won ($32 USD); Half Sleeve Black Blazer (thin summer fabric): same Eedae street store, 65,000~ won ($59); Long Sleeve Navy Blue Blazer (thick autumn fabric): Morphine, 69,000~ won ($62); Bow Tie: Morphine, 8,000 won ($7); Orange Brown Asymmetrical Cardigan: Morphine, 30,000~ won ($27)

     

    We bought all of these at just two different stores so that we could get a bargain. He chose the black blazer and necktie. I chose the dress shirt, navy blue blazer, and cardigan.

    We got about 6-10% discount on those prices after my shameless bargaining.

     

    shopping in seoul for men, shopping in korea for men, men's clothes in korea, men's clothes in seoul, myungdong
    Gary styling the clothes for you guys back in Vancouver

     

     

    Hongdae, Express Bus Terminal, and Others

     

    We also did some shopping at Hongdae (홍대, subway green line #2) but only because we stayed at a hostel in the area. I wouldn’t take him shopping there otherwise. It’s a great place for female cosmetics and very quirky and unique accessories, bags, shoes, and clothing. However, the stores for men are few and overpriced. It’s more of a night life drinking and clubbing area (my favorite!).

    I also took Gary to the Express Bus Terminal (고속버스 터미널, subway orange line #3 and dark green line #7), but it was still closed for renovations. It’s been renovating for a year or two now! It used to be a great area for low priced, but also mostly lower quality stuff, so it’s more of a treasure hunt. It’s my second favorite shopping area to Myungdong. Most of the stores are for women, but there are the occasional ones for men (well, that’s pretty much how it’ll work wherever you shop in Korea). I’m not sure when and how it will be like when renovations are complete though.

    For very high end Korean designs, you can visit Apugujung (앞구정, orange line #3) where many of the celebs dwell. I’m not a high end girl so I’ve only been there a few times. A simple T-shirt can cost $200! You may also want to visit just to get a feel of what the rich and trendy neighborhood of Korea is like, and eat there for a much more reasonable price than the shopping.

     

    What other places would you suggest for shopping in Korea, especially men’s clothes?

     

     

    PS. This is my last post before leaving for Thailand for 5 weeks!!! Sooooo excited! But don’t worry, I will have a few posts pre-written during my break so the blog will still be active while I’m gone. I’ll also post some photos while I’m there, either on Facebook or a blog post, but I can’t post much because I’ll be super busy studying! However, I’ve been feeling really inspired lately with the blog and video ideas because of all your suggestions, so I’ll work extra hard on it all when I’m back from the trip! ^^

    PPS: I’m in a bit of a dilemma! What do you guys prefer?

    1) Hair Routine & Care Products Video
    2) What’s in My Travel Bag Video

    Please vote here or just comment! Thanks a bunch!