Archive for February, 2012

February 27th, 2012

Those Animal Pajamas all the Kpop Idols Wear

So you know those crazy cute and ridiculous looking animal pajamas that all the Kpop idols are running around in? the ones that you always thought would be fun to have, but can’t find anywhere?

I’m sure that if you are even faintly acquainted with Korean media, especially the Kpop idols, you will know what I mean by “animal pajamas”, but just in case…

 

animal pajama, animal pajamas, kpop idol
Shinee members on Hello Baby

animal pajama, animal pajamas, kpop idol
Song JoongKi at a grocery store

animal pajama, animal pajamas, kpop idol
Z:ea members KwangHee and DongJun at a radio show
Source & Photo: Star News via Nate

animal pajama, animal pajamas, kpop idol
Infinite member Hoya on Sesame Player

 

 

Online Sellers

I’ve been wanting to buy one for myself since forever, but never saw them on the streets or stores of Korea. As I was doing some online shopping a while ago, I stumbled upon these and decided to buy one as a Christmas gift.

 

animal pajama, animal pajamas, kpop idol

animal pajama, animal pajamas, kpop idol

animal pajama, animal pajamas, kpop idol

 

These animal pajamas sell for about 25,000 won ($23 USD) by Sweet Holic at Interpark. I’m sure Gmarket and other major online Korean shopping websites will carry them as well.

Click on the specific animal pajama you want for more pictures and a sizing chart. I’m about 162 cm (5’4) and I just fit into a S (small). Medium will probably work for me but be a bit big. Expect these to be a little baggy, as they are PJs after all!

 

animal pajama, animal pajamas, kpop idol

 

Be aware of buying something in the $10+ range, because those are very likely “fakes”. Although I don’t think there is a specific brand name for these pajamas, I would stick to the $20+ range for better quality.

Sweet Holic claims that “fakes” are of lower quality, less durable, and forms fluffs/lint easily and can’t survive the washing machine. When I compare the photos of the cheaper and more expensive stuff, you can at least see that on the Sweet Holic pajamas, the eyes and facial features are actually sewn on, whereas the cheaper one looks glued on.

Sweet Holic also boasts elastic strewn sleeves and ankle legging, a string/rope adjustable hoodie neckline, and pockets on all of their PJs.

 

 

Quality + Review

I bought the kangaroo one because the baby kangaroo in the big pocket is just too cute. I’ve seen a chicken one before (though not sold by Sweet Holic) with a little baby chicken in the breast pocket and thought it was absolutely adorable as well. The miniature matching babies are just too much fun!

 

animal pajama, animal pajamas, kpop idol

 

As usual of Korean sellers, these arrived within a few days of payment. I was surprised how thick and heavy the material was, and had to scrap my original idea of sending it by post because of the size and weight. However, it is not that heavy that you would feel like it was dragging you down.

The PJs are a one piece slip on to wear around the house, to sleep in, and keep warm (or wear out if you fancy!). If you are like the Kpop idols, you can wear the hoodie to hide your messy bed head =p

The kangaroo has a pretty big tail, but I recommend you getting something without so you might actually be able to sleep in it. Lots of pajamas have something on the back (wings or tails) you should be aware of!

 

Finally, instead of writing a normal letter, I wrote this instead for my friend =p

animal pajama, animal pajamas, kpop idol

 

If I ever get one for myself, I would get the black pig (top row, 4th in screenshot) because my nickname at home is ‘pig’ since I love sleeping and eating (and I’m pretty lazy too) XD

Which one would you get for yourself?

 

 

PS. I posted on Facebook recently my new hair color. I know it’s time for a look post, but I’m leaving Vancouver this Tuesday, so I’ll try to post it asap when I get back to Korea! I have a good few days to rest before I start work on Monday ^^ I’ll also post some pics of my trip back in Van. soon (it’ll mostly be a lot of food porn though, like last time XD).

PPS. I wasn’t originally planning to make this animal pajama post, or else I would’ve screen capped all the many times I’ve seen idols in these PJs. However, I searched and searched for the episode and moment where they caught Hoya (from Infinite) sleeping in them in Sesame Player Episode 3 @ 34:50. It took forever cuz my player skips or rewinds in large chunks T_T, but I was soooo happy I could somehow find an excuse to include him in my blog post since he is my most recent bias =p Haha!!

February 18th, 2012

Hair Salons in Seoul

*edit 2014, Oct 12: Aka Hair, the salon I recommended, is now closed (I went recently!). I will make a new post for a large hair salon area very soon.

Here’s the post I promised (I often promise posts and get side tracked, but I was determined to do this one!) — a complete guide to finding and visiting a hair salon in Seoul.

Many people want to cut their hair when they visit Korea, as it’s cheaper and caters more to their hair style tastes. I’m always asked the same thing from readers and friends about it, so here we go!

1) Where to Go
2) FAQ
3) Korean Hair Salon Vocabulary + Common Phrases

 

Where to go 찾아가~

 

Where should I go?
University areas offer the best price for quality (just think students on a budget). There are lots of salons around 이대 (Ehwa Women’s University, subway station). Color dye + cuts are around $30 there.

If you want middle to upper scale, try visiting 강남 (Kangnam; also good for night life, drinking, and clubs). Expect $40~ for a cut; $100~ for dye. However, most people on a short trip to Korea don’t usually have time to visit Kangnam, as it’s not a common touristy area.

You can also find all ranges of salons in 명동 (Myungdong), the most touristy shopping area so you don’t have to make a separate trip for your hair. You can easily tell from the outer appearance of a salon what the price range is.

Hair salons are almost everywhere. Just keep your eyes peeled!

 

Where do the celebrities go? I want to visit my Kpop band’s salon!
Most celebrities go to luxury beauty salons located in 압구정 (Apgujong). Apgujong is the high class area of Seoul, where the rich and famous usually dwell.

Side note: I rarely visit Apgujong, but of the few times I did, I actually saw 신애 (Shinae) from We Got Married (as Alex’s “wife”) at a pet store with her dog and real husband. If you walk around the area while looking for a beauty salon, it’s very possible to even run into a celeb!

 

Where do you go?
*edit 2014, Oct 12: Aka Hair, the salon I recommended, is now closed (I went recently!). I will make a new post for a large hair salon area very soon.

I go to Aka Hair at 천호 (Cheonho) station on the pink #8 line, exit 2, walk straight about a block or two and it’s on your left, 2nd floor, with the main street on your right, across from Hyundai Department Store.

seoul hair salons, aka hair, korean hair salons
www.akahair.com – click for a Korean map

Above is their business card, with the name of the hair dresser who did my hair once, and the times he works. However, I am not recommending any specific hair dressers because there has never been one I liked enough, but overall, I like the price, service, product quality, and hair cut results.

I’ve dyed and cut my hair about 6-7 times over 3 years at Aka Hair, always making an effort to go out of my way there. They claim to be a celebrity hair salon (though I doubt it), with a clean and spacious interior, both young and older hair dressers and customers, and is usually quite busy, especially during peak hours.

 

Can you suggest any more specific salons?
I am not very adventurous when it comes to salons, so I cannot personally recommend any more salons.

Instead, I can only recommend that you keep your eyes peeled, walk into a salon, and don’t be afraid to ask for the prices. If you don’t like what you see, it’s perfectly fine to walk back out (that’s what I did before finding my salon!).

If you live in Korea with a phone, and are too shy to walk in, call them instead to ask for prices. Their phone number is often listed on the hanging store name signs.

seoul hair salons, myungdong hair salons, korean hair salons
random hair salons in Myungdong (명동)

Would you be able to spot all the salons without the yellow star to indicate? XD

Just look for the word “hair” or “헤어” in English or Korean (more vocab below).

 

 

FAQ 궁굼해!

How much does it cost?
It depends on where you go and the length of your hair.

I always go for middle-scale salons, so hair cuts are 15,000 won ($14 USD) and color dye, essence treatment, or perms are around 50,000 won ($45).

About 10,000 won is added per 2 inch for hair below shoulder length.

More on hair dye costs below.

 

Can they speak English?
Foreign based salons like Toni&Guy probably can, but why would you go to Korea to get your hair cut at Toni&Guy?

Upper scale Korean salons like Juno Hair might speak a little.

Chinese mandarin or Japanese speakers may want to hit up 명동 (Myungdong) salons as the area caters largely to Chinese/Japanese tourists and many employees can speak it almost perfectly.

My advice to you is to just choose the salon you like, bring a few photos, and be very descriptive, use simple English, and a lot of body language. Try to ask for a stylist who speaks a little of your language when you enter the salon.

You can also use the vocabulary + common phrases I offer at the end of this post!

 

Can I perm my hair like the celebrities?
The wavy hair you see on most Korean actresses are actually not perms, but curls created by a curling iron. It is a temporary curl, not a permanent perm.

Consult your stylist to try and get the closest perm to what you want. There are many kinds of perms, wave perms, volume perms, etc.

I’ve never permed by hair before, only asked about it and seen my Korean friend’s hair, so I’m not really an expert in this area. I’m more of a hair color girl.

 

What services does a hair cut / dye / perm include? Do I pay extra for wash + dry? Does it include anything else?

Korean salons charge separately for wash and dry. Aka Hair charges $3 for hair wash + dry.

All color dye jobs includes cut + wash + dry + curling/styling. I’ve never permed my hair before but it will include at least a wash and dry.

A really special service offered at Aka Hair (I’m not sure if it’s same everywhere) is that after a 50,000+ won dye job, they will curl your hair for free.

Even when my hair was super long, and it took an extra 30 minutes after a 3 hour dye + wash + cut + dry job, the hair dresser still offered to curl my hair for me using a curling iron (NOT a permanent perm!).

cut hair in seoul, haircuts in korea, seoul hair salons, aka hair, korean hair salons
Top: pictures taken shortly after a hair cut at Aka Hair
Bottom: after hair dye + cut + curl at Aka Hair

 

What hair dye products do they use? How do they charge for longer hair? What is the price range?
The salon I go to offers 3 different costs and dye quality — 30,000 won ($27 USD), 50,000 won ($45) and 80,000 won ($72). I always go for the 50,000 won, which is L’oreal. I’m not sure what other salons use.

Remember, these prices are just minimal costs. About 10,000 won ($9) is added for every 2 inches for hair below shoulder length. When my hair was the length of the picture above, top right, it costed 80,000 won to dye.

Root touch-ups for hair dye is the same as the minimal cost. So, root touchups cost the same as dying your hair if it is above shoulder length.

 

Do hair salons also do makeup?
Not the lower to middle scale salons. If you want to have your makeup done by a professional makeup artist, you are probably looking for a higher end beauty salon, not a hair salon.

High end salons in 앞구정 is where all the celebrities go to do their makeup and hair.

 

What other services do hair salons offer?
Basic nail art prices are usually decent at hair salons. They may also do eyebrow bleaching. Wedding or special occasion hair styling is often available as well.

 

Do I have to pay tips?
Usually, you never pay tips in Korean restaurants, for food delivery, or most other things.

I usually never pay tips at Aka Hair because I never have a stylist I like and will return to (and I’m cheap, bleh =p). However, I have seen a guy pay tips before. Also, the hair dresser always unnecessarily stands behind the counter with the cashier as you pay. It’s part of the payment procedure and they are most likely hoping for tips.

Tipping is not a common custom in Korea, so you won’t get any dirty looks if you decide to go tight on your wallet. However, for a stylist I want to return to, I would tip for better service next time. Remember to get a business card and ask for the name and working time of the hair dresser!

 

 

Vocabulary + Common phrases 배우자 ^^

Here is just a list of very basic vocabulary and simple phrases.

There’s really no way I can teach you how to describe all the possible things you can want in a hair cut, but hopefully with a few main vocab & phrases, pictures of the hairstyle you want, and good body language, you can get the point across.

If you have absolutely no Korean ability and don’t think that you can even pronounce these phrases properly, I suggest you just print the chart out (Save Image As), bring it along with you, and point to it!

hair salon korean vocabulary, hair cut common korean phrases, cut hair in seoul, haircuts in korea, seoul hair salons, aka hair, korean hair salons

Good luck, and do share with me if you ever have a chance to cut your hair in Korea or uses any of the vocab or phrases ^^

February 12th, 2012

The Green Parka

There was a time when these green parkas were super popular in Korea. If you walked down the street, there would be at least one girl in one of these long canvas jackets. These are less of a hype now, but you can still see a lot of girls in one.

I never ended up buying one for myself because I don’t like wearing things everyone has, but my mom bought me something similar from her last trip to Hong Kong.

 

Please be generous with hyping, liking, and retweeting this look~! Thank you ^^

 

green parka, canvas jacket

green parka, canvas jacket

Green Parka: Ebase from HongKong
Checkered Ankle Socks: Myungdong street sock stand, $3 USD
Brown Suede Heels: Shoesone from 11st.co.kr $45 USD

My favorite part to this outfit is actually the socks! I just think it’s fun to have a small splash of color to a neutral earthy colored outfit. The beige pairs really well with the brown suede heels.

I found a really good Korean online shoes seller. They sell all kinds of really fashionable heels, boots, sandals, and even rip-off of designer brands you may not be able to afford at the original price tag.

green parka, canvas jacket
click to website

I know that most of my readers are not in Korea, but if you have friends there, or ever even just travel or do exchange there and are somewhat proficient in Korean or have a helpful friend, then you could consider some online shopping! They usually ship super fast and you get your stuff within 3-4 days of paying for it (though all sellers vary, they tell you the predicted time).

These shoes were very decent for the price and made in China. They had a really strong smell, but I’m sure that will go away with time. They are a little hard to walk in, but just so pretty I’m glad I bought them.

I bought two pairs and will show you the other pair in a future look!

 

green parka, canvas jacket

green parka, canvas jacket

green parka, canvas jacket

I’m wearing a thin frilly scarf to match the lace rimming the jacket.

Did you notice the puffy sleeves? It’s very princess like. That’s more of my mum’s style than mine. She loves feminine girly princess stuff!

 

corset back, green parka, canvas jacket

The corset back is my favorite thing about this jacket. I just love anything corset, lingerie, or Victorian!

It reminds me so much of corset back piercings, which I’ve always admired and actually looked into. However, I found out that you cannot keep the back piercings in because you have to sit down or lay down on your back, and the constant pressure cannot allow the wound to heal. So it’s often done for temporary purposes.

green parka, canvas jacket

Isn’t it soooo pretty though?

 

 

The Green Parka

green parka, canvas jacket
Shin Minah (Korean actress)

green parka, canvas jacket
Son GaIn (from Brown Eyed Girls)

I wish I could do a better capture of Gain in this jacket (I couldn’t find the episode on my hard drive T_T), but I loved her jacket and the way she wore it. It’s from We Got Married, episode 51.

What do you guys think of the green parkas? Would you buy one for yourself?

 

 

PS. Sorry so long time no see. I’ve been caught up with being a lazy slug in Vancouver — eating, playing Starcraft, and watching Kpop videos everyday T_T

As a result, I’ve officially fallen in love with Infinite My biases are Hoya (just cuz I’m a sucker for the innocent, quiet type and he’s a crazy dancer!) and L (he’s just too good looking T_T), but I generally like all of them =p

How many boybands can I handle!?? ARgh!

Actually, I’ve always known of them because my friend looooves them, but I only became interested after watching them in Weekly Idol. Then my friend recommended me to watch Sesame Player (running away from their managers) and Family Ties(raising puppies). You guys should check those shows out! It’s so much easier to fall in love w/ boybands watching them in their ‘natural environment’ XD