Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Winter Break Update

Hey guys! It's Masha ^ㅂ^
I just wanted to give an update of what I've been up to these past couple months.

Christmas for me was spent quietly with a new host family, eating cake. As crazy as the entire moving process had been prior, it was pretty good to just kick back and chill for the holidays~
Then, shortly after New Years, I moved to my winter break host family in Seoul! That weekend we went and visited Chang Gyeong Gung Palace :)
Arlyss also showed me a cute bakery in Hongdae, where I ate my first macaron ^^
맛있었어요 *_*

 Other than that, I've mostly been busy with Korean class and our winter activities.~

Saturday, 19 January 2013


Hey, it's Ashleigh posting! Just a few weeks ago I moved up to Seoul for winter break and figured I'd just give my own point of view, having lived in a smaller city the first semester. First of all, the transportation. Back in Iksan, the buses stopped running around 9:30 or so making it difficult to stay out late at all. Also, it was about a 45 minute walk from my apartment to the area I used to frequently hang out with the other students so it was quite small in relativity to Seoul. You could also almost guarantee if you left your house to play with friends you'd see someone you knew on the streets whether it be a classmate or a teacher or a friend you met elsewhere. Another thing was the proximity to Jeonju, the capital of Jeollabuk and the food capital of Korea. It's famous for bibimbap and a traditional Korean village among other things. We could hop on a train and be in Jeonju in around 15 minutes, whereas in Seoul it'd be quite a bit longer and more expensive. And of course, Seoul has the famous tourist areas (none of which I've been to yet) that almost everyone visiting goes to. Though I haven't gone to them yet, I'm definitely planning to soon! I also haven't been taking many pictures (which I'm sure kick myself for later) but here are a few from when Daniel, Arlyss and I went to buy a few k-pop albums and met an adorable ajumma who gave us her favorite artist's album for free because she wants to share his music. Bless her soul, she's such a good fan <3

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Under the Sea

Hey! It's Ami again back for my second blog post! This time I actually have pictures to use although the quality isn't the best and they are of sea animals...But still! I have pictures :)

Today I went to the Coex mall for the first time which is a pretty big touristy stop. Although I did sight see and window shop for a bit, the reason I went in the first place was to go to the aquarium! I had told my host mom I like aquariums and so she took me today! Yay!
It's a pretty big aquarium and it took about over an hour to see the whole entire aquarium from start to finish. It was just a regular aquarium except all the explanations and such were in Korean (although there was also a lot of Japanese and English). The fishies were really cute and the place was packed with little children. Yes, I was like the oldest person there besides the moms and dads, haha.

Now here are some pictures of fish and such!

Seoul has a lot of cool places to visit and this past week (the first week of our winter break) has been great and I've already hit a few of the touristy areas of the city.
That's about it... It was a short post but I remembered pictures this time! :)

Until next time,

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Makeup and Skincare

It's Ami posting!

Today I've decided to write about something that has become a huge (exaggeration...maybe) part of my life since coming to Korea: Appearance. 
Now, to improve appearance and not look like a hobo when going out, all of it has to do with presentation of your face. 
This is where makeup and skincare comes in and helps save me from looking like a monster when I go out. :)
All jokes aside, the skincare and makeup industry is pretty big in Korea because appearance is definitely important to Korean society (it's important everywhere, let's be real) and the country is well known to pay special attention to how you look. And this doesn't apply to just females, it also applies to the guys too, of course.
So I'll just give you a rundown of what's popular (or what I perceive as popular) here and the things that have left a unique or particularly good impression on me. 

You can NOT write a post on makeup and then not write about B.B Cream. Literally, it's sold in all makeup/skincare stores and everyone wears it (even some guys) and just yeah. It's a huge thing here. It's supposedly becoming a trend in America, too, but if you come to Korea, you're (girls) are probably going to end up buying B.B. Cream...Even if you don't wear makeup. Why? There's no reason, you just will haha. By the way, if you somehow don't know what the stuff is, it's basically kind of like a foundation but it's said to do all these different things at once and usually has a grey undertone. Funny, because I've never met anyone with gray colored undertones...

2) The stores
There are SO many makeup stores it's ridiculous. The ones I can name off the top of my head are: Tony Moly, Nature Republic, Aritaum, The Face Shop, Etude House, Holika Holika, Skinfood; the list goes on and on and on! Just by the number of different makeup companies shows how important appearance. I personally like Nature Republic the best because they have awesome $1 nail polish and their skincare stuff just feels good on my face. :) 

3) Quality
For the price, the quality is pretty good. Obviously. there will be bad products (namely with BB cream) but if you just simply youtube or google the items or Korean makeup in general, you can generally figure out what you should buy and what you shouldn't buy. But, it's always fun to go first-hand into the stores and try out the stuff, especially because they're not pricey. It'll kill time, too!

4) Olive Young/ Watsons/ etc
There are some stores that sell a lot of international brand makeup and skincare. If you prefer to use American or Japanese products in particular, you can go to these stores. However, they're obviously going to be overpriced and the Korean brands aren't bad so I suggest going to explore the Korean stores first! But, if you have a favorite Maybelline mascara you like, you can go to one of these stores and buy it.:)

5) Service
In Korea, the salesladies and people don't let you simply look around; they ALWAYS come up to you and ask if you need any help, what you're looking for, and such. It's a nice gesture but sometimes they can get in your face. They are helpful when you're actually looking for something, though, so that's good. Also, you get samples most of the time no matter how little you buy at a given store which is always fun because you can try out cool and quirky samples. 

I think that's basically it- I'm sorry there are no pictures but yeah... Hopefully this gives people sort of a look into Korean makeup (but probably not...)