I'm Featured in Allure Korea Feb 2011!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Anyong-haseyo! Yours truly has been featured in the February 2011 Allure Korea! And its in the print issue, no less, so I'm pretty darn excited - it means that my freaking face is in a magazine!

The article I'm featured in is (in typically Korean fashion) entitled "Worldwide Power Beauty Bloggers", and features seven bloggers, of which yours truly is one! What can I say, I'm excited!

Allure Korea February 2011

Here's the page I'm featured on: I'm blogger #7. It wasn't actually all that glamorous though, and to be honest, it was quite a lot of work. They basically sent a long list of questions (more than 20 of them), and asked me to answer all of them, then picked a few for the article. The questions were sent in English, and the answers were translated into Korean. I hope nothing got lost in translation!

They also asked me to send over a few pictures of myself, but they ended up using just one per blogger. That's cool, my face ain't that great looking anyway. My physical copy of the magazine is evidently happily getting lost in the mail, so thanks to Jade Musing (also featured) for the scan!

I don't understand a word of Korean, but I'm hoping someone does! Can anyone help me translate? I'll pay you in makeup! For real! Drop me a note and we'll work something out! :P


And just to ensure that nothing is lost in translation, I've includeed all 23 questions sent to me. I wanted to put up the entire transcript because not everyone can read Korean (I know I can't!), and because I made a few points in my interview which I strongly believed in - like how every girl is beautiful, and how beauty isn't just about being thin and so on.

Where I live here in Asia, there is immense pressure on girls to be thin, because being thin is considered beautiful. And the sterotype of Koreans is that they tend to be under this pressure a lot more than the average Asian girl, and they tend to get plastic surgery a lot more than the average Asian. In fact, Korea is partly infamous in Asian culture because so many of its lovely actresses and actors commit suicide, often for varying reasons (slave contracts, too much pressure, depression etc). Just google "korean actress commit suicide" and you'll get lots and lots of results. And it's really sad that people who are so beautiful and should be so happy can be driven to kill themselves. So I was hoping that if I managed to sneak some of my "everyone is beautiful" spiel into the magazine, some girl who felt unhappy or unpretty would read it and feel better about herself. Does that sound weird coming from a beauty blogger? LOL.

Allure Korea Feb 2011 Feature

Anyway, here's the interview, unedited, uncut, and thus, very long. There are some grammar errors in the questions, presumably because English isn't their first language, but those are preserved as is. I mean, given thay they're probably more comfortable using Korean than English, it must have taken them quite a bit of effort to reach out to us for the feature!

My answers are a bit clumsy-sounding in some parts, but I didn't want to use words that were too long or sentences with grammar structures that were too convoluted, because I was worried about how it would get translated. And also, ^^ is the Asian version of :) - they're both smileys - so if you come across any ^^ just take them as smiles!

1. What is your specialty in the beauty? (make-up how to, or nail care, or cosmetic criticism?)

Most of my posts are product reviews for makeup and nail polish, although I also do some how-to posts for makeup and nails.

2. What caused you to be a beauty specialist (blogger)?

It happened by accident, actually! ^^ I used to live in the USA for 3 years, and then I moved to the UK for 1 year. When I was in the UK, my friends in the US would ask me to help them take photos and swatches of makeup items which were only available in the UK. I would take those photos and put them up on my blog, and over time more people started reading the blog. That's how it started.

3. What are your frequently visited beauty places and beauty sites? And would you tell me full address and why do you like these sites?

My two most favourite beauty sites that I visit all the time are MakeupAlley and Specktra. MakeupAlley is e at http://www.makeupalley.com and it's an American website, with lots of product reviews from the members, and various forums for beauty categories (e.g. skincare, nail, perfume, makeup, etc). It's really quite comprehensive. It's a bit American-centric, but I really like the huge listings of product reviews and the forums, especially the makeup forum, the skincare forum, and the nail forum. I learnt a lot about nail care from the nail forum. My other favourite site, Specktra, is at http://www.specktra.net. It's similar to MakeupAlley, but it's a website and forum specially for MAC Cosmetics fans. My favourite part is the forums, because you can see product pictures and swatches of upcoming collections. There are some very dedicated members on Specktra who own every MAC eyeshadow, or can remember the name of every MAC blusher colour...they are a really good resource for information not just on MAC, but also on makeup in general.

4. Where do you visit beauty places on your trip?

I go everywhere! If I see a store selling beauty products, I will go inside to browse for awhile. Whether it's a Western or Asian brand, I can usually find something I like. For Western brands, I like to look at eyeshadow and blush colours. For Asian brands, I really like the nail polish colours, as well as the cute bottles and packaging. I always love showing photographs of Asian beauty products to my friends in the West, because they always marvel at how beautifully our products are packaged.

5. What is the best beauty item in your lifetime?

For me, it has to be oil-absorbing powder! My skin is oily, so it starts looking shiny very quickly. Right now I'm using common cosmetic-grade silica powder as an oil absorber. I mix it in with my loose face powder to give it some oil-control properties. It's cheap but very effective.

6. What do you like the most among the hottest beauty item? And why do you think so?

I have so many favourites, it's hard to choose! Sadly, some of the latest beauty items I like haven't come to Asia yet! An example is Illamasqua, it's a UK brand that has been getting lots of attention in the West. I really like their blushers, becasuse they're very pigmented, and have a very good texture. I always end up asking my friends in USA or the UK to buy them for me!

For my favourites that are available in Asia, a lot of people here have been talking about the Urban Decay Naked Palette. It was launched awhile back, but continues to be popular. Urban Decay has very good eyeshadows, and the palette has shades that would work for most people. I think it's one of the nicer eyeshadow palettes I've seen recently.

7. Which skincare item would be best suited for you? Choose one, please.

A good moisturizer. A lot of moisturizers tend to be too heavy, too oily, or not moisturizing enough, so I always have problems finding one that is just right.

8. What is beauty trend in makeup and skincare? And why?

I personally find beauty trends tend to vary from place to place. Asia and the West have very different beauty trends. In Asia, a lot of the focus is on highlighters, foundation products, and BB creams. In the West, people are more excited by unusual colours, like a new shade of eyeshadow, or the new range of lipgloss shades. So the emphasis in different countries is different too. I guess it just depends on the environment and the culture of the place. In Asia, I think there is a lot more focus on skincare, whereas in the West people are more interested in the latest colours. Also, I always find it funny that girls in Asia always want to be fairer, while girls in the West always want to get a tan. When I was living in the USA and the UK, my friends could not understand why I didn't like getting darker, because they were always using self-ta nners and bronzers, but here in Asia, you can't find a tanning salon anywhere!

9. Which make-up change women dramatically? And do you have tips for these like this make-up?

A good concealer, especially for the undereyes! Nowadays, with everyone working hard and sleeping late, everyone seems to have dark circles, including me. So I find undereye concealer very important, as it makes me look more awake and less tired. My tip is to pick the right undereye concealer colour for your dark circles. If the concealer colour is chosen correctly, it helps to hide your undereye circles better. Most girls like to use yellow concealer for undereyes, but that's not necessarily always the best colour to use. The right colour is determined by the colour of your dark circles. Most people's dark circles are either brownish, or blue-ish, or some shade of blue-purple. I find that for brown-based undereye circles, a concealer that's peach-based is better, as the peach helps to neutralize the browness in the circles. But for blue-ish or purple dark circles, then yellow is better, as the yellow colour cancels out the blue tones.

10. What is your favorite beauty specialist? (make-up artist, hair artist, manicurist, brand manager etc.)

I don't have one, unfortunately.

11. What do you think about advantages and disadvantages as a beauty specialist?

I think working as a beauty specialist requires you to have a lot of patience! I don't work full-time in beauty, but I get a lot of girls asking me what makeup colours would suit them, or what their undertone is, or how should they apply eyeshadow if they don't have a double eyelid. It can take quite a while to answer all their questions in detail. So I think a disadvantage is that you have to be patient with people, even if they are rude to you. On the plus side, I feel happy when people tell me that my beauty tips have really worked for them. I feel like I have helped them a little.

12. What kind of products do you apply in this morning and yesterday evening?

My routine is actually quite similar every day. Every morning, before I go to work, I apply the following products in order:

1. Moisturizer
2. Sunscreen
3. Concealer on undereyes
4. Face Powder
5. Eyeshadow (because my office is quite formal, usually I just do very simple eye makeup, like a beige eyeshadow over the eye)
6. Mascara
7. Eyeliner
8. Blusher (Usually, it's a neutral shade of blusher, like a neutral pinky-brown)
9. Lipgloss (Also usually a neutral shade)

Sometimes if I'm more adventurous, I will change the colours I use, like I might replace my neutral lipgloss with a red lipstick. Or I might do more elaborate eyeshadow. But the basic routine is the same.

13. What is your special know-how for cleansing?

Cleansing is very important to me, because my skin is very sensitive and gets pimples easily. Right now, I use Shu Uemura's Cleansing Oil. I take some oil, and I massage it into my face, and then I rinse it off with water. Usually after that, I will follow up by washing my face again with an ordinary face wash, to remove any residue from the cleansing oil. After that, I will apply toner to my face, just to make sure all the makeup and all the cleansing oil has been removed.

14. In your opinion, what is the 2011 beauty trend? And what is the most popular beauty item? Guess what.

A lot of colours for 2011 look really beautiful, especially for Spring. Pink - all the shades of pink - looks set to be a trend for Spring makeup this season. The pinks I've seen tend to be combined with other colours, like greys, lavenders, violets, golds, and even corals for some brands. My favourite beauty trend is that of pink and grey eyeshadow colours, as showcased by the Dior Spring 2011 collection. I love pinks and greys on the eyes, I think it makes the eyes look define but feminine at the same time.

15. What is your favorite food and beverage for skin?

I think drinking lots of water, and eating a lot of fruits and vegetables are good for not just the skin, but the body as a whole. But other than that, it's really best to have a healthy, balanced diet. Eating too much or too little of any food group is not very good for health in the long run.

16. Have you heard any cosmetic procedure or cosmetic surgery in these days?

No. In general, I don't actually know much about cosmetic procedures or surgery. I like makeup and beauty items, but my interest doesn't extend to surgery. I guess I'm only interested in looking at pretty products! ^^

17. What is your favorite beauty icon? Why do you think so?

I really like the look of the classic 1940s Hollywood starlet, exemplified by people like Ava Gardner, Betty Grable, Bette Davis, and of course, Marilyn Monroe. I think they looked glamorous and beautiful without trying, which is actually a look I love! In a lot of their photos, it just looks like they had fabulous skin and gorgeous eyes, and all they did was put on a bit of eyeliner and wear a red lipstick, although of course I'm sure they wore more than that! But it's that image that I like. Also, none of them were very skinny. In fact, if Marilyn Monroe were alive today, she would be considered too fat to be a model! But although they were not skinny, they still looked beautiful and healthy. I think in a time where there is so much pressure to be thinner, it's important to remember that even if you are not skinny, you can still be bea utiful.

18. Do you have a item that you’d like to recommend to people in every cloud?

I really like MAC Cosmetic's blush in Blushbaby. I think it looks good on just about everyone! Also Stila Lilium cream blush is a colour everyone can wear.

19. When you buy a cosmetic item, do you have a check list surely? (expiry date, ingredient, texture and etc.)

Yes, my checklist is very long! ^^ For cosmetic items, I look at the texture, formulation, and pigmentation level of the item. After that, I look at the ingredients list. My skin is very sensitive, so I have a list of ingredients that I avoid.

20. What your favorite fragrance? And why?

Yes, my favourite fragrance is Infusion d'Iris by Prada. I love it because it's floral and clean, while still smelling unique.

21. Do you have tips for dry skin?

Drink enough water, use a good moisturizer, and avoid washing your face with scrubs or face cleansers that are very harsh, as those can strip your skin out.

22. As you are a beauty specialist, is there a difference between now and before life?

Now, I'm very good at picking out makeup colours for myself, or for other people. I can look at a product, and I can guess immediately whether it would look good on me or not. And I think I am better at co-ordinating colours too, not just for makeup, but also for clothes, and even funiture in the house. I guess I just pay a lot more attention to colours now! ^^

23. Do you want to say something to readers those who are interested in beauty?

Every girl is beautiful! When I was young, my mother used to tell me this Chinese saying, "There are no ugly girls, only lazy girls". And I think there is some truth in this statement, because every girl can look her best with a bit of effort. Maybe not everyone can look like a movie star, but I firmly believe that every girl naturally has a beautiful side of her that can be revealed.


  1. Wow, great interview! Congratulations on your success!!

  2. That's so awesome. Congratulations!

  3. Congrats girl! :)I loved reading the Q&As


  4. Congrats!!! That is very cool :)

  5. Wow congrats on being featured :)

  6. Wow, that was a lot of work but worth it. Congratulations!

  7. This is wonderful, congrats! And good on you for talking about positive body image too :)

  8. You provided wonderfully thorough answers to their questions. Hopefully they didn't misconstrue your responses in translation!

    Makeupalley is also one of my favorite online beauty resources. Is MAC popular in East Asia?

    For a must-have skincare product, I would've chosen Rx topical retinoids for their acne-fighting and wrinkle-prevention properties as well as their ability to reverse photoaging. Scientific literature substatiates that women who have used Retin-A for 20+ years look younger than their peers. Given how much more East Asians value skincare, I'm surprised that I've never read about them advocating topical retinoid use. By the way, you really nailed the differences between East Asian and American beauty ideals. Despite having grown up in the U.S., I think tanning is an unhealthy evil and covet having smooth even blemish-free pale skin.

    Ooh, MAC Blushbaby is a good recommendation. I would've suggested a peachy-pink blush like NARS Orgasm, the Balm Hot Mama, or Benefit CORALista -- but I don't know if any of those brands are available in Asia.

    You've made me curious about Infusion d'Iris by Prada. After looking it up and finding out that it's a subtle floral citrus, it sounds like I should track down a sample!

  9. congratulations on being featured! you did a great job in the interview! more power to you babe! stay beautiful! :)

  10. That was a really interesting interview. I'm glad you posted it so we non-Korean speakers could read it. :-)

  11. Hi, I wrote up a translation for the first half of the interview. I intentionally didn't read the English interview below so that I could just interpret what was in the Korean article.

    "1 After I moved to England after having lived in America, I started sending pictures of products only available in England to my friends in America. I posted a lot of the photos on my blog, and eventually my readership increased so that it wasn’t just my friends visiting the blog. I was interested in make up from the beginning anyways but it was quite interesting and exciting to see my readership grow. I kept on posting and came to be where I am now.

    2 I mainly have reviews on nail polishes and make up. I also have step-by-step tutorials on how to apply make up and nail polish.

    3. I visit Makeupalley (www.makeupalley.com) a lot to read the members’ reviews. I also visit Spektra, which has information and listings of MAC’s cosmetics. It also has previews of Limited Edition collections.

    4 Any place where I can shop for cosmetics is interesting. I tend to visit Sephora in most countries. When I go to Europe, I visit “drugstores,”* (not sure what this means—this word isn’t in Korean, it’s just the English word spelled out in Korean) which are great places to check out multiple brands.

    5 Because I have oily skin, powders that can absorb the oiliness are very important to me.

    6 Unfortunately products that I like are often unavailable in Asia. Illamasqua, a British brand, performs very well and is popular in Europe but is not available in Asia yet.

    7 Good moisturizing cream! It is very hydrating but not oily, which is good for my oily skin.

    8 I think every country has its own beauty trend, but Asia seems to focus on the skin with such items as foundations and highlighters. I believe that the future trend will be for natural, barely there make up and products aimed at perfect glowing skin.

    9 Concealer. It’s a great product for brightening up the face.

    10 None. I just enjoy the process of testing out various products, writing reviews on them and also reading other people’s posts.

  12. I love that you shed some light on the Asian beauty culture. I have to admit i had no clue about the beauty pressures in Asia and how it differed between specific Asian cultures. That is then sort of information you just don't really here about and I would love to know more about it.

    Oh and of course, CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

  13. @Justine: I've no idea how the article came across in Korean, I hope it turned out OK! Although from The Sooj's translation (a few comments down) they missed out some parts, and embellished some other parts...Nothing too serious though. And yes, MAC is also very popular in Asia! It's also very expensive.

    And you're right, in that although Asians tend to focus more on skincare, they rarely talk about needing a vitamin C serum or a prescription retinoid, unlike Western skincare fans. Instead, you get a lot of weird hokey-pokey about BB creams and green tea essence etc. I think a lot of it is just blind enthusiasm without real scientific proof. But anyway, the thing Asians do get right is the sunscreen - but that's worn also partly because a lot of Asian girls prefer to be as fair as possible.

    Oh yes, I should have suggested Coralista! That would have been a good one! I didn't really think Orgasm is really a universal shade though, so I wouldn't have suggested it, but it's definitely something that should have come to mind. Benefit is generally available in Asia, but NARS and TheBalm are harder to come by.

    Hope those answers your questions, and I hope you enjoy the Prada scent as much as I do :)

    @The Sooj: Wow! That translation job was amazing! Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to do that! I am absolutely floored. Would you like me to pay you in makeup? :P

  14. Yayyyyyy how exciting!! :) Congrats honey ;) x

  15. YAY it's so wonderful to read your answers in English!!! Thanks so much for linking me too :D

  16. Wow, thanks for responding to my comment so extensively!

    Oh yes, how could I forget about vitamin C serum? I'm also a big fan of niacinamide. Green tea extract has skincare merits but it needs to be the right potency and concentration.

  17. Hi Jerlene, here's the rest of the translation, from 11 to 18. I read your real answers after finishing the translation and it seems they made a real carcass out of your actual answers, which is a real pity. Also this really didn't take a lot of time to translate, so no worries about things like payment, I was glad to do it!

    "11 I feel very happy to be able to offer useful information on skin care to the readers of my blogs, but sometimes it can be hard to answer all of the questions.

    12 I got ready for going out by putting on some moisturizer, sunblock, concealer for dark circles and some “face powder” (I think this is probably a Korean term for powder foundation or mattifying powders, but I haven’t heard it before.)

    13 I pay a lot of attention to taking off my makeup so that there isn’t anything left over; I use Shu Uemura’s cleansing oil and lightly rub and massage it with my hands into my skin. I think that oil cleansers do the best job of cleansing left over makeup from the skin.

    14 Gray eye shadow, which gives off a very chic vibe!

    15 Some of my beauty icons are Hollywood actresses from the ‘40s, such as Eva Gardner and Betty Grable, and also Marilyn Monroe.

    16 I really recommend blushes, because they can really brighten up and give life to your face. I like to use Mac’s Pink Swoon and Stila Convertible Color Lillium, which are both very pigmented and soft in texture.

    17 Prada’s Infusion d’Iris. The floral scent is very charming.

    18 Drink a lot of water, and make a habit of applying moisturizers. Also, use mild exfoliators once a week.

    (Editor Yoon Ga-jin, assistant Park Yu-mi.)

  18. @The Sooj: THANK YOU SO MUCH for this translation! I figured after reading your first 10 answers that they just wanted a list of "pretty products" that I liked. But it's okay, I figure beauty magazines have their own agenda and considerations too. Not to mention that they had to squeeze all that into half a page. But I do wish they had at least sneaked in my "big girls are beautiful too" spiel, although I expected it to be cut. Oh well, next time maybe!

  19. You're very welcome. :-) Yeah, I really wish they would have included it too, it would've been a nice change of pace for once, right? I hope in the near future the beauty industry evolves enough that magazines and the like don't try to make profit on making people feel bad, but making them feel better about themselves.

    Cheers! :-)

  20. Wow, congratulations! ^__^ *throws confetti*

  21. Congrats on the magazine feature! I wholeheartedly agree with what your mom says about there being no ugly girls, only lazy ones. Makeup can work wonders sometimes and is a great confidence booster. Feeling better about yourself and having self esteem really shows, and others will automatically start to see you as being more attractive :)

  22. WOW!! This is awesome!! You are blowin' up worldwide!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)


  23. Super duper late, but congrats! How thrilling!! :D I'm glad you included what you sent to them because it was a good read. Maybe in your next magazine interview they'll print your "everyone is beautiful" message. :)

  24. congrats!!!!!!! ^_^ I loved your answers, they were very comprehensive and informative and it shoes thay you know a lot! :)

    I also loved your answer to the last question and the message that you were trying to get across.
    And about the message you wanted to send to the Korean girls who would read the magazine, that is so nice of you!! and so touching, I really also hope some girls who weren't confident, read it and felt better about themselves! :))

  25. oh waaaw this is really cool. grats for you =D

  26. Just found your blog... It's FABULOUS!!! I'll be visiting your blog daily, and if I'm ever asked Q3: "What are your frequently visited beauty places and beauty sites? And would you tell me full address and why do you like these sites?" - I'll mention your page! :)


Thank you for commenting! I read each and every single comment! If you ask a question in your comment, please check back to this post, as I will reply in a comment to this post as well :) Please note that comments with soliciting links to shops or websites will be removed. Thanks!


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