Year-End Media Editorial 2017

I actually really enjoy doing this type of post and the only thing that ever puts me off writing these is knowing I have to add a billion hyperlinks at the end. Anyhow, that means I have a lot to chat about since like, March (!!), so let’s get started! This is what I’ve been enjoying since I started Uni.

Anime

Amagi Brilliant Park – I don’t know if I mentioned this, but I joined the anime society at uni. We gather to watch stuff on Friday nights which is so much fun and this was one of the series we watched. It’s my pick of the four we got through this term (not counting My Hero Academia… wait, have I not written about it here??). ABP is about a high school student called in to help manage a fun theme park until it hits a target visitor count or else all its fairy inhabitants will be made homeless (and die). Surprisingly enjoyable, and if you manage to get to the end, the OVA is totally worth it and made me split my sides with laughter.

Boku no Hero Academia – I am rectifying that I’ve never mentioned it, immediately. It’s about a superhero high school and… I just love a lot of things about it. I’m currently reading the manga although the anime adaptation is nothing to laugh at, either, as it captures the greatness of the manga very well.

Perfect Blue – My favourite movie of the Friday nights (not including Ghibli movies and Your Name), it was an intense psychological thriller and it made me grateful for the giant umbrella I carried with me on the way home… It’s about a pop star who quits her group and turns to acting, but obviously, with the way I’ve described it, that’s clearly not all there is to it.

X-Story – My favourite of the short movie night and probably because I am excited for the Incredibles 2, seeing as it gave me the same vibes. It’s totally worth the 13 minutes and the whole thing is on youtube.

Gaming

I’ve been playing The World Ends With You emulated on my phone since April (although you can buy a phone adapted version on app stores now, for about £18.00) and it’s nothing short of fantastic. Even post-storyline there’s plenty of bonuses and collectables to keep you occupied for months. It has a really unique setting and gameplay method with lots of adjustable difficulty levels for everyone, even a noob like me.

As a side note, I and many other have been obsessed with Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp recently. I feel like it still needs some expansion to really match the DS games but that hasn’t stopped me from playing it all the time, anyhow.

Music

As usual, all linked into one playlist as well as separate links in the song names down below.

LOONA’s Odd Eye Circle – Girl Front, LOONATIC (English Ver.) A predebut group who have been revealing a new member every month for the last year or so (their name is from the first hangul characters of the phrase ‘Girl of the Month’ in Korean), I didn’t really get into the first sub-unit but Odd Eye Circle has really caught my eye and no doubt will the next as well. JinSoul’s Singing in the Rain is what got me following the group and Kim Lip’s Eclipse is also a total bop. Also, there’s Yves starting off the next subunit of girls, and Chuu who is the most recently revealed member and whose MV isn’t even out yet!

Rita Ora – Anywhere  – Simple and catchy, and totally a big mood for me right now!

Polkadot Stingray – Synchronishica – As you can tell from the next few entries, I have been scouring Youtube for Japanese bands again. I love the bridge of this song and the change of pace right there.

Indigo La End –  Misekake no Love Song – Think a cold evening, on the commute home, thinking about a love story that never happened, or just being sad for no reason. This isn’t a big mood but damn if it’s not my everyday mood. I also like Omoikiri for something upbeat but also just as desolate.

Kavka Shishido – Love Corrida –  A drumming soloist. I love her poker straight long hair and this is a total pop-rock jam. I also like ‘Dame Kashira‘ (more pop) and ‘Music‘ (more rock).

Red Velvet – I Just, Look – The fact that we got three promo cycles from RV this year is nothing short of amazing. The new album, ‘Perfect Velvet’, isn’t quite the masterpiece that ‘The Red’ was, but these are real standout tracks for me.

Sheena Ringo – Life is Full of Dreams (or something like that)- How about a jazzy number to really get your blood pumping and your spirit all lifted and motivated? Something about Sheena Ringo’s voice in this song brings a real life to it. On top of it, this album, Reimport, is taken from the fact that all the tracks are covers of songs she wrote for other artists, hence ‘re-importing’ them. Isn’t that a cool concept? I’d love to see more of this sort of thing from anyone.


That’s what I’ve been enjoying recently! All the best for the New Year. Much love,

X

 

Review: MAC FutureForward X LeeHi

One of the big draws of Korean Beauty is all our favourite idols promoting them. From products selling out because members of EXO use them, to ranges selling well because faces like Yoona and Suzy are representing the brand, K-Beauty treats us well.
The two worlds of K-Beauty and Western Beauty rarely cross, so being from the UK the last thing I expected was for my favourite songstress to do a collaboration with MAC.
Lee Hi is a 21-year-old singer under YG Entertainment, known for her soulful and jazzy vocals and for being the runner-up in KpopStar. She is rumoured to be coming back soon-ish and after two amazing albums, ‘First Love’ and ‘Seoulite’, I can’t wait to hear what she does next.
Ever since this was announced I was checking the MAC website for news of its UK release. This sold out at least within days of the US release but it took a solid two months for it to finally roll out here. As far as I know, this is an online-only release. It released days before Nicki Minaj’s collaboration so I imagine it has been vastly overshadowed by that, too.
 
Lee Hi decided to create a deep Red in MAC’s Matte Formula. This is actually my first proper MAC lipstick, and I was surprised to see how similar it felt to Rimmel’s Lasting Finish Kate Matte formula. You all probably already know, but it’s a soft, creamy finish, not a hard matte.
The shade is very universally flattering, too, nothing out of the ordinary. I’ll be honest and say it’s not what I expected a Lee Hi lipstick to be (I associate her with a rosy pink) but more recently she has opted to present a mature, modern image and I think this colour choice reflects that.
To be honest, there are probably a million colours like this out there and my main reason for purchasing this was to support Lee Hi, so unless you’re a deprived fan (we don’t get enough of her at all lol) you can quite probably quite easily find a dupe out there.
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Funnily enough my first outing with this lipstick on was for G Dragon’s concert in Birmingham! It was good timing, really. This wore well throughout my whole day with light snacks. The colour looked a tiny bit patchy and uneven by the end of the night but at that point, it had been 9 hours and I think that’s great.
I’m not sure it would hold up with greasier foods but those of you who arent MAC noobs will know. If you also are not familiar with MAC lipsticks like me, I will try to update this after a few more wears, but this really seems remarkably similar to the Lasting Finish.
TL;DR I bought this because Lee Hi is to me what Nicki Minaj is to everyone else but admittedly this is not mind-blowing and I am yet to sink my next paycheck in MAC stuff.

What collaborations would have you apologising to your wallet immediately?

Until next time,

X

 

 

My Experience at G-Dragon’s ‘Act III: MOTTE’ Tour in Birmingham

I may have recounted this story a number of times, but I got into K-pop because a family friend spent her gap year in Korea and came back with a K-pop mix on a CD, full of Bigbang and SHINee’s old hits and Lee Hyori’s U Go Girl. We played it when her mom picked us up from school all the time, and Haru Haru was my favourite song for an age and a half.
That was like, ten years ago. I listen to K-pop like I listen to just about everything else – casually and not as obsessively as I used to, but if you strike a K-pop conversation with me I’m not going to stop talking. Where do I even get all these trivia from? I don’t even know. I joined the K-Soc at my uni so hopefully, I will make friends who I can be just as chatty with.
Anyway. G-Dragon held a concert in Birmingham recently, and I knew whatever it cost, I would end up going. It was very pricey for a concert so I settled for a seat that was still £120+. GD was my first love of K-pop but I don’t love him as much now to pay £200+ for the VIP Silver Soundcheck package like a certain relative of mine… (You don’t even get to meet him for that money…)
It was my first concert at Genting so I was quite excited! I ended up there many hours early since I was tagging along with VIPers but that meant I could grab food and still be in my seat an hour and a half before the show started. It also meant the wait for the show to start was pretty much unbearable.
The Genting Arena doesn’t allow fancy cameras like my DSLR (darn it!!) so I am still stuck with the phone camera I used last year, sadly, which is why my photos are less than impressive. I spent the rest of my time jamming along to everything he performed.
The show was all bright lights and dark visuals. MOTTE, for G-Dragon himself, is a show exploring himself- his identity as GD and as Kwon Ji Yong, and it did feel quite personal, also including video interviews with his friends and family. The setlist started from his old hits and ended with almost all the songs from his most recent EP, Kwon Ji Yong. It was separated into three acts this way.
I noticed people were more hyped towards the second act when he performed more recent and well-known songs (and especially CROOKED in the encore because we UK fans have a soft spot for it – he filmed the video in London). It was a shame people weren’t as excited for A-YO and Obsession as I was, though! They are two of my favourite songs by GD.
I met some wonderful fellow concert-goers whilst there. From the pair of girls waiting for food to the girl I sat next to as we both went to the concert alone, to the girls who helped me charge my phone and find my relative after the battery died, and also got me the poster that is now on my wall. I’ve met so many wonderful people through my casual listening of K-pop and this night was no different.
I am so happy that there have been more K-pop concerts in the UK recently (Crush, ZICO, Dean, GD and KARD all in the last year and Hyukoh next month) so I get to indulge in live music I love. I am putting my bets on BTS being the next big act to hit the UK, seeing as they are doing fabulously internationally.
Who are you waiting on to hold a concert?
Until next time,
X

Newton’s Apple – Album by Nell (Packaging and Lots of Fangirling)

I mentioned that I got a really exciting delivery in the post yesterday. I also took photos right away because I was so excited.

It’s a physical copy of Nell’s album, Newton’s Apple! I came across someone on Facebook who was destashing her collection at really good prices. I had my eye on some other albums but they were popular and were gone long before I looked at the post. I am still very happy to have been able to buy this, though. I find that foreign albums can be quite pricey at times especially including shipping, so I’ve never bought one myself. I also own One of a Kind by G-Dragon and that was a gift.

Anyway, back to this gorgeous album. I guess you could say this is my introduction to Nell even though they’ve been around quite a while. White Night (CD2, Track 2) was the first song I ever heard from them, and I have never looked back.

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The album was packaged so nicely! This is what it looked like after I got rid of all the bubble wrap and outer wrapping. I will be keeping that Thank You card and putting it on my wall.

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The lovely lady I bought this from also included an extra little gift in the form of an Etude House Olive Sheet Mask! I look forward to using it, and will probably be saving it for a rainy day, since I still have a bunch of Malie Green Tea Masks to go through.

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As you can see, the packaging is stunning. As well as the lyric booklet which you can see on the right, above the CDs, there was a black envelope included with contained stunning artworks for certain tracks on the album. They capture the essence of the music perfectly. The actual album is quite big as well – bigger than my face. Just means more to love.

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My favourite tracks from this album? You really want to make me answer such a hard question?? Sunshine (CD1) and Haven (CD2) are very chill tracks that will always find a way onto a themed playlist. Sunshine, in particular, is hopeful, but just gets sadder as the lyrics are told from the perspective of the person who wants you to be ‘brighter than sunshine.’ The change in tone turns the atmosphere from supportive to sacrificial, and it gives me such emotion every time.

But seriously, Newton’s apple is one of those few albums in which I think every single track is a stand-out track and you can tell there has been so much thought and love put into every note. I am so happy to own this album and I seriously recommend that you have a listen too.

X

Korean Sheet Mask Review: Malie Green Tea

My skin has been acting up recently and I couldn’t figure out why – although I could put forth some vague guesses.

For a start, I study Biology and Chemistry in labs where water is not allowed. Plus I often simply forget to sip my water at school; as a result I’m not as hydrated as I should be. Secondly, I’m not getting my beauty sleep. Thirdly, the most decent food in the school canteen is the chips and I’m limiting my carb intake  – effectively reducing my choices to a chicken-burger-without-bun-but-with-salad, or a wrap-without-the-wrap-bit. Sigh.

With great timing, my package of sheet masks arrived. I kind of had to explain to my dad what I had ordered since the package was from Korea which both surprised him and made him suspicious, but I was just as shocked. The package was from Korea! I took my chances with free international economy shipping! I wasn’t expecting the package for another month!!

I ordered 17pcs of Malie Green Tea sheet masks from K-beautybox on ebay, for £9.75, so each mask was about 57p, not counting the extras included. I was looking specifically for these masks because they’re cheap, but seemingly good for the price. The sheet masks came with a resealable bag of 15 pairs of collagen eye patches from LUKE and a little free charcoal nose strip from LUKE as well. They dispatched my order the day after I made it, and estimated delivery was between 1st Oct – 3rd Nov. It arrived on 26th Sep – way before estimated. Not that I’m complaining.

I have used sheet masks before to try, in the form of Superdrug’s own brand. I have a review sorta ready, but no photos whatsoever, so posting my review would be breaking a law of sorts.


I was a bit cautious with the ingredients list because there are key differences in labelling regulations in Korea and other places – outlined briefly by Tracy at fanserviced-b (a great K-Beauty site that I often use as reference). I personally am not concerned with any of the ingredients, even more so as I don’t use face masks often. However, you might be concerned with methylparaben or fragrance in the product.

According to another review – I don’t recall which – most of the Malie masks appear to be of the same base formula besides the extract which appears at the end of the list. This is why I chose Green Tea, even though the extract is listed second-last, as my acne-prone skin needs all the help it can get.

The mask fit is standard. Even though there are some shallow (and unhelpful) cuts to help with fitting, I had to make some folds and stretch in some areas. I foresee fitting masks on my chin being a regular problem, as this happened with the Superdrug brand masks too. Besides that, the eye holes are in the right place and whatnot. (I was surprised to read reviews of other masks that stated otherwise, so I thought it was something I should mention.)

I think this counts under my semi anonymous mantra.

There is a vague scent of tea (beyond, what I call, a standard skincare scent, which is slightly stronger and overtakes here). Not brewed tea, but the cosmetic scent of green tea, if you get me. It’s not overpowering and is quite nice. Plus once it’s on my face it fades to a hint.

The mask is actually fully saturated in the essence. It’s neither a thick or runny essence and there are a few drops left over in the packet which I massage into my neck. The mask itself is thinner than Superdrug’s, but not super thin like Muji’s compressed face masks. In regards to the price, I am not expecting a miracle with this mask, although I expect regular wear will be handy during the winter months to provide extra hydration.

I wear my mask as the last step in my night routine and sleep with them on my face, so the essence is all used up. I tend to use them fortnightly and, to be honest, will only stock up properly during the winter where I might use up more. Otherwise I’ll only use them if I feel like a bit of pampering is needed.

I was tempted to buy K-beautybox’s pack of 36 masks + a bunch of nose strips for £13-ish, but the huge pack contains all the Malie mask types and I really wanted to avoid the Potato (which apparently smells like raw potato and why would I need it??) and the Snake (which just doesn’t appeal to me!).

Out of the others, the Snail, Pomegranate, Royal Jelly and Seaweed options are appealing. Possibly for the next batches I buy?

X

August 2015 Playlist – The Songs of my Summer

Coincidentally, the releases I have been looking forward to this month are all from different parts of the world (ish).

  1. From the US, Melanie Martinez‘s debut album (everytime she releases ANYTHING you will hear about it from me!) was released on the 14th. ‘Cry Baby‘ is a lovely sickly-sweet (and I mean sick as in creepy, hauntingly and cool-sick) album which just oozes Melanie. Here is the playlist from her Soundcloud – I particularly recommend Mrs. Potato Head and Mad Hatter.

    (Halsey needs a mention here, her stuff is still growing on me but her name is everywhere I look recently and I find myself anticipating her album, Badlands – released the 28th – anyway.)

  2. From Japan, Moumoon released their album, ‘It’s Our Time‘ on the 12th. They previously released a single-album (3 tracks) with the same name but this album has a more fleshed-out 12 tracks including older tracks ‘I’m Scarlet’, ‘Ice Candy’ and ‘Hello, Shooting Star’. This is the interesting lyric video for Cocoon, which I think is their first and only dance-like track.
  3. From Canada, Carly Rae Jepsen released E.MOT.ION on 21st August, and from what I’ve heard of it so far it’s shaping up to be a dreamy, care-free synth-pop album which reminds me of Taylor Swift’s 1989 but with very much a Carly-esque happy vibe to it. This is the audio video for Warm Blood, which has been stuck in my head for days.
  4. From Korea, producer PRIMARY released his second solo album, ‘2’ on the 12th. I’ve mentioned ‘Don’t Be Shy’ which is great for summer evenings, but this one, ‘Hello (ft. Lena Park)’ is about getting your nails done (and how you feel afterwards), has a wonderful retro vibe and is great for you aesthetic lovers.

    (I mean, Girl’s Generation released a new album too but if you like K-Pop at all, then you probably knew that already.)

  5. BEAST have been releasing Japanese singles every month for a while now, and this one, #TBM is on repeat. The video is also quite fun and a bit different!

With a playlist as great as this, summer should never end, rainy or not!

X

Ice Cream, Ice Cream, Vanilla

(I’m referencing one of f(x)s early album tracks for their Nu ABO EP.)

I’m actually usually cautious when opening up something from the Birthday Box, because sometimes they have packaging that can’t be resealed or something. I opened these sooner than I would have because I had the sneaking suspicion that they were individually wrapped, and therefore I wouldn’t eat them all in one go anyway. They were. The big text in Japanese katakana on the outer packet reads ‘mini soft cream (mini sofuto kuri-mu)’. This is misleading, as they’re hard candies shaped like ice-cream and taste like the classic neapolitan three flavours of Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry. I hoped that, at the very least, they would be gummy candies.   A part of me rejects the idea of chocolate-flavoured hard candy, after having found so much comfort in soft, melty, regular chocolate.      I prefer the word ‘candy’ to sweets. I guess you could say the word ‘candy’ sounds ‘sweeter’ to me! (Sorry, but not sorry.) As you can see, I’m still trying to improve the blog photography. I have no white surface besides the windowsill, which means shoving all of my skincare and makeup products to one side whilst trying to get a nice angled shot.

In the entire packet I got only one strawberry flavoured candy, and I opened it up for the sake of photography. It tasted good.

To finish off, here is more Ice Cream themed K-pop… ‘Ice Cream Cake’ by Red Velvet, from the same label as f(x).

X