Since 2019 is coming to an end, I thought it’d be good to do a review of all the K-beauty products I’ve tried this year that I’ve yet to review. Some of these products were launched this year while others have been around in the market for some time. As with all products, your mileage may vary. Ahead, my honest thoughts on the products I’ve tried.
Black Foundation in 17N1, $75
This liquid foundation is lightweight and gives a semi-matte finish. Because this foundation is so lightweight, it felt extremely comfortable on my skin. After a couple of hours though, the drier parts of my face started to look patchy, so I don’t think this product will work well for those with dry skin. This product also has a strong scent that I’m not a fan of. Available at HERA stores.
Illuminating Supple Blemish Cream, $29.90
This cruelty-free BB cream provides a natural and sheer coverage, great for a “no makeup” makeup look. This product helped brighten up my skin, giving it a healthy look. Although it does not provide much coverage, this product is enough to hide the redness from my blemishes. The downside of this product is that it only comes in one shade. Available at selected Guardian stores.
Play 101 Pencil in #21 and #34, $12
The multipurpose Play 101 Pencils come in many shades and textures. I got one in brown and another in pink. According to the packaging, #21 can be used for your hairline and eyebrows while #34 can be used for your cheeks and lips. I tried using #21 on my eyebrows and #34 on my cheeks and lips. I found it difficult to use #34 on the lips as it did not go on very smoothly. I also had to go over my lips a few times with this product which was kind of a hassle. The pencils are not bad but they’re not fantastic. Available at Etude House stores.
Skinny Microcara Zero in #01 Black, $16
I’ve bought the innisfree Skinny Microcara Zero twice this year because I like it that much! I highly recommend this if you’re into simple, everyday makeup looks. This waterproof and smudge-proof mascara helps keep my eyelashes nicely curled. The mascara brush is also thin and coats each lash well. I also like that this product is relatively affordable as I tend to replace my mascara every few months in the name of hygiene. Available at innisfree stores.
Ink Highlighter in #03 Beige Kitten Beam, $15.90
When Watsons announced that they’ll be bringing in Peripera products, I knew I had to get something. Although Peripera is well-known for their lip products, I didn’t exactly want to get another lip product so I got their Ink Highlighter instead. This shimmery liquid highlighter is easy to use and gives a subtle, natural glow that nicely catches the light. Available at selected Watsons stores.
Stained Glow Lip Balm in No.2 Rich Red, $33
This is the lip product I’ve used the most this year; I really like it a lot. This tinted lip balm is moisturising, feels comfortable on the lips and gives a beautiful wash of colour. It also has a pleasant scent that’s reminiscent of strawberries. Available at LANEIGE stores.
Cleansing Pop, approximately $6.28
This portable cleanser comes in three versions to cater to those with dry skin, oily skin and sensitive skin. Each box of Cleansing Pop has 10 individually packaged sheets in it, with the size of each sheet being smaller than palm size. To use, I put the product in my palm and add some water to it, after which it will promptly disintegrate and turn into a foam-like consistency. I then apply it all over my face and cleanse my face like how I normally would. It removes makeup well but I recommend that you still use a proper eye makeup remover if you have waterproof eye makeup on. Available at Luthione’s website or Korea’s Watsons stores.
Gold Solution Care Eye Cream, $58
This eye cream claims to treat eyebags, dark circles and wrinkles. It has helped reduce my eyebags and dark circles with consistent use. It doesn’t burn my eyes, is moisturising and has a light, pleasant scent. Although it’s quite pricey, it works well. Available at Sasa stores.
ASHFALL is a South Korean disaster film starring a strong assemble of actors such as Lee Byung-hun, Ha Jung-woo, Ma Dong-seok, Jeon Hye-jin and Bae Suzy.
When a volcano on the Baekdu Mountain unexpectedly erupts, causing the biggest volcano eruption in Korea’s history, the Korean peninsula is thrown into chaos at the sudden disaster. With more eruptions predicted in the area, additional explosions are expected to engulf both the North and South Korea. To prevent the worst disaster in history, an operation, with a possibility of success rate 3.48%, is planned based on a theory of a geologist who has studied Baekdu Mountain and its possible eruptions.
Debuted at the top of the box office in Korea during its opening day, the much-anticipated film raises expectations for its solid cast, intriguing storyline and suspense.
In the face of a disaster that will engulf both North and South Korea, a mission is put into action to stop a super volcanic eruption.
An unexpected eruption of Korea’s tallest volcano, which straddles the China-North Korea border, leaves the Korean peninsula in shambles. Seismologists warn this is only the preliminary eruption — A devastating supereruption is still to come.
To stop the worst disaster in history, Jeon Yoo-kyung (played by Jeon Hye-jin) plans an operation based on the prediction theories of seismologist Professor Kang Bong-rae (played by Ma Dong-seok), who has been studying the Baekdu Mountain. South Korean Special Forces Agent Jo In-chang (played by Ha Jung-woo), who is about to be discharged from duty, is assigned to complete this secret mission before he can return home to his wife, Choi Ji-yeong (played by Bae Suzy). In-chang succeeds in making contact with Ri Joon-pyeong (played by Lee Byung-hun), North Korea’s elite officer who holds the key to the operation. Will they succeed to stop the imminent eruption and win the race to save millions of lives?
Title: Ashfall Genre: Disaster Cast: Lee Byung-hun, Ha Jung-woo, Ma Dong-seok, Jeon Hye-jin, Bae Suzy Directed by: Lee Hae-jun, Kim Byung-seo Singapore Release Date: 2 January 2020 Language: In Korean with English & Chinese subtitles Runtime: 128 minutes
Located at the southern tip of the country, Busan is one of South Korea’s busiest and most unique port cities. Unlike Seoul, a landlocked concrete jungle, Busan is a lil’ bit special.
Despite it often being overshadowed by its sister city, Busan has a beautiful coastline surrounding its east perimeter as well as countless jaw-dropping natural geological beauties sprinkled throughout the area. With fresh foods and stunning sights aplenty, surely a trip to Busan will be well worth it.
Some people say that the best way to know a country is through its food and as fellow travelers, we attest to that statement with our heart and soul. Sometimes, having a good meal is just like downing a good bowl of warm chicken soup for your soul – Rich, satisfying and memorable.
And as the birthplace of numerous well-known Korean specialties, we can guarantee you that your taste buds will be in for a gastronomical ride unlike any other when you are there.
With a variety of fresh produce readily available, there is no stopping this food powerhouse from making its mark. So today, let us take a moment to appreciate the amazing foods of Busan.
We present to you this list of local favorites and along with each introduction, a hot-place we recommend you to visit on your next adventure there. Let’s go!
#1. Pork and Rice Soup (돼지국밥)
When it comes to Busan specialties, this is one representative dish you cannot miss out on. This classic is sure to steal your heart with its one-of-a-kind broth made out of pork bone and meat.
After hours of carefully boiling it to perfection, the soup is served with rice, more pork parts, and spring onions to form the ultimate heart-warming combo. Its heartiness and warmth are unlike any other.
Not only does eating this bowl of Dwaeji Gukbap (Pork & Rice soup) make you feel all happy and fuzzy on the inside, its clean taste will definitely not leave you feeling all heavy and jelak afterwards. It’s rejuvenating and wholesome, to say the least!
When you’re in Korea, pop by Ssangdoongi Dwaeji Gukbap / 쌍둥이돼지국밥. It’s highly regarded for its flavorsome take on the popular dish and it is also one of Busan’s must-eat places!
Opening Hours: Every day from 9 am to 12 midnight Address: 35-1 UN Pyeonghwa-ro, Daeyeon-dong, Nam-gu, Busan (부산 남구 유엔평화로 35-1) To Get There: Take the train to Daeyeon Station (대연역), it’s a 6-minute walk from exit 3.
Curious to find out what Dwaeji Gukbap is like? Kim’s Family / 킴스 패밀리 is the only restaurant chain in Singapore where you can get an authentic taste of it. Apart from the highlight, they also serve other kinds of Korean foods such as stews, barbeques and more.
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm Address: 177 Telok Ayer Street S(068625) Nearest MRT: Telok Ayer Station
#2. Milmyeon (밀면)
Although very similar to the ever so famous Naengmyeon (Cold Noodles/냉면), this dish is born and bred with the true essence of Busan and holds a completely different charm compared to the former.
It’s hard to find an authentic bowl of Milmyeon anywhere else, making this dish a whole standalone attraction on its own. The refreshing, soup base is made from meats, vegetables, and herbs that have been combined and brewed for hours to bring out its deep, complex flavor profile.
Served with ice and a perfectly twisted roll of buckwheat noodles, then topped with a dollop of gochujang, this is the perfect poison you’ve been waiting for that’ll help you combat the horrible summertime heat!
When you’re in Korea, swing by Haeeundae Gaya Milmyeon / 해운대가야밀면 for an authentic bowl of cold noodles. One of the top 3 places in Busan, this is also another eating spot you would not want to miss!
Opening Hours: Every day from 9 am to 9 pm Address: 27 Jwadongsunhwan-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan (부산 해운대구 좌동순환로 27) To Get There: Take the train to Joongdong Station (중동), it’s a 4-minute walk from exit 10.
#3. Fishcake (어묵)
Before this snack was easily found throughout the country, Busan was the one that started the fishcake boom. With a whole ocean right at their doorstep, Busan sure knows how to play their fishcake game exceptionally well.
Unlike the Singapore ones we often eat and love, the Korean variation is somewhat sweeter with only a slight hint of fishiness. Combining different types of fishes and then processing them to form thick, rectangular strips, it is served together with a rich, warm broth as the ultimate (winter) snack.
Often sold via mini pushcarts, this quick bite has stolen the hearts of many with its comforting presence and affordable price point. For the adventurous ones, modernized takes have even transformed this mere fishcake into full fledge unique snacks. Try out the cheese or rice cake stuffed fishcake!
When you’re in Busan looking for some fishcake, Samjin Amook / 삼진어묵 is where you’d wanna go. Sounds familiar? Yes, because this brand is also available in Singapore! For the diehard fans, do check out the Busan headquarters as they house a cafe, as well as a museum that allows you to get a glimpse of how these fishcakes started out.
Opening Hours: Every day from 9 am to 6 pm Address: 36 Taejong-ro 99 beon-gil, Yeongdo-gu, Busan (부산 영도구 태종로99번길 36) To Get There: Take the train to Nampo Station (남포), it’s a 16-minute walk from exit 8.
#4. Pig Trotters with Cold Vegetables (냉채족발)
Don’t let the idea of pig trotters scare you, this dish is extremely popular and is usually served alongside a refreshing bottle of soju. However, unlike how it’s usually on a savory side of the food scale, Busan’s alternative take on this Korean dish has a healthier tweak. Trotters are lightly seasoned, steamed and deboned before being chilled and served on a cold pile of mixed vegetables such as cucumbers, radish, and onions.
Its light seasoning and simple garnish doused with a pleasant mustard sauce tones down on the complexities to bring out the true flavor of the pork. The overall taste profile of it is pretty straightforward and isn’t what you would expect it to be.
Coupled with a bunch of beautifying properties such as collagen (which is said to aid in strengthening your skin), the Naengchae Jokbal (pig trotters with cold vegetables) is the perfect dish that is oh-so-delicious yet not too sinful – Great for dieters too!
Welcome to paradise on Earth. Bupyeongdong Jokbal Street / 부평동족발골목 in Busan is a whole street dedicated to this amazing dish. With so many shops offering their unique takes on the Naengchae Jokbal, you’ll be spoilt for choices. If you cannot decide which to try, just choose the place with the longest queue!
Opening Hours: Varies depending on shop Address: Bupyeongdong i-ga (부산 중구 부평동2가) To Get There: Take the train to Jagalchi Station (자갈치역), it’s a 4-minute walk from exit 3.
Surprise, guess what! You can actually get yourself some authentic Naengchae Jokbal in Singapore too. Nestled in between some inconspicuous shophouses, this hidden restaurant is where you have to go if you want to try out this rare dish. Gather some friends and head on down to Hyangyeon / 향연 to pig yourself out now!
Opening Hours: Every day from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, 5:30 pm to 01:30 am. (For weekends and PH, only dinner is available) Address: 80 Amoy Street S(069899) Nearest MRT: Telok Ayer Station
#5. Dongnae Green Onion Pancake / 동래파전
Back in the day, Busan was known to be a part of the Dongnae fortress and the rumor has it that this dish was made back then to be presented to the King in celebration of the country’s victory during the Imjin War.
Unlike the usual Pajeon (pancake) commonly eaten these days, this variation is made out of scallions which stalks have mostly been preserved for that extra crunch. The batter also has a hint of glutinous flour to give this special Korean pancake a tinge of chewiness.
Crispy on the outside, yet tender and full of flavor on the inside – The Dongnae Pajeon (green onion pancake) is a simple dish but the explosion of flavor and textures it brings is sure to tantalize your taste buds and leave you wanting more.
Using a recipe handed down from previous generations, Dongnae Halmae Pajeon / 동래할매파전 does Dongnae Pajeon unlike any other. Their pancakes are as authentic as it can get so get ready for a taste of the past when you visit this hot place in Busan!
Opening Hours: Every day from noon to 10 pm, closed on public holidays Address: 43-10 Myeongnyun-ro 94 beon-gil, Dongnae-gu, Busan (부산 동래구 명륜로94번길 43-10) To Get There: Take the train to Suan Station (수안역), it’s a 4-minute walk from exit 5.
#6. Grilled Cow Ribs / 암소갈비
Honestly, how can we miss out on barbeque when you’re in Korea? Everybody loves a good serving of freshly cooked meat and this restaurant is the best place to have some grilled ribs in Busan.
Loved by both locals and tourists alike, the Cow Ribs (Amso Galbi) are grilled over a raw charcoal flame to give it that distinctly charred taste. It even has the perfect ratio of fat to meat, its juices oozing out once cooked to give the diner a burst of flavor that can overpower any other random barbeque joint any other day. At this place, potato noodles are also served along the ribs to complement the meal. It is a must-try for all the meat lovers out there!
Nowhere else does Amso Galbi as great and as unique as Somunnan Amso Galbi / 소문난암소갈비. With marinated and non-marinated meats for you to choose from, there’s something for everyone here!
Opening Hours: Every day from 11:30 am to 10 pm, closed on public holidays. Address: 32-10 Jungdong 2-ro 10 beon-gil, Haeundae-gu, Busan (부산 해운대구 중동2로10번길 32-10) To Get There: Take the train to Jung-dong Station (중동역), it’s an 8-minute walk from exit 7.
#7. Raw Seafood / 회
Busan wins the raw fish games hands down. Being right next to the ocean has its perks and it comes in the form of some of the freshest catches you’ll ever eat! With the seafood so fresh you can literally smell the ocean in it, the meat is extra tender and succulent, it’s worth traveling all the way to down south (from Seoul) just to have a bite or two.
Its easy accessibility is also another plus point on its own. Just head on down to Busan’s largest fish market to choose any kind of seafood you want! Once you’ve made your choice, it is skilfully captured, deboned and sliced quicker than you can finish reciting the Korean alphabet.
And in true standard Korean fare, it can be eaten with vegetables (such as perilla leaves or lettuce, etc.), gochujang and garlic for a foolproof, well-rounded meal!
A testament to its popularity, Jagalchi Fish Market / 자갈치시장 is the first place most people would think of whenever someone talks about seafood in Busan. This huge market has all the fishes and seafood you can ever imagine, and even better yet, you can request for them to help you slice your catch on the spot!
Opening Hours: Every day from 2 am to 10 pm Address: 52 Jagalchihaean-ro, Jung-gu, Busan (부산 중구 자갈치해안로 52) To Get There: Take the train to Nampo Station (남포역), it’s a 4-minute walk from exit 2.
#8. Sunflower Seed Hotteok / 씨앗호떡
Last but not least, finish off your feast with a scrumptious sugary dessert, fresh off the street side fryer. Stuffed with sunflower seeds and then encased within a dough mixture made out of regular and glutinous flour, this is Busan’s unique spin on the famous Korean street-side snack. With its chewy mouthfeel and crispy golden crust, it’s not hard to see why it’s a popular dessert choice amongst many.
To get a taste of this treat, head down to BIFF Square / BIFF 광장. This street has been especially famous for its many Hotteok stands in recent years thanks to Yoo Jae-suk and Lee Seung-gi who have filmed there before. Try guessing where the both of them ate their Hotteoks when you pop by!
Opening Hours: Varies depending on store Address: 80 Gudeok-ro, Jung-gu, Busan (부산 중구 구덕로 80) To Get There: Take the train to Jagalchi Station (자갈치역), it’s a 3-minute walk from exit 3.
Looking for another reason to visit this foodie paradise? Good news for you because your gateway to Busan just got even more accessible. Say goodbye to stopovers in Seoul and 3-hour KTX rides thanks to Singapore Airlines and Jeju Airregular direct flights! Now you can get from Singapore to Busan in just under 6.5 hours at prices starting from only SGD 450, two-way.
With flights so convenient and foods so tempting, what are you waiting for? It’s now time for you to pick Busan for your next adventure!
This article is brought to you by Korea Tourism Organisation Singapore.
Despite having only debuted earlier this year, ITZY have already broken multiple records and topped numerous charts all around the world. The 5-member JYP girl group truly showed why at the Singapore stop of their premiere showcase tour “ITZY? ITZY!” last Friday (Dec 13).
Decked out in bright colours and sequin outfits, ITZY kicked off the night with “ICY” and “IT’z SUMMER”. They immediately captured the hearts of the audience with their synchronized dance moves and addictive vocals, not mentioning they were also visually stunning on stage.
Right from the get-go, everyone that night could tell that the members all loved kaya toast, with both Ryujin and Yuna raving about it. ITZY’s leader, Yeji, shared that Korea is very cold and that they are so happy to be able to spend December in a warm country like Singapore!
During the Q&A session, the girl group also answered some video questions sent in by their fans.
When asked who their role models and inspirations are, Chaeryeong named JYP as she admires his “unwavering passion” and wants to learn those aspects from him. Lia added that their fans, MIDZY, are their inspiration.
ITZY were then asked which artiste they would like to collaborate with if given the opportunity. Ryujin said she hopes to collaborate with their seniors TWICE as they have really good energy, while Yeji hopes to collaborate with Chungha, much to the delight of the audience as they roared in support of this dream collaboration.
Not only did the girl group perform their own tracks, they also belted out covers of hits from fellow JYP groups TWICE and GOT7. Fans were treated to “TT” and “Hard Carry”, where the girls proved that they can pull off all kinds of concepts – whether cute or girl-crush.
Next up was the “Scream In Silence” game, where the 5 members had to wear noise-cancelling earphones and try to guess certain words by lip-reading. Words like “Singapore”, “Umbrella”, “Dalla Dalla” were tested, and ITZY managed to get all the words correct! – although they did admit later that it was easier for them because fans in the front rows were giving hints.
The next stage was “Cherry”, one of the more edgy tracks off their debut album.
Just when ITZY thought it was time for a big group photo, a heart-warming surprise fan-made video started playing on the big screen instead. They shared that although they always see these videos, they still get emotional every time.
ITZY ended the energetic night with “Want It” and their debut song, “Dalla Dalla”.
Ryujin said, “This year was just our beginning, I’m definitely sure we will come back to Singapore again.” Lia added, “We promise to come back (to Singapore) with better stages and better songs.”
Special thanks to ONE Production for the media invitation.
NCT DREAM TOUR “THE DREAM SHOW” in SINGAPORE has been postponed due to coronavirus proliferation concerns. Customers who have purchased tickets will receive full refund through the original mode of payment. More details can be found on APACTix. Read the official announcement of postponement here:
After kicking off their 1st solo concert tour for two days (November 16-17) in Seoul, K-pop boy band NCT DREAM will be bringing “THE DREAM SHOW” to Singapore in February 2020, which will mark their first ever concert here as a group.
A unit that is part of NCT, NCT DREAM currently comprises members Renjun, Jeno, Haechan, Jaemin, Chenli and Jisung. The group is known for their chart-topping and infectious songs like “Chewing Gum”, “We Young”, “We Go Up”, “BOOM” and more, on top of their vibrant energy and charismatic performances.
Details of NCT DREAM TOUR “THE DREAM SHOW” – in SINGAPORE: Date: February 15, 2020 (Saturday) Venue: The Star Theatre, The Star Performing Arts Centre Time: 6PM Ticket Prices: (exclude booking fee)
S$268, $228, $188, $148
There will be a priority sale for SingTel mobile customers on 21 December from 10am to 11:59pm (more details here), while public sale will commence on 22 December, 12pm onwards via APACTix ticketing channels, Singapore Indoor Stadium box office, The Star Performing Arts Centre box office and islandwide SingPost outlets.
Korean songstress IU was in town recently (6 and 7 December) for the Singapore stop of her 2019 tour in support of her latest album “Love Poem”. Initially only a one-day show, tickets sold out so quickly that organisers added a second day, proving the singer’s incredible popularity in Singapore.
IU kicked off the first day concert with chill, laid-back tracks, such as “Unlucky”, “Autumn Morning” and an acoustic rendition of “Palette”.
Despite being mostly known for her acoustic and pop tracks, the singer proved that her music and talents know no limits, as she performed deeper, jazzier songs such as “Jam Jam” and “The Red Shoes”.
IU’s ballads proved to be fan-favourites as she had everyone singing along with her to “Lullaby” and “Through The Night”. The singer emphasised how she loved that Singapore Uaenas seemed to be so at ease, as they cheered so much for her that she even got excited during the ballads!
During the performance of “Blueming”, the entire venue was beautifully lit with colourful lights; an event prepared by Singapore Uaenas for IU in celebration of the release of her latest title track.
The huge surprise of the night came when the singer performed a medley of songs from the OST of her latest drama, Hotel del Luna, which included “Lean On Me” by 10cm, “All About You” by Taeyeon, “Remember Me” by Gummy, as well as her own “Happy Ending”, which was extra special as it is an unreleased track! IU further revealed that this medley was only put together a few days prior and was prepared specially for her Singapore Uaenas, much to the delight of fans.
Another highlight of the night was definitely the incredible performance of “You And Me”. Not only was it a grand and elaborated performance, it was also a wonderful feast for both the eyes and the ears.
IU shocked many by returning for not just one but two encores! Fans cheered so loudly during “Good Day”, the hit song that shot her to superstardom, and she also took requests from the crowd, delighting fans with “The Night of the First Breakup” and “Someday”.
The entire show lasted an amazing 3.5 hours and it was engaging and entertaining from start to end. You could really tell how much effort and heart the singer puts into each performance and interaction with her fans, once again proving why her Uaenas continue to give her the strongest support year after year.
Special thanks to iMe Singapore for the media invitation.
We apologize for any inconvenience caused and thank you for your understanding.
HYUKOH is set to return to Singapore with a brand new Asia Tour in 2020. This Asia Tour will mark their third concert here, following two successful shows in 2017 and 2019. With exciting news of their new album dropping early next year, HYUKOH will also be visiting various destinations and cities to perform for their fans, beginning with a 2-day concert in Seoul.
Check out where they will be headed to for the first half of 2020:
Details of HYUKOH 2020 Asia Tour in Singapore: Date: March 23, 2020 (Monday) Venue: Sands Expo and Convention Centre Hall F, Level B2 Time: 8PM Ticket Pricing: (excludes booking fee)
General Standing S$128
Tickets will be going on sale on 12 December from 10am onwards via Marina Bay Sands and SISTIC, while Live Nation members can enjoy a pre-sale on 11 December (10am to 11:59pm) here.