Thursday, April 21, 2016

B.A.P "LIVE ON EARTH" 2016 WORLD TOUR: VANCOUVER AWAKE!!


Jongup, Himchan, Yongguk, and Youngjae during "No Mercy" and Queen's "We Will Rock You".


It finally happened! I got to see B.A.P live in concert on Tuesday, which was something I couldn't do when I was in Korea two years ago. B.A.P recently began their Live On Earth 2016 World Tour, performing in 24 cities across 15 countries. Vancouver was their third stop and first Canadian city of the tour, but they will be performing in Toronto on Sunday, after Dallas and Chicago. After North America, they will be playing shows in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia.





I managed to get my hands on an "Elite Baby" ticket, which was basically a package that included a seat in the front section (I got Row 8 in the Right Center section), an autographed copy of their 5th mini album Carnival, an official B.A.P towel, official tour Polaroids, and the opportunity to high-five the members in the Hi-Touch event. Row 8 was ideal for me, because I'm sort of a dud at concerts; I usually just stand there and watch with my mouth hanging open. I was at my fourth Iron Maiden concert two weekends ago, and while my friend was bashing his head into the air, I stood stoic for pretty much two hours straight. My body just doesn't know how to respond to music. Anyway, had I been any closer to the stage, I was afraid B.A.P would see me standing there calmly and assume I wasn't enjoying their glorious presence.


The organizers of the show were a little less than organized, actually. They never did update ticket-holders on how to claim the bundles of merch included with the tickets, but I soon found myself in a spiraling merch pick-up lineup in the Orpheum's lobby half an hour before showtime. I finally claimed my signed album and towel and stuff, and rushed to get to my seat just minutes before they closed the theatre doors at 8pm sharp. The girls around me immediately asked whose autograph I got on my album, and it turns out I scored Himchan's. One of the girls desperately wanted Yongguk's, and was offering to swap her Himchan copy plus an extra $60 for one. I'm not sure she ever got it in the end. Anyway, the show started mostly on time, which was kind of impressive.


For some reason, everyone was able to take photos and videos throughout the concert, even though they had announced beforehand that it was prohibited. I didn't take any photos in the beginning because I didn't want to risk being kicked out, but when literally everyone else was doing it, I just had to sneak a few quick ones too.



Himchan performed "S.N.S." as his solo stage. It was also his 26th birthday that night!


B.A.P kicked it off with their debut single "Warrior" and followed it with "What The Hell", "Bang X2", "No Mercy" and a little bit of Queen's "We Will Rock You". My memory of the setlist is already foggy. When the members first walked out on stage, the entire theatre went nuts, obviously. Before, I never really understood why Himchan was the group's visual, but I immediately got it the moment I saw him on stage; the man is flawless. Admittedly, Jongup is my favourite, but there were times when I couldn't tear my eyes off Himchan.



The group's introduction, plus individual greetings. Left to right: Youngjae, Jongup, Himchan, Daehyun, Yongguk, and Zelo. Zelo introduced himself as the "giant baby".


Daehyun performed "Shady Lady" for his solo.

During Daehyun's solo performance, he began by telling everyone to sit down. "Just relax and enjoy the song. Okay? Sit down, sit down, sit down," he said as he took a sip of water and waited for everyone to take their seats. When everyone was seated, he smiled and said, "Saranghaeyo! (I love you!)" and everyone lost their minds. Daehyun's popularity in Vancouver is alarming.



I only filmed this bit because Jongup was exactly where I could see him clearly. They performed a remix version of "Dancing In The Rain".


Jongup's solo, finally! He performed "Now", a song he wrote.

It was SO good to hear Jongup's voice. Youngjae and Daehyun are amazing main and lead vocalists, but I love when Jongup sings too. "Now" is a song written by Jongup, and it fits really well with this vocal range and fluid dance style. Internally, I was fangirling to death.



"1004" is still my favourite B.A.P song.


I randomly started filming some of "1004".

My video of "1004" kind of begins around Himchan's part. Then I realized Jongup was in clear view for most of the song. I knew halfway through the show that I made the right decision when I chose my seat in that section because I got to see a lot of Jongup. Small victories, you guys.



The members took a short break to talk to the fans.

All the members spoke in English from the beginning of the concert, but during this portion, they said as much as they could in English before they asked if it would be okay to express themselves in Korean and have a translator paraphrase what they say. They took turns speaking, starting with the youngest. Zelo began speaking in Korean, and some of the fans reacted right away to what he was saying, and Zelo was suddenly startled. The members seemed a bit surprised that there were Koreans or Korean-speaking fans in the crowd, and it made everyone laugh.



Serenading Himchan on his birthday!


All the members singing "With You" with the fans. Left to right: Daehyun, Jongup, Zelo, Himchan, Yongguk, and Youngjae.

When "With You" started to play, everyone pulled out the birthday banners created for Himchan's birthday. We were instructed prior to the concert that this was a surprise event for him, so the fans were each given a banner (the one that Yongguk is holding up in the photos) to hold up during the song. Himchan seemed quite pleased as he stole the cameraman's equipment and tried to get a shot of the fans. It looked like he was struggling with it a bit, so he went for the DSLR instead, which he also fumbled with. When he had given up on both cameras, he walked off stage and disappeared while everyone was singing mid-song, but he emerged a moment later with a smile back on his face and his phone in his hand. He stood there proudly capturing the moment with his phone, and everyone finished singing together.


At some point, when the guys were standing there singing with us, it looked like Youngjae was staring at me, so I waved and he immediately waved back. In the back of my mind, I was hoping he wasn't staring because I was standing so completely still the entire time.



Zelo doesn't stay still long enough to be photographed properly. This was during the encore portion.


B.A.P performed "Bang X2" for the second time as their last song.

Leading up to the encore, B.A.P performed their hits "One Shot", "Young, Wild, And Free", "Excuse Me", and the Korean version (rather than the Japanese version) of their song "Kingdom". For their last performance, they performed "Bang X2" again. It was at this point that my ears nearly exploded because Yongguk decided he didn't want to wear his shirt anymore. The amount of screaming was deafening. Not gonna lie, his tattooed body was not bad to look at, so maybe the ringing in my left ear was a small price to pay.


When the concert wrapped up, those holding a VIP or Elite ticket got to stay behind for the Hi-Touch event while everyone else cleared the building. We waited something like 20 minutes in our seats. Everyone was excitedly recapping the concert. At some point, I looked to my left to the far side of the theatre where the area had been cleared and saw some staff members in black hanging around the doorway. I noticed one who was particularly handsome, and it dawned on me that it was Youngjae, and he was casually strolling past rows of empty seats to enter the lobby. Jongup was behind him, and I looked around me, but no one else had noticed them until Daehyun entered, and then everyone went nuts all over again. When all six of them were outside, staff members began sending out rows of us. We were told to quickly high-five the guys and exit the building right away. No photos were allowed - just a simple high-five and short greeting.


The first few rows moved really fast out the door, and soon I was being ushered out of the theatre just as quickly. Youngjae was standing right at the door with his hand up in the air. There was a long table between the guys and the fans, which made sense. I went up to Youngjae, who looked absolutely exhausted by this point, and gave him a high-five, and he smiled kindly despite looking like it was way past his bed time. I'm really not sure what the order was after Youngjae. It could've been Zelo or Daehyun next, but my mind blanked completely. I know somewhere in the middle I high-fived Himchan, but I honestly couldn't even stutter a "Happy Birthday" to him because my brain was already gone. Everyone was moving too quickly. Jongup was the second to last. When I looked up at him, he smiled brightly at me like he was genuinely having a good time touching hundreds of sweaty, strange hands. Ugh, up-close he was absolute perfection. I think I got swallowed up by his smile, because I almost walked past Yongguk who was leaning forward with his hand ready. I swear, if he hadn't leaned forward at that moment, I probably would've exited and kicked myself afterwards. Yongguk was the only one who really held eye contact. He looked me in the eyes with a warm smile right up until I turned away. I felt so relieved my brain snapped back into place after Jongup, because I would've been the biggest asshole had I passed Yongguk. He's certainly worthy of his title as the group's leader.


I'm still slightly in a daze. B.A.P are otherworldly beautiful. The concert was even better than I expected. The music was arranged perfectly, and there was never a moment when I wasn't smiling like a total idiot. Even though I attended the concert by myself (seriously, I might be the only one among my circle who actually enjoys K-pop), I still had a great time. I love that B.A.P can put on the same quality of show whether they're playing giant arenas or smaller venues. I was a little worried that the Orpheum's stage would limit their performances, but B.A.P made it all happen anyway. Ugh, I'm so happy.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

THIS IS HOW YOU TAKE MY MONEY




Shiseido did this "web movie" last year, and when I first saw it, I was like, "YESSS. This is the message I've been trying to get through to everyone." And by "everyone" I mean the occasional client and less open-minded people around me. Makeup is for everyone. I was pretty pleased with Shiseido's video, so I went out and purchased a few things from their Ibuki line (the softener, moisturizer, and foam cleanser), plus the mascara base and eyelash curler. I think I've only ever tried one of their foundations and powders in the past, and I didn't enjoy either. Unfortunately, I also didn't love the eyelash curler as much as I loved my Shu curler, and the Ibuki Refining Moisturizer was a little too oily for me. I do love the Ibuki Softening Concentrate (already bought my second bottle!) and the Nourishing Mascara Base. Watch the video below if you haven't already.



Behind the scenes here.


A few weeks ago, a customer in the store was annoyed that her son - who was maybe 4 or 5 years old - was fascinated by the selection of cleansers at the counter. I jokingly said, "I guess it's never too early to get into good skincare habits." Unfortunately, the woman responded with a slight eye-roll and said, "Yeah, except that he's a boy." Without missing a beat, I gently replied, "But men need to take care of their skin too." She paused for a second and took her son's hand, and I watched her face change slightly as she nodded. "I guess that's true," was her answer as she walked out of the store.


What are your favourite products from Shiseido?


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

FOTD: A FRESH FACE WITH MY FAVOURITE FOUR.




Just looking at my makeup stash, I can narrow down my favourites in an instant, and four of my favourite things right now are the Shiseido Nourishing Mascara Base, Too Faced Boudoir Eyes Palette, CHOSUNGAH22 Bounce Up Pact XS, and YSL Rouge Pur Couture Satin Radiance Lipstick in 70 Le Nu. Firstly, the Shiseido Nourishing Mascara Base is the only thing that keeps my lashes from going limp mid-day. It also prevents major panda eyes. My mascara always migrates and makes a mess, but this base keeps everything in place. The Too Faced Boudoir Eyes Palette is my new go-to eyeshadow palette because I love it as much as I love my Canmake palettes, and that's saying a lot. All the colours go beautifully together for a soft and subtle look without any fallout or creasing. I seriously want all the Too Faced palettes. As for my face base, for a quick and easy morning, I swipe on CHOSUNGAH22's Bounce Up Pact XS which includes SPF50+. The finish is gorgeous: natural, satin perfection. Lastly, I've been wearing YSL's Rouge Pur Couture Satin Radiance Lipstick in the perfect MLBB shade 70 Le Nu a lot lately. Throw all of the above together with a liquid highlighter, a sweep of bronzer, some peach blush, a little gloss, and a quick flick of eyeliner for a refreshing, natural look.


Most days, I don't want to think about what I put on my face, so it makes things easier when these four things are within my reach each morning. Of course, each morning begins with proper skin prep, which involves drinking a glass of water when I wake up, and another glass after I jump out of the shower, followed by my skincare routine. What's my skincare routine? Stay tuned for that post. ;)



CHOSUNGAH22 Bounce Up Pact XS in #2 Sand Beige, LUNA Long Lasting Tip Concealer in #1 Light Beige, Too Faced Boudoir Eyes Soft & Sexy Eye Shadow Collection, Tony Moly Luminous Goddness Aura Crystal Light in #1 Pink Glam, Majolica Majorca Puff de Cheek Flower Harmony Blush LE in Mandarin Mix (RD303), Tarte Amazonian Clay Matte Waterproof Bronzer in Park Avenue Princess, Laneige Lip Primer, Laneige Snow Crystal Pure Lipgloss in LR06 Jelly Pink, YSL ROUGE PUR COUTURE Satin Radiance Lipstick in 70 Le Nu, Shiseido Nourishing Mascara Base, The Face Shop Freshian Big Mascara in #2 Volume, shu uemura Brow:Sword in Seal Brown, Marc Jacobs Magic Marc'er Precision Pen Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Blacquer.


What are your beauty favourites right now?


Thursday, February 25, 2016

BAG DUMP: ROUND 3




Normally, when I suspect some of my lipsticks have gone missing, I would find them all in my bag. Surprisingly, I only had two tinted lip balms in my purse this time, so I'll have to keep searching for those misplaced lipsticks. In this round of Bag Dump, I have the usual lineup: wallet, phone, makeup bag, bus pass, passport, lip product, hand cream. I didn't realize a necklace was in there, but it's not unusual either. I'll often start the day wearing jewelry, but halfway I'll ditch it just because. The Majolica Majorca powder case was something I bought in Hong Kong, and I tote it around mostly for its mirror. The SON&PARK Sugar Tint Lip Crayon is a must-have in my bag at all times. I also have too many perfume samples, so I've made it a habit to carry one in my bag, just in case. As for my makeup pouch, well, I do love my Shu Shu! While I was working in a department store, most of my paycheck went back to the Shu Uemura and NARS counters rather than my own.


I started writing in a monthly planner recently, so I've been keeping it close to me because I forget appointments too easily these days. I also stash all my receipts and miscellaneous scraps in there, which frees up what little space I have in my Herschel wallet, which holds all my cards and a few coins. I keep my bus pass in the little card pocket thing I bought while I was in Korea two winters ago, and it's usually kept in the back pocket of my purse so that I can easily locate it. My parents' key is also in there for when I need to raid their fridge. Lastly, I have a McCafé stamp card because I rarely go to Starbucks (and I randomly crave fries all the time anyway).


What are you keeping in your handbag/backpack?