Monday, 11 July 2011

Beautiful Things

No copyright infringement intended


One thing that I love about going overseas to Asia is stocking up on local magazines. In particular, I am in love with Japanese and Korean glossies because they cater quite well to the twenties age bracket. These magazines offer practical yet youthful fashion, make up, skincare and hair tips for girls who are moving from 'teenage' to 'woman'. In Hong Kong, China and Taiwan, there are a few magazines that cater to this crowd. My favourite ones are Vivi, Ray Li and Queen

This is the 2011 July issue of Vivi Magazine. The name of the magazine might be familiar to those who pay attention to Japanese fashion. It is one of the most authorative sources for Japanese fashion, make up and hair styles. Targeting teens and young women, the content is mainly geared towards students and young office ladies looking for clothing and beauty advice. It has amassed a huge following in not only its native country, but also China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. As such, the monthly publication has been translated into Chinese so that a non-Japanese reading audience can understand the tips being shared.

This magazine cost me $20RMB and I purchased it in a bookstore in Guangzhou.

One of my favourite casual looks featuring the super gorgeous Rola, who is a permanent Vivi Japan model.

Another one of those relaxed, casual looks that I adore. 

While the magazine is mostly about fashion, there are also some interesting make up tips as well. This is a step-by-step guide to the perfect cat eye.


Next up is 2011 July issue of Ray Li Magazine. a Beijing publication. which is quite similar to Vivi. The magazine also caters to girls in their twenties living in urban centres. The large majority of articles originate from Japanese and Korean fashion magazines. Occassionally, there a few locally written pieces and photoshoots.

This also cost me $20RMB at the same bookstore in Guangzhou. 

Like Vivi, Ray Li is very fashion focused. I love the look of white on denim. Looks clean and boyishly feminine. Does that make much sense to you? AHAH.

In this issue, they followed someone's skincare routine. I absolutely love these articles because it gives me a sneak peek into what types of product people are putting on their skin. It's a good way to compare and learn from what alternative products you can use.

Her frames are super adorable, don't you think?

My hair is just as long as the model on the left but I can never get my hair to curl as pretty as hers. WHY?! WHY?! *cries a river*

Lastly, we have 2011 Summer edition of Queen magazine which is published quarterly in Taiwan. The magazine is an extension of the hit Taiwanese TV show of the same name. The entire program is about experts demonstrating the latest skincare, cosmetics, hair and fashion trends. The show is really helpful, professional and informative. I actually bought the Hada Labo SHA Lotion after seeing it recommended and demonstrated on the show!

This is by far the hardest magazine to get hold off. Firstly, it's not sold at every bookstore or convenience store. Secondly, where they are sold, they are usually sold out very quickly. I found this in a Central 7/11 hidden behind a stack of other beauty magazines. Maybe someone saw it and hid it so they could pick it up after work? Woops? AHAH.
The big difference between Queen and the other two, is that it is predominately focused on giving beauty advice, whether it be the latest make up or skincare products and techniques. Hair and fashion are given a bit of a backseat, and that's what I love about this magazine. At the end of the day, I am more preoccupied with what is on my face than what I've worn on my body or in my hair.

One of the make up artists that feature on the TV show answers questions about the type of foundations, sunscreens and BB creams that are best for the Summer.

I thought the page on the left was quite interesting. It shows where extra sunscreen should be put on the face, namely the chin, middle of your forehead and the highest part of your cheekbones.

This is one of those step-by-step guide from bare-face to full face of make up. I like how it shows what type of skincare products the model used before she put on her make up. A lot of make up tutorials start with a simple line 'moisturise before applying make up' and they don't offer much direction as to what needs to be used and in what order as well.

I may not be a lip-person, but I am a huge eye-person. I love working on my eyes, which is perhaps to my detriment because that's the driest part of my face.
Hmm, I wonder if I could carry yellow eyeshadow. . .

I really like this hair tutorial as well! The model has long hair but she was able to make a bob. Super awesome! I'm going to give this one a go.

I've been keeping my hair long for many years already. Maybe over ten years? For a few years now, I've really wanted to cut it real short. Long hair is such high maintenance. Unfortunately, I've never found the courage to cut it short and neither has my hair stylist who snickers and smirks everytime I say I'm going to cut it into a bob really soon. 

I was in Taiwan in 2009 and I almost bought a short wig. 

Maybe I could try out this tutorial!

Admittedly, all these magazines are written in Chinese and my reading level is intermediate. But the step-by-step photos are helpful enough and if I really want something read, I can ask my mother.

My father hates me buying these magazines! AHAH. Everytime he sees me wandering into a convenience store or gravitating towards the magazine corner in the bookstore, he will tell me that I'm wasting money AND luggage space. Yes, I like to bring my magazines HOME!

But to me, they are quite precious. Images of beautiful things and people inspire me. At one point in my life, I really wanted to be a beauty editor. I thought I was really suited to the job due to my love for writing, editing, skincare and cosmetics. Even though this hasn't eventuated into a career path, I still like to pay extra attention to magazine layouts, articles and product placements.

Also, to see step by step transformations give me that superficial belief that I, too, could do cat eyes or make my jawline looks slimmer with bronzer. To see people with perfect skin makes me want to step up my skin routine. To see people wear the latest trends makes me want to exercise more, so that I can wear them with a toned body. These handbooks, motivate me to become better physically. 

These magazines represent my aspirations. 

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