Saturn Return-ing 30 in Korea

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Saturn Return

This week, I prepare to bid farewell to my roaries twenties and celebrate entry into the dirty thirty club.  This year in particular (29) has been pretty magnificent, but it hasn’t been without heartache and disappointment.  People keep bringing up this idea of Saturn Return .  “The longer, more elaborate version: This is the astrological period of our life when the planet Saturn completes its orbit around the Sun, coinciding with the time of our birth. It happens every 29.5 years, so if you have skated by in your late 20s, this period could get you in your late 50s.”  Is this where the No Doubt album name originated?  Gwen Stefani was 30 or 31 when it was released.  I was obsessed with these tracks.  I was 13 when Return of Saturn was released, but the lyrics seem more relevant now than ever!

I don’t hold steadfast and true to astrology, but one can find poetry and life lessons in just about anything.  The idea that I should learn something from the craziness of my twenties is certainly not lost on me.  While I’ve been a teacher in Korea, life in Seoul in Busan has thrown me some curveballs.  I’d like to share what teaching and living in Korea has taught me in an elementary kind of way.  Here are a few Dr. Seuss memes to, pardon the pun, bring it all full circle.

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I’ve Learned to Love My Body

Being naked isn’t a crime.  Ajummas (the old gals) at jimjilbangs (bath houses/ spas) strut around, full bush and fupas out with pride.  They don’t give a rat’s ass about my curvy stomach and hips or my prickly legs.  I’ve worked hard to drop the weight I gained after joining the workforce and quitting my varsity days.  Now I’m in the maintenance stage which means I really have to dedicate quite a bit of time and energy to not balloon again.  I have to nourish my body even if that means being a hunter for protein and veggies at my own grocery store.  Now that I’m mere days away from 30, I know I’m never going to be perfect.  Getting a luxurious facial or massage is allowed and should damn well be in the budget.  If I want to get botox or lip injections then that’s my own personal choice.  Through fitness, nutrition, a Korean skin care regime, and time to treat myself I aim to strike a balance.  I strive to be a better me than yesterday.

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What the Fuck is this Shit?

Sometimes you’re just not going to have a damn clue what’s on your plate, written on a kid’s test, or walking down a runway.  Just learn to roll with it.  There’s no point in getting up in arms over something you don’t understand.  Culturally – take some time to do some research if you’re even feigning an interest.  If you’re living in or even just visiting another country, their customs will likely be foreign to you.  Try to figure ’em out.  If it’s just some other expat prick leaving you scratching your head – dealbreaker.  Move the fuck along.

 

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Tough Memories

Is dating shitty guys all part of Saturn Return?  Looking back on Taipei and Tokyo suuuuuucks.  I remember the amazing moments we shared and the distances we traveled together.  I try to see the silver lining in it all, but it’s not easy especially when I’m pinpointing the exact moments in Tokyo when he was texting his…less than reputable woman.  The best I can do is reflect on the good times and, instead of looking for negatives, think of learning opportunities for the future.  I got to feel the bliss of romance in Taiwan and Japan.  That’s pretty rad.

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Ghosting

A decent person will respond when txted, messaged, or called.  Don’t give out your phone number if you have no intention of ever seeing the person again.  If you’ve had interactions you don’t want to continue, find a nice way to tell the person.  It’s one thing to have a friendship or dating situation fizzle out, but hiding behind technology is so cowardly.

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No Fucks Left

Guys, I’m 30.  I’m exhausted.  This isn’t my first rodeo.  If you’re a flakey friend or a douchey date I’m over it.  I have zero fucks (red, blue or otherwise) left to give.  Sorry if that offends you, but I’m just outta chances to hand out.

  • If he’s not giving me what I need, I should just move on.
  • I’m not going to change him.  If he wants to become a better version of himself he will.  If I can help…great!
  • Change yourself for yourself.  Never change for him.

 

 

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On the Subject of Impact

Sometimes it’s hard to be a lifestyle blogger with a major focus on dating.  The impact of constantly trying to put myself out there has definitely taken a toll.  Of course I believe in love and want to find the right companion…for me.  The whole idea that I have to work on myself by myself is a little ridiculous, in my opinion.  My gal pals keep telling me to stay single and work on myself.  I think that’s a load of hooey.  I’m definitely a more organized and productive person when in a relationship.  I’m a busy person and I really have to carve out time to spend it with the people I like.  “Love yourself first” is an over-used phrase.  I love myself just fine, thank-you very much.  Why is it that the last three men who have tossed those three little words my way suddenly run in the opposite direction when I finally return their affection and say them back?  I say “I love you” to my friends constantly.  There are plenty of poetic ways to speak and show your affection.  By the time I return home I’ll have no partner and no job.  Will I have prospects?  Who knows…but it’s terrifying to look into the unknown.  Hopefully “terrifying” will be spun as “exhilirating” sometime soon.

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Most People Are Cunts

This, ladies and gentlemen, is truer than true.  While there are some great, salt of the Earth human beings out there, most people are only looking out for #1.  I’ve seen countless men and women be treated like absolute shit because they’re just an option and not a priority.  So much time is wasted because people are shitty to people.  We like to hurt one-another.  Plus, let’s talk bloggers.  I’ve encountered some amazing, supportive women in Korea.  Most people think that expat/ travel/ beauty/ foodie bloggers are all in competition.  That’s not true at all.  If you look through any of my posts here or on The Toronto Seoulcialite you’ll find I try to take any opportunity to link to the supporters in the community.  That said, there are some real assholes around.  I don’t know how I’ve been unable to identify the patterns.  I want to give everyone a fair chance, but it’s exhausting when people want a piece of you for a free hotel stay or meal.  Boys and girls, there’s no such thing as a free meal.  If I’m working in contra with a brand there’s a multi-faceted marketing plan to go along with a post.  You don’t just get to share 1 sly pic on instagram and live a life of luxury.  There’s plenty of work to share around.  Stop being cunts and just support one-another, dammit.

 

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The Internet

Can people on the internet just stop and realise that bloggers are people too?  The number of degrading comments and threats I’ve received for discussing fluffed up dating scenarios is insane.  You can’t take anything some angry troll with a firewall security blanket says seriously.  This one is still something with which I struggle, as these people know exactly who I am (and often where to find me), but they’re safely behind fake profiles with stolen profile pictures (or none at all).  I love to get helpful suggestions from readers.  They’re few and far between, so if you’ve got something then please go ahead and e-mail me or leave it in the comments.  Recently a faceless Korean instagrammer told me to start YouTube as my lengthy posts aren’t always the easiest to understand.  That was a great suggestion!  Telling me to go back to Canada because I’m clearly someone who couldn’t get a job back home?  Not so helpful.  Ps. I was the Director of Sales and Marketing for a group of companies back in Toronto.  I took a major pay cut to come to Korea and don’t regret it for a second.

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Stand Out

In the Apgujeong area of Seoul, Korea, there are so many versions of the same face it’s scary.  I don’t want to look like anyone else.  I want to feel authentic.  I don’t, however, need to have my natural hair colour or bags under my eyes to feel authentic.  If someone is telling me I look tired and should ‘take a rest’, maybe I am tired and should slow down.  Having blonde hair in Korea constantly means I stand out.  Will I keep it back in Canada?  Who knows!  I definitely feel more like myself as a blonde (having gone back to the dark side earlier this year).  I enjoy the liberties Koreans take with style.  Some of the conventions are a little weird (the shortest skirts, most conservative tops, and most heinous shoes).  I hope I can feel free enough to stand out with my own personal style when I go back to Toronto.

 

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Those Who Matter Don’t Mind

I don’t think in 30 years I’ve had a birthday as amazing as this one.  The most important people showed up and completely showered me with love (and food – the true way to my heart and Seoul).  Having all of those people in one room was overwhelming, hysterical, and incredibly fun.  I’m amazed and humbled that I can be the brassy, unapologetically honest, wild, and sensitive person I am with the people I have met in Korea.  We’re never gunna survive unless we get a little crazy, but I know mine can be a lot to handle.  Thank you for showing me all kinds of crazy love.  My Saturn Return feels like a positive renaissance.  Here’s to the next 30.  Peace out, Saturn.

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Fill’er Up: Lip Fillers at MH Clinic, Seoul with Eunogo

Seoul is the mecca of Korean beauty products.  There are tons of amazing cosmetics with boldly pigmented, long-lasting colours in adorable packaging.  In Korea you can find sheet masks with every bizarre essence or oil humans have dared apply to their skin.  Koreans are known to have exceptionally rigorous skin care regimes in the morning and before going to sleep.  Korea, and Sinsa in particular, is known to have the best plastic surgeons in the world.  Plastic surgery and cosmetic enhancements are as common as colonics have come to be in the West.  I was congratulated by my Korean colleagues the first time I got botox, so when Eunogo approached me about partnering I considered Lip Fillers.  

** Scroll all the way to the bottom for promo code + details! **

How Does Eunogo Work?

Eunogo is an award-winning medical tourism concierge service dedicated to foreigners in or traveling to Korea.  They are licensed by the Korea Ministry of Health, only work with the best certified doctors, and they personalize your experience at no extra cost.  Actually, you’ll often get services at a reduced rate as clinics open up to the foreigner market.  First, you’ll be assigned a personal co-ordinator responsible for handling any requests or questions you may have.  One-on-one consultations can take place with multi-lingual medical co-ordinators fluent in Korean, English, Mandarin, and Bahasa.  Your co-ordinator is responsible for pick-up arrangement to recovery care, and every detail in between.

That Girl Cartier Lip Fillers with Eunogo Medical Tourism Seoul Korea Lip Injections Review MH Clinic Apgujeong

Why Lip Fillers?

I’ve been asked a few times why I would ever consider getting lip fillers or lip injections in Seoul.  When I was 8 or 9 I was playing soccer and a wasp found its way into my juice.  I took a big gulp right as I was getting off of the field and the wasp stung my lip. Once I recovered from my fat lip, I noticed my right upper lip was a little droopy.  Looks like it had been depressed permanently.   

McDonald’s French Fry Lips

Years later, I was on a date and the guy thought it would be cute to ask me to kiss him with my “sweet little McDonald’s Frency fry lips”.  I nearly threw up right then and there.  Needless to say I didn’t see him again, but years later I can still hear his neg ringing in my ears.  I’m generally pretty secure in my looks, but feel I can always upgrade and refresh!  Turning 30 in August certainly makes me want to take care of myself more.  I’m tuning into ways I can feel happier and more confident.  Why not get this little lip filler issue fixed while living in the beauty capital of the world?

That Girl Cartier's Cosmetic Surgery Lip Fillers Review MH Clinic Review Eunogo Apgujeong Sinsa Seoul Korea Lip Injections

After Work Lip Fillers at MH Clinic (MH 크리닉) with Eunogo

There are a variety of different kinds of lip fillers and lip injections in Korea.  I went for the basic package as I didn’t want a full Kylie Jenner overboard look.  For more information on the types of lip fillers available with Eunogo, visit their site!

MH Clinic is located near ritzy Apgujeong Rodeo and situated directly above a Rolls Royce dealership.  When I arrived at the clinic, I was ushered in and invited to take a seat with my personal co-ordinator, Joy Kang.  Ms. Kang is the Co-Founder and CEO of Eunogo, and could not have made my experience more personal or relaxed.  When you’re about to get needles to your face, it’s nice to have someone who is very attentive, but also keeps her composure completely.  I felt at ease in her care.

Once we were settled, we filled out the paperwork together.  Joy made sure to go through each line-item thoroughly so that I understood everything and, more importantly, the Doctor would understand me.  Once the (fairly standard) paperwork was complete, we had a meeting with a very professional, friendly, and beautiful consultant at the clinic.  She actually held my hand once the procedure began!  We discussed the steps clearly and ensured that I was ready and a good candidate for lip fillers.

The images above are so that you can see some more natural lip filler “before” pictures.  As you can see, I had a pretty mixed bag of emotions as the preparations, procedure, and down time were explained!  

That Girl Cartier's Cosmetic Surgery Lip Fillers Review MH Clinic Review Eunogo Apgujeong Sinsa Seoul Korea Lip Injections
After the consultation, we went up to the 4th floor.  They removed my make-up and took some “before” pictures.  It’s nice to have some pictures directly before and after lip fillers, but the before pictures do look like mugshots! 
That Girl Cartier's Cosmetic Surgery Lip Fillers Review MH Clinic Review Eunogo Apgujeong Sinsa Seoul Korea Lip Injections
Before my lip fillers procedure I was also given 2 booster shots as I have sensitive skin with a sensitivity to metal.
The clinician applied numbing cream to my lips.  It had to sit covered in plastic for 30 minutes before we would be able to proceed.  My lips felt like they were bubbling (around the 30 minute mark I started to feel some heat).  It was really weird to have plastic wrap on my lips.  I wondered what I would do for the next 30 minutes when I was told I’d be getting a hydrating facial, as well.  Bonus!  Once that was applied, I actually fell asleep for a while.
While my Doctor spoke English, she wanted to convey everything very clearly in Korean to Joy, who then translated to me.  I understood some of what the staff were saying, but would have been helpless without Eunogo.  The Doctor explained that, for lips, the top to bottom ratio should be 1 to 1.5.  Mine were 1 to almost 2, so my “French Fry Lips” nickname may actually have been well-earned.
I had many thoughts before the procedure actually began.  The Doctor wanted to know if I had any celebrity aim-to-look-alikes.  I completely drew a blank and told her I wanted a natural enhancement.  I also didn’t want to my lip fillers look like Kylie Jenner or a Real Housewife after lip injections!
The actual procedure did hurt quite a bit eventually.  The first 3 needles were nothing – very easy.  The top hurt much more than the bottom.  I had a plush toy and someone to hold my hand.  I think I was more nervous than I needed to be in all honesty and it made the pain worse cause I was tense. Even though I got the basic lip fillers (1 cc of Restylane Vital – the smallest particle for lip fillers) there were still about 16 (maybe more) injections overall.
As you can see, the difference is pretty significant!  I think the results still appear natural, but my lower lip is a tad more plump.  My upper lips have the definition and fullness I wanted to achieve from lip fillers.  After the procedure I felt tired, my stomach hurt, and I wondered how it was possible for people to get this on their lunch break.  I took a taxi home and upon arrival couldn’t figure out if I was ravenous or nauseated.  I couldn’t eat or drink for 2 hours after my procedure, so I settled in for a little Rn’R.  The next morning I felt extremely tired.  I had some mild bruising which became more pronounced by evening.  They looked very even and smooth already even though they still felt a bit lumpy.  I felt kind of like I was a toddler or a puppy growing into these new lips.
That Girl Cartier's Cosmetic Surgery Lip Fillers Review MH Clinic Review Eunogo Apgujeong Sinsa Seoul Korea Lip Injections
Still bruised but now also a little chapped.  Guess my lips are healing from the injection points?
By day 3 my lips felt much more full in certain areas, but not unnaturally so.  My face appears thinner (to myself and others) post lip fillers.  The men at work asked if I did something to make my face “glowier”.  By day 4 I felt like I had fully recovered, save for a bit of dryness.  I like that my cupid’s bow is more even and defined.  My upper and lower lip now have a sense of symetry.  I can’t imagine anyone will refer to mine as “French Fry lips” ever again!

Contact Eunogo

#04-14 51 Cuppage Road, Singapore

408 Open Square D, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea

contact@eunogo.com  |  Tel: +65 8522 4529 (SG)  |  KakaoTalk: eunogo

Thanks so much again to Eunogo (@euno.go) and MH Clinic (@mhskin) for making me look as young as my maturity level!  While this article has been written in partnership, all reviews are honest and opinions are my own.
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