Can you believe that we’re already at the end of 2018? It seems that another year has flown by, but the final month of 2018 certainly helped end the year with a bang.
Favorite Song: “Blue Rose” - UP10TION
I’ve been absolutely obsessed with this song since it came out, honestly. UP10TION has been stepping up their game musically for a while now, but I’m still surprised at how captivated I was when I first listened to “Blue Rose.” The fierceness wrapped up in every aspect of the song absolutely stole my heart, and I’ve had the track on replay ever since. The staccato rap tones in Bitto’s verse are captivating, and Sunyoul’s high notes in the chorus definitely leave goose bumps in their wake. Plus, I’m very much into the metaphorical symbols of the blue rose, which add an additional bonus to an already fantastic release.
Favorite Album: Present: You & Me - GOT7
The announcement of a GOT7 winter comeback is always exciting for an Aghase, but what’s even more exciting is a repackaged album that features over 20 tracks. I, of course, was excited for and deeply enjoyed “Miracle,” but the real treat was the full album which featured tracks from special stages. GOT7’s concerts are known for special unit performances, and this is the first time we’ve gotten the studio versions of these stages. This is a real treat, especially for fans who want to relive the experience of seeing these performances live.
Favorite Music Video: “Truth” - TVXQ
As a noona fan, sometimes I need a break from my younger babies and instead turn toward older, more sophisticated men. TVXQ doesn’t disappoint in this realm, with the older duo basically guaranteeing an aesthetic that is equally parts sexy and refined. The music video for “Truth” is the epitome of this, with dual scenes of fancy suit dancing and water clinging to the boys’ skin. The way this music video was shot is absolutely gorgeous, with focus on the dancing skills of the duo, as well as aesthetically pleasing shots of each member. Thank God Yunho and Changmin have returned to the scene to continue TVXQ’s legacy by providing gorgeous music and videography.
Favorite Music Show Performance: “Simon Says” - NCT 127
It’s hard not finding yourself captivated by any performance from NCT 127, seeing as the group always brings sharp and intense choreography to their releases. I wasn’t big on “Simon Says” at first, but the track quickly grew on me to the point that it became a favorite. My only gripe with these promotions is that on multiple occasions, the stylist’s fashion choices were questionable at best. Because of this, I really enjoy this performance on Music Core seeing as none of the outfits are particularly outlandish, and they all match very well. The performance of “Simon Says” is totally enthralling, and I’m delighted that they have been promoting the track for so long.
Favorite Awards Show Performance: “IDOL” - BTS at the MMAs
December means award season and an immeasurable number of special stages from Korea’s top stars. It’s difficult to pick just one favorite special performance with so many talented artists pulling out their best for the end of the year, but BTS’s special performance of “IDOLl” at this year’s Melon Music Awards definitely caught my attention the most. The special stage featured dance solos from J-Hope, Jimin, and Jungkook, each of who performed a special bit of traditional Korean choreography. Adding the traditional and historical piece to the modern track really left a lasting impression and helped the stage stand out from the crowd, not to mention it was incredibly beautiful.
Favorite Drama: Encounter
Full disclosure: I don’t enjoy watching dramas as they air because I hate dealing with the episode cliffhangers and having to wait a week for new episodes. So when Encounter announced its premiere, I intended to wait until the drama finished airing before I started it myself. Ultimately, I decided that I wanted to write a column on the first episode, since there was so much hype surrounding the comebacks of Park Bogum and Song Hyekyo, which turned out to be a big mistake because... I was instantly hooked.
Bogum plays a warm, free-spirited young man who meets Hyekyo’s emotionally distant and uptight CEO character in Cuba. The two spend an unforgettable evening together in Havana after Hyekyo ends up mindlessly roaming the streets (she lacks street smarts). They even struggle to part ways late into the night. It turns out that their fate is intertwined, as Bogum’s character is hired at the company Hyekyo’s character runs. The story of star-crossed lovers unfolds with some incredibly sweet moments and just the right amount of angst. After having gone through many emotionally draining drama binges, it’s nice to get hooked on such a heartwarming story. Not to mention Bogum’s smile could pretty much cure anyone’s depression.
Favorite Products: Nature Republic’s Green Tea Foam Cleanser & Innisfree’s Jeju Bija Trouble Spot Essence
I’m not going to lie—I’ve been having a lot of trouble the last few months resulting in a lot of stress, which has inevitably led to breakouts that I have just simply not been able to control. The area under my chin had been a particularly difficult spot, and even with daily Proactiv regiments, my acne wasn’t going away or getting any better. Fed up, I decided to drop it and try something else. Thankfully, Nature Republic’s Green Tea Foam Cleanser and Innisfree’s Trouble Spot Essence came to the rescue.
Nature Republic is my go-to choice for K-Beauty, and they definitely haven’t disappointed so far. The green tea cleanser is absolutely lovely on my skin, and it helped clear up the stubborn pimples that kept popping up on my chin. Since I began using this cleanser, my breakouts have almost completely stopped. Additionally, the spot essence has helped with acne scarring left over from breakouts, making red marks gradually fade for healthier skin. It definitely doesn’t work overnight and requires routine application, but I can say that I have absolutely seen results in just the few weeks since I’ve switched. Both products are extremely affordable, which is just an added bonus!