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Escaping the Target Trap

By Carlos Perez

It’s no secret guys, we’ve all shopped at Target. I for one, was a connoisseur of grabbing all the $10 shirts I could find and running to the check out, while my overly baggy jeans blew all over the place. But rejoice, as you can still be money conscious, and upgrade from the Target style.

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A cornerstone in the evolution from kids to adults. These stores run specials ALL THE TIME and actually have pretty decent stuff. With a good combination of 2 for 1s and discounts, you could walk out having spent only $150 on a new wardrobe of the basics. This mainly revolves around any T-shirts, casual pants or shorts, and any party shirts.

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As the name suggests, General Pants generally have a really good selection of jeans available, with really nice customer service. This will take your pants game from baggy cowboy to slimmed Casanova. Don’t forget about ripped style also, to really go for that street look. Some other pieces are available here too, but they are more statement pieces/add-ons to your basics, such as cool hoodies or LOUD T-shirts. Expect to cough up $100+ per pair here, depending on quality.


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A great one stop shop for all your dressing needs. A good shop to get your basics, at a slightly higher quality and price than yd and Connor. Can feature some good statement pieces like beanies, and exotic hoodies plus sweaters. Prices per piece usually start around $25.

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A step-up from the above. This shop gives you the smart casual ‘dapper’ look while still maintaining a youthful look and feel. A good place to go especially for variety in knitwear and chinos, where the ‘preppy’ look can be utilised to the maximum. Expect to spend upward of $50 per item here, depending on the piece.

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Zara has a quality similar, albeit slightly superior, to Industrie. For a more grown-up look, where you can indulge in all the statement pieces you like – this is your go. With the winter coming, if you can cop the hefty $150+ price tags, you’re in for a solid leather jacket, cardigan and/or trench coat.

BONUS!!

This is a hidden gem I like to keep on the DL. Sports Direct is a UK based web retailer which has some really quality clothing on it. I personally like to get my T-shirts and pants on there, the stuff I would wear under layers or for the summer. If you stick to Jack & Jones and Firetrap (with occasional experimentation on other brands), you’re in for some quality essentials. If you can combine shopping with friends/family, or really go out on a fresh, new wardrobe; shipping costs are low and the total fee is way less than what you would spend at a physical store. The savings are unreal!

I’ll finish by saying that there is nothing wrong with shopping at Target. They have great basics, where a mix and match with more higher-quality clothing can really make an outfit. It’s only when you’re in and out of the shops in 10 minutes flat, with two bags filled with $10 shirts, and you have an important job interview coming up – you could think “maybe I should shop around”.

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A Good Suit

By Haider Mushtaq

A good suit is a modern man’s Swiss army knife. It’s a versatile piece of clothing that can be dressed down for casual occasions and dressed up for more ritzy appointments. A good suit is especially important for us university students, who have interviews, presentations and meetings filling up our calendars as our semester goes by, requiring us to look as sharp as possible to land that grad position you’ve been stressing over for weeks.

Today at FABSOC, we will help guide you to make the best decision possible of where to get one of the most important and versatile pieces of clothing a man can own.

However before you can start browsing for the perfect suit, you need decide which of the three tiers of suiting you’ll be interested in:

Off-the-Rack

Made-to-Measure

Bespoke

Of these three categories, this guide will be focusing on the first, most common and affordable tier; Off-the-Rack.

Off-the-Rack

This is the suit the average university student is most familiar with. An Off-the-Rack suit is exactly how it sounds, an unstructured ready-made suit designed to accommodate as many sizes and figures as possible. In fact your parents probably helped you pick this out for High School formals and family weddings when you were younger, and that’s okay. For many people, especially university students who sometimes end up living with double digits in their bank accounts by the end of each month, an Off-the-Rack suit is all you need to look both classy and professional, as long as you shop smart.

BENEFITS

One of the big benefits of Off-the-Rack suits is their price range, which can start from as low as $100. Furthermore, due to the fact that they are ready-made, you can shop around easily for a great range of styles and designs that can leave you looking sharp without breaking the bank. Finally, grabbing an Off-the-Rack suit and getting it altered at a tailor can provide you with the premium and expensive look of a made-to-measure suit while saving you hundreds of dollars.

If this sounds like the best type of suit for you, here are my personal recommendations for stores to purchase the best off-the-rack suits in Sydney.

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Upper-Tier

These recommendations are on the pricier side for good ready-made suiting, however they are my primary recommendations for anyone who can afford to spend a little more for some of the best quality suits on the market.

MJ BALE

MJ Bale is a fantastic store that boasts shopfronts all over Sydney. They’re use of Australian merino wool in their half-canvassed blue label range is fantastic for the seething Australian climate and their adoption of the slimmer and more modern form-fitting cuts of Italy creates a premium looking piece of clothing in both material and design.

Price range: From $500

Suit Supply

With Suit Supply having recently opened up a brick-and-mortar store in Martin Place, you’re completely covered on a great range of trendy and fashion forward cuts that don’t sacrifice the feel or construction of a quality suit. They cater to an extremely large range of styles at some of the most affordable prices that can be found in Sydney for quality craftsmanship and are a trustworthy choice for a great looking and feeling suit.

Price Range: From $450

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Mid-Tier

These recommendations are aimed towards the sensible spender. If your interests don’t lie in being as fashionable as possible, and you simple prefer function over form to get the job done at the best price, then the following stores are the best fit for you.

T.M. Lewin

Image result for tm lewin logo

With suits that start at $350 retail and can drop down to as little $200 during sales, T.M. Lewin offers some great pieces that compliment style with quality materials. While there are more luxurious brands at certain price points, this store offers a great range of styles, such as traditional single-breasted blazers, to the more sartorial double breasted coat, that creates an effortless premium look that can make you stand out from the rest of the crowd.

Price Range: From $350

Lower-Tier

The most important thing to understand about the lower-tier suit stores in this guide, is that lower-tier does not mean necessarily mean bad. While the craftsmanship and quality of the suits sold at these stores can be found wanting, lower-tier suits, and the fast-fashion stores that sell them, have a fantastic advantage in the general market. These stores can offer a great range of bombastic and unique designs and patterns that more traditional suiting boutiques would balk at, while retaining generally cheap and competitive prices to be accessible to everyone.

Politix, yd., Zara, H&M etc.

A lot of the fast fashion stores that most people are familiar with boast some sort of suit collection as part of their label. Stores like Zara and Politix have a great range of trendy and stylish suits at sometimes insanely low prices when on sale. These stores are a great option for the person whose priority is buying a good looking suit at the cheapest price possible. While the quality on some of these pieces may be inferior to or overpriced in comparison to other brands, they are an affordable and reliable option for anyone in the market for a suit.

Price Range: From $150

Alterations

Now, after going through this guide and selecting the store you vibe with the most, you may think that that’s all there is to it.

However there is a crucial step that I recommend all students who are purchasing an off-the-rack suit take, and that is getting your suit altered.

The reality is, that as nice as a suit can be on the shelf, unless you have been blessed with the perfect body type, your chosen suit will not fit you perfectly. The sleeves might be a little too long, the chest might need to be drawn in, the shoulders will be just the tiniest bit too large, and finally, the pants might be ballooning at your feet like it’s the 80s. These slight imperfections can all add up to making the perfect suit look just okay by most standards.

The solution to this problem, are alterations and tailors. There are many tailors in Sydney that offer alterations for reasonable prices, and this can be just the step you need to transform the figure of your suit into a sharp and cutting piece of premium clothing, with as little expense as possible.







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Top 5 Super Foods For Your Skin

By Rachel Kan

Is your skin not living its best days? Are you having breakouts even though you religiously follow your 21 step skincare routine?

Well chances are that it’s actually your DIET that is the root of all your skincare problems. Today we will go through our top 5 Superfoods that can help with your skin troubles.

LEMON

You may have noticed that lots of beauty and health bloggers always emphasise lemon as a key ingredient or part of their diet. This is because lemon is rich in Vitamin C, which aids in fading acne scars, reducing wrinkles and overall brightening your complexion. Think of lemon as a detox agent that acts to flush out all the bad toxins from your body. As a result consuming more lemon vitamin C products will give you clearer and brighter skin.

The easiest way to boost your lemon intake in your diet is starting off the day with a cup of lemon water. This consist of simply slicing two or three pieces of lemon into ice or warm water or squeezing the lemon juice straight into the water if you can handle the sourness! This will help balance the pH of your skin and give you a good dose of your daily vitamin C intake.

GREEN TEA

It turns out green tea and matcha isn’t only good for instagram dessert feeds. Green tea is actually a powerful antioxidant that boost your skins protection against harmful elements such as dust particles in the air. Green tea also helps fights damage from harmful UV rays, preventing skin cancer from developing. Lastly, green tea has strong anti-inflammatory properties thanks to its high content of polyphenols called catechins. This helps reduce irritation, redness and swelling making skin blemishes less inflamed and prominent.

An easy way to increase your green tea consumption is having a glass of hot green tea in the morning. This  will help shrink your bloated morning face before your 9am tutorial as well as act as an antibacterial agent for your clogged pores and acne.


KALE

We all know about the hype surrounding kale. However there is a reason why it is being advertised on every instagram health bloggers diets. Kale can boost your skin’s luminous shine, contributing to a healthier and brighter skin complexion. Experts estimate that just one cup of kale has twice the amount of recommended daily Vitamin A and C. Both these vitamins help boost collagen production which is essential for fading scars and repairing skin damage. So to all  readers with acne prone skin or hyper pigmentation, try integrating kale into your diet as it will help boost the overall shine and health of your skin.

A way to include more kale in your diet is blasting a serving in your morning smoothie. By adding in some fruit such as bananas or strawberries, this will help cover the bitter taste of kale making it more tolerable. Or why not just join the bandwagon of making kale chips? Sprinkle a pinch of salt on top of bite size cut kale chips and bake them in the oven until they are crunchy!

AVOCADOES

Who doesn’t love an avocado toast? Well turns out that your favourite brunch dish is actually good for your skin!

Avocadoes are high in healthy fats which are essential in keeping your skin well moisturised and flexible. This is important as if your skin is dehydrated from natural oils, your body will produce excess sebum and oil to help compensate for this dryness which could lead to more breakouts, acne and blackheads.

Avocados are also a great source of Vitamin E- an important antioxidant that helps protect your skin against oxidative damage. This will prevent wrinkles from forming, slowing your ageing process. So to our viewers with dry and acne prone skin, definitely try incorporating more healthy fats into your skin such as avocadoes and nuts as it will help keep your skin hydrated, tighter and clearer.

An easy recipe to incorporate more avocado into your diet is a smashed avocado on toast Simply take half an avocado and mash with your fork, before spreading it on a piece of toasted bread. A 100g serving (1/2 avocado) provides 10% of the reference daily intake (RDI) for Vitamin E and 17% RDI for Vitamin C.

Dairy Substitutes

Whilst  drinking milk has definite health benefits like increasing your daily intake of calcium, dairy products also have a damaging impact on your skin as excessive consumption can cause acne breakouts.

One of the key reasons that dairy is linked to acne is because of the hormones found in cow’s milk such as the hormone “bovine” which is produced by cows to help calves develop into adults. However this has a nasty side effect on human skin as it can trigger acne flare ups worsening the overall health of your skin. [https://bioeffect.co.uk/thebuzz/the-effects-of-dairy-on-skin/#]

To help prevent acne breakouts, consuming dairy substitutes such as soy products and other nut products is recommended. My personal favourite is consuming almond milk whenever I order my daily coffee rather than sticking with regular full cream milk.

Other ways to reduce your dairy product intake is to choose alternative calcium products such as seeds, dark green vegetables, tofu and soya.

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Micro needling – YAY or NAY??

By Rachel Kan

If you are an avid watcher of beauty youtubers, in particular ones focused around k-beauty, there is no doubt you have heard of the trend ‘micro-needling’.

So what exactly is micro-needling?

Micro-needling is a procedure that uses fine needles to puncture the skin and create a controlled skin injury. These skin punctures will trick your body into producing more collagen in order to rejuvenate skin, in turn helping to reduce acne scars and hyper pigmentation. Here are a few pictures of the results before and after:

With micro-needling products now readily available and affordable for consumers to purchase themselves, there is no longer a need to visit those expensive skincare clinics.

A rising brand has been “Banish” a micro-needling company founded by youtuber Daisy who struggled with acne scarring herself.

Banish has a “starter kit” to help guide beginners. This includes products such as:

  • Banisher 2.0: micro-needler with golf plated titanium bristles
  • A pumpkin enzyme mask
  • Activated charcoal clay mask
  • Vitamin c cream
  • Banish oil (vitamin c serum)
  • Vitamin C facial mist
  • A storage bag

This brand has been highly recommended by prominent beauty youtubers of “heyitsfeiii and ivan lam” which are linked below.

This brand has been highly recommended by prominent beauty youtubers of “heyitsfeiii and Ivan Lam” which are linked below.

heyitsfeiii:

Getting Rid of ACNE SCARS by NEEDLING! Before + After Results!

Ivan Lam:

GET RID OF ACNE SCARS AT HOME! IT WORKS! Ivan Lam

Micro-needling is to be done at night time right before your skincare routine. A basic procedure to follow when micro-needling is:

  1. Pre-cleanse your face with your favourite foam, gel or oil cleanser.
  2. Pre-soak your micro-needler in rubbing alcohol for around 10 minutes
  3. Let your micro-needler dry completely before use
  4. Using stroking motions, firmly press the micro-needler against the scarred area and roll in one direction around 4 times per area. For example roll in a downwards motion 4 times, each time lifting the device to the top of where you started rolling and repeat. If you want to change direction, make sure to lift the roller completely first otherwise you could tear and damage your skin.
  5. After micro-needling, apply your favourite toner and serum. I recommend Vitamin C serums such as the popular Klairs freshly juiced vitamin drop one or rosehip oil.

However there are some potential problems that could arise from micro needling that you should be aware about before you try it yourself.

1.NEVER micro-needle over active acne

This could actually spread the bacteria and lead to development of even more acne. Only micro-needle on inactive areas such as acne scars, stretch marks and wrinkles.

2.Make sure to ALWAYS disinfect your micro-needler with some rubbing alcohol.

I recommend an alcohol concentration of around 60% such as the product below . Soak your micro-needler in rubbing alcohol for 10 mins before use and let it air dry before using it

3. Lastly make sure to give your skin some time to BREATHE after micro-needling as well as between your micro-needling sessions.

It is recommended that after micro-needling you keep it makeup free and away from direct sunlight for around 8+ hours.  Furthermore to give your skin some time to heal, micro-needle once every 2 weeks.

Do you have any experience with micro-needling that you’d like to share?

Leave your comments below

Stay tuned for more!!

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Let’s Face It

By Brendan Navaneethan

​We all know about FABSOC’s unhealthy obsession with Korean beauty products. Unfortunately for us Sydneysiders, the only way to buy our holy grail products is to either buy instore with insanely high mark-ups or order online (waiting a millennium to come). HOWEVER, we’ve discovered an uprising online E-Commerce site based in Australia!!! Let’s Face It!

​You might be thinking; don’t we have a lot of online websites to choose from anyways, we’d still have to wait for shipping? BUT as it turns out, this website has FREE PICKUP IN SYDNEY!!! That’s right, you can literally click and collect! Not only that, but they sell all their products WITHOUT the ridiculous mark-up!

The website is owned by a lovely couple whose mission is to bright authentic, effective and affordable Korean beauty brands into the Australian market. With the emphasis on the natural, safe ingredients involved in Korean brands as well as the strong philosophy on environmentally friendly products that are animal cruelty free, what’s not to love!

They stock literally the most famous brands known to the international market for Korean beauty, including COSRX, Banila Co, Klairs, Neogen, Benton, Pyungkang Yul, Laneige and many more! We’ve even mentioned some of these products in previous blogs!

Click below for all their social media!

Website: https://letsfaceit.net.au/ 

Instagram: Letsfaceitaus

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LetsFaceItAus 

Messenger: https://www.messenger.com/t/LetsFaceItAu

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Umoja Jewellery

Published 20/8/2018

By Michelle Ou

Umoja Jewelry is a social enterprise that brings you authentic and traditional jewellery made in the Umoja Usao village, an all-female matriarch village.

 

The jewellery is handmade by survivors of sexual assault, sexual trafficking, female genital mutilation and arranged marriages.

 

FABSOC was lucky enough to conduct an interview with Jackson Vanharte, the founder of Umoja Jewelry!  He told us how He began this nonprofit business and the stories that inspired him to do so.

 

Keep reading if you’ve ever wanted to start your own social enterprise because Jackson provided some insightful advice!

 

Stay tuned if you want to know details for our giveaway!

 

In 2011, Jackson volunteered at an orphanage outside of Cusco Peru called Casa De Milagros for two weeks, where he realized what he had taken for granted in the Western cultures. This trip eventually gave him the motivation to start his first social enterprise.

 

 In April 2015, he began his first social enterprise called Frontier Collection, where he sold paintings made by artists from Thailand and Cambodia and donated the proceeds to an orphanage he volunteered for outside of Siem Reap.

 

In 2017, Jackson graduated from Macquarie University with a Bachelor of Commerce (majoring in International Business and International Relations). With the money he saved from working two jobs (a salesperson at Freedom Furniture and a lifeguard at Wet ‘n’ Wild Sydney), he invested into cryptocurrency in February 2017 and became self-employed through this.

 

He then later found and watched a 25 minute documentary called ‘The Land of No Men’ published by Broadly. After he had finished watching, he immediately went to check if the website domains umojajewellery.com & umojajewelry.com were taken. As they were both available, he registered them and then booked a plane ticket to visit the Umoja Village in August 2017.  He was astounded that nobody had built an online business for the people and felt the need to take initiative to create something meaningful. 

The story that resonated the most to him was about a girl named Julia, who at the age of 12 was forced into an arranged marriage with a 60-year-old man who had HIV. This was being done so that Julia’s father would receive a dowry of goats in exchange for his daughter. Fortunately, Julia ran away before this exchange could occur, but it’s so disheartening to think of the other girls in similar situations who weren’t able to find refuge in a place like Umoja women’s village.

Jackson says that the most gratifying aspect of the social enterprise is helping the Umoja women earn sustainable income year round. The majority of their income comes from the tourists who visit during the safari season, but that is only for about three months of the year. When they aren’t receiving as many visitors, it’s much harder for them to get by.

From an entrepreneurial perspective, the most satisfying part of running Umoja Jewellery is that it’s the first business he started where the sales have occurred organically. The business only just started out first paid for social media advertising tests a week ago. Before that, the website had already made 50+ sales from people who found out about the Umoja women’s story via multiple sources online.

“It’s exciting to be involved in something that has grassroots potential because gaining a following and traction on social media is probably the hardest thing to do in today’s world. When you can create and facilitate a supply chain to meet untapped demand in a market, it’s very rewarding”  – Jackson Vanharte

However, Jackson said that there were challenges. This having patience to run a start-up business. 

“If you rush to try and make things happen, often I found it can lead to situations that are 1-step forward 3-steps back. It sounds counter-intuitive, because as an entrepreneur you always strive to get results as soon as possible, but I’ve learned the hard way from previous entrepreneurial pursuits. There is a right way and a wrong way to go about doing something, and you can’t put the cart before the horse so to speak. If you prioritise acting with certainty and thinking of all possible outcomes before taking action, this will help you sustain a long-term orientation. This will prevent you from finding yourself in a situation that feels insurmountable or overwhelming and results in you calling it quits. ”  – Jackson Vanharte 

When asked to give young people who want to work in the nonprofit sector some advice, Jackson highlighted to “go after something you would find truly meaningly and can commit 110% to because anything less will lead to a monotonous obligation you lose interest in overtime” 

Jacksons says that rather than settling to build a good resume, be wholeheartedly commit and contribute long-term.

Finally, Jackson highlighted the following top 3 lessons for people wanting to pursue their own business;

  1. If you have envisioned something unique and appeals to a niche market, never let other people’s lack of creativity or imagination hold you back from making it a reality.
  2.  The most critical part of entrepreneurialism to me is the ideation process. Even if there is a lack of financial resources, don’t let that hold you back from coming up with ideas and opportunities to pursue. Feeling stuck is the worst possible outcome you want to try and prevent.
  3. Life is never supposed to be easy; we live in a chaotic, unpredictable world. However, if you are genuinely committed to whatever you are pursuing in life, sheer force of will and positive affirmation will lead to the manifestation of your goals. Your dreams can never die if you are willing to die for your dreams.

Last but not least, Jackson was kind enough to provide us with a giveaway opportunity!

Click on the link below for details! 

Links:
https://umojajewellery.com/shop/lucky-dip-triangle-one-of-a-kind/
https://umojajewellery.com/shop/circle-beaded-pendant-necklace/
https://umojajewellery.com/shop/rainbow-colour-flower-necklace/
https://umojajewellery.com/shop/rainbow-chevron-bracelets/

We hope you check out Jackson’s amazing shop!

Good luck!

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Q&A: Victoria Beth Australian Model

By Michele Tenedero

​For those of you who are interested in getting to know the inner workings of the professional modelling industry, we encourage you to keep reading!

For this article, we interviewed Victoria Roberts, a model in Canberra, who is currently signed on with Devojka Models! In this interview, she shares her experiences and challenges in the modelling industry as well as her tips and tricks for pursuing modelling as a career. 

  1. What inspired you to go into modelling?

​The real beginning of it for me was watching the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show for the first time when I was 15, and confiding to my then-boyfriend that to walk in that show was my dream. These beautiful women on the most public of stages, having a great time and being surrounded by so much spectacle and celebration really got to me, and I still get a fuzzy feeling in my chest when I think of them up there being so proud and confident, having succeeded despite all the odds.

2. What type of photoshoots do you usually do? Have you had any favourites so far?

I usually do fashion and beauty shoots, as I love trying new and creative things with clothes and makeup, collaborating with other equally-creative photographers and makeup artists. We think of something, run it by the others, and invariably we give it a go, so it’s a very refreshing and exciting process coming up with the concept (even if some of the ideas are terrible and don’t work out at all!). I have so many favourite photoshoots that it’s tricky to pick one or two, but I’d have to say a red rose-themed beauty shoot I did last year is one of my most memorable, because so many things went wrong at the last second and I was so worried the shoot wouldn’t happen at all, but then it all came through in the end and everyone was happy with the results!

3. Do you have any favourite poses?#Vogue

Ooooh I’ve got several, and I know some of my photographer friends would agree! I love that high-fashion, angular look where you pop your collar bones and turn your shoulders in, while having an intense expression of some kind, and then I love poses that make you look like you’re thinking about, or considering the person looking at the photo too. I have to say I like furious expressions too; I never look like that in real life, so it’s fantastic to get to break out of your usual rhythm!

   4. Who are your top 3 role models in the beauty industry?

​Tough one. Number one is definitely Miranda Kerr, the first Aussie model to walk the Victoria’s Secret fashion show, and just such a fantastic author too. I love reading her books, and outlook on life. 

Next will have to be Coco Rocha, who has a fantastic book filled with 1001 of her poses, where she’s just wearing a leotard and tights, with her hair in a bun. Extremely simple, but a brilliant, beautiful example of what we can do with our bodies. 

​Finally, I’d say Shantia Veney; the model who taught me (indirectly) how to pose, via her two short YouTube videos entitled ‘Fluidity in posing’ 1 and 2. She’s gorgeous, expressive, and is one of the biggest influences on my modelling style today. The way I practice posing (freestyle, to music) is entirely her way.

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FABSOC Goes to Korea!

​Recently, our very own FABSOC treasurer had the incredible opportunity to visit Korea for a study tour run by Aviation Society. She let us know what her experience was like, including the cheap alcohol (soju for only $1.50!!!), the beautiful palaces and the vibrant shopping streets of Myeongdong!

What was your favourite thing/place in Korea?

Its hard to choose a favourite place because each place was very unique but one of my favourites would be the Palaces. I’m a slightly more traditional person; so when visiting new countries I like to understand their history first. I loved wearing the hanbok and wandering around Gyeongbokgung because I felt like I was in touch with their history and also truly experiencing Korea for myself (you also get free entry to all palaces if you wear a hanbok).

My favourite thing about Korea is shopping for clothes and beauty items along with the free samples. The makeup in Korea is amazing because it really suits Asians (our skin colour and type e.g. sensitive, oily or dry) and the clothes fit us perfectly. Everything is also much cheaper and they always have specials, plus tax refund is available in nearly every large store.

I also loved the cute cafes (Raccoon café), which was definitely worth going to.

How did Korean food in Sydney compare to authentic Korean food?

Korean food was definitely much more authentic, it tasted better in a way that the ingredients were very free, there was unlimited kimchi and side dishes and there was always a balance between vegetables and meat (even at KBBQ) because Koreans really emphasis a balanced diet. The food was much cheaper and better quality than here but KBBQ was around the same price (so sometimes it can get a bit expensive)

Places you missed that you would want to go to?

It was my second time going so I don’t think I’ve missed a place but I would love to go to DMZ again, perhaps once Dorasan Station (the station closest to North Korea) actually opens. I’ll never be bored for the shopping streets in Myeongdong and Hongdae as each time you find something new.

I did miss out on getting a caricature at Seoul Tower due to lack of time on my last day so I would like to go back and get one next time.

Tourist hacks & tips

  • South Korea is strict with ID checks so make sure you bring your ID!
  • Convenience stores are open 24/7 and are super cheap, lots of breakfast options (including cheese ramen flavour and black shin ramen)!
  • Shopping is a must-do in Korea, a few good places to shop include

(all the shops will give free samples once you hit a certain threshold)

  • Olive Young (A mix between Sephora, Priceline and Chemist Warehouse), come here to buy masks, hair dye and essentials
  • Daiso (each country has different and unique items, the Korean Daiso’s are really good for daily basic items)
  • Innisfree/Nature Republic/Aritaum (big brand names that always have promotions and lots of samples to give)
  • Saem, Mask Story, Its Skin, Tony Moly, PeriPera (smaller stores with more niche items such as cute fruit shaped lip balms or certain lip tints, also give out lots of freebies)
  • Myeongdong is definitely the place to go if you want to do all your shopping all at once but it is not the cheapest option, on the other hand most people can speak English
  • There is a YG store in Myeongdong where you can buy merchandise from your favourite YG artist and you might even get a free polaroid of a YG artist
  • Hongdae is the Newtown of Sydney but 5 times bigger; a lot cheaper compared to everywhere else
  • Jeju is a quieter city with less people but still a big shopping area (good places to visit: Volcano Crater, Alive Museum, Column Pillars, Cave Temple)
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Cafe Review: Concrete Jungle

Near Central Park Mall is ‘Concrete Jungle’, a small breakfast and lunch cafe. The location was very convenient and was a short walk from Central station. This place has been very popular on Instagram due to their aesthetically pleasing meals. Having already seen the 4+ /5 star reviews on both Google and Zomato, there were high expectations and excitement.

Ambience

The interior design was minimalist, clean and modern, creating a very amiable atmosphere for a brunch and catch up with friends. Also, the lighting was bright and perfect for many photos to be taken. However, the area was a bit too small. Although we came here on a week day and did not have to wait for a seat, there would be busy queues during peak hours on the weekends.

Service

We were immediately greeted by very friendly waiters who directed us to a table. All the waiters were cordial and seemed to be on the constant look out to fulfil the needs of all customers. Considering the cafe was full of customers, the service was decently fast as we waited 15-20 minutes for our food.

​Food

Okay, now this was definitely the downside of the cafe. Although the food was aesthetic and good for an Instagram post, it was definitely overpriced. The serving sizes were just average and the taste was not particularly anything special. We know that the majority of Sydney cafes are overpriced nowadays but regardless, this place has definitely been overhyped online.

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Once You Go, You Can’t KONJAC

​You may have heard of Konjac, a native Asian plant used for some flours that produce noodles. But have you heard of using it in your skin-care routine?

Konjac sponges has become increasingly trendy across Asian skin-care with is ability to cleanse, exfoliate and detoxify your skin without the need for any soap or other product. The sponge contains the natural nutrients that the plant itself contains, these include Vitamin A, B, C, D, E and many more minerals that help improve the skin.

Not only do they have many beneficial properties, but they are also extremely cheap. I was able to pick up one from Daiso for only $2.80!!!! That’s a lot cheaper than any exfoliator I’ve used, and I saw results from Day 1.

If you’re not sure what sponge to get, below are the colours and their corresponding use.

  • Black – For acne prone skin (has charcoal which can detox skin and clean pores)
  • Red/Pink – For sensitive skin (infused with pink clay)
  • Green – Oily skin (green clay infused)
  • White – Any skin type

If you want to know how to use your Konjac sponge, or you just want more information, watch the video below!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6HXOHyk3E