Lee Byung Hun taunts the public and Kang Dong Won in ‘Master’

The most intriguing moment of South Korean film Master comes within the first five minutes, when actor Lee Byung Hun preaches to an audience about the capricious state of public opinion and naysayers. While it’s a speech given by his character, charismatic con artist Jin Hyejang, it’s as if Lee breaks character from his role in Master to speak directly to the viewer.

“Even if there’s a person you trust and respect, when he becomes a subject of rumors and ridicule and is criticized by society, your trust in him slowly fades too.”

Lee has been involved in multiple lawsuits relating to his sexual conduct, resulting in negative public opinion despite the fact that he has more or less successfully crossed over to the American film industry. Master isn’t only about Lee Byung Hun (it also stars the talented Kang Dong Won and Kim Woo Bin), but it sure feels like the movie focuses quite a bit on his wrongdoings.

The question that hangs in the air throughout the film, thanks to this first scene, is whether the viewer can separate the actor from his role. Like many Korean action movies, the first hour is relatively slow and sets up the more blockbuster second half, giving the audience more than enough time to digest the film’s opening dialogue. Lee is daunting as Jin the conman, a bit crazed even. He takes pleasure in controlling others, enjoys hunting, drinking what appears to be blood, and has little problem with victimizing others for his gain. Clearly this is a character and not the actor himself, but the first few lines pull together fiction and reality.

Also on Kultscene: 5 reasons to watch ‘My Annoying Brother’

But just as villainous as Lee’s Jin is, he has a counterpart in Kang Dong Won, a police officer intent on taking down the man robbing thousands of people. Both characters are extremely intelligent and sly, but Kang’s detective Kim Jae Myung regrets the violence and pain that accompanies his investigation as he inches closer to capturing Lee. There’s a sense of desperation from Kim as he hunts Jin; every moment that he doesn’t have the conman in custody, somebody else is losing their livelihood and, occasionally, their lives.There are moments where Kim appears to be enjoying the game of cat and mouse, and the finale is positively cathartic, but the character repeatedly expresses distaste at how things are turning out. While Kang Dong Won is a terrific actor, Kim has no real backstory to support his intensity and overall this leads to the film feeling a bit lackluster. Master seems to have shunned the excess of sentimentality found in many Korean movies in favor of focusing on the action, to its detriment; it may as well be a study in stereotypes of cops and robbers.

While Lee and Kang are overpowering actors in their own right, their characters were written a bit flat and one sided. In comparison, Kim Woo Bin’s Park Jang Goon is the only character to go through true growth in the film as he contemplates how his past and future actions affect those around him. He tries a bit of double crossing, and attempts to use his charm as a weapon, but it’s never quite clear where his loyalties lie. Park is like the odd man out with the other lead two characters: he’s a computer genius and the mastermind behind Jin’s plans, but when he gets involved with Kim’s police operation he seems at a total loss. (Neither Jin nor Kim ever seem baffled by what life, and the other, throws at them.)

Also on Kultscene:
Reviewing the Korean Film Archive: A Public Prosecutor & a Teacher

For an action-crime film, Master is two hours of a solid face off between the law and the lawless. It offers Lee’s nefarious Jin as an antagonist for audiences to revile while Kang’s detective Kim is the eternal Good Guy, with Kim’s Park serving as the only character with any real depth. Master failed at giving either of the primary two female characters, played by Uhm Ji Won and Jin Kyung, a whole lot to do, as most of the time the men were pulling all the shots. There’s plenty of action, and some great surprises, but this cast deserved a bit better than the rather straightforward plot.

Master is directed by Cho Ui-seok, and was released in Korea on Dec. 21. According to Korean media, the film earned over $20 million USD in less than a week. It opens in the US & Canada on Jan. 6.

Have you seen, or do you want to see, Master? Let us know what you think! Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

Learn Korean With Our Talk To Me In Korean Books 2nd Anniversary Giveaway [GIVEAWAY]

Talk To Me In Korean GiveawayIn 2014, a few friends put their heads together and thought up what we now know as KultScene. To celebrate our second anniversary on May 19, we’ve put together a celebratory slew of giveaways to thank our readers for sticking with us. Sadly, we’ve come to our final giveaway, this time from Talk To Me In Korean. We launched our four giveaways last week, but now it’s time for the end as we enter the week of our anniversary. (And if you haven’t heard, we’re giving away a SnackFever box, a copy of BTS’s latest album, a few cute t-shirts from KORE Limited, a pair of adorable bracelets from BE.ARUM, skincare from Glow Recipe, and one of KultScene’s sassiest writers.)

Tonight, we’re giving you the chance to win books that will help you get closer to all things Korean! Talk To Me In Korean sponsored our special anniversary giveaway with five books split into two giveaways. There’s a beginner one, which includes a guide to Korea’s writing system hangul as well as a Level 1 textbook and workbook combo, while the more advanced one contains two books, one which features must-know Korean idioms and a second that walks you through reading the news in Korean.

Talk To Me In Korean Beginner Giveaway

To enter, just follow KultScene on our social media accounts and comment on our site using the plugin below. However, because of shipping concerns, this giveaway is only open to readers in the United States and its territories. The winner will be chosen randomly and will be announced on May 23 at midnight EST through our Facebook and Twitter, so make sure to check back.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Talk To Me In Korean Intermediate giveaway
We want to thank Talk To Me In Korean for sponsoring the giveaway, so check out their site, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to get Korean lessons today!

Be sure to tell us what you love about the Korean language below and please subscribe to the site, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter,Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

11 Korean Idols Who Overcame Hardships

11 Korean Idols Who Overcame Hardships Feat.No one ever said being an Korean idol was easy. Starting from predebut, trainees endure endless hours of choreography and vocal training (and sometimes even language and personality training), and pressure from others to succeed. Dieting is almost inevitable, and while some companies grant their trainees the right to date, there is barely any time to, what with studies on top of everything. But all this pales in comparison to the anxiety that probably every trainee has felt when they let the reality that debut is not for everyone sink in. Even after all the hardships, what could remain are wasted youths and dead dreams.

Or, on the other hand, you made it. Congratulations on surmounting the first hurdle. Your bank account isn’t in the red anymore and you got your own Wiki page now. But that also means there is more expected of you. Idols seldom escape the diet treatment, and looks will always remain a factor. What’s new are the demanding schedules and fans, some of them sasaengs who take their passions to an extreme. All idols have their fair share of sob stories to tell, but some really take the cake. Whether it’s coming from humble beginnings or a dysfunctional family or just a stroke of sheer rotten luck, these are the fighters who truly deserve their place now.

Girl’s Day’s Sojin

Growing up in the countryside where residents admonished those who wanted to become a celebrity, Girl’s Day’s leader Sojin ran away from home when she was 20-years-old in order to pursue her dreams. The idol’s parents were against her wanting to become an idol as well, which was also exacerbated after they were victims to a ghost company who promised to train the starlet but ended up scamming them for 2 million won. With nothing but her bags and a note she left in her father’s shoe explaining her decision, she set off to Seoul where she stayed at a friend’s dorm. In order to support herself and her aspirations, Sojin was forced to take up various and often arduous jobs, with everything from being a phone consultant to a server at a pub to factory worker. Ultimately, the Girl’s Day member was able to enroll herself into an academy to learn singing and dancing professionally and join Dream Tea Entertainment, her present label.

Super Junior’s Kyuhyun

Super Junior just would not be Super Junior without their evil maknae (youngest member) Cho Kyuhyun, but that’s the reality that almost happened back in 2007. After a near-fatal car accident, which also involved fellow members Leeteuk, Shindong, and Eunhyuk, and two managers, Kyuhyun was rushed to the hospital where he spent four days in a coma and six days in the ICU. As the member who sustained the most damages with a fractured hip, pneumothorax from broken ribs, and facial bruises and scratches, he had a slim 20 percent chance to live. And, as if the odds were not already against him, his career as a singer almost came to an abrupt halt as well when doctors proposed an operation in which they make an incision in his neck in order to save his damaged lung. Needless to say, the doctors looked for another alternative after his father adamantly refused the procedure. Fans only have Papa Cho to thank for all the ballad songs that Kyuhyun continues to bless us with with his warm voice.

Q6Bsaag - Imgur

Royal Pirates’ James

In a similar vein, Korean American pop band Royal Pirates almost lost their talented bassist James Lee after a freak accident involving a steel door and glass walls. The member was out eating at a restaurant when he opened the door and the infrastructure fell on him. Lee lost consciousness and needed an eight-hour surgery to reconnect his wrist. Although Lee was also offered the use of prosthetics due to the intense pain from nerve damage if he did not sever the wrist completely, he turned it down. Prosthetics do not provide the same fine motor skills as the human body does, and if he could not continue his career as a musician, then it was futile. Unfortunately, even following his surgery it became clear that James would still be unable to play the bass that he has been playing for over a decade. Since the injury, Lee has taken up keyboards, which he played for their November comeback for “Run Away.”

Also on Kultscene: VIXX or GOT7? Which Toronto K-Pop Con Headliner Are You? [QUIZ]

Super Junior’s Leeteuk

Everyone has their reasons of why they want to pursue the idol life, but Super Junior’s leader Leeteuk’s is probably one of the most moving. Before his five years as a trainee, his misfortune started when he was a child. Raised in an unhealthy family under poor conditions, his parents frequently fought and his father often physically disciplined the singer. Leeteuk harbored many resentments and fear towards his father, which only hardened his resolve to become successful. By pursuing happiness, he hoped to change his situation. And as the face of one of South Korea’s most popular boy groups, among other things, he did exactly just that. Unfortunately, Leeteuk’s father committed murder-suicide while taking care of Leeteuk’s grandparents in 2014, causing the idol much anguish but he has been able to show a happy face for his fans.

via nitrojins on Tumblr

JYJ’s Jaejoong

It’s hard to believe that such a pretty face once toiled away at various odd jobs. But JYJ’s Jaejoong life has been filled with anguish. After being adopted and raised without knowing he wasn’t his family’s biological child, Jaejoong moved to Seoul by himself at the young age of 16 in order to take part in the SM Entertainment auditions, but as it became apparent life in Seoul was not going to be easy. In order to make ends meet, he became a movie extra – playing the role of a Chinese Red in “Taegukki” – and sold chewing gum in restaurants to pay off his 150,000 KRW rent. Other ways he would cut back included walking instead of taking public transport and eating the leftovers at the restaurant he waited at. With the wages he earned, he first and foremost paid for his training lessons before setting some aside for basic needs. A great exemplar of how someone took their dreams into their own hands, Jaejoong definitely earned his fame.

2NE1’s Sandara Park

Sandara Park’s dark past is well known, yet it doesn’t make it any less depressing. Before she rose to fame in Korea as a 2NE1 member, the idol was already well-known in the Philippines after finishing second in the reality-based talent show “Star Circle Quest.” After some years, however, her popularity waned, and when it did, her father stole their family money and left for another woman. Since she was the eldest of her siblings, Dara became the breadwinner of her family, paying for the education of her brother (formerly a member of MBLAQ) and sister and providing food for everyone. She even bailed her father out of jail in 2007 after he failed to pay back P390,000 to a businessman. Despite her father’s betrayal, Dara proves that she still has a heart of gold. Perhaps her good karma might have something to do with how successful she is today.

Also on Kultscene: ‘INFINITE Effect’ in Los Angeles was Anything but ‘Bad’

Girls’ Generation’s Tiffany

Much like many idols, Girls’ Generation’s Tiffany’s father was against his daughter’s childhood dream of becoming a singer. That didn’t stop the young 15-year-old from hopping on the next plane to Korea when she passed the 2004 SM Auditions in Los Angeles, though. Since she became independent so early in her life, she resorted to teaching English in order to support herself. Moreover, growing up in the States, her Korean was not as polished as native speakers, so she also had the additional task of practicing the language. Of course, her efforts paid off in the end. Upon debut, she chose the stage name Tiffany – her real birth name is Stephanie – because that’s the name her mother preferred for her. For much of her early career, she sidestepped questions about her family back home in America until in late 2009 when she revealed that her mother had actually already passed two years before she became a trainee. Taking that into perspective, along with the fact that she did not have much of a support system other than the other members and their family while she was alone in Korea, it only makes Tiffany all the more admirable.

3zivSxe - Imgur gbpjhf0 - Imgur

iKON’s Bobby

If there is one thing everyone must know about iKON’s Bobby, it’s that he is as filial as it gets. Counter to the bad boy façade that he puts on stage, he is actually a momma’s boy at heart. Following elementary and middle school, the rapper arrived at Korea alone after passing a YG audition in the States. He did not know much people while he was there and missed his family back home, so naturally, he spent his days communicating with his mother online. In the past, through his lyrics and his variety show appearances, he has expressed how important his mother is to him and how he swore he will come back for her despite their economical situation. Everyone must have known of his circumstance, including his company who requested that all the earnings from his win on the South Korean rap competition show “Show Me the Money 3” be given to him without any deductions from agency fees so he could support his family. With the 100 million KRW from his win, he was able to move his family from their home in Virginia to their new abode in Seoul last year. For the first time in five years, Bobby and his family were finally reunited.

g2c6JLg - Imgur

Lee Joon

Actor and former MBLAQ member Lee Joon came from very humble beginnings in order to get to where he is now. Due to his poor family background, the Seoul Art High School student was unable to go on his school trips and was only able to afford one dancing outfit and a single pair of worn out dancing shoes, which often smelled from not drying properly from the night before. Ashamed, his situation only fueled him to work harder. The idol went into high school at the lowest of his class, but by the time he graduated, he placed second in his school. He even got accepted into one of the best art schools in Korea, the Korea National University of Arts, which prompted his friends who once out casted him to view him in a new light.

Seventeen’s Vernon

Born to an American mother and a Korean father, Seventeen’s Vernon struggled with racial discrimination not only while he lived in the States, but also in South Korea. In 2008, when the rapper was only 10 years old, he sat down to record a video about how he has been alienated, being called a “halfer” in the United States, and being stared at for his Western features in Korea. But even at such a young age, Vernon was able to show his maturity, ending on the note that people should give others more respect and should not judge others based on their appearances. Besides his personal hardships, his group as a whole has also endured a lot, who finally debuted last year after an expected debut in 2013 and after losing several members during their four years of preparations.

via Tumblr

2AM’s Jo Kwon

As one of the longest-serving trainees in the K-pop industry, 2AM’s Jokwon has done enough time to have a term coined after him, “the Jo Kwon Effect,” which credits success to a successful driving force. The idol, who chased after his dream of becoming a singer in order to help his less-than-well-off family succeed, overcame 2,567 days, or eight years, of being a trainee. With a debut that was perpetually being postponed, he admitted to feeling embarrassed when others would ask him when he was going to debut and lying about his debut date. Jo Kwon, who spent his entire adolescence training for an uncertain debut, also confessed that his teen years were full of pain, slumps, and depression. Fortunately, his endeavors were not all for naught, as 2AM finally made their debut in 2008 with Jo as their leader.

Did we miss any other hard working Korean idols? Whose story would you like to include? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

Playlist Sunday: Worst Korean Singles of 2015

Worst Korean Songs of 2015

Now that 2016 is well under way, we’re definitely ready to say “goodbye” to some of K-pop’s
worst singles of 2015. For this week’s Playlist Sunday, KultScene’s staff members each picked their least favorite songs of the year.

[Disclaimer: These picks are based on individual taste, so feel free to disagree in the comments.]

I get it. “Lion Heart” is the epitome of what Girls’ Generation represents: The archetype for the perfect feminine and demure woman. The song’s beat and the overall styling of the music video takes us back to the ’50s and early half of the ’60s, when young women aimed to look like their older and glamorous mothers. When the sexual revolution and women’s liberation was about to explode and a woman’s value equated to her looks and how refined she seemed. But fine, it’s a pop song, and every woman can choose to be anyone they want and dress however they want. But. That. Chorus… If you want to torture someone, just play “Lion Heart,” it’ll make their eardrums bleed. Truth is, SNSD’s latest album and singles (with the exception of “You Think”) were largely disappointing compared to their previous work. Especially considering that the album had better bubblegum pop with throwback feel contenders like “Fire Alarm.” The whole concept behind “Lion Heart” makes sense for a group like Girls’ Generation, yes, and we all like them for their girly ways. However, musically, they don’t have the vocal chops to carry that chorus, no matter how nasally and high they make Yuri sing.

— Alexis

Girls’ Generation’s “Party” makes me want to dive into the body of water that they’re filming the music video on and stay submerged for as long as humanly possible (without dying, of course). Can someone please tell SM Entertainment and Girls’ Generation to stop it with their attempts at rapping? Oh, and for Tiffany to stop it when her random ass English segments in their songs. Yeah, yeah, we get it, it’s party time. “Party” had a lot of ups and downs (emphasis on the down) moments for me; I couldn’t figure out if they were trying to make this a summer anthem or if it was an attempt of them being sensually cute by experimenting with livelier beats and adding alcoholic beverages in their lyrics but either way, I was disappointed. There were too many transitional breaks throughout the song, too many moments that had me waiting for someone to hit a higher/lower note than they actually did. Sure the music video was semi fun to watch, also very scattered, but the song just makes me want to pull out every strand of hair on my head. Can they have more concepts like “Oh!”, “Run Devil Run,” and “The Boys”?

— Tam

JYP Entertainment had a great year in terms of music. miss A released a pretty solid album, Wonder Girls finally came back, and the company even debuted two new rookie groups, both of which quickly grew in popularity. They did everything right and more… Except for one disservice. I don’t know what they were thinking with giving the green light to 2PM’s “My House,” but the song is a far cry from their usual good releases. I get that they want to spice up their sound and want to show that they are more than party boys and sex icons, but something feels lacking. Where are the interesting beats? Where is the build-up? Maybe it’s because I have been babied by fast-paced songs like “A.D.T.O.Y.” or “Go Crazy,” but “My House” feels bland. It’s very forgettable, and doesn’t add much to their already remarkable repertoire. The only saving grace was the video, which contained an underlying fairy tale thematic.
Oh well, better luck in 2016, boys.


Maybe I loved “Can’t Stop” way too much to have realistic expectations for anything CNBLUE could offer for their comeback but I was woefully disappointed with their 2015 release “Cinderella.” They may have achieved a lot of commercial success (as usual) for this song but while the song isn’t horrible, I’ve definitely seen (and heard) CNBLUE do so much better than this auto-tuned track that seems to only have two lines and a bridge that hardly seems like part of the same song. To make it worse, their album “2gether” actually has some great B-sides such as “Roller Coaster” and “Radio” that overshadow this title track completely. Seriously, what was going on in the heads of the album producers? In a K-pop industry with more and more popular bands (both indie and idol ones) CNBLUE really has to step up their game in 2016 to show fans what they’ve truly got.


Let’s get one thing out there. Park Jin Young aka JYP is a great producer. But he’s a misogynist, and his hit song “Who’s Your Mama?” highlights that more so than just about everything else he’s ever said or done. The song’s funky, jazzy beat is good, and Jessi’s solo rap is nothing to sneeze at, but Park Jin Young is literally describing his perfect woman’s ass and saying that that’s all what he looks for when looking at women. I wish I could say that it’s satire a la Psy’s “Gentleman,” but that doesn’t seem the case. The song begins with Park asking a woman what her hip and waist measurements are before going into a song describing his love of big butts. “Shake that booty” is one of the most prominent lines of the song as Park diminished women as anything other than physical beings for him to oggle. “Who’s Your Mama?” is K-pop’s “Baby Got Back,” and the song did exceptionally well on charts, but that still doesn’t make it okay. 2015 was the year of the booty, but JYP took it to another level in a way that was blatantly sexist. We’re in 2016, let’s put an end to this obsession with equating women with their ass-ets.


I could have picked any song from the many iKon released towards the end of the year, but for sheer lack of imagination, I’ll go with “Airplane.” Apart from their whole shtick being based off what’s popular in K-pop right now (rap,) iKon also come across like Big Bang-lite (so like another WINNER but even less interesting.) “Airplane” has twee synth and piano sounds that are used to make their ballad sound less like a ballad. I’m all for ballads not sounding like ballads but this screams of trying too hard, “it’s not a ballad guys, we rap, we’re cool, I was on that rap show remember?” Speaking of Bobby, I’m also not one to care too much about line distribution but this is ridiculous. It’s unfair to both B.I and Bobby who should be in a duo or going solo and to the rest of the members whom might as well not exist. Mostly I hate how YG thinks he can put a bit more rapping into a song and that makes it good enough to be recycled over and over. It was great back in 2008, but it’s time to move on.


Introduction To Korean Masks: 10 Masks In 10 Days

IMG_9787Korean beauty masks are all over the place nowadays. Even American and other western websites have hopped on the bandwagon, so if you’re not using them already, well, why not? After living in Korea, I couldn’t imagine going a week without at least one mask, but a few days ago one of our writer’s sent me an article about one writer who decided to try two sheet masks a day for a week. That seems like a bit much, but it got me thinking about the fact that I have hoarded way too many Korean facial products for my own good (if there’s such a thing). So I decided to challenge myself: Ten masks in 10 days.

But I couldn’t just do 10 boring sheet masks in 10 days, oh no. Instead, I had to make it harder. Ten different types of masks in 10 days. Not too difficult. I could just use an animal mask one day and plain one another day, right? Not quite. Instead, each day, I wanted to try something new. So here are the sheet masks, the night masks, the hand masks, the masks you never could have imagined… Some are new to me, some I’ve tried before, but everything on here is a type of Korean mask.

Disclaimer: All masks featured in this article were purchased by me for personal use.

First Mask/Day 1: Lindsay Gold Modeling Rubber Mask

Attributes: “Uses colloidal gold extract to calm irritated skin and rejuvenate an exhausted, depleted complexion with a deep dose of hydration.”

Pros: It was a good experience, even though it was my first time using a rubber mask. I really enjoyed how it was like baking; it was like Duncan Hines for my face! After it was all dry, I was able to peel off most of the mask pretty quickly, in large clumps, so it was a pretty quick overall experience. I don’t know if I’ll try the gold one again because I’m afraid I reacted badly to something in it, but I’d love to try other rubber masks in the future.

Cons: My face felt dry afterwards rather than hydrated and it was hard to pull some of the remnants off at the end, although overall I definitely would like to try another rubber mask. The next day, my skin was really soft, but still felt slightly irritated.

Where Can You Find It: $6 at Glow Recipe

Second Mask/Day 2: Laneige Water Sleeping Mask

Attributes: “The intensive moisturizing sleeping mask makes skin clear, glowing, and revitalized in the morning, as if skin had a restful sleep, with the Sleep Tox function of Laneige Water Sleeping Mask.”

Pros: Goes on easy, just like any other cream product. It smells really nice, and when I woke up in the morning, my skin felt pretty supple. This was my first time using it, but I’m going to definitely start using this sleeping mask regularly.

Cons: I honestly had a hard time getting the packaging open and nearly had to grab a knife to stab through the seal. Additionally, I don’t love feeling sticky when I wake up and I woke up feeling as if my face had been drenched in sweat. Once I washed my face off with cold water though, I felt much better and my skin definitely felt nicer than it does most mornings.

Where Can You Find It: $23 at Target

Also on KultScene: Cosmetic Hallyu: Glow Recipe Helps Understand Korean Skin Care

Third Mask/Day 3: Olive Young Dreamworks I Am The “Watery” Penguin Hydrogel Mask

Attributes: “The Watery Penguin Hydrogel Mask sheet is the SOS solution for complex skin problems. A whole bottle of Magic essence is in this Hydrogel facial sheet to moisturize, sooth and give the stressed skin its elasticity back.”

Pro: THERE ARE PENGUINS ON THIS. No, but seriously. There are penguins on my face mask! Okay, but as for the actual mask. I really like this sort of gel mask, where there’s a lot of elasticity. I did one recently that felt like I was putting a mask of ziploc containers on my face; the material was that harsh. However, when this one was was on my face, I could feel the mask gradually lose its moisture, so I knew when it was time to take it off. And afterwards, my skin was really soft.

Cons: The hydration of the mask didn’t go so smoothly. Towards the edge of the mask, it was still really wet when the rest of the mask was 100 percent ready to be taken off. I ended up rolling the mask into a ball and rolling it over my face to spread the moisture, which is definitely not written on the directions.

Where Can You Find It: $3.57 at Koreakos

Fourth Mask/Day 4: Missha Home Aesthetic Paraffin Foot Mask

Attributes: “Special foot mask to provide moisture and nutrients to your dry skin to make it soft and sleak.”
Pros: I’ve used this before — usually once a week (thanks NYC streets!) — as well as a similar one on my hands, and really love it. It makes my feet feel like they’ve just been massaged with a lot of moisturizer. A bonus is that these ones are like booties themselves, instead of have an extra plastic wrapper that you have to add after the initial bootie, so they’re easy to get on. I wouldn’t suggest walking around the house, but you don’t have be bound to a specific spot while using them.

Cons: I’ve used these a few times and the stickers that come with the booties to seal them almost are always completely too drenched, so I feel like I’m losing out on a bit of the moisture.

Where Can You Find It: $1.82 at Rose Rose Shop

Fifth Mask/Day 5: Etude House I Need You, Yogurt! Mask in Peach

Attributes: “Facial massage pack formulated with fruit and yogurt to soften, nourish, and replenish skin.”

Pros: My face felt nice and clean after using, but I felt like it maybe should have been a exfoliating scrub and not a pack. It was really goopy, which some people may like since it holds in more moisture, but it just seemed heavy to me.

Cons: See above regarding the texture, plus the smell was a bit off-putting since it smelled exactly like peach yogurt (some people may like that too!).

Where Can You Find It: $10.90 for a pack of four yogurt packs Yesstyle

Sixth Mask/Day 6: The Face Shop Tiger Character Mask

Attributes: Hyaluronic Acid & Collagen Dual Solution

Pro: This is pretty much a basic sheet mask, so if you have never done one before and want to try your first Korean sheet mask, The Face Shop’s sheets in general, not just the character masks, are a good choice. They contain a lot of moisture and are really easy to unfold. The sheet itself is pretty thin, so even while you feel like you’re absorbing the moisture, your skin can breathe.

Cons: Most Korean sheet masks are similar, but I’ve never had to manipulate a mask as much as this one to cover beneath my eyes and the space between my nose and lips. (I actually pulled quite a big portion of it over my hairline so that the majority of my skin was covered). It may have been necessary for the animal features, though.

Where Can You Find It: $13.30 for 5 masks at Amazon

Also on KultScene: K-Pop Inspired Back to School Trends

Seventh Mask/Day 7: Etude House Collagen Eye Patch

Attributes: “Formulated with collagen to revitalize and improve appearance around eyes.”
Use these about once a month usually.

Pros: These are essentially sheet masks, pint-sized for just beneath your eyes. Pretty basic and simple to use. I have dark circles under my eyes and they don’t really seem to do much for those, but I don’t see any bags (which is surprising, given my general lack of sleep so I’ll give the eye patches that).

Cons: Do not get the liquid into your eyes; it stings. Also, be careful when you’re taking them out. The first time I couldn’t get both pieces of plastic off of the cotton, so I thought it supposed to add texture. It’s not.

Where Can You Find It: $1.30 at Etude House

Eighth Mask/Day 8: Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask

Attributes: “A clay mask with Jeju volcanic scoria to absorb sebum and impurities for clean skin pores.”

Pros: I have very large pores and I’ve been using this mask for a few years. The clay feels like clay, so I like that instead of some of the liquid “clay” masks I’ve tried in the past. It goes on really smoothly and if you’re careful, you can literally cover your whole face; I’ve put it over my eyes on numerous occasions and it doesn’t cause any irritation.

Cons: It doesn’t come off so neatly, so make sure to use a wash cloth otherwise you may end up with small bits of clay all over your face for the next few hours.

Where Can You Find It: $14 at Innisfree

Ninth Mask/Day 9: Kocostar Split End Therapy Hair Mask

Attributes: “Kocostar Split End Mask repairs, rebuilds, and strengthens damaged hair for softer, shinier, healthier tresses. Infused with a rich concentration of hair-saving ingredients including argan oil, simply wrap your hair with this sheet treatment, leave in, then remove to rebuild and strengthen hair, leaving strands soft, moisturized, shiny, and healthy.”

Pros: I’ve never used a hair mask/wrap before, but I know Koreans spend a lot of time and money on hair treatments, so when I saw this at Urban Outfitters, I decided to give it a try. I don’t have that many split ends, but they’re always a problem in between haircuts.

Cons: Aside from a bit of difficulty to make sure all of my ponytail was in the wrap, I don’t know if there are any real bad things. However, I honestly have no idea if it made my split ends go away after one use, so it’s a bit different than other masks which make you immediately recognize softer skin or, like a clay mask, are meant to be used repeatedly to get rid of an issue.

Where Can You Find It: $5 at Urban Outfitters

Tenth Mask/Day 10: Whamisa Real Kelp Sheet

Attributes: “Instant wrinkle improving/ improving skin brightening/ decreasing swollen face/pore contraction/ improving skin grain/ skin gloss improving/ 72 hours skin moisturizing/ skin transparence improving/ clinical tested by Kyung Hee University, skin life engineering laboratory.”

Pros: I honestly couldn’t think of anything due to…

Cons: The intense smell really disgusted me. The entire time I was wearing it, I just wanted the sheet off my face, which is unfortunate. But it smelled like dead fish and the beach to me. The second smell was okay, the latter not so much. I don’t think I’ll try this one again, unfortunately, because I was really excited to try this out after hearing about the benefits of seaweed. The mask is made out of kelp, which I thought was cool, but I think it backfired for me personally.

Where Can You Find It: $14 at Glow Recipe

Final Result

Ten masks in 10 days seemed like a good idea and my skin is definitely more supple than it is with my normal beauty routine of using one or two masks a week. Trying out new and old masks alike definitely made me realize what I’m looking for in products and what sort of things I’m going to avoid in the future. So if you’re looking to try out a few masks to find the perfect one for you, 10 masks in 10 days is definitely the way to do it!

If you’re trying out 10 masks in 10 days, let us know! And if you have ideas for other Korean beauty products you’d like us to feature, share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.