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I remember my first beauty makeover. I was about 7 or 8. My mom had a friend who had two older teenage girls. They happened to be over our apartment, and they decided to make me over for fun. They doted over me, curled my hair with a curling iron, and put make up on me. Make up was completely forbidden to me at that age, but my mom allowed it since I wasn’t going out like that. I absolutely loved it. I felt like a movie star. It would be quite a number of years before I was allowed to wear make up and even wear my hair down. (My very strict Korean mom refused to even let my hair down for many years because she thought it may me look like a wild child.) But when I did, I kind of became a beauty addict. I wanted to try everything! And I did.

Even after I got married, my obsessions with cosmetics, lotions, and fragrances continued. The only thing I stopped doing was walk around with the mud mask. One time my husband saw me walking around the house at night with the greenish mask on and he jumped. I stopped doing that beauty regimen because I wanted my husband to think I was beautiful, and freaking him out was not part of the plan.

Here’s a snapshot of like a sixth of my make up table.

My very cluttered and well-used makeup table.

My very cluttered and well-used makeup table.

And that’s after I tidied it up! It’s insane, I know. My obsession with makeup is inexplicable as is my obsession with shoes and handbags….

For Asians, having a pale face is a status symbol, so I don’t worship the sun as Americans do. It’s completely the opposite of the way Americans think. You may have noticed older Chinese ladies walking around with parasols. I have a photo of myself around 3 or 4 years old walking with my grandmother in Korea carrying an umbrella. It wasn’t raining. I was just shielding my face from the brutal sun. Over the years, as a kid when I used to come back from camp with my face perfectly bronzed, my mom used to complain I got too dark. To this day, I don’t like to tan.

All of the above is leading up to what you’re about to witness. The above notwithstanding, even I have my limits. Take a look at one of the recent trends that has emerged in China:

Chinese beach-goers donning their 'face-kini' at a public beach in Qingdao, northeaset China's Shandong province.

Chinese beach-goers donning their ‘face-kini’ at a public beach in Qingdao, northeast China’s Shandong province.

Facekini and bodysuits come in a variety of patterns and is made for both men and women.

They come in a variety of patterns and are made for both men and women.

Oh how sweet!  They come in children sizes too.

Oh how sweet! They come in children sizes too.

The ‘Face-kini’ comes complete with a bodysuit.

The factory made cost is 15 – 25 yuan which is equivalent to $2.50 to $4.00. I suppose it could be called the natural alternative to the sunscreen lotion that most people lather on their face to protect from the sun’s rays…. It even seems to work as a repellent to bugs and jellyfish… possibly people too.

I thought Jaws was the scariest thing at the beach till I saw this.

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