fanserviced-b started in 2014 and offers no-B.S. kbeauty (and other!) product reviews, skincare routines, and shopping resources. The blog is independent, meaning that it’s not created by a shop or brand to market products. I don’t accept money to write posts or influence my reviews and I always tell you how the blog makes money and receives products with disclosure buttons at the top of my posts.
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The Origins of fan-b
It wasn’t supposed to be like this. I used my birthday money to buy Tinkerbell makeup when I was 5. When I was in high school going through my Marlene Dietrich fangirl phase I shaved off my eyebrows so I could draw them on like a 1930s silver screen siren. My Kevyn Aucoin makeup books have always rested cover to cover with classic works of literature. I just really love makeup.
This, however, is not a blog about makeup. Well, most of the time. Here on fan-b I write mostly about skincare with some makeup, haircare, and bodycare. And not usually the products you can find in any drugstore here in NYC, but Korean cosmetics.
Two things changed the course of my life around the time I turned 30: Lee Taemin’s Sherlock weave and hormones. Wait, that sounds really wrong–I can explain!
I had pretty great, resilient skin until I hit my late 20s. I mean…if we’re really going to be honest, I don’t even remember washing my face regularly in my younger years. Then something changed and no matter what I did, I had blemishes. More and more and more. My mom had similar skin issues at my age, so I knew that this wasn’t going to just go away. I had hormonal acne.
Have hormonal acne, let’s not get ambitious and use the past tense. Whereas some people come to skincare because they love it, I felt forced to engage with it. As a result, I’ve been digging into what works best for my troubled skin, but I’ve also been interested in finding products that make skincare, my un-chosen obsession, pleasurable and rewarding each day. I love finding beautifully fragranced products in pleasing packaging that work well. I’m trying to make this relationship work.
Some answers to my skin issues originate from an encounter with an unlikely source: the undoubtedly plastic weave sported by Taemin from kpop group SHINee during their Sherlock promotions.
At that point, I was successfully avoiding kpop while devouring fabulous kdramas (which I discovered while browsing Netflix one day). Yet my curiosity about this long-haired guy who exploded with energy and precision when he danced lured me in. From there I discovered Etude House, endorsed by SHINee. From Etude House I launched myself into a whole new world of beauty products from South Korea.
That said, don’t get me wrong: I’m a beauty omnivore, and I want the best stuff at the best prices. Much of the time Korea produces it, but I have no problem looking elsewhere to find my dream products.
I’m a married 39-year-old mother of a black cat, Alessandro (named after Duke Alessandro de’ Medici). I work full-time administering and helping direct things at an international scholarly society, and in my 20s I taught college and got a PhD in History.
My training as a historian required me to learn several languages. As a result, I was able to pick up the Korean alphabet quickly, learn how to translate ingredient lists, and translate sentences (at a glacial speed, sadly). I also learned how to read manuscripts very closely, sit in a chair for a damn long time, and write without making jokes. These days I don’t write much history, but I have written a lot of blog posts. I think it’s because I really like being able to tell jokes.
My training did not include science. Like, any science at all. As a result, I usually try to leave science to the many people in the skincare world that have training or interest in science. I honestly…don’t, with a few exceptions that make a massive difference to my skin. Yes, I obviously know how to find journal article abstracts, but no, that’s not how I want to spend my leisure time.