Credits: HAUTE MOMMA by Keri Zamora (The Philippine Star)
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Absolutely flawless: In person, Kim Hyun Joong appears to have no pores, as though skin care began in the womb
It all started with Boys Over Flowers, where I fell in love with the second male lead character Ji Hoo, played by Korean singer/actor Kim Hyun Joong. Then I discovered, apart from acting, he was in fact the “leader” of popular Korean boy band SS501. I became an instant fan.
I flew to Yokohama for a Boys Over Flowers two-day fan event, an SS501 concert in Shanghai, and went on a drama tour in Seoul. I thought that having seen him live in those events would be enough.
Fast forward to 2011. I’ve grown to love other Korean dramas and tried my darnedest to get over watching Boys Over Flowers and listening to SS501 songs over and over again.
You can imagine my thrill when I got a text from my editor that Kim Hyun Joong was coming to Manila for Face Shop’s Asia tour and to launch his new solo mini album “Breakdown” — and she wanted me to cover the event!
I was numb for a few minutes, then I screamed and screamed again. I had a couple of weeks to prepare my questions and, more importantly, my outfit.
D-day arrived, and we are at the Rockwell Club on a Friday afternoon. Lunch was served to an intimate group of lifestyle writers, mostly women.
Our On The Radar group of three was called to a room for a briefing with Kim Hyun Joong’s handler and interpreter. Just as we were wrapping up, we noticed the Bench family (who owns the Face Shop franchise in the Philippines) going up the stairs to meet the Korean star. After a few minutes, they came down again, followed by security, entourage and the golden boy of Korean pop in the flesh!
He scanned the room briefly while walking slowly, following the entourage. That was our cue to go back to the function room.
As we entered, women stifled some screams. I held my breath as he passed in front of me; I couldn’t help but notice his amazing skin. He was flawless! Some say Korean skin care starts in the womb.
As a cosmetics junkie, I know that Face Shop rocks! My personal favorites are the dual eye crayons and concealers.
During the press conference hosted by Filipino-Korean radio/TV personality Grace Lee, Kim Hyun Joong said he was delighted to be back in the Philippines.
Manila was his last stop on the Face Shop Asia Tour, which also took him to Vietnam, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.
He recalled the warm welcome received during his last visit, where he generously donated P1 million to the Abiertas House of Friendship — a non-government organization that provides temporary refuge to needy women.
Asked about his favorite scent, he mentioned the scent of coconut oil during a massage he had in Cebu. Which led us women to wonder — and as Grace Lee joked in Filipino —who was the lucky masseuse?
To raise more funds for the Abiertas House of Friendship, a pair of the star’s cropped pants was auctioned off to fans and customers of Face Shop. I recognized the Adidas sweats as what he usually wears during rehearsals.
Starting from a bid of P10,000, the pants were sold to the highest bidder at P100,000!
Grace Lee introduced the auction winners as Maru Ragasa and her mother Pat, who is one of Kim Hyun Joong’s biggest fans. It was quite a touching scene when Kim Hyun Joong approached the 74-year-old Pat and gave her a hug.
In addition to the P100,000 earned from the auction, the Bench family donated P500,000 to the organization.
After the press conference we were called for a one-on-one interview in a separate room. It is a miracle that I was able to ask my questions in front of security, entourage, an interpreter and Kim Hyun Joong himself right in front of me!
ON THE RADAR: You wore very fashionable clothes in Boys Over Flowers. Does Ji Hoo’s style appeal to you? What is your personal style?
KIM HYUN JOONG: Jihoo wore a lot of white. Right now I prefer dark colors.
Who cuts your hair and how often do you change your hairstyle/look?
I have a style coordinator who helps style my hair and I consult him when I feel like changing it
What is your favorite Face Shop product and what makes the brand stand out from the competition?
I like Face Shop’s BB Cream. I find that Face Shop products are basic and very effective.
You excel in acting, soccer, singing, and dancing. Is there anything else you would like to achieve?
Those four are what I really like to do. I also have not much time for more activities.
If a friend were to visit Seoul, what are the must-see places?
I prefer Jeju Island instead of Seoul.
What can we expect from you for the rest of 2011? Any new projects we can look forward to?
I have a new album, and I have another event in Japan, as well as plans for another tour by the end of the year.
Face Shop from Korea is a world leader in skincare and beauty, inspired by nature. It offers offering high-quality products at affordable prices.
In the Philippines, the Face Shop franchise is owned by Suyen Corporation, with stores at Trinoma, Shoppesville, Shangri-La Plaza, Rockwell, Robinson’s Galleria, Robinson’s Place Manila, Newport City, Greenbelt 3, Bonifacio High Street, Festival Mall, Glorietta 3, Ayala Cebu, Alabang Town Center, and SM Taytay, Pampanga, North Edsa/The Block, Megamall, Mall of Asia, Fairview, Clark, Cebu, and Bacolod.