What is it like to be a contestant in the Miss Korea pageant? We spoke with Seobin Lee, Miss Korea ambassador for the city of Yuwang in South Korea (who also went on to be the first runner up for Miss Korea in 2014) to talk about her experience training for the competition and her favorite night time beauty tip!
THE KLOG: When did you decide to compete at the Miss Korea pageant?
My friend from school just encouraged me to go for it and to experience all that I can as a senior in high school. I knew that I was tall, but I never thought that I was pretty or looked special in any way, so I was actually reluctant to enter the pageant. I didn’t tell anyone I had entered the competition. My parents didn’t even know until the regional competition was over.
THE KLOG: How did you train and prep?
It was a very last minute decision to join the competition so I trained on my own! I jogged in the morning and evening, cut my dinner servings in half, and only drank water after 7pm.
The time in between the region competition and going to the training camp for the national competition was only 10 days. My finals just happened to be during those 10 days which made it extremely hard for me physically and mentally. I think my parents felt bad that I entered the regional competition by myself so the weekend before I had to go into the pageant training camp for the national competition, they bought me all the supplies I needed for the pageant such as makeup brushes, foundations, and hair extensions (I had short hair back then!).
THE KLOG: What's your beauty routine? How did it change as you were prepping for the competition?
Many people do not know this but we actually have to do our own hair and makeup for the entire competition! There was a mandatory 2 hour block every morning for us to practice our makeup and hair. I had to put on so much makeup every day and it really started to affect my skin. We would also only be getting 4-5 hours of sleep a day so when my skin looked dull and fatigued, I would use a face sheet mask.
I have extremely dry skin. So especially at night, I like to slather on night cream or a sleeping pack to really get my skin moisturized. Some nights I’ll do a face sheet mask. At night though, I’ll put in extra effort to take care of my hair. I’ll spray in hair essence before I sleep. During extremely tiring days, I’ll massage my own body… especially my legs while doing a few stretching exercises. I found that that improved my skin condition as a whole. For the mornings, I never forget to put on toner, essence, and moisturizer before I put any sort of make up on.
THE KLOG: Did you go through any intense diet and exercise programs?
At the camp they have a really delicious buffet in the cafeteria but because everyone was trying to watch their weight, most of us would just eat salad. I personally just love to eat and would get tired during training, so I made sure to eat breakfast and lunch regularly. I did manage to eat smaller portions for dinner. Whenever I was feeling tired or hungry I would eat red ginseng supplements to give me a boost of energy.
THE KLOG: How was it training with other Miss Korea contestants?
Before going into the training camp for the national pageant, I was really worried about living with 50 other girls and training with them. The idea of just having to be with that many girls was so daunting! But after going into the camp with these girls we were really able to lean on each other for support. Training for the pageant was so difficult, a lot of the girls would cry and miss their moms. Although I really missed my mom as well, I knew that if I called and heard her voice I would start crying as well. Instead of calling, I sent them the occasional text letting them know I was okay because I really wanted to stay focused on training. Through this time I was thankfully able to get really close with all the girls in the competition and we still keep in touch regularly.
THE KLOG: Are there any rules regarding plastic surgery and competing for the Miss Korea title?
There’s no rule that states that you cannot have plastic surgery before entering the pageant. That being said, if it's pretty noticeable that you had plastic surgery, the judges won’t look on that favorably and will likely give you a lower score as a whole.
Seobin Lee is currently a marketing intern at Soko Glam and a student at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. Follow Seobin Lee on Instagram @seobin_stagram