A fun romp through news, celebrity, beauty & fashion with an AsianAmerican eye

Archive for the ‘Beauty’ Category

Daniel Henney Is Damn Hot

leave a comment »

Model and actor Daniel Henney is so damn hot one wonders why he isn’t a bigger star — especially in America.

I only discovered him a few years ago when my mom was watching a Korean drama called My Name is Kim Sam Soon. I was keeping my mom company on the couch, mildly amused by the drama about a pudgy female pastry chef. Then Henney appeared on the screen and I sat bolt upright. “Who’s that?” I asked my mom, my eyes devouring his perfect face.

CBS Summer Press Tour
Henney’s father is Caucasian and his mother is Korean. He is 30 years old and was born in Carson City, Michigan.
Not only is Henney gorgeous, he loves dogs! He has a dog named Mango. Check out his whimsical side on his Facebook page:

Daniel Henney with bear. (Facebook)

Here is one another photo of him:
Daniel Henney
You have to watch this video of a commercial he shot with Gwyneth Paltrow and pretend that he’s looking at you in that flirty way (oops, did I say that out loud?):

Written by Asianista

March 1, 2010 at 2:13 am

Proof Asian Guys Can Grow Facial Hair

leave a comment »

I seem to recall hearing some scuttlebutt about Asian guys not being able to grow facial hair. Well, here’s some proof that Asian men can grow lush, thick beards if they want. But I hope they don’t. Facial hair is gross, unattractive and is horribly itchy on contact. No one looks good with facial hair except Magnum P.I.


Major leaguer Park signs with NY Yankees

Written by Asianista

March 1, 2010 at 1:34 am

Did Kim Yu-Na Have Plastic Surgery?

with 2 comments

Yu-Na Kim

Even before she thrilled the world and gave a gold-medal winning performance at the Winter Olympics, rumors were swirling that South Korean figure skater Kim Yu-Na might have gotten plastic surgery. The 19-year-old athlete appeared too beautiful, too perfect.

Ridiculous websites posted pictures of Yu-Na as a young teenager wearing braces and compared it to current photos of the celebrity athlete — still in her teens — speculating whether she had gone under the knife.

Has Yu-Na gotten plastic surgery? No! It’s called make-up, you morons.

Yu-Na Kim, modeling

Written by Asianista

February 26, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Mao Asada’s Earlobes Freak Me Out

with one comment

All Japan Figure Skating Championship - Day 3

Japanese figure skater Mao Asada is a gifted athlete. On the ice, she moves beautifully.

But I’m freaked out by her earlobes. They’re so thick, so fleshy, so … chewy-looking. They’re as big as cups and look like they’d catch water if she walked outside in the rain.

You know who has those same ears? Buddha. Seriously. Every depiction of Buddha has long earlobes.

Big earlobes are actually a good thing in Asian culture, signifying luck or prosperity or a big heart — at least that’s what I picked up growing up Asian.

Mao Asada’s earlobes still freak me out, though.

Written by Asianista

February 25, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Korean Skater Kim Yu-na Dazzles at Winter Olympics

leave a comment »

Figure skater Kim Yu-na is the biggest celebrity in South Korea. She is so hounded by reporters, photographers and the public that she trains in Toronto, Canada.

Favored to win gold at this year’s Winter Olympics, Yu-na is in first place with a record-breaking score of 78.50 after tonight’s short program. As she skated a flawless and saucy routine to a selection of James Bond tunes, the commentator noted that the rivalry with Japanese figure skater, Mao Asada, currently in second place, reflected historical hostilities between the two countries — kinda like when Mexico plays USA in a soccer match.

Yes, indeed, if Yu-na wins gold at this year’s Winter Olympics, there will be bedlam in the streets of Seoul.

Skate America
Figure Skating - Ladies Short Program - Day 12

Written by Asianista

February 24, 2010 at 2:41 am

Posted in Beauty, Celebrity, Sports

‘Human Korean hair can save your life!’ Woman’s hair weave stops bullet

with one comment

A 20 year-old Kansas City woman credits God and her hair weave for saving her life from a speeding bullet.

Briana Bonds was driving out a parking lot last week when she was shot by her ex-boyfriend, who sped away. One bullet hit her in the back of the head, but couldn’t penetrate her tightly woven hair piece.

“I’ve invested a lot of money into this weave, and it saved my life. It saved my life,” Bonds told reporters.

Later that night, while watching the story being re-hashed on the awkwardness that is TMZ television—what’s with the contrived newsroom bantering? what’s host Harvey Levin scribbling on that damn board?—a young African American female commentator quipped, “Human Korean hair can save your life!”

Watch the video…

Amused, I reached out to Marcia Cole, founder and editorial director at Amber Mag, a Black and Hispanic beauty and fashion source, who explained: 

“Extensions and wigs are sold and distributed primarily by Koreans, who have a huge domination of this billion-dollar market,” Cole explains. “The hair comes from across Asia: India, especially, but from Korea and China as well.”

But, Cole notes with an expert eye, “her hair looked like it was the synthetic kind, it did not look like human hair, it was a bit too shiny.”

Written by Asianista

February 27, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Posted in Beauty, News

Freida Pinto’s intimate interview: marriage, dating, and the future

with 4 comments


Freida Pinto appears on the Feb/March issue of Audrey Magazine.

Freida Pinto appears on the Feb/March issue of Audrey Magazine.

By Helena Sung

Now available at your local Barnes & Noble and Borders Books is the February/March issue of Audrey Magazine and my intimate interview with Freida Pinto, star of “Slumdog Millionaire.”

As Pinto’s popularity continues to skyrocket amidst Slumdog Millionaire’s multiple wins this past Sunday at the Oscars, tongues have begun wagging about the 24 year-old Indian beauty’s personal life. Is she secretly married to her college sweetheart? Or merely engaged? Did a budding romance with her 18 year-old co-star, Dev Patel lead her to dump her fiance—by phone?

At the time I interviewed Freida in December 2008, she claimed that she was not getting married until she was 40. Asked if she was dating anyone, Freida declared she had no time to date.   

Read an excerpt from my interview with the star…

It’s three days before Christmas and Freida Pinto is dying to get back to Mumbai, or “Bombay” as she still sometimes refers to her hometown. She is in Los Angeles staying at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills—that favored hotel of visiting celebrities and affluent tourists hoping to spot famous faces in the elevators or lounging at the rooftop pool.

Pinto and I are ensconced in a corner of the nearly empty lobby bar, sitting on overstuffed couches and sipping tea. It’s a chilly Monday afternoon and Pinto keeps a short, dark trench coat wrapped around her black Penguin mini-dress. Her long legs are bare and she’s wearing tall, black peep-toe slingbacks—the same ones she’ll be wearing later that evening when she appears on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Passing hotel patrons stare at the stunning brunette—wondering who she is, or perhaps recognizing her as Latika from the acclaimed film, Slumdog Millionaire. Pinto doesn’t seem to notice. She’s telling me how much she’s looking forward to going home to Mumbai, where she lives with her parents and older sister, Sharon.

“My mum hasn’t seen me in four months,” the 24 year-old actress laments, speaking with a soft Indian accent washed with British overtones. “I promised her I would be home in time for Christmas.” (Pinto is Catholic.) “Since the Toronto Film Festival in September, I’ve lost count of how many interviews I’ve done. It’s been crazy. I have to get a new passport because mine has been stamped all over. I carry the same suitcase everywhere. Sometimes I don’t even unpack. I’ve been wearing the same clothes for two months now.”

Is that the dress you’ll be wearing on The Tonight Show? I ask. “Oh, no,” she says. “I’ll be wearing a very pretty pink cocktail dress by Marchesa.” Pinto has a stylist from Fox Searchlight Pictures (the film’s U.S. distributor) to help her with wardrobe selections and the procuring of dresses—just one of the perks of being a burgeoning star.

From the moment Slumdog Millionaire premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, audiences and critics have embraced it as an inspiring hit. The film critic Roger Ebert gushed that it was “breathless, exciting, heartbreaking and exhilarating at the same time.” Ebert predicted Slumdog Millionaire would win the Audience Award at Toronto and he was right. Since then, the film garnered dozens of top awards from industry groups. (At the time of this article, Academy Award nominations had not yet been announced, but the Oscars buzz surrounding the film had gotten deafening. This past Sunday, Slumdog Millionaire won multiple Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Song, and Best Score.)

Directed by Danny Boyle (with a co-director credit later going to the film’s casting director, Loveleen Tandan), Slumdog Millionaire is a love story shot against the backdrop of Mumbai’s sprawling slums and emerging high rises. British actor Dev Patel plays Jamal Malik, an 18 year-old boy who’s survived the slums to get a respectable, if menial, job serving tea at a call center. Unable to forget Latika, the orphan girl he loved as a child, he continues searching for her despite the obstacles of time, poverty and a menacing older brother. It is the hope that she will see him on television that drives Jamal to get onto the Indian version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” (Famed Indian actor, Anil Kapoor, is sublime as the smug, mocking game show host.)

When Jamal answers question after question correctly, bringing him closer to the jackpot of 20 million rupees, he is suspected of cheating. How can a boy from the slums know who is on the American $100 dollar bill? How can an uneducated slumdog correctly name the Indian poet who wrote the lyrics for a classic song?

The police torture and interrogate him. Only then does Jamal reveal the brutal and heartwrenching episodes from his childhood—shown in action-packed flashbacks—that have enabled him to know the answers.

Despite the film’s unflinching images of slum life, viewers hail Slumdog Millionaire as an inspiring rags-to-riches tale—about never giving up, triumphing over your circumstances, and the notion that some things in life are destined. Though Pinto appears briefly early on in the film—a vibrant image of a smiling young woman wearing a yellow blouse—we have to wait a long time to see her again.

Interestingly, the character of Latika did not exist in the Vikas Swarup novel, “Q & A,” from which the Slumdog Millionaire screenplay was adapted. Swarup, who is an Indian diplomat, sends me an email from Pretoria, where he is currently posted as India’s Deputy Ambassador to South Africa. “I think Danny Boyle and the cast and crew have done a superlative job,” he writes. “Freida is a very beautiful woman and she brings just the right amount of intensity to her character.”

“You meet me towards the end of the film, which is why I told Danny [Boyle] I didn’t understand when he told me I would join them for all the presswork. I said I’m barely in the film for twenty, twenty-five minutes at the most,” Pinto recalls. “And he’s like, ‘Freida, Latika’s importance in the film is her absence. If you could see her all the time, then Jamal wouldn’t have gone to all that trouble for you.’”

Her modesty seems genuine. When I tell Pinto that my South Asian friends think she looks like a regular Indian girl (albeit an extremely gorgeous one), rather than a Bollywood star, Pinto nods in agreement. “I think I look like the typical Indian girl,” she says. “There are so many pretty girls back in India. The most beautiful thing is they’re not even aware of it. That is the beauty of their beauty.”

What’s not typical is her name. “I am completely pure Indian,” Pinto insists. “But I come from a Catholic family, which is why we have more English sounding names. My mum loved the name Freida, so she named me Freida. And my surname is Pinto. I really don’t know which part of me is Portuguese because I’m pure Indian, but ages ago when the Portuguese came to India, there were a lot of conversions that took place, so my forefathers’ forefathers’ forefathers were probably Portuguese and Pinto is brought down from those generations.”

She agrees, too, that she doesn’t look like the typical Bollywood star. “I think I’m too thin for the Bollywood industry,” she admits, referring to the legendary Hindi-language film-making industry based in Mumbai. (She’s 5’5½” and weighs 48 kilograms—about 105 pounds.) “But, I’ve always been this thin.”

The future seems bright for Pinto. She’s signed with Hylda Queally, a talent agent at Creative Artists’ Agency, who represents Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett, Marion Cotillard, Katie Holmes and a cadre of other A-list stars. 

“I saw Slumdog Millionaire and thought it was amazing and a beautifully told story,” Queally says, speaking by telephone from her office in Los Angeles. “Freida was absolutely magnetic in it. It was an amazing first performance from an actor and the depth of emotions she showed. I don’t know her history, so my interest in her was purely from this film. I think she has a huge future.”

Does Queally predict that Pinto will be big? “I don’t have a crystal ball, but I hope she has a long career. I want her to work with the best talent and to put her in the hands of the best directors and provide her with the best opportunities.”

Pinto, meanwhile, continues to marvel at the turn of events. “I don’t think any of us expected anything. I don’t think any of us back then knew what was going to happen to the film, which is what makes it even more worthwhile when it comes to you as a surprise.”

She reveals she had only two expectations of herself. “I wasn’t thinking of recognition to be honest. I was just thinking, ‘I hope Danny Boyle is happy with my performance. I hope I am happy with my performance.’ That was all I was thinking about. I hope I gave it my best and I hope it shows on screen. When the affirmations and accolades come your way, it’s just people’s way of showing they appreciate you, and I’m just so grateful. And it’s so wonderful because you realize it’s that one quiet, honest film that everyone is loving.”

Written by Asianista

February 24, 2009 at 10:37 am

Freida Pinto, star of ‘Slumdog Millionaire,’ shares her gorgeous skin secrets

with 6 comments

Freida Pinto closeup

“I haaate wearing makeup,” laments Freida Pinto, the gorgeous breakout star of the hit movie, “Slumdog Millionaire.” “If I had the chance to go without makeup and not get slain for it, I would go without makeup.” 

We’re sitting in the lobby bar of the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. It’s December 2008 and she is in Los Angeles to promote “Slumdog Millionaire.” In a couple of hours, she will be sitting opposite Jay Leno on the Tonight Show, charming the host and audience who raptly listen to her explain why Bombay is now called Mumbai. 

Freida is, somehow…incredibly…even more gorgeous in person. Up close, you get a better view of her delicate bone structure and flawless skin. 

Today, she has begged her makeup artist not to use foundation on her face. “I’m just wearing concealer and loose powder,” the 24 year-old starlet says, as I gaze enviously at her glowing complexion.

How do you keep your skin looking so good? What is your skin care regime?

“I usually don’t do anything that is too tedious,” she says. “With the schedule I have, if you put a really tedious regime on, you’re not going to be able to stick to it.”

Freida’s skin care tips are classic and uncomplicated.

Never sleep with makeup on. Take every dot of makeup off your face. Moisturize and sleep well–that’s most important. Drink loads of water. Eat a lot of veggies and fresh fruit. I don’t drink Coke or Pepsi, no soda or coffee. Only green tea, water and fresh fruit juices.

As for skin care products, she keeps it simple and (mostly) over the counter:

  • Her makeup remover is anything mild, such as Vichy–a top brand sold in European drug stores and widely available in India.
  • Cetaphil is Freida’s choice for cleanser. (“It’s very mild and doesn’t have chemicals.”)
  • She uses the “good stuff” to moisturize, such as Chanel Face Moisturizer

“I have to use so much makeup on my face, so I work with a dermatologist so I don’t get breakouts,” Freida explains.  Hollywood’s new “It Girl” doesn’t get facials, but does indulge in once-monthly microdermabrasion to keep her skin glowing.

(Photo courtesy of

*To read more about my interview of Freida Pinto, check out the Feb/March 2009 issue of Audrey Magazine.

Written by Asianista

February 4, 2009 at 3:24 pm