I just got back from a weekend at Anime Next – a crazy few days of public transit, hotel rooms with strangers and way too much eye-makeup. I had a great time at the con – my weekend was centered around the presence of lolita brand Baby the Stars Shine Bright. I modeled for their fashion show, attended their customer-loyalty tea party, and got an autographed poster from Isobe! I’ll be covering all of that in my next post.
Today, girly girls and beauty lovers of the world and anime conventions – cute cosplayers, lolitas, and the occasional himegyaru, I’m looking at you! – let’s talk about beauty survival. How are you going to look your best at anime conventions, particularly if you know you’ve got photo-takers headed your way? Better yet, how are you going to make sure you don’t get a hefty con hangover within the first twenty-four hours?
Face care. Especially if you’re not flying into a con and the TSA is limiting your liquids, go to the trouble of hauling your face products. Your good cleansers are important, especially if you’re caking on special event makeup or loads of lashes. If you can’t spare the space (everything I bring on public transit, like buses or trains, I have to carry myself!) go for portables. My facial tools last weekend: sample sleep packs from my last Korean makeup order, heavy-duty Japanese liquid eye makeup remover, my good foamy cleanser, and sample-sized make up from Sephora. Another great product to bring is a self-contained face mask, like these. I just got a resealable pack of them from Hong Kong courtesy of my girl Petrina of Lolita and the City (this pack from Holika Holika in VitaC). They may make you look like a lucha wrestler but it’s worth it. Bonus – if you don’t have a face mask, use your hotel coffee maker to brew hot water and round up tea bags from your concierge or continental breakfast. You can put them on your eyes in a pinch, especially if you’re short on sleep.
Take off your makeup at the end of the day. Makeup towelettes are good if you’re super busy or tight on space. Throw them in your purse for touch-ups as well, or eyeliner oops if you don’t want to drag a big bottle of liquid remover. But there is no excuse to crash in your false lashes or body paint or special effects makeup. And when you wake up, your skin will be upset with you. I’m a repeat offender for this when I travel and couch-surf and makeup wipes have helped me break the habit. Currently I like these Maybelline ones, but they may dry you out a little if you’re prone to that.
Drink water, especially if you’re partying. Nothing wrong with a little hotel room after party! If you’re consuming alcohol, really go for that water before bed. But you should also be drinking one through out the day. If you can, have a bottle of water with you. If you can’t, take every advantage of those bubblers and those free water stations.
Sleep is still important. Often it’s hard to sleep at conventions, on airplanes, or away from home. Finagle that you get something besides the floor. If that’s definitely not happening, consider bringing an egg crate (toss it in the car or line the bottom of your suitcase with it) or an air mattress. And get to bed at a reasonable hour! This weekend, all my roommates were models who had the same early hair and makeup call, which helped. To assist you in your quest for sleep: a dollar store eye mask and some ear plugs, and possibly some Tylenol PM if you’re in uncomfortable sleeping situations.
Sunblock. Most anime conventions are summer affairs. If you’re spending any time outside or in direct light, grab some airbrush sun screen. Need a reason why you should always use sunblock? Check out this dude’s face. Enough said.
If you’re going to an anime convention for the first time, there’s also plenty of basic, every day con-survival tips you should read before you hit pre-reg. Make sure you check out this master poster for all the classic street smarts!
I’m a little late for this week’s Lolita Blog Carnival – I’ll conveniently blame the jet-lag from my recent family trip to Seattle – but I was really feeling the topic, so I decided it would hold over until Monday!
This week’s theme is to talk about your favorite non-lolita fashion styles. And yes, I harbor a few style crushes that I like for daily wear. Anything pastels or fluffy is a given, but this summer for me is all about the Japanese style “himekaji”.
Himekaji is the Japanese portmanteau of the two words hime, meaning princess, and kaji, which is short for casual. Some gyaru have told me they don’t consider himekaji a real subset of gal, and others definitely lump it together with its fancier sister himegyaru. Himekaji loves lace, pastels, some touches of neutrals, and plenty of rose prints. In the past it has occasionally played with a very girly cowgirl/prairie look, and still isn’t above pastel pink cowboy boots.
Soft stone-washed denim in blue, white, and pastels even makes an appearance if you want to throw on jeans once in a while. Makeup is very girly and pink-flushed, but can be lighter than other heavy gyaru eyes. I usually swap out big himegyaru lenses and lashes for a simpler more Korean-fashion inspired eye for daily wear. Straight hair is okay, but fluffy French braids and airy curls are most common for this style.
While Liz Lisa is the big provider of himekaji clothes and accessories, you can definitely find cute things on sites like Dreamv, Taobao, or even the occasional find on Forever21 or Wet Seal. I actually get my few authentic Liz Lisa items from eBay or inside promotional magazines. I just got my new Liz Lisa x My Melody chain pochette and I haven’t taken it off since! Here’s the Instagram of it, along with a lot of Daiso goodies I picked up on my trip:
If you’re looking for cute places to get your hands on some himekaji items besides Japan, check out my Wanelo – I’ve been stockpiling pink sundresses, rose-pattern anything and floral hairbands!
Although my iPod packs a lot of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and other j-pop music, I’m really turning to a new genre lately – kpop. I officially own more kpop songs than jpop, even though Japanese culture and language is usually my preference. Along with the usual big players like BIG BANG, 2NE1, and Girls’ Generation, I just found this cute couple’s duets. Milk Tea is my new rainy June soundtrack.
Unsungbyul, a kpop blog, has this to say about the band:
Milk Tea is a co-ed ballad/indie/pop duo signed under Juice Media who released their first album “Delicious Time” in 2010. They followed this up with a single and now more recently, a second album called “Love Traveller”. A lovely little duo needless to say and definitely worth checking out!
Their style is soft and acoustic reminding me of Mindy Gledhill or maybe Tegan and Sara, with enough of a pop edge to keep it from sounding too sad. Ji Wooyong is on guitar and production, and Remi is the vocalist. Their single Shy Love Song (warning – spoilers in this link for Love Rain!) was also featured in episode 13 of the adorably retro (think 1970s South Korea) romantic kdrama “Love Rain“.
This is the song I first fell in love with – about cute love, and my favorite food, um, ramen. If people would write more songs about other foods I like, such as pink donuts, rocky road ice cream or omurice, actually, that would be fantastic. It doesn’t hurt that there is this adorable video.
Are there any other soft and sweet kpoppers you’d recommend?
Over the weekend I spent another packed two days in New York City with my favorite Petrina of Lolita and the City. Saturday we joined lots of other springtime and Japanese culture enthusiasts at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for the annual cherry blossom festival, and Sunday I modeled in a romantic outdoor fashion show at The Old Stone House. I’ve been commuting to the city from my home in upstate Connecticut so often lately I have a go-bag of all my creature comforts! Talk about busy!
The weather for Sakura Matsuri was beautiful – not too hot, and not too cold. Some of the flowers had peaked, but most were in full bloom. Families, couples, friends, and photographers were everywhere, and everyone was taking selfies with the blossoms. Petrina got these cute photos for me!
I was really excited to try traditional Japanese sweets like “hanami dango” – flower-viewing balls – but these weren’t very flavorful sadly. They were really cute though!
A few other snapshots I got with my iPhone, including a snap of some local lolitas from the New York site, Asian in New York. Looking cute girls! Lots of lolitas came out, mostly in sweet style, to enjoy the flowers. The Japanese garden is my favorite.
My coordinate for the festival! Everything in this outfit is Angelic Pretty or offbrand. I’m giving the wigs a rest lately and styling my real hair now that I’m happy with the color. I did these curls with my straightener that morning and hair-sprayed them into submission, after following a Kera tutorial. It was a fun change and a lot more comfortable on a warm day.
I’m going to save the fashion show coverage for another post, but we had a great time! Thanks again to I Do Declare for making me her go-to model, it’s always a pleasure! :)
Last weekend was a big one for me – I saw Kyary Pamyu Pamyu live in concert (my first concert! Hey, it’s hard to get out when you’re from Connecticut) and wound up on a couple different Japanese TV shows. I was so tired when it was all done, but it was worth it – definitely something I’m happy I got to experience!
Mezamashi TV is a popular Japanese TV show similar to the Today Show or Good Morning America. The word ‘mezamashi’ literally translates to ‘wake up!’ and it’s shown between 5:25 am and 8:00 am.
I’ve been on other TV shows and taping before, but this was my first time getting a close-up and an interview. It’s also the first time I get to see more than just one or two screenshots of the finished product! (And I’m going to get sent a DVD of the final product!) They took us out to a popular East Village teahouse called “Podunk”, which had amazing scones and hot chocolate. Here’s the Instagram collage I put together for the day – my BFF Dalin of Magic a La Mode & the rest of the girls featured!
It was fun to showcase what the crew called ‘colorful Harajuku coordinate’ rather than just lolita style. I had planned on wearing Sugar Hearts with pearls, but when the director specified that they really wanted to see something with 6%DokiDoki flavor, I reversed my coordinate and came up with this instead. I drew the accent yellow and sky blues from my vintage Adidas with the sleeves of my 6%DokiDoki jacket, the pattern of my tights, and the puffy heart hair clip.
Here’s my finished TV screenshot! Below my closeup, it says my name is katakana, my age, and my occupation (student). Next to me is a picture of myself in ‘daily wear’ or mainstream fashion.
I didn’t want to overload this post, so look forward to the next one where I talk about going to the Kyary concert! In the meantime, check out Lolita and the City’s on line street snaps of crazy concert-goers’ fashion!
While I was out with Petrina a few weekends ago, I got in some outfit shots of my new Dream Fantasy salopette! I put up the snap on my Instagram, but it didn’t get its own blog post until now.
I wanted to take this really sugary all-over print and play up a Misako-style princessy look, so I went with the straight hair, a jeweled pink Baby sidebow, the clean lines of my heart-shaped MILK bag, and a simple Angelic Pretty cardigan.
I also wanted to give the simple cut of this salopette some more detail and texture for interest, so I stole this three-bow and pearl brooch off my Princess in Love jumperskirt to pin to the front. Since they’re both Angelic Pretty pieces, the color was pretty similar.
(Yes I tried the Lookbook “mirror flip” fad so that there’s two of me. It came out kind of cute I think!)
Boots: DreamV | Salopette, cardigan: Angelic Pretty | Hairbow, blouse, pearl necklace: Baby the Stars Shine Bright | Bag: MILK
I’m going to soup this dress up really fairy-kei and costume-y for the upcoming Kyary Pamyu Pamyu concert, so I wanted to try something traditionally sweet lolita and toned down before that.
My only complaint is I wish the cherry blossoms were real! It’s been so cold here and won’t stop snowing where I live, so all the cherry blossoms are behind schedule. The day I wore this, it snowed that morning. Spring, where are you?!
And I got to eat delicious food at a new favorite cafe in Soho, Hiroko’s! I got to have omurice for the first time. I’ve added it to my list of comfort foods – wish I had an in-house Japanese mom to make it for me when I feel cold and sad, haha.
They gave my food a face and then he looked terrified to be eaten. But he was really delicious.
There is a new social media scheme out for young girls of marketable age – forget Polyvore or Pinterest, I’m newly addicted to Wanelo!
Wanelo is a website/app that stands for Want/Need/Love, and it’s a lot like Pinterest or Tumblr, where you can collect lots of cute images of things you love. The difference is that you can click on these images and it will take you exactly to where you can buy them. No more messaging random Tumblr users who post cute t-shirts to just be sent to a dead WeHeartIt link. With Wanelo, I click any cute product and I get sent to the website I can buy it, as well as how much it is and if I want to save it to my own “Epic Wishlist”. Hang on to your wallets, girls.
Here’s a sample of my Wanelo gallery – yeah, I would happily purchase all of these pretties. Man, I gotta get a real job.
I haven’t gone on too big a spending spree yet, but already it’s been a great platform for those sweet offbrand filler items. Pastel floral backpacks, pink oxfords, angel-wing iPhone cases? I’ve collected them all on my Epic Wishlist section of the app. I’ve found all kinds of random fashion, makeup, decor, and tech products I otherwise wouldn’t have known existed. Finding a simple summer dress to a bridal shower this spring? Easy. Pastel sneakers? Done.
(And to whom it may concern… my birthday is in June, people. I’ve made it easy to appease the beast this year. Just check the site.)
You can find my Wanelo profile here – if you decide to join up, add me! I’m always looking for new cute-lovin’-shoppers to follow!
Dalin of Magic A La Mode and I went shopping in Koreatown on Saturday and this was the fairy-kei inspired coordinate I wore! I’m feeling really inspired by two pink-hair models plastered all over the latest Kera, Moco and Yuu Kimura. I haven’t worn a wig in a few months – I’m trying to learn how to style my own hair again now that I’ve finally found a color I like!
Salopette, hoodie: Angelic Pretty | Leggings: UNIQLO | Boots: Yesstyle | Blouse: DreamV | Sailor Moon necklace: Kuma Crafts | Choker: Starlight Deco Dream | Bag: Hello Kitty | Sleep mask hair ornament: handmade by me
I’ll be reviewing the makeup and beauty products we saw in Koreatown, so please look forward to it!
A bit late, but here’s the round-up of photos from my Valentine’s Day! Unfortunately our big lolita meetup in honor of the pink holiday got snowed out (AGAIN), so these are the simple shots I took of my quiet holiday with my boyfriend. Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays, not only because I love the decorations, but the food! Heart-shaped pancakes, candy hearts, chocolate hearts, anything heart-shaped is perfect to celebrate with.
I also got my boyfriend to do some gratuitous selfies with me, so I can prove to the Internet he does, in fact, exist! I got a few snaps I’m pretty pleased with, so I made them into a simple collage with my iPhone app, PicFrame (check out my other favorite iPhone photo editing apps!) I really like the lavender cast these came out with, so I played it up.
What did you do for Valentine’s Day? (And yes, forever-alone answers count too! This is a judgement-free zone even if you did spend Singles’ Awareness Day on Tumblr.)
Petrina and I had a girls’ day out last weekend with an inadvertent French theme! First we hit up a ‘locals’-love-it’ French cafe (creatively called Mon Petit Cafe) and then I visited Laduree for the first time.
In this coordinate, I took a fashion risk and decided to go for a soft blue accent. The leather jacket was a fun pop-lolita look to wear, but as with many lolita styles, an ordinary jacket’s waist was a little too long for the naturally-waisted cut of the Angelic Pretty onepiece.
Blue leather jacket: Wet Seal / Bow, onepiece: Angelic Pretty / Scarf: Swimmer / Bag: MILK
This was my first time visiting Laduree since they opened their New York City location on the Upper West Side. It’s a beautiful boutique, and it smells like the delicate perfume of sugar, macaron-scented candles, and a general air of expensiveness. I was excited to purchase a keychain or something Laduree-themed, like their signature perfumes, but it was really even too expensive for this lolita! If you’re going, plan on brand-worthy prices. My Baby the Stars Shine Bright keychain and a Laduree keychain are about the same price.
I did buy a small box of macarons, just to try them and see if the hype was worth it. For $21, their cheapest assortment, I got six macarons in a Laduree-labeled pink box embossed with their logo and the word ‘Paris’. I’ve had plenty of macarons before, but these are honestly the best I’ve ever had. They’re soft, crisp where they should be, and never sticky, gummy or chewy. The centers are soft creams infused with different floral extracts, since most of mine were floral-flavors like rose petal or orange blossom. Final verdict? They’re worth it. While I won’t be dropping in often, it was fun to sample them and say I’d been there. If you’re an out-of-towner, this is an especially fun place to visit!
coordinate photo and Laduree window photo by Petrina Cheng