Monday, January 12, 2015

The end of subtlety

When I packed up my life and moved to the Japanese country side, I left all of my eccentricities at home. I tried to build a wardrobe of subtle, yet creative outfits.

But I've come to the conclusion that I am tired of subtlety. Maybe it is because my birthday is around the corner, or maybe it comes from job dissatisfaction -- I don't really know.

I want my outside to match my inside. My inside which consists of gold, glitter, black chiffon, cats, fake glasses, fake moles, and the Ouroboros.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Wish List #1

Well, sorry for falling off the face of the planet. My winter vacation is coming to an end (sad) and I have been bitterly attempting to ignore my inevitable return to the "real world." To do so, I have been spending my day in my pajamas, feverently searching through pictures of Alexa Chung so I can show her effortlessly tousled coiffure to my stylist tomorrow, and looking at odds and ends on the internet to spend my money on.

In doing so, I had a thought: Maybe my blog readership woud like to spend their money on things too? Well, worry not. I will now give you a run down of the things which are adorably haunting my dreams (and my wallet.) Maybe they will soon become late birthday presents to myself?

1) This adorable 1950's black poodle figurine from TaraMiSioux.
2) These amazing beetle bangles by KolosStudio.
3) Adorable Bart Simpson pins by Natali Koromoto.

I'm not sure exactly when Bart Simpson came into fashion, but I have never been so willing to jump into a trend.

4) Allihalla garter shorts.

Allihalla is an amaaazingggggg designer from my hometown Eugene. She makes the coolest leggings and stuff, and I am embarrassed to say that I don't own anything ALLIHALLA YET. Lame lame lame. I will remedy this soon though.

What is on your post-holiday wish list? Remember, shop independent! 

Monday, December 17, 2012

LaForet x Zoolook Preview Party

Last week Harajuku's street style and fashion mecca, LaForet, held a private party for 2013 Spring/Summer collection preorders. Obviously I am not a big-shot-trend-reporter or anything (and least people in charge of these things don't KNOW how cool I am yet) so I was extremely lucky to find out that LaForet had collaborated with the fashion app ZOOLOOK (kind of like lookbook for the iPhone, and is mainly used in Japan I believe) to allow its users a VIP pass and one guest.

In true Dorothy fashion (oh, me!) I didn't realize the event was happening until the night of while I was en route to Tokyo. Of course I was dressed in my finest train comfort wear (hoodie, denim jacket, thick knit tights and a mini-skirt,) but all that did not matter! I immediately called up my friend Natalie and, without much convincing, we met up in Harajuku (me still with my travel bags) and made our way to LaForet.

It was much more grand than either of us had expected, complete with a red carpet of sorts, waiting list, and bouncers. Nervously, I pulled up my iPhone invite and found the least intimidating staff member. Half expecting to be looked up and down and refused, I was pleasantly surprised when we were welcomed in with warm smiles.

We were immediately given free champagne, and then left to roam the open four floors of merchandise (where even more and more and more champagne was offered to us.) To say that I wanted everything is an understatement. To say that I am glad I had less than 10000 yen in my wallet (around 100 USD) is also an understatement. What I learned that night was that giving shoppers free champagne, and then letting them loose in a building full of some Japan's greatest clothing -- at a discount-- is seriously Don Draper worthy marketing if I have ever seen it.

They also served OJ, so we made mimosas.


I ended up walking away with a few BEBE sample pieces, and tights from Tokyo based band Vive Vagina. All in all, it was a great night of shopping!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: A Girl's (or Boy)'s Best Friend.

Yesterday morning, as I was making my routine half-asleep-waiting-for-the-coffee-to-kick-in social media checking rounds, I noticed on my twitter feed that Independent Fashion Bloggers is hosting a project for bloggers to share their winter beauty tips. I’ve been meaning to make a follow up on my olive oil skin care post from last year for quite some time, and as I'm sure you guys know, winter is a rough time of year for skin. Since this is my go-to treatment, I decided there is no time like now to write my follow up.

So here we go.

 Extra Virgin Olive Oil: A Girl's (or Boy’s) Best Friend.

This is the extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) that I use. Just a simple, cheap, skin-saving bottle of oil.

So, first off I want to emphasize that skincare is the most important part of my personal daily routine (besides perhaps eating and breathing.) A well formulated and consistent skincare routine is better than any make up you can buy. Period. What goes on my face should be made of quality ingredients, and there is something comforting knowing that what you are letting seep deep into your skin is safe enough to eat (and in this case, something most people actually eat on a regular basis!) That is why EVOO will never fall from my must have list: It's cheap, safe, effective, natural, and full of antioxidants to make your skin smooth and radiant all year round. Even as a skin-care product junkie, I never tire of EVOO.

I often imagine how I would answer if I was someday posed with the question “What is the one beauty product you would take with you if you were stranded on a desert island?” In this daytime delusion I have, I always respond “Why, I would take extra virgin olive oil!” to the surprise of the interviewer and my audience alike (delusional, much?)

So trust me on this one. Oil isn't always your skin's enemy. Sometimes it's its best friend.

As a self proclaimed lazy person, I have simplified my process over the past two years;

  1. I start by pouring a tiny drop of EVOO into my palms, and warming it up by rubbing my hands together. 
  2. I then dot the oil around my unwashed face, and gradually work it around the entire surface. If you are wearing makeup at this point - great! EVOO is a wonderful makeup remover! 
  3. Next I let it sit for around 20~30 minutes, then it off with a normal cleanser. I follow up with my regular moisturizing routine (a moisturizing toner, followed by Johnsons and Johnsons baby lotion). 
  4. On days when my skin needs a little extra lovin’ I will use straight olive oil as a spot treatment and leave it on overnight. I especially love doing this around my eyes when they are looking a bit weary.  

I store the oil I use on my face in a cute little cosmetics container. I got this one at the dollar store, because gaudy and terrible things are my kryptonite.

There are several things you can do to make this routine feel like you payed a lot of money for it:
  • Add honey. Honey is a natural antibiotic and helps to moisturize and clean your skin.
  • Add honey and lemon juice. Lemon juice helps even out your skin tone, and works as an astringent as well. (I wrote about this in my last post!)
  • Add avocado. A little avocado goes a long way. Avocado masks are great for moisturizing and rejuvenating the skin.
  • Do a facial massage. Facial massages are an important part of your weekly (or daily if you have the time) skin routine. They help drain limphnodes in your face, and stimulate muscles that often go un-worked. This is the massage I use about once a week. The self massage instructions start at about the 1:50 mark. 

Before and On-going. 

REMEMBER: This is just what has worked for me. You may not get the same results, but I encourage you to try it anyway.

Living with sensitive, acne prone skin isn't something that just goes away. It takes diligence, effort, and the ability to love yourself no matter your skin problems. It means accepting that you are going to have bad months and good ones, and not beating yourself up over it. The good thing is, you have a very personal and knowledgable relationship with your skin. Use that to your advantage, and figure out what works with you; and what does not.

For those of you who haven't read my previous post on my skin, it is a long and complicated story (which you can read here!) Long story short,a I have very sensitive skin, and have had acne for years. Here are some comparison shots I took while on epiduo a few years ago.

And here is my skin now. I have been using pretty much nothing but olive oil, a standard cream cleanser, and birth control for the past 2 years.

Here is what my skin looked like when I had been using olive oil for about 2 months. 

So take the plunge, throw away any fears, and let's try OLIVE OIL!

It was so much fun writing this, I think I will make a tutorial for my OTHER favorite winter moisturizing treatment: OATMEAL! That’s right, plain, cooked oatmeal. Yum.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Harajuku collective, part 2

I have a few (hopefully) exciting posts coming up this week, so stay tuned! 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Harajuku collective: Part 1


 Just a few photos of Harajuku from this weekend. They are all from my iPhone because I forgot to charge my camera's battery. Oh well. 

 Winter blows, but the clothes are cute. Everything evens out.