Photo Diary; Life in Japan

My neighbourhood in Japan

This time I wanted to show you a bit more of suburban Japan.
When I first moved to Tokyo I spent a couple of weeks exploring the neighbourhood. 
I loved the area I lived in, and the people, so I wanted to share it with you.
I think these photos really show how calm and serene a place it was, and probably still is.
It was always lovely to come home to somewhere like this, after a long day in the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. 

My favourite of these though has to be the sleeping kitten. It was a stray that suddenly turned up in a nearby park, frail and alone. The nearby residents fed and took care of it, making it a home from some polystyrene and a bathtub cover. After a few weeks, one of the old ladies took him in and gave him a collar.
To me it really helps summarise the sense of community and family I felt when staying there.

OOTD: Hello Sailor!

Sweater: WC | Skirt: Primark | Boots: Primark
I don’t really have much to say about today’s outfit. It was put together with comfort in mind, as I spent over 6 hours travelling yesterday. Funnily enough, this morning, I was the brightest and most awake I have been in weeks. Travelling may put bags under my eyes, but it does wonders for my get up and goapparently.
I did also think about how I wanted to get some final use out of my knee high boots before the weather starts to change, but if today was anything to go by that won’t be for a while. I hate how the weather keeps teasing me with glimpses of the sun. Please come quickly!

Review: Toujours False Eyelashes & Skin79 Lip Gloss

The lovely people over at Shoppingholics sent me a wonderful package recently.
Here is a mini review of both items:

When I saw these I was so happy that they had sent me some ‘natural’ lashes. It’s been a while since I last wore false eyelashes as I’ve become so picky about the ones I choose, mainly because I prefer a more ‘natural’ look now.
+ Cute, efficient packaging (stands up by itself) 
+ Lightweight & nice feel to the lashes, not plastic-y at all
+ Gorgeous, natural, cat-eye look that I could easily wear everyday 
+ 3 pairs, so if you lose/accidentally break them you’ve got back-ups
– Doesn’t come with eyelash glue
– Rather fragile, but should last if you’re careful
– Too long for my eye, so I had to cut them down
In my opinion, Japanese false eyelashes are some of the best you can buy.
These were produced by Japanese model Marimo (Popteen) for Eyemazing (a well known false eyelash brand in Japan) and the series contains 3 different sets of lashes, all of which are fruit themed…no idea why though.
You can find the whole series here.

I had previously heard of this brand thanks to their BB Cream, which is very popular in Asia.
I’m not a big lip gloss fan, I’ve recently converted to lipstick, so I was interested in trying this out.
+ Didn’t dry out my lips
+ Cute, Anna Sui style packaging
+ Natural colour that would suit most people
+ Small and light, so you can attach it to your keys/purse
– Not as ‘glossy’ as I had hoped for
– Slightly sticky when applied and when worn
+The mirror is a little too small to be practical, but it’s a nice touch
When I swatched this it was incredibly pale, so much so that it barely showed in photos.
However when applied a few times it came out a nice shade of red. So unless you want more gloss than colour this probably isn’t right for those with pigmented lips.
Find this and more Skin79 products here.
Finally, a picture of me wearing both the eyelashes and lip gloss.

OOTD: Tiger Tiger, Burning Bright

Shawl: H&M | T-Shirt: WC | Skirt: Miss Selfridge

It always feels a bit of a chore to pick an outfit for Monday lectures. So lately I have been trying to tackle that feeling, because when I’m dressed in an outfit that makes me happy, the day goes by a lot better and a lot quicker…even when I have to sit through a class on Nazi Germany.
The Tiger t-shirt is one of my favourites; I picked it up in Japan, last Summer. To me it adds a little bit of edge to an otherwise regular outfit…or maybe I just really like tops with animals on. I don’t own many t-shirts, so when I do buy one you know it’s because I really love the design, cut etc.

Really shocked at how dark the top layer of my hair looked today.
It must be the lighting in the room as nothing has changed.

My Style Evolution

Tokyo 2010/11 – Paris 2011 – England 2011/12
My Style Evolution is something I have been wanting to write about for a while.
I think it’s obvious from this blog, and my pictures that during the past 2 years my personal style has changed quite a bit. When I thought about it, I realised that is could easily be attributed to time, place and culture – see, I did listen in Sociology!
Tokyo 2010/11
My year7 months studying in Tokyo were a major influence on my personal style.
At that point I had been interested in Japanese fashion, mainly「ギャル」fashion for a while, so of course it seemed only fitting that my main source of inspiration during my stay in Japan was ‘Gal fashion’. During this time I only bought clothing from Japanese brands, dyed my hair often and even bleached it.
Paris 2011
When I first arrived in Paris I was still heavily influenced by ‘Gal’. I had always loved European fashion, and being somewhere as wonderfully fitting as Paris saw my style evolve a little more. I took less inspiration from Gal and began to take it from the women and city of Paris.
England 2011/12
Moving back to England meant I had some time to relax and contemplate the last few years, and my own personal style; it had really changed a lot. I no longer felt such an affinity with Gal, and it didn’t inspire me as it used to.
Instead I took inspiration from Western fashion magazines, as well as Japanese. I began shopping primarily in places such as Topshop and H&M. I finally set on a hair colour and style that I loved; which has stayed with me for the past 7 months.
So where am I now?
I’m in a very comfortable place. My style is my own!
Once again I look forward to putting an outfit together, or reading about the latest trends in Western and Japanese fashion. It’s true that I don’t ‘follow’ Gal anymore, but I still have a love for Japanese brands and street-style, and I think it will always be a source of inspiration to me. As it has been in the past, my style can’t really be labelled and I like it that way. It’s a bit of everything that inspires me along the way.
And the blog?
Well that’s changed a lot too, you will certainly be seeing a lot more personal/lifestyle posts, along with the usual beauty product (Western and Japanese) reviews, and of course outfit posts. For those who have stuck with me this long, thank you so much for being a part of my style evolution, and for my new readers I hope you will enjoy what is to come.

Photo Diary; Kawagoe, Japan

Kawagoe, Saitama, Japan 川越、埼玉県、日本

Whilst I was studying at university in Tokyo my class would often go on field trips.
Anthropology was easily my favourite class, and always had the best trips. The pictures above are from the time we went to Kawagoe, a city in Saitama, the prefecture just above Tokyo. 
The city is famous for its old-fashioned buildings, dating from the Edo period. ‘Candy Street’ is also a well known spot in Kawagoe, selling traditional Japanese sweets at low prices. One more thing that the city is famous for is sweet potato. You can find various incarnations of the food in most shops, my favourite was Sweet Potato Ice Cream

Birthday Gifts 2

Some gifts from friends

I shall certainly be smelling nice for the rest of the year (not that I don’t already), with some gorgeous items from Lush. 
Little Green Bag includes: Squeaky Green Shampoo & Jungle Solid Conditioner, Sugar Scrub, Sea Vegetable Soap and Each Peach and Two’s a Pair Massage Bar and Tin.
Buttercup includes: Butterball bath bomb and Honey I Washed the Kids soap.
Some old favourites of mine, and some new ones that I can’t wait to try!
The Tea gift set is from the wonderful Teapigs online store and included: Yerba Mate, Lemon & Ginger, Super Fruit and Mao Feng Green Tea. All amazing teas that I adore – can’t wait to relax with this!!
You all know my love for Matcha (powdered green tea) by now, well you can also buy it at Teapigs!
Finally, an absolutely amazing present.
This t-shirt is from my friend Zak, we lived together in Tokyo and went to the same university there. Whilst we were studying in Tokyo we often came up with strange, random things on our commutes. This is one of those things – yep, it’s me riding atop a sting ray yelling “キモチィィィ” (Japanese for ‘wonderful feeling’). He drew and designed it whilst we were in Tokyo, and this year he put it on a t-shirt for me.
Thank you to all my wonderful friends ♥