Discuss: Can make-up represent a clothing brand?

Today I want to get discussion going about something that is popular in Japan.
I will be featuring one of my favourite Japanese brands, Murua, to help explain.

In Japan, clothing brands spend a lot of time representing themselves and their staff.
The presentation of the staff reflects on the store and brand, which makes a lot of sense.
This is done through not only their clothing and accessories, but make-up and hair too.

So with every new season some of the brands and stores send their shop staff (usually the store manager) off to a special meeting. Here, they are taught the key make-up and hair looks for that season, for the brand. The looks compliment that season’s collection, and make the brand and staff stand out. The manager then goes back and passes on this information to the shop staff, who are then expected to use these key looks in their everyday make-up & hair routine, whilst at work.

The shop staff are not forced to re-create the looks step-by-step and are allowed to add their own personal flair.
This means that they can retain their own personal style within the brand, much like those who work for clothing stores are expected to wear clothing from that store, or make-up counter staff are expected to wear make-up from that brand.

I personally would love to see something similar in stores like Topshop that have their own make-up line. I know a lot of clothing and department stores have rules on what kind of make-up to wear (subtle etc) in the UK, and are asked to be on-trend, but it’s not usually like this. I think it would inspire the customer more and help represent the brand too, whilst adding a little something extra. I do fear that it restricts people’s personal tastes a bit, but I think there’s always room to be inventive. However I think this works so well in Japan because of customer loyalty, so I’m not sure if it would catch on.
What do you think of this idea?
Do you think it would work in the UK, or Europe?

Source; 1

Event: Boux Avenue Norwich Store Opening

On Tuesday I was invited to the press preview for the Boux Avenue store opening in Norwich, Chapelfield.
I had heard big things about the store, and as someone who finds it difficult to buy bigger sizes in cute/sexy designs 
(one of their big selling points!), I jumped at the chance to attend.
This post is picture heavy, so I have put everything under a cut to make it easier for you.
Click ‘read more’ to view the rest of the post.

Bras on display, and the handy ‘size draws’ that mean you don’t have to rummage through the rack.
I love this idea! It makes finding your size so much easier, and it means tidy shelves – I hate clutter.

A selection of their lingerie – love the clashing colours!

Inside the fitting rooms, which offer plenty of space, big mirrors and adjustable lighting.
There’s also a telecom system so you don’t have to poke your head out to call for assistance!

Boux Avenue don’t just do underwear!
They also sell swimwear, pyjamas, accessories and beauty products.
Their pyjamas are adorable! I personally want the ones posted above.

My gift bag from the event, which included some of their hand cream, lip balm and some underwear.
We were also given a gift card, which was very sweet and helped towards the bras I wanted.
Finally, a lovely picture of the staff who helped out on the day.
Why did I take their picture? Look at their tights & shoes!! After speaking to them about their uniforms they told me that they’re give a LBD and are allowed to customise it how they wish. That really stood out to me as a great way to keep the brand classy but fun & personal – such a great idea.

I was completely won over by the store! Their staff were absolutely lovely, and really sweet. 
I had a bra fitting and the lady who helped me explained everything about the process and their bras. I’ve had quite a few bra fittings in the past, but not like this. It was personal and thorough. I ended up buying the two bras I tried on. I personally think Theo is on to a winner here. He knows what women want when it comes to lingerie, and Boux Avenue is definitely it!
Check out Boux Avenue’s latest sale here.

Momoko Premium Vol.2

Pictures, not scans, of my favourite pages from the book/magazineMook
Click ‘read more’ for the full post.

Top to bottom; Coquettish girls, Twiggy-style code sketches, Celebrities in Murua, Shop-staff codes, Momoko’s – story, favourite pieces, home, make-up, hair & codes.

Where to buy: CD Japan

Say hello to GLiA!

My copy of GLiA arrived today from my lovely Japanese friend (thank you~), so I thought I would do a little write up about it…
So what is GLiA? It’s the lastest Gal magazine to hit the shelves and it comes from the makers of EGG to which it is the ‘older sister‘. That may sound a bit odd, I mean how can a magazine be an ‘older sister’?! 
Well it’s quite simple actually. It’s a more mature version of what you would usually find featured in Egg, and is aimed at 20+ rather than the ‘teen’ crowd Egg usually goes for – like PopSister is to Popteen.

Click on pictures to enlarge!

Who are the models? The makers didn’t want to stray too far from their roots, so they picked a handful of well-known models from Egg and a few other gorgeous Gals. Like PopSister, they carried over one of their most successful models to be the spokeswoman, and that was…ろみひ, of course!
She has been with the magazine for years and has always been a fan favourite. Recently her style has matured, along with herself and so she was the perfect choice for GLiA.

Yumachi and Aina join in along with other models such as; Anna Fujita, Yenah Hirano, Iena Hirai, Reina Kizu and more.

And the content…the content is great!!


I thought ‘night snaps’ was a nice idea.
I wanna know what people are partyin’ in!

 Plenty of street snaps (9 pages!), categorised in ways such as;
shop staff, outer, hair pieces etc.



How to wear this seasons hair accessories.

With 14 pages worth of hair and make-up tutorials, I was sold!!
I don’t think many Gal mags offer enough tutorials, and even though some of the make-up in GLiA did look a little similar there was still plenty to choose from and practise with. The hair tutorials were great and had a range of styles for long and short hair.

– final thoughts? – 

As it’s a new magazine on the scene it has been compared to other more well-known ones, which is a little unfair. Even so I felt that GLiA holds it own against the other rivals. Slight warning though, don’t expect the content to be like EGG because it really isn’t…apart from the models. It’s more along the lines of Jelly and Happie Nuts. Although I think it has a more refreshing and appealing layout to some similar magazines that like to cram in as much as possible.

If it manages to keep up with the same layout and content it brought out in this issue I think it will soon become a firm favourite~♥

And with a slogan such as; 「Glia is… no rule woman’s style bible」 I think it’s certainly going to try it’s best!!

Disclaimer: I didn’t upload the whole magazine as there were so many great pieces that it’s definitely worth investing in for yourself. I also apologise for the photos – I don’t have a scanner here in Paris.

W♥C Gets!!

This morning as I was getting ready for class I had the sudden urge to go to the Shinjuku W♥C store. I haven’t visited for a while and even though it’s smaller than the 109 store I think I prefer it, for stock and location.

I originally went for the W♥C print tights but they didn’t have them. They did however have the Kumatan print tights – if you follow me on Twitter you will know that I originally hated these. However I kept thinking about them and they began to grow on me a little.
Well my need for them was sealed when a Staff-chan came over and showed me that she was wearing them. They looked so nice on her (especially with their new socks) and she mentioned how durable they were and started picking and pulling at hers (with long, pointy nails I might add). Now I am always picking my tights accidently so this sealed the deal for me.
As I was leaving I mentioned my blog to the Staff-chan who had helped me and asked if I could take a photo. She was really eager to help and grabbed the other girl too.
I actually ended up going back to the store later the same day after my boyfriend told me to spoil myself and get the coat I had spotted earlier. So I popped back and it fit perfectly – a size small too.
I was happy to pay the money for it as 10,000円 isn’t much at all for a coat, not even in the UK.
Anyway, the photo of my Staff-chan and a cute story ;D

Bad quality, sorry~
The pic was blurred so I had to kill it with photoshop.
My staff-chan, Ayaka, is the one on the right – notice her channelling Chinatsu with the heart sticker? She was the cutest thing and so nice to talk to. I think I surprised myself when I spoke to her so easily but she didn’t act surprised at all, which was refreshing – so many Japanese people do this, I know it’s polite and kind but it can get slightly annoying over time.
So we chatted about the items I bought and she asked if I hung around Shinjuku often to which I replied I was studying at a university there. She was really shocked but thought it was amazing haha
She seemed quite genuine as well as even though the store was packed (the 2nd time I visited) and there were only the two of them working she came over to the counter as I was paying and excitedly told the other staff-chan how I was studying in Shinjuku. So I mentioned the uni I went to and she gasped and said “I go there too!!”
She was really sweet and told me to come speak to her when I saw her next at uni. Whether that will happen or not is a story for another time…but then the cashier went on to joke and ask if I was her Senpai – and it turned out she was older than me! That was nice to know as the majority of Gals I have met at my uni are all younger than me D:
Now onto the gets!

Close-up of the tights.
Detail pics; 1, 2, 3

Pics of it worn; 1, 2

Button detail

Cuff detail

Shoulder detail
The coat is really comfortable btw – it fits snugly but there is still room to move in it, and I think it’s a decent length. There are also a ton of buttons (outside and in) so you can wear it open, buttoned over etc.
I will take more pics of the coat and tights when I wear them next!

Shibuya and 109….

Perky promotional Gal invites you in.
The last week I have been so busy meeting with friends, that I ended up going to Shibuya on Tue, Wed and Friday. I don’t know how I made it through the days this week – we’ve had highs of 37 degrees. That’s crazy!!
So this post is just going to be about coordinates, make-up and purchases (of course I ended up in 109 a few times) from those past few days. I also included some fun photos that I took on those days, all Gal related of course ;D
I actually haven’t added a few things in this picture as I purchased them later but that can be for another post ;D
I picked up the WC Tiger t-shirt before the sale ended and managed to get it half price, which I’m quite pleased with. I bought the SBY scrunchie and S.12.C (109-2) skirt as inspiration from the t-shirt haha. It’s terrible how I fashion an outfit around one item, and I won’t give up until I find what I want.
As you can see I picked up quite a few of the A/W catalogues from the stores too. I choose MA*RS, Gilfy, Lip Service and Heaven & Earth (for Maya Mori). I received the W♥C one when I made a purchase.
I also bought the Cecil McBee A/W Mook as it came with a free fur tote bag, which is reversible to leopard print – very cute – and picked up the new issue of JELLY. I did have pics of them, but I took them on my camera…the one with the missing cable D:
Coordinates & Make-up
Crop top: H&M
Bandage skirt: H&M
Usamimi: H&M
Bag: Gilfy

T-Shirt: W♥C
Skirt: S.12.C (109-2)
Nude lips are growing on me, so I’m currently hunting for a good lipstick.
I’m considering one by KATE at the moment.
Close-up of my eye make;
Orange & blue shadow, liner and criss-cross lashes.
Finally bought some under-lashes the other day so review soon.
Nothing special, just something to chill in.
Vest: tutuHA
Shorts: Gilfy
And a few bonus pics I took around Shibuya…
These Gals were so cute, just lounging in the heat and enjoying an ice cream.
The 2nd girl from the left was so energetic when I asked for a photo that she replied in English with a big “YES!”
The girl on the far left was really sweet too. She thought I was only asking the others for a photo, and she quietly asked if she could be in it too.
One of them turned away from the camera, until the 2nd girl moaned at her and gave her a push. I didn’t hear but she was probably telling her to stop being so moody ;D
Can you tell which one didn’t want to be in the photo?
Introducing the gorgeous Gaby in all her Co&Lu lovelyness. I’ve known Gaby for about 5 years now and she’s from my hometown. How ridiculous is it that we’re both living in Tokyo for a year (for diff reasons), at the same time XD
And finally, I shall leave you with a picture of yours truly ;D
I look like such a mess next to this lovely W♥C staff-chan – props to anyone who can link me to her blog. She was so cute and liked that we had the same t-shirt on. I also love that we both felt the leopard print vibe with our coordinates.

Shibuya 109 Press…

Just a quick update…
The new issue of the Shibuya 109 Press was released recently and I thought it brought up some interesting points with the staff-chans and upcoming Autumn trends.
Staff-chan questions
MA*RS Staff-chan
In the recent issue of the Shibuya 109 Press, a selection of 109 staff-chans were asked some interesting questions about nails, hair, eyelashes and their work life.
Do you paint your own nails?
Surprisingly 85% of the staff-chans said yes they do.
This is probably due to the current vivid and nude trend which has made fashionable yet easy nails more accessible this season. NAIL CRAFT in 109 are even offering simple nail courses for around £19 ($31), where you can learn tricks to achieving gal nails. I’ve not been to NAIL CRAFT but they have reasonable prices and their work looks good, if a little less eccentric than most nail salons.
Some simple but cute nails by NAIL CRAFT
Do you use fake eyelashes?
Not so surprisingly 95% of the staff-chan said yes, they do.
I am a recent convert to eyelashes, and now I can’t get enough. They really are a Gal essential…so unless you have the most amazingly long and luscious lashes, please invest in some.
Brands currently favoured by 109 staff-chan include: MAC, CANMAKE, RMK, Dolly Wink and SBY – Yesstyle and Ichibankao carry some of the mentioned brands.
Dolly Wink; Dolly Sweet lashes
What is your current hair style?
Out of the 20 staff-chan interviewed the results looked like this:
  • Long hair – 10 staff-chan; milk tea colour, curls, super long, two tone, thick hair with extensions and wigs are popular with this length.
  • Medium – 4 staff-chan; Some Gals find this style easy to maintain – and I agree XD
  • Bob cut – 4 staff-chan; bleached hair and wearing heavy wigs are big right now.
  • Short & Very Short – 2 staff-chans; It can be done, just look at Emina. Gals with short hair are favouring blonde colouring right now.
Emina workin’ the short-do
What is your next ideal hairstyle?
Once again some varied answers, but I love this because it shows that not every Gal MUST have long, blonde, curly hair.
  • Longthick fringes and side partings with a fringe are on the rise.
  • Medium layers, and lots of them – let’s see some volume.
  • Bob cut light and bouncy.
  • Very short Red, with a side parting and a fringe.
I really loved some of the answers the staff-chan gave to working in 109 – ‘I wanted to be able to stand in front of others…’ – and the things that made them happy – ‘when you see a customer really happy after buying clothes that suited them’.
I hope that the 109 press continues to do items like these for their English readers as well as Japanese. It’s always great to see what the people behind the brands wear, and what they think will be trending soon.
Autumn Trends
I was going to write a little something about Autumn trends, but I think Mitsu has done such an amazing job with it that I wouldn’t be able to compare ;D
Once I get to Tokyo and visit 109 again I’ll probably make a post about Autumn trends and my likes/dislikes. But for now enjoy these latest posts by the gorgeous Mitsu:
Sources; 1, 2, 3, 4