Emptyland: Sep/Oct 2017

I feel like my Emptyland should be renamed as “lateland” hahaha… Yet again, a really late Emptyland post. It’s already December, but it’s hard to find time to write these posts especially since the post cannot be started until the end of a month, and the end of the month is always the craziest for me at work too.

Here’s the rundown for what the stars represent: [ ☆ = Most negative/Not good at all, ☆☆ = Not that good, but okay ☆☆☆ = Neutral/No opinion/No answer, ☆☆☆☆ = Great, ☆☆☆☆☆ = Most positive/Fantastic! ] I’ll also include my experience with each product, but the detail I go into for each product may vary.

Skincare

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Cosrx Acne Pimple Master Patch (x2)

When will this item not appear?! You can read my initial response to this product in my first Emptyland post.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Yes!

Shiseido Ibuki Purifying Cleanser

This was a really nice cleanser, and it also lasted me a long time. I’ve been using it since my senior year of college, although during college, I did not use it daily.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe

Mary Kay Oil-free Eye Makeup Remover

This was part of a graduation gift from my friend Arien! This eye makeup remover works really well on most eye makeup, although it doesn’t get off my false eyelash adhesive (and is sometimes tricky with eyeliner). I have to peel that stuff off myself, which is no fun, but at least that means the glue is really sticky. Back to the makeup remover though: it stings if it gets into my eyes, which sometimes happens when I try to remove eyeliner.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe

Blistex Five Star Lip Protection

Another appearance in Emptyland! I’ve been repurchasing this same lip balm since high school, I believe. Might as well bump it up to 5 stars with this realization… I guess I am brand-loyal sometimes! Check out its first appearance in this Empties post.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Yes

Crabtree&Evelyn Lily Ultra-moisturizing Hand Therapy

I like this hand cream, but the packaging isn’t my favorite. It’s the perfect size to stick into your purse for travel, but the cap is flimsy and broke after putting it in my purse for only a month. This scent is delightful, and the cream is decently moisturizing but not as creamy as I would have liked.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Yes, if it’s on sale

Sephora Express Cleansing & Exfoliating Wipes

I did not like the exfoliating side of this wipe, but the smooth side worked just fine for removing the makeup on my face.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Yes, if it’s on sale

Neutrogena Night Calming Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes

The mild fragrance of these wipes was definitely calming! It was relaxing to use these to remove makeup at the end of the day. I still had to use eye makeup remover separately, and I have yet to find a makeup remover wipe that can remove eyeliner without it smudging everywhere.

 Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe

Sheet Masks

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Leaders Coconut Gel Mask with Broccoli (x4)

So much fun to use!! There’s 3 layers, so you peel off the outside layer, put it on your face, then peel off the layer on the other side. The sheet of this mask is smooth and sticks to the face exceptionally well. It’s my favorite texture out of all the sheet masks I’ve tried! The essence in the packet is also super generous; there’s enough to scrape out and apply to your entire body.

 Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Yes

A’PIEU Coconut Milk One-Pack

This was a decent sheet mask, but I wasn’t crazy about it.

 Overall Rating: ☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe (if it’s discounted)

The Face Shop Lily Face Mask

Another nice sheet mask! The scent is very mild, and it’s a pleasure to use.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe

The Face Shop Brightening Character Mask

This is a fun mask, and I enjoyed the dog character printed on it. It looked a bit creepy… but it’s all good! I wouldn’t pay the full price for this mask though.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe (if it’s discounted)

The Face Shop Green Tea Face Mask

I love anything green tea… Drinking green tea, eating green tea flavored things, and yes, even green tea beauty products!

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe

Leaders Coconut Gel Mask with Tomato

This is essentially the same as the Broccoli one you see above, but with Tomato instead. It’s just as fun to use, but I didn’t buy a big box of them like I did for the Broccoli one.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Yes

The Saem Natural Skin-fit Mask Sheet: Lemon

The masks from The Saem do not fit my face shape well, even though this series is called “Skin-fit.” Did not notice any brightening, but you probably need to use the masks more often to see an effect.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe

The Saem Natural Tea Tree Mask Sheet

I was hoping this sheet mask would help calm irritation from acne, but I didn’t notice any effect. It was pleasant to use though! Maybe you need to use it a few times a week to see the positive effects against acne.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe

Sur. Medic Pore-less Carbonic-Peel Mask

I didn’t like how sticky this sheet mask was… It also smelled weird to me.

Overall Rating: ☆☆ // Repurchase? No

Tonymoly I’m Real Tomato Mask Sheet

Love these Tonymoly sheet masks!

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Yes

Tonymoly I’m Real Red Wine Mask Sheet

It does not smell like wine, but that’s probably for the best, right?

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Yes

Leaders Vita Brightening Renewal Mask

This was a nice mask to use with generous essence in the packet. I wonder if all Leaders sheet masks have so much essence inside…

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe

Leaders Illuminating Treatment Mask

Didn’t notice any difference from this one and the one above.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe

Leaders Pore-Scaling Black Aqua

I’m pretty sure I got this as a free sample somewhere, a long time ago. The sheet mask was a weird texture, but it was a generally pleasant experience.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe

Makeup

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Charlotte Ronson Lip Gloss

I’ve had this lip gloss for way too long… Since the beginning of college, I believe. It has lasted a long time, and I love it! The pink is very sheer, and the shine is not too much. It’s a nice natural-looking gloss with a bit of glitter. It doesn’t feel sticky, and doesn’t dry out my skin either.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe

Holika Holika Wonder Drawing Skinny Eyebrow

I didn’t like this one that much, but I used it all up. The spoolie it came with had really short awkward bristles and got clogged up with the eyebrow product within the first week. The pencil part of the stick was hard and this made it difficult to apply. I felt like I had to keep using a tissue or cotton swab to fix it.

Overall Rating: ☆☆ // Repurchase? No

Body Care

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Tonymoly Panda’s Dream White Hand Cream

I’m not gonna lie… I bought this because of the cute packaging. But the product inside is super-moisturizing and creamy! It smells so nice too. I’m keeping the empty container, washing it, and using it to store trinkets.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Yes

The Body Shop Smoky Poppy Body Butter

This body butter smells so nice, and it’s luxuriously creamy!

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe

The Body Shop Moringa Shower Gel

This is a really nice shower gel, and you can use it with a pouf or just with your hands. I loved smelling it, and it didn’t dry out my skin.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe

Sample / Travel Size

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Korres Black Pine Night Cream

This night cream was super moisturizing! I don’t think I’d buy it at full price though.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Purchase? No

O Hui Snow Vitamin Ex Brightening Foam

I couldn’t even finish using this… I’m not sure if I got a defective product or if it’s supposed to smell like this, but it smelled disgusting. Like stale crackers and plastic.

Overall Rating: ☆ // Purchase? No

O Hui Snow Vitamin Ex Brightening Cream

A huge contrast from the foam, this cream was lovely! Moisturizing and smelled relaxing. If the foam was defective, then it’s really strange since it came in the same set with these other Ex Brightening items.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Purchase? Maybe

O Hui Snow Vitamin Ex Brightening Serum

This container was so tiny… It only lasted me 2 weeks, and I only used it at night and just a tiny bit each time. I didn’t notice any positive effects from this.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Purchase? Maybe

The Face Shop Mango Seed Facial Butter

I usually love creamy face products, but this felt too heavy on my skin. It was definitely moisturizing though!

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆ // Purchase? No

Tonymoly Floria Whitening Cream

I used to be scared of using whitening products, but I found out from reading K-Beauty blogs that most of the time, “whitening” just means “brightening,” and can be beneficial for fading acne scars, dark spots, etc. I didn’t notice any brightening effects from this, but also only used it for one day (morning and night).

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Purchase? Maybe

Tonymoly The White Tea Brightening Cream

This was a pretty nice cream, although the scent was nothing like white tea. I prefer the Floria cream over this one.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆ // Purchase? No

Tonymoly The Black Tea London Classic Cream

I honestly couldn’t tell the difference between this cream and the one above. I used them two days in a row too.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆ // Purchase? No

Versace Bright Crystal Absolu

This is a very fresh scent, a mix of floral and fruity. It’s more elegant than fun, and I like it! I have a bajillion fragrance samples and don’t think I’d ever buy a fragrance unless I’m absolutely in love with it (or receive it as a gift).

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Purchase? No

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Lolita Fashion on Taobao (Part 1)

Hey everyone! One of my friends recently got into lolita fashion and wanted a guide to affordable lolita items. I still have my MBOK guide up, I wrote up my first experience with Taobao, and I wrote a post for a Lolita Blog Carnival prompt about Favorite Taobao Shops & Pieces, but I never created a guide to great places to get lolita items on Taobao.

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So, what is Taobao?

Taobao is like a Chinese eBay or Amazon. There are tons of different stores and sellers!

Since the pricing is all in Chinese Renminbi (also known as Chinese Yuan), you’ll need to check conversion rates to see how much it’ll cost in your own currency. Definitely keep in mind shipping fees and shopping service fees, if you choose to use a shopping service. I heard there’s a way you can purchase from Taobao directly now and have them forward packages to you, but I’m still most comfortable with a shopping service since they can help answer my questions about products and give me peace of mind.

In my own experience, I’ve purchased clothes (lolita as well as non-lolita), shoes, wigs, false lashes, cosplays, and accessories from Taobao. I’ve also purchased a bag from Taobao too (my beloved Japanese-style school bag that was my go-to convention bag for over a year)!

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Wig from Taobao (fashion wig I used for my Sara Crispino [Yuri on Ice] cosplay)

Taobao is a lot of fun to browse, but can get overwhelming. I’ve definitely spent way too much time browsing Taobao… For example, being on Taobao and looking at all the things I want to add to my wishlist, and then I glance at the clock and wonder how the heck it is already past 2am?!

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Wig from Taobao (photo by theamazingknight)

Another thing that took a lot of time to figure out is… navigating! I speak Teochew/Chao Zhou, but not Mandarin (and I never learned how to read or write Chinese; I only know how to read numbers and a few characters). It was really difficult at first and I literally put things through Google Translate. Of course, Google Translate only works so far (like how it translates “product” as “baby” since the character for “precious item” is also “baby,” and products are listed as such). And Google Translate does not work on text within images. Most of the time, sizing is displayed in an image, so here are some sizing-related translations to help (Chinese (simplified) is on the left, and English is on the right):

  • 尺码 — sizing
  • 高 — height
  • 胸 — bust/chest
  • 腰 — waist
  • 臀 — hips
  • 长 — length
  • 宽 — width
  • 围 — circumference
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Skirt from SurfaceSpell

Something else that confused me when I first browsed Taobao was the number of “deposit” or “reservation” items there were. I didn’t realize this meant they weren’t currently in stock. 定金 (deposit) and 预约 and 预定 (reservation) mean you have to pay a deposit to be able to eventually get the item. From my understanding, you need to purchase the item from the reservation page before you’ll be able to purchase the item on the 尾款 (post-reservation, I guess? the actual item) page. I’ve never purchased something from Taobao that was a reservation since I was always paranoid about not paying the shopping service in time for the post-reservation item page. If anyone has experience with reservation items on Taobao, let me know! I’m curious to hear what the actual process is like. I remember once I tried to buy an item from the 尾款 page and my shopping service said I can’t since I didn’t participate in the reservation.

Here are some useful terms you can use while searching for clothing and accessory items relevant to lolita fashion on Taobao:

  • Dress (OP): 连衣裙
  • JSK: 無袖洋裝
  • Salopette: 背心裙 or 背带裙
  • Skirt:  裙 or 裙子 or 半身裙
  • Blouse: 衬衫 or 女衬衫
  • Petticoat: 襯裙
  • Bloomers:安全裤 or 南瓜裤 or 燈籠褲 or 灯笼裤
  • Cardigan: 小外套
  • Bolero: 短外套
  • Capelet/short cloak: 短斗篷
  • Lolita shoes:  洋装鞋
  • Round headdress: 丸 型发饰
  • Bonnet: 系带帽子
  • Gothic headdress (usually with veils!): 哥特头饰
  • Flower crown: 花环 头饰
  • Beret: 贝雷帽
  • Straw hat:  草帽
  • Lace socks: 复古蕾丝短袜
  • Lace gloves: 蕾丝手套
  • Wrist cuffs: 蕾丝手镯
  • Parasol: 洋傘

When I search, I also add in “lolita” sometimes to see what shows up.

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Cutsew from Dear Celine

Here are some style terms that were fun to use for Taobao searches too:

  • Gothic: 哥特
  • Victorian: 維多利亞
  • Rococo: 洛可可
  • Country: 田园
  • Punk: 朋克
  • Steampunk: 蒸汽朋克
  • Retro/Vintage: 复古
  • Sailor:  水手服
  • Floral: 碎花
  • Oil painting style (those classical painting prints!): 油画风
  • Lace: 蕾丝
  • Tartan/Plaid: 苏格兰格子
  • Cross/Crucifix: 十字架 粉

If anyone wants stuff added to this list, just let me know! I’m happy to update this. Over the years, everything I learned about Taobao were from a trial and error through Google Translate and Chinese dictionaries, lurking on LiveJournal, reading blogs, and browsing Taobao-related things on Tumblr. I did pop over to CGL on 4Chan for a bit to see if I could learn about Taobao but 4Chan really scares me and the posting format confuses me so I spent barely any time on there.

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One of my fave purchases from Taobao: a JSK from Chess Story!

I will definitely write another guide after this one, so stay tuned! My next one will be simple: a list of my favorite Taobao shops that are relevant to lolita. I’ll note if I’ve purchased from them before, or not yet. Stay tuned!

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Emptyland: Jul/Aug 2017

And yet again… a late Emptyland post. I have an excuse though! I moved during Labor Day weekend, and it’s hard to find time to write these up with a full-time job as well as keeping myself busy on weekends (and then getting sick in October too) so things have been crazy. In the future, I’ll probably cut back these posts to just star ratings to save time.

Here’s the rundown for what the stars represent: [ ☆ = Most negative/Not good at all, ☆☆ = Not that good, but okay ☆☆☆ = Neutral/No opinion/No answer, ☆☆☆☆ = Great, ☆☆☆☆☆ = Most positive/Fantastic! ] I’ll also include my experience with each product, but the detail I go into for each product may vary.

Skincare


The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Rich Cleansing Oil – 150 mL

This was a cleansing oil that did its job, but I felt like I had to use a lot of the product each time. I am not sure it was worth the cost.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Probably not


Nature Republic Rose Real Nature Ampoule

This was a delightful ampoule to use! I loved the rose scent, and it moisturized my skin. It was my first ampoule experience, and I’m curious as to what other ampoules are like.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe!

Ostia Cucumber Soothing Mist – 100 g

As you can see in the photo, the pump broke off (and rolled away into oblivion). This spray bottle was very cheaply made, and even when the pump wasn’t broken, it sprayed out weakly so the liquid just dripped down rather than spraying into my face. Not sure if I just got a faulty product, but it was a hassle to use since I had to spray it into my hands and then apply to my face. If someone else has used this, let me know if you had the same issue with the packaging. Maybe it’s just me…?

Overall Rating: ☆ // Repurchase? No


The Saem See&Saw AC Control Red Solution

I used up this bottle pretty quickly. I applied it to my acne, and I didn’t notice any difference. It didn’t dry out my skin like other acne products have, and it didn’t cause any additional problems. Since it didn’t work for me, I won’t be repurchasing.

Overall Rating: ☆☆ // Repurchase? No

Cosrx Acne Pimple Master Patch

And this lovely product makes its return again! You can read my initial response to this product in my first Emptyland post.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Yes!

Nature Republic California Aloe Vera Cleansing Tissue – 80 sheets

This lasted me so long! This huge pack of cleansing sheets was so nice to use. The sheets were soft and moist, and although it didn’t remove much makeup, it soothed my skin.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe

Sheet Masks


The Saem Natural Skin-fit Mask Sheet Green Grape

I did not like the smell of this sheet mask… It didn’t irritate my skin, but I didn’t like the smell and wouldn’t repurchase it.

Overall Rating: ☆☆ // Repurchase? No

The Saem Natural Rice Mask Sheet

This mask was just fine! Mild scent, although the masks from The Saem do not fit my face shape that well.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe

The Saem Natural Rose Mask Sheet

I love anything rose-scented! This does not disappoint (other than how the mask sheet fits my face).

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe

The Saem Natural Green Tea Mask Sheet

This one was another decent mask from The Saem! Going to go through these masks quickly since many of them are repeats or pretty similar to others in the brand.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe

Tonymoly I’m Real Seaweeds Mask Sheet

I love these sheet masks from Tonymoly! They have lots of essence and the masks fit my face well. Out of all the ones I’ve tried, to be honest, I can’t tell much of a difference among them other than packaging and scent. They all work really well though! For the following Tonymoly ones, I won’t be making commentary since I think they’re all great and I’ll repurchase but I don’t have a differing opinion among them.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Yes

Tonymoly I’m Real Lemon Mask Sheet

This is a great sheet mask too! It has a mild and pleasant scent and is easy to use. I like how the sheet feels on my face too. Similar to the other Tonymoly I’m Real ones.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Yes

Tonymoly I’m Real Avocado Mask Sheet

Again, I have trouble differentiating among these so far but they’re all good! At least, the ones I’ve tried.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Yes

The Face Shop Real Nature Mask Red Ginseng

I love anything ginseng… Although my love for ginseng started from the ginseng tea. This sheet mask was even colored like red ginseng! It smelled like real ginseng too, which is a huge plus for me.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Yes

The Face Shop Real Nature Peony

I love peony flowers, so I just had to try this mask when I saw it in the store! This mask was a decent one, and easily absorbed into my skin after application.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Yes

Rivecowe Bubble Mask Pack

Check out my review for this mask here!

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe

The Yeon Cucumber Mask

Another return of a mask! I got a set of a whole bunch of these cucumber masks from The Yeon. The mask doesn’t fit my face at all, so I don’t enjoy using these that much.

Overall Rating: ☆☆ // Repurchase? No

Welcos Jeju Natural Green Tea Mask

This is also from a set I got a while back. I had purchased this set from T. J. Maxx or Marshall’s (can’t remember which).

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe

Leaders Pore-Scaling Black Aqua

I didn’t notice any difference with my pores from using this, but maybe it requires multiple masks over a short period of time to create the positive effect? It didn’t produce any side effects at least! The texture of the mask was a bit strange to me.

Overall Rating: ☆☆ // Repurchase? No

Suncare


Clarins Sun Care Milk-Lotion Spray – 150mL

I looove this sunscreen! It absorbs so quickly and doesn’t leave a white cast. It also moisturizes my skin very well. I’ve never gotten burned by the sun while using this product. I’m really happy I got it when I was at Marshall’s or T.J. Maxx and spotted it on clearance (can’t remember which store). It’s my favorite sunblock I’ve tried, but I’m not sure if I’d pay full price for it. I’ll definitely get it if I see it on clearance again!

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen SPF 55 – 88 mL

Of course, one of my faves that makes its return! This is a great sunblock and it does its job. I can’t use it on my face though; when I sweat, it stings when it gets into my eyes. It’s priced great too (especially from Costco when you can get it in a big set)! My mom uses this same exact sunblock.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Yes

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen SPF 55 – 29 mL

This is the same as the above product, but a travel/sample size one. I didn’t put it in the sample/travel size section since I feel like it fits better here with suncare. It came in the same set as the one above from Costco too.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe (I wouldn’t buy the travel size one by itself; I’ll definitely get it if it comes as a set!)

Makeup


Lancôme Photôgenic Sheer Pressed Powder in Translucent – 10g

This product is really old and I’m not sure if they make it anymore. My grandma gave this to me years ago and I just recently decided I should toss it since it started smelling off. I need to hold myself accountable to tossing products when they get old; no need to hoard. It’s a decent product, but it didn’t help prolong the wear of my BB cream, nor did it help smooth out imperfections. It worked well for mattifying though!

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆ // Repurchase? No


The Face Shop CC Ultra Moist Cushion Moisture Coverage + Glow Finish – 15g

I finished this cushion! And I still have the actual case since I have a refill cushion I replaced it with. It’s a decent cushion, but doesn’t last all day. It matches my skin tone pretty well, and also feels moisturizing. My skin doesn’t feel irritated when I use this CC cushion. I like how the finish is glowing but not shiny; it’s more of a semi-matte finish with a subtle glow.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe

Lancôme Juicy Tubes Chérie in Frozen Punch

This took me forever to use because I hated how the color looked on me… It was sheer, but still looked odd. And I didn’t like how it felt sticky on my lips. I did not finish using up this tube; decided to toss it. I bought it off another student at my college a few years back and regret not asking to try the color first.

Overall Rating: ☆ // Repurchase? No

Revlon Kiss Balm in Fresh Strawberry

This was a decent tinted lip balm. Very moisturizing, easy-to-apply color, and even though it didn’t last long, I didn’t mind. It smelled like strawberries too! I’m interested in trying other shades in this series, but I wish the product was sturdier. The reason I’m tossing this is because the outer case actually broke… so it’s cheaply made.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe

Body Care


The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter – 200 mL

I loooove the scent of this body butter, but then again, I love anything coconut. It is deeply moisturizing, absorbs quickly, and I really want another one. A little goes a long way with this product!

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Yes

The Yeon Body Wash Gardenia

This had a mild and pleasant gardenia scent. It didn’t smell fake at all, like some floral items. I didn’t notice any moisturizing effects to this body wash, but it did its job. Wish it was in a bigger bottle!

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? No

Sample / Travel Size


Lancôme La Vie est Belle

I have yet to find a perfume that I’d actually buy… This is a nice fragrance, but I am pretty sure I have plenty of these free samples and won’t need to buy one ever.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Purchase? No

Elizabeth and James Nirvana White

This is a decent fragrance, but nothing memorable (and it doesn’t last that long).

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆ // Purchase? No

Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream

I love this floral fragrance! It’s light and fun.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Purchase? No

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[PinkyParadise] Random Lenses Program

Random lenses… What does that mean?!

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Well, it means you get two different lenses. Randomly. I don’t mind at all because I think it’s a unique look! If you’re interested in purchasing new circle lenses this month, use the exclusive coupon code “lolita” for 50% off your order!

Now, onto the review:

When I received the package from PinkyParadise, it was marked as having a plastic lens case inside, so it was easy to assume there were contact lenses.

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Everything was safely inside with no damages. I received a set of mismatching circle lenses, a cute lens case, and a velcro hair tool (not sure if that’s the proper name of this product; it’s a Japanese hair thingy you use to hold back your bangs).

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PinkyParadise offers a wide variety of prescription contact lenses, so I was glad they had my prescription available! My left eye is worse than my right eye, and they’re both near-sighted. Just like the colors of these lenses, my prescription is mis-matching too!

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The violet lens I got is from the brand Vassen, whereas the turquoise lens I got is from Aurora color contacts.

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For both lenses, when I first put them in my eyes, there was some initial discomfort. After blinking and applying eye drops, my eyes adjusted and there was no longer discomfort in my eyes.

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The colors for both of these lenses are vibrant in good lighting! I noticed when I was taking selfies on my phone, not with the studio lighting, it was not as vibrant. But with a ring light and/or flash photography, the colors were crisp and bright!

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In terms of comfort, they’re not as comfortable as some other circle lenses I’ve worn. I don’t think I’d want to keep these in my eyes for more than 4 or 5 hours.

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Overall: ☆☆☆☆

Packaging: ☆☆☆☆☆ The packaging was great; I have no complaints.

Style: ☆☆☆☆ I love the designs for both of these lenses individually: there is a black limbal ring that surrounds both irises. The limbal ring is bigger on the violet one than on the turquoise one. As a set, it’s decent but the violet lens enlarges the eye more than the turquoise one, which makes it look awkward. It would be better if the set was mismatching in color but closer in size.

Color: ☆☆☆☆☆ No complaints for color! The colors for both lenses cover up my dark brown eyes well.

Comfort: ☆☆☆ There was initial discomfort when applying these lenses, even after soaking them in my solution for 24 hours. I can wear these lenses for a few hours, but I don’t think they will be comfortable all day. I would recommend using eye drops with these lenses to add more comfort!

(☆ = Most negative/Not good at all, ☆☆ = Not that good, but okay ☆☆☆ = Neutral/No opinion/No answer, ☆☆☆☆ = Great, ☆☆☆☆☆ = Most positive/Fantastic!)

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Thanks for reading my review! Feel free to ask me any questions. Check out where these lenses came from here~!

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Above, you’ll see the lenses used for this Lolita fashion look. I hope to share photos from this photoshoot (and other photoshoots) soon! Let me know if you use the coupon code “lolita” for 50% off; I’d love to see the new lenses you got!

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[JOLSE] Rivecowe Bubble Mask Pack Review

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Jolse sent me three of the Rivecowe Bubble Mask Packs! On the Jolse website, this mask is described as “A bubble carbonic mask pack that eliminates body wastes and tends the skin moist.” What I think they mean is this: this mask pack cleans your skin and pores and will not strip your skin of moisture. Jolse also states this: “The oxygen bubbles should cleanse the make-ups clean while tending the skin.”

On CosDNA, you can check out the ingredients in this product. The list is mostly safe, with a few ingredients that are possible irritants. I didn’t notice any negative reactions from using this product though, and my skin can be sensitive. This is my first time trying a Rivecowe product, and it’s also my first time trying a bubble mask.

Since this mask is meant to cleanse makeup as well, I used the Rivecowe Bubble Mask Pack before showering. I didn’t have much makeup on since I used it after work (I only had tinted moisturizer on), but it was worth seeing if it would clean that off. Generally, I use a face wipe first, then an oil cleanser, and then a foam cleanser.

When I first ripped open the package, I noticed bubbles already forming! This was surprising. It was difficult at first for me to unfold the mask since it was stuck tightly together, but I was able to open it up without damaging the mask itself. I placed it on my face, and was relieved to see the holes fit relatively well. The bubbles formed very quickly, and grew in volume!

Using a timer, I kept the mask on for five minutes. I could hear the bubbling noises, which was a bit disorienting but also quite fun! There was also something relaxing about chilling with a bubbling mask on my face. The bubble noises seemed to get louder over time, but I wonder if that was in my imagination.

There is fragrance contained in this product, but it was mild (which I like!). I’m glad the smell wasn’t overpowering. I was comfortable keeping this mask on for five minutes, although when the bubbles got really big, they started getting into my nose (and I was paranoid about them getting into my eyes). I was all good though!

Check out my video of the mask in action here!

After I took off the mask, there were some remaining bubbles on my face.

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I simply rinsed off the bubbles, and then I noticed that my skin felt a little tight, but it did feel clean. The tightness wasn’t a bad feeling though! It didn’t feel dry.

All in all, this was a fun experience and I’d definitely use these masks again! I don’t know how effective they would be to clean off actual makeup. I’m also way too lazy to ever use this as part of my skincare routine, but it’s definitely something I’ll keep in mind to do once in a while. I would recommend this product to people who want a fun cleansing experience!

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆

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Have you ever tried this type of mask? Have you tried any other products from Rivecowe? I’d love to hear about your experiences!

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Emptyland: May/Jun 2017

Wow… sorry for this late post. It’s already August! I’ve been so busy with work that I have barely had blogging time. Better late than never though!

In this Emptyland, I’m adding a category for Sheet Masks since they’re one time use. It’ll be easier to organize this way rather than lumping all the masks with the Skincare section.

Here’s the rundown for what the stars represent: [ ☆ = Most negative/Not good at all, ☆☆ = Not that good, but okay ☆☆☆ = Neutral/No opinion/No answer, ☆☆☆☆ = Great, ☆☆☆☆☆ = Most positive/Fantastic! ] I’ll also include my experience with each product, but the detail I go into for each product may vary.

Skincare

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COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch – 24 patches

Return of this item… x2 yet again! I wonder if I’ll be consistent using one pack each month. You can read my initial response to this product in my first Emptyland post. I really like how easy they are to use. They’re not miracle workers, but they do help my acne.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Yes!

Tonymoly Timeless Ferment Snail Emulsion – 140 mL

I bought this at the same time as the foam cleanser and full-size face cream (and eye cream sample) from the same series, which you can see in my first Emptyland post and my last one. There was a sale at a local Tonymoly store, and that’s why I bought these snail things to try. This emulsion is creamy enough to use as a summer moisturizer without a cream on top, so I used this day and night to moisturize my skin. At night time, I sometimes used a night cream on top as well. When my skin felt very dry (I have combination skin, and my cheeks tend to be dry), I used a sleeping pack for added moisture before bed. It was a decent emulsion, but I didn’t think it was amazing. The packaging was also flimsy (top part kept coming off), and the pump didn’t work too well during the latter half of its life, and it was really difficult to get the emulsion out from the bottom.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe! Full price is too high for my experience with it, so I’d only repurchase if it was on sale again.

Lancôme Bienfait Multi-Vital Night – 50 g

I’ve been using this night cream on and off since college. I know, it’s bad. My mom gave it to me years ago and it’s pretty luxurious. A little bit goes a long way, so it lasted me a really long time. I don’t think I’d call this a holy grail night cream since I haven’t used it consistently enough, but I do love this series. The cream easily absorbs into the skin, is super moisturizing, and has never caused a breakout or irritated my skin. It smells pleasant, and I love the day cream from this series too (which you can see in this Empties post). I’m curious to try other Lancôme cream products.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe! I want to try another Lancôme cream.

Clinique Acne Solutions Cleansing Foam – 125 mL

I used this before, and I’m not quite sure why I repurchased it to be honest. I really wanted to get rid of my acne, but didn’t know which one to try. And two people had recommended this product, so I gave it a try again. It didn’t irritate my skin, but it did make my skin feel dry. I tried to apply this cleanser only to my t-zone, and used a different cleanser for the rest of my face. I didn’t see much of an improvement with my acne, but it did stop new acne from popping up. Right now, I have acne on my forehead, between my eyebrows, on my right cheek (probably because I always sleep on my right side or on my belly), and a few on my chin/jawline. It’s not terrible, but I do want to get rid of them. Recommendations for acne products to try would be appreciated!

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? No. Going to try other products and find one that works.

Tonymoly Fresh Cleansing Tissue

I picked this small pack up from the same sale at a local Tonymoly that I snagged my first snail products from. I brought this with me when I was on the go (at conventions), and it was decent for removing face makeup. It didn’t remove any eye makeup, so I had to use a separate eye makeup remover.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe.

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Burt’s Bees Face Cleansing Towelettes with White Tea Extract 

This tiny pack was on sale at Walgreens and was $1.49 for 10 pre-moistened towelettes. Same as the Tonymoly ones above, it worked for removing face makeup but not eye makeup. I liked these towelettes more than the Tonymoly ones though; they were really refreshing and the texture of the sheets were so soft.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe.

Blistex Five Star Lip Protection

This is my favorite lip balm! It’ll definitely keep reappearing in Emptyland. Check out its first appearance in this Empties post.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Yes

Sheet Masks

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Tonymoly I’m Real Aloe Mask Sheet Moisturizing

Love this sheet mask! Definitely feel the moisture, and it’s a pleasant scent. It stays on my face pretty well too. I noticed that these Tonymoly masks fit my face really well — the eye holes are actually in the right places! I’m not sure if my face is weirdly shaped or what, but most sheet masks do not fit my eyes or nose.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Yes

The Saem Natural-Tox Apple Mask Sheet

I hated the scent of this sheet mask… It smelled so fake (like apple-flavored medicine or artificial apple flavor candy). The sheet mask didn’t irritate my skin, but I kept it on for less than ten minutes because I disliked the scent so much.

Overall Rating: ☆ // Repurchase? No

The Saem Natural-Tox Kohlrabi Mask Sheet

This sheet mask had a much more pleasant scent than the Apple one above. It was a mild scent, which is totally fine. I kept the mask on for 10 minutes, but the essence from the mask was not easily absorbed into my skin. It was overall a pleasant experience though, so I wouldn’t mind using this mask again even if the essence felt heavy.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe

The Saem Natural-Tox Carrot Mask Sheet

This is very similar to the mask above. The scent was slightly different, but again, very pleasant compared to the apple one. I’m not sure why the apple one had such a strong smell. I would use this carrot mask again!

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe

The Yeon Cucumber Mask

Two of these were used during the past two months! I had used them two weeks in a row. This mask has a mild and pleasant scent. The sheet itself fits terribly on my face since the eye holes are way too wide set for my eyes, and I have to squish the nose section inwards for it to fit. This makes the mask uncomfortable to apply for me.

Overall Rating: ☆☆ // Repurchase? No

Etude House Lotus 

I love this sheet mask! The scent is lovely, and the sheet mask fits my face pretty well. The essence in the mask is just the right amount — not too much, but doesn’t feel dry after 10-15 minutes. I like the texture of the sheet and the essence is easily absorbed.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Yes

The Face Shop Kelp

I like this sheet mask a lot. I don’t think it smells like kelp though (although that might be a good thing, since I don’t know if smelling like kelp is my goal). I didn’t notice any particular difference to my skin after using it, but it was a pleasant experience.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe

The Face Shop Red Ginseng

This mask, unlike the kelp one, actually does smell like red ginseng! I love red ginseng and drink red ginseng tea almost everyday in the wintertime. During summer, I don’t, but I figure it’s fine for my qi to use red ginseng on my skin since it wouldn’t be going into my stomach. I find the scent of ginseng to be very relaxing, so this was the best 10 minutes of my night.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Yes

Suncare

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Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 55 – 88 mL

This is my mom’s favorite sunscreen; she always uses the Neutrogena ones. I like these because they’re moisturizing and have a lightweight feel. They’ve never irritated my skin, and I’ve used them on both my body and my face. I don’t use them on my face anymore though, since when I sweat, it stings when it gets in my eyes. I’ve never been sunburned when I use this properly!

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Yes

L’Oréal Advanced Suncare Silky Sheer Lotion 30 – 88 mL

I got this from T.J. Maxx or Marshall’s (can’t remember which store) a while back, and finally used it. It’s decent, but I prefer the texture of the Neutrogena one. It does the job, but I don’t see myself repurchasing it. I’ve never used it on my face.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆ // Repurchase? No

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L’Oréal Sensation Peau Nue Fluide Visage Très Haute Protection – 50 mL

I bought this when I studied abroad in Geneva, Switzerland in 2015… so yes, this is really old. I finally used it up. I only applied this sunblock to my face, and it’s a very watery texture but never irritated my skin. It took a long time to absorb and was a bit streaky, which are both cons. I would prefer something creamier over something so liquid-y.

Overall Rating: ☆☆ // Repurchase? No

Makeup

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Sephora Natural Vitamin C + E Blotting Papers

No joke: I’ve had this pack for years. I used them throughout college when I did outdoor photoshoots in the heat, or at conventions when I was in cosplay. I’m bad at blotting otherwise (and even at cons or shoots, I’m sometimes too lazy to blot). There’s 100 sheets in here, I think? It doesn’t say on the package which is odd. But they’re made in Taiwan, which is interesting to note! These blotting papers worked well, but not as well as I would have liked. I usually tried to use one sheet, but it made more sense to use at least two sheets to blot my whole face since the sheet would start tearing apart.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆ // Repurchase? No

Sephora x Craig & Karl Long-Lasting Felt Eyeliner

This was a fantastic eyeliner! It was a slick black color, easy to apply, and lasted pretty long. Toward the end of its life, it was difficult to use and the ink didn’t come out consistently. I used it without eye primer, and it was fine for normal wear. I have others from this set I haven’t finished using up since they are in other colors and I use black the most often.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? N/A (I am pretty sure this was from a limited edition set)

Syzygy Dual Turn Eyeliner 

This is a Korean brand, but it’s made in Germany. I was really disappointed in this eyeliner to be honest. I got it from KCON 2016 because I forgot to bring anything to touch up my makeup with and when I ripped off my false lashes from irritation, my makeup got totally messed up. This eyeliner didn’t provide consistent ink flow, so it was difficult to draw a line. The tip was also hard (not comfortable), and the eyeliner dried out really quickly.

Overall Rating: ☆ // Repurchase? No

Lancôme Maquiriche CremePowder EyeColour Duo

This was one of the ones my mom gave me from the free gifts Macy’s usually offers for Lancôme purchases. This is really old; I think my mom gave it to me back in high school. Finally tossing it since the case broke. It comes with two brushes, but I lost one of them. There’s a nice light brown shimmery eyeshadow and a dark brown shadow/liner. Toward the end of my time using this, I used the dark brown one to draw a fake eyelid crease onto my lid for cosplay since it was a nice matte brown and the thin brush it came with (which I lost), made drawing it easy.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? N/A

Body Care

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Crabtree & Evelyn Rosewater Hand Therapy – 100 g

I love the scent of this hand cream! But then again, I always love rose scents and rosewater scents. It wasn’t as moisturizing as I would have liked though, and the consistency wasn’t as creamy as I had expected. I got this on sale; I would never pay full price for it to be honest.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe

Crabtree & Evelyn Lavender Ultra-Moisturizing Hand Therapy – 25 g

Not sure why this is more creamy than the one above, but maybe it’s because of its “ultra-moisturizing” tag? The lavender scent is lovely, and I like how small the size is. It can fit in my purse pocket! I guess this technically belongs in the travel size section, but I got this in a box set with other Crabtree & Evelyn minis. It was pleasant to use but not a miracle worker. It didn’t help the dry patches around my middle finger at all (I’ve been dealing with this section of really dry rough skin for a long time).

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe

Sample / Travel Size

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Shiseido Bio-Performance Glow Revival Serum 

This serum absorbed quickly and had a pleasant smell, the same smell as the cleanser I’m currently using actually. I didn’t see any difference in my skin from using it though.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆ // Purchase? No

Nature Republic Cell Boosting Watery Cream

I have way too many of these random one-time-use samples… Decided to finally use one! This cream absorbs into the skin quickly. Didn’t think anything special of it though. It didn’t irritate my skin, but it wasn’t as rich as I would like in a cream.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆ // Purchase? No

Chanel Chance

I like this fragrance; it smells classic and elegant. The fragrance lasts a long time too!

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Purchase? No

Prada Candy Florale 

This is a sweet and floral fragrance! I think it’s a fun scent. It doesn’t last that long though.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆ // Purchase? No

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KCON NY 2017

This was my second time attending KCON (I should probably write a throwback post about my first time…), and again, I attended for only one day. The difference here is I attended in 2016 for Friday only, but this year, I only went on Saturday. I knew I wanted to go on Saturday because TWICE was performing that night and that’s the group I was at the con for. My friend Ashley went on Saturday too, and she was there for NCT 127, so it worked out. We got to sit next to each other at the concert as well!

Photo taken by Brian Ngai

For the actual con, we got there pretty late (in the afternoon). I’m not sure how bad the lines were in the morning, but for us, the lines weren’t too long of a wait. The only problem we encountered was trying to find the area where we could pick up our wristbands (which are like badges for entry). The wristbands were really secure, so no worries about losing your “badge!”

During the con, it was fun learning some of Twice’s Signal dance at the dance workshop area. Signal was stuck in my head basically all day… but I didn’t mind at all. It’s such a cute and catchy song (and all the hearts in the dance are too adorable)! Ashley and I also got to sample yummy Korean snacks and beverages in the K-Food section.

 

We also browsed the K-beauty vendors (I didn’t buy anything, but I did get some free samples). The Innisfree booth was pretty generous with samples, and there was also a claw machine you could play to try to win full-size products. Claw machines were definitely a trend, since I also saw (a gigantic) one at the Toyota booth.

 

Photo taken by Brian Ngai

For lunch (or I guess “linner” since we ate lunch at like 4pm), we got food from the food trucks. I had fried dumplings, a Korean fusion taco thingy, and a refreshing yuzu fruity iced tea. Afterwards, I couldn’t resist getting a butterfly pea flower bubble tea with lychee jelly. Everything was delicious (although pricey).

Before sharing my concert experience, I might as well share my outfit rundown (even though it isn’t j-fashion):

 

 

  • Flower crown headband: a gift from my friend Arien
  • Earrings: purchased from KCON 2016!
  • Choker: Icing
  • Top: Offbrand (literally picked up from a random street vendor near where I live)
  • Shorts: Delia’s (got this forever ago, when there was a Delia’s store in the mall I used to go to in New Hampshire with my family)
  • Bracelet: Icing
  • Socks: Offbrand
  • Sneakers: Nike

Waiting in line for the concert felt like waiting forever (especially in the heat), but Ashley and I made some new friends. It’s cool how Kpop brings strangers together! We chatted about Kpop, but also about anime and travel among other things. Once we got inside the concert venue, I could really feel the excited energy from everyone there.
The concert itself was amazing! Even though I was only there for Twice, all the performances were impressive and I had fun watching all of the guests.


I zoomed in with my phone and recorded lots of snippets during the concerts (and sometimes watched through my phone to see somewhat better). I was grateful to the screens at the back so I could see close-ups and such!

I freaked out when Twice had their special stage! They covered one of my favorite Miss A songs, Bad Girl Good Girl. Click here to check out my fancam! I recorded a ton of fancams even though I was sitting really far from the stage. My iPhone did a fairly good job at zooming in!

There was SO MUCH CONFETTI AND STREAMERS at this concert. I feel bad for whoever has to clean up the venue afterwards… Even though I sat way up in the area for cheaper seats, confetti still managed to land around me.

When I left the concert, I even found some of the small pieces of confetti in my KCON bag.

If you followed me on Twitter during KCON, you would have seen me live-tweeting throughout the concert. After the concert ended, I stuck around a bit to snag the following photo:

Last but not least, here’s my loot from KCON 2017:

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Most of the stuff was free, which is definitely a plus! Not pictured is a free baseball cap I got from AT&T which had the finger heart gesture on the front (and cool silvertone rings on the side of the brim). I forgot to include it in my haul photo since I was wearing it on this day and it totally slipped my mind. Fun fact: I first discovered the finger heart gesture on V App!

Here are the cosmetic samples I got from Innisfree:


I haven’t had the chance to try any of them yet, but I look forward to checking them out! Right now, the sunblock I’m using on my face is from Innisfree. Have any of you guys tried Innisfree products?

If you went to KCON 2017, I’d love to hear your experience! Feel free to share via comments.
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Emptyland: Mar/Apr 2017

For March and April, I barely finished any makeup products… But I did use up a lot of skincare! I also reached my goal of remembering to use sheet masks more often. ^_^ I’m trying to use sheet masks at least once a week!

Here’s the rundown for what the stars represent: [ ☆ = Most negative/Not good at all, ☆☆ = Not that good, but okay ☆☆☆ = Neutral/No opinion/No answer, ☆☆☆☆ = Great, ☆☆☆☆☆ = Most positive/Fantastic! ] I’ll also include my experience with each product, but the detail I go into for each product may vary.

Skincare

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COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch – 24 patches

Return of this item… x2! I used up one during each month. You can read my initial response to this product in my first Emptyland post. I still love this product, and will definitely repurchase it.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Yes!

Skinfood Trouble Clear Spot Patch – 24 patches

This is very similar to the COSRX patches. I bought this to try to see if it’s any better or any worse, and to be completely honest, I couldn’t really tell the difference. The texture is somehow a bit different, but the effect is the same. It was priced at $5.99 plus tax at a local cosmetics store, and also comes with 24 patches just like the COSRX one. The COSRX ones were cheaper though, since I bought them in a big set. I might repurchase the Skinfood ones if there’s a sale.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe!

Kosé Softymo White Face Cleansing Oil  – 230 mL

I really love this cleansing oil! It feels gentle and has a mild scent. It also lasted me a long time (I’ve been using this cleaning oil since my time in college… it has been well over a year!). The consistency is slightly runny. I’m currently using a different cleansing oil now that this one is done, and I’m probably going to return to this one. I can already tell that the new one I’m trying is going to last a shorter length of time than the Softymo one, so you’ll see it show up in an Emptyland post soon enough.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Yes!

Lancôme Bienfait Multi-Vital SPF 30 Day Cream – 50 g

I’m still using the night cream from this series, but I’m almost done with it. I am not quite sure how I finished the day cream earlier, but in any case, the jar is completely empty. This is a great cream for winter; very moisturizing! It has a pleasant scent, and the cream absorbs quickly into the skin. The consistency feels the same as the night cream. My mom gave me the set of this day cream and night cream, and I might repurchase them. I want to try other creams though!

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe

Bifesta Brightup Cleansing Sheet – 46 sheets

These cleansing sheets worked really well and felt refreshing on my face! My skin didn’t feel dry afterwards either. I would definitely repurchase this. I’m curious to try other products by Bifesta; this is my first Bifesta purchase.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Yes!

Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel – 30 mL

This is something that used to work for me, but for some reason, it hasn’t helped my acne at all during the past few months. I might try it again in the future, but for now, I’m testing other acne products to see if I can find one that will clear up my acne. It’s $26 for the bottle, and it did last a long time, but it feels expensive since I didn’t find it effective. I’m giving it 3 stars since it used to work for me before, and perhaps it will work again in the future.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe

Tonymoly Timeless Ferment Snail Eye Cream 

Technically, this is a sample size I think. It came as a set with the full-size face cream, which you can see in my first Emptyland post. I wasn’t a big fan of this eye cream. I did finish it, and it’s my first eye cream, but I thought the gel texture felt more watery than gel-like, and it didn’t absorb very well.

Overall Rating: ☆☆ // Repurchase? No

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Tonymoly I’m Real Mask Sheets 

I’m just going to lump these all together because, to be perfectly honest, I couldn’t really tell much of a difference among them. They’re all great though! These might be my favorite masks because they’re the most comfortable on my face and the holes fit better than other sheet masks I’ve tried. The different masks in this series have different scents, and some of the essence in the mask has a slightly different consistency, but overall, they were all generous in the amount of essence and felt good during and after application. I did notice that the Tea Tree one soothed the redness in my acne, which was a great effect!

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Yes

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The SAEM Natural-Tox Tomato Mask Sheet

This was a nice mask! I have a few others I purchased from The SAEM that I’m excited to try too. The mask didn’t stay on my face very well, but that’s not a huge deal. I shouldn’t be walking around while masking anyways (but I have a terrible habit of multitasking, even when I should be taking a breather). I would definitely buy more masks from this brand to try!

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe

Mediheal Teatree Healing Solution Essential Mask

My friend Simone gave me these two masks! I tried them both during the same week. This mask was really nice quality, and the mask fit my face pretty well too. This mask definitely lessened the redness of my pimples, and it was a soothing mask to use.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe

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EOS Sweet Mint Lip Balm

My mom gave me this to try since she knew I was really curious about the EOS trend since they popped up. My mom tried one too, and we both agree that they weren’t as great as we were expecting. I didn’t notice any exceptional moisturizing qualities; in fact, it felt less moisturizing than regular Chapstick to my lips. I had to reapply it often. It took me a long time to use it up, since I was using other options like Aquaphor or Blistex lip balms for more moisture. The shape is fun, but not very practical.

Overall Rating: ☆☆ // Repurchase? No

Blistex Five Star Lip Protection

This is my go-to lip balm! I’ve been using it since my mom gave me my first one during my first year of college. Before college, my mom and I always just used Chapstick. This lip balm has great SPF and moisturizes my lips well. I wouldn’t say it’s the most moisturizing thing ever, but it does the trick.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Yes

Blistex Complete Moisture

I thought this would be similar to the Five Star one, but this one definitely has less stars. For some reason, this lip balm irritated my lips. I’m not sure why, but it caused some peeling. I wonder if I had a defective tube though, since it seems like this is a good lip balm according to other people’s reviews.

Overall Rating: ☆ // Repurchase? No

Makeup

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Make Up For Ever HD Pressed Powder – 6.2 g

This was my first Make Up For Ever product! It lasted me a really long time. I suppose I probably should have tossed this a while ago… I’ve been using it for about 4 years now. It is a transparent powder that helps my makeup stay longer. It also makes me look less dewy (in terms of the Korean BB creams I use). Application is a bit difficult though, since I tend to get the powder all over my shirt too since the powder flies off the puff easily.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe

Clinique Acne Solutions Concealing Stick

This was a great idea in theory, but the tip of the stick was much too small for spot coverage. At least for me, my acne is usually bigger than the size of this stick’s tip, so I had to rub the stick around a lot more to cover the acne and pimples. It didn’t blend very well, so I used my fingers to blend them in more… and then it felt like the stick wasn’t even necessary in the first place. The product concealed well, but application was more difficult than I would have liked. It may have been better in a bigger stick form.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆ // Repurchase? No

Body Care

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The Body Shop Moringa Body Butter – 200 mL

This is such a nice scent! It was great trying my second The Body Shop item. Same body butter, but different scent. I prefer the scent of the first one I tried, Atlas Mountain Rose. This one was just as moisturizing, and I still love the scent. I would still repurchase this! (I just really love anything rose-scented…)

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Yes

Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Stress Relief Body Wash & Foam Bath – 295 mL

I’ve had this for way too long… I usually use Dove bar soaps (which I suppose will never make it to an Emptyland post since there’s nothing left at all once they’re used up). I don’t have a bath tub now, and I didn’t have a bath tub at college either. So I have never tried bath bombs or bubble baths, etc. I use this like a body wash either on a loofah, or if I’m lazy, I just use my hands. The scent is very relaxing! I’m not sure if they still have this same product since I bought this back in high school… (I know, over five years ago.)

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Repurchase? Maybe

Sample / Travel Size

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Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate

I didn’t use this consistently, which was probably a mistake on my part. It felt really nice on my skin and absorbed quickly. I didn’t notice any negative reactions to it, but I also didn’t see any changes. I doubt I’d ever purchase a full size of this, but it was a nice sample.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆ // Purchase? No

Chanel Chance

In general, I don’t think I’d ever purchase a full-size perfume since I get so many samples. I can only see myself purchasing a perfume if I fall in love with the scent. This is a nice scent, but it’s not something I’m in love with. It’s a sophisticated and elegant scent that I enjoy using, but I don’t think I would pay money for it. I used it up, of course, and I have a few more of these samples in my stash that I look forward to using as well!

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Purchase? No

Chanel No. 5

I’m not a huge fan of this scent, but I’m also not that picky since I used it up. I think the scent is overpowering. I don’t like wasting anything though; the only reason I’d stop using a product is if it caused a negative reaction (or if I highly disliked it).

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆ // Purchase? No

Clinique All About Eyes Serum

This was an interesting product! At first, I wasn’t sure if I was applying it correctly. I like the rollerball tip, but toward the end of its life, I had trouble getting product out. I had to squeeze the tube really hard, and then sometimes, a huge amount of product would spurt out. I wonder if the full-size tube dispenses the product more efficiently. It didn’t sting or irritate my eyes at all, which is a plus. I find that Clinique products never irritate my skin.

Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆ // Purchase? Maybe

Have you tried any of these products? I’d love to hear your opinions too! Hope you all have a great rest-of-your-week!

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B.A.P: PARTY BABY 

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I went to my second K-Pop concert recently! My first one was Friday night of KCON 2016. The concert I went to recently was none other than B.A.P’s PARTY BABY: NYC Boom~! It was an amazing event, although I spent the bulk of my time waiting in line. I didn’t realize it was a standing venue until I was already en route to the concert… (I should have worn my regular sneakers instead of my wedge sneakers… Oh well.) Here are mirror selfies of my outfit:

Fun fact: The cat ear headband and wedge sneakers were the same ones I wore to my first concert.

For this B.A.P world tour, there were dress code options set by each of the members.

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It ended up being Himchan’s night~! For my outfit, I was trying to fit the ROSE theme as well as the SEXY & SPECIAL one.

They had a “bar” set up, and it was really cute. Himchan took his time selecting the winner, and the other members kept urging him to hurry up! The SEXY & SPECIAL girl Himchan picked was someone with really pretty pink hair (and a cool handbag!). The girl got to go on the stage and hang out with the members a bit at the “BABYz LOUNGE,” pictured above.

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I met so many cool people in the line outside the concert! I even snagged a $1 light stick that a fan was selling. She made a ton of light sticks out of foam, and they were really light and easy to carry, and they also lit up green! There were also tons of freebies being passed around: fan signs, cards, and more.

It was amazing seeing all the Matoki light sticks in the crowd! Look at all the green bunnies~!

Unfortunately, all my photos are really blurry since I was really far away; I bought the cheapest ticket. I used my phone camera on maximum zoom to capture most of these. The only song I captured on video in its entirety was Wake Me Up since my arms were too tired to hold up my phone above other people’s heads for other songs (although I did catch snippets).
Watch my fancam of B.A.P’s Wake Me Up performance!

You can also check out my fancam of Feel So Good. I might upload more fancams later!

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My bias in B.A.P has been Zelo ever since their debut. I was sad they didn’t perform debut songs like Warrior or Power, but B.A.P has so many amazing songs, so it makes sense they can’t perform everything. My favorite performance was definitely the Wake Me Up one! This concert was also the first time I heard Zelo’s solo song. It was really pretty! I also thought all their outfits were on point!

And of course, I need to do a rundown of my own outfit… It was my first time wearing this MARS set out! The last time I wore it was literally just in my dorm room at college.

Here’s a coord rundown of my outfit for the concert:

  • Headband: Forever 21
  • Necklace: Vintage
  • Earrings: Claire’s
  • Top & Skirt: MARS
  • Tights: Offbrand
  • Wedge Sneakers: Guess

 

If you were at the concert, please share your experience too! I’d love to hear about the B.A.P concerts in other cities too.

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The Kawaii Society: Soft Launch

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Have you heard of The Kawaii Society? It’s an adorable organization recently founded in the United States! The Soft Launch took place at Radio Star Karaoke in New York City on Sunday, April 2. I was invited to the Soft Launch as a press blogger, and I’m excited to introduce you all to The Kawaii Society.

Here is The Kawaii Society’s mission statement from their Facebook page: “Kawaii Society is an organization that aims to share Japanese pop culture world wide. We are passionate visual artists, fashionistas, gamers, otaku, entrepreneurs, bloggers, musicians and so much more! Join us in discussion, collaboration, events, and celebration of all things kawaii!”

The Soft Launch was definitely full of amazing artists and designers, kawaii fashion, and more. Before I go over my experience at the Soft Launch, I want to share my interview with the founder of The Kawaii Society, Miss Candyholic.

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1) How were you introduced to Kawaii culture?

“I was introduced to kawaii culture as a child thanks to my older cousin. She was like a big sister to me and loved anime and cosplay which inspired me to research more about Japanese pop culture. I soon fell in love with harajuku fashion and became an avid reader of Fruits and Gothic & Lolita Bible magazines.”

2) What inspired you to create The Kawaii Society?

“I have been deeply involved in the otaku and J-fashion community since middle school from every aspect- convention attendee, cosplayer, Lolita, maid cafe, J-pop performer, Twitch streamer, artist alley, etc. My goal is to bring all the experiences and connections I’ve made throughout the community together under one brand. I have made so many friends who are bloggers, musicians, fashion icons, and more, and that is something to be celebrated. We often have to rely on meetups to share our love for kawaii culture with others, but I want to create something much more than that where everyone’s talents are utilized.”

3) What’s your favorite fashion style and why?

“I don’t think I can pick one specific fashion style because my favorite fashion styles are those that don’t follow the rules. However, I will say that my favorite aesthetic is pastel and magical girl inspired. Anything baby pink and dream-like gives me life. I also love gothic styles but there is no inbetween – either all pastels or all black.”

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Magical Girl inspired wands by Miss Candyholic

4) How did you start your brand Candyholic?

“Entrepreneurship has been in my nature since high school. I used to make and sell animal hats, bonnets, and jewelry to kids at school and people online in the EGL community on Livejournal. Miss Candyholic was just a username I always had since I love sweets and sweet motifs, but I didn’t turn it into a serious business until after college when I had more time to create and market myself on social media. I was invited to sell at my first con, Chibi-Con, a couple years ago and then things just took off from there.”

5) Where do you find your inspiration for your designs?

“Magical girls are a huge inspiration for me. I like to think of myself as a designer for the modern day magical girl. I also like to ask myself questions like “If Cinderella went to college, what would she wear?” Other than fictional characters, I find a lot of inspiration from my kawaii friends and J-fashion groups thanks to social media.”

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Miss Candyholic’s designs are definitely fit for the modern-day magical girl! She also made the maid dresses for the adorable maids of the Candyholic Café. You can check out her Facebook page here.

Now, onto the Soft Launch! When I arrived to Radio Star Karaoke, there was already a line forming outside the venue. So many different alternative fashion styles were represented! I saw people in line wearing fairy kei, sweet lolita, gothic lolita, and other forms of street fashion.

There was a great turnout at the Soft Launch! There were a lot of people, but it wasn’t too crowded. It was still easy to find your way around, and seating was accessible too. There were a bunch of vendors at the event too, and I was impressed by all the cute items for sale. I bought a necklace, a bunch of rings, and secondhand boots (my very first pair of Demonia Shoes)! My favorite find were definitely those secondhand boots. They look so cool, and I’ve always wanted Demonia shoes. Besides shopping, food and drinks were for sale at the event too.

Check out these cool cocktails:

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I had the Pink Sugar Heart Attack drink, which is composed of vodka, peach, lime, and lychee. It was delicious!

Since The Kawaii Society Soft Launch took place at a karaoke bar, there was lots of karaoke-ing! It was really fun watching different people sing their favorite songs on the karaoke stage. For this stage, many people in the audience sung along too! “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey is definitely a karaoke staple.

Me and Bubbles (our table’s maid for the evening

One of my best memories of the Soft Launch is definitely the Candyholic Café! This was my first time at a maid café, and it did not disapppoint. All of the maids were adorable! I was so happy that Bubbles was assigned to our table. It was a long time since I’ve seen her, and she looked like she was having so much fun working at the café too!

The dessert came out first, but I didn’t mind at all! This pastel cheesecake was so sweet and yummy. Following dessert, I had crispy onion rings! While eating, me and my table-mates chatted about random things: from fashion to food to music to yaoi.

During the Candyholic Café, I really enjoyed the performances by KuroPOP! They even performed one of my favorite K-pop songs: “Excuse Me” by AOA. Another memorable performance by them was “Boombayah” by BLACKPINK.

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Candyholic Café, the Maid Café at the Soft Launch

If you were at The Kawaii Society Soft Launch, please share your experiences too! I hope everyone had tons of fun like I did. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay the entire time; I had to leave early to catch the subway back home (and of course, get ready for the work-week grind). Definitely check out The Kawaii Society if you are in the New York City area! April 30th will be their Unofficial Sakura Matsuri After Party. I am sad I won’t be able to make it to this party, but hopefully I’ll be able to attend other events in the future. If you go, take lots of photos! I’d love to see what the After Party is like.

To end my blog post, here’s a coordinate rundown of my outfit for the event:

  • Headbow and Skirt: Metamorphose
  • Small Bows: Offbrand
  • Blouse: Bodyline
  • Capelet: Offbrand
  • Wristcuffs: Classical Puppets
  • Tights: Offbrand
  • Boots: Bodyline
  • Purse: Offbrand
  • Rings: Offbrand

Note: Photos of Miss Candyholic’s designs and of the Candyholic Café are directly from Miss Candyholic and included in this blog post with her permission.

 

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