I recently discovered Kawaii Nation, and they have lots of cute clothes in a variety of styles: harajuku, k-fashion, punk, pastel, and more! I’m going to share some Valentine’s Day OOTD ideas using items from this shop, and you can get 15% off with the coupon code “PEARL.” ^_^
Which one of the above looks would you wear? If you have your own Valentine’s Day outfit ideas, share in the comments. Remember you can use the coupon code “PEARL” for 15% off when you shop at Kawaii Nation!
So I may be phasing out my Emptyland series… It has been difficult for me to keep up with this. Especially since the apartment I moved into in April is cockroach-infested and I haven’t been able to keep things like sheet mask wrappers and sample wrappers around to photograph because I’d like to minimize what could attract cockroaches or other pests.
I also haven’t been using that many sheet masks to be honest. I use them perhaps once a month now? But I’d like to use them more regularly in the future.
This is the last installment – first photos from April through October, and then photos from November and December.
And that concludes April through October.
Next up: November and December. The end of the year, and the holiday season, and the end of Emptyland.
I’m also considering doing product reviews for specific beauty products that are in my routine. My mom always tells me to stick to the same products but I enjoy trying new things so I tend to switch up my skincare products once I’m out. There are some faves I gravitate to repurchasing, of course!
What new products have you added into your routine this year?
Have you heard of 11/11? 11/11 is Singles’ Day and is a huge shopping festival with lots of sales, discounts, lucky bags, etc. You can shop the sales at Taobao, Tmall, AliExpress.com, and some other stores and websites participate as well.
Even though I could care less about Black Friday sales… I love browsing and shopping during 11/11! Sometimes, I spend hours just online window shopping. And when the budget allows for it, snagging some great deals during 11/11 is the best!
Some of the Taobao stores display their 11/11 sales more obviously than other. When you’re on certain pages, you may be able to see a promo for the 11/11 like the following for Bobon21:
On Empty Wardrobe, you can see where the promotion is outlined under the second little red box under the price, where you see 11/11-11/11:
The promotion above is for every 200 spent, you can get 20 discounted – and there’s no cap.
On some shops, like Rotate Ballet, you can see the 11/11 sale banner bright and clear:
I’ve had my eye on the brand Yolanda for a while, and it looks like they have a bunch of 11/11 discounted items too:
I’ve never purchased anything from the above shops before, so I can’t vouch for quality, but they have great ratings from Taobao shoppers from what I’ve seen in customer reviews and photos on the site. If you’ve purchased from any of these stores, definitely share your thoughts! And of course, share any other 11/11 deals that you find.
To make it easier to shop and browse, I also recommend the Google Chrome extension that automatically translates webpages. This only works on text though, so text within images are a no-go.
So, who remembers when I moved last May? Lo and behold… I moved again, this time in April. So technically this is another moving edition, but it covers my final full months in my previous room rental. What did I use up in January, February, and March? Keep reading to see what I used during the first quarter of 2019. Also I realize that this is extremely late. I thought I posted this 2 months ago, but I think my wi-fi was bad and it never went through… and I somehow didn’t notice until now. Oops.
I use cleansing wipes a lot! Not everyday, but I would say I use them on most days. You usually wouldn’t think of Costco for beauty products… but I love shopping at Costco for products I use a lot. Things like cotton balls, makeup wipes, shampoo, and more. Kirkland Signature’s towelettes are very gentle on the skin and have quickly become a new fave! I also got those Neutrogena makeup remover wipes from Costco.
Next up, we’ve got sheet masks plus a lip mask from Tonymoly! The Kiss Kiss Lovely Lip Patch is super cute, but I have no idea if it was useful. It was fun to apply, but I didn’t notice any benefit. The other sheet masks you may recognize from past Emptyland posts.
With wintertime comes dry hands, so I used up two tubes of hand cream. The Duft&Doft hand cream was a freebie I got from KCON forever ago. The Tocca one I got from a sample sale with a bunch of other Tocca hand creams. This Simone one smells delightful and refreshing!
For makeup, I used up my favorite BB Cream… the Perfect Cover BB Cream from Missha. I definitely want to get another one down the road, but I’m trying a different BB Cream at the moment. I also used up an eyeliner sample that I wasn’t a big fan of, a Stila smudge pot (not completely used up, but it dried up…), and I’m really sad I had to toss this Becca highlighter but I dropped it and it shattered.
For skincare, I used up an emulsion that I got for 50% off. I love sales! The Urban Eco Waratah Toner was also part of a free gift set I got from The Saem a year ago (I got a free toner and emulsion set). The It’s Skin ampoule was buy one, get one free and so I got two and used them both in a row. It was a nice ampoule but I’m not sure if I’ll repurchase. Maybe I’ll try a different one from It’s Skin in the future.
For body care, again, need to stay moisturized during the dry winter months! The Holika Holika Aloe gel I’ve had since college (it was a gift from my friend Terry, ). I keep forgetting to use it but finally used it up.
Last, but not least: hair care! Fantasy hair also comes with a lot of damages, so I’ve had to use lots of hair therapy like argan oil, keratin therapty, and more. Overtone is my favorite though since it also redeposits color into my hair! I don’t think it’s the most moisturizing, so that’s why I still use additional products in my hair after shampooing and conditioning. Even when I skip shampooing, I sometimes need to moisturize my hair with leave-in products.
If you have any recommendations for great products for damaged and dry hair, please let me know!
Have you ever been to Big Apple Comic Con? It’s a New York City convention that was founded by Michael “Mike Carbo” Carbonaro back in 1995.
I can’t believe this con is this weekend! It’s happening so soon… I thought I had plenty of time but I’m still not sure what to cosplay and/or wear. I have great memories from this con last year…
From meeting Toshio Maeda to moderating a panel with Lua Stardust to watching the cosplay contest, Saturday was a busy but fun day!
The con is centrally location near Penn Station, so transportation is easy (trains, subways, etc.). You can also easily find public places outside to do photoshoots at, and there’s plenty of great food options in walking distance from the con.
Click here to see photos from my Saturday shoot last year! (I still need to upload the rest of the photos… my backlog is insane, oops.)
And at every con in NYC, there’s gotta be at least one Spider-Man cosplayer!
I have no idea who the Spider-Man cosplayer in the above picture was, but he was epic and I’m glad he agreed to a quick photo with me! Spider-Man is still one of my all-time fave Marvel characters (ever since I read the Amazing Spider-Man as a teenager!).
You may have noticed my [Flashback Fridays] tag… I’m thinking of starting a new Flashback Fridays series where I write flashbacks to events or memories of the past. Do you like to reminisce? I love taking photos because if I don’t have photographic proof, I wonder if things never happened and they were simple dreams or made up in my imagination…
Click here to view a throwback to my first time at BACC (back in 2017!). It’s a gothic lolita look featuring my first lolita dress ever (a really old Bodyline JSK I got in high school).
If you’ll be at BACC tomorrow or Sunday, come say hi!
This Emptyland post covers September, October, November, December! I know I’ve been getting lazy with my Emptyland posts as time has gone on. I’m still debating whether or not to continue with this series. I think I will, but I’ll keep it simplified like I have since the Moving Edition post for Emptyland.
How was the end of your 2018 year? I didn’t use as many products as I thought I would, but I’m sure I’ll use up more products in 2019! I also realized that I didn’t use up any makeup products during September through December… Maybe I need to take a second look and purge some items that have been open for too long (yes, I’m a makeup hoarder).
Here, you see some familiar Empties like the Cosrx Acne Pimple Master Patch and the Neutrogena Make-up Remover Cleansing Towelettes. Did you know the first appearance of the Acne Pimple Master Patch in Emptyland was my first time trying it? And it showed up in my first ever Emptyland post! As for a new product I tried at the end of 2018: it was my first time trying the Speedy Perfect Whip face wash, but I wasn’t a big fan. I didn’t feel like the Perfect Whip face wash cleansed my face as deeply as I would like a foaming wash to do. I loved the Perfect Watery Oil as a first step cleanser though!
I barely used any sheet masks during the last quarter, even though I should have since the winter air is cold and dry. I think I was feeling really stressed and short on time, and didn’t feel like putting a mask on my face for ten minutes. This year, I’ll definitely try to find more me-time so I can use more sheet masks! During the last few months, I used sleeping masks more since they were really easy to use and didn’t take much time. No sleeping mask jars are empty right now, but I’m sure one or two will make it to the next Emptyland post.
I’ve used the Blistex Silk & Shine before, and the Blistex Five Star Lip Protection is one that keeps coming back. It was my first time trying the Blistex Triple Essentials lip balm, and it was decent, but not as moisturizing as the Five Star one in my opinion. Check out the Five Star’s first appearance in Emptyland here!
I don’t think I’ve ever had this many hair products in one Emptyland post before. I used up my first Fekkai shampoo and conditioner set, a chia seed dry shampoo from Hask, Olaplex No. 3, my first SheaMoisture product (pure argan oil), 2 sample sized Overtone deep treatments, and 1 full size Overtone deep treatment. The Rose Gold for Brown Hair treatment was a hot pink, and kept my pink hair vibrant over the weeks that I used it. I started using the Overtone products during late summer/early fall, so I think these products are good value for how long they lasted me as well as the color payoff. I have no idea how well the Rose Gold one works on brown hair, since I used it on hair that was bleached and dyed pink, but I’d love to try Rose Gold hair some time!
For Bodycare, I used up two hand creams and one body wash. I’ve had that L’Occitane rose hand cream since I studied abroad in Geneva, Switzerland in 2015. I’ve been using it very slowly to make it last because I’m in love with the scent and it’s the best moisturizing hand cream I’ve ever tried. The Crabtree & Evelyn hand cream is nice but isn’t as rich. As for the Dove body wash, it feels moisturizing and is easy to use. A pouf or sponge is recommended, but I’ve used it with just my hands to lather it, and it works just fine.
Sample / Travel Size
From these samples, I don’t think I’ll be purchasing any full-size ones. Except maybe I’ll get another full size hand cream from L’Occitane… I love their hand creams! They’re expensive, but I find them to be the most moisturizing. And a little goes a long way (this tiny sample size lasted me almost a whole year in my purse).
I disliked the Extra Repair Moisturizing Balm from Bobbi Brown because it felt sticky and didn’t absorb well. It didn’t feel very moisturizing either… The Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet was light and absorbed quickly, but also didn’t provide much moisture for my dry winter skin. I had to layer on another cream after application to fight the dryness.
I like the Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil but can’t justify buying a full size since I didn’t see any positive changes when using it. It just smelled nice and felt nice (which is nice if I get another free sample, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to purchase it).
I loved the Korres Wild Rose Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial, but there are so many sleeping masks and similar products I want to try so I’m not sure if I’ll get around to ever buying a full size of this one. It smells lovely though, and was an easy cream to apply during the last step of night-time skincare! I am a sucker for anything rose…
Did you have any favorites that you tried at the end of 2018? Any new products you’re trying in 2019?
Unrelated to Emptyland, but I’ll be attending Katsucon 2019 Friday through Sunday (will be arriving tomorrow afternoon or evening, and leaving on Sunday afternoon). To check out what I’m doing during the con, follow my Instagram PearlPeony. I’ll try to post on Twitter (TreizeMacarons) and my Cosplay Facebook too. Hope everyone has a great rest of their week!
Hi everyone! Happy Holidays! And Merry Christmas to those who celebrate. My family doesn’t celebrate Christmas, so December 25 doesn’t feel any different than yesterday. But I figured this would be a perfect time to share photos from our holiday-themed winter photowalk in NYC!
Some of you may remember my blog post last year about Instameets. This photowalk was an Instameet too — I was invited to join the group by one of my friends, and to organize the photowalk, everyone conversed via Instagram group direct message.
For the photowalk, I decided to do an ugly Christmas sweater outfit as my first-ever Deku cosplay! I have cosplayed Ochako from Boku no Hero Academia, but I’d never cosplayed Midoriya Izuku yet. He’s so cute, and I thought his hair color was perfect for the holiday season (it reminds me of a Christmas tree).
It was freezing cold that day, so I should have worn extra layers under my costume. I could have gotten away with it too, but it didn’t occur to me in my rush to get dressed that morning. I went to meet the group at Bryant Park, but they had already left that spot by the time I got there. It’s a photowalk and not photo-stay-at-the-same-spot, after all. >w< At least I got to see the pretty Christmas tree briefly in Bryant Park! It was super crowded there though.
PC: Boris Quezada
While I was in Bryant Park trying to figure out where to go, I used some holiday present ribbons (red and white striped, green) to wrap around my legs. I figured if I was wearing such an ugly Christmas sweater and a gift box on my head, I might as well turn my legs into Christmas presents too.
Luckily, someone texted me where they were headed to so I was able to meet them near the Rockefeller Center area of Manhattan. We had a good-sized group of both photographers and models! Some were in cosplay and some were doing Christmas fashion (or technically they could be in femme! Santa Claus cosplay or sexy Mrs. Claus cosplay?). The below three photos were taken by Ismael Ordonez.
I loved the backdrops of giant ornaments and giant Christmas lights! So colorful and fun.
The photowalk continued on into dinnertime, but I left before dinner to commute back home. I like the flexibility of a photowalk, but I don’t think I’ll do another photowalk this winter. It’s so cold. I could see my breath the entire time, was mostly shivering, and had a runny nose from the cold weather. It also rained a bit that day!
I just realized my past Instameets were during cold weather too… I really need to check out an Instameet/photowalk during spring and/or summer! Have you ever been to an Instameet or photowalk?
And special shoutout to my friend Bambi who went to the photowalk with me and was kind enough to help me carry my winter jacket (not seen in the photos) and my bag. The baggy red sweater and scarf I was wearing on top of my ugly Xmas sweater were borrowed from her.
PC: Marlon David
Wishing everyone a happy holiday season filled with joy, and a happy and healthy New Year! ❤ One of my goals for 2019 is to blog more regularly, so hopefully you’ll see me here more often too.
I’m calling this my Summer Edition of Emptyland because it covers all my empties from June, July, and August. To be honest, I’ve been lazy with skincare over the summer because I just moved, I had some tough times times with my chronic illnesses, and was generally short on time and sleep. And yet again, a very late Empties post; this series should be called Alice in LATE-land, haha.
I’m definitely trying to take better care of my skin now, and not skipping my skincare routine steps!
Instead of listing out every single product and rating each one, I’ll divide them into categories and highlight my favorites and point out if there’s something I’m tossing without finishing. Ratings will still be provided for samples and whether or not they will be purchased. This is in the interest of time, and also my own personal preference. I am keeping track of what I’m using up to hold myself accountable to actually using up products before opening up new items (and to halt my terrible habit of hoarding products forever).
During a Buy One, Get One Free sale at the Saem store, I bought a bunch of products from their Urban Eco line. I love these products so far! The only thing I disliked was the cheap packaging; my toner bottle cap broke when I was only half way through the bottle (and I never dropped it).
In addition to these Urban Eco products, a calendula product from The Face Shop and my first Boscia product made their way to my Emptyland.
Above, you’ll see all the makeup wipes/cleansing wipes that I used up. These are all repeats since I’ve repurchased both of these products before. They don’t remove eye makeup that well, so I use both of these as daily cleansing wipes before I shower, and to remove BB cream or tinted moisturizer.
And of course, I need to group my lip care empties together! My mom gave me those Chapsticks a year or so ago, and I finally used them. They give average moisture; it was fine during the summer, but I don’t think they would hold up well in the winter when my skin is so much drier. The Blistex lip serum was a decent product, but I don’t think I’d ever re-purchase because I didn’t notice any significant benefits.
I didn’t use sheet masks as much as I usually do since I started trying sheet masks… I do want to use them more often, but it’s already November now and I can tell already that I’m barely using sheet masks as it is. I think part of the issue is time: I feel like I never have enough time. I’ve been using sleeping masks more often because I can apply them after my moisturizer at night, and wash my face in the morning.
And of course, you see my one empty packet of the Acne Pimple Master Patch from Cosrx. Love it!
For body care, a highlight is the Dove shower foam: I love the feel of this foam, and you don’t need a pouf or sponge! Also, Aveeno is a great body lotion.
For haircare, I wasn’t a big fan of the Garnier Whole Blends leave-in conditioner. I used it up, but it didn’t do much for my hair pre-bleaching or post-bleaching.
For the Aprilskin Turn-Up Color Treatment: I thought it worked great for replenishing the pink in my hair color, but it was expensive (over $10 for a tube that only lasts 1.5 applications). It’s also not a dye, so it washes out. If you have longer hair, one tube may not even be enough for you to apply for your whole head. The second time I applied it, there was only enough for me to apply around my roots.
The results of the hair treatment
Sample / Travel Size
And the only empties from my samples are the Caudalie La Crème Yeux and the Dr. Jart Dis-a-pore BB cream. I didn’t finish the Dr. Brandt PoreDermabrasion product because it irritated my skin. It’s so hard to find an exfoliator that doesn’t irritate my skin… If anyone has recommendations, let me know!
Also, that BB Cream really needed to be tossed because I’ve had it since THIS POST from 2016. Took me forever to finish it since I was using other BB cream products too. Oops.
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This was my first fashion shoot with Samuel Lim, and it was a pleasure working with him! We wanted to do a royal-themed fashion shoot with studio lighting. I also wanted to try something new with makeup: adding gems to my face! I rarely stick things to my face, so I was a bit nervous about this. Luckily, nothing fell off my face during the shoot!
I really love the concept photos like the one above. Who needs my face when you can stare at the gorgeous details on this Voodooodolly crown, Innocent World JSK, and BTSSB princess-sleeved blouse?! I’d rather look at these pretty pieces than my face any day.
I truly love the red lighting in the background…! Especially since the wine red edges match the color of the JSK… (And red is my favorite color, so any shade of red delights me!) What do you think of the background color in these photos?
Samuel asked me to bring some props too, so I brought this Angelic Pretty Mook with me as a prop. I love looking at the photos inside the Mook! I don’t own anything displayed in this catalog, but maybe someday… Do you have any favorite Mooks? (In case you don’t know what a Mook is: it’s a cross between a magazine and book! Brand Mooks promote a brand’s products, and usually show off the latest releases and styles from that particular brand.)
This is a special edition of Emptyland because it covers March, April, and May! I moved in May, so I figured I’d prepare for a big Empties post before I move and also purge my old collection of half-used things that should have been tossed a long time ago (I am a makeup hoarder… I know, it’s bad!).
It’s already July, and I know this post is way over-due. What with starting a new role at work, dealing with health issues, a very busy schedule, and adjusting to the move, I haven’t had time to devote to my blog. For the rest of the year, I definitely want to blog more regularly! Feel free to let me know what you’d like to see too. ^_^
So here is the purge of things that have been used for a long time and I just held onto: most are unfinished, but some have been finished (like the BB cushion!):
I’m pretty sure I’ve had that makeup brush set since high school… Yikes. I clean them (sort of) regularly, but it’s been many years and it was time for them to go. They were surprisingly good quality too! I got them from Costco forever ago (Kirkland Signature!). I wish I could use up that MAC highlighter too (literally the only MAC product I have), but again, I’ve had it for forever (since 2012 or 2013 I think), so even though I still haven’t used it up and I love the product, it’s time for me to let it go. I really need to learn to stop hoarding and start tossing. I don’t even want to share how long I’ve had those two Lancôme quad eyeshadow palettes… My mom got it from one of those gift sets when I was a little kid, but she never uses makeup, so she gave it to me toward the end of high school, and I’ve used them ever since. Same goes for that Clinique dual eyeshadow palette (again, a hand-me-down from my mom from forever ago). The Too Cool for School UV pact is something I didn’t use up but also didn’t really care for. I got it on clearance, but it was really cakey every time I applied it.
See below for sheet masks and more! Of course, those Cosrx Acne Pimple Master Patches always show up. I didn’t use them that often since my acne hasn’t been too bad. I am pretty sure the two step cleansing has been helping! And maybe also stress management. I’m positive I get stress-induced acne.
Next up: cleansers! I didn’t finish using the Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser. I’m not sure if I got a defective bottle or if that’s how this product normally smelled, but it smelled horrific. I tried to use it, but could not stand the smell and had to stop. The other two cleansers were totally fine though!
Check out more skincare items for this big Emptyland. I used all of these items up completely! The MVP I want to highlight here is Aquaphor. This ointment works so well on dry, chapped lips, and honestly, for any skin that feels really dry.
The Innisfree items get their own photo since Innisfree has a program where you can return the empty bottles to earn points. Yay for recycling! I still need to bring these into the store to recycle… They’re currently stashed in my drawer at work.
Stay tuned for the June and July Emptyland post, and I’ll hopefully be able to get back to regular blogging. I have a K-beauty skincare product review I wrote a long time ago that I realized I’ve never posted, so that will be posted soon enough. Also working on a new review, and I haven’t forgotten about the Taobao guide series. One of my friends also asked me to write a guide for ouji/kodona/EGA fashion. I don’t really wear those styles much myself, but I do stalk the designs quite often… I’m addicted to adding stuff to my online shopping cart and then not buying them (because they’re not in my budget TT_TT).
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