Oct 30, 2011 | Beauty
(click for enlarged)
Winter is creeping up on us again – and I’m always at a loss as to how to style my hair during these months of mandatory headwear. Japanese fashion magazines usually supply a plethora of cute styling options that are totally doable for a variety of hair lengths. Master the art of the turband, the side bow, the messy pony, and the double-wrapped bun, courtesy of Vivi Magazine.
Are you inspired to try anything outside your usual Winter hairstyle? I love the textural velvet and mohair bows!
*scans from Vivi Magazine Dec 2010 (I think)
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May 18, 2011 | DIY, Media
I love the idea of using a wicker or straw handbag once the weather warms up. There’s just something about an airy, earthy bag that spells summer to me. Using a basket as a handbag reminds me of delightful childhood stories, dressing up as Alice, tea parties, picnics on the lawn…And baskets are just about everywhere! Check out a thrift store or a garage sale for the most affordable baskets imaginable. (Baskets with built-in lids are a lot harder to find, but they’re certainly out there!) Craft stores like Michael’s or Jo-Ann’s sell them (but for a lot more than thrift).This scan from the May 2011 issue of Ray magazine presents a wonderful assortment of basket-style handbags…and though the prices are something to gasp at, there are oodles of wonderful DIY ideas in there as well. Dress up baskets with silk flowers, scraps of lace, purse hardware, pompons, paint, ribbon, or gems, for starters. Add a satin lining, a dried starfish, a vintage brooch, sequin trim, bows, or even a teddy bear’s disembodied head. (!) I DIY’d a half-moon clutch a couple years ago, by stitching on some puka shells and adding a little tassel pull and braided trim I made from raffia.
So if you can’t find what you’re looking for locally, there’s always Ebay, which is a great source for baskets, straw totes, and wicker clutches. (Like this one below – which looks oh-so-Chloe S/S 2011!)
The only difficulty is narrowing it down to the one you want!
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Aug 26, 2010 | Beauty, From You, Media
I just got back from Hawaii and noticed how flawless most Japanese women’s skin is. What make-up are they using?!
Gosh, I wish I knew for sure! The lovely skin of all the Japanese women and girls around me was always a complex for me growing up – since I moved to Japan just as I hit those ohsofun years of puberty, and experienced all the skin problems that entailed.;-) I always wanted to stop people on the street and ask them what their secrets were…
I’m by no means a dermatologist but as far as what I understand from reading Japanese mags, talking to Japanese friends, and watching Japanese TV – in general the “naked face” or “no make-up look” is not what younger Japanese women go for. It’s interesting – in the US that’s sort of the gold standard when it comes to foundation…that you look like you’re wearing nothing! (I think that’s why Bare Minerals is so successful here, as well as the almost constant advice that you look best when you just “dot concealer on your flaws and leave the rest of your face without foundation and natural-looking.”)
In Japan, the standard is TONS of makeup – so much so that they have shows on tv where girls are forced to wash off their makeup and everyone laughs at them to see that their faces are completely different (and missing eyebrows is a favorite taunt). Many young Japanese women go the whole shebang: primer, foundation, concealer, dark contour, highlight, setting powder, and oil-blotting sheets throughout the day. Their skin-care regimen is in general much more involved than that of many Americans: responding to polls many girls admit that they spend 1-2 hours in the morning on their skincare/makeup, and another 1-2 hours in the evening! (Among women under the age of 30, or at least the ones that reply to said polls for magazines and TV shows.) When it comes to makeup brands, it seems that the Japanese will buy the most expensive brand of foundation – they definitely don’t skimp there. Dior, Chanel, Lancome, Shiseido, SK-II, Kate, RMK – all mainstays in the foundation market. They use specific concealers for their pores and specific concealers for their undereye area. Even in the heat (like Hawaii, or during summer), they will still layer on the makeup, and use blotting sheets meticulously to soak up the oil and impart a layer of powder on their faces (I’m a big fan of the Biore brand of blotting sheets – why the heck don’t they make them here??). Many Japanese girls also cover up from the sun and use sunscreen religiously (though there is the contingent that uses tanning beds, though they’re not a majority by any means).
Also, I suspect a large component of their beautiful skin is diet: taking a daily vitamin is still quite a new concept since the accepted practice in Japan is to get one’s vitamins from FOOD. Even young Japanese women “on a diet”will still eat a wide variety of vegetables (prepared in a number of different ways) at every meal, a large amount of fish weekly, and use condiments that are soy-based, miso-based, and vinegar-based. The amount and variety of vegetables, seafood, and skin-healthy condiments that we use in the US pales in comparison. Plus, living in Japan in the major metropolitan areas, everyone gets tons of exercise walking around or riding their bikes or commuting – so they’re getting above and beyond that 30 minutes of recommended exercise a day, which I’m sure has something to do with their skin quality. Plus add in long, hot baths, soaking salts, and trips to the esthetician (for some), and that might just be a good picture of why the skin of Japanese women looks so fabulous. (The main dermatological complaint in Japan? Dry, flaky skin!!)
I’ve scanned a couple recent features from Vivi Magazine and S-Cawaii Magazine on how to apply foundation [click to enlarge], so you can see the method that they suggest for applying makeup. (I’d venture to guess that this method is pretty indicative of – if not a little more involved than – the average Japanese girl’s makeup routine. Imagine if they listed this step-by-step in Marie Claire or Lucky! Who would follow it here in the US??)
Japanese women or those who have more knowledge of this subject, please feel free to weigh in!
Thanks for your question!
Aug 22, 2010 | DIY
Once I saw this bow tunic dress in Vivi Magazine, it was all over. I’m such a sucker for bows and anything really girly – especially when it’s multifunctional! This sweet little piece you can wear with the bows running down your back or down your front depending on your mood. Fashioned from an oversized man’s long-sleeved shirt, with a couple fixes it becomes a cute A-line batwing tunic dress – paired with pretty tights if you like your dresses super-short, or perfect over a miniskirt or leggings.
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Aug 13, 2010 | From You, Media
I Love your blog and your creativity! I love it when you post scans of VIVI MAGAZINE! How can I get my hands on some more of these!?
Thanks so much!
I love Vivi too – perhaps a little too much;-) Unfortunately I can’t find any site that posts the contents of the entire magazine (like in a reader or something), but you can always check out your local Asian bookstore. Kinokuniya has a number of stores in the United States (the U.S. website is here: http://bookweb.kinokuniya.co.jp/indexohb.cgi?AREA=03 if you want to check locations), but I also can’t seem to locate any periodicals being sold on their site online. You can buy copies of Vivi on Ebay if you have no Japanese bookstores near you – but whatever you do, DON’T buy through Amazon.com – the shipping takes 6 weeks and is ridiculously expensive since they fulfill through 3rd-party sellers. There also might be some other sites (like online bookstores) that might sell it, though you’d have to check with them.
I always check out Vivi’s homepage at http://www.joseishi.net/vivi/index_pc.html every month, so I can see if it’s worth going down to my local Kinokuniya and buying the issue. Sometimes the homepage gives me enough of a fix that I don’t feel like ponying up the $12 to buy the next issue! The annoying thing is, Vivi comes out 5-6 weeks ahead in Japan (so the Sept. issue came out July 26!!), and the Kinokuniya bookstores only stock the issues around the 15th of the month prior, so you have to wait a lot longer in the States to get your issue and get a jump on the trends.
I’ll try to post some more scans in the future since you seem so interested!
Thanks for your question!