Friday, February 21, 2014

Spring Coordinate Video

Outfit photos -



  How to order from Liz Lisa and Tokyo Kawaii Life video and photo tutorial here!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

(Kind of) Shopping in Waikiki - Murua Hawaii & Forever21

I've mostly been posting about my Liz Lisa orders, etc because not much else goes on in my life besides work (super boring, don't ask), but yesterday I had some time to kill so I decided to head into Waikiki!
I already wrote about this on Dayre, so if you're one of the two people who follow me there, you can skip this haha.
[Does anyone else have Dayre? Because if you do, lmk so we can follow each other!  I only just started posting, but I plan to write at least once a day - no promises as to whether it will be interesting though lol.]

Anyway, S was going to join this running group after his classes were over, and I was catching a ride home with him so I had a few hours to go shopping after work. Initially I was going to try to go to Hakubundo (Japanese goods/stationary/book? store) and then Ala Moana but I can do that almost any time. I decided to catch the bus into Waikiki because I never go there. It's usually crowded, and full of tourists and people trying to sell you stuff you don't need, and parking is expensive. Plus I'm pretty damn unfamiliar with it and have no idea where anything is or even what's there anymore. However, I remembered that the Forever21 over there is pretty good and that I've been wanting to check out the Murua Hawaii store for months now!
I used to abhor catching the bus but now that I basically use it every weekday and have to pay for a bus pass  ($60 wtf), I figure I might as well use it as much as possible. Besides that, it would take wayyy too long to try to walk to Waikiki lol. I looked up the address for F21 and Murua and as many options as possible for which buses I could catch (I get super paranoid about getting on the wrong one), and then I started off.
The bus ride took like 1/2 hour, and it was super crowded, but yeah that's just another reason that I'll go this once and probably not again for years haha. [Side story - pretty sure this super talkative guy was able to pick up a girl on the bus and got himself a Valentine's Day date lol.]
I was able to find the Murua pretty quickly after some initial confusion fresh off the bus. It's a pretty small store. Sorry, no pictures of the interior of the store because it was kind of awkwardly quiet in there with the shop staff girl just silently watching the store. There was a small men's section and also a swimwear portion but most of it was women's stuff from tops to skirts to pants and also accessories. I felt uncomfortable enough just kind of looking through the clothes so I wasn't about to try and bust out my iPhone lol. If there were more people in there and less attention on me in particular, I might have tried on a several pieces, but instead I just grabbed a skirt and asked for the fitting room. I almost didn't even do that, but I told myself that I couldn't catch the bus over there without at least trying something on.
Oh yeah, this was my work outfit - Liz Lisa top and wedges lol. Unintentional ootd photo while I was trying to take pictures of the dressing room. There's only 2 in the store but the one I was in had a whole loveseat in it! These dressing rooms definitely reminded me of being in Japan with the curtain instead of the door and the circle floor mat. I was wondering if I had to take my shoes off but no one said anything so I didn't. There were even the make up/face shield things! I didn't use it because I was trying on a skirt but yeah you can see it in the bottom right picture in the bottom right haha.
Awkward photo is awkward but this was the only way I could figure out how to show the all the details of the skirt. I had no idea the folds would flare out that way based on how it looked on the hanger! It's definitely unique (and why buy something basic from a store like this right?) and I was considering buying it since it was on sale. Originally $115 down to $45 but it was a little tight (fff my upper legs and butt) and I wasn't sure what I would ever wear that with so I decided to pass. I awkwardly put the skirt back on the rack and walked out.

After that, I walked over to Forever 21!

 I casually walked around the second floor and tried on a few things. I was looking for a light knit top similar to the kind that Liz Lisa/Tralala has that are really basic but not as thick and cheaper (since I won't have to pay for shipping) or a replacement for my 3/4 sleeve sweater that I wear multiple times a week as a cover up. They actually have quite a few jumper skirt/jumpers/overall-type items right now although the prints are not really my style. Anyway, I just ended up grabbing a few things since I didn't have anything better to do.
This light "denim" jumper thing was cute on the hanger but idk I wasn't really into it. I also had to pull this top to try on stuff with because after that awkward dressing room picture in Murua, I knew that my Liz Lisa top wasn't going to go with most of these things lol.
Stretchy "denim" suspender pencil skirt. Idk. Not for me and not the best fit. 
And I picked up this floral crop top because I thought it would go with the denim things when I was trying them on. I told myself to stop buying crop tops since I never wear them anywhere and I have like 7.

I ended up purchasing a high neck sleeveless black dress and a black fitted skirt, both intended for work outfits with no dressing room pictures because they're that plain and uninteresting lol. Less than $20 for both but I didn't feel like going up to the third floor so I thought I'd head back toward Murua because there was a top I noticed there that I thought I might be able to pair with the skirt I just bought from F21.

When I got back to the Murua, it was still pretty awkward, especially since I had already been in there awkwardly browsing and didn't buy anything. Plus there was an additional shop staff in the already small store lol.‎‎
I had seen the top on an actual person on the Murua Hawaii FB page and was pleased to see that it was on sale at the store during my first visit. I immediately grabbed the top as I walked in because I thought browsing would make it even more awkward.
I was kind of in a rush because S was already done running at this point so the picture is not that great but I thought this top went pretty okay with the skirt. After thinking about it for a second, and realizing that I just wanted to buy something from the store (wtf bad reason but idk whatever), I decided to just purchase because it was currently on sale for $27. [Even though I said no more crop tops -__-.]
S holding up the tiny bag for me lol
Yayyy. Murua purchase. According to the Murua Hawaii FB, this top is only available at the Hawaii store. I feel like there are many pieces in there that are specific to this location as was the case with the Flag J store at Ala Moana. It's all sales final there though. That policy always makes me really nervous but I guess I understand. I'm pretty sure all the products are free size although I didn't ask about it.
If I do ever end up back in Waikiki, I think I'd go check it out again. I was hoping there would be more Murua shoes there but I didn't see any that I liked on display. Maybe I'll be a lot less uncomfortable next time as well ( - doubtful :|). I just hate going into small shops with no one in there and trying on stuff and ending up not buying anything...Like I feel guilty for "wasting" their time. There did seem to be a pretty good sale going on right now though. If there's always some kind of sale running, I'd probably buy a few more pieces. I'm interested to check out the more unique items but I know that most of them won't look great on me, and I'll end up in that situation where I try on a whole bunch of stuff and don't purchase -__-
 The Murua top with the F21 skirt. I really need to get a different set up for my camera because this one is really unflattering for my legs....or like my body in general -__-
I think maybe it's better to wear this top casually?

Or with high-waisted shorts (that I do not have) instead? I'm really not sure tbh, but I do like it. I think it's a good top to start with with this brand and maybe I'll try to build a whole outfit it if I ever go back. I was really looking forward to checking out Murua shoes but I didn't see any that I really liked in the store.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Where I Buy My Deco Items

I've gotten a few questions about where I buy my deco stuff, and I've never been able to give a thorough response in the interest of having a quick answer. I decided to take some time to track down, to the best of my ability, where I bought many of my deco/nail deco pieces. [However, it's important to note that I haven't bought from any of these places in almost a year because I'm pretty well stocked, so please consider more recent reviews if you see them.]
I actually have quite a few pieces, and I'm kind of hoarding them instead of using them...I first started collecting nail art deco pieces, and then later when I saw all the people making their own deco phone cases on Tumblr, I figured that was something that I could probably do myself and started looking for larger items as well.

This list isn't really important to look at, but for awhile, I tried to keep track of what pieces I bought and from where. If it weren't for this, I probably wouldn't be able to include a lot of info in this post lol. If you're looking for something specific that I have, you can try and find it here.
The first place I went to look was eBay (search: "nail art rhinestones" or "nail art deco" or basically anything close to that). That's where I got most of the rhinestone wheels and is, imo, the best place if you want cheap stuff but don't necessarily care about A+ quality or shipping time. I don't have a single seller that I buy from regularly, but one that I bought from multiple times was "e.metro". However, you can find many decent sellers on eBay if you look at their feedback score. To me, a good price is $1-$3 (with free shipping). Just as a minor warning, most of the cheap rhinestones can get cloudy when applied. I personally don't care about it too much since I usually remove them after a week, but if you want the crystal clear ones, you'll have to pay a higher price and might want to look for the Swarovski rhinestones.

I have also bought from Fullmoon multiple times. She provides a good variety of quality product for both nail deco and regular decoden + other stuff, and I do recommend it.
The prices are not extremely cheap, but not extremely expensive either. I had ordered nail deco bows from her in the past and when they arrived, one was broken so I emailed her, and we worked out a solution with no problems.
I've also bought from Yukiumi before with no problems.

Probably the best place I found to search for cabochons (smaller and bigger pieces) is Etsy. Looking at my spreadsheet, I've bought from (Etsy seller names) Blingers, happybaby8222, misssapporo, RoppongiKitsch, and SoiFlower.
My favorite seller of them was misssapporo. Good quality items and good selection. That's where I found the My Melody heads (among other great pieces).
I went to Blingers for rhinestones. They're not Swarovski-quality, but they're better than the super cheapy eBay ones.
I'm not 100% sold on the quality of happybaby8222 (it's like maybe a B tbh), but the prices were good.
There wasn't anything special I remember about ordering from SoiFlower so to me, that means that the transaction went well.
I also bought quite a number of items from RoppongiKitsch.
I had a problem with the quality of a few of the products I received and the owner sent me new ones without me having to return the bad ones + she paid for the shipping and included an extra item. So 10 points good customer service, but be aware that the quality can possibly be not overly great although perhaps they were reflected in the prices which were very reasonable. If you *do* end up having problems, the owner is very responsive.
Other sellers that you might want to consider - MimiLoLo, delishbeads, PixieKhloe and SophieToffeeCo.

For eBay and Etsy, my advice is to take some time to search around for a bit because it is possible that there are multiple sellers listing the same or very similar items but for different prices. If you want to keep your total down, a little searching can go a long way sometimes. Also, please be sure to look at the measurements for each item because 7mm items can actually be pretty big for nails.
Some photos of me trying to do my own nail art. I freely admit that some of these are pretty fffing bad, but over time, I think I've improved a bit. In case you were wondering, my most used size of rhinestone is probably 2mm.

IMO, nail art is definitely something you can do yourself if you have the right materials, look at (pictures of) professional nail art for inspiration and practice! I wish I knew how to use gel or acrylic because that would allow these things to last longer, but I'm just as happy changing my nails every week so I guess that's okay lol. I know they sell kits almost everywhere now, but I'm just not willing to splurge on it yet haha.

I've only attempted to do a decoden phone case once, and it did not turn out very well lol.
No real pictures of the actual attempt with silicone and stuff, haha. I think I took one picture but I've definitely deleted it. It was not great. I bought all the stuff to create a whole bunch of cases and such but that just didn't happen because once you glue/place a cabochon, you basically don't get it back and I'm afraid of "wasting" them haha.
In short, try searching eBay and Etsy and look at each individual seller's feedback, but you also might consider trying Fullmoon and Yukiumi as well :)

Tbh, if you wanted any of my decoden stuff, I'd probably sell it to you since I'm not using any of it really lol. Not the nail deco items though because I find them much more useful haha. 

If you're interested in the cases I keep my items in -
 My dad got the bigger clear plastic container with blue snaps from a fishing supply store.
 I bought the smaller clear plastic case with purple snaps from Wal Mart in the sewing section.
 The cloudy 8 compartment (4/4) pill cases are from Etsy (seller CuppiecakeSprinkles).
 The longer 12 compartment (6/6) cases are from eBay and some of the compartments open too easily and others are impossible to open [in the second picture of this post but not seen above].
 The crystal clear 10 compartment (5/5) cases were a gift bought in Japantown in SF specifically advertised for deco pieces.
 The pink/purple caboodle I've had since I was a child and I'm not sure where you can get one now.