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London and I

I've been asking myself whether I should write about this post or not for more than a month. It's not related to beauty, and it's more personal that none of you may be intreated in. But it could be a post that I only can write now -and this kind of feelings and thoughts might fade away as time goes. So I decided to write this post for myself.

London has got a very special power towards me. I did not speak English at all when I was in high school, that I did not even know what the difference is between 'This is a cat' and 'These are cats'. I thought it would be totally OK and always said to my teachers 'I would never leave Japan anyway, I don't need to be able to speak English'.

That completely changed when I was 17. At that point, my life was complete misery -mysterious hives due to stress from school was attacking my whole body that I was scratching my body 24/7 which kept me awake all night. I always had a stomachache, suffering from depression and wishing to disappear. I had no friends, no dream and no hope.  But suddenly, I was completely drawn to John Galliano and his shows. I think it was one of his Dior show I saw on TV that caught my attention. It taught me the existence of fashion shows, and people behind the runway. I immediately started researching about him, but don't forget it was 2001 when computers were not as useful as they are nowadays. I found out he was from the U.K., and he went to Central Saint Martins in London. Though I wanted to become a makeup artist for fashion shows, I dreamt of studying art at Central Saint Martins.

Though he is a complete stranger, and he would never ever get to know my existence, John saved my life. He gave me hope and dream. I stopped worrying about the school I didn't fit in, and started dreaming about the world I'd never been in. School problems seemed such small things, and it gave me confidence that there could be somewhere I could fit in and be comfortable to be in. I started teaching myself English at home, whilst saving money. I was also into Sid Vicious at that point -coincidentally he is from the U.K. too -because of his sad and fragile life story. Though I wasn't interested in its culture, I felt like I had to go to England. It felt like my duty.

As there was no Twitter, YouTube not Snapchat at that point, I was staring at the live streaming of a security camera of a random university in England for hours and hours, dreaming to be one of those students. My dream grew bigger and bigger, that the only thing I was thinking about was England.

In 2003, I graduated high school. I believe it was the happiest day of my life. My sickness was gone completely, and I started gaining weight in a healthy way. I deleted all my 'friends' phone number in my phone, hid all the school materials in the closet, and finally started living my life, dreaming to go to London to study art and makeup, and become a makeup artist for runways. Well, life isn't that easy.

After my graduation, my father's company went bankrupt. We lost everything. We did not even have money to buy food. The bank kicked us out from our own house and sold it to someone else. My father left my mum and I without money and jobs. That's when I decided to give up on my dream of becoming a makeup artist, nor studying in London.

It's been more than 10 years since then. I recently noticed (yes, just recently) that most of the things I find attractive were British -including music, movies, TV series, books and all sorts. I still think about England 24/7. When I wake up in the morning, I think about England. In the train, I think about Big Ben. During a boring meeting, I am picturing how pretty London looks. I don't know what it is about London that keeps me going every single day, like a warm hand gently pushing my back to move forward.

People often ask me 'why London?'. I do not have an answer. I wonder why it wasn't Paris. Or NY, or whatever. I did not choose London, but London called me. And it's never left my side since when I was 17. I wouldn't go into too much detail about the difference between Japanese and British cultures here because that might cause unnecessary debates as some Japanese people like arguing about 'how toxic it is for Japanese people to be westernised'.

All I can say is that some people enjoy living in Japan, and some people feel uncomfortable living there -and I am one of them. When I am in London, I feel so happy that I can find books I am interested in at the book store around the corner. I love the fact I actually enjoy TV -even the adverts. I love how sales assistants at stores are grumpy sometimes -I love that they do not act like robots like they do in Japan. I love how strangers talk to each other. I love how people do not give a damn about other people, but at the same time they'd give up on their seats when they see elderly people standing near them.

Of course there are things I do not like about London -dirty streets, greasy handles in the bus, lack of air conditioner....and the offender who stole my bag last month. But whatever happens, I still prefer being in England. Just being here makes me happy. I am so pleased and proud of myself for saving up and coming here to see if I really like living here or not, and I came to the conclusion I really do like living here despite some negative facts and inconvenience.

London will always be a big part of my life, keep motivating and giving me hopes towards my future.  It is so sad to leave, but I am sure I will be back soon. Until then, I will cherish every moment of my time in London and keep on going.

Two eyeshadow brushes you need

How many eyeshadow brushes do you have? I don't have a ridiculous amount but I have at least 10 -which I believe is pretty normal in the beauty blogging community...But, there are two eyeshadow brushes that stand out, that I keep reaching for. And they are affordable.

Tapered Shadow Brush 203 (left)
This is definitely one of the best eyeshadow brushes I've ever used. You can use it to apply a base shade, crease shade, and darker shade -pretty much any looks can be created by this brush. It blends eyeshadow seamlessly and flawlessly.

It helps some eyeshadows that I usually struggle to work with blend beautifully, and I there is no eyeshadow goes patchy when applied with this brush. However, I cannot find this brush on their official website. I would be so sad if they discontinued it...but don't worry, it's still available on iHerb which I put the link above. I bought one a few months ago, and bought another because I liked it so much that I needed two. I will purchase a couple more once I'm back in Japan -before it's sold out.

Oval Shadow Brush 200 (right)
Because I liked Tapered Shadow Brush, I bought this one to see if it's as good. I must say I like 203 better, but this is a very good quality brush for sure. It's so fluffy, thick and soft. One swipe would cover the whole lid and it applies eyeshadow evenly. I only used it for a base shade, and just like Tapered Shadow Brush does, it blends any eyeshadow perfectly.

I brought about 8 eyeshadow brushes from home but I haven't used any other ones but these two. They do not look super high quality by the looks of it, but I promise you will satisfy with the finish it provides.

Coloured contacts for daily use

The variation of coloured contacts at drugstores in Tokyo is overwhelming and insane. There are so many different types at different price range. I had never been a big fan of coloured contacts until I discovered this brand called DAZZSHOP, because generally they are unnatural and uncomfortable to wear. The ones made in Korea were the worst out of everything I've tried -they were so uncomfortable that I couldn't stand for 3 minutes. But when I found DAZZSHOP, that have some physical shops in Tokyo where you can try the lenses on virtually on an iPad, I couldn't resist but to try them. And I must say they are very high quality lenses that are super comfortable, thin, natural and affordable. There is nothing negative about them -yes I am obsessed.

I have three different types in hand out of SIX, and I am going to show you what they look like.

Airy Accent  1,900yen *
If you are new to coloured contacts and have dark brown / black eyes, this might be perfect to start with. Airy Accent is like a natural version of 'Define' lenses that Asian girls (mostly Japanese and Korean) wear. I personally am not a big fan of the look because it makes me look like a cyborg, and the eyes lose its light. This one is very natural, yet makes a big difference to the look.

You can see there is a gradational frame around the eye in the photo, but who would look in the eye this close? If you look at the eyes from a normal distance, you cannot even tell the coloured contacts are on. None of my family members and friends have noticed that I had them on. But they've complimented how nice I looked, without noticing that the lenses were making a big difference ;)

Blended 02  2,000yen
Blended 02 is perfect if you are Asian dreaming to have hazel eyes. This kind of coloured contacts are popular in Japan, but most of them are very bold that some girls feel shy to wear them. I must say I really enjoy wearing Blended 02 because it completely changes my look. I LOVE paring Blended 02 with smoky eyes because it suits brighter eyes than darker eyes in my opinion.

Although I cannot say this is the most natural coloured lens, it's not too unnatural at the same time. I think I would be able to rock this if I had a bigger nose -with my tiny nose it's never convincing that I have natural hazel eyes.

Sparkling 01  2,000yen
Sparkling 01 is more natural compared to Blended 02, but still gives a 'kick' to the look. Its graduation from grey to hazel is gorgeous, yet not too much.

This one is like in-between shade -very natural that you can see through the true colour of my eye, yet adds something different to my natural eye. Grey and hazel ombre looks beautiful, and it's perfect for when I want something more than Airy Accent but not as strong as Blended 02.

They also have very simple and elegant cosmetics as well. The eyeliners are super pigmented, do not budge and stay on my eyelids for hours and hours. The blusher is pigmented yet not too strong that goes on to one spot.

Look how pigmented the sky blue eyeliner looks! It's not watery nor drying, easily glides on and does not budge. Their 2016 Autumn collection called Scandalous Line is out now with many chic and elegant shades perfect for the coming season (though I do not even want to think about the fact summer is almost over!).

Check out their official website HERE.