Saturday, February 26, 2011

I am not a shopaholic.

Admittedly, I probably spend more money than anyone else in the family. But that's a given. No one else buys clothes. I was accused of being a shopaholic today for making 'several' purchases in the past week. Wearing a couple of them here.

Obey t-shirt and Docs from Buffalo Exchange, padlock chain necklace from Sex Pot Revenge, freebie donation tights.

While I was in LA, I passed by a Buffalo Exchange store, and thought it looked like a thrift store and wanted to go in, but I was in a hurry and wasn't able to. Coincidentally, I stumbled upon another one while I was in the OC.

After passing by the LA one, I looked for some reviews, and it's a pretty mixed bag. Personally, I really like the store. Because I was on my way to the airport when I passed by the shop, I only had about 20 minutes in the store. If I were at Goodwill, 20 minutes isn't nearly enough time for me to find something I like. I was surprised how quickly I was able to find things I liked at Buffalo Exchange. The clothes are screened and hand picked, so there were a lot of good pieces being sold. The catch is the prices. The prices are reminiscent of what you would see at Forever 21. Which isn't too bad, really. Though everything is secondhand, it all looks pretty new and free of rips and holes.

I left the store with two items.
An oversized Obey Clothing t-shirt and
A pair of vintage Doc Martens. They're design number 2071047, not the well known 1460 with yellow stitches, so I hesitated a little. But they're made in England and extremely comfortable and fit perfectly, so I could pass them up.

The total for these two items came up to be around $35, which is a lot more than I would spend at say, the Salvation Army. But I wouldn't mind visiting every once in a while as a treat.

On my last trip to Goodwill, I saw a pair of Dolce Vita Target shoes that I wanted, but were three full sizes too big for me. I planned on searching for them on eBay, but ended up not having to. They're on clearance on the Target website for $12, or $18 after shipping and tax. Bomb! New shoes under $20.

And the last of the purchases. I've made three separate trips to three different Kinokuniyas in the past week. I've now been to all four locations in California! Now I know price differences and that kind of stuff.
I was really surprised to see that the Los Angeles store had airmail magazines, and swoop up the April issue right away. I was so excited to get it because Midori is this month's covergirl. In the San Jose store, magazines take about a month to arrive, so I always get my issues a month late. I later went to the Costa Mesa location, which also had the airmail magazine, except a dollar cheaper. Ffffffff. And then saw that their Japanese manga were $1.40 cheaper. Fffffff. Japanese manga is expensive now, man. I might as well learn to read Chinese so I can buy Chinese manga and actually read it.

Oh wait, I lied.
I also bought more Seibei shirts yesterday. Couldn't help it.

Love, Kai

Friday, February 25, 2011

too bad this isn't london. or japan.

I'm back from my trip! For the past few days, I was down in Los Angeles and the OC for school tours. I can't say the school tours were all that fun, but roaming the cities was pretty fun. I wanted to blog on the trip, but I didn't have a computer with me, aside from the Macs in the hotel lobby, which costs $5 for every fifteen minutes.

The airport was somewhat recently remodeled and looks really nice now.
My dad likes to get to places early, so we spent an hour or two sitting around. My brother and I went and took pictures in front of things. In front of Britt.
In front of Life is Good. I can't smile that wide. It's a disability.

On the first day in LA, we went to Little Tokyo. Lots of walking. I didn't think it would be cold, but it was a bit windy and chilly in the city. My sweater is knitted and full of holes, which didn't help much.
Little Tokyo is a nice place. I wish it could be combined with San Francisco Japantown to double the awesome.

One of the places that I was itching to visit was Q Pop. I told my dad: be on the lookout for a red shop. It didn't take long to find it. I ran to the first block of red I saw, and there it was!
I wish I could have gotten a better shot of the shop, but I wasn't sure if I could take pictures, and stood this picture from across the street all shaky and paranoid.

I browsed everything in the shop a couple times. There's a lot of cool stuff from different artists and some familiar Japanese brands. The interior design is incredible, as well as all of the art displayed in the store. I would have loved to buy everything if I could. I was going to buy a shirt with the Comme Des Garcons Play logo on it when my mom said that it was creepy, and any non artist would have thought a toddler could draw better. I told her that it was disrespectful, and she got angry and left. So when I was about to get up and buy it, I checked the price tag: $18. Then I checked my wallet: $18. Not enough money for tax. Bummer. And my money borrowing source just upped and left. So then I left too.

I later went back to the store and met Q Pop Shop's Chris Mitchell. Super cool guy!
It turns out that he went to the same high school as I do. One of those 'it's a small world' moments. I had the pleasure of talking to him about school and art and the shop. I felt kind of bad because I'm possibly the most awkward person in the world, and a terrible conversationalist to boot. My dad did a lot of the talking.

Hurgh bonus. Posing at the airport.
I took one for my brother too. He's much better at making the face than I am.

Love, Kai

Monday, February 21, 2011

comic book hero.

I made a quick trip to Goodwill yesterday after lunch, because we ate at a restaurant not too far away from the store. I went around the whole store and found nothing that I wanted besides a pair of Dolce Vita for Target shoes that were size 10's (not my size). But right before I left, I went to the men's section and all of a sudden, I couldn't stop finding things I wanted.
Comic print hoodie. How cool is that. The brand is called Junk Food.
My brother and I spent a pretty long time reading it. The panels aren't very interesting because it's stereotypical comic book phrases and no plot or characters. But still.

I also found a nice cardigan right before leaving. It's by Hang Ten, and I think it's the Hang Ten that they have in Taiwan. Or Asia. I don't know about the other countries. I think Hong Kong has them.

And my mom was sweet and bought me an INC bubble skirt because she was pretty sure I liked bubble skirts. Thanks, mom!

Hopefully, I'll be going on a thrift shopping expedition with my biffle next week. Getting those thrift posts back up!

Love, Kai

Saturday, February 19, 2011

going nude: mac viva glam gaga 2 review, comparisons, and swatches.

I was finally able to go to MAC to pick up my Viva Glam Gaga today. Stopped by Borders on the way, so I was able to pick up the March issue of Vogue. I wasn't careful and accidentally chose one with a rip on the bottom. Dangit.
I was kind of hoping that the MAC store would be giving out free Gaga posters. No luck there.

I only bought the lipstick, but I might go back for the lipglass. In general, I'm not a huge fan of lipglosses, but I can make an exception if it's MAC and Gaga. The lipstick is a nice warm flesh nude shade. It doesn't apply as dark as it looks. The only other MAC nude color I am familiar with is Myth, which applies really light. Viva Glam Gaga 2 is a darker shade than Myth, and is more flattering on different skin tones.

Here are my other nude lipsticks. From left to right, Victoria's Secret Femme, MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2, and Revlon Nude Attitude.
And some swatches on my arm for color comparison. After getting this MAC one, I don't think I can go back to using the other two. The MAC formula is that good. It glides on smoothly and easily and goes on creamy, while the Victoria's Secret one is hard to apply and makes my lips look cracked and flaky. The only other formula that I can think of that might be better is the Yves Saint Laurent lipsticks, which are over twice the price of MAC.

Here it is worn. Left is before and right is after.
Kissy face. I tried doing a toothy smile, but I haven't been able to do one of those since 9th grade. The all came out looking really forced, so I decided against putting it in.

The color is pretty light. When I was looking in the mirror, in the bathroom light, it looked like my skin is darker than the lipstick. In most lighting, it looks about the same. I would like it to be a tad darker, but I do like this lipstick quite a bit.
I tried to take a closeup, but my lips are extremely non-photogenic. At least that's not too much of a concern as a style blogger.

Overall, I do recommend this lipstick. Like most nudes, it does tend to flatter the fair skinned more, but it is quite wearable on non-fair skinned people. My skintone is not particularly light, which is something I have to take into consideration when choosing out cosmetics. (Someone once said to me, 'if you have sun allergies, why is your skin so dark?').

Bonus time. I thought this kind of went with the nude theme. I'm currently wearing Chanel Inattendu nail polish. My grandmother bought it for me as a present last year before I returned to America.
If it were a little less warm and orangy, it might possibly be my mannequin hands color. Chanel polish has the most flawless formula for application, but is too much of a splurge for me to buy. Thought the colors are great and the formula is great, Chanel varnish is really just for the name. For the time being, I'll just stick with dupes.

Beauty blogging is probably not for me.

Love, Kai

Friday, February 18, 2011

DIY: how to make chocomint inspired fluffy stars part one

I've been trying to find time to blog all week. The weather has been pretty lousy lately, and I haven't been able to find the right lighting for outfit posts. It's been more than ten degrees warmer in New York than California this week!

For my friend's birthday, I made her a fluffy star hair clip brooch. A girl on the EGL livejournal community posted a tutorial for making them a while back, and I wanted to try making one. I'm currently in the process of looking for it. This is the one that I made for my friend.

This puffy star is based off of star pin/brooch/hairclips made by Chocomint. Photo from

I really like making these because they're cute and fairly fun and simple to make. All of them come out a little differently.
You can make them using an assortment of yarn. I experimented with three different kinds, and concluded that this one is my favorite.
Buttercup by Red Heart brand. It can be found in the baby subsection in the yarn section at craft stores. The problem with this one is that it's two-part yarn. While threading it through, one side often gets stuck.

Another type I used was Red Heart Baby Clouds, also found in the baby section.
This kind comes out alright, but it's not soft and fluffy, so I don't like this one as much. It's relatively thick, so threading with it is a bit troublesome. On the side, I made some pom poms. I'll make a tutorial on making those in part 2.

Alright, onto the tutorial.
Aside from yarn, you'll need plastic canvases. Craft stores like Michael's and Joann's both carry them. These come in a pack of ten, and I believe they were less than $2.

Also, have some plastic canvas needles ready.
I didn't know what kind to use, so I went out and bought the large steel needle. It's a little too big, so I had a hard time threading with it. For a while, I used a sewing needle. On my second trip to the store, I found plastic canvas needles. If you can find those, I recommend using them.

Getting started! Take a scissor and cut out the middle. I prefer to cut it at two rows, but it's really up to you what you prefer to do. Anything works, including not cutting it out at all. If you are cutting it out, save the middle so you can make something with it later on.

Next, choose your yarn and start threading it through. I like to start from a corner.
Remember, if you can't find the same type of yarn I used, that's totally fine! Any type of yarn works, and it's more fun to experiment.

Occasionally, you might have your yarn stuck. It happens to me all too often.

After you thread it through once, you can choose to thread through as many more times as you want for added poof. For reference, I do two to three layers of yarn.

Here is my result!

For the backing I bought a box of alligator clips and brooch pin backings. Chocomint uses the double kind, so you can have both the clip and pin at the same place. I decided not to do that because I find two-way backings inconvenient at times. But that is just my personal preference. If you'd like the two way backings, there are some sellers for them on etsy.
I got these kind, which cost $2.99 per box.

I attached them with hot glue on the back. You can choose to place them together or separately.

Don't forget about the star that was cut out from the middle! You can use those to make them into brooches or hairclips too, or even have them connected to the bigger star as a dangle. I make them into a cell phone strap.

That's all for now. Part two (hopefully I get as far as to make it) will be on decorating. I'm thinking of sending one of these out as a blog giveaway. If there's any interest, I'll make a giveaway post too.

Love, Kai

Monday, February 14, 2011

on a valentine's day.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! It rained today. Exciting stuff. And I dressed up today. More exciting stuff. Dressing up is kind of a tradition. I think I've been dressing up yearly since maybe 6th grade. Actually, I'm not sure about middle school, but I dressed up in 6th grade and throughout high school.

Dress from Baby the Stars Shine Bright, necklace from Angelic Pretty, cardigan from Goodwill, freebie tights, shoes from Baby the Stars Shine Bright.
Unflattering, unmadeup face. I had planned on going all out with false eyelashes and everything, but was too sleep deprived to get out of bed in time. It should be against the law to have to wake up anytime before 7. Even 7 is kind of pushing it. When I was in kindergarten, I wasn't allowed to get up before 8am. My brother and I would sneak out of bed at 7 to watch Sonic the Hedgehog on TV and then go back to sleep for another thirty minutes before our parents catch us.
And of course, the watch doesn't go with anything. As always. I prefer function over fashion for watches, though. The pink heart Betsey Johnson watch that I got for my 17th birthday burned out of batteries after I wore it twice. And then my mom returns it. And there went my gift.
I got this necklace at Angelic Pretty in Osaka. Silly as it sounds, I just wanted to buy something from all of the lolita stores, and the necklace was one of the cheapest things there.
My white heartbuckle shoes from Baby the Stars Shine Bright. These were pricey, but I used to be obsessed with these shoes and jumped at every opportunity to get them.

On Valentine's Day, choir goes around singing serenades for people whose friends bought them. I've never gotten one before, but my friend bought be a rap gram this year, sold by hip hop club.
Incredibly embarrassing. All of the rap grams are specially customized and well done.

Apparently, there were balloon grams this year too. I don't spend third period at my home school, so I never get to hear the morning announcements. So I didn't know about the balloon grams either. Kind of wish I did.

Bonus of the day. Here's a snippet of the school newspaper with me in it. I was interviewed for being an artist/seller at my local convention.

Still waiting on summer break.

Love, Kai

Sunday, February 13, 2011

creepy pics and all that jazz.

This weekend, the Pokemon Black and White tour visited the Bay Area! I was afraid they were going to have it in only Los Angeles or something, but luckily there was one not too far away that I was able to attend. Total Pokenerd right here.
I knew there was going to be a fairly large amount of people at the mall, but I wasn't anticipating the huge lines (maybe I'm just an optimist). The line for the greenscreen pictures was the shortest line there. Lines for spinning the wheel for free stuff was the longest. It looks like a two hour line, but it moves fairly fast, and so I waited in line for that for 40 minutes.

Here's where the creepy pictures start.
I don't really like the idea of having my underaged baby brother's face on my blog, so he's edited out.

I was excited for the souvenir shop, though I wasn't planning on getting anything. My brother got a shirt and a plush, and my mom kept insisting I get something too, since it's like a 'vacation.' But I'm good with the freebies.
Tower of overflowing awesome. I would have liked it if they sold my characters. I'm not much of a fan of the ones they were selling.
If there was one thing that I really wanted, it would have been this stuffed bear.
Floral patterned arms and legs and ears! I kind of regret not getting it, but I'm saving up money to buy more Nintendo next month.

Here's another creepy picture. My mom bought my little brother that Snivy plush. She got me an Oshawott as a freebie from the spin wheel.
We went to watch the free screening of the Pokemon movie in the theaters. I used to go to the theaters to watch the Pokemon movie every year, until they stopped doing that for the 6th movie. I kind of understand why, though. The movie quality started going down after the 3rd movie.

I sat next to my mom, who needed clarification throughout the whole movie. "Is that the pokemon's mom?" I don't know. Something like that. "Is that pokemon a bad guy?" No, mom. "I thought he got kidnapped!" No, mom. That was a decoy. "Are those dog pokemon bad guys?" No, mom. "Then why are they attacking the good pokemon?" Because they think he's the bad guy. "Why?" I give up. Throughout the whole thing.

Lol Bieber. There were actually quite a number of people who were waiting in line for the Bieber movie, and walking around with Bieber shirts.

Aw snap it's late again.

Love, Kai