☆HAUL + MINI-REVIEWS☆ NIKO’s 1st Amazon.jp Order — 4 Products

どしたのよ?

I think I’m finally on the aft-end of recovering from that severe sinus infection– and I must say, I’ve never been so grateful for my newly-regained abilities to read text, to breathe clearly, and to smell!! Also, I’m glad the excruciating headaches/pressure is gone, of course~

But now I’m back, and with many reviews upcoming. For now, though, I’d like to give a shot at writing a HAUL post, given that I received my first ever order from amazon.jp a couple of days ago.

I have to say, I knew you could order globally from Japan’s version of Amazon before, but I had no idea that it would be as easy as it was?? First of all, you can change your website interface/layout setting to be in dual English/Japanese– which won’t translate the names or descriptions of products for you as they were input by the seller (if you’re like me, you can probably tell what you’re looking for by the image and reading some of the text, though, anyways), but it helps a heck of a lot in navigating the site!!

Second, a lot of the products (those which will ship to the USA) don’t even take 20 years to arrive like I thought they would– a reason I’d never ordered from there before (thinking I could wait just as long for the same thing and order from somewhere like ebay instead)– I placed the order for the items in this haul on 10/19, and received them 10/23– which was a pleasant surprise, I’d say.

Even though the shipping wasn’t cheap, I don’t think I paid as much as the usual, extreme DHL costs I do when I have to get things over quickly from China (which is like, a $50 minimum for the smallest parcel you can imagine). I’d honestly even consider getting a Japanese Prime account, considering it’s less than $40 a year.

Anyways, onto the products!

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L-R: Koujihime Cleansing Water, Biore Aqua Rich UV Whitening Essence, Matsuyama Cleansing Gel, Ikemoto Shampoo Scalp Massage Brush

Here’s a family photo, not including the cheap+adorable tapestry and wood hanging rods I bought to hang on my wall that also came in the order with them [oh, now I need to include a pic of that too, it’s too cute not to:]

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I need to iron it, and place more evenly next time I put it in the rods!

I’ve tried all of the products at least one, which means that it’s time for some individual photos + MINI-REVIEWS~! Follow the cut if you’re feeling curious– I’ll also be sharing some major news related to my own skincare journey at the end~

 

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☆Review☆ illi Total Aging Care Body Lotion

久しぶり、友よたち〜

Sorry I haven’t written in a while– recent minor surgery, along with a severe sinus infection (which is blurring my vision to the point where it’s quite hard to type a draft on my laptop) have kept me somewhat occupied with simply getting by every day, not leaving much time to find a seasonal job or run a fun blog as I’d previously hoped I would be doing right around now.

But I’m forcing myself to get my head (quite literally) back in the game, because having sat around for the past 2+ weeks just trying to cope with pain has been excruciatingly boring, too, and I’m desperate to do something productive again for the first time in a while!!

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Soo anyways, believe it or not, I’m not here to complain about how awful my life is, I’m here to review a body lotion by the Amore Pacific brand illi, from their Total Aging Care line. I’d already tried the Total Aging Care cleansing oil back when Fiddysnails gave it a rave review, and it was somewhat common around the r/asianbeauty community– so I already knew that I would love the smell of this lotion, barring the unforseen circumstance that the Total Aging Care line didn’t maintain consistent fragrancing among all of the products.

Thankfully, they smell more or less the same, as I’ll describe later, and it seems my dry, itchy shins (no mistake there, it’s not my entire legs, or even whole calves– just the fronts of my shins get extremely itchy and dry on occasion) have finally met their match.

Review tiiiiime…. now!

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☆REVIEW☆ Marc Jacobs Beauty — The Conceal Full Cover Correcting Brush No. 14 + KVD Lock-It Concealer in Light 1

Let’s be honest: I’ve never had much use for a concealer brush before, as someone who breezed through their teen years with the enviable, ‘effortlessly perfect’ skin and little darkness under my eyes. I could probably count the amount of times I used it– or actually needed to when I did– on my hands.

Now at 22, and quite a bit more stressed out in my personal life (those dark circles are starting to come in :0 ), my skin has become…. oh-so mysteriously acne prone, and myself unprepared for how to deal with covering it all up.

Because I’d heard many people say that ‘your fingers always work better than brushes’ at applying concealer than a brush would, I tried that a bit, and found myself having little luck. Foolishly, I then proceeded to use my ‘Sephora PRO Pro Airbrush Concealer Brush‘ that I already owned (trying to save money) for months, not realizing that was for buffing out undereye concealer, and not covering blemishes– at least, it certainly was effective at the former, and not the latter. It just buffed the concealer right off the blemish, really.

So when my acne finally went from nightmarish to ‘hellish’, I decided to look up better alternatives on Sephora’s website, and ended up coming across one that had over 4.5 stars of solid reviews, despite having many, many reviews on the record– which is something you really hardly see on that site, if ever. If $30 could hide what was destroying my self esteem– especially while I’m still on the hunt for a job, and need the confidence for in-person interviews– (and also help me look cute again just for going out, or dressing up/cosplay), I was more than willing to pay that much.

And let me tell you. Oh, boy do I have before -> afters for you, friends.

I really came here to review the brush, because I’ve tried it with different concealers and it is really the changemaker at play here, but I’ll review the KVD concealer while I’m at it, because that’s the product I’ll be using in the review and B&A’s of the brush.

Let’s see how this brush (and the concealer!) stands up to all the hype~

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☆REVIEW☆ EYEBUYDIRECT.com + My EBD Collection!

Now, I didn’t find out about the site eyebuydirect.com until quite a bit after I did Warby Parker– and when I did, it was by quite a bit of luck and chance. I was munching on some food in the kitchen, undoubtedly– and as I always do, I scanned the island counter-top for some kind of reading material to pass the time as I ate. I happened upon my brother’s copy of Game Informer magazine, and being a casual/lowkey gamer myself (mostly handheld RPGS on 3DS, or MOBAS/ any multiplayer game on PC, bc my boyfriend and I used to be in an LDR), I peeked inside.

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I was surprised to find an advertisement for cheap, prescription glasses that offered digital screen/blue light protection filters, and that surely piqued my interest. I was still rather bored, even when I was finished eating, so I went straight to my laptop and typed in the url– I can honestly say, I was not prepared for the extensive variety that awaited me, not just in number of frames available, but in the actual appearance/style of each pair. For someone like me, who craves a unique but affordable pair of glasses, it was like opening a Pandora’s Box in a sense– an incredible, fun selection, that I ended up becoming addicted to buying! Hahah

Below the cut, I’ll share each individual pair with you, and discuss more about the pros and cons of this site, who I’d recommend it to specifically, and what I’d recommend otherwise for people who might be better suited to shopping somewhere else.

Let’s get started~

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☆REVIEW☆ SANA Maikohan UV Shitaji Base SPF 50+ PA++++

This was very much an impulse purchase, out of the curiosity to try a product offering both complete UV coverage (SPF 50+ PA++++) and the slight pinkish glowing tint of a makeup base.

Admittedly, I also had a strong desire to purchase something from the ebay seller Maco of Fictif-Nook. She is a Japanese-born expat (living out of the country) who has a rather unique selection compared to other Japanese goods sellers on eBay– but most importantly, makes it of the utmost importance to state her support for and desire to help those with disabilities and special needs. I was so touched and grateful (especially given the fact that in Japan, the stigma towards disability is exponentially worse than where I live in the US already, so she’s really unique in that regard!), that since I wanted to buy one cheap thing from her already, I threw this item and a tsubaki konjac sponge along in the order, too!

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Even the exterior box of this item is pleasant and cute– at least in my opinion– so go ahead and follow the cut if you’d like to see how the product itself matches up to that presumption~

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☆REVIEW☆ Warby Parker + My WP Glasses Collection!

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Ordering my first pair of glasses from Warby Parker was a game-changer for me in so, so many ways– it marked a massive change in my style and diversity of eyeglasses (which I’ve worn non-stop for around 15+ years), taught me that I can buy quality glasses for a literal fraction of the price my eye doctor’s building sold them at, began my glasses-collection addiction, and so much more.

I’d become interested in buying more unique glasses recently, even buying some dirt cheap clear/light non-prescription frames on yesstyle and taking a bunch of selfies in them to see if they looked any good on me.

Read along below the cut to see how my journey evolved from a simple curiosity and pair of $3.00 frames, to an expanding collection of eccentric frames!

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☆SERIES START!!☆ My Glasses Collection from Online Retailers | Warby Parker + Eyebuydirect

While many people who wear glasses often joke about how ‘blind’ they are, I’m quite certain that few of them are actually aware of whether they meet the medical requirements for ‘legal blindness’

For those who are nearsighted/myopic, like myself, the cutoff is -6.00.

So I suppose I have the right to casually joke about being ‘blind’, because this is my actual prescription…

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…which I suppose, if you do the math, is about 50% worse than legal blindness. So for a very long time, I thought that my options for glasses were limited to what was sold at my optometrist (and later, opthamologist)’s offices, because my vision was so severe, I’ve always needed the most expensive, high index lenses (and the coverage of my insurance) to ensure that my lenses weren’t at least an inch thick.

I’d say on average, insurance included, I paid around $300 for my yearly glasses upgrade after each annual eye exam (which I receive now as a precautionary measure, after being handed down the Ehlers Danlos diagnosis). The cherry on top? I was never extremely fond or really in love with the designer selection available to me, and was pretty much settling for the frames that I disliked the least– and paying hundreds of dollars for them.

Last year, by some means of serendipitous luck, I discovered the website Warby Parker– and later, eyebuydirect– through, of all things, an ad in my brother’s Game Informer magazine for digital screen protection lenses– and my perspective on buying glasses has never been the same since.

Stay tuned for the next two posts, detailing my entire glasses collection, along with in-depth reviews of the retailers they’re from. Here’s a teaser/ preview!!

[Left: my eyebuydirect glasses (+sunnies)! || Right: My Warby Parker glasses]

First up: Warby Parker!
See you soon~

— NIKO☆

♡Chronic Illness/Spoonie Lifestyle♡ ‘Pick-Me-Ups’ for Fellow Spoonies– Simple Daily Things That Could Help to Feel More Positive!

I was just reflecting on one of the list of things I’ve learned to do over the years as simple tasks, which may seem like small things, but can make real difference in my mood and sense of accomplishment at the end of the day– as someone who often goes days or even over a week without being able to leave home
(and gets severe, ruminating anxiety as a result of that, about how my life is passing me by and how I’m not trying hard enough to truly live, and whatnot– that’s a long story for another day, however)

I thought I might share a few of my little ‘Pick-Me-Ups for Spoonies’– many of which I’m sure those of you active in the community have heard before– but some could be new to certain readers, and hopefully helpful!

 

 

  • Change out of your pajamas in the morning if possible (or early afternoon, if it takes you a while to wake up), into some comfy, casual, and cute ‘real’ clothes. This has made a huge difference for me, because I used to spend probably 70% of my life in my pajamas– sometimes the same ones for 1-3 days at a time– and when I started changing into a cute and comfy t-shirt and some elastic shorts/leggings in the morning, it gave me more of a sense of ‘normalcy’ and accomplishment!
  • If you live with your family or a Partner/SO– like I do, both actually– who usually fetch the mail and the paper, offer to take on the task of getting the mail/paper  more often. It feels wonderful to get outside for fresh air and morning/afternoon sunshine– especially when your driveway + walk to mailbox is only 5 meters long at most, like mine– and is an easy task that is both a great accomplishment for the day, and a way to help out your family!
  • Connect with other chronically ill/disabled/spoonies online!! I can’t stress this one enough, and there are really spoonie tags and communties everywhere you look: tumblr, facebook, twitter, specialized forums, you name it.
    This has made an unbelievably huge difference in my self confidence and feelings toward my illness– the power I have over it, how my symptoms compare other peoples/what I might be able to expect in certain situations, and how strong I am as a person for living with it every day. It’s so, so empowering, the strength in numbers.
    [another tip! I’d recommend not ONLY narrowing your search for new friends down to people with identical diagnoses to yourself, either, as neat as that can be– I’ve met some absolutely wonderful people with different illnesses to whom I still deeply relate and sympathize with, and with whom we mutually support and encourage each other when needed, and just in general~]
  • Tiny aspects of self-care can be big self-esteem boosts, and feel very satisfying/accomplishing!! I got one of those callus-shaving pedicure rollers a few months ago, and it does all the work for you– just hold the handle and it shaves the rough, scaly, hard skin off the soles of your feet– and then clean my feet, and  rub some body oil and lotion on there… it makes me feel so amazing, and all I essentially did was sit there and barely move my hand around for half an hour!!
    But in my opinion, it’s SO important to take care of yourself and make your body lovely and well-maintained, in the aspects in which you actually CAN control your body, because so much of it is out of our hands when you have chronic illness.
    Take charge of how you CAN make your body even more wonderful, in easy ways like trimming your nails, or having someone else help you with them; I have my BF do mine– he’s Vietnamese, and his mom owned a nail salon, so he knows a lot about manicures (…yes. yes that does sound racist. but I swear it’s the truth LMAO)
  • This isn’t an action so much as a word of wisdom I felt necessary to share, but sometimes, it’s okay to want people to feel sorry for/empathetic toward you. To have someone say ‘oh my god Niko,  that really happened? you poor thing!’ and not have the knee-jerk response of ‘just because I’m disabled, doesn’t mean you should feel sorry for me.’
    Some days, to me, it actually does feel comforting to me to have people feeling sorry for me. I don’t go out seeking it,  but I just wanted others to realize that it’s okay to have days like that. It’s your illness, and your choice how you feel about it.

 

Well, that’s all that’s coming to mind for now! If I can think of more, I’m probably going to keep this list going, and add it to the top drop-down menu under a spoonie-specific section~

Wishing you all a wonderful day and plentiful spoons!!
けんこうをいじする!

 ニコニコ 

NIKO

☆REVIEW + TRY-ON☆ Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 100

….I’m just going to call this product the ‘Fenty Beauty Foundation’ from here on out, because I kind of hate when brands come out with absurdly long names like this that I’m sure not even Rihanna herself would be able to remember when she needs to hahah

I first swatched this shade when I dropped by my local sephora for a job interview a few days ago, and my heart nearly skipped a beat when it blended in effortlessly with my skintone– WITHOUT a white-pigmented mixer added in. I ordered it almost immediately when I got home that night, and it arrived just yesterday.

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Guys. I am convinced that this stuff is liquid magic. It is an intentionally all-inclusive line that has a bottle for every shade and undertone, from the oft-ignored dark skinned, ebony queens, to the nearly-transparent, literally-sickly ghostly fair, like myself. After having used it twice now, I feel ready (and downright excited) to review it, and share my new infatuation with Fenty Beauty with you all.

Join me below the cut as I share my admiration for Rihanna, her all-inclusive vision, and this downright amazing foundation!!

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sorry but not sorry?

I recently learned that things like marble, rose gold, pale wood textures, etc are apparently HUGE cliches in terms of blog layouts, and the tastes of bloggers in general. I am no exception.

so for now, I’ve decided to give my blog layout (potentially temporary) overhaul, to make it a little more me, and a little more fun.

which also means A LOT more atrociously tacky and outdated.

honest to god guys, this is coming from someone who wore this outfit to get coffee with an old friend (given, we’re both heavily into street fashion)

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messy room messy room aaaaah

I’m currently working on figuring out how to get the side/widget text more readable, but for now, I’m enjoying having a blog that looks a little bit… quirky… until I can really get better at html, formatting, graphic design, and all of that kind of stuff.

so, I’m sorry for the eyesore– but at the same time, I’m really not~

I’m waiting on a pretty exciting cosmetics delivery later today, so expect a review of that later!! I’m literally sitting in the front room of the house so I can be aware of when the delivery man arrives, I’m not kidding hahah. But yes, that’s all!

xoxo

–NIKO