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The year I will remember forever

2016 became the year I will remember forever. It passed in the blink of an eye, but it was a very hard one at the same time. No wonder, because it was my Yaku year. Yaku means badluck / unluckiness in Japanese, and Yaku year is an unlucky year as you may imagine. For a girl, the age of 19, 33, 37 and 61 are Yaku years but bare in mind that you must add one year to your actual age -don't ask me why because I have no idea. So I was 32+1=33 in 2016, meaning it was my biggest Yaku year. 

Which kind of explains why quite a few upsetting things happened throughout the year -there was an incident that affected my financial situation massively, I got mugged and lost my phones, camera, all the photos taken in London by then and beautiful makeup products I was carrying around, then my father passed away while I was away from Japan, I was taken to hospidal by ambulance and I decided to leave the company I worked for quite a few years due to harassment. What a year.

It sounds like a horrible year but to me, it was 'the year of change'. Many things ended and the same amount of things started. I finally was able to spend enough time in London to judge whether I really liked the life in the U.K. which was my dream of 17 years. That costed me a fortune and my bank is empty at the moment but I have no regret because now I am 100% sure the U.K. is where my heart belongs and where I should be living in. I made an objective analysis of my life and reached the conclusion which I wouldn't have been able to do in Japan. So now, I am even more ready to strive for my goals this year. It might take a while for me to save up but I will try my best so that I can move to the country my soul shines. 

...until then, I will try my best to write one or two posts per week on this blog, constantly!

One of the most popular lip balms in Japan! Curel Lip Care Cream

Curel Lip Care Cream  850yen*
This lip balm, apparently, is one of the best-selling lip balms in Japan. The brand Curel is known for their products developed especially for those with super sensitive skin caused by dryness. The brand is easily accessible at the drugstores in Japan, and the price isn't too high for a brand for sensitive skin.

When it comes to lip balm, I swear by Carmex and Uriage, nothing else. I have tried many lip balms in the past but 90% of them did not work, or made the condition of my lips even worse for some reason, which is why I only buy Carmex or Uriage. So when I received Curel Lip Care Cream, I was pretty skeptical. I was not expecting anything spectacular. But I must tell you, this is such a basic but good lip balm.

The key ingredient is "creamed' that holds and locks moisture into the skin. It also has another ingredient that coats the surface of the lips so that the moisture stays. It is completely fragrance-free which is suitable for those who are sensitive to fragrance and essential oils.

The texture is very light that you can't even tell that i's on your lips. The lip balm itself is pretty hard which is a good thing because you don't accidentally apply too much of it, and also it makes a perfect base for a lip stick as it leaves a very thin layer of the balm which don't disturb the finish. I noticed my lips weren't as dry after a couple of days and now I am hooked. I still like Uriage but Curel Lip Care Cream is slightly cheaper (Triage is 1040yen I believe, and Curel is 850yen) and works as good -what is the reason for me to go back to Uriage? Now I am fully convinced why this is so hyped up.

Jazz up your style with Paperself!

Whilst I was in London, 80% of the compliments I got there were on my tattoos -not real ones because I have none, but the temp ones from the brand called Paperself. Paperself is one of my favourite brands at the moment. They have paper lashes as well as sticker tattoos, worn by Elizabeth Banks and Jennifer Lawrence in the movie The Hunger Games, Rihanna in "Princess of China' music video and Anne Hathaway at SAG awards 2013. They have collaborated with Shu Uemura and Alexander McQueen as well.

On a chilly rainy day in September, I met the founder Chunwei in London. He is originally from Taiwan, but launched Paperself in London with his wife, where they have been based in. Their sense of design is exceptional and delicate which I love, and somewhat fragile.

Their eyelashes are 100% made out of paper, which means they are very lightweight and pretty comfortable to wear. The lashes are super delicate and well-made, which made me ask Chunwei if a lot of lashes get wasted during the manufacturing process. 'Of course, they are easy to break' he replied.

Can you see how detailed the lashes are? Can you believe these lashes are only £12.50 considering how money and time consuming the manufacturing process must be? And he told me that I can wear one pair 2-3 times if I would take care of them carefully.

I am wearing Peonies in the photos above without mascara. You can make it even more gorgeous with mascara or normal false lashes if you want, but I thought I'd go for a simpler look as I do not have the biggest eyes in the world.

They are very easy to apply, unbelievably lightweight and it feels like I am not wearing anything on my lashes. The only thing you must be careful is that the band is pretty thick that it looks better with a black eyeliner to hide it.

You can customise the lashes as well -cut them in small and stuck them on the face with a bit of glue. Or just like Anne Hathaway did on red carpet, you can stuck them on your nails and apply top coat on. You might think these lashes are for special occasions like weddings and parties, but actually they are perfect for daily use.

The lashes are gorgeous, but for me their tattoos are the star products. I was wearing their tattoos nearly every day in London and I received countless compliments. To be honest, I was counting at the beginning (which was 5 from strangers within a couple of hours) but after a few days I stopped trying because it was literally countless. From a stranger sat next to me in the bus to a sales assistant at a shop, and of course my friends as well, they all asked 'Are they real? They look so cool, where can I get them from?'.

One set has two sheets, and you cut them as you like and stuck them with a wet towel on top to secure them. It only takes a minute or two, so I was choosing which tattoo to wear as if I was picking my necklace and earrings. Its lasting power isn't too bad either, some lasted for 4 days or so without fading.

My favourite design is Constellations as it looks elegant yet not too feminine. They just came out with new designs too that you will definitely find your favourite. Their tattoos have got beautiful gold details that reflect lights in such a subtle yet gorgeous way, and they look even more beautiful on the skin.

I like the idea of wearing a small tattoo around the neck and ear which I am going to try this autumn / winter. Their instagram is full of ideas if you don't know how to rock them. Their products are sold at Selfridges, Le Bon Marché and online. Their website has the best variation of the products.