Random Kokura Haul -}

So last week my friend and I went to Kokura and did a bit of shopping. Even though the weather was absolute crap. (Boooooo.) I ended up picking up more than I intended to. (Isn't that always the case?)

We hit up . . . . well, pretty much everywhere except for Riverwalk. Izutsuya's second floor ladies shoe department has just re-opened, and now has shoes in sizes up to around 40!!! Excuse me while I dance for joy! My Sephora wish-list might take a massive hit as I might be splurging on some pretty flats instead. Hurrah!

In the picture above, you can see I purchased a large amount of paper products and the Bourjois CC Eye Cream Concealer from Loft. The pictures of them turned out just awful, but I really have been enjoying the concealer (weird packaging aside) and the post cards have been all mailed off to family in the States. The cards however are a year's supply, as I tend to stock up on a year's worth and then mail them when I have a family or friend's birthday.

There is this very clean, organic looking (can something be 'organic looking?') store on the edge of Kokura's arcade (Unomachi) across from a traditional shoe store, sitting on the street that runs between Izutsuya and Murosaki-gawa.
I've always thought this shop is really cute and always thrown around the idea of going in but never actually done it. Except this time, we were walking by and there was a bakery display with bagels. Hello! So we popped in and I bought two for around Y300 and let me tell you, totally worth it. Okay, not as good as something you might get in NYC or such, but in Kokura for Y150 a piece I was pretty happy. Although for some reason they included the instructions? Apparently bagels need instructions? A first for me.

I also popped into the Skin Food in Kokura Station's Amu Plaza. Ohhh. Skin Food. How I adore thee. I picked up a new tube of Red Bean BB Cream, what feels like my one trillionth tube. I love this BB cream - I'll be reviewing it soon. I also got a Black Sugar Mask as a sample. Which, while I like their Black Sugar Scrub for my body this is apparently for your face . . . not sure how I feel about that. But it's such a big hit in Japan, I guess I'll give it a try.

Hope you're all having a good week. And spring is bringing warmer temperatures to you! 

Toyotsu Biking Tour -}

A few weekends back, the weather decided to make a break for it and turned sunny and gorgeous and most importantly, warm. Now, I know, I know, Kyushu weather isn't all that cold, but it gets cold enough and so the sun-drenched high of 17C was a very, very welcome sight.

To make the most of the weather, my friend and I got out in the afternoon and biked a fair few kilometers to a small town called Toyotsu. The ride was gorgeous and the company was hilarious and while we might have gotten a bit turned around, it was a very fun trip.

The entire point of this little jaunt, however, was not just to get out and enjoy the fresh air (now with less PM2.5!). Toyotsu is home to a three story pagoda. Funny thing about pagodas, is that although my image of pagoda is definitely the Japanese variety, it is not, in fact, a Japanese word. Or in fact an original Japanese idea/architectural structure. (Thanks, Wiki!)

I'm not quite sure, why this pagoda was built. Or when it was. (Reasons why I should take pictures of the signboards – especially when the English is as good as the ones Toyotsu has!) But it's still very pretty, and very photogenic on a nice day.

I'm not quite sure, why this pagoda was built. Or when it was. (Reasons why I should take pictures of the signboards – especially when the English is as good as the ones Toyotsu has!) But it's still very pretty, and very photogenic on a nice day.

Buzen-Kokubunji, Toyotsu, Fukuoka

Open Daily (I think?) from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Closed from annually from December 28th until January 4th
Recommended? Yes, definitely! It only takes an hour or so to see the whole property. Two if you're taking your time. And the English sign translations are really well done.

Winning Combination -}

I have to admit, I'm not normally into 'crazy' nail polish designs. I like just a hand of the same solid nail color - maybe with an accent nail here or there - but nothing fancy. Plus with school I'm not allowed to indulge my love of dusty, dark colors nearly as much as I'd like. So this combination was not just a random trial test, but a lucky break.

Tuesday was graduation, so being a school day I had to wipe off the dark nail polish (OPI Black Cherry Chutney) off and put on something a bit more straight-laced. OPI Samoan Sands has been my go to nude shade for . . . well, whenever I discovered it years back. I often feel like I have to compromise what I'd like to be wearing whenever I have to go to school (pale pinks, nudes, nude-grays, etc.), but never with this one. It's subtle and chic, like the best of most things.

But once work was over Tuesday, I practically walked in the door and picked up this Vested Interest Essie polish. My friend picked this up for me when she went home for Christmas this past holidays. Now, to be fair, Essie is sold in Japan . . . but at Y1800 a pop. (That's around $18 for you U.S. readers.) Ouch. Plus the range of colors is pretty solidly in the 'pretty and pink' category, so for some one like me who lusts after Mind Your Mittens, After School Boy Blazer or the new Under the Twilight and Hide and Go Chic (although I'm hoping Resort Fling comes to Japan! PLEASE!), it just doesn't really work out in my favor.

At any rate, I'm loving the combination and the random diagonal pattern of them. It's quite simple, although I've tried 'simple' before and ended up wanting to just dump everything in the trash and never see nail polish again. (Dramatic, huh?) I popped on a quick top coat from Daiso (!!!!) and everything is looking good at the end of the first full day. But I'll let you know how this turns out.

Fingers crossed!


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Not Giving Up -}

This is just a quick post to let you know, I'm not dead and neither is this blog.

I really liked beauty blogging (for the whole three weeks I really stuck with it), but when I sat down and really thought about it, I would never have enough content or opinions about beauty alone to fill a blog over the span of a year - or less. Actually, I sat down and did the math and figured I was way to broke to keep up a beauty blog.

So I'm shifting my focus - only slightly, this blog will still be primarily beauty but with a healthy dose of lifestyle and other random fun stuff. FUN! Hurrah!

Things to look out for in the future: new beauty brand reviews, biking trip ideas, and a trip to Kyoto! Hurrah!

See you soon!