Brand introductions are sparse around here, but I’d like to shout out Japanese accessories brand Memnon that does Larme style accessories.

The brand says they are a small accessories brand made for women who want girly things, and think of their pieces as “dessert in a bag“. This brand speaks to me about why I feel in love with Japanese fashion: quirky individual items that are at a solid price.

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Memnon (メムノン) started in 2010 by the clothing giant BEAMS. The brand which predates Larme, but it’s quickly become a Larme relatable brand. Actually I went searching for photos of Memnon in my Larme magazines and the first photoshoot I opened of the first magazine they were featured.

I think learning a bit about Memnon’s style is really at the core of Larme. They’re womenly but girly. They are inspired by retro items and make-up. It’s a mid-range price point. They’re a bit spicy sweet not the florals of girly items. Their palette is mostly pinks, reds, black and white with the occasional trend color popping in. A lot of ways I’d describe Larme style, but I’m only talking about Memnon.

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Here’s a shot from the Verybrain instagram (favorite of RisaDoll aka Risa Nakamura) with a VeryBrain set-up and Memnon record bag.

I was able to visit the Memnon pop-up at Shinjuku Isetan 2nd floor and took a few pictures and bought some bits. If you’re interested in Larme style, Shinjuku Isetan on the 2nd floor often holds a lot of higher price tag Larme brands.

larmebrand-memnon-lipbag

One of their most popular styles is the lip bag clutch. They’ve done it in velvet and lately patents for the current season’s patent trends.

larmebrand-memnon-popup

This was from their last year’s collection. I love their idea of a powder puff bag. All make-up is good make-up.

larmebrand-memnon-shinjukuisetan-pouch

Their lip love letter key cases, wallets and phone cases are very popular. They’ve also done their shoe pen case in several colors.

larmebrand-memnon-shinjukuisetan

Their possible second most popular style is their eyeshadow wallet clutch. They also did a quad eyeshadow mini wallet.

larmebrand-memnon-shinjukuisetangirls

The Memnon pop-up at Isetan Girls (2f Shinjuku) was laid out like a Larme brand. Sweet, girly and retro.

Memnon isn’t a brand with a full store, but if you’re interested in the brand you can always purchase online or check out their next pop-up! :makeup:

Social updates: They do not have a store and their website is constantly under construction. The best way to check for updates on the brand is their twitter: https://twitter.com/memnon_tokyo

Next time to buy in Tokyo will be at Cannabis Ladies in Shinjuku Lumine 2 from 11/24-12/04/2016.

To buy online webstore La Cuna del Flor sells most of the Memnon collection.

 

I didn’t intend to take as long between posts but real life, preparing for my trip and this //asmanyexpletivesasicanthinkof// election has take the fire out of my blogging. No worries some really interesting posts to come soon!

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A big trend happening in fashion houses across the world from Burberry to Tom Ford to Tommy Hillfiger is the “See now buy now” approach to fashion. The see now buy now approach is what walks down the runway is immediately available to purchase on-line to the everyday consumer. Instead of months waiting for a item you saw on the runway I’ll with arrive via express shipping days after seeing a leggy model strut it down the runway. From runway to street view in moments has been the dream for fashionistas but it’s becoming a reality.

For Burberry and Moschino and others this means the Winter 2017 shows that happened last month. You can read all about the nuts and bolts of how brands like Burberry are doing this in this business of fashion article: How Burberry is Operationalising ‘See Now, Buy Now’.

Is see now buy now happening in Japanese fashion? Not yet, but signs point to maybe.

merry jenny spring summer 2017 see now buy now

Merry Jenny Spring 2017 now with gorgeous freckles

There are big hurdles for Japanese fashion because it’s not made to work that way. This month’s Japanese high brand fashion week: Amazon Tokyo Fashion Week was a Spring/Summer 2017 affair. Most off-the-rack brands only go a season out so it would be Spring Summer 2017 for now. Instead of the high brands one more season ahead, New York Milan and Paris all showed Winter 2017 looks.

Most off-the-rack brands (all Shibuya 109 brands, Shibuya Lumine brands etc…) do not do fashion shows, or when they do they are mid-season to push more season sales (Tokyo Girls Collection, Kobe Collection etc…). Instead they do exhibitions ( 展示会 tenjikai) which are showrooms of the clothing and from seeing these samples select shops (which carry a wide variety of brands online or in stores) and models/talent/press can preorder these items. These preorders come out pretty much the same time as they do to the everyday consumer but doing these exhibitions generates hype from models and talent and sales for the season from select shops.

Giant clothing company Mark Styler (aka Runway Channel website) which runs Mercury Duo, Dazzlin, Laguna Moon, Murua, Emoda, Gyda, Evris, Merry Jenny, Eat Me, Jouetie and others has decided to make a tiny change. This week during running their three days of exhibitions they also decided to release catalog and preorders on the Runway Channel website for the Spring 2017 collection. Thus far only Merry Jenny and Evris Spring 2016 are available but only for a week. But this is a significant shift by a very large clothing company to get closer to the see now buy now approach.

The clothing preorders which release from Janurary to March is the traditional “1st collection” time for Spring/Summer releases. Which about 30 items from Evris and 13 items from Merry Jenny this isn’t a huge amount for such a giant as Mark Styler.

I’m very interested to see how Mark Styler’s plan works. They chose two of the brands that skew younger and have few stores compared to the giants of Dazzlin or Murua. Checking the webstore rankings many Evris Spring 2017 items are in the top 30 so it’s showing promise in this infant stage. It is worth noting that the Evris phone case is the biggest preorder item because it’s much easier to decide what your phone is going to wear 6 months from now than yourself.

This approach is not new to Japanese fashion accessories centric brand Honey mi Honey and girly adult Rosary Moon do tend to put their collections up far in advance and often right after the exhibitions for preorder. However both are smaller brands run by smaller companies. Neither capable of shoving the trends.

Some pros to consider: It’s definitely not as close to see now buy now as Western high brands are doing, but this is also a start of dropping the curtain between the tastemakers of buyers and press and the everyday consumer. A more socialist fashion plan? I’m for it!

Some cons to consider: The concerns as business of fashion has put them is do these early presales hurt the regular season sales? Are people over shopped before the season even starts.

 

After all that how about some visuals?

Evris Spring Summer 2017 First Collection

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Trends to note: Contrast denim (I see this becoming big ss17), Embroidery carrying on. Printed and lace over jackets instead of the thin cardigans from last year, chokers, low necks, and vintage-feel items.

Merry Jenny Spring Summer First Collection

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Trends to note: mules carrying on from Fall 2016, wide pants continuing, sheer overdresses, frills and flounces (big Spring 2017 trend across all brands).

The first pair of pants actually have pearls sewn to the front. I’m all about it.

 

A week only seems quite short to test the waters, but hopefully this trend continues. I’m enjoying the curtain a little lifted.

 

 

I’ve gotten a little bored of Snapchat so I’ve fully moved to instagram stories. I used to not post much on Insta, but I’ll try again  :heartguy:

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I was talking with the beautiful Emi and Lea and we joked about all the stupid ways we’ve eaten cheap in Japan in order to afford all the clothes we wanted. One of the frequent comments I hear often is Tokyo is very expensive, and somewhat that’s true but I don’t think it has to be. I sometimes think about how much I would spend for my apartment in the states  along with eating the way I do (lots of veggies, very few carbs). It would be astronomical and impossible (Tokyo tears down old buildings unlike my 100 year old place).

This isn’t a post on eating healthy (although some things are) if you want to eat healthy I still like the post I made about eating healthy in Japan. This post is more about going beyond the tips I see everywhere else. I see the same tips everywhere, and they’re good tips, but I think we can do better! I’m going to talk about getting the most out of your money, even at the cheap places. It’s also about sample meals to get you started on how to eat cheap and stay cheap.

Some tips are for people with a stove but even without airbnb some hotels now have stoves or at least a microwave, so I am trying not to limit it to just long term residents.

eatcheapjapan-sushi

Eat plates of sushi on a budget? Sure thing!

Don’t travel to eat if you can’t bike or walk it or aren’t there already

Traveling on public transit in Japan adds up. Paying 1,000 yen ($10) to eat somewhere you’ve just thrown away $10. Even a trip like Shibuya to Shinjuku will still set you back 380 yen round trip. And Shibuya has tons of eating options.

Eat local, like hella local. If you can’t walk to it, it’s not worth it. Just start making a list of where food is near your hotel/airbnb/apartment and then main areas you’ll be in. Use this guide or google “cheap akihabara food” or anything like that. Some websites to note: time out tokyo’s cheap eats tsunagu cheap eats tokyo

Preparation is how people save money

Linked to the other tip above.

Gurunavi the website for restaurants in Japan is now in English. Start making a google map of where you’ll be of places you want to eat. Or just a list in Notes you can put on your phone. If you’re planning on visiting some area check their restaurants, you can find prices on Gurunavi without overpaying past your budget.

Also preparation is making yourself snacks for the day ahead. Instead of buying some stall food, you can eat a 79 yen banana you carried. More money for souvenirs. Or carrying your bottle of water so you don’t have to spend 120 yen on just water. These little costs add up, especially when a 400 yen meal = 3 waters bought.

Grocery stores – The cheap staples

When I read people’s how to save money on food in Japan posts it’s always saying go after 8:00pm and they mark down items. And it’s a great tip, but it’s not enough. Mark downs are fine, but let’s talk cheap staples.

But before I get to that. NOT ALL GROCERY STORES ARE THE SAME.  Chances are if you’re shopping under a department store you’re paying more and more = too much. Seiyu is the cheapest chain but that only matters if one is close to you. Other than that just stay away from department store grocery stores. They’re fancy, but they cost more.

eatcheapjapan-eggs

Eggs I bought in Japan along with some tiny pack bacon for a little protein and fat.

Eggs – are incredibly cheap and wonderfully delicious in Japan. They do use a different chicken than the US and their yolks are much darker and gorgeous. Yes I called an egg gorgeous, I love eggs!

 

Spinach, Carrots, Cabbage – Usually the cheapest vegetables no matter the season. I eat carrots as breakfast or snacks in Japan. 54 yen for a single carrot. That’s some cheap food with vitamins. Man I try to get away with saying just healthy things, but we need our veggies! A simple cheap breakfast is a piece of toast and scrambled eggs with spinach.

Bananas and in season Mikan- Often in season and often the cheapest fruit. Full of vitamins and fructose for energy. Mikan season can make oranges very cheap and I can eat a bag a day, but definitely be choosy about the season because the prices can really get expensive.

Frozen meals – Frozen meals are found within grocery stores along with frozen veggies. While they are not necessarily cheap if you’re the type of person who keeps saying they’ll cook at home but rarely does, they’re so much cheaper than always throwing out food. Or ordering that pizza when you’re tired or hungover. Always keep one frozen meal in your place if you’re staying longer than a week. What if you wake up sick? Heading sick to shop is horrible!

Tofu and Konjac – Tofu is cheap, plentiful and filling. Just find a sauce you like and nibble. Although my staple meal in language school was: scrambled tofu, one egg, spinach, and a pork/beef mix with spices. Filling, cheap and always available. Konjac is a great cheap food made from yams. It’s low carb, filling and can be shoved in soups, stir frys or anything you feel like fixing.

Late sale meats – Don’t pay full price for meats you rich kid of instagram! Discounted meat or stay veggie because meat is quite pricey in JP. Or gyudon (below)

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A spinach bakery bread plus some cheap meat along with shishito and onion.

Stop buying expensive drinks – There’s so many fun drinks on the market. Healthy ones, horrible ones everything. But it can really add up and not good filling calories. Always buy cartons of drinks. You can pour them into bottles if you’re out and about that day. But a paper carton the size of 3 drinks is usually cheaper than one bottled drink. I buy carton coffee, juice, and tea in Japan. Even in konbini they’re usually 140 yen.

Caffeine = Sun Tea or Coffee – If you bring tea bags from home or just buy in bulk in Japan you can just make sun tea (leaving a tea bag in water out for a while, preferably in the sun but it works overnight in the fridge too). Tea bags are always cheaper than buying lots of tea. Cold coffee which Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts have been advertising so much is just coffee left to steep. You can buy coffee “tea bags” and do the sun tea way. All cheaper options than Starbucks or even canned coffee. If you aren’t into this, then cartons are always cheaper than individual bottles.

Convenience stores – You’re usually paying too much

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Oden the exception. That puffball is actually an egg.

Everything including that soda you want is usually 10 yen cheaper in a grocery store. Convenience doesn’t mean cheap. The rare exception is oden season (fall to spring) or snack needs. Oden is a soup made with a ton of things, but it’s incredibly cheap and filling (rocketnews on Oden). The other good reason to be in a convenience store is quick fried chicken, corn dogs (American dogs) and weiners on a stick. No not healthy, but quick and cheap.

I also make an exception for 7-11’s “salad chicken” it’s herbed and precooked. It’s really easy to use a chicken breast for two meals without clean-up. I tended to make chicken sandwiches with the herbed chicken, an egg and some spinach.

Gyudon restaurants are heaven for the poor

Gyudon chains and beef bowl restaurants that are great and battle it out for being the best, most and cheapest. The three big chains are Sukiya, Yoshinoya, and Matsuya.

eatcheapjapan-yoshinoya-menu

And these do get mentioned in eating cheap in Japan, but what about hacking the Gyudon?

Hack one: Order the largest gyudon and split it between two people (take out) or save the rest for tomorrow for yourself. Gyudon does keep decently. A regular size set at Matsuya is 580 yen, you can get the big size for 890 yen. Split between two meals or people you just spent 445 a meal or just $4.20.

eatcheapjapan-yoshinoya

Hack two: Add on! Topping sets are usually cheaper than set – by – set toppings so get a topping set. Most include an egg (good for you). You may find

Hack three: Their seasonal special is often cheaper. Ultra onion? Yup it’s usually cheaper than just ordering more onion toppings.

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I got gyudon to go the night before and I am using their side kimchi the next day for lettuce wraps (bacon + kimchi in lettuce).

Gyudon is incredibly cheap. Not the best thing for you, but $5.00 meals are possible thanks to gyudon!

Tenya – Tempura on the cheap!

Tempura places in Japan can be really fancy ordeals. It’s not just a side order you find in a sushi restaurant. Instead a lot of Michelin starred restaurants in Japan are tempura places with pricey menus. However, Tenya (site) is a fabulous cheap chain in Japan.

Again you can use the big size takeaway hack to eat for two on the cheap. Their sets are their big value meals. I prefer their 上天丼 (link) with shrimp and lotus root. One meal is 670 yen or $6.50. Again a super cheap meal. They have a one coin bowl priced for 500 yen, but the extra 170 is worth it for the extra shrimp.

Tendon Soba Udon is another tempura cheap chain.

Sushi can be done on the cheap!

Before I lived in Japan I never thought sushi would be a way to eat cheap in Japan, but it is! Discount sushi at grocery stores after 8 p.m. is definitely some place to get your easy cheap sushi fix on. However there are a lot of conveyor belt sushi (kaiten sushi) chains that thrive on being cheap.

Kaisen Misakiko (海鮮三崎港) is my favorite cheap sushi chain in Tokyo. I eat in their Koenji restaurant a lot.  You can eat a good meal for 800 yen and their hot green tea is included. They have a lot of locations around Tokyo in some great areas like Nakano, Koenji, Shimokitazawa and Shinjuku (some of my favorite places in Tokyo). English menu screens so not much interaction required.

eatcheapjapan-sushiforcheap

Family Restaurants

It’s such a odd topic, but family restaurants are so random to Japan. Saizeriya, Dennys, Johnathon, Gusto, Royal Host, Bamiyan, Bikkuri Donki to name a few. Rocketnews survey puts Ootoya at the top and I’ve written how much I like it. Saizeriya which does basic Italian-like food and Bikkuri Donki which does hamburg are my favorite cheaper side ones.

Family restaurant tips:

Get the sets. More filling and more food for a less. If you’re really broke head for the Saizeriya Doria. It’s 368 yen with an egg. Enough to get you through a meal without hurting your bank.

Don’t be swayed by the drink bar. It’s just money not being spent on food.

If you need vegetables get them here. Family restaurants lately have main course salads that are actually filled with things like avocado and tomatoes and other healthy goodness that is hard to find on the cheap. Saizeriya has a 599 main course salad. Also they have a few decent vegetable options in the side menus for 199. Main salad and a veggie side for 800 yen? Yes please. For my low carb people even a big size antipasto meat plate and side of spinach is 900 yen.

Near Shibuya 109? Try Black Brown!

Not exactly a family restaurant but I couldn’t figure where to put it. Black Brown (google) is an incredibly cheap pasta place located just behind Shibuya 109. Just after electronics store Labi in the basement of the next building. When I lived in Shibuya I ate here once a week because it was cheap and so close to shopping. Their pasta is good as well as their sandwiches. They have a ramen-style press button ordering system and then cook the surprisingly decent food in front of you. Pasta or a sandwich can be 500 yen. You can also bring a pitcher of water to your table and hydrate. Seriously it’s cheap and good.

Bakery Meals

If you don’t want to cook and are okay with bread life, Japanese bakeries are amazing and do little sandwiches or weiners with bread or bunches of items that run around 300-500 yen. If you add some spinach at home or make a salad you aren’t doing too bad for yourself. (see photo above)

eatcheapjapan-bakery

On sale baked goods. 88 yen plus brewed coffee. You can start your day for 150 yen only!

Don’t drink, and definitely don’t drink outside your place, and definitely predrink

Alcohol is expensive and it makes (me) make expensive choices. Best way to avoid all that tomfoolery is just don’t drink. But Japan is a drinking culture, so be cheap. Buy drinks at your grocery store (konbini more expensive) and drink  at home before. Or at least pre drink and save some of the alcohol cost. One drinking night can ruin all your cheap saving during the day.

eatcheapjapan-drinks

Three drinks in for 500 yen or three drinks out for 3,000 yen?

How much should I be spending on food a day?

Personally I like average my food spending at 3,000 yen a day. That’s including eating out somewhere fun with my friends. I spend 300-400 yen on breakfast (toast, spinach, egg, coffee). Lunch could be ramen or kaiten-sushi, since I hunt for cheap places maybe 800 yen. Which leaves me with 1,800 yen to eat with friends.

I can go over that, but it’s a pretty standard point to think eating for 3,000 yen or $30 a day and you’ll eat some good food! Now I do like to drink with my friends so I will spend more on days with that, but if you’re smart 3,000 yen is a good point. Lowest maybe 1,500-2,000 yen but it does become tricky if you’re not eating at specific places. I’ve done some examples of super cheap below to get you started if you’re in a spending crunch.

 

Three examples of eat cheap in Japan days 1,570-1,800 yen ($15-$18 dollars):

Here are some examples using the places I listed to get you started on how to eat for cheap especially as a tourist.

 

Bakery bread and coffee – 400 yen

Tenya – 670 yen

Black Brown – 500 yen

Total – 1,570

 

Egg and Toast – 300 yen

Sushi – 800 yen

Saizeriya – 700 yen

Total – 1,800

 

Coffee and Banana – 300 yen

Gyudon – 450 if split or 600 alone for smaller

Grocery store past 8am ready made food – 700 yen

Total: 1,450 or 1,600 yen

 

Three meals a day. Not skimping on food and boom, you’re fed for cheap! Mostly I didn’t list cooking at home. Again if you eat at home it’s usually always cheaper so eating breakfast at home and heading home for dinner is your cheapest tourist option. Or if you’re a late riser, I suggest eating lunch right before you leave and only eating dinner out. You can get closer to 1,500 daily if you eat two meals at home.

 

What’s your discount hack to eat cheap in Japan or favorite cheap meal in Japan?

I’ve had tons of topics to post lately but I keep coming back to Ank Rouge. Some fall trends I want to talk about, summer tips, Disney Tokyo survival guide, more vintage, some skincare reviews, some make-up reviews. But I keep going to back to want to talk about Ank Rouge, since this blog started as a trend blog and it’s still my interest.

Ank Rouge basics:

katakana:アンクルージュ
since: 2010.
number of stores: 10
head: Rie Matsuoka
style: Sweet girly now Larme Street
insta: https://www.instagram.com/ankrouge_official/
webstore: http://ailand-store.jp/

Some Ank Rouge History and Okarie distancing

Ank Rouge started in 2010 by Popteen model Rie Matsuoka, aka Okarie (松岡里枝 croozblog, insta) . She has helping with the design and look of the brand under the title “Creative Director” and in the beginning Ank was Okarie and Okarie wore Ank. She may have been the Creative Director but she was also the image model aka the face of Ank Rouge.

Since 2015 there’s been quite a distancing of Okarie’s tastes and Ank Rouge and now Ank Rouge is a different animal. Okarie is now very Seiso/Otona Kawaii and prefers magazines such as Bijin Hakka and Sweet. Ank Rouge is now very street Larme. I’m going to show the new collection first, some old images and also some thoughts on the new Ank Rouge look.

Ank Rouge new style “Innocent Black” for Fall 2016

For the Fall Ank Rouge now has two new image models: Vivi main model Emma Jasmine(瑛茉ジャスミン insta) and Larme model Nana Katou (加藤ナナ insta)

Their theme for this collection is Innocent Black. The main concept for the collection is girly and monotone looks. It’s not just sweet but coquetteish feeling. A street and girly mix giving a casual and playful atmosphere. Using black at least twice is the center of this look. <- their words translated

ank7ank1 ank2 ank3 ank4 ank5 ank6 ank8 ank9

I wish they showed off the clothes better but when they’re making such a dramatic change I guess lighting was needed to carry this new Ank Rouge.

In the past I’ve always seen Ank Rouge as a more tailored Liz Lisa or sometimes just a Liz Lisa knock off. :sweatbubble: Now it seems they’ve gone full Larme and if anything gotten edgey and appear very inspired by One*Spo.

Ank Rouge of Old

If you’re not familiar with old Ank Rouge here you go:

Ank from 2012:

Ank from 2014(?):

ank-rouge-early

Ank from 2015:

ank-rouge-pre

It’s obvious they were slow moving from Liz Lisa to Seiso and Larme, but this Street is a brand new thing for Ank.

Fall Collection Innocent Black worn by Shop Staff

You know this blog. The photoset of a collection is well and good but how are everyday girls wearing this? Specifically for this the Ank shop staff.

ank-shopstaff-look ankrouge-shopstaff-look6 ankrouge-shopstaff-look5 ankrouge-shopstaff-look4ank-shopstaff-look2

 

Well Ank Rouge has really stuck to the Street Larme profile with its shop staff. Some are still trying to bring the old Ank Rouge in combination, but it’s mostly Street Larme.

Trends to note for Fall 2016

Ank has shown off several trends to talk about for 2016. These are mostly Larme trends with a few trends heading into all fashion. All Fashion trends marked with a heart

  • Slip Dresses ♥
  • Chokers especially Ribbon chokers ♥
  • Collar details
  • Sukajans done different ways ♥
  • Robe-tie jackets ♥
  • Velvet ♥
  • Lace dresses ♥
  • “Dad” caps
  • Baby pink x black x white

Final Notes

ank-rouge

Although Ank Rouge has been talking up all these Street Larme looks. This set-up is their current Fall top seller. A more traditional Ank look.

ank-rouge-onepiece

Ank is part of a larger clothing group the Ailand group featuring Cecil McBee and Be Radiance. None really known for their prints, but I feel this print done in skirt and onepiece style is really worth noting. It reminds me of classic Jesus Diamanate and MA*RS prints but of a better quality than current MA*RS. My old style readers should pay notice to this cute print  :hearts3:

Is this change bad? Good? It’s for the chirruns!

I’ve been talking about the differences, but I don’t think this is necessarily a bad change in Ank Rouge. Lately there’s so much grown up fashion dominating Shibuya 109 brands. The Onee-gyaru and basics boom has taken over so many brands. It feels like there’s quite a pressure to grow up. I’m glad there’s a bit more youthful style in Ank Rouge. However I can’t see this winning over longtime Ank fans so I guess we’ll see how next season looks?

 Long time no blog? Yup

Everytime I post here lately I feel like I have to apologize for being slow. Blame Disney, Olympics and Pokemon Go this time. Really though it’s my aging computer and the problems that causes. If only I didn’t have to use my laptop to blog, but editing photos is necessary. Next year though! New computer! Hopefully I can afford it! Currently though I have some trips to take and trips are fun new computers are just new computers  :regret:

In the meantime I’m currently doing a 10 day Japanese and Korean face mask review on Snapchat. :happydance: If you want to see some shaky camerawork, me looking dumb in masks, and my derp voice you’ve got it (yay?). If not you can wait for the full monty to go on the blog later.

 

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