Monday, January 26, 2015

Cosmetic-Love Korean Beauty: Part 1

Hi raspberries! Yesterday I placed an order at Cosmetic-Love, an online Korean beauty store. They offer free shipping, which is pretty great, and a reason I selected them. You can pay to get EMS shipping, but it's quite expensive. The free shipping is supposed to take roughly 2 weeks to arrive, which for the low price of free is fine with me! 
Today I want to talk about the things I bought. When the products arrive, I will do a review of them with my own photos, and talk about the service. On to the products!

Face Products

The first product I got is the Sweet Cotton Serum Clear Pact from Holika Holika. I got it in #01 Pure White. I've been needing a replacement face powder, and figured I'd try this one. TonyMoly had a face pact I used to really love, but I think it's been discontinued. I read a review saying this product smells like cotton candy, which would be amazing!

The next product I got is the Surprise Stick Concealer from Etude House in 1. Light Beige. I really love stick concealers, but my YSL one ran out, and I'd been using a cream concealer to get by. This one was so cheap, I figured why not give it a go.

Next is the Lovely Cookie Blusher from Etude House. I already own this blush in #1 Strawberry Mousse, which is the babiest of baby pinks. There are some other really cute blushes on Cosmetic-Love, but since I already know I like this one, I decided to get another color. This time I got #7 Rose Sugar Macaroon.

Eye Products

Next I got the Oh My Eyeline liner from Etude House in 1. Black. This is a brush-type eyeliner, and I normally stick to the felt-tip pen types, but I read several reviews saying this is a great eyeliner, and the application looked easy enough. 

I've really been needing a brown brow pencil, because mine was the retractable type, and the mechanism kept breaking until finally all the product broke off. Back to the good old wood pencil types! I love the Babyface line from It's Skin, although I've never tried any of the products. They're just too cute. This Powdery Wood Eyebrow pencil was the perfect thing for what I needed. I got it in #2 Natural Brown.

This next product is an interesting one! This is the Dear Girls Cute Eyes Maker from Etude House. In Korea and Japan, it's currently a big trend to define your "tear bags" under your eyes. These aren't the same as dark circles or eye bags. Tear bags are the small lines that appear under your eyes when you smile. The tool has a light sponge tip side, and a dark side, so you can emphasize your tear bags, or Aegyo Sal, as they're called in Korea. 

Lip Products

 I've wanted to try this lipstick for a while. It's the Dear My Blooming Lips line from Etude House. I've really been needing a replacement red lipstick, so I got RD302, which is a cherry red. This line has so many beautiful colors, there's something for everyone! It's also currently being sponsored by K-Pop group SHINee, and Sandara Park from 2NE1.

The last product I got is the Fresh Cherry Tint from Etude House. I love Korean lip tints, and the trend of ombre lips. There are many lip stains the dry more matte available in Korean cosmetics, but I thought the slightly glossy look of this one was cute. I got it in PK002 Fresh Cherry Hot Pink.

That's about it for this post! I can't wait until the products come in and I can give you guys a review. From my experience so far, it seems like Cosmetic-Love is a really great site with a huge range of Korean cosmetics, skincare, hair products, and more!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Baddest Gizibe

Hi raspberries! I've been listening to a lot of girl power music lately, and just wanted to put some of my favorites here, for when you're feeling down, or just need a pick me up! I wanted to show songs that aren't just girl power in the "strong woman" sense, but women expressing all manner of emotions. I think that's real girl power! (Unfortunately I don't know of any transwomen who are musicians, if you do, let me know!)

CL of 2NE1's solo debut. The Korean title of this song is "Bad Gizibe", meaning something along the lines of "baddest bitch".

I like this song because it doesn't portray the typical "strong woman", but a woman who likes material things, and wants to be doted and waited on. I think it's important to show that women are multifaceted, not just one type.

One of the best rappers out there, it's a shame she isn't more well known.

Cute girls do metal! This band has gotten really popular, and for good reason. The songs are great, and it's just so fun to watch.

Pottya is Japan's first ever plus-size idol group! The comments on this video are really mean, so head over to YouTube and give them a like, or a nice comment!

M.I.A. is so good. I love every song she's ever done. This is one of her recent ones, on her album MATANGI. Check out Arular (her first album) if you want to get started on her music.

I think Bjork is one of the most interesting, experimental artists out there. This is a personal favorite song of mine, where she talks openly about sex, and it's impact on her world.

This is an obvious choice. Beyonce is a queen. This song talks about how perfect everyone is, and that's pretty perfect.

I love Nicki Minaj so much. This is off of her most recent album, and it features Beyonce (win-win).

That's it for this post! Hope there was some music on here to get you pumped up, or to get you to chill out. Go ladies!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Wigs Everyone Should Own

Hi raspberries! Today I'm going to talk about wigs! If any of you don't know, I wear wigs pretty frequently. I had my hair cut short when I was about 6, and it hasn't really been much past my shoulders since. Sometimes it's just fun to wear your hair in a different way than the way it really is! Wigs are a fun, easy way to change your hair in an instant without any dye, cutting, or the drag that extensions and weaves can be (I've also had a sew-in weave and it was very uncomfortable for me personally). I'm into Japanese street fashion, especially a style called lolita (not associated with the book by Vladimir Nabokov), and a lot of the people who wear street fashion wear wigs. This is going to be a list of wigs that I think everyone who wears wigs should own!

1. The "Your Dream Hair" Wig
This is a wig that looks like what you wish the hair that grew out of your head looked like. I'm not really an "au naturale" type by any means, but I think it's important to have a wig that looks like what you wish your hair looked like, or even what your hair really would look like, if you're a chop-a-holic like me. My Dream Hair Wig is the W053 from Bodyline in Medium Brown 5. This wig is a bit lighter than my natural hair color, but it's similar to what my hair would really look like if it were long and just grew out of my head. I think my natural hair color is a bit dull, personally, so I went with a color I prefer, but is still close. Another wig I think is very natural looking and suits this look well is Apple Jelly from DreamHolic.

$27 at
$35 at

2. The Bob
Everyone should own some type of bob. It's a classic look and will go with everything. A long bob is fine, or a short bob if you're more adventurous You can get a curly one or a straight one. It'll also be a lot more manageable than long wigs. I'm a serial long wig buyer, and I've had to toss about 4 of the long wigs I've bought because they got so unmanageable. I owned a bob wig for a while (decided the color wasn't for me), and it stayed in great shape the whole time! I've been eyeing this curly bob from WigIsFashion, and love this straight bob from Lockshop.

$19 at
25,95 Euro or about $28 at

3. The Lace Front
I don't have a lace front yet, but I went to hair school and have seen them worn, and have even tried some on myself. I think they're beautiful and can look great. There's a wide range of prices with lace fronts (like with any wigs), but lace fronts can get quite expensive, especially if you're dabbling into human hair. A lace front wig has a, well, lace front. There's a piece of mesh lace on the hairline of the wig that is cut down and makes the hairline of the wig appear to be actually growing from your scalp. I've seen some really cool lace fronts coming out recently, so I'm going to suggest a couple in different price ranges, but all relatively affordable as far as this type of wig goes. Lockshop Wigs has a few really beautiful lace front wigs, which are all in the range of about $100. WigIsFashion also has a host of lace fronts, which are some of the cheapest I've seen, all in about the $55 range. The wigs from Lockshop will be nicer, fuller, and made of better material. But if you're just starting out, I've seen some lovely pictures of the ones from WigIsFashion as well.

85,95 Euro (about $100) at
$54 at
4. The "Accessory" Wig
Not everyone might feel the need to have one of these, but as a lolita, I find them to be hugely timesaving and kind of just plain fun. When I say "accessory" wig, I mean a wig that comes with attachments, usually some kind of bun or ponytail clips. They come to match the wig and are sewn onto a claw that just clips onto the clip. Voila! Instant ponytails and no fear of your tracks showing! Below is a stock photo of the twintail wig I own, which I bought secondhand, with and without ponytails attached. I'm also putting some suggestions of "accessory wigs" that I like.

39,95 Euro or about $47 at
(Actually from the place my twintail wig is from) $28.88 at cosplayvogue on eBay

 5. The Boy Wig
I don't own one of these yet either, but have seen my main girl (I say that like I know her and don't just idolize her from afar) Fetsu-Chan wear some adorable boy-style wigs. It made me (queen of long wigs) want to get one. I have short hair myself, I think I'm never attracted to short wigs because it just doesn't seem as fun to have short hair in a wig when you have it on your head every day. But remember kids, wigs probably look better than your real hair in terms of perfection. Now, when I say boy-style, I don't mean something that actually looks masculine. More like, imagine the anime man of your dreams and his hair can be yours. Here's a picture of Fetsu wearing a short wig, and some short wigs I like. "Men's Full Wig - Straight" from YesStyle, and a wig that's actually for a Diabolik Lovers cosplay, but I don't think anyone would know that if you just wore it with regular clothes from JcPunk on eBay.

Fetsu-Chan in a short wig

$28.72 at

$21.98 at jcpunk on eBay
6. The "JFC I'm Going To a Rave" Wig
This is a wig that's just plain ridiculous. Bright, crazy, and fun. I don't really get the whole thing where we have to act like our wigs are our real hair. I mean, it's one thing if your wig is horrible quality and looks like it came from the costume store, but if it's bright as heck and looks almost impassable as your real hair, who cares! Everyone's entitled to a little fun, and I think everyone should own a fun wig.

$55.99 at
24 GBP or about $36 at
$35.99 at
7. The Goddess Wig
I used to have a wig like this, and I ended up tossing it because it got so unruly. WARNING: If you have a very long wig, it's probably best to keep it wrapped up in a hairnet rather than out on display like I tried to do with mine. Anyway, this is a wig that makes you feel like, well, a goddess. Long, flowing, ethereal, and out of this world. Here are some wigs I like that suit this look.

35,95 Euro or about $40 at
$20 at
8. The Rhapsody
When these wigs first came out, I loved them. Then they got super popular and the angsty teen still living inside me didn't want one anymore. Now they've been out for a while, and I've concluded that everyone needs one. I think they're beautiful wigs that look good on everybody. The Rhapsody is a style of wig introduced by the Gothic Lolita Wigs brand, now under the subheading "Dolluxe", which owns GLW, Rockstar Wigs, and Cosplay Wigs USA. They warn on the website against buying dupes of Rhapsody, which just seems like a marketing ploy. It's not. I've seen the replicas of the Rhapsody wig, and they're not pretty. They look okay, but they lack all of the beautiful fullness that the original ones have. I would really recommend buying an original Rhapsody.

all $65 at
9. The Straight Wig
I think everyone should have a wig that's just...straight. Curly and wavy wigs are beautiful, and can really highlight color patterns within the wig, but they can be a pain to look after. Straight wigs will usually stay nicer, and you can brush through them without fear of ruining the shape. (It's also like an instant flat iron if you have curly or wavy hair.) I like this one from WigIsFashion, Lockshop, and Rockstar Wigs.

$20 at
32,95 Euro or about $37 at
$52.99 at
10. Hime Wig
Everyone wants to feel glamorous sometimes. I understand a lot of people will be turned off by hime wigs, because they're very dramatic. But I say a touch of drama never hurt anyone. Hime is Japanese for princess, and "hime" wigs refer to a style of Japanese fashion called "hime gyaru", or princess gal. Hime wigs always have a bouffant "pouf" in the back, because they've been backcombed a lot. You could achieve this look on a regular wig, but it's hard to do without showing tracks or making your wig look awful. Here are some I like from Cyperous, Lockshop, and Gothic Lolita Wigs.

5,900 Yen or about $50 at

$54.99 at

37,95 Euro or about $42 at

That's going to conclude things for this post. There are more wigs I personally think everyone should own, but probably aren't very realistic for most people. I'll make posts in the future if I get new wigs to review them. Do you wear wigs? If not, would you consider it? Let me know!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Katie Games!

Hi raspberries! It's been a few days. Sorry about that. Truth is, I've been very tired and stressed and haven't gotten around to making a blog post. In short, I've been feeling uninspired. But look no further, because I found something that's exciting me!
For Christmas, I got a Nintendo 3DS game, Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appetit! The bad news was, I had lost my DS charger somewhere in the abyss of my disorganized life. So, for about 2 weeks, it's been staring at me, but I couldn't play it on my very dead 3DS. A few days ago, a friend of mine came over, and gave me on of her chargers! Situation rectified!
Anyway, I played the game (really liked it, but more on that later), and was suddenly feeling inspired to play games again. Now, I've never been anything resembling a serious gamer. I didn't own a Gameboy in my late 90s/millennial childhood. The oldest console I remember my family having was an N64. The first handheld I owned was the first generation NDS (big clunky thing, it also played Gameboy Advance games).
I really got into "gaming", if you want to call it that, through the NDS line. However, I always liked games that were "girly", "cute", or otherwise non-serious. I still have that flair and would probably have to be paid to play a game like Assassin's Creed.
On my new kick, however, I decided to download a few console emulators, which are programs that "emulate" the original console on a PC. On my new found quest, I discovered all sorts of games I never thought about playing, but am now looking into, and even playing through.
I'm going to talk about my favorite games, games I'm currently playing, and games I intend to play (in the queue, if you will).

Katie's All-Time Faves

I haven't played a whole lot of video games, especially ones that would be considered "serious", whatever the heck that means. So don't get your gamer panties all in a snit because the best games of all time aren't in this part of the list. These are just games that are special to me.

1. Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life (GameCube)

This game was everything to me. I've probably spent more hours playing A Wonderful Life than I have any other game (except maybe Animal Crossing). I've played a few of the other Harvest Moon installments, but this is definitely my favorite. I think this game is what really got me into simulation-style games, which I still love. The gameplay was pretty excellent for me, and I just loved the peaceful nature of it, and the free-form, living your life style. I love RPGs, but I think the simulation category is really relaxing because you aren't constantly going on quests or feeling like you're in a time-crunch. Harvest Moon was my later childhood, at its best.

2. Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS)

This is a relatively new game released for the 3DS in late 2012. (Another simulation game, uh-oh!) Quite simply, I adore this game. It's relaxing, it's insanely cute, and it makes me feel like my life is just a little bit better because it exists. I've played every incarnation of Animal Crossing, and this is, in my opinion, hands down the best. It's every other version of Animal Crossing, but just better. The gameplay and environment are much richer, and there's a lot more to do. Since it's a simulation game, the added control over your fate, and the new options to just do more are really exciting.

3. Cooking Mama Series (NDS, 3DS)

These games, silly though they are, have a special place in my heart. I've played every incarnation of this series as well, and I really couldn't pick just one game as a standalone that I liked the best. They're all special in their own ways. I love the original, which contains more Japanese recipes. They vastly improved gameplay in the 2nd version, Dinner With Friends, which made actually making the food much easier. I really like the one I got for Christmas, which is the 5th, Bon Appetit! It was the second version released for the 3DS, and I love it. The recipes are great, graphics are amazing. I find it to be easier and more forgiving than the others (especially the original), so it would be awesome for kids.

4. Super Mario 64 (N64)

I wish I could talk more about the gameplay in this, but the truth is, I don't remember. I chose this game because it was a big part of my childhood. As I said, the N64 is the earliest console I remember my family having. I think we may have had a SNES when I was very young, but the 64 is what I recall vividly. Honestly, I didn't really play much of this game because I was like 6 and it was a bit hard for me. But I watched my dad play it for hours. I was entranced with the graphics, and the castle dynamic, with each room containing a different challenge. I would love to get a 64 (emulator for now), and play this game today. Super Mario 64 left a huge impression on me, and was my introduction to the Mario franchise. I still think it's a beautiful game.

5. Donkey Kong 64 (N64)

This is a really goofy one, because I probably remember even less of it than Super Mario 64, but I played it! I could kind of play this game, although I'm sure I was pretty terrible at it. I remember it being very pretty to me as a little kid, and in retrospect, I think it's cool as a 3D-style DK game. I loved playing as Dixie Kong, who used her ponytails to fly!

6. Style Savvy: Trendsetters (3DS)

This is another 3DS one that I've played recently. I got this about a year and a half ago on a whim, because I remembered wanting the original Style Savvy that came out for the NDS. These games are called Girls Code in Japan, and are so cute. I've never played the original Style Savvy, but Trendsetters was a blast for me. Basically, your job is to be a stylist in the game. You own a boutique, and can enter contests to compete with other stylists. It's not complex or anything, but it's adorable, and the fashionista in me couldn't resist.

Currently Playing

So I've sort of been dabbling around in a few games recently, using emulators. I want to talk about the ones I've been playing in this section.

1. Hamtaro: Rainbow Rescue (GBA)

I've been playing this Hamtaro game on my Game Boy Advance emulator, VBA-M. As I said, I didn't have a Game Boy as a kid, but I loved Hamtaro. I was crazy about Hamtaro. I almost got a Game Boy just to play these Hamtaro games. So far, it's been awesome. I think this is actually a really clever little game, which I wasn't expecting. The goal is to help a hamster who lives in a rainbow-land to fix his umbrella, which creates rainbows. You go to several places, collecting "colors" to put in his umbrella. There are a ton of mini-games you have to complete to get through the levels, and some of them are surprisingly hard. If you want a cute, but still slightly challenging game, this is awesome.

2. The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (GBA)

Finally! Katie's playing a Zelda game! I've been wanting to play one of The Legend of Zelda games for a while, but was afraid my cred as someone who only plays Cooking Mama and Animal Crossing might set me back. I asked around to find something that would be good for starters, and someone who likes cute games, and was suggested The Minish Cap. I've just started playing this on my VBA-M emulator, and I love it! It's adorable, introduces me to the Zelda franchise without being overwhelming, and is somewhere in between relaxing and challenging. I'm also a huge sucker for GBA-era game art, and I love the art in this game. In it, Zelda is turned to stone by the evil Vaati, and Link has to rescue her (of course). In the game, he shrinks down to "Minish" size, which is the name of tiny sprite-like people who live in the forest. His cap is actually a creature named Ezlo, who shows him how to shrink to Minish size, and is his companion through the game.

3. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (NDS)

This was one I wanted to play on the DS, so I got it for my NDS emulator, desmume. The premise is that you are a young, start-up defense attorney named Phoenix Wright. Throughout the game, you go though a series of cases and use evidence gathered to prove your client is not guilty. I'm on Case 2 right now, but I really like this game. It's challenging and differs from many games that are mere puzzles. This makes you really feel like you're a lawyer. It's a standout from the DS series of games, if you ask me.

4. Dogz (GBA)

Here's a goofy one! This was released under a different name in Japan, but I can't remember it. The premise is simple, get and raise a dog. It's kind of repetitive, as it's a kids game, but I think the adorable art makes up for it. I always loved games where you raise pets, and this one has such cute art, I couldn't say no. I think I will probably also play Dogz 2, which is basically the same, but with improved graphics, from what I can tell. This is adorable and relaxing.

Queued Up!

These are games that I've downloaded for my emulators, or want to buy to play on a console, but haven't played yet. I'm looking forward to playing a ton of games, so this by all means isn't all of them, just ones I'm planning on playing soon.

1. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (GBA)

I downloaded this for VBA-M because I read it was one of the best Final Fantasy games released for the GBA. I assume I'd really like the Final Fantasy games, but I didn't really want to start with a super-detailed, recent version released for an installation of the PlayStation or anything. I think this looks really fun and like something I can wrap my head around at this point.

2. Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire (GBA)

Confession time again: I've never played any Pokemon games except X, from the X and Y series for 3DS. I was really girly as a kid, and I thought Pokemon was for boys, so I wouldn't play it. Now that I'm older, Pokemon fascinates me. It seems like something I would love, and it's a shame I didn't play it as a kid. I loved X (which I lost, so I need to repurchase it). The art was beautiful, but I want to play some older Pokemon games. From the Ruby and Sapphire series, I got Emerald, because I heard it's got all the good components of both Ruby and Sapphire. I'm also stoked on the Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire games released for 3DS, and will probably get one of those eventually.

3. Pokemon Diamond and Pearl (NDS)

Another Pokemon game! I got Platinum (the special one, like Emerald). I want to play the Gold and Silver series for the Game Boy Color as well as the Black and White for the DS. I'm happy my love for Pokemon is finally being realized.

4. Super Princess Peach (NDS)

I've probably played more Mario games than any other widely recognized game series. I never finished any of them or took them seriously, but I loved a lot of the console games, like Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy. Me being the girly girl I am, I love Peach. This game was released for the DS where Peach is the star of the show, and has to save Mario. I've heard it's not exactly the feminist dream we were hoping for, but that's alright. 2015 is the 30th anniversary of Peach's first appearance, and so I think it's only right I pay homage to her.

5. Kirby: Canvas Curse (NDS)

I've never played or really had much interest in any of the Kirby games, but this one looked really cool to me, because of the painting elements. It's got good reviews and the art is adorable. I may have to actually buy the cartridge for my 3DS though, because it might involve too much touching to play on my laptop right now.

6. Sonic Advance (GBA)

I've also never played any Sonic games (who am I!?), so I thought this would be a good starter. If I like it, I might go on to play the other two for the GBA, Sonic Advance 2 and 3.

7. The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker (GameCube)

I tried to play this on my computer the other day, but it's really hard on a keyboard because there are so many controls. I want to get the disc and play it on a real GameCube with a controller. This game is highly regarded, and was the first real appearance of Link in cel-shaded form within a game. It seems like a good balance between relaxing and intense. (The music in this one really stood out to me as well.)

Well, that about does it for now! I just wanted to share the things I'm excited about with you guys. I'll probably update on how I'm liking these games, or any new games eventually. What are your favorite games? Are you a serious gamer or basically a child like me? Let me know!