Beauty & Its price
Beauty Has Its Price
First off, let me tell you:
Beauty comes at a price
And that doesn't only mean what will go from your wallet into some hair or nail salons cash register, no this includes a lot of negativity featuring you. I have heard everything from me "promoting a negative body image" to "please just get plastic surgery".
To be fair, I can see where a lot of this is coming from, and I have found my own ways of dealing with it.
If you are thinking about starting up a career in any public field - or just uploading outfit shots of yourself on the internet: Be warned. Negativity is around every corner and you don't have to let it get to you.
Then & Now
And that is good that way.
We all grow up, we all make mistakes, especially in our looks, and we learn from these mistakes. I am glad I dyed my hair black in 10th grade, because I would have never found out how awfully pale I'd look with dark hair. I would have never found out how easy it is to go through the year with eyelash extentions if I didn't try them out last January.
Sometimes I get the impression that as soon as you are out there, as a blogger, a vlogger, a model, or a public figure of any type, you are no longer allowed to make mistakes. You are supposed to become that perfect thing, and if you are not - and bless the day I will ever find anyone who is 'perfect' in the public eye - then you get a lot of nasty things. From fake rumors to death threads to hateblogs, gossip magazines, it's all there and there are a whole lot of clueless people who fall for these things.
There are a lot of phases you go through as you live and there will always be someone who disagrees with your choices in fashion, make-up, the way you talk or even just your face. Eventually you will outgrow certain things throughout your life, and that is completely normal. You can only change the things about yourself, not others, and you certainly won't be able to change the way certain people think. If they hate that you wear pastel instead of black, they will always hate it. If you chose to wear pastel because you like it better, then that's your decision, and you should hold on to it. Don't let their opinion ruin your day, just because they went out with black when they wanted to wear purple, doesn't mean you have to do the same.
If someone wants you to be unhappy, because they can't be happy themselves, there's something wrong with them, not you.
There's a lot of this childish thinking out there, and it's mostly grown adults who stick to 5 year old logic.
"I am not feeling pretty, but this person seems like they are. They aren't allowed to feel pretty because when I can't have it, no one can" - It's a thinking pattern gossip magazines are based on, and if you have the chance to pick one up, later on, look at the articles from another perspective:
Why would I support hatred on others? Why would I feel better by looking at celebrities photographed without make up?
Hair, Nails, Eyelashes
From my hair over my eyelashes, to my make up and my nails: Some of it comes in boxes from Europe, imported to Japan, some of it I got local, but let me reassure you, I would not look the same without these things.
Let me start with the most obvious, when you look at one of my pictures on instagram: The eyelashes and eye make up.
It's no secret I'm making my eyes look bigger with make-up, you can see that in my latest YouTube video.
There is however another little detail, that I mentiones above: The eyelashes.
I often get comments about how well I apply my glue-on lashes, when in fact, I didn't use any since January.
There are a lot of different types of lash extentions that you can get, however all of them are applied at salons and therefor cost money. There are a lot of other countries where eyelash extentions are common, and they are - in my opinion - worth getting. It saved me half an hour on everyday make-up, and since I don't have to painstakingly redo this every single day, it's a lot less stressful for me. Mascara can glue the lashes together, it never curls the right way, etc. Glue-on lashes came off very easily, depending on where I got them from, and the price of extentions in Japan is about the same as getting a new pack of eyelashes every other week.
For nails I have to say, that anything goes for me. I like to experiment around with my own nail polish sets, but I also enjoy getting gel nails.
Gel nails last more than three times longer than normal nail polish, which for me means up to a month and a half. There is always some damage on the nails, so it's definitely not for everyone.
I stood away from this trend for a while, until nail stickers & stickers with gel coating (which you can get at Laforet: Vlli Vlli) pulled me in.
I'm always taking a time out in-between the sets, to give my nails time to grow back and heal.
Again, this saves me a lot of time and effort during the weeks, instead of redoing my nails twice a week by myself.
Another - pretty obvious - beaty trend I came across this year are hair extentions. I don't want to praise this too much, since I haven't had the chance to deal with the aftermath of this yet, and I generally have a really split opinion about them.
I got these keratine bond hair extentions in May, just before Harajuku Kawaii Week, and usually they last between four to six months.
I already had new ones put in in-between this time frame, as I just lost a lot of them.
I was really happy about the volume and the way how the curls last for ages in them, while my natural hair just never had this sort of volume.
Going back to normal in a few weeks is scaring me a little, since I didn't work with my normal hair in ages and there is no safe way to currently live on with wigs only, but we'll see how this goes.
Especially in Lolita I really enjoyed it, there were a lot of hairstyles I wanted to try out, and they all went more than well with the extentions.
Of course, strong hairspray and a bit of technique did add on to this.
It was really hard to find western hair that could actually get shipped to Japan, as salons over here mostly deal with asian clients, they only have asian hair to work with. If you live in Japan, you will have to invest in a good web search and some good friends in your home country to help you out.
(Mine came from Sweden: RapunzelOfSweden)
SkinCare, Haircare, The Model Life
This is sometimes more than difficult, being pale and having thin, blonde hair, what do you do in a country where you are the vast minority? - Import. Import. Import.
There are shops that sell products from the west, you can get a friend to send you make-up and what's not possible to get from home, you have to find a replacement for.
For example: I threw out my whole skin care routine I used to undergo in the UK for a new set of Korean products from Etude House. So did I with my make-up. And later on my brushes. And my palettes.
Letting go of certain things was a good decision. While a lot of western products actually were to harsh for my skin, a lot of the asian skin care products really helped me repair what some UK products did to me.
I also went on and started to experiment around with my make-up more. Back in college I was restricted to a certain 'natural' looking make-up, whereas upon moving to Japan I got the chance to go out with colors, contouring, eyeliner and and and. Also: Make-up is more accessible in the east, compared to the west. By that I don't mean there are no drug stores where I grew up, no, it's simply the range.
The west it's common to tan and looking tan is 'in', whereas being pale is pretty much looked down on. It's the complete opposite over here, and if you can't see it in the range of skin whitening products, light foundations and translucent powder sets, you have to take a look at Japans anti-UV culture: Parasols, extra sleeves in summer, long skirts, UV 50 sunblocker as the norm.
I was lucky enough to fit into a lot of beauty categories over here, regarding my body features, but also my personality. Being pale, having light hair and eyes, being a petite size, but also quite tall, having a bigger nose, all of that is a plus over here.
Being the quiet type, th
Also, in Japan people take more care of their body than in the west. I never saw any of my friends slapping on a cheap drug store products or leaving the house around noon without a parasol (and I am not talking about Lolitas here). It's important to look good over here and people put a lot of effort into their beauty routines. So do I.
I am not going to go into too much detail about these routines today, I will make a seperate post about them later on, but I want to warn you beforehand: It's a long way to go. I spend about two hours a day to look good enough to leave the house. An extra one when getting pictures taken and another one in the evening to just take care of my skin. This doesn't mean that I don't enjoy it.
Taking care of the way I look is important for my career and lifestyle, but it's also something that makes me really happy to look in the mirror everyday.