Sunday, 2 December 2012

Why I love Japan.

So I guess, there are a lot of people who will say that they 'love Japan' for various reasons. Often they will say 'I've loved Japan since I was a little girl' etc, but I have to say... I haven't. I had the same semi-disinterest in geography that most kids did. The only reason I really knew of Japan was through video games, specifically, but my real interest in Japan and it's culture came much later on.

Primarily, my interest came via the study of the language. I always wanted to study a language, I actually enjoyed French, and so my actual interest sparked there. I've been studying Japanese off and on for a few years, did a couple of exams here and there, but have only recently been studying PROPERLY, as in daily, over the past months. I've learnt so much in that time!

I think this post will help me in my language, because to motivate yourself to be good at a language you need a reason to progress in the first place. So I want to say all the things I wanna say about Japan.

Now don't get me wrong. I love my home country, England. But there are many things I hate about it too. Japan isn't a sparkly land of wonder, and it isn't perfect. There are a lot of things Japan does have that I really value highly, however. Their ethos on life is respectable. They value hard work and intelligence; that's not to say they don't value superficial things because they really have a ridiculous idol culture, but I feel that if you make an effort there you are rewarded for it. Secondly, I value manners a whole lot. Their entire culture is based on being polite and manners. I think this is important to me because I can be really super polite and it will be considered normal (the amount of times I say 'thanks' normally is pretty OTT) and so I feel that it's important and it's important to the Japanese.

Also, everyone waits in line. Everything seems fair, somehow. People will treat you kindly, help carry your bags, give you free stuff if they see you've been struggling to win a prize in the arcade. And they do it and walk off without wanting any sort of recognition. It's ingrained in their culture to care for one another and to put others before themselves. In most places, this is an ideal but not a reality. I can actually feel it and see it in Japan for myself. 

I will put it in perspective for you; I've only been to Japan once, for two weeks. It's hard to get a full grasp of the culture in it's entirity in that time. I'm basing it off the small acts of kindness I witnessed there. I guess you could call it a 'vibe.' Any society is complex, so it's hard to pinpoint exactly what it's like, especially from such a short time.

I just feel there is something different about their general ideals that seem attractive to me. Not to mention, the land itself and the traditional style of culture is very beautiful. So, even if you have a vague interest in Japan I'd say it's worth visiting, just for the sake of being something totally different. You don't have to induldge in the pop culture if you don't want, likewise if that's all you want you can go down that route, it just depends where you stay. I like to have a good mix of traditional Japan and modern, high tech, pop-culture style Japan. It's amazing how a country can have such a high contrast of old and new.

So, that's why I love Japan. Have you visited Japan? What do you like about it?

Thanks for reading;

Sally.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Just Dance 4 Launch Party

Hello everyone~

Last night was the Just Dance 4 Launch Party at the Baltic; I had a dress made that worked out quite nicely and the whole party was amazing!

Since I was a little girl, I've dreamed of working in the video game industry. I used to share my passion for video games with everyone; finding softwares to develop games at a young age. My first game was a basic ball bouncing game, followed by a touch screen bubble popping game for the Nintendo DS. Over the years my goal has become all the more real, studying Computer Animation at University and acquiring a job as a play tester at Team 17. My start in the game industry has been a successful one, working for one of the biggest game companies at the moment on a triple A title; Just Dance 4.

Working for Ubisoft so far has been an amazing experience and I've met so many people along the way that I know I'll be in touch with for life. We all share that same passion for the industry and everyone around me is so committed and hardworking, as well as extremely talented. I feel privileged to be a part of the entire thing.

Launch parties are a celebration of all you have achieved and a chance to relax after a project :) I of course had to take this opportunity with my friends to dress in a ridiculous Just Dance style loosely based on one of the coaches. We had an awesome night of partying in a really nice venue, and more importantly, everyone danced enthusiastically to Gangnam Style. Here are some slightly embarrassing pictures of the night!



I love these guys <3


Lolol had to be done!

The amazing JD4 crew! And my boyfriend in a silly hat.

Thanks for reading!~ <3

Apple x

Just a note, this is a personal blog and in no way is it associated with Ubisoft, everything here is my own personal view.


Thursday, 27 September 2012

Newcastle Blue Reef Aquarium

Aquariums are something I always enjoyed when I was a kid, and so as a group me and my colleagues decided to check out the Blue Reef Aquarium, on the coast of Cullercoats in Newcastle. It's a relatively small aquarium with a fairly hefty entry fee of just over 7 pounds, but it was all worth it to see the amazing wildlife and exhibits from our seas.

Antonela took a huge array of pictures from our day. Sea life is really amazing and you don't often get the chance to observe such strange creatures, having the opportunity to see starfish, sting ray and even small sharks up close was fascinating. There were this weird spiny creatures with tiny mouths, that had teeth and they were so weird looking!


Sunday, 23 September 2012

Paperchase Goodies

Hey! Have you ever been in Paperchase? It's full of stationary and other related things. I spent pretty much my life in there browsing all the cute little pencils, books and stickers. Here is a little blog post about a couple of things I got in the sale.

At the moment I'm trying to continue my Japanese study so that I can take one of the JLPT tests, so I've been looking for some sticky notes so that I can label stuff around the house to help me remember various vocab and arrange grammar related things. There was a little booklet in the sale; it contains a variety of different types of notes and has characters on. I love it because it has a ton of English traditions and landmarks on it and that kind of stuff is always adorable.





Another thing I bought, in a similar style, is a set of pencils. I haven't done any art related stuff in ages so I just bought this simple set for doodles at work on my lunch break or something :)



Check out Paperchase~!

Apple x

Friday, 21 September 2012

Thursday Purchases 20/08/2012

Hey everyone, how are you doing? Today I'm just going to post a few of my recent purchases. All make-up and nail varnish this time, I went on a little bit of a spree! Most of these items are pretty budget items; I'm not one for spending a huge amount on make-up unless it's either eyeliner or foundation, which I don't really wear that often.

So here is the collection, from left to right: Manhattan Gel Eyeliner Long-Lasting, Rimmel Lasting Finish in Sweet as Sugar (704), Rimmel Lasting Finish in Pear Drop (703), Bourjois Paris Smokey Eye Trio in Baroque (02), Calvin Klien Splendid Colour in Electric Blue (71309), Calvin Klien Splendid Colour in Hallucinate (71303), Miss Sporty So Clear Pressed Powder in Transparent (001) and finally 17 Miracle Matte Skin Primer.


Miss Sporty items are really cheap, but they tend to be largely okay. I've actually used their foundation before and had no problems, although the coverage is often very light as this brand is aimed at young people. This case comes with the pressed powder, a powder puff and a mirror, all neatly packed. It's a pretty standard pressed powder, decent coverage without looking too cakey. I would recommend it for daily use to take off the shine, but wouldn't use it for anything big like a photoshoot.


Primer is something I've been meaning to get my hands on for a decade. Despite how often I use makeup I've never actually used primer; pretty sure that's a staple of peoples make-up kits! Primer is used to take the shine off your skin and makes make-up last longer. I often find that eyeshadows crease really easily in my eyelids so hopefully this will help that problem. 17 is another budget brand, I've found their nail varnishes to be pretty bad but hopefully this won't be too bad.


This was the most expensive item on the list. I've had a great eyeshadow from Bourjois Paris before and so I decided to get a few more. This set looks like it'd compliment green eyes well, usually I go for purple, brown or green eyeshadows and this is a nice earthy mix. It comes with an applicator sponge and has three shades. Also what I like is that it comes with a little tutorial on the back, telling you which areas to best apply the colour. Usually cheap eyeshadows don't stick and are just a waste, so I'm happy spending a bit more to get something that actually lasts.


I saw the electric blue and thought it was a really striking colour. Never bought any CK nail varnish before but they had a great range of colour and just liked the look of it. Again, this stuff is pretty cheap. I also bought the crazy glittery version, I find that's good for topcoats or just if you want things to be sparkly!


I use Rimmel Nail Varnish a lot, so I know they are decent quality. They don't chip that easily compared to some of my other nail varnishes, and they come in a huge range of colours. I really love green and these two were sat next to each other on the shelf, really complimentry colours and so cute! I could probably think of a few ways to use these. Another thing I noticed about Rimmel Nail Varnishes is that it drys really quick; I'm impatient and usually have loads to do so I end up smudging those that don't dry fast enough.


Finally, gel eyeliner. This was an impulse buy because I'm running out of my usual Maybelline stuff and wanted to try some other gels. I don't know the brand, but it came in a nice clean package and the gel looks nice and smooth. Will review it when I give it a go!



So that's my stuff for Thursday. All kind of impulse, but my makeup kit was getting a little old and same-y and wanted some things to liven it up a bit.

Thanks,

Apple

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Gyaru Style Eyes: Introduction

Hello everyone! This is an introduction to gyaru style eye make-up, a collection of products and tutorials for beginners. I've gathered a collection of images from Egg, Popteen and other popular gyaru magazines from Japan so that you can see the variety of styles and pick one to suit your type of eyes.

  Gyaru eye make-up is characterised by big, bold styles; dark eyeliners, fake eyelashes, white eyeshadows and liners and the use of circle lenses. Often, this type of makeup isn't a very natural looking style however there are levels of this look that you'd be able to use on a casual day.

Eyeliners

Eyeliners are usual liquid or gel eyeliners. Liquid eyeliners are very versatile and are nice and easy to get a clean line with once you are used to using them. The advantage of gel eyeliner types is that they are resilient and unlikely to smudge: either will work well for this type of look. A couple of brands that I've personally found work well for me include Maybelline EyeStudio Lasting Drama, which is a gel liner, and Rimmel London Exaggerate Eyeliner, which is a liquid eyeliner.  These are reasonably priced eyeliners that can be used daily. If you are looking for a popular item then perhaps try Lime Crime Quill Black eyeliner. For a softer more Hime Gyaru look, you could try using brown and offblack eyeliners instead.

Eyeshadows

Gyaru eyeshadow is often limited to natural or pale colours, so that the black line shows up well, but what you choose to use may depend on your skin colour. A white, beige or brown set would do well. For dramatic and long lasting colour, Kryolan is great. It will last all day and all night if you wish to use it in this manner, but their shadows aren't particularly soft. For a gyaru look straight from Japan you can try the Dolly Wink eyeshadow range.

Eyelashes

Fake eyelashes are available everywhere these days. The most popular Gyaru brand of eyelashes is arguably Dolly Wink, with a large range of styles of upper and lower lashes. Gyaru styles often use eyelashes on the lower lash line with a small gap to make eyes appear larger. They are vital to finish the look! Other eyelashes are available and are currently very popular in the UK, you can get them in most stores now.

Circle Lenses

Circle lenses are another staple of Gyaru fashion. They make your eyes look bigger and can also change the base colour of your eye. Moreover, they compliment the eyeliner style nicely for a doll-like look. There are many types and varieties of circle lenses in various colours, sizes and styles. Safety is the most important factor when picking circle lenses, so make sure you always follow the instructions and wash your circle lenses regularly and thoroughly before putting them into your eye. If you are new to contact lenses it's a good idea to start with lenses that aren't too big in diameter. Only wear them for the listed amount of time! You can get contact lenses from a variety of places, for fast UK shipping use TokyoToys, if you have a bit longer than HoneyColor is a good bet too.

Hope this helps,

Apple x

Japan Trip 2013

Hello again everyone!

I'm planning to hugely revamp this blog and make some more regular posts. This one is going to be about my trip to Japan which I'm planning for 2013!

I'm extremely excited because having been to Japan a while back I know how great it is, and now I also have better idea of where I'd like to visit again and the layout of the land. The plan is the same as last time, a week in Osaka and the next week in Tokyo.

Osaka is a really friendly and lively part of Japan with loads to do, and it's also possible to visit Kobe, a sea port town, and Kyoto, a traditional style Japanese town, from there. In Osaka you are likely to end up doing randomly fun stuff and meeting loads of new people, I found Tokyo was a little less forthcoming, however you can get on with your shopping without being asked a load of questions! We took a purikura picture everyday, which was pretty mad! The machines are amazing and have all sorts of options, this is me and Risa sparkling it up:



Last time we stayed in Hotel Kinki in Umeda, it's in the heart of pretty much everything and within walking distance of major stations. We did so much shopping, on the first night we'd bought/won a ton of stuff.

I'm saving up quite a bit of money so hoping to go about late March/April which is cherry blossom season in Japan; also the weather is generally pleasant, not too hot, not too cold, and rain is fairly uncommon around this time.


So pretty! Tokyo is an amazing place with some of the most interesting architecture, you can walk down any sidestreet and find something interesting. It's beautiful! Not to mention all the great places for fashion, such as Harajuku and Shibuya. There is so much to see and do, last time we also visited Mt Fuji which is one of Japans most famous landscapes. Next time I hope to see even more of Japan.



Until next time!

Apple x