Sunday, November 25, 2012

Gal Checkpoint!! L.A. Tan Review

Where do I begin? Well, I suppose I should apologize to all the girls in my high school that I would constantly mock because of their orange tans. Though of course, there is such a thing as a good vs. bad tan. I apologize, because honestly, I never experienced how fun tanning can be!

All tans I've gotten before were courtesy of self-tanners or sitting out in the sun for hours on end. I never bothered to set foot into a tanning chain. Today, I wandered into the first L.A. Tan I've seen here in Chicago for my first tanning bed experience.

(The interior of the L.A. Tan on Madison St.)

The first thing I noticed was a couple of cheesy fake palm trees as I walked down the stairs. As someone who loves cheesy or ironic additions like that, I smiled to myself. But walking into the waiting room I was pleasantly surprised at how clean and professional it looked. The girl behind the counter greeted me and let me know more about their holiday promotions (all good deals, if you're a tanning regular, by the way!!). She was very friendly to me and the other customers (regulars) that walked in. Not the kind of fake-nice I was nervously anticipating, but really rather genuine. 

I filled out a paper and told her that it was my first time in a tanning salon. After admitting that, I felt a slight tension of something like... "oh, this n00b". Her demeanor changed a little bit, but it was only for a couple of moments. Once I got chatting about how much I loved the designs on the tanning lotion bottles, she cheered up again and I think she realized I was genuinely interested in the place.

She proceeded to explain everything to me, and gave me a small tour. They have a room with make-up remover provided, as well as extra hair ties, just in case you forgot your own. There is a radio in the room so you can listen to music while you tan. They've really thought of everything!

My room was clean; with a mirror, small table, and hooks for all my clothes and accessories. The tan itself was very relaxing. There was something surreal and spacey about the bright lights looking green through my eye protection. I felt like I was in a sci-fi movie pod. Honestly, I really loved it. 

Hopping out after 7 minutes, I inspected myself. My skin is really fair, so there will no doubt be a long time of building up tans before I actually have THE "L.A. Tan" but I already do notice a healthier glow to my skin. I aim to keep getting used to the machines and go for longer and stronger, next time. 
(hallway of tanning rooms)

For those who are worried about tanning, the L.A. Tan  website has a line that I found interesting. “Saying that UV exposure is harmful and should be avoided is as wrong as saying that water causes drowning, and therefore we should avoid water.”
Though I too worry some damage as well, it's always important to remember to use lotions and timing and stay safe! 

On my way out, I bought some eye protection and the counter girl asked me, "So, you gonna join the tanning squad?" And I suppose the answer to that is "yes, when I have the money!" haha

There is a very superficial edge to this "tanning squad" that you can read immediately when you visit the L.A. Tan website. Though I obviously don't believe "thin, tan, and blonde" is the only way to be "beautiful", I think there is a relaxing quality to getting a tan, and it honestly helped my skin look a little better. I will certainly be going back for more, but won't let any pressures seep into my skull. I would recommend L.A. Tan to regulars or all other gals! Fellow gyaru will LOVE the tanning lotion bottles they have and the pink walls! Try it out! x

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Serious Fashion Talk: "Identify as..."

gyaru & lolita

I'm having some feelings about fashion/style. Time for a tiny lecture! 

As someone who jumps around between enjoying fashions just as often as she fandom hops, sometimes I worry about being accepted by a community? Here in Chicago, I spend a lot of time trying to 'invent' myself. Not re-invent!! My entire life has been a tale of brain-washing and put-downs that resulted in me being influenced very easily and never living for myself, always to please or help others. Though that's good, too!! I don't mind being the punching-bag or the 'martyr' and I love to be as kind as I can (but my cynical Sagittarius nature gets in the way sometimes or bugs people).

It's when you can't dig yourself out from under all these "feel wrong" layers that you begin to realize something strange happened in your development! When I moved away, I finally was able to start inventing my own fashion without any judgment.   


Gal and Lolita are both communities where I can dress up exactly how I love to and hang out with a bunch of wonderful people. I'm really trying to ground myself here in Chicago with some friends who share a similar interest.
This brings me to my main point; feeling a fashion or lifestyle as "right for you" or "relatable."

For me, that's gyaru (particularly himegyaru). I don't know what it is, but it really calls me. That sounds so silly, I know, but it just really feels like it fits. The kitschiness, the pink, the hair, the make-up, the superficiality, and even the cattiness! Even the negative aspects of gyaru are things that I can see in myself. There are so many different sub-styles to draw from, endless possibilities and lots of fun to be had! I feel like a gyaru and "identify" as such.


This doesn't mean that I can't occasionally dress lolita! (This is a point where I get nervous about some of the elitism in some J-fashion communities.) I don't "identify" as a lolita, but I know a lot about it and I love the fashion. On days when I want to go to a meet-up or just look kawaii as fuck, I've got some lolita to do the trick. Some people really strongly see themselves as lolita, even though they may not dress in the fashion. (just ask albinwonderland about that!) 

And of course, there are days when I could care less and wander around the city in skinny jeans and a t-shirt. Though these are days that I feel very little confidence in myself. I feel like an underdressed princess, because my brain is still stuck in fashion mode! 

            how i feel inside                                   how i look on the outside

I suppose my tiny wish is that no one says "You can never be gyaru!" because I occasionally wear lolita. But my main wish is to grow and improve!  I know how catty some gyaru can be, and starting to get seriously immersed in the style (and finally meeting other gyaru!) stirs some nervousness in me... but I'm not afraid and I'm incredibly excited! 

Though every time I tell my friends "I'm going gyaru!" they squint at me and say "those tan girls? they're so.... euuugh." (I think their mind immediately goes to MANBA haha) It makes me a little sad that they think that way, but I think that I've been trying to please other people for too long.

I think it's time to seriously jump into gyaru!

If you want to follow some more regular posts on gyaru, as well as health and fitness, feel free to follow project-euphemia on tumblr!

Friday, July 13, 2012

About Space Schoolgirl part 2: Accessories

This is a master series of posts I'm working on. I want to tell you all about this aesthetic I created! I'm working on these posts in parts, just in case anyone wants to catch on to the style. All of the information at once would be way too much to take in! 
Here's part two: all about Space Schoolgirl Accessories.

We're gonna start out with the smallest, but perhaps more important elements of a style. Accessories! Space schoolgirl utilizies 90s style earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. UFO, Star Wars, or alien themes are a plus.
I actually made some of my own accessories. If you like them, you can buy them over at my STOREENVY.

Ice Queen and Acid Drops

Of course, Etsy is a great place to find themed accessories as well. Here are a few of my favorites.

Stretched ear jewelry vs. pierced ear jewelery



...And as always, tumblr has good pieces of reference!


And as for bracelets, I wear a lot of the 90s tattoo bracelets and jelly bracelets. I wish I had more. I used to wear them all over the place when I was a kid. They're so cute and I think they fit in the style perfectly.


 ~ + ~

Friday, July 6, 2012

About Space Schoolgirl part 1: Inspirations

This is a master series of posts I'm working on. I want to tell you all about this aesthetic I created! I'm working on these posts in parts, just in case anyone wants to catch on to the style. All of the information at once would be way too much to take in! 
Without further ado, here's part one: all about Space Schoolgirl Inspirations.

While I’m investing in hime-gyaru, there’s another style that I’m really in love with… (one I kind of invented for myself and anyone else who thinks its cute!)
I call it space schoolgirl (or space princess)… and it’s really rather simple! Everything can be handmade or found at a thrift store. Its an edgier style, but still so cute. Kind of for people who want to mix cute and childlike elements with a grungy/vintage aesthetic. It's supposed to be a little kitschy! 

Main elements can be found in cold colors, facial markings (centered on eyes!), vintage or alien themed jewelry, cardigans, tye-dye, tights, and most importantly, schoolgirl skirts!! Shorts can work too if it’s what you prefer.

Some of my inspirations came from tumblr, blogs, or elements that I like.
-fairy kei and seapunk
-japanese schoolgirl uniforms
-aliens and UFOs



~ + ~

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sketch spam!!

I've been working really hard to improve and develop a style of my very own recently. It's a challenge, especially when you're as indecisive as me!! I've decided to share some of the sketches I got around to scanning recently.
It's mostly fan art; I draw a lot of fan art when I'm style experimenting. It helps me see the style, rather than the familiar characters. If you recognize any of the characters, let me know!

I originally wanted to do a different post today, but I decided that it needed more work. ^^ I'm really cracking down on posts, I'm telling you!

If you're curious about more of the complete pieces I've been finishing up lately, make sure you check out my art blog

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Jolie Petite Deco Review

I'll be doing a long overdue review of Jolie Petite
As soon as I had the money on paypal, I rushed to order a case from Danielle. I had been seeing her work all over tumblr and I wanted a case of my very own!

Communication with Danielle is always good as I've heard, even though she's very busy. Not to mention she sends cute little (free!) gifts with your order which was lovely!! I received candy, a Rilakkuma pin, and a darling little personal note. 

Everything that came in my order:
I've decided to leave the picture backwards so you can't read it! >3< Hehe

As you can see by the bubblewrap, my case was well protected on its long journey!! 
It took a long time for my case to arrive (over a month), but since it was custom and Danielle is so busy, I didn't think much of it. She is sure to tell you to be patient, so you can't exactly complain to her if it doesn't show up in two weeks!! 

I knew my order was ready when I saw this photo on her facebook page:

It had everything I asked for on it~
Bats, stars, lavender, mint, roses... and she even found a way to properly incorporate citrus fruit!! ( I was worried it would look out of place... but I asked anyway and Danielle found a way to make it work. ) She's so talented at coordination, I want three more super-cute cases from her.
 Everyone on the FB page seemed to love it too, and there were even some people who wanted a replica of it.

From the side~

 I am constantly complimented on it in real life. My classmates are always asking to touch it and everyone asks me where I got it. The silicone whipped cream always surprises them. ^^

I actually like how the phone fits in my palm better than the iPhone without the case! It doesn't distract my phone calls or texting if I need to respond while the case is still on. 

Unfortunately, I haven't had the case on my phone very often as of late. 
(Yes, here we go, some issues...)
Two days after I got the case, a couple of the smaller deco pieces broke. 

To be specific, it was the lavender macaroons you can see next to the citrus fruit. The white "icing" came out and broke on both of them. I didn't panic since it was so small and I fixed it up with some of my own E-6000 glue, but the same thing happened just a couple days ago and I lost the pieces so now I can't fix them... 
Other than that, the other pieces have held up very well, and the macaroons are very small, so it's ok...

...It also gets pretty dusty, but there are cleaning instructions included in the order~

However, one other problem keeps me from putting the case on my phone. 
A couple of cracks developed on the bottom corners of the clear case part. It was only on one corner at first, but when the second corner cracked, I gave the case a break.

Of course, I contacted Danielle on facebook about this issue and I got a speedy reply! 
She was extremely friendly and gave me the best advice she could... which was, as I had figured, use E-6000 to cement the cracks. ^^
I haven't been able to get a new bottle of E-6000 yet, but you can be sure that the first thing I'll do is fix my darling phone case!!! 

Service: 9/10

Quality: 7/10

Enjoyment: 10/10

Overall, I would buy from Jolie Petite again as soon as possible. 
I'd like to try some of my own deco someday, but Danielle definitely has a natural talent for it! And since I am very close to my ear-stretching goal, I'll be looking out for her deals on plugs next! Maybe I can do a review on those. :)

If you've been looking for a good quality, supercute phone case, I'll suggest Jolie Petite Deco to you any day. 
What would you put on your deco case if you decided to order one?

xoxo x

Monday, June 25, 2012

Getting Serious about Hime

I’ve looked into various alternative fashions for a very long time… from nu-goth to Lolita, I love a lot of different looks.  Only recently did I happen upon a style that I feel really defines me. After looking at the kitschiness of gyaru and gal, I started to be interested. However, it seemed to embody the blonde+tan combination I so despised all throughout high-school, and the clothes were too plain… but gyaru has so many different sub-groups to be interested in! Hime-gyaru started calling to me.

Only recently have I been able to start taking my new fashion sub-culture seriously. I’ve never been able to afford my interests in fashion, but I happened across some amazing thrift store finds to give a jumpstart into my hime gyaru life!! Then I decided it was time to get serious about hime gyaru.

This dress was a hand-me-down from a friend, but it's perfect with a belt and tights!!

An old strapless prom dress from my favorite thrift store. It's got a good color scheme 
for a creepier or sexier hime coord. It's super high quality with a nice built-in bra.

This one looks even better on the body! I loved the print so much. Good hime prints are so hard to find on American summer dresses. It's lighter and good for hot weather.

I even found cute hime PJ pants! I was in need of PJ pants and these were too cute to pass up--especially for only a dollar!! I cleaned them up real well and they're still super comfy.
$5 lacey hand-gloves

…I've even done some tanning! Just trying it out though. I’m not crazy about it.

$8 Jergen's

$5 decals

Nails are the hardest thing for me right now… Can’t spend much on fancy decals!! Wish I could though. I’m doing so well at not chewing my nails… >3< But I’ve gotten a couple cute stick-ons. Start out small…. Wigs next!! Gotta get a good blonde one.

What fashions are you interested in? Are you invested in any subcultures?