Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Accessories and Makeup Minihaul

Hey everyone!

Recently I've been attempting to introduce a bit more gothic to my sweet wardrobe. I have too many Halloween prints and not enough accessories to do them justice. There is also an OTT gothic meet coming up in my comm that I'd like to attend but don't have a coordinate ready for. Hence, last weekend I went out to search for some accessories that would help me make better gothic coords. I ended up going to the mall to meetup with a fellow comm member for the first time as well! They are organizing the upcoming meet and we had the opportunity to speak for a long time. I'm happy I was able to meet them.
I forgot to take pictures of my coordinate because I was running late orz... but I finally got to wear Tea Time Nostalgia out <3~

Throughout the trip, I picked up some jewelry from Claire's and Icing, and found a Gengar mini-backpack at Hot Topic. I was super happy because it actually LOOKED like Gengar, unlike most of its stylized merchandise. I'm an avid ghost pokemon trainer and am looking to slowly build a collection of ghost pokemon plushies, so this was a particularly good find.
The next day, my husband and I went apple picking and also stopped at a few other places. I managed to grab a few skin care and makeup items from a local store that specializes in Korean fashion and makeup products. I've heard good things about both the Elizavecca face mask and the Holika Holika blackhead removal strips, so I'm excited to try them. I also got some Etude House lip gloss in true red for (hopefully) an upcoming coordinate, and some under-eye patches to treat dark circles since I've been sleeping very poorly lately orz...
On Monday I ran to do some grocery shopping at target and ended up getting the mask pictured with the jewelry, the e.l.f blush/foundation brush pictured with the make-up products, and a pair of boots for fall/winter. They look very similar to a pair I used to own when I was younger, so I could NOT pass them up!
I made a big purchase that broke my buying ban, but more details on that when it arrives ;)
All in all, I'd say this was a pretty productive weekend! I went out a lot more than usual and even finally made contact with someone from the local community! What about you? When was the last time you had a busy but productive weekend?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Wishlist update

Hey there peeps!

It's been a good while since I've posted about items that I want. Last time I updated my wishlist was when I had the prompt from the 30-day lolita challenge in January and, as I acquired new dresses and kept an eye on releases my tastes have shifted a bit since then. Still, the need is strong~
I typically am pretty picky about the main pieces I like. It is rare that I fall in love with new releases--particularly this year, which has been somewhat disappointing on that front. As a result, I pretty much only hunt for specific prints. Usually, I am drawn by chocolate, desserts, or Halloween themes. Hence Chess Chocolate, Creamy Royal Chocolate, Horror Garden, and Merrymaking in the Ghost Town, etc. fill my wardrobe after two years and some change of scouring the internet. for them. There's just something about sweets and whimsical spoopyness that always gets me. 

Lately, I've been attracted to pieces that give off a more sophisticated vampire-princessy feel. It may be the Halloween spirit invading me, but I've been drawn to black colorways of prints versatile enough to be coordinated for both sweet and gothic. Thankfully, my main piece wishlist has been dwindling steadily and there are only three dresses that I'd buy in a heartbeat if I saw them. Below are my top three wishlist items (and only main pieces I am actively looking for).

1. Marionette In My Closet Room

I used to own this dress and I really, really miss it. I'd like to get it in the Monochrome or BlackxPurple colorway. I've missed auctions on it a couple times and the only active ones are either the wrong color or way too expensive orz. Hopefully I'll be able to get a hold of it in the future.

2. Mercator's Antique Shop

I've had the bad luck to have missed several sales of this dress in the black colorway, which is my favorite. I'd like to get either the long JSK or the special set that is not high-waisted. It's such a beautiful print and has so many gorgeous details!

3. Charlotte's Bear JSK

Initially, I wasn't very convinced of this print. Like Imai Kira's previous AP collab, Perfume of Wonderland, it kind of slipped past my radar because I wasn't too into the colors used. However, when I saw the pink version in person at my local comm's fashion show, I fell in love with it. It looked so regal and cute! Unfortunately, the pink is hard to match, so I figured I'd go with the black colorway since it looks more mature than the others.

Lolita dresses are incredibly varied and have a myriad of interesting, gorgeous details. That makes it difficult to pick and choose which to purchase when money is limited. I narrowed down my choices by sticking to a color scheme (brown, ivory, black, pink) and staying between certain themes (desserts, Halloween, stuffed animals). How do you choose which pieces to hunt down? Do you have dream dresses, or do you guide yourself through a wishlist?

Keiko ouuut~

Monday, October 17, 2016

Exercising Discipline: Buying Bans

Hey there everyone~

Today's topic is something I've been meaning to write about for a while: buying bans. What are they? Well, it's basically an exercise in discipline to prevent yourself from buying things for a determined reason or period of time. I chose the term 'buying ban' not because it is necessarily imposed by an outside force that forbids one from purchasing things, but because I like alliteration. Buying bans actually are often a personal choice made to curb spending at times when money is low or must be dedicated to other expenses.
Naturally, buying bans can be difficult for some people. Make-up, accessories, dresses...there are so many temptations! It's no wonder why some lolitas have trouble keeping their expenses in check. Still, budgeting is a skill everyone needs and part of it is having the discipline to make the right choices (i.e. paying your bills, taking care of your health, etc.) based on available income. Different people have different degrees of resistance to temptation-- that's why where some are able to stick to their promises of not buying anymore by sheer will, others make use of tools or techniques to remove themselves from risky scenarios where they might fall to the allure of a new print.

Personally, I have a bit of a wobbly will. Normally, I am very frugal, but lolita seems to be my weak spot. I am specially susceptible to my main piece wishlist items, as accessories and basics don't attract me as much. Since I hunt for specific prints that don't come up often, I tend to feel a sense of urgency when I see them. As a result, I'm very weak when the opportunity to get a rare dress arises because, well, it's rare to see it. But I, like anyone else, have to control my buying impulses. In order to do so, I've come up with the following three tricks:

1. Reduce Marketplace Browsing

In my early days as a lolita, I tended to check Lacemarket several times a day in search of pieces I was on the hunt for. I checked egl-comm sales, and a couple of Facebook communities throughout the day as well. As I got more and more wishlist items and funds ran lower, I reduced the search times to about twice a day. Then I discovered mbok, Yahoo!Japan auctions, and mercari. As a sea of more opportunities opened for me, my web browsing increased a lot--as did my purchases. With income lulls, I've learned to reduced the amount of times I browse these sites, if I browse them at all. It's been helpful, since I can't fixate on auctions I don't know exist!

2. Get out of Facebook groups or make an lolita account separate from your normal profile

Because I spend a substantial amount of time on Facebook usually, it was really easy for me to see the sales that popped up on my feed. I corrected this issue with facebook settings so the notifications didn't show for me, but ultimately, I decided to exit the facebook groups altogether to avoid the temptation of checking them when on FB. When I had spending money again, I made a different facebook specifically for lolita and joined them again. I check it once in a while and the exposure to new listings is more controlled that way.

3. Use a site blocking app

When I resolved to not buy absolutely anything at all, I felt that the only way to diminish temptation was to somehow prevent myself from visiting sites at all. If I couldn't have access to them, I couldn't be as tempted. That's how I got BlockSite, a chrome extension for my computer that blocks chosen websites generally or on a timed basis. I rounded up the places I browsed most, and even some less often visited websites from my Where to Buy Lolita list, and blocked them all. For added bonus points, I also set the extension so that, every time I tried to visit the sites, it'd redirect me to my bank's website. It was a very clear reminder that I shouldn't be browsing for stuff to buy when I didn't have the money to.
In order for these strategies to work you still need to have some degree of discipline, of course. A site blocker is no good if you turn it off, for example. But these tools made it easier for me to avoid ill-timed or impulse purchases. There was a noticeable difference in my use of time, web browsing habits, and purchasing habits when I used all these in conjunction. It takes discipline to maintain a promise to yourself, and this is no different!

Do you struggle with buying bans? If so, what steps do you take to make sure you stay true to your promise? Let's exchange tips in the comments below~

Keiko out!