Sunday, December 30, 2012

Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013!

Its 4am. Its cold. Why am I still up wearing mario pajamas and pastel warm fuzzy socks writing here blogging. LOL. Hmm. I guess I'm probably playing catch up then. Wow. Only 2 days left in the year and we are going to be welcoming 2013 soon! So I guess this would be more or less my recap post to end the year? I feel like I haven't done much of a blog posts here lately. This has been definitely neglected space. Its funny looking back at how old this blog is, or more like how long have I been blogging owo;;; all not seriously. Mostly ramblings. I've probably gone through quite a number of different engines before really settling down with blogspot. But yeah, I digress...

I'm honestly not really big on the whole 'year is ending, time to start a new' type thing. I wish I was but I just feel pretty indifferent towards it.
I guess the only thing that significance another year coming, to me personally. I guess, it just signifies another year is ending, another year is starting. Thats another year to add to your notch of how old you are LOL! And you start to consider, man, what have I been doing with my life?! And then you start to look back and question your priorities (lol) and also start to reminiscence how much time has passed, whats happened in all these years. etc etc etc. New experiences, new people, new events. Or simply the fact that you've been doing this for far too long LOL and then what. I honestly dont know where I was going with that.

But yeah, wow, I guess I can say 2012 has definitely been an interesting year. I can't really recall whats happened, whats changed. It just felt that everything after 2010 has just all merged into one big ball!  All I know is, I've definitely drove up to Los Angeles quite a number of times lmaooo than I have ever really wanted to during the summer time lol and probably squeezed in as much shoots as I could possibly do. Unfortunately, one of my biggest projects; Code Geass has definitely been put on the back burner x__X I've been pulling 6 days a week at work lately so its really hard to keep the fire going on a project as big as that.
I haven't even really done much in terms of sewing and prep work for the last two cons of the year; PMX and ALA. I'm still behind on PMX photos. not like there really was much to post from there. Hopefully I'll come back from ALA with more photos lol...

I am definitely looking forward to a break, I'm feeling quite burned out. Hence the hiatus lol. (That and I've been trying to hop onto COD as much as I can to take advantage of all the xmas n00bs. Hey come on man, even Treyach did an announcement on the Xmas noobs and asked us all to treat them kindly LAWL)

So I guess this will also be my holiday posts~

 Christmas was spent, well, I wouldn't necessarily call it quiet but definitely a humble one. Had a few friends over and whatnot. it just sucks that it had to be on a Tuesday and I had to work Monday before that. We we're suppose to try and catch Les Miserable but that didn't happen either. A few goodies I've snatched up from XMAS from friends and family~ That cook book. omg. I'm excited to try making macarons LOL. Eventually. FFFF. I just need....time orz time time time. Oh well.

Had way too much food during xmas and we still have plenty of left over kbbq that we're slowly whacking away at  lol. Along with the xmas goodies, I finally snatched myself a Gothic Lolita Wig during their 15% off holiday sale, I snatched the brown x blonde split gyaru wig. A full review will be coming up eventually lol~ I've been eyeing this wig for quite sometime now but was always hesitant to get it, and when I was finally up to getting one. Forever sold out! But yes I finally snatched me one!

But yeah~ 2012. I did quite a number of shoots but sadly the momentum died down when it came to planning a big project. I still have a few projects I definitely want to tackle come spring when things are warming up again or something. but one thing I definitely don't miss, other than the planning segment. Its the time and effort it takes to sit down and sew the costumes needed for said projects and having pulling 40+ hrs a week is defiantly slowing me down. I kinda don't mind lol but I know I'll be itching to shoot something after winter hibernation period ends. I'm curious to see what 2013 has instore and this blog is definitely needing a face lift. So I /need/ to shoot something soon so I can make a new layout hahaha!

One thing I'm definitely looking forward to come spring is the cherry blossoms, I wonder what my big shoot will be for Sakura Matsuri hahaha and I'm hoping 2013 will be the year I get to go back and visit San Francisco and San Jose for Fanime~ we'll see! Big plans are always big but delivery is always another thing. Haha. Bring it on 2013! Please bring me good luck~

It is way too late for me to be blogging and I feel that I'm just rambling and typing to take up useless space orz. But I do know I have a few posts lined up I'm working on.....hurhurhur. Interesting how this is a personal lifestyle ish beauty blog cosplay meshed into one. Oh, lets not forget photography. Hahaha. Ok. I'm logging out now. I'll probably come back later and delete this. Just because. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Cosplay Shops on Taobao - overseas friendly! & Shopping Services

Here is a list of Cosplay and Wig shops from Taobao that will sell directly to overseas shoppers:

I got this list off a friend a few years ago, so this isn't very up to date as I don't really do much wig shopping anymore on taobao. but here is a comprehensive list of sellers that will sell directly to overseas buyers without the need of an agent.
The only thing though, these sellers *only* ships EMS. Best to do a group order to split the cost of shipping among friends.

Remember, the longer/heavier the wig is, the more your shipping will cost you. What I also like about ordering wigs from these sellers, most if not all the wigs they carry are pretty thick and heat resistant.
A lot of the shops I'm listing down below carries a lot of the really popular cosplays being done, sells costumes, wigs - both character wigs and base wigs. Alot of the times you'll find just "base" wigs in a variety of colors that you can cut, trim and tease to the character you need it to. They also carry small props and misc accessories.

Fantasy Sheep
Lucaille Wigs
Grand Young
Wig-Supplier - not really a taobao shop per se but they do carry a lot of the similar wigs you find on taobao. Just not as a wide of a variety. I also have a review from them here

Taobao Shopping Services:

Most taobao shopping services do charge a fee for their services, some more than others And alot of the times these taobao agents offer free or discounted domestic shipping, which means its free for them to receive the items from the said shops your ordering from. They will be able to let you know on the quote if they quality for it.
I'll keep updating this list for agents and whatnot! (10% service fee)  (8% service fee)

How to use Taobao & Taobao Spree (agent review)

What is Taobao?
Taobao is basically the eBay of China! And I freaking LOVE it. You can practically get anything and everything from taobao. From brand name clothing (mostly knock offs tbh), clothes in general to wigs, shoes and most of course the most popular items that people use this for; lolita and cosplay items!

The only catch with taobao is, as an overseas buyer you won't be able to purchase an item from them so you need to go through a shipping agent.

But there are a few taobao stores that will sell directly to overseas buyers; most of them are cosplay and wig shops. I'll link them in a separate post here

What is a shipping agent?
A shipping agent is basically someone who will BUY the item for you, get it shipped to their facility (there are several agents that service taobao and rakuten (rakuten is Japanese), you pay the agent a small fee and they will purchase or bid on said item for you and get it shipped to them and they will then forward you said items. But again, the cost of shipping is up to you.

Buying through a taobao agent also helps because a lot of agents get a certain % off shipping items and etc, which does help in the long run :D

Taobao is pretty simple to use honestly! I don't need to flood this posts with several examples on how to use it. And if your using GOOGLE CHROME, it gives you an option ontop to translate the page for you.
Be sure to keep ti on the first tab ontop for the default search bar, for some reason google chrome translates it to "baby" but, meh. IDK.

Things to watch out for on taobao:
Don't get too carried away by the cheap prices that they flash on your screen! The prices are all listed as Yuans and you convert them to US Dollars. The more the item weights, the more expensive shipping will be. So its usually advisable to order with a group so you guys can split shipping accordingly.

Things to keep inmind while shopping on Taobao:

The first rule on shopping on taobao; you get what you pay for. Not all the items you will see are the real deal, some are knock offs - good knockoffs and some are just bad. Inspect the photos well and just take it with a grain of salt and keep in mind you get what you pay for.

Secondly, cross reference the items you're looking for with other web shops such as eBay to assure yourself you ARE getting a good deal or whatnot. No sense in overpaying for a certain item and hassle of agents when you can find the similar item elsewhere on ebay for pretty much the same price. Your probably only going to save yourself a couple dollars in the long run. (granted, you do the whole back & forth with your agent and etc) but its all up to you. I personally love taobao for all the impossible to find Viviene Westwood items, or knock off Givenchy stuff lol.

-Wigs. Well, this is really a iffy thing. If your buying wigs, make sure your buying more than 1 or with a group. I suggest just doing a giant wig haul because the cost of wig + agent fee + shipping to the agent + shipping to YOU will cost you a hefty price if your just ordering ONE Wig. If you ARE ordering a few wigs, try to order from the same seller to save yourself the shipping.

What I love about wig shopping on taobao is the fashion wigs. They give you more variety and choices in terms of fashion wigs. I wouldn't order cosplay wigs from taobao directly I would first go do a search on ebay and see if I can get the same item for pretty much the same price and without the hassle of an agent or check the list of taobao sellers willing to sell direct. But with most of those shops, they will only charge EMS. And nothing else!

-Shoes, these tends to be a total hit or miss on both quality and price. Taobao is the place to go if you're looking for some Vivienne Westwood Winged Sandals and don't quite have the $200 to drop on the real deal. Or if you're looking for those Jeremy Scott teddy bear shoes that are forever sold out on eBay.
 but keep in mid, shoes tends to weight the most and so shipping will automatically cost you pretty much as much as the shoes are, but it could depend really. I suggest browsing through first if you're just in the mood to browse for shoes and style and not necessarily a specific model and brand. Their prices are competitive and cheap, quality is good (you get what you paid for, I have a review for here) you dont need an agent to shop with them. But if you ARE looking for a specific brand, make and model. By all means, taobao will be your new bff.

-Lashes or Makeup. Unless your buying Anna Sui, you might as well go to for your beauty items. Since you don't need to use an agent with

-Costumes. Sometimes it is advisable, but again, I suggest shopping around the internet for cosplay shops before settling down on ordering from taobao. Sometimes the quality of costumes from a taobao shop is nicer than what your typical cosplay shop carries.
And sometimes you just can't find the right item you're looking for on ebay. Then best to do a group order.
Or consider looking through shops that sells directly to the US (see list of stores below)

-DVDs and electronics. Remember that most dvds and etc are region locked. Your better off ordering from CDJapan or YesAsia! Since you gotta consider the fees that goes into ordering from Taobao and an agent.

Searching for specific items on taobao:
If you're not a native chinese speaker or can read/write. Google translate is your best friend Try and break down the words or key words to help narrow down your search a bit more.

How to use Taobao agents:

On my first order from Taobao that I did on my own I went ahead and did a google search for Taobao agents, yes I went on a total shot in the dark and the first thing that popped up was Taobao Agent
but of course I didn't take a complete gamble, I went and did another search for reviews for said agent, and I found one from the egl community on Livejournal. Those girls are probably the hardest people to impress lol since they look at every single little detail LOL

So I took a shot at it, I followed their website instructions on How to Order and whatnot, which is really simple. They even have a form on their website you can download and fill out or you can make your own list.

You simply list down your information, the items you want (a link to it as well) and some more specific details about the item. Such as style, color and size. And you list down the price in Yuan and the shipping for said item.

Here is an example of what an item would look like if you're doing an order. I also went ahead and did a screen cap for the translated version. Even if the translated version is showing $ its still in Yuan prices.

So when filling out the order form (I highly suggest going through with their order form because its so much more organize and breaks down all the prices and etc for you, their order form is in  excel format as well)

You would note down a link to the item, style, sellers name (Which I didn't get on the screen cap but its usually on the right hand side right above the diamond icons) if you are unable to fill out that portion, your still ok. The agent will probably fill out the rest of the info but its best you fill it out to the best of your ability)

and the portion that says 'express' would be the general shipping cost for the agent. The agent sums up all the cost for you and sends you a final quote for all the items, including their discount and their shipping fee.

My agent at the time who was helping me was very nice and communicated well and answered all my questions promptly and kept me in the loop. As soon as I sent in my order form, I got an email within 24 hrs and likewise with any questions I asked. You even have an option of talking with them over Skype!

And once all my items arrived to their office, she was even kind enough to take photos for my items and send them to me. After all your items arrive to them, they send you another quote for the shipping. Giving you options as far as shipping goes.

Airmail, which is the cheapest but clearly takes the longest. Can take up to months! EMS and Express.
The later options clearly would cost you a prettier penny but they arrive quicker and requires someone to sign for said packages to insure its not lost at all. Your agent will also go ahead and give you a tracking # for the items.

I asked for EMS shipping on my items, was overcharged by a few dollars but the agent quickly notified me that they got a cheaper deal on the shipping and quickly issued me a refund to my paypal account. I got my items within a week and a half of it being shipped out. It was well packaged and everything was safely wrapped in bubble wrap.

I had no problems communicating with my agent at all despite the usual language barrier. She was polite and answered all my questions promptly. I would probably go and use TaobaoSpree again as my go to for shopping with Taobao.

I hope you find this post informative and happy shopping!

Friday, December 21, 2012

yes or no 2!

The adorable couple is back to tug at our heart strings one more time! I've had my eye on this movie the moment the announcement was made and after much patience and anticipated I finally found a decent DVD rip with hard subs! And it was definitely worth the wait to see what happened next 

And I'm just gonna stop right here and say. Major Spoilers alert! 

The sequel follows our heroins from the first movie, years later (I think they mentioned 3 yrs later or something but the time line seemed a little off. That or a discrepancy in the subs) as they have finally completed their university time and are ready to graduate and do their respective internships. Pie is off to a fishery and Kim off to the mountains to intern in agriculture. Polar opposites much.

The trailer pretty much gives you a whole look as to what to expect from the movie, so it really doesn't leave much room for imagination as to whats going to happen next. Besides with low budget style movies like this there really isn't much to expect as its just another typical love story. But I think one of their biggest selling point is that it is one of the only cinema released LGBT movie.

Following the trailer, the story takes place 3 years after Pie and Kim has been together and their nearing graduation but before they can complete their courses they have to enter their internships. Pie wants to sign up Puey, her and Kim together to go to a fishery farm to do their internship and to keep the group together.
Kim on the other hand, wanted to go to the mountains to continue agricultural studies (and honestly, it simply makes sense) but has been having a hard time explaining to Pie that she has been looking at doing an internship elsewhere.

Pie, being the selfish kid that she is (I don't mean this in an insulting manner towards Pie's character but you pretty much saw her personality type in the first movie. Kim is too nice and is a simple person. She lives to make her partner happy. And I'm not saying Pie isn't the same)

Fast forward, Kim ends up going to the Nan region and meets up with a new cutie patootie; Yam or Jam. However the translator  translates it. And you can pretty much guess what happens afterwards.

What I can appreciate about this movie though is, Yam isn't your typical cut throat bitch who is out to steal your man or in this case; your woman.So it definitely makes it hard to hate her, in fact, as the movie progresses you pretty much feel sorry for her.

The development between her and Kim are short and sweet, sometimes its hard to even see if Kim is just being nice to her or is really out to be a flirt. I don't know. I mean, they even go as far as to go on little fun "dates" but it could simply just be a friendly gesture. You be the judge of that.

Don't expect a lot of sweet feels from this movie or a lot of heart wrenching heart ache feels either (at least for me it didn't really tug much at my kokoro lol) it pretty much touched on the issues most couples goes through when their relationship is put to the test by distance...

And what do you do and how do you deal when your significant other is trying to constantly play your relationship down to the rest of the world simply because of same sex binary.

 (Who else agrees this wig looks hideous on Tina. LOL. I want to slap the stylist coz. This is just no)

The movie didn't tackle much about the whole same-sex couple but it did lightly touch on it throughout the movie. Questions like "How are we suppose to support each other", having children, and etc. Does all that really matter? Will love conquer all? (cheeeeese)

To be honest, I wasn't expecting Pie and Kim to /really/ break up. OH WHUT. SPOILER. Yes. The warning was up there. It kinda left a bitter taste in my mouth when that happened because you couldn't help but root for this couple. But all ends well because Kim is a persistent bastard and waited for her sweetie for a  whole year.
The movie ends well on a light hearted note and I think it gives the fans the closure they needed and I'm hoping to see more LGBT friendly movies like this in the future. *ahembringmeZaizaipls*

I honestly like the fresh air Asian LGBT movies bring versus the ones we're used to seeing in the west, I may be basing my opinion on this because I've seen far too much of The L Word and Lip Service LOOOOO

If you enjoyed this movie I'd suggest trying to snag a copy of Candy Rain or Love My Life. Both are LGBT friendly Asian films. Sweet, bitter and simple.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Recent trip to JCP and I didnt realize they actually carry Betsyville stuff there :o
Thought for certain only Macy's and Nordstroms carries it. And the prices are very competitive.
Over the weekend they even had a lot for a few % off! heeeee

Betsy Johnson has been a guilty pleasure of mine since forever but never really managed to grab hold of some of her pieces. And recently with BJ going bankrupted. It seemed like it was the end.
But I think recent news it got bought out by another designer and their back.
Her clothing pieces, in my opinion looks fun and flirty and hime-gyaru-ish but the price point was just a little too much for something that I could have sewn myself.
Her jewelry line on the other hand and bags are a whole 'nother story.

A huge contrast to most of the clothing and accessory pieces I currently now own - most are all very goth-y lol. But who could resist gaudy grundge lol (thats what the label was on the back of the necklace tag .LOL) And a sucker for her packaging. Bright. Bold. Fun.

These watches on top are definitely on my wish list for me to eventually come back for ;A;! I miss wearing watches and I realized I need some 'nicer' 'classier' watches since I mostly just wear sports one. They can take a good beating. Hah. And wouldn't look too much of an eyesore against my coordi's?...

Shamelessly wants those gaudy rose bracelets lol. I need more color in my life. Or just more leopards again hahaha.

The one thing that caught my eye and I just *had* to

Super gaudy necklace lmaoooo I haven't worn it since getting it on saturday. Need like. Proper coordi with this. lol. All the stuff I own are very...gothic lol right now. Urgh. Orz its sooo girly. obnoxious and gaudy lol.

$15 off at Sephora gift card for Beauty Card holders and after avoiding and eyeing this for years (??? this came out a long time ago) I finally got the damn Naked Palette. Ironically after getting it. I was craving to wear color. LOL. Whut. Whut. Whut. I still have my coastal scents palette so it'll do. Heehee.