Fashion & Beauty, Let's Go Shopping!

Ultra Violet Colour of the Year Picks

Posted on January 18, 2018 by

Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2018 is Ultra Violet. Below are my picks to get you into the purple vibe. From cute plushies to some cool makeup, this shade can be worked into many areas of your life.

Ultra Violet sugarpill lipstick

Let your lips do all the talking without saying a word with Sugarpill’s Spank lipstick. Not only is the color beautiful, the packaging is cute and the product inside is vegan and cruelty-free!

Ultra Violet meowchi cat plush

Take a moment to cuddle with a colorful kitty for a break from the day. This Meowchi plush from Tasty Peach Studios is taro flavour.

Ultra Violet glitter nail polish

I am a sucker for glitter and this meteor shower nail polish packs a punch!

Ultra Violet bunny hat

A floppy bunny ear hat by AnimeNoms will keep your noggin warm while making you look cute!

Ultra Violet velvet boots

These chunky velvet boots scream street style and will keep your feet cozy as you stomp around town.

Guides To Kawaii

How To Buy From Japanese Web Shops With Tenso

Posted on January 17, 2018 by

Earlier this week, I showed you my Sumikko Gurashi order from San-X Japan and now here’s a guide to buying from Japan with Tenso.

Tenso

What is Tenso?

Tenso is a forwarding service based in Japan, so this guide works for any online store in Japan. Basically, they act as a middleman – you order with Tenso’s address and they receive the package, work out the international shipping costs and send it on to you. They charge a small handling fee for this service but it’s very reasonable.

What do I need to be able to order from Japanese shops?

You will need a credit card that is accepted internationally (this includes most of the big companies – Visa, American Express, Mastercard etc.). Some sites may also allow PayPal. If in doubt, check with the site you want to shop with before joining Tenso.

What could go wrong?

There are a few risks with using Tenso (or any forwarding service). If the shop sends you the wrong thing or it doesn’t fit, you have no way to return it since they won’t accept international returns. There’s also the possibility of your package getting lost or damaged in shipping, though if you choose an insured option, you should be able to get a refund. Shipping and customs fees are also difficult to predict.

tenso website

Step 1: Register with Tenso

This is pretty easy to do. Tenso have an English website so have a read of the information and then click on the sign up button when you’re ready. You need to first verify your email and then complete a simple form with your personal details. To make things easier later, enter your name and address exactly as shown on official identification (passport, driving license, ID card, utility bills etc.) as you will need to verify your identity. You can change it later but it will delay shipping.

Tenso address

Step 2: Get your Tenso address

Once registered, Tenso will give you a Japanese address to use. This includes a unique user number – mine is blurred above – never forget to include this or your parcel may be rejected by Tenso.

San-X Japan

Step 3: Go shopping!

You can order from any Japan-based website. That includes the Japanese stores for brands like San-X, Sanrio and Disney (with exclusive products not available outside Japan), Japanese companies and shops that only sell in Japan, auction sites (Tenso can help you place bids), Amazon Japan (for sellers that aren’t part of Amazon Global) and anything else you might be interested in. The best thing about forwarding is that you get to shop yourself so you can set an alarm for a sale or limited item and place pre-orders or custom orders. If the site is only in Japanese, use the Google Chrome browser as it can translate the text automatically.

Step 4: Double check your order

Since you’re not really a Japanese customer, you can’t return items so make sure you’re ordering the correct size/colour and quantity. Use a currency converter to check the costs and remember that you have international shipping to pay on top once it arrives with Tenso and your country may also charge customs fees. It’s easy to get carried away, but don’t spend so much that you could have booked a flight to Tokyo instead! It’s best to start with a smaller order and see how it goes.

tenso japan shopping guide

Step 5: Checkout

Once you’re happy, continue to checkout and fill in your details. Remember to use the address supplied by Tenso, your registered name and your own email address.If the city/prefecture is a dropdown, your Tenso address is in Tokyo. If you get errors about full-width/half-width characters, you can convert the text. It may ask for your name in katakana. You can just enter your name in English again.

tenso japan shopping guide

For payment, enter your own credit card details (or PayPal if available) as usual. Do not try to use any of the local payment options. It’s fine that the billing address is your Tenso address – it shouldn’t reject your card for that. Have a last check of your order and submit it.

tenso japan shopping guide

Step 5: Delivery to Tenso

You’ll receive emails from the site you shopped at confirming your order and notifying you when it ships. Check these emails as it’s possible there could be a problem or delay. Once your package arrives at Tenso’s warehouse, they will email you. If it’s your first order, you’ll need to verify your identity by photographing ID/paperwork. This takes around 24 hours to be checked.

tenso japan shopping guide

Step 6: Arrange Forwarding

Tenso will hold your mail for a short time and consolidate multiple packages into one parcel so that’s worth doing if you have a few things to buy from different shops. With larger or heavier packages, shipping will probably be cheaper if you keep them separate. Tenso will offer you a range of different shipping services from express tracked to surface mail. It all depends how quickly you want the package and how much you want to pay. Surface mail is more likely to get lost but express is more likely to incur customs fees. I tend to use standard airmail. If your items are expensive or fragile, always choose an insured tracked service in case of damage or loss.

tenso fees

Here’s the costs for my San-X package. As you can see, Tenso only charge a small fee and the overall costs for shipping & handling are reasonable for an international order.

Sumikko Gurashi San-X Japan review

Step 7: Receive Your Parcel!

If you choose an express or airmail shipping service, you can expect your parcel within a week. One thing I loved is that it’s the original shop packaging and Tenso just put a new label on top. How cute is the Sumikko Gurashi packaging? You can see what was inside here.

Leave a comment if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to answer!

Helpful Links

Let's Go Shopping!, Things To Make

Kawaii Muffs & Handwarmers

Posted on January 16, 2018 by

During these cold Winter days I find it hard to keep my hands warm, especially when I’m working on the computer. If you’ve got this problem as well, you might like these ideas to keep your hands from freezing off ;)

kawaii animal Hand Muffs

Hand Muffs aren’t very practical, as you can’t actually use your hands while wearing them. But they are great for warming up your hands during binge-watching! These Nemu Nemu Animal Hand Muffs at Tokyo Otaku Mode will surely keep your hands warm and cozy.

DIY kitty hand muff

This cute DIY kitty hand muff at Handmade Charlotte will not only warm your hands, but it can also hold your cellphone and keys. All you need is an old sweater (or fleece) and some sewing materials.

toast kawaii handwarmers

These wireless toast handwarmers at Smoko will help to keep your hands toasty warm. I think that they would be great to use during work as well.

kawaii bear mittens

If you know how to crochet, then this (inexpensive) bear mitten pattern by HELLOhappy might be just the thing for you!

Did you know that you can make a microwavable hand warmer from items that you probably already have at home? This YouTube tutorial shows you how to make such a hand warmer, shaped as a kawaii cookie.

Look What I've Got!

San-X Japan Sumikko Gurashi Review

Posted on January 15, 2018 by

Sumikko Gurashi San-X Japan review

Sumikko Gurashi are my favourite kawaii characters and I love seeing all the new products. I wasn’t able to find the limited edition Tokage (real) plush before it sold out so finally I gave in and worked out how to order from the San-X Japan shop. They don’t ship internationally so I used Tenso, a forwarding service. I’ll have a post about how to set that up later this week but let’s see what I bought.

Sumikko Gurashi San-X Japan review

Firstly, look how adorable the parcel was! Japan is all about the packaging and it’s quite usual for shops to notice what you’re ordering and give you a special themed bag. I bet if I’d ordered Rilakkuma products, it would have been a Rilakkuma design.

Sumikko Gurashi San-X Japan review

Shirokuma mini Christmas plush

I have quite a few festive plushies so always happy to add another. Shirokuma is my favourite of the main sumikkos – look at his little anxious paws! He looks super cute in a Christmas tree outfit complete with pom poms and sparkly stars. I really want a hat like that.

Sumikko Gurashi San-X Japan review

Apple House plush

Since Tokage was sold out, I wasn’t going to miss my chance at the apple house. It’s a bit floppy and won’t really hold its shape but once you squeeze in a Sumikko it looks great. Obake is living in here now, no doubt keeping it clean and tidy.

Sumikko Gurashi San-X Japan review

Sumikko Gurashi San-X Japan review

Sumikko Gurashi San-X Japan review

Sofa plush

This may be the silliest plush I own but I love it so much. It is literally a plush sofa, perfectly sized for the mini Sumikko plushies to sit on, and complete with Tapioca pillow. The cutest touch is the tiny dust bunny underneath so Hokori looks very happy to be allowed on top of the sofa too.

Sumikko Gurashi San-X Japan review

Sumikko Gurashi San-X Japan review

Yamanote Line drawstring bag and keyring

Everyone who visits Tokyo comes to love the Yamanote Line! This reliable train service runs in a circle around all the major shopping and sightseeing areas so you find yourself looking for the green line all the time. Most of the Sumikko Gurashi collaboration was sold out but I managed to grab a bag for myself and keyring for Nicolette. The minikkos looking out the back window is the cutest thing.

Sumikko Gurashi San-X Japan review

Washi Tape

And I couldn’t resist this set of 3 washi tapes (I gave one to Nicolette) as it was so cheap. The designs are really cute and it’s good quality tape. I’m even managing to use them, to decorate my journal.

I’m so glad I finally made an order and got my hands on all the limited edition items. The only problem is that now I know how easy it is, I’ll be tempted all the time. Check back soon for how to order from all Japan-only online shops with Tenso.

Easter Crafts, Things To Make

DelilahIris Sewing Patterns & Kits

Posted on January 12, 2018 by

If you’re a crafty person with Christmas money still burning a hole in your pocket (I am a part of this club), you may be looking for a new craft kit or two to try; if you are, DelilahIris on Etsy has a wonderful selection of sewing patterns and kits to choose from! Her designs give off a pastel spring vibe that might be refreshing for anyone already sick of the cold weather (I am a part of this club as well).

DelilahIris Sewing Patterns & Kits

The pastel bunnies sewing kit would be perfect for now or closer to Easter. It comes with everything you need to create all 4 bunnies pictured, and seems to be beginner-friendly. It’s pretty much Easter year-round in my mind, so this one’s a favorite for me.

DelilahIris Sewing Patterns & Kits

Looking for a project that’s a bit larger? The unicorn sewing kit is an adorable option for any unicorn fans out there.

DelilahIris Sewing Patterns & Kits

The shop also offers inexpensive printable patterns, which is helpful if you would like to use your own supplies, or are on a budget. The bunny doll pattern is another favorite for me…I very much have bunnies on the brain right now!

DelilahIris Sewing Patterns & Kits

For the unicorn fan again, her baby unicorn pattern is so cute I could squeal (and make an entire army of them!)

DelilahIris Sewing Patterns & Kits

She also offers more unusual animal options for her patterns, like this woodland snail that is actually very cute. I love the idea of using colorful print fabric for the shell.

Check out the rest of the selection on Etsy for more cute sewing patterns and kits, and let us know in the comments which ones are your favorites!