Thursday, July 31, 2014

Asian Facial Massage?

I'm sure you have seen videos on YouTube about all the ways to massage your face to slim and tone. In China and Japan it is common to see facial rollers or ceramic spoons as tools for massage. You can find slimming leggings that you slip on during the nighttime, too. What all of these tools and massage techniques have in common is the fact that they are applying pressure to help create a slimming effect.

I used to think it sounded really silly. Why would rubbing my face (or any other part of my body) actually change the shape?!

Definitely massage is beneficial for things like relaxation and promoting circulation. But does it really shrink you if done the right way?

I learned about why massage may have this effect after my mom had cancer. Sometimes cancer patients have swelling in their arms or legs from missing lymph nodes. They have certain exercises to reduce the swelling and can also wear a compression sleeve or glove.

The exercises, many of which are special massages, help move the toxins and excess fluids into the lymph nodes that work, and the compression sleeves help apply pressure to reduce swelling too.

So when my mom got this (it is called lymphedema), she was pretty frustrated with the idea of doing massages! Seems there should be some other way to fix the problem. But when she told me about it, I realized the principles are basically the same as Asian techniques for facial massage. Applying pressure and special motions to reduce the puffiness and release toxins! It's not going to move fat but it can change your appearance.

I searched online and found some articles that explained the facial massage techniques (You can read one here). The massages are based on the areas that have lymph nodes (from inner eyes down to the corners of your nose, at the base of your skull, and jaw line down to your collarbone). So if you have seen any Asian massage videos, it totally makes sense! Lots of the massage motions incorporate these areas in order to flush the junk out.

I got this ceramic thingy from Amazon that is meant for massage. I haven't been very good about regularly using it, however. Also, I'd like to say that I think round faces look better. I am not really big on the slim face or pointy chin thing. But I do like the idea for the sake of cleaning out toxins and having a nice way to relax!!

Let me know what you think about these massages! If you are looking for a trustworthy face massage routine, I most trust Bubzbeauty : )

Monday, July 28, 2014

NYC Kawaii/Japan Shopping Guide

I posted a video on this topic, so if you can also watch it. But I thought it would be nice to do a long post with links and pictures on all the places. Please leave a comment if you found any more shops that I don't mention.

To view the Google map I made, click here.

1073 Avenue of the Americas

This is a bookstore chain that is even in Japan. The New York City store has three floors. The basement has character goods, stationery, and children's books. The main floor has new arrivals, Japanese books and magazines. The upstairs has a Japanese traditional goods shop, a cafe, and tons of anime books, magazines, goods, etc.

13 Elizabeth Street

This is one place I really like. It has a mish-mash of assorted little shops selling figures, anime stuff, Rilakkuma, and Asian beauty stuff. The downside is that each shop has individual hours based on the seller. And its hard to catch them when they are open. A little bit hard to find--but it's there!!

595 River Rd, NJ

This place is totally worth going. It's a mini Japan to me. There's a huge Japanese grocery store complete with a bakery. It has tons of Japanese restaurants inside too. Next door, there are stores that sell books, magazines, character goods, and Japanese beauty products (a Shiseido store).

It's not in Manhattan, so you do have to take a bus. But the bus takes you directly there. Directions here!

200 Canal Street
It is across from Little Italy and the downstairs is a grocery. The upstairs has keychains and character goods. Lots of Hello Kitty. Much of the Rilakkuma stuff is fake, but cute nevertheless. I wasn't too impressed by it, but it is in Chinatown so if you are down checking out the Elizabeth Center it's worth it to stop by.

5. Uniqlo
(Various Manhattan locations)
This is a Japanese clothing department store (again that is all over Japan). They have really reasonable prices and have some great stuff. I buy tights there religiously. They have this kind called Heattech and they are so comfy and perfect for winter. Otherwise, they have cool t-shirts often with Japanese brands, Hello Kitty, and famous artists. Bo buys most of his clothes there.

There is also a small Japantown that is worth visiting. They have a couple Japanese grocery stores and some great restaurants in the area. There is also a great Japanese bakery. Otafuku is a great place for Takoyaki!! I have bought online from a place called oo35mm and I'm hearing their NYC store has lots of Japanese beauty products and cute stuff. Definitely a place I'll be checking out next time.

So that's basically the top recommendations I have. Please comment any new places or updates!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Asian Sheet Masks: My Beauty Diary Guide

Sheet masks can be hard to find in the US. My Beauty Diary is a brand of sheet masks from Taiwan that is easier to find. I have seen it on Amazon and even Walmart's website. I usually can get a deal at certain times of the year at my local Asian market. The prices are reasonable too. For a pack of 10 masks, I usually only pay $10. Buying them individually can be a little more expensive, but good if you want to find the kind you like best.

I came across a great chart of all the kinds of masks My Beauty Diary offers. Many times, the packaging is in Chinese, so I always am asking Bo "hey what does this one do? Is it moisturizing?!" And he replies, "Yeah they all do about the same stuff, hydrating, whitening, renewing..." -__-


So, I found this little sign at an Asian Market! It should help a lot.

Aloe: moisturizing, soothing, oil control

Pearl powder: moisturizing, brightening, nourishing

Red vine: moisturizing, firming, repairing

Apple polyphenol: firming, repairing, soothing, oil control

Q10: firming, repairing (probably a focus on Anti-Aging)

Bulgarian white rose: brightening, nourishing

Black pearl: brightening, nourishing

Strawberry yogurt: brightening, nourishing

Japanese cherry blossom: brightening, nourishing, soothing, oil control

Bird's nest: moisturizing

Hyaluronic acid: moisturizing

Arbutin: brightening, nourishing

Collagen: firming, repairing (again probably for Anti-Aging)

Mexico Cactus: moisturizing

Caviar: firming, repairing

Lemon Vit-C: brightening, nourishing

My personal favorite is the Aloe mask. It's the only one I really buy now. I have bought their mask samplers (usually its a seasonal thing, like, "top masks of 2014") but I'm a little picky with smell. Aloe is an ingredient I really like anyway. It is very calming for skin and won't break you out. You can even buy aloe plants and cut them open to use the jelly directly. ^.^ (You can find aloe at asian markets)

So if you are looking to try out a sheet mask, I recommend the Aloe for anyone. It doesn't have a strong smell, it's refreshing, hydrating, and relaxing!
To use, open up the package and carefully unfold the mask. Remove the plastic lining. (Make sure all of your hair is clipped or tied back) Then put on your face for 20 minutes, or however long you like. 

TIP: For summer, (with the packaging still on) rinse in cold tap water to have a cooling effect! Or for winter, soak the packet in warm tap water or put it in the tub when you take a bath. Feels so great!!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Japanese Magazine Guide (^Д^)ノ

So maybe some of you didn't know, but last semester I was pretty busy wedding planning! I hope to make a post/video about everything soon..But Bo (as many of you know, is from China) and I got married. We had a Catholic ceremony in the US with my family and all of our mutual friends, and then a second Chinese wedding in China. For a grand finale of a honeymoon in Japan!

But today's post, I'd like to post about getting Japanese magazines. Between Bo and I, we have a wide variety of interests in different types of magazines, so it should be helpful about whatever genre you are interested in! Be sure to check out my video about this (and I also post on tumblr on the topic as well).
My favorite thing about Japanese magazines are: Amazing freebies!!

Even though I can't read everything in the magazines, I can still get the cute freebie! (for fashion magazines it may be a free cosmetic bag or purse! For anime magazines it can be a pillow case or a doll!) Pictured above are Rilakkuma theme freebies from Pichi Lemon (one of my personal favorites).

Secondly, I love the quality of content in Japanese magazines. When I was younger, I used to subscribe to TEENVogue or Seventeen...but after looking at the Japanese ones, I realize how much more useful they are. (and I can't even read everything!) The fashion magazines have great pictures and practical advice for fashion, hair and makeup. It's not like the flimsy American ones that you pay for that you finish in 20 minutes and don't get anything out of it. Usually the Japanese ones are larger magazines with bigger pictures and thicker spines. (and did I mention FREEBIES :3)

So here's the main info... 

I recommend using CDJapan to buy magazines:

I use the cheapest shipping, SAL, with no problems. Takes 2 weeks exactly to get the America for me.

The American website is! I saw Japanese fashion magazines on there, like Steady.,default,sc.html

Here is the link to the Japanese magazine freebie review site: (Use this to know what you are getting!)

List of magazines mentioned in the video: (You should be able to find most of these by searching CD Japan in English—*TIP* Also search google with the magazine title and date to see what other people have posted about that issue!)


Steady, (

CUTiE, (


JJ, ViVi, Popteen


Suteki na Okusan (すてきな奥さん)(

Kawaii Characters/Sanrio/San-X/Animal Crossing: 

Kirapichi (キラピチ)(

Pichi Lemon (ピチレモン)(

Ribbon(りぼん)[includes manga] (

Nakayoshi(なかよし)[includes manga] (

LaLa(ララ)[includes manga—mostly Natsume Yuujinchou] (

Chara Sagashi Land(キャラさがしランド)[very juevenile!] (


Pico Puri (ぴこぷり)[Animal Crossing and 3DS magazine) (Pictured below) (

Bo’s Anime/Manga: 

NyanTYPE, (

Dengeki G’s Magazine, Dengeki Bunko (

See above for info on other kawaii manga magazines (LaLa, Nakayoshi, Ribbon, etc)

Happy Shopping!! Let me know what you get!