Japanese New Years Shopping

Today I went shopping with an old friend that I've known for literally my whole life, and as Japanese New Years lasts until the 3rd, the city centre was bustling with people who were shopping the sales! Thought it'd be interesting to show you guys what it was like - and what I picked up :D

This is my local Body Shop - I adore the staff here, as they are so helpful and never nag! One summer I went there so much that they knew my face, and gave me the Body Shop loyalty card for free ;) It was a bit awkward to take pictures of the whole place, but trust me - it was packed even in this small town!

The bags you see there I'm sure you haven't seen in Body Shops in the UK! :P These are called "fukubukuro"s. These are special to New Year's here, and they are traditionally secret goody bags in paper red and white bags, that stores put together and sell for a set price. You never know what you will get, but that's half the fun! Sadly most stores now show what's inside (you can see it in the clear bag on the lower level), and put stuff in more later useable bags, but it's still good fun :) I haven't got one this year, but I was treated to one last year from an accessories store by my gran :) My first ever one - back when I was about 8 or 9, was from a stationary store.. was and am a bit of a pen/notebook freak, which is actually not uncommon amongst kids here (in my defense)! :P

Anyway, we were mostly make-up shopping as she needed some new foundation for her new job (yay congrats!) and I.. well, you know, haha. This is one of the things that really surprises me everytime I come back..:

How different is everything from the UK?! It's much girlier, glittery-er and a lot more eyeshadow and lipgloss based. Although it's a lot less girlier than other brands in Japan, I always find that elsewhere, it has a bolder characteristic, with brighter shades and flashier packaging.. if you get my drift :P Although I say I try not to get Western brands while I'm here, I'm tempted to try some of Rimmel's stuff over here! :)

This has been a topic of discussion between us since the summer when she visited Korea Town here in Tokyo - snail mucus. Apparently it's all the rage in Korea due to their beauty qualities, and while I was walking around with a mask in my hand for quite a while, I just could not bring myself to buy and try it. SNAIL MUCUS ON MY FACE?! It'll take a few pints or a boat load of money for that thank you :P

So in the end, I bought a few bits of earrings..

..with my New Year's money from my gran, and as I have sensitive ears, I prefer to get these plastic studs or titanium to avoid any risk of irritation. Japanese stores usually mark clearly what the earrings are made of, so I find it much easier to shop for earrings here. I also love the delicate designs that are here -they were just admired though haha, as you can see these are quite simple, because I just wanted small studs for my second piercing, and the hoops were inspired by my friend. She pulls off piercings better than anyone I've ever seen! She has 2 on her lobes like me, but on the other ear she has her cartilage pierced as well, and somehow she makes it look graceful! I have NO idea how she does it! Everytime I see her, I wanna get a cartilage piercing myself :P (Sorry about the crap pictures, I took this quickly after dinner :P)

Heh heh heh - cheeky make-up purchase. This is Maquillage from Shiseido's, White Repair Essence Base. Now my mission this visit was to get a foundation, but none of them seem to give me the dewy, poreless, no make-up look that every other girl in the country has :P I was sat with a sales assistant to try some foundations when she told me how important a base is. Now the closest to a base I've used are primers, which are very different from what Japanese people consider a base. These usually consist of some SPF, they're usually very watery, light pink and apparently the "thing" these days is to include some beauty serum function. They are also usually marketed to brighten, minimize pores, wrinkles and sunspots.

After trying out two foundations I wasn't happy with, I decided to go for the base instead. I already have way too many foundations for 1 face, so I figured this would be a smarter purchase and it may solve the issue I am having if I try it with some of the samples of Japanese foundations I've gotten :)

I absolutely love New Year's in Japan, it's just so festive, fresh and all the traditions just make me all happy and giddy inside (you can see some of them here on Nic Nic's post!) :P I also didn't enjoy Christmas completely this year, as my Dad wasn't here so very happy to have the family together for some festivities! Today we saw some of the extended family, and in the evening we enjoyed some ridiculously posh wine that my mom had bought my Dad, as he hit retirement age last year - cherished every drop, me :P Happy with all my purchases too, and very excited to try out the base tomorrow, as I am off to see my long lost best friend who I haven't seen in almost 2 years! No make-up shopping I'm assuming though, because well, he's a bloke :P It's fine though, he's a gay best friend in my eyes, minus the girl-perving back in high school and his girlfriend now :P

What has your New Year's shopping been like?
Any new experiences? :)


P.S. Thank you for all the great feedback on my new layout - I'll be keeping it this way then! ;)


  1. Good choice going for a base, can't wait to hear how you get on with it. I love your Japan posts!


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