Monday, January 20, 2014


After a late brunch at Café Barley on Clement Street today, I headed over to Japantown in search of a konjac sponge, which I believe will be the next beauty craze (if not already).  What's a konjac sponge, you ask?  Well, a konjac sponge is a facial cleansing sponge made from the root of the konjac plant.  It has been claimed to be very effective in ridding the skin of dirt, oil, and blackheads.  Read more about these nifty little sponges on Refinery29.  Unfortunately, my search in Japantown today proved unsuccessful, so I'll have to postpone a review until I find one - that is made in Japan.

However, I did find something else in Japantown.  Each time I visit the Japan Center Mall, I have a habit of stopping by the Kinokuniya Book Store, mainly for their collection of Japanese women's fashion magazines.  These are no ordinary magazines like the ones here in the U.S.  Japanese magazines often comes bound with an enticing gift inside (as a marketing major, I think it is a great selling tactic).  Kinokuniya always has the latest magazines displayed with their respective gift item at their storefront window facing Maido Stationery.

The one that caught my immediate attention was a Liz Lisa × My Melody magazine.  If you know me, you would know that I have been a fan of Hello Kitty since childhood.  However, I have always loved My Melody just as much, simply because she is a bunny!  If you ask me to choose one over the other, I really cannot.  So, when I saw the design of this magazine's gift item, I had to have it!  It is a canvas bag with a chain-link handle featuring a Liz Lisa × My Melody trompe-l'œil quilted purse.  Besides being obviously super-cute, I find the bag quite presentable, not cheap-looking or tacky; surprisingly, it is fully-lined with an inner pocket as well!  The bag even comes with a pink bow charm with "Liz Lisa ♥ My Melody" inscribed.

In case you're wondering what trompe-l'œil is (also spelled trompe l'oeil in English), it is a French term meaning "deceive the eye," and refers to an artistic style that uses realistic imagery to create optical illusions.  Originally, trompe-l'œil was found in murals and paintings dating back to Greek and Roman times, but modern day has incorporated this visual interest into fashion accessories and apparel.

It has been a long while since I've seen a Japanese magazine gift item that I like this much since most of them are printed tote bags.  The last interesting one before this was a genuine freshwater pearl necklace from another magazine. To me, pearls is to diamonds as My Melody is to Hello Kitty!

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