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Sari
14 August 2016 @ 10:31 am
Just a slight update that my skin so far generally feels better, but doesn't look better, kind of like I expected. I have, however, got these tiny spots especially around my nose after starting the experiment which makes me think that one of the products is not after all oily-skin friendly. I guess what I'm going to try now for a day or so is replacing the Sana Tonyu with some basic local product (which might not even be a suitable replacement, but oh well) and see if that's the culprit. If not, I would venture to guess it's the moisturizer. Boo.

Make-up experiments are still very much underway; I'm not happy with how the coverage on my skin or my under-eyes. There is much to learn lol. I just worry about caking up too much. x-x
 
 
Sari
I am back from Tokyo and I was almost able to buy everything I wanted/needed.

First, some 'accessories':

The thingy on the left is supposed to help to make your face wash super foamy so that it's more effective (and fun, because foam is fun). I spotted this on a shelf by complete accident, which was fortunate indeed.

Baby Foot is because my feet need love. This was actually on my list of things to get, haha.

And tongue scraper is to clean my tongue! Apparently the tongue is where all the stuff that smells bad remains, etc. I had never heard of specific items for cleaning one's tongue until I saw someone use it on Big Brother Australia or something. Since then I've been looking for something like it in Finland and my impression has been that it simply does not exist. Huh. So I was sure to grab one from Japan when I spotted one on a shelf.

These are the skin care products I got:


Except I forgot to include the sunscreen I bought, Bioré UV AQUA Rich!

From left to right:
Rosetto face wash, Natural Aqua Gel Cure exfoliator, Mentholatum Melano CC intensive anti-spot essence, Sana Tonyu Isofurabon toner

I wasn't able to find the exact moisturizer and cleansing oil that I had written down on my list, so I simply decided not to buy one from Japan to avoid accidentally buying a product that doesn't fit me at all. I already went to a supermarket to look for a local replacement and ended up with these:



Again, trying to avoid anything that might make my skin oily, so hopefully the moisturizer does have a matte finish as promised.

Here's the make-up I got:


Canmake Lasting Multi Eye Base WP, Cezanne lipstick, Cezanne blush, and the super famous mascara and eyeliner that can be found literally everywhere.

What I didn't end up finding was "kiss Mat Chiffon UV Ease N"; it was supposed to be a mattifying primer for the T-zone to prevent skin from becoming oily and such. But I couldn't find a product named exactly this, so again, to avoid any risk, I didn't buy anything. But if everything else I have is mattifying and I live in a relatively 'dry' and cold country, maybe I won't even need it.

So I have almost everything I need! Now I should just get started with the experiment, eventually. Unfortunately I am still completely knackered from my trip, so today is not the day.
 
 
Sari
What happens when someone who has virtually no skin care routine and wears no make-up starts following a daily (Japan-inspired) routine and experiments with make-up? I aim to find out! Booyah!

I haven't had clear skin since I was twelve. That's when I first started having acne and my skin became quite oily. Since then, in addition to some acne scars and all the impurities that come with having an untended oily skin, my cheeks have also become quite red - the reason is unknown to me. Every now and then, especially in my teens, I have tried some products - lazily - to improve my skin, but the results have been so disappointing, or the products so slow to make an impact, that eventually I've always just given up. Sometimes my skin has felt better after using some product, but it hasn't looked better, so my somewhat silly response has been "what's the point?"

Even if I haven't been using make-up much recently, for years I've had a strange fascination with it and the techniques of applying make-up. I perceive it as a creative outlet, very much like painting one's face. Particularly certain East Asian styles have been attractive to me and for a Western point of view, Lisa Eldridge's YouTube channel is lovely. However, you could probably say that the reason why I've given up on make-up to such a big extent is that in theory, I have a decent idea of what you need to make it last and look good, but since I don't have those products and buying them has seemed like a possibly unnecessary investment, it has also lead to a situation of "what's the point?" As in, if you can't do it well, why do it at all?

A good consequence from this has been that I have become completely comfortable with leaving the house bare-faced. (This was not the case when I was younger.) Even when I go out to meet people, I'm typically wearing no make-up. I've found that the world will keep spinning even if my face is a little red and nobody will treat me worse or respect me less for it (that I know of). (Of course I'm privileged in many ways in life that makes this possible.) From that point of view, I feel that going bare-faced for a long time has been a good experience. And actually, it might mean that this is the best possible time for me to do an appearance related experiment like this. I'm not doing it because I have an obsessive need to become prettier or a goal to become "hot" - I'm simply doing it because I can and because it might be fun and because the preparation part has been inspiring. I'm not looking to impress anyone; I'm looking to have an enjoyable time. And I think this is why a lot of people, in the end, wear make-up and enjoy wearing make-up. It can't really be denied that make-up at its core is a result of a patriarchal society that places extra pressure on women to invest in their appearance. At the same time, however, I think make-up has got to a point where women can "retake it" for themselves and interpret it as a way to pamper themselves or express their individuality - and this is why there are some men actually complaining about women "wearing too much make-up". Its only purpose is not to please men, but it also provides a means for women (or men, or anyone) to do what they want. There's still too much pressure for women to wear make-up for certain jobs, for instance, but when it's a choice, it can have a liberating rather than enslaving impact.

Now back to the topic - what am I doing and why am I doing it that way?

I'm flying over to Tokyo soon (only for five days) and while thinking of things I could buy from Japan that "you can't get anywhere else", I remembered the tales of Japanese drug store make-up and skin care products that are affordable, very available, and high quality despite the low price. This is because the competition in Japan (in Korea, as well) for beauty products is incredibly high. While make-up over there is quite important, skin care is valued over it: if you have good skin, you won't need as much make-up. This way of thinking is spread, I believe, all over East Asia, and results in the demand for quality products also at affordable prices that makes it possible for a beauty product haven to become reality. Inspired by all this, I started googling for products that are recommended online and ended up realizing that this might be the perfect opportunity for me to give my skin another chance. Yes, I will still have to sacrifice money to buy products for an intensive routine, and space in my suitcase, but it won't feel as bad if I'm buying products that cost as little as 5 - 15 euros a piece instead of 25 - 40 euros, for instance. Currently I'm most bummed that I won't be starting the experiment right then and there in Japan for two rather good reasons: first, to not have to worry about the packages re-opening inside the suitcase, and second, because weather there is so different that my skin would react differently to products there in comparison to at home, anyway.

The plan is to follow a Japanese skin care routine to the extent that I can. This is generally what a Japanese skin care routine looks like (google offers more details):

1. Oil-based cleansing (for make-up removal)
2. Foamy face wash
3. Toner
4. Serum (for specialized care, e.g. anti-aging, acne, etc.)
5. Lotion, 'cream' or 'milk' (moisturizing)
6. Sun screen (in the morning)

At night, sheet masks can be added (before applying the serum); at the moment I'm not crazy about the idea of using sheet masks because if I started using them, I'd need them available regularly and so just buying a few from Japan won't cut it. It won't be a full routine then, which irks me a little, but I guess we'll see what happens. Maybe I'll try and see if there are some local face masks I could use.

In addition to these, I'm also interested in exfoliating twice a week; this happens after face wash.

As for the make-up, I'm going to go especially for products that allow make-up to stay still on oily skin, and anything 'mattifying'. I've quit wearing eye shadow, for instance, because my lids have been too oily and the primer I've tried before was no use (Lumene, I believe). But I've now done research on primers that should be better, both for eyes and the T-zone. Aside from that, I'll be looking for just some cheap basic items from Japan, like mascara, lip gloss, maybe some blush, so that I can have fun experimenting without feeling like I'm throwing away all my money. Since make-up is largely focused on in the West, I think that if I get into it more, I won't have trouble finding decent items here as well. It's just that it is somewhat convenient to get this stuff from Japan while I'm at it.

I was going to make a note of drinking more water, as well, but as it turns out I've had the flu from hell this past week and have been drinking water more than ever before, and this might continue in the future. Drinking water should be good for the skin, too, that is, when I'm not sick anymore.

So that is the plan so far. I'm planning on taking some 'before' pictures and if things go well, my skin will look a little improved some weeks after. I've never believed that the redness in my skin could go away or that the pores could look much less gross, so my expectations are not very high, but it would at least be nice if my skin felt smoother so that applying make-up is more fun, as if my face was truly a canvas instead of a bumpy road.

We will see what happens, I suppose, but I'm looking forward to this!!
 
 
Sari
Some years ago I started watching the Sight & Sound list of "Greatest films of all time", which is available on imdb here. I've only made it to #38 now, taking my time, but I thought I should finally make some kind of a post about the project or experiment so far. The reason why I chose to start watching films on this particular list was that it is much more international than the lists you typically see; it has more Japanese films than just the Seven Samurai, etc. Basically it doesn't just have "the token" film of each major film production country and that makes it more interesting and gives it more credibility from my point of view. And yes, I wanted to both widen my horizons when it comes to the types of films I see and challenge myself to watch stuff I normally wouldn't, and try to appreciate them for what they are.

I don't have lengthy analyses of the films I've watched and I've been very lazy about doing additional research on them that might explain why the films have been chosen for this list above others. But I have written down some short thoughts after or during watching and will at least mention whether I recommend them or not, my recommendation basically meaning "it's worth your time" 8)

1. Vertigo, 1958 - Recommended
Atmospheric in an unnerving way? I'm glad I didn't know any of the story beforehand for there were a quite few twists and surprises. I reckon it had some impressive techniques used for the time (the nightmare scene was pretty awesome) and the characters being anti-heroes was quite interesting; all of them basically turned out to be creepy fucks. It's a bit depressing that even today, people still misunderstand anti-heroes (see: people who justify everything Breaking Bad's Walter White ever did, confusing 'hero' with 'anti-hero') when classics like this show you can have a thrilling story with flawed complex characters, and IT'S OKAY to admit that they're not perfect. It's almost like nothing has been learned. DERP. Anyway, no, Vertigo is not going to be my favourite film ever, but I can understand why it's been embraced by critics as it gives quite a bit to chew on, and is really quite aesthetically pleasing. Btw San Francisco looks amazing in this film.

2. Citizen Kane, 1941 - Recommended
Ok I can now see what people mean when they say that Citizen Kane changed how stories are told in movies (or widened the scope, shall we say). It's an old movie, but even I as a modern viewer got the feeling it was innovative, and at its time it really must have been something else. Interesting that this film as well had anti-heroes as main characters. To me it doesn't have the most intriguing topic for a story (we have too many stories about white rich men with issues; I oft find myself thinking "why should I care?"), but the way it's told kept me entertained. Also, this movie looked like it was expensive to make. Was it? "Other scenes effectively employed miniatures to make the film look much more expensive than it truly was" says google - Ok I see, well that was brilliantly done.

3. Tokyo Monogatari, 1953 - Recommended
I've seen this movie years ago so I can't remember many details about it, and to spare time for films I haven't seen yet I won't watch it again (although I'd like to). There were some interesting camera angles, artistic choices that show creativity in direction at the time. As a story, it was one of those films where nothing in particular happens, just life... And I love those kind of movies. I think the situations depicted in the film were easy to relate to, as well. I really enjoyed this one.

4. La regle du jeu, 1939 - It appears I did not 'get' this one
What was this drama stuff, everybody cheating on everybody and lying to everybody and acting all carefree about it, and a man getting away with murder & all kinds of shit. How is this the 4th greatest film ever? Mostly I think it shows that marriage is a joke. And the seemingly never-ending hunting scene with bunnies and things... Despicable things they have in this film. No-one really seemed to care about anyone or anything. Uhh. Maybe I'm overdosing on films with anti-heroes but I would like to see some characters I am free to like, as well, some time soon... Note that at the time I skipped Tokyo Monogatari

5. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans, 1927 - Recommended
I loved this film! It definitely pulled my emotional strings, even if aspects of the story are side-eye worthy. So yeah, it's a silent film, but the music and sound effects were brilliantly done to match the film... I think some impressive techniques for the time were used, too. The story had both really dark and funny moments. Some shots I felt lasted a bit too long, so maybe in editing it could have just lost a second here and a second there, but overall what a great movie! (Haha, you can tell I watched this film before all the Russian ones...) I'm impressed with the use of animals and the baby in this film, too... Even today working with both can be challenging, but here they managed to capture great moments, I think. Ah. I'm just ready to gush over this film right now. Also what a lovely actress in the role of the wife. She has a healing smile.

The restCollapse )

Overall, so far it seems that classic Japanese films really have the kind of storytelling and aesthetics that I find pleasing and enjoyable, which to me has been surprising because while I've generally been interested in Japanese culture for a long time, I didn't expect "old Japanese films" to also draw me in so well. It also appears that I like some Western silent films quite a bit? But then some European films I find really difficult to enjoy. However, I also think that going through the list, and maybe maturing more, has broadened my tastes and understanding and if I were to watch some of the films I didn't first appreciate again, I might now be able to see what is good about them. But I also don't think it's quite worth the trouble, seeing as there is so much out there for me to watch, especially television, that I know I will instantly enjoy tremendously. I'll continue slowly making my way through the list and challenging myself that way.
 
 
Sari
31 December 2015 @ 11:49 am
Life
I got cats! Susu and Suhina, two black and white, really kind fur babies. I've learned so much about cats and worried and rejoiced. There is more laughter in my life because cats are silly. And they are soft and they purr.

Things at uni have progressed quite well otherwise, but my issues with anxiety seem to be getting worse instead of better. Namely, I get stomach cramps during things like seminar days, and even if I'm at home during my free time, I seem to have this feeling of nervousness in my tummy. I'd like to learn some exercises for relaxing, but I'm also at that point where I wonder if I should seriously reach out to a doctor. This is very scary to me. I will probably continue postponing making the decision. I don't know why it seems that things are only getting worse. Everything otherwise is going so well. I got funding for another year of studies, I'm doing what I want to do, I'm a bit lonely but the cats help. Everyone at uni is incredibly friendly and helpful and keeps telling me I'm doing great. And still I feel so stressed. It doesn't make any sense, I hate it.

Travels
I only made one trip abroad, to see Garbage in London. It was fun and Garbage was awesome; so proud of them and proud that I'm their fan and glad that I could be there. Travelling though, in general, doesn't feel as much fun as it used to, to me. I don't know if it's because I have cats now, though admittedly I've had somewhat mixed feelings from my travels already for the past 2-3 years. I find it so tiring now, and maybe like I'm not getting as much out of it as I'd like to. I don't have romantic, idealistic views about places (anymore?), so I don't see myself being the person who says things like "oh yes, Tokyo is a WONDERFUL place!". I can list reasons to visit, but I sort of lack enthusiasm. I think travelling has in some ways become something that I have to do to get certain experiences (seeing Garbage live, for instance) and not really worth it just for itself. It can also be really stressful. My view might change if I had a partner whose company I genuinely enjoyed, but until that day, mehh.

I'm also not looking forward to the first time I need to go to a conference abroad. lol Combine the stress of an academic environment where I need to prove myself, AND travelling on top of that. I will probably die inside.

Gaming
Is fun lawlz I am going to sample a new game every week next year, so that will be fun or really awful.

Television
Uhhh see my posts for the best TV shows ever...

Hello! Project
A shit-ton of new members were announced or debuted this year. Like 28 or some shit like that. I'm both excited and a bit worried and overwhelmed. Tsunku stepping down as a producer in H!P has been sad, but I've also enjoyed the H!P songs that weren't written by him. As a person, though, I've come to respect him even more. One of the reasons why I had faith in H!P all these years is because the main producer was a genuinely good guy. I hope that the people taking over have similar ideals and respect for the members.
 
 
 
Sari
(I basically only use this journal to post lists and rankings now...)

The background facts: Berryz Kobo was a Japanese idol group in Hello! Project active from 2004 to spring 2015, starting when the members were kids and lasting until they had cracked their 20s! The only member change they had over the years was when one of the original members, Maiha, left after their 8th single. In total, they released 36 singles.

Berryz Kobo was produced by my favourite pop producer, TSUNKU. ALL HAIL TSUNKU
Whenever I do H!P music related rankings, they are secretly a celebration of Tsunku. He will no longer be producing for most H!P groups because he has lost his voice in a battle with cancer and is interested in new challenges, and is getting used to working in new ways as he can no longer communicate simply by talking.

In Hello! Project, Berryz Kobo was the group that would get some of the weird stuff that didn't fit other groups, but fit Berryz because Berryz Kobo is random. For example, the shortest member in the group was around 150cm, while the tallest ended up being over 180cm.

I have STRONG BIAS for early Berryz songs, so I will do this post in a countdown manner to have some more recent songs sprinkled in first. The number of songs listed is random because I simply listed every single that I wanted to. HAH! The more I listen to BK the more I think "oh, this song should be included, too", but I'm trying to stay strong.

Those who became fans later would likely have a very different ranking from mine. I was convinced with Koi no Jubaku, their 5th single, specifically this performance. I did not want to support the kids, I did not think it would be 'cool' to support a group of kids, but there's nothing like catchy pop music and some surprising confidence on stage to sway me over. It's a bit weird that Koi no Jubaku isn't on this list, since it was the song that made me submit, but I guess I felt the list already had a lot of early songs - damn trying to be inclusive of all eras - and the other early songs beat it out.

Thanks to projecthello.com for song title translations!

Catchy, perhaps weird songs this wayCollapse )

All in all I think BK had a very varied track list and I may have under-appreciated them a lot over the years. There were periods when I was barely paying attention; falling in love with songs like Kokuhaku no funsui hiroba and MADAYADE happened years after their release. I think the reason why a lot of the more recent songs are excluded from my list is also because I haven't had the same time to spend with them as older tracks, not so much that they are obviously worse. I am actually not that great at concentrating on music and my knowledge in it is very shallow, which means I sometimes 'realize' the awesomeness of songs late. But we all just have to deal with what we've got~!

Thank you based Tsunku and thank you Berryz Kobo for the hard work and memories and fun songs!
 
 
Sari
23 July 2015 @ 06:37 pm
I was editing my television ranking post and it got TOO LONG! Let's have here the shows from M - Z.

M - ZCollapse )
 
 
Sari
28 March 2015 @ 01:12 pm
This was inspired by twissie who once made a similar post. However, because I've had a ton of celebrity crushes and I am not one to limit my babbling content, my list will be significantly longer. And still there are some people missing from here, too.

Men and women included! I have no limits! I've also tried to put them in chronological order by placing them in age groups that somewhat reflect my 'progression'.

(As you may be able to see, it has taken me six months to complete this post. I do not kid around with my LJ post projects.)

The length is realCollapse )

All in all I think it's a fun mix of people. Do I need to finish this post somehow? Uh... Celeb crushes are awesome!
 
 
Sari
23 March 2015 @ 12:04 am
I've had this file for a few months now where I've been typing down my opinions on all TV shows that I remember being somehow important to me, and I've wanted to keep a list of my favourite shows as well. However, the order of the ranking keeps changing, so what I'd like to do here is first post the ranking at the top (which is relatively easy to edit), and then in alphabetical order discuss the shows included on the list. That is also where I attempt to explain why a show was influential to me, why it is ranked as high or low as it is, and why I enjoyed it. (I haven't found a service online where I could easily drag posts up and down in this ranking type of purpose, so this is what I'll have to do.)

So here we go:

My favourite TV shows as of 01/16:
* means that the show still has episodes to air and its ranking might still significantly change

03/16 edits: Agent Carter, Top of the Lake, The Fall, Mr. Robot, Survivor
05/16 edits: Better Call Saul, Daredevil, The Good Wife

To be edited: Orange is the new black, House of Cards, Orphan Black, Vikings, Stranger Things


1. The Wire
2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
3. ER
4. Lost
5. Freaks and Geeks
6. Mad Men
7. Better Call Saul*
8. Breaking Bad
9. Survivor*
10. Fringe
11. Fargo*
12. The Americans*
13. The Sopranos
14. House of Cards*
15. The Affair*
16. OZ
17. Orange is the New Black*
18. The Fall*
19. Jessica Jones*
20. Generation Kill
21. Daredevil*
22. Top of the Lake*
23. Mr. Robot*
24. Marvel's Agents of SHIELD*
25. Les Revenants*
26. Boardwalk Empire
27. The Good Wife
28. Vikings*
29. Agent Carter*
30. Bad Girls
31. Popular
32. Stranger Things*
33. Black Mirror*
34. Orphan Black*
35. Skins
36. Broadchurch*
37. Rectify*

Honorable mention of shows I haven't finished or plan on finishing, but were influential/enjoyable to me, not in any order:
Casual+y
Ally McBeal
Judging Amy
CSI

Disappointments/on hold: shows that I LOVED at some point, but ended up giving up on (explanations for these are also below):

Game of Thrones*
Dexter
Homeland*
True Blood
The Walking Dead*
Criminal Minds*
True Detective*
American Horror Story*


Also for those curious, my "shows to watch still" list:
Wentworth, Rectify, Battlestar Galactica, X-files, Southland, Band of Brothers, Six Feet Under, Firefly, Carnivale, Deadwood, Friday Night Lights, Rome, The Tudors, Wonderfalls, Kings, Dead Like Me, American Gothic (for creepy), Twin Peaks, Utopia, The River <- "creepy" ones, Masters of Sex, Enlightened, Halt and Catch Fire, The Leftovers, My So Called Life, Justified

I've started watching (but hopelessly behind): Wentworth, Rectify, BSG, X-files (selected episodes), Firefly (pilot), Carnivale, Vikings


Check here for the MEAT - 98% SPOILER FREE!Collapse )
 
 
Sari
02 January 2015 @ 05:55 pm
There are SO MANY new members debuting in H!P this year, it's nuts and amazing. As a fangirl I'm taking this moment to review them a bit.

Today was announced a new 8-member unit of trainees; it doesn't have a name yet.

New nameless unitCollapse )

Country GirlsCollapse )

ANGERME (Smileage) new membersCollapse )

Morning Musume 12th generationCollapse )

So that's TWENTY new H!P members debuting in 2015 and they're all cute!! LOL

Things are so weird and exciting at the same time. I can never quit this fandom because I want to see these kids shine.