Photo Tour: Innisfree Union Square, New York City

Much loved eco-forward brand, Innisfree, opened it’s first flagship in New York City. This will be the first location out of five to eight planned openings in the next year! Innisfree sources all their ingredients responsibly from Korea’s richest natural resource, Jeju Island. Jeju is unique because it’s a volcanic island which makes the island’s soil dense with minerals and vitamins. The island’s climate, soil richness, and preservation efforts from being a UNESCO World Heritage Site gives the island the ability to grow incredibly potent and lush plant life. Although many of you may have already ordered your precious Innisfree products online, there are store-only offerings like customizing your own mix-in clay masks, building your own palettes and BB cushions, and not to mention using the store’s digital shade finder tool to help you choose your perfect foundation shade out of 14 choices! Click through to tour the entire store and see my first YouTube video!

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Store Visit: LINE FRIENDS – New York City Times Square

LINE FRIENDS opened their first USA store in New York City’s most popular tourist trap, Times Square! The massive store opened in July 2017 and sells gift items like stuffed dolls, phone cases, housewares, clothing and other useless (but cute) items printed with lovable LINE characters like Brown, Cony, Sally, Choco, Moon, James, Boss and newer characters like Jessica (a cat who’s Cony’s BFF), Leonard (Sally’s new frog buddy) and Pangyo (a panda who has the hots for Choco). LINE is the messaging app that originated in Japan and uses hilarious stickers featuring characters that depict my everyday emotions and behaviors like disgust, narcissism and gluttony (with some love sprinkled in). The LINE characters became so popular that they have their own offline animated series called LINE OFFLINE where they are in an office setting of “Line Corporation”  how meta. I took some 360 photos and an insane amount of regular photos with an unBEARable amount of original LINE stickers, click on to view!

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Photo Tour: Jill Stuart at Harujuku and Narita Airport

You may have heard Jill Stuart the clothing brand but did you know she also designs a beauty line made of all my childhood dreams of lace and floral? The cosmetics line is my inner girly on steroids and what makes it even more covetable is that the line is not widely available in the United States – you can only order it online however there are many counters in Japan where you can test and swatch colors. Thoughtful touches like pavé crystals, gem-shaped lipstick bullets, built-in flip-top mirrors, and even a chain attaching your brush to your compact makes me drool over these products. It comes at a pretty penny though because a lip gloss will set you back about $42 USD if you get it shipped within America but it’s 2,500 Yen in Japan (about $22 USD). To own one of these pretties, you can buy these tax-free in the many Japanese locations and in the Narita Airport.

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Photo Tour: Isetan Department Store – Shinjuku, Tokyo Location

When I was researching the best places to shop in Tokyo, I was surprised to see a lot of mega-sized department stores listed but I’m just not a department store type of shopper so I needed a lot of convincing. It’s intimidating because they’re so large as well as being more on the expensive side. Japanese department stores average 7 to 9 stories which make American stores dwarf in size. A constant recommendation however, was to go to Isetan in its original location in Shinjuku. Not only does Isetan house some of the most coveted beauty brands but there’s also an entire floor devoted to natural beauty and a must-go impressive food hall for locals and tourists alike. While I didn’t really shop for clothing at Isetan, I looked at the beauty sections! Click on to see more and recommendations for Japan-only beauty brands.

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Photo Tour: Japanese Beauty in Yodobashi Camera – Tokyo, Japan

Yodobashi Camera is a popular electronics store in probably the “geekiest” district in Tokyo, Japan. Yodobashi is located in Akihabara where you can visit Maid Cafes, anime and manga shops, video game arcades, and various electronic stores. There are even Manga Cafes (Manga Kissa) where you can read/watch manga and use the Internet. Akihabara is the center of otaku culture (diehard fan) so it may be a dream come true if you grew up with Japanese anime/manga. I’m not into anime/manga nor am I really an electronics geek but it was fun watching people dress up in cosplay and maid costumes to get tourists into their restaurants/shops. There are also anime porn shops so be aware if you have little ones on your trip. I was able to find a nice, surprising beauty section full of products and tools in the Yodobashi Camera (also written out as Yodobashi – Akiba with Akiba referring to a local shrine in the neighborhood). This stop isn’t a necessity if you’re already planning to go to LOFT, Ainz & Tulpe or any of the Matsu-Kyo/DonQi stores as it pretty much carries the same assortment of drugstore beauty but it’s a nice option if you’re pressed for time and cannot travel outside of Akihabara.

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