Maneki neko- Japanese lucky cats 🐈

Charming cat figurines with characteristic waving paws are recognisable all around the world. But what’s actually behind those famous beckoning cats?

Let’s start with the Japanese name- maneki neko. It is written as 招き猫. 猫 simply means “cat”, whereas 招 means “to welcome, beckon” and comes from their waving gesture, which in Japan means beckoning. However, it can also be interpreted as a warning of incoming danger, so maneki neko are often worshipped as the reincarnation of Kannon, the Buddhist bodhisattva of mercy. Actually, there are a few legends about their origin from Japanese tradition. Most of them are from the Edo and early Meiji periods (Edo period 1603-1868, Meiji period 1868-1912).

The first legend is about a geisha (which is no surprise- the geisha tradition and entertainment districts were at their height in the Edo period). As she was getting ready, her beloved cat started to angrily attack her, scratching and screaming. Of course the geisha asked the owner of the house to help, who cut off the animal’s head with a sword. Miraculously, the cat’s flying head saved its owner- it bit a poisonous snake that was about to attack the geisha. It’s not surprising that the geisha was utterly devastated after the loss of her beloved animal, so the house owner gave her a gift- a ceramic figure of the cat. The legend is a beautiful example of sacrifice and the pain of losing one thing in order to save another, which is an extremely popular literary motif since ancient times.

The next two legends are linked to the Tokyo temple Gōtokuji, located in the Setagaya district. It goes without saying that for this reason the temple is closely linked to maneki neko- you can find cat motifs on the pagoda opposite the entrance to the main prayer hall, as well as on the interior walls.

In the temple you can buy a maneki neko figure as a lucky charm. People usually purchase them and make a wish. When it comes true, they return to Gōtokuji and leave the figurine there, creating a very impressive cluster of them that makes the temple unique. There is also the custom of burying the ashes of pets in the vicinity of the temple.

The first legend related to Gōtokuji is about a group of samurai on horses who arrived at the temple and spotted a small cat cleaning itself at the entrance. The movement of its paw around the ears resembled waving, which in Japan is a beckoning gesture. Therefore the samurai peacefully entered the temple, without harming the inhabitants of the area. Here the cat takes on the role of a peacekeeper and lifesaver- this time of many people.

The next legend is about a man called Ii Naosuke, who went to the temple to meet an imperial falconer. On his way home, it started raining, so he hid under a tree, from where he noticed an old, collapsing temple. At the entrance was a cat who appeared to be waving, so Naosuke headed towards it- as he did, the tree was struck by lightning. Once again a small cat saved a human life. Filled with gratitude, the man gave the temple a considerable sum of money, saving it from closure.

The final legend is about an old cat lady who unfortunately fell into poverty, which forced her to sell her beloved cats. Because she still didn’t have enough money, she started making realistic figurines of them. They became very popular and fashionable, and the old lady could pay her debts- a lovely example of a seemingly hopeless situation turning out well.,

The meaning of cats in Japanese culture is quite ambiguous. On one hand, they are very vigilant animals and get rid of mice, but on the other- they are perceived to have the ability of transform into demons. Cats in Japanese tradition is a very interesting topic that I will certainly expand in another post.

What about the appearance of the figurines? Although it seems like a simple figure of a cat, there is lots of symbolism behind it. Maneki neko are based on the Japanese bobtail cat breed- their characteristic feature is a very, very short tail as well as strongly vertical ears. They are believed to bring good luck, but more on that in a future post.

Maneki neko have red collars (red is a lucky colour) with a bell or golden coin attached, on which is written what the cat is supposed to attract- for example money or luck.

Originally the figurines were ceramic, of course today they are usually made of synthetic materials. There are many different sizes and colours, making them rather varied despite their similar shapes.

Let’s stop at the colours for a moment.

tricoloured: tricoloured Japanese bobtail cats are rather rare and therefore are believed to bring plenty of luck and money.

white: like in western culture, white symbolises innocence and purity, brings luck

black: scares away demons and wards off evil

gold: money, prosperity, fortune

pink: attracts love

green: success in studies, exams

red: wards off illness

blue: attracts success, home safety

The waving paw is important too.

If the right paw is waving, it attracts luck and prosperity.

The left paw brings clients and guests, making it good for businesses.

The higher the paw, the better.

Very rarely you can find cats with both paws raised, but the Japanese consider them exaggerated and so they aren’t popular.

So, what is the cultural meaning of maneki neko?

They are popular not only in Japan, but also China and Thailand. They are commonly placed on entrances to shops and restaurants, attracting clients. Placed on marketplaces and exhibitions, they are believed to bring money. In private homes, they are supposed to bring luck and ward off misfortune.

In the city of Seto in Aichi prefecture is a museum of ceramics with one of the largest maneki neko collections in Japan. There are over 1000 examples from different regions and periods.

The instantly recognisable Hello Kitty is also based off maneki neko, although it’s quite hard to see at first.

The most famous cities producing maneki neko are Seto (Aichi pref.) and Takasaki (Gunma pref.), whereas the largest amounts are made in Tokoname, Aichi pref. Tokoname is particularly interesting because it has a massive (almost 4m tall) maneki neko figurine called Tokonyan. It’s just the head placed on top of a wall, creating the effect that it’s looking over the city from behind it. In front of it are two brown cat sculptures, approximately the size of real ones. On top of that the city has a road nicknamed the Tokoname Maneki-Neko Street, which is where Tokonyan is, but also 39 ceramic cats on its concrete wall. They all have very different forms, many of them differ a lot from regular maneki neko, and each one is made by a different artist. Each cat also has a different meaning (i.e. what it’s supposed to bring or deter). On top of that the official mascot of the city is a maneki-neko called Tokotan. What can I say, Tokoname is the perfect place for cat lovers.

The importance of maneki neko in Japan doesn’t end here. There is an Association for Maneki Neko Japan, based in Gunma pref. For a reasonable fee members receive four club magazines. The association also designated the 29th of September as the maneki neko day, because the date can be read as “fortune coming your way”.

Around the maneki neko day, several festivals are held around the country, for example in Ise (Mie pref.) and Shimabara (Nagasaki pref.). You can admire displays of those adorable art forms, buy your own (and related goods), and even try your hand at creating a unique lucky cat.

Since maneki neko are an art form, it’s no surprise that there is a museum dedicated to them. It is located in Okayama City (prefecture of the same same). There are 700 permanent exhibits featuring maneki neko made from a variety of materials. There are also seasonal themed exhibits and the opportunity to create your own figurines.

Maneki neko truly are an interesting and lovely tradition, one of the things that drew me to Japanese culture. Although I don’t truly believe in their abilities to bring or deter certain things due to my religion, the encouraging waving paw of the cat figurine on my desk never fails to lift my spirits.

Bubble face mask review

Hello! ☺️

I love a good face mask. Apart from obvious practical benefits, there are so many different types that it’s impossible to get bored of them, and they just make you feel much better no matter what. I’ve tried sheet masks, peel-off masks, glitter masks, ones that could pass for a face cream, but I haven’t tried bubble ones as much as I wanted. Well, I finally had the opportunity to when I was gifted some by a friend.

Nice, two applications. Very convenient, since I like to have a nice supply of masks at all times. The one in question has two main ingredients- gold and activated charcoal. The primary effects are antioxidant and detoxifying. On the back there’s a little more information, alas…

How it works- the magic ingredient of the mask is activated oxygen that starts foaming upon contact with the skin. I’m no scientist, but that sounds rather interesting.

The effects- the mask is supposed to cleanse, refresh, oxygenate the skin (don’t confuse with oxidising) and stimulate microcirculation. This gives radiant skin free of wrinkles, discolouration and visible pores.

The ingredients-

We’ve all heard of activated charcoal, it’s safe to say that it is as big as coconut oil. Because of its absorbing properties, it cleans the skin and makes pores less visible.

Another active ingredient that wasn’t mentioned before is the Barbados cherry, or acerola. It looks like a tiny red pepper. It is extremely rich in vitamin C, which has many benefits- most notably it makes the skin more radiant and reduces discolouration.

The mask also contains Vitamin E, which has anti-ageing and hydrating properties.

There is also some 24K gold, which makes the skin look fresh and radiant.

So, let’s see how the mask does when put to use.

As soon as I applied it (it’s a black gel with tiny shimmering gold particles, reminding me of a clear night sky, that pleasantly smells of watermelon), it instantly started foaming, which is the unique feature of this mask. It’s quite fun and pleasant, and also feels like the mask is doing something.

Once the foaming stopped, the instruction was to massage the mask into the skin. Now it looks like an ordinary mask, and it’s clear that there is activated charcoal in it. I left it like that for a few minutes before washing it off with warm water and seeing the effects. My skin definitely felt very soft and refreshed, and looked healthier also…

Overall, the mask worked very well. Apart from many invisible benefits, my skin felt wonderful and looked better also. Another plus is that it’s very affordable, fun to use and has interesting active ingredients. Generally I can’t find any flaws, so I’d recommend this kind of mask to anyone.

Hopefully you found this post interesting! What are your favourite face mask types and ingredients?

Have a lovely day!

🍁🍂 autumn eye make-up 🍁🍂

Hello 🍁

Leaving the house in the autumn is pure pleasure. The weather is not too hot and not too cold (though it can fluctuate quite a bit), and the gold and red leaves fascinate me every time. I think how those vivid trees were just recently a lush green and will soon merely be bare branches.

This season is perfect for makeup colours like beige, various shades of brown, gold and red. With that in mind, I have created one of many possible eye make-up looks for autumn.

Products used:

  • Brown eyeliner pencil
  • Dark brown eyeshadow
  • Gold eyeshadow
  • Deep red eyeshadow
  • Orange eyeshadow
  • Cream or very light beige eyeshadow

Step One:

Apply the cream or light beige eyeshadow all over your eyelid as a base.

Step two:

Apply the dark brown on the outer 1/3 of your eyelid.

Step three:

Apply red eyeshadow on the dark brown, but leave it showing on the edges.

Step Four:

Get a shimmery gold and apply it on the middle part of your eyelid.

Step five:

Apply the orange shade on the inner 1/3 of your eyelid.

Step Six:

Gently blend everything nicely.

Step Seven:

Apply brown eyeliner, following the shape of your eye and guide the wing downwards. Line the outer 1/3 of your lower eyelid and join the line with the wing.

And that’s it! This make-up look is perfect for all sorts of autumn outfits, it’s both subtle and bold, and suits the autumn landscape perfectly. Pair it with a brown, beige or red lipstick.

Did you like this look? Would you like to try it yourself?

Have a lovely day!

~roseteamacaron~

🍁autumn 2019 lookbook🍁

Hello 🍂

While autumn isn’t yet in full swing, it’s definitely arrived- the leaves have noticeably began turning into fiery hues of crimson, gold and orange. Autumn is nature’s final stunning show before everything quietens down for the winter, though of course winter also has its fair share of breathtaking views. The drastic change of scenery combined with dropping temperatures calls for clothing that will keep one warm, but not overheat in the delicate golden rays of autumn sun. Dominating colours are ones that harmonise with the fiery hues- soft beige, rich bordeaux, chocolate brown, and luxurious gold.

In this post I will show you three outfits that I have prepared for the autumn season. Hopefully they appeal to you.

Outfit 1: Chai Tea

My staple Autumn outfit. The colours are harmonious and soft, simultaneously matching the vibrant landscape. The base consists of an elegant and soft white top with short sleeves and a pretty rose. I paired it with a lightweight white skirt with a pretty lace hem, creating the impression of an elegant and floaty dress. The autumn feeling is given by the beautiful beige cardigan with charming tassels. In case it gets warmer during the day, it can be easily removed. The autumnal feeling will be contained in the tights nonetheless- a matching natural soft beige. The shoes are my go-to white ones that match everything.

As for accessories- I went for an elegant pearl bracelet, a subtle gold bracelet with a dainty star, and gold star earrings. The necklace is a very subtle silver heart.

Overall the colours of this outfit remind me of chai tea- sweet, milky, enhanced with an array of spices- perfect for a chilly evening.

Outfit 2: Scarlet Maple

Autumn is also the perfect time for rich colours. This outfit combines the deep scarlet of autumn leaves with contrasting black. The skirt has a plaid pattern, which isn’t a coincidence- tartan is very autumnal. The moderately thick black tights, shoes and long sleeves protect from the chill of the cooler days. I added a pretty red heart-shaped necklace, dainty red stud earrings and a gorgeous silver bracelet with crystals that beautifully reflect the sunlight.

Outfit 3: Café Latte

This outfit’s main piece is an elegant soft beige dress with long sleeves. The design is simple but very cute. The allusion to autumn is further deepened by the fact that the pattern is leaf veins! I paired it with versatile natural tights, elegant pearl bracelets, a gold shorter necklace with a heart charm, and matching gold heart earrings, perfect for the early autumn when leaves begin to turn into bright shades of yellow, resembling sparkling gold. The shoes are my go-to white ones. The colour scheme makes me think of a sweet, milky latte with a dash of cinnamon, an autumn favourite.

I hope that you found this lookbook inspiring and aesthetically pleasing! Feel free to share your opinions and ideas for autumn outfits too.

Have a lovely day!

~roseteamacaron~

🇯🇵Nami airando- Japanese festival in Wrocław 🇯🇵

Hello!

This post is a little late, as the event in question took place on the 31st of August. Nonetheless, it definitely deserves a place on my blog.

First, a bit of background information. In my city, there is a Polish-Japanese friendship foundation called “Nami”, which means wave. Apart from organising many lovely events (that I can’t currently afford, but one day!), they also hold a matsuri-like Japanese festival at the end of the summer on one of the picturesque islands in the heart of the city.

It’s very rich in real Japanese culture, matching my interests and knowledge. I first attended last year, and decided to attend the future festivals also. This year’s event was special, because it is the 100th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Poland and Japan. There were special guests like the consul of Japan in Poland and members of Japanese companies. I hope that the cooperation of our two countries continues for many years to come.

I arrived at around 4pm, an hour after the start of the festival. I had to carry my ensemble with me, and managed to get dressed in my yukata in a shopping centre toilet. It was 31°C, and I had to make it to the tram stop, and then those three stops in a rather crowded tram without AC. I was listening to angry Chinese rap loud enough to not hear any comments of doubtful intelligence. Then I had to walk a bit to the event. It was hot and sunny, and I wasn’t bothered to take out my parasol. It was also a bit windy, so the hems of my yukata got a bit unruly.

Candid photo of struggling with my kinchaku.

Nonetheless, it was worth it once I arrived. The event was split into areas. Of course there was a food area, where I didn’t get anything- I don’t like eating in places and situations like this, as it’s uncomfortable and messy. Though I definitely was tempted by the shaved ice, different noodles, onigiri and so forth. There were also matcha lattes, which I really wanted towards the end of the event, as I was extremely thirsty- but I had no money left. There were some tea stalls as well as ones with Japanese sweets- but I didn’t have much money and had to prioritise. I could buy those things in my city all year, so I decided not to buy anything, as much as I wanted to!

Within the food area was also a tea ceremony tent, where you could get a bowl of fresh matcha and a traditional sweet for a small price. I tried it last year and enjoyed the experience, it’s also good for people who have never tried matcha or traditional tea ceremony before.

Near the food area was the main stage where a lot was going on. There was a tea ceremony performance that I missed, but luckily I attended the exact same one last year. There were also lovely music performances of traditional instruments-

• Shamisen- a three-stringed guitar-like instrument resembling the banjo.

  • Koto- a bit like a harp, but horizontal.
  • Taiko- very large drums.

My favourite performance was certainly that of Chihoco Yanagi, a performer of traditional Japanese dance. I am also learning this art form, albeit from videos. I especially liked the “Gion Kouta” dance.

Her dancing was incredibly expressive. I also managed to chat with her after the performance- it was really pleasant! Chihoco Yanagi-san was very friendly, I managed to practise my Japanese too- although it was a bit embarrassing when I was talking rather fluently and suddenly forgot something as basic as numbers…

A completely candid photo of our conversation. I’m pleasantly surprised by how natural this is! I rarely see myself doing things without posing anything. We talked about different things- but mostly about Japanese culture and kimono. I also showed my maiko henshin, it was a big honour to me that Chihoco Yanagi-san complimented it.

Another performance on the main stage that caught my attention was the yosakoi dance. Very lively and different from what I’m used to, but very interesting nonetheless!

Now, let’s move on to the other areas of the event. There was one dedicated to Japanese traditions- needless to say my favourite. I spent quite a bit of time at the Inugami Kimono stall- please visit her Facebook page! She has many lovely kimono and not only. I enjoyed seeing and feeling some of them in person, and admiring the motifs on them. I was captivated by the origami crane earrings- they were so tiny! I really admire the skill that went into those. I also had a lovely time chatting with the owner- we talked about many things, Japan-related and not only 😛

Beautiful maneki-neko charm. For now I decided to separate the red string from the charm part and use it in a necklace. It has a bell inside, which is a cute addition- though it can get annoying if I have to move around too much. I can keep my love of traditional Japanese close to me by wearing this adorable cat on my neck.

Although I’m rather proud of my maiko hair ornament set that I made myself, I don’t have many that I can use in normal kimono ensembles. Although in today’s times almost anything goes, I also wanted something traditional. I was completely lacking in hairpins of this sort. This ornament is versatile, because the flowers aren’t a specific motif so I can wear it all year. The purple colour goes with pretty much anything also. I can also wear this in regular everyday outfits- it’s very easy to just slide this in the back of my bun and take my love of kimono with me.

There was also a more Harajuku stall. Although I do wear some Harajuku fashions, the things there were not really my type of Japanese fashion. Generally I don’t really like that type of shop.

Further along were more stalls related to traditional culture. There was apparently one with traditional instruments, where there was the opportunity to try playing them, but they were on the stage or preparing a lot of the time so I must have missed it. Well, perhaps next year- I’d love to try the shamisen or koto one day.

Another lovely stall featured calligraphy. Asian or Western, watching ink flowing off the brush and instantly creating beautifully refined works of art. For a very small price you could get your name, a chosen kanji or short philosophical saying.

The neighbouring stall was quite similar- it focused on etagami. Etagami is the elegant art of watercolour-like paintings with accompanying text. I will certainly write more about it in the future. It can be used to decorate post cards or small paper charms, for instance. They can be hung up in rooms for an interesting touch. The stall offered uchiwa fans (wide, round unfoldable fans of Chinese origin) that were decorated on the spot with gorgeous motifs. I saw cherry blossoms and goldfish, but I think there were a few others also. I really wanted to get one of those, but by the time I was almost at the end of the queue, the ladies were understandably exhausted and started packing up. So, I bought a plain fan and took matters into my own hands.

I was inspired by the goldfish design, so I took a goldfish yukata from the internet as a reference and added my own style. I made a palette with watercolour pencils on a sheet of paper and applied the colours with cotton tips gently dipped in water. I would’ve used brushes, but I didn’t have any on hand. Either way, I think it turned out well! Now I have another uchiwa fan to go with my yukata and to use in summertime traditional dances.

富美ひな, read Fumihina, means “abundantly beautiful doll”. I constructed it in the same way as geisha names are created. I made it initially so I’d have an original username/nickname to go by and use for various sites, and since I used it for my private Instagram it just stayed with me and I’ve gotten attached.

Before I move on to the other areas, I’d like to cover the bonsai stall. Bonsai are also something I’ll write about in the future. Those carefully shaped trees show how Japanese culture values harmony with nature while also modifying it to fit a set of guidelines- to the point of it being borderline artificial. The geometric accuracy of the small plants is aesthetically pleasing and is proof of artistic skill and sensitivity.

The next area focused on martial arts. It’s not really my thing, so I haven’t got much to say. However, it still is something that I admire and appreciate. Nearby was the games area, where one could earn the festival currency- Nami Yen. It could be spent on things like the calligraphy stall or the yukata rental. I tried all of them- first was the kendama, a rather specific toy with a ball and string attached to it. You have to catch the ball on one of the four levels. I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that one I got the hang of it, I rather easily completed three of the levels! The final one is for another day…Another game was transferring beads with chopsticks. Since I have quite some experience with eating using them, it was quite pleasant and relaxing. Totally something I’d do on a study break to unwind. Really, that’s not a bad idea.

There was also an origami area. I’ve only ever folded cranes before, so this was interesting. I tried folding a cat, but got lost early on and settled for an easier butterfly. Well, it was fun. I think that every now and then I could do some simple origami to relax.

Another games area was dedicated to board and card games. I enjoyed playing one of my favourites- hanafuda. It inspired me to create my own set so I could play whenever I wanted- that and more details about the game itself will be its own post, this one is long enough as is!

The final part I would like to cover is the Bon odori led by Chihoco Yanagi. I actually never tried this type of dance, but it was a lot of fun and I’ll be doing it again in the future! Sadly I have no photos, but here’s one of Chihoco-san and I.

Well, the event was a lot of fun and I enjoyed being immersed in the authentic Japanese culture that came with it- such an occasion only comes once a year. I am truly grateful to the organisers and guests who made it so special and I look forward to visiting next year! It really was a lovely end of the summer.

🐠summer 2019 haul🐠

In summer I happen to have more spending money than usual, so I can treat myself to a rather rare shopping spree. This year I managed to buy quite a bit- enough to make a post about. Indulging in yourself like this is okay and healthy- as long as you don’t overdo it!! Moderation is key.

This post doesn’t feature everything I bought this summer. I didn’t include new clothes, because they’re in my updated wardrobe post, and I’ll likely feature them in future posts too. I also left out one thing because I will do a separate post on it. Therefore we are left with small but adorable trinkets. I’ll cover them quite briefly, but some of them will have more detailed posts and reviews in the future.

A small shopping trip from late June.

Those star earrings are a real gem. They were on sale, so I didn’t hesitate. I always liked the dreamy feel of celestial themes, but I am lacking in them. I love their refined elegance, and the size makes them rather showy- they are a lovely touch to many outfits.

The necklace was also on sale. It was a bit of an impulse buy, but it complements my jewellery collection very well. The heart is a locket, but I don’t know whether I’ll put anything in there. It’s also got holographic silver glitter and an adorable tiny star charm, making it a good match for the earrings. This necklace is versatile and is good for making plainer outfits more interesting, for instance.

I love using face masks. I usually do a homemade rice mask, sometimes mixed with other ingredients, but I also enjoy using interesting ready-made masks. It’s easy to find an affordable one that will leave my skin feeling soft, nourish it, and make me feel amazing. Matcha is nothing strange to me- I practise Japanese tea ceremony. It’s extremely high in antioxidants. However, I’ve never used it on my face. That’s why I decided to try this mask, so I don’t have to waste matcha that I’d rather drink. I haven’t used it yet, but it surely looks promising. The cute packaging is a bonus too.

Scented candles are addictive. I use them sometimes when I’m relaxing in bed after a tiring day (like now- I’m lying and writing this post on my phone with an iced tea candle burning) and while studying, drawing, reading… the soothing flame creates a nice atmosphere and the gentle sweet scent is very relaxing and pleasant. I especially like candles in jars. This one is part of a series that I have three other candles from. Pretty packaging, affordable pricing and interesting scents are enough to lure me in. This candle, called “Almonds Nuts”, has an intense sweetly smell with a pronounced nutty addition. It really does remind me of almonds or marzipan.

I paint my nails rather often. I like choosing colour combinations and having pretty nails is rather motivating and improves my mood. A new polish to add something new is very refreshing- especially this gorgeous pearly lilac shade with periwinkle undertones. It looks gorgeous under the light in particular. This polish is from the brand Catrice.

Finally, something that I always wanted, but couldn’t get around to buying- a portable spray bottle. I mentioned in my post on dealing with the heat that I like to fill it with water and spray myself before fanning the wet areas for an effect similar to air conditioning. In the unbearably hot weather, a refreshing water mist is a must. It really makes a difference for a very small price.

Now, things that I bought around the middle of August when I was visiting my family in my native city.

I will be going from left to right, top to bottom.

First is a lovely moisturiser by Ziaja. It’s a Polish brand that makes affordable and effective cosmetics. They also smell lovely. Not only can I support brands from my country, but I also get a lot in return. This moisturiser includes calendula extract, and it has a pleasant and subtle floral smell. It differs in texture from my other moisturisers- it’s semi-oily. It’s rather thick and very hydrating, and contains vitamin E. The cream will be especially useful in the winter, but not only.

Next we have two more masks. They were also very affordable, which is a very important factor. The one on the left is another Japanese theme- yuzu lime is something I’ve never tried. It’s a type of Asian citrus that moisturises, protects, regenerates and smoothens out the skin. It’s a hydrogel mask containing sesame proteins that improve skin elasticity. I really look forward to trying it. On the right is a pearl mask. Its effect is mostly lifting and brightening. Rosemary acid also protects the skin. There is also apple extract that helps collagen production.

Next is a beautiful mug that was very affordable, but does its job perfectly. The design is very pretty and fancy, making it perfect for a Monday morning coffee, for instance, as it pleases the eye, improving my mood.

Next is a beautiful eyeshadow palette that happened to be on sale. I mainly bought it for the red shade in the middle- I’ve been searching for a juicy scarlet for a while. The other shades are also stunning, making the whole palette worth it. I will certainly make a detailed review at some point, because the lovely colours deserve to be shown properly!

Until fairly recently I usually wore my hair down. It still is my go-to hairstyle, but when hot weather arrived, I usually had my hair away from my neck, and became more open to other hairstyles. A nice hair tie can make a simple braid or bun much more interesting. This elegant velvet hair band will be a nice addition to my hair, especially when I decide to skip other hair accessories.

Another nail polish. Since I’m lacking in blue shades, and I particularly liked this one, I bought it without hesitation, especially since it was also affordable. It’s a lovely sky-blue colour, with a bit toned-down and elegant feel.

Lipstick can be like war paint. When I don’t feel like doing make-up on the rest of my face, I just apply a nice shade on my lips. This one is a chocolatey mauve-ish shade.

I wear jewellery every day, it makes me feel good and makes outfits more interesting. This elegant and simple bracelet has a dainty star charm, making it a perfect match for the earrings.

I always quite liked mermaid makeup brushes, but I never got around to buying them as they were often rather expensive and I wasn’t that desperate. However, when I saw them in a Chinese shop for very affordable prices, I decided to try them. The only flaw was the glue application- the upper part was unstable. However, I quickly fixed it with superglue. Apart from the pretty design making my makeup routine more interesting, the brush has very soft bristles and the shape is different from my other brushes, so I can easily blend and cover larger areas.

Next are hair clips. I don’t have too many hair accessories, so those are a welcome addition. I especially like those on the left, as they’re nice and subtle. The ones on the right are cute and look like butterflies, they’re also bolder.

My lips are rather dry, so I must always have some lip balm. This one has a lovely peachy scent and is very moisturising too.

Another scented candle from the same collection as the almond one. This one has a summery coconut scent, a subtle sweetness.

I couldn’t resist those stickers- their small price and iridescence attracted me instantly. They can be used for many creative projects. The lavender-bluish colour reminds me of the sea, and the shapes are cute and versatile. Something as simple as stickers can make a plain notebook or box much more interesting.

Next- two bars of soap. I never used much bar soap, but the lovely scents of those attracted me, and I ended up liking using them. One is elegant rose, and the other- relaxing lavender. Both are ingredients I really like in cosmetics, and the defined smells make them very pleasant to wash myself with.

Next- another hair tie. This one matches my pompon earrings, and I will likely be using it a lot in the winter. The bunny ears are an adorable touch, making it a nice addition to springtime outfits also.

I was never an avid user of hand cream, but I decided to give it a try, as the price was small. It really made a difference- I started paying attention to when my hands are dry, and realised that using cream really does make me feel much better. It has silk proteins and vitamin B5. The smell is refined and subtle, it moisturises and soothes very well, makes my hands feel soft and smooth and absorbs very quickly, which is convenient.

Next is a gorgeous glass box that I bought for the purpose of keeping my homemade powder foundation in. It’s very luxurious and princessy, and also has a mirror inside. Both beautiful and practical.

Even more scented candles in pretty packaging, with a gorgeous rose scent.

Next is a hair band that is simple and elegant, and very versatile. Although it’s rather modest, it makes a difference. I like the small and subtle bow.

Finally, a cute bracelet. It’s easy to wear as it’s on elastic. I like the tassel- it matches my tassel earrings perfectly.

Now, some unexpected gifts I got from my mum. Apart from my favourite white chocolate, I also received a lovely perfume with a balanced sweet scent, and a new purse. It’s small and practical, fitting everything I need. It’s also rather elegant.

I also received this lovely bracelet. Under the sunlight it beautifully shimmers in the colours of the rainbow. It also goes with everything.

Finally, I received some socks. Although they’re mostly not very visible, cute socks are a welcome addition, lifting my mood. The blue ones have adorable ears too!

Those earrings caught my eye a while ago. I finally got around to buying them, and I’m glad I did. They are soft and quite bold, so they’re an interesting addition.

I also went on a small shopping trip once I returned home.

I always liked marine themes, and I wanted a seashell theme necklace to match one of my bracelets as well as some marine-themed outfits. I found those lovely necklaces on clearance sale- they are exactly what I’ve been looking for. They will be used in many summertime outfits.

Next is a hair mask. I don’t do anything special to my hair- it’s only dyed. So I decided to give this mask a try. I think that I’ll be making my own once this runs out, however. I like the smoothie packaging- it perfectly matches the ingredients; moringa, maca and kale are all “superfoods” containing high levels of antioxidants. I’ve only used this once so far- the pack is for three uses. It left my hair feeling very soft, and I noticed that it looks a bit better also.

Well, it’s difficult for me to resist a face mask. First is an olive mask, with hyaluronic acid and green olive leaf essence. Its effect is regenerating, hydrating, smoothing, vitalising and brightening, as well as soothing.

The other mask is a manuka honey nourishing and moisturising one. It’s regenerating, strengthening and smoothing. It is also supposed to brighten the skin and even it out. I like the bee theme, and I look forward to trying it out.

Next is something I haven’t bought for a long time- ramune. The unique bottles and flavours have drawn me in, and I started to collect them. I decided to expand my collection with an orange flavour- the drink itself was delicious and the bottle is a nice souvenir.

Finally- a gorgeous pair of slippers. When I was in my native village, I befriended a pig, and fell in love with those animals. To remember my pink friend, I bought this soft pair of slippers. I’m quite lacking in them, so they are a welcome addition.

Well, that will be all! I hope that you enjoyed looking at my finds (as we all do!).

Have a lovely day!

roseteamacaron

📚back to school 2019📚

Hello!

Around the middle of August, the sun begins to set noticeably earlier- a reminder that two months without waking up at 6am, barely passed maths tests and not very enjoyable PE lessons are slowly coming to an end. Although school has its unpleasant parts, as I have gotten older, I saw more good sides of it- perhaps the fact that I now mostly have subjects that match my interests has influenced my mindset. I study more for myself and feel an inner desire to gain knowledge. Grades aren’t my main goal anymore. Before the start of the new school year, I can look past less enjoyable parts and actually look forward to gaining new knowledge.

Another thing that makes me want to return to school is the need to buy new supplies. Choosing pens and notebooks gives me an opportunity to express myself and motivation. New supplies also help me to get through the less pleasant parts of school and gain knowledge as comfortably as possible. So, as the autumn breeze begins to subtly creep in, it’s time for the traditional post showcasing my supplies for the upcoming 10 month long battle. Hopefully it’s enjoyable and perhaps an inspiration too, since I like to be a bit creative.

Remember- school is more than showing as many people as possible your new hairstyle or how organised your locker may be. While putting effort into things like your appearance and fancy supplies can help you feel good about yourself and subsequently give you better conditions to learn, you’re there to develop as a person and gain important knowledge. I’ll write a more detailed post at some point, but keep that in mind as you prepare for the new academic year!

Without any further ado, let’s get to the point.

✒️Supplies✒️

PENS. I’m in a humanistic class, and this year I will have two more subjects taught on higher level on top of Polish- History and Civics. I’m also doing History of Art. Considering the volume of my notes on those subjects from the past academic year, the amount of pens I bought for the coming year is reasonable. Since I use pens all the time, I bought some fancier cute ones. However those are not very cheap in larger quantities, especially since they run out quite quickly, so I have a proper supply of plain pens. They’re comfortable to use and very affordable. Aesthetically, they’re okay also.

To brighten it up a bit, I chose some interesting pens that match my aesthetic preferences more. The cat pen is subtle, but enough to convey my love for cats and remind me of those lovely animals when my brain is exhausted. The cherry blossom pen is absolutely beautiful and very fancy. I have a soft spot for pens with dangly parts and this one will be very pleasant to use.

This pen was bought locally, and it took quite a while to find in the shop. But it was worth it- the elegant and cute design perfectly matches my style. It’s also very comfortable to hold.

A set of beautiful floral pens. I have a weakness for flowers, so I bought those pens without a second thought really. The gentle sweet scent of the elegant flowers can almost be felt just by looking at them.

A pretty pink pen that I didn’t get around to using last year.

Notes without colour are difficult to use. So, I got a set of colourful pens to make it easier and more enjoyable to study. There is a nice range of bright colours for headings, sections and the most important points.

Last year, I learnt that I would be using pencils a lot more than I expected. I mostly use them for maths, since I’m bound to make mistakes and solving problems in pen guarantees a mess. I also use them for some Polish tasks- like adding annotations and initial thoughts to poems and text fragments. They’re also perfect for rough drafts. Not to mention the fact that I also use them for my history exercises in case of mistakes. This year I’m equipped with three mechanical pencils. Two fancier ones bought online- an adorable Miffy one with my beloved dangling charm and an elegant diamond one- quite fun to write with. There is also one that I bought locally- although it’s not particularly fancy, it’s in my favourite colour and I have a nice supply of leads. Mechanical pencils are very convenient for use at school because I don’t have to bother with sharpeners and pencil shavings.

However, I just couldn’t resist this adorable and affordable bunny sharpener. Since it’s inconvenient to carry in my bag, I decided to keep it on my desk, since I can comfortably use traditional pencils at home. Not to mention the fact that I use a lot of pencils for art, too. Regardless of what I’m doing, this cute bunny will brighten it up.

A good supply of rubbers. I bought a few as they’re quite small. Affordable and convenient, what more could I want?

I used to skip highlighters, but last year I started using them and it made my studying much easier and more pleasant. Bright colours bring out important facts and make them easier to remember. They also make notes look more interesting.

Where would I be without a ruler? Since I look at it so many times daily when I’m underlining headings and dates, I decided to add some cherry blossom stickers to remind me of the fleeting nature of life- I mean, to make it prettier. Although I don’t like making tables, sometimes I just have to and I can’t do that without a ruler. Besides, geometry comes up every year in maths, and I won’t get too far without straight lines.

Speaking of geometry- I also have supplies from previous years that can come in useful. I keep them in my room for now, and I’ll carry them in a separate pencil case when I need them.

Since we are on the topic of maths- my beloved pink calculator with Rilakkuma stickers to make maths more bearable. Although I’ll only be able to bring a simple calculator to my final exam, I can still use a cute one during lessons in the two years leading up to it.

I can expect to receive some loose papers this year- mostly in Polish. That’s why I need supplies to transfer them to my notebooks. The scissors and glue will be at home, whereas I will carry the paper clips in my bag to temporarily clip the papers in place until I get home and stick them in for good.

Of course, I need somewhere to keep all those supplies. I got myself a dainty, practical and elegant rose pencil case. Fits everything that I need to use on a daily basis.

A folder decorated with various pressed flowers. This is where I keep mostly spare paper- plain and lined. I also have pink gridded paper for tests and quizzes.

Last year I realised just how much I’ll be needing bookmarks. I use them for marking fragments of books, and keeping track of textbook and set book progress. The white ones are decorated with stickers and pressed flowers that I have been collecting from March to July. The paper doll one is for marking set book progress.

📔notebooks📔

Most of my notebooks are cheap plain pastel ones decorated with hand-drawn designs to make them more interesting and to allow me to distinguish them.

I bought A5 books for less important subjects I won’t have much of. On the left is my planner. In the middle I went for a cherry blossom theme, and on the right is a book with a cute cover and sweet smell.

Nautical theme, some lace and a summery fruit theme.

A4 books for more important subjects. Each subject has 2-3 of those, so I’m supplied for the whole year.

Kimono and Japanese art motifs for every month of the year.

The book on the right is for History of Art notes.

💼 bag 💼

This is my bag for this year. It’s large, cute, comfortable and waterproof, making it very convenient.

I added this beautiful keychain to make it more personal.

The contents of the bag are pretty much the same as in my bag post from March, so I won’t repeat myself.

Well, that will be all! I hope that you found my supplies interesting. Are you prepared for school? How are you feeling about the new school year?

Have a lovely day!

~roseteamacaron~