Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Review: Secret Key Snail & EGF Repairing Toner, Essence, Emulsion & Eye Cream

Hi everyone! Today I have a couple of reviews from the same skincare line but first, I have some exciting news! I'm saving up to go to Japan!!! I decided that since I am working at Clinique temporarily again, I will put away most of my pay to save up! After I finish work at Clinique, I'll put away as much as I can from what I make at events with my brand - whilst I'm on the subject, see if there's anything you like from my shop and take part in the old tradition of exchanging money for goods, which I will then exchange for a trip to Japan! ^_~ Anything helps! I actually had the idea of starting a Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GoFundMe, whatever, where you get a voucher for my store that is higher than the amount donated - that way, it's not just 'Hey send me to Japan for no reason, okay? ^^', you actually get a really good deal out of it. I'm still thinking about it though and any input you have would be so appreciated! It really annoys me when you see people expecting money for nothing on these funding, really infuriatingly annoying...anyway, back to the reviews!

I have reviewed the cream from this line in the past, Secret Key Snail & EGF Repairing Cream - I have actually started to run out of the essence and emulsion and have cut open the bottles with a scalpel so I figured I'd best do a review before they run out!

Brand: Secret Key
Name: Snail & EGF Repairing Toner, Essence, Emulsion and Eye Cream
Price: Toner $6.34, Essence $5.76, Emulsion $6.34, Cream $5.95, Eye Cream $9.76
Where to buy: Koreadepart (Toner, Essence, Emulsion, Face Cream, Eye Cream)

Secret Key's brand store is 'The Secret Key uses a natural extract base, therapy method which human's wisdom was included, working hard to make trendy yet a product thatgives [sic] smooth skin and mind peace. You can check the information onthe [sic] site'

Um...okay? XD Secret Key has a few different lines of skincare, including their Snail & EGF, Syn-ake, White Pearl Illuminating, Snow White (whitening), Power Extreme Moisture (men's) and Dragon Blood line.

EGF stands for 'Epidermal Growth Factor'; it's a growth factor (naturally occurring substance, usually a protein or steroid hormone; in these products it's a protein) that stimulates cell growth and kickstarts the cell renewal/repairing process. EGF can be found in human platelets, macrophages, urine (ew!), saliva, milk and plasma. The main active ingredients in these items are snail extract (1%), caviar extract, non-germ pork placenta, white mushroom extract and lanoline.

Snail extract is used in cosmetics for its repairing benefits - it strengthens the skin and moisture barrier, so skin holds onto moisture and hydration longer and breaks in the barrier are less frequent (breaks in the moisture barrier causes dry skin, irritation, breakouts, etc.). Snail extract, to some extent, repairs damage on and in the skin - skin looks brighter, more even toned and healthier. The benefits of snail mucin/mucus was discovered when someone (a company, person, etc? I forget.) wondered why the hands of paddy field/rice workers were so smooth, even toned and healthy-looking.

Caviar extract is debated about whether it has any benefits in cosmetic products. It contains proteins, amino acids, fatty acids, lipids, vitamins and minerals, which, assuming they can penetrate and effect your skin, means your skin is more hydrated, plump, soft, healthy, the moisture/skin barrier is repaired and more radiant. Studies done by Aqua Bio Technologies (a cosmetic company that features caviar extract in their cosmetics) for their Aquabeautine XL line showed that women between the ages of 40 and 65 showed improvement in wrinkles, fine lines, roughness, dullness, hyperpigmentation and sagging after 12 weeks (source). However, the means and actual ingredients of 'caviar extract' can vary from company to company; some companies actually use real caviar in their products, some use the fluid extracted from fertilized fish eggs and whether the caviar comes from salmon or sturgeon can depend on the company too.

Pork placenta is used in cosmetics for stimulating cell growth and renewal, leading to softer, more supple, radiant skin. The use of pig placenta (as opposed to other animals such as cow and sheep) has been shown to be more compatible to humans and more receptive. The cell renewal benefits of snail extract and pork placenta slow the visible signs of ageing when used regularly and over time.

White mushroom extract is used because white mushrooms contains lots of vitamins like Vitamin B and D, fatty acids, minerals like selenium, copper and potassium and antioxidants. These components are proven to prevent the signs of ageing, brighten the skin and hydrate it. Mushrooms contain a polysaccharide that is equally beneficial in hydrating and providing a plumping effect to the skin as hyaluronic acid. Vitamin D repairs the skin and its skin barrier. Some mushrooms contain kojic acid, which is a natural skin lightener that inhibits the production of melamine and evens out the tone of skin. Mushrooms also contain antioxidants which help fight against free radicals, damaged cells that spark a chain reaction in other cells that leave them damaged and causes visible signs of ageing.




All the product packaging is the same - a creamy main colour with brown lid/screw top and writing. It's not particularly cute, nor particularly boring but it reminds me of cocoa butter and chocolate! The little snail on each product is in metallic gold.

Below is the size of each item in my hand for comparison.

You get 150ml of the toner, in a bottle with a screwtop lid and a small hole on the neck of the bottle for easy dispersion.
You get 50ml of the essence, which is a bit more than most serums (usually 30ml). This essence comes in a pump-style bottle.
You get 150ml of the emulsion, with the same product packaging and dispersion method as the toner, except the hole is larger, the full size of the neck. Because the emulsion is quite thick, it doesn't drip out like the toner - you have to shake/tap the bottle and squeeze a blob out, but it was almost always too much for my face and neck.
You get 30ml of the eye cream, which is a little more than the average (usually around 15ml-25ml). It's in a squeezy type tube with screwtop lid.

The toner is a watery substance and clear. It smells like most of the other Secret Key Snail & EGF items - it's not really floral, fruity, sweet, etc...just kind of clean and nice? The toner is meant to reset the levels of the surface of your skin back to PH neutral after cleansing (where most cleansers are alkaline) ready for the other products you'll put on your skin afterwards as well as give a bit of hydration. Many Western toners are for astringent purposes and contains alcohol usually. The toner spreads and absorbs easily in a few seconds. This will be the third thing to run out - the first thing that ran out was the face cream, then the essence and now that I've sawed the bottles in half, I can see that the toner will run out before the emulsion.

The essence is clear and smells the same as the toner. It has a more goopy consistency, and if you try to split the amount you've pumped out, it goes all stringy, a bit like glue. Some people have said it feels more like snail slime than the other products but I don't really think that and it doesn't really bother me; like I said, it's just a bit more goopy that the others. It's not sticky when you apply it to your face though, and again, spreads and absorbs easily. The purpose of the essence is moisture and the general benefits of snail extract, white mushroom extract, pork placenta and caviar extract (shown above in the 'Product Information' part) which is brightening and evening of the skin tone, encouraging cell growth and renewal, repairing the skin's moisture barrier and plumping the skin. I use two half pumps, one on each side of my face since it's hard to split one full pump due to the goopiness. Other than the face cream, this was the first product to run out. I sawed the bottle in half and was able to get about a week's extra supply by using a cotton bud to retrieve it! *hobobeauty*

The emulsion is thicker and creamier than the essence, with a milky white colour. This actually smells more citrusy than the rest of the products for some reason! Again, it absorbs really fast. This is the last product that will run out, other than the eye cream, which I started using after I started the other products. I actually ended up using too much of this product almost every night due to the opening of the bottle, as mentioned above, yet it's the last thing to run out? ...Okay.

This is the eye cream. I was using Clinique's All About Eyes when I first started using the Secret Key Snail & EGF Toner, Essence, Emulsion and Face Cream. I ordered the eye cream to go with it and when I used up my Clinique one, switched to it so I started using the Secret Key Snail & EGF Eye Cream after I started the rest of the line. I'm about halfway through the eye cream. It has the same brightening, evening, repairing and hydration properties as the cream. I started using this cream after I used the Balance Syn-ake Eye Cream to lighten my dark circles considerably so I was worried they'd darken again after switching to a new eye cream. I'm happy to say this eye cream maintained them and maintains the hydration in my eye area too. The eye cream doesn't really smell of anything and it absorbs and spreads easily. However, when combined with certain products that aren't part of the Snail & EGF line it can actually sting a little...more specifically, the Aurelia Revitalise and Glow Serum, I haven't tried anything else.
The whole line delivers hydration, brightening, cell growth/renewal and skin barrier strengthening. My skin has no dry flakes or tightness whilst using this line. Applying the skincare in the morning makes my skin feel hydrated and soft all day with or without makeup. At night I apply a couple of other products for night time hydration and again, the sensation lasts. In the morning, before makeup or not, I used to apply the toner, essence, emulsion, eye cream and face cream. Nowadays I use Clinique's Liquid Facial Soap in Extra Mild, Clarifying Lotion #1, the toner, emulsion, eye cream and Astral face cream now a couple of the products have run out. At night I applied the toner, essence, emulsion, eye cream, face oil (pure rice bran oil) and Astral moisturiser and nowadays I use the Clinique soap and Clarifying Lotion again, the toner, emulsion, eye cream, face oil and Astral cream.
I really like this skincare line - the benefits are great, actually work and the line is super cheap yet high quality. They don't feel the need to charge through the roof with ingredients like snail extract, EGF, pork placenta, white mushroom extract or caviar extract. There's a lot of higher end lines toting caviar extract as a luxury ingredient charging 10 times the price. The skincare line is great for my dry skin and I can imagine it's good for dry combination skin if you only use the toner, essence, emulsion, eye cream and face cream as opposed to adding in extra products like I do at night. With oilier skin types, you can actually swap the Snail & EGF Face Cream for the Snail & EGF Gel instead. I'd definitely give this line a 5/5 for price, quality, packaging (not cute but kind of chic looking) and durability. It's a great, affordable introduction to the delights of Korean skincare. The only niggle is that it's a bit hard to get, since you have to order through Koreadepart or eBay.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

I Love Fashion

*Listening to: Death Suits You Fine by Lordi*

Hi everyone! How are you doing? This is another reminiscing/personal discussion post again today, sparked by Poupee Girl again haha! It was sparked mostly by Poupee Girl and partly by putting away clothes the other day...

I can't think of any other way to start this but than saying I love fashion. I think I love it more now than I did when I was younger, and I only hope my love can grow. Fashion is a wonderful thing and when you make it your own style, it is even more wonderful. Watching your wardrobe grow, your style evolve and change and the memories sparked by clothes is a very special thing that is hard to explain to people who aren't 'into' fashion. I remember joking with my boyfriend about moving to an isolated island and my own problem being whether they would deliver my Taobao orders to the island, to which he replied 'You wouldn't need that superficial nonsense'. Now, he knows that I don't buy and wear cute clothes to impress him, since he doesn't really care what I wear as long as I'm happy (and I doesn't look completely mentally ill, of course) but he somehow thought that if we were truly happy and away from annoying people you come across in everyday life, I wouldn't need fashion to make me happy. I wholeheartedly disagree.

Fashion is an art, and a way of making yourself feel like a piece of walking art. I might not be a masterpiece, but I'm still art. I can wear whatever I feel like at the moment, what my mood and outlook is like, and it can change daily to suit me. Fashion isn't just about buying and/or wearing clothes - for me, it's putting together these lovely outfits from individual items of clothing, raw materials if you will, and creating something awesome that can change and evolve by adding and subtracting these raw materials. Jewellery, accessories and shoes can change the feel of any outfit drastically and are more things you can play with.

Certain items of clothing and accessories spark feelings inside of me that can't be felt by other means. Finding ways of proudly organising and displaying my items is another way to have fun with fashion. Looking at the wooden Grimoire brooches transports me back to Frock On, seeing the silver and bronze eyeball ring and brooch Tina gave me at Hyper Japan makes me miss her and wish to go to Japan, even certain makeup, like one of my favourite lipsticks, Etude House's Dear my Jelly Lips-talk in PK001 combined with Rimmel's Royal Gloss Lipgloss in Jellybean makes my lips look and feel like cute, juicy jellybeans!

Just now, I uploaded this pair of boots to Poupee Girl. They're New Rocks with a black and silver spiderweb design on them and New Rock's classic grills on the platform. I've had them since I was 13-14; I remember I was just starting to get into Goth fashion and a friend of friend gave me some of her old alternative clothes. Nowadays our styles are very different - she was kind of a hippy Goth and some of the items she gave me included this ankle length knitted zip up red cardigan, a bit battered and beaten, and a pair of ratty red platform sneakers, kind of like Buffalo sneakers. I didn't have any other alternative clothes and wore the sneakers all the time, much to my mum's dismay. She kept telling me to throw them away since they were so beaten but I pointblank refused. They made me feel cool and different! One day we went to Derby for a shopping trip and I'd heard about this cool alternative shop called Haze, since closed down. We were just browsing, I was in awe of the Hell Bunny and Criminal Damage clothes, and these fucking awesome pairs of New Rock boots that lined one wall right across. My mum got me to try a pair on that I liked, these pair with the spiderwebs on and I thought nothing of it. Maybe for Christmas, a birthday, who knew? Much to my surprise, she actually bought them there and then for me, out of the blue! Apparently 'so I didn't have to wear those gross trainers anymore'. I was absolutely ecstatic and wore them any opportunity I could - after school, on the weekends, over jeans, with skirts, you name it. I fucking adored them and showed them all my friends, who thought it was so cool my mum bought me them. Just posting them to Poupee Girl made me all warm inside, the surprise of my mum buying me them, and even though she complained about my alternative fashion, knowing that she bought me them for whatever reason she had. I don't wear them as often now but feeling all these feels really makes me want to wear them again, like right now.

The feelings you can get from fashion and individual items of clothing is just mindblowing. These pieces of cloth stitched together, these bits of leather and rubber, that can have such life and feeling.

I love the feeling of putting new clothes away and displaying them properly. When I'm in the right mood, I love putting clothes away after I've washed them. I love taking care of them, hanging them up properly, storing and organising them in my wardrobe according to category (outer, tops, skirts, dresses, shoes) and styles (Lolita, Gyaru, Goth, Punk, Cyber, and all the items that cross styles). I love zipping dresses up, doing up buttons on blouses, sorting out the collar, tying waist ties and cravats.

Fashion isn't just about going into a shop and buying an item. To me, it's about scouring the most unlikely of places, charity shops, bargain bins, friend's sales, and finding precious gems that can shine in your wardrobe. My most loved pieces are never just from Primark, Criminal Damage, or bought directly from Angelic Pretty or Baby The Stars Shine Bright.

My most loved Lolita dress is this one I bought on a whim from a Taobao shop called Kirakira. I originally wanted a Rose Melody one, which was sold out, so I had to quickly find another one to replace it as my first proper Lolita dress. I saw this at a ridiculously cheap price, like £18 and thinking 'This is nice'. I had no idea how Kirakira's quality was, and I Googled reviews of them to no avail, other than saying 'You get what you pay for'. I bought the dress, not knowing what to expect; little did I know it'd be my most loved and worn dress in my wardrobe. Every time I wear it I get complimented, and people are surprised when I say how much it was and where I got it from. I don't think I'll ever sell it because of how much it means to me.

Nana Kitade was my introduction into Lolita fashion. I Googled and saved as many photos of her as I could, and one particular one that was my favourite was this one:

I loved her hair in it, her hair bow, everything. I loved the skirt but never dreamed I could own it. One day I found a girl selling it on EGL_Comm_Sales for around £120 but sadly, couldn't afford it at the tender age of 15-16. Gradually I saw her add it to the Lolita Facebook sales groups as they became popular, and she kept reducing and reducing the price until one day, I could afford it! I had started working at my boyfriend's shop and finally had a small wage coming in. I asked her to hold it for me and said I could pay half of the price, £25 there and then and the rest as soon as I got paid. She was dubious since she'd been let down by other sellers in the past but literally as soon as I got paid, I Paypalled her the money immediately. Within days, one of my first ever coveted Lolita items was in my hands.
It was even more beautiful than I imagined, even more high quality and it even had the surprise panel of pink tartan fabric featured in Nana's hair bow on the back of it! I loved it so much and wore it to see Perfume live, among other events. Again, I don't think I will ever sell this skirt because of how much it means to me.

This is a wonderfully unique bustier I found in a charity shop in my home town quite recently - my mum actually spotted it, put in the men's shirts section and marked as underwear! With all of its beautiful details, the iridescent bicone teardrop beads, sequins, gold metallic braid, lush velvet fabric and marbled floral chiffon ruffle trim, I just had to have it. It's one of my favourite Dolly Kei pieces and the most perfect example of the gems charity shops can hold within.
This is one of my most recent purchases and was found in the same charity shop as the bustier above! It's one of my favourite charity shops now! This beautiful skirt was actually available in two types - this one, a size 8 made of black organza and white embroidery, and a size 10 made with plain black opaque cotton and the same white embroidery. I preferred this one over the size 10 and was disappointed at the thought of the size 10 one fitting better. I tried both on and strangely, this one fit me better! I couldn't even zip the size 10 up! I knew it was fate and bought it straight away. Again, I absolutely adore it and it's one of my favourite Dolly Kei items.

When I buy clothes, I buy them to keep. I don't understand some Lolita girls who say they can only have 5 or so dresses before they feel guilty/spoiled and have sell them. If it's your money, and you earned it, who gives a shit? Who has the right to make you feel guilty or spoiled if you save money to buy the things you love? I don't buy clothes to wear once or twice then sell - sure, my style might evolve and change over the years, maybe even months, and I come to sell some of my clothes, as I have done many times over the years, but they have completed their purpose in my life and it is time to send them on their way to be loved and worn by someone else. I think that if you take care of, love, cherish and wear all the items in your wardrobe, you can never have too many clothes. The same goes for jewellery, accessories and shoes. My boyfriend says I have too many shoes, many of which I bought from, charity shops and Facebook sales but when I wear them with certain outfits and make sure they get outing every so often, who is he to judge? When he first moved into the house we live in now, he stored all of his shoes in his wardrobe, other than the two pairs he wore regularly. Last year we had a clearout and he pulled out all of the shoes he had stored, smart shoes for interviews/formal events, a pair of trainers, his old football boots, snow boots and a pair of chunky platform trainers he wore when he was younger (we all did it, see?!), he was shocked to find they were covered and ruined with mold. He said 'Why are all of my shoes covered in mold and yours aren't?! You even have more pairs than me!'...Mine weren't covered in mold because they were worn regularly, moved and maintained! Even if I only wore a pair once every few months, at least they were getting moved and worn out periodically rather than stored for years. It might sound like we disagree on fashion but we have never argued in our 4 years together and fashion is a very personal, private thing to me - he doesn't really get fashion and that's okay, my fashion has nothing to do with him haha.

Do you feel the same way about fashion as I do? This turned into a bit of a long post but it feels so nice expressing my love and getting it all out! Do you have any treasured items in your wardrobe? I'd love to hear! If you've got this far in my post, thank you and see you soon~!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

An Ode to Poupee Girl

Today I wanted to write a different kind of post - a post about my love of the Japanese dress-up game Poupee Girl and my immense sadness of the developers deciding not to update it any more, which happened a few months ago. This is a bit of a ramble so please, feel free to skip this post if it's not your cup of tea!   

I've been playing Poupee Girl for around 4-5 years now - I remember playing it when I lived at home with my mum but I didn't take many photos of my items and they were bad quality...once I moved in with my boyfriend, I had more time, space and a better camera at my disposal and my full love of Poupee Girl developed.

For those not aware, Poupee Girl is a Japanese dress-up game where, unlike other dress-up games where you just dress up avatars from predisposed clothing items, you earned currency called Ribbons by taking photos of your own clothing, jewellery, accessories, cosmetics and shoes and uploading them to your 'closet'. You also earned ribbons by commenting on other people's closet items and becoming Poupee friends; it became a very immersive community that had millions of users at its height and even real friendships blossomed from the site. You used the ribbons you earned to buy clothing and accessories for your avatar/dress-up doll. Poupee Girl had regular themed events in which new items were released so there was always something new to buy and save your ribbons for. They also had annual events for Halloween, Christmas, New Year, etc. and you could sell your Poupee's clothes and accessories on a marketplace if you didn't wear them anymore. They also had an in-game currency you could pay real money for, called Jewels - special events with super nice clothing and accessories were released for people to spend their jewels on and these were updated as regularly as the normal ribbon events. The website was constantly updated and thrived, up until a few months ago when the website developers announced they were discontinuing jewels and jewel items - then, around a month or so after that announcement, they announced they were no longer going to update the website with new events at all, but would not close the site entirely. Naturally the amount of users visiting the website dropped rapidly and now the website is but a shell of what it once was, with probably only a few thousand, or even hundreds, of users uploading new items to their closet, commenting on other Poupee's items and dressing up their doll, myself included.

Before Poupee Girl's 'closure', I went on it every single day. If you go on it and dress up every day, you get ribbons and a special 500 ribbon reward at the end of the month if you went on it every day without fail! My love was so strong that I felt so angry at myself if I forgot to go on it or log in at the right time (since the days went by Japanese time), thus forfeiting the monthly ribbon bonus and having to start all over again.

I even met new friends on Poupee Girl, namely my friend Suzy who I've now been friends with for years, all thanks to Poupee Girl. I also met a friend called Charlotte who participated in a joint Korean cosmetics order with me. With Poupee Girl, even if we didn't chat in private messages, seeing someone comment on your new items every day and returning the favour felt like a strong relationship bonded by Poupee Girl. I loved seeing Lolita girls' super cute new brand items, cool Goth and Punk items from my Poupee friends Nyamoo and Serarosa and finding new skincare products to try from other Poupee girls!

One of the first items I photographed for Poupee Girl compared to one of my more recent ones!

When I first started going on Poupee Girl regularly, I took great pleasure in taking photos of every single piece of clothing, jewellery, accessories, shoes, skincare and makeup I owned. I split it up into categories and would photograph skirts one day, nail polishes the next, hair accessories the day after, etc. At first I would just point and shoot but gradually I noticed other girls items looked a lot nicer and got more comments and 'Suteki' (likes), so I took more care in taking photos, waiting until the daytime to take advantage of natural light, and arranging the items to make them look the nicest. I'd then upload as many items as I could in one day. (Poupee Girl recommends you upload 5 items a day, as at some point it stops giving you ribbons and new items for uploading items.) I'd upload items until the amount of ribbons it gave me dwindled to one or two, then I'd anxiously wait until the next day so I could upload more. I loved writing descriptions of each item and telling its story and how it made me feel - it made my appreciate my wardrobe so much more and realise the renewed potential of items I'd grown bored of long ago.

When I started making jewellery and accessories for 8th Sin, I had even more items to photograph and upload - hooray! Again, my first photography attempts were appalling but that was something that grew and evolved along with my business. I was able to upload all colour and type variations of my jewellery and accessories to Poupee Girl and gain publicity for my brand too, albeit very small.

One of my first makes and photography styles compared to my most recent ones - how times have changed! I can't believe the top item actually sold with that photography, urgh... >_>

After I photographed all the items I already had, naturally you come to buy new things with time. Every time I bought something new, I couldn't wait to get home, photograph it and put it on Poupee Girl to show my friends! I thought about what categories each item would fit into and even part of the purchase decision was made because I wanted to buy it and put it on Poupee Girl! When me and Suzy met up or talked on Facebook, we'd chat about our new items ('OMG, that new bag you uploaded to Poupee Girl the other night is so cute! Where did you get it?') and let each other know when we uploaded new items, so we could comment on them! I found Lolitas I'd met on Facebook on Poupee Girl and loved checking out their wardrobes and commenting on their items.

I even found a LiveJournal community about Poupee Girl and had so much more people to discuss new updates, items and marketplace bargains with, as well as make friends with!

When Poupee Girl announced they weren't going to sell jewels any more, I wasn't bothered in the slightest. Somehow Poupee Girl had managed to avoid creating a class difference in the people who bought jewels and the people who didn't, though Poupees dressed in jewel items always got way more Suteki's than regular outfits. I never bought jewels as I've never bought in-game currency but I know it upset a lot of the Poupee Girl Liverjournal girls. They bought up as many jewels as their paychecks could allow and went on one last splurge in the jewel events and marketplace. After Poupee Girl announced it wasn't going to update the website anymore entirely, we all were devastated. We swore we'd still go on Poupee Girl, update our closets and comment on people's items as well as find new items to buy and keep ourselves entertained with on the marketplace. Sadly though, my love for Poupee Girl waned and I'm sad to say I forget to go on it for long stretches of time. I try to go on it, update my closet and comment on other girls' items whenever I can remember. I save my ribbons and make more expensive purchases on the marketplace than I did before, in order to update my Poupee's closet and dress up with new items. The number of items in the marketplace has dropped significantly due to the lack of players, and all the prices have gone up in all but the most common items (the ones you get free for uploading closet items and for throwing shells in the Shell Spring) but there are some rare items I haven't found before and I can make more ribbons selling old items I bought years ago, because they are now rare. In order to not get bored when dressing up my Poupee, I started making new outfits with every single dress, skirt and blouse I own, starting from the very first ones I bought when I first started!

It makes me so sad remembering how much me and my friends loved Poupee Girl and how much happiness it brought us. I always hope that if at least other users and myself keep going on the website, they'll eventually restart it again, and are maybe even updating or thinking about a new direction they will take it as we speak! At least it is still alive with the people who still visit it; with us, it will never die! I am uploading new items as we speak - if you still play Poupee Girl, feel free to add me and together we can keep it alive! My Poupee Girl profile.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Review: Taobao Store Muguamugua - Vein, Fake Suspender & Bat Print Tights

Today I shall start on my Taobao store reviews! This review is for the store Muguamugua, who sell cute and Japanese fashion inspired items like clothing, accessories and jewellery. I've just checked their store and they don't have many items for sale but they may be waiting for new stock or transitioning into new lines/styles.

I ordered three pairs of tights from Muguamugua; a black pair with red and blue veins, the same pair but in nude and a pair of nude 'tattoo' style tights with black bats.


The vein tights were 18CNY each (around £1.80) and the bat tights were 9.8CNY (around 98p-£1). I bought a couple of items for my friend Betty too and domestic shipping to the warehouse for all the items was 10CNY (around £1).

Shortly after placing the order, the store owner contacted me via Aliwangwang to say that they didn't have the nude vein tights in stock and that I could have another pair of tights instead or a refund.

I chose a pair of chain-style suspender tights for a slightly lower price than the vein tights and the shop refunded me the difference immediately. I then purchased the nude vein tights from a different store since I loved them too much! >_< I can't, for the life of me, find a stock photo of the chain suspender tights so here they are worn:


After I chose the replacement tights, they sent out the package very quickly and it was received by the warehouse in a few days. I got the warehouse to divide up mine and my friend's items; they posted my friends items to her and saved mine for the rest of my order.

When I received all my items in the UK, Muguamugua's order was still in their original mail bag that they had sent them in. They were packaged up well and only really needed the mail bag, since they're only tights.

All the items together - the items below are free gifts Muguamugua sent me!

The package of free gifts

Muguamugua's business card/flyer, a hand mirror, hair velcro and...I think an earwax scraper? It's wooden and has a Daruma doll on the top with a small yellow yarn loop.

The hand mirror they sent me free - so cute! I gave it to a friend though, since I have many hand mirrors. It was high quality though and had a super cute, kitsch design of 'Fifi Lapin' on it.

The hair velcro was useful since I use it anyway so it was appreciated! I already have an earwax scraper and am not sure what to think of it so I discarded the wooden stick they sent me.

The black vein tights - the material is relatively thick and I'm glad to say I haven't laddered them yet. I think I've worn them once or twice but like many tights of this style, the print starts to crack slightly when you first wear them but it isn't noticeable unless up close. The tights can be pulled up to my hips and up to near my stomach area so they're not too short or thin.

The bat tights - the material these tights are made of is thinner, like normal nude tights. I'd estimate they're around 10-20 denier thickness. I haven't worn them yet but I have worn similar tattoo style tights. I laddered the similar ones (which had machine guns on them) after two wears so I'm kind of hesitant to wear these. The price is pretty good though, so I can always buy more if I really love them.

I didn't take a photo of the chain suspender tights since they were in plain packaging and looked plain black, as you can see in the photo of all items above. The chain suspender tights were made of around 10-20 denier thickness nylon and were sheer black all over, with the darker black design. They were sooooo cute and I loved them so much - I wore them twice before they laddered! I caught them on a ring I was wearing one day ;w; They were so pretty and really sexy looking so I was really sad. I want to try and find them again but I can't find them on eBay so I'll have to try and find them on Taobao again.

Muguamugua's shop sold lots of cute things when I ordered from them, their items were well packaged and survived the transit from China to the UK, and the items were good quality for the prices. The black vein tights are quite ladder-resistant because of the material but the bat and chain-suspender ones are easier to ladder. For the price, they're reasonable though. I just need to buy 5 pairs of each every time I make an order so I can get 10-20 wears out of them! They're quite a bit more expensive on eBay - around £1.50-£2 for the bat tattoo tights and I can't even find the chain suspender tights on eBay.

I ordered these items because I was doing a Taobao order of medium-heavy weight items anyway - I wouldn't recommend placing a Taobao order made solely of lightweight items, since the postage will not make it cost effective. You might as well just buy the items for a slightly marked up price on eBay. I think I calculated the postage from China to the UK to be around 20p extra for each item I bought, so it didn't really make a difference buying these items along with the items I intended to buy.

I'll give Muguamugua 5 stars out of 5 since their items are good quality, reasonably priced, well packaged, the free gifts were lovely surprises and very generous! Their customer service was very fast and polite - I sorted out the stock issue just fine using Google Translate and had no problems. I'd recommend them and hope they start selling new items soon!