Who knew I’d be celebrating my birthday in lockdown? Yep, we are still currently stuck in this pandemic (after 5 months!) though lockdown restrictions have eased and people are slowly returning to work and shops/restaurants are opening again. I was really looking forward to going out somewhere nice after being cooped up inside for so long! So here’s how I celebrated my birthday in lockdown.
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I can’t remember how many weeks we’ve now been out of lockdown but, however many it is, I’m still not used to it. I haven’t quite created a routine and it stresses me out; I suddenly have a lot of free time in the evening which I would usually spend blogging or drawing but the last thing I want to do right now is look at my computer screen. I keep trying to find other things to occupy my time but it then results in endlessly watching TikTok videos. It’s so tricky! Anyway, here’s what has been happening over the past month…
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Sooo this is my first round-up post ever on this blog, but hey, always up for shaking things up and trying something new! April has been a, well, interesting month (with this whole Covid-19 thing that’s been happening) and I thought that doing a lil’ roundup will be a good way to document what’s been happening. So here goes!
Btw this post includes affiliate links – read my disclaimer for more info.
You know you’re a blogger during lockdown when you’re blogging about things that happened in February. Yep, these outfit photos were taken at the Grow & Glow Event – where I met my blogger pal Tanya for the very first time, and also my idol Vix Meldrew! The event was MIND-BLOWING, but in the run up to it I was super nervous. So I whacked on my favourite outfit – this super cute pastel hoodie and my trusty zebra print skirt – put on my brave face, and marched right in.
2020 – bring it on. 2019 was rough but it made me a (hopefully) tougher person, and I’m ready to smash my goals and be more aligned with my dream self. I know it’s a cliche to say “new year, new me” but it’s a cliche for a damn good reason – because there’s nothing fresher than a fresh new year. And yes, I might be a *little* late in posting these seeing as we’re always halfway through January, but it’s still January so that counts, right? Anyway, here are my goals for 2020!
2019 was the Return of the Gyaru; famous magazines have resumed print; models from the heydays of gyaru put on their false lashes again; and the gaijin gyaru community has boomed. The turn of the Heisei to Reiwa Era* had a lot of people reflecting on their good old gyaru days, and there’s hope that there will be a whole new era of gal in the coming years. Gal is forever changing, but our spirit doesn’t!
So what have been the highlights of 2019 in the gyaru-sphere? Let’s take a look back and reflect on what happened this year…
IT’S (nearly) CHRISTMAAAAAAS! I never used to be a huge fan of the festive season as I always deemed it overrated (and over-hyped) but you know what? Now I’m all for it. The lights, the cheesy films, the comfy pjs… And not to mention the endless amount of food, of course! I asked over on my instagram what kind of holiday content you wanted me to write and one of them was a gift guide, so I’ve created a Christmas gift guide for both the darker and the sweeter styles of gyaru.
A couple of weekends ago was our first gal meet since Gyaru Jubilee, this time based in Central London! It felt so long ago since I’ve seen everyone so when Saturday arrived I eagerly crawled out of my warm bed and into the cold drizzle outside. But that’s when things started to go downhill for me…
First, my train was cancelled. Public transport seems to go into a frenzy at the smallest drop of rain so I wasn’t completely surprised. Luckily, though, there was an alternative train so I wasn’t too much behind schedule. As soon as my train rolled into London I hopped off onto the tube, and traveled nearly 1 and a half hours to Stratford Westfield (as there were some closures on the lines). It wasn’t until I walked up to the security staff to ask for directions to the Pokemon Centre that I realised that I was at the wrong Westfield! Eeek! It took me another hour to get to the right one and I felt like crying at my own stupidity. So I rocked up nearly two hours late to the meet – but thankfully everyone was really understanding and I got a massive hug from Chewiee (as well as a bag of chocolate) that instantly made me feel a lot better haha.
Despite spending most of my wasted travel time sitting down, I was relieved to be sat down slurping up some tempura ramen and stuffing my gob with chicken gyoza from Ichiba, which is located downstairs of Westfield London near Shepherds Bush. It was so good to eat real Japanese food again (as unfortunately we only really have a Wagamama where I live which isn’t really authentic Japanese food)! It gave me time to catch up with everyone as well as talk to some new faces! I love how there’s always a new face at every gyaru meet – the community is really growing in the UK!
The queue curved around one side of Westfield by the time we got to the Pokemon Centre, and out of curiosity I asked the security guard how long the waiting time was. He said 7-8 hours! Gosh. Imagine waiting that long only to get inside and find the thing you wanted was out of stock… So I’m really glad we didn’t queue up in the end! I was a bit disappointed though because I really wanted one of the Detective Pikachu plushies but I didn’t really fancy hanging around that long. Instead we grabbed some bubble tea and walked around some of the shops there before some of us headed back home. Myself, Chewiee, Karen and Alice hung around and had some delicious food from Pho.
I can’t wait for the New Year as I have promised myself to organise some more gyaru meets in future! Unfortunately I don’t think I will be able to go to one before Christmas as life is kinda’ hectic, so this is the last one of this year for me. But next time I will definitely double check a) train journeys and b) where the meet actually is. Oops.
Have you got any plans with your friends before the Christmas season?
P.S Thanks so much to my girl Chewiee for the pics (and for the pick-me-up chocolate <3)
I’m so happy to be writing this post right now. I’ve just flicked through the first few pages of Papillon (the brand new gaijin gyaru magazine) and oh my gosh I love it. It’s filled with insightful articles, makeup tutorials, and enough outfit inspo to last you through to the next year! There’s also a special feature with – wait for it – Black Diamond, yes, THE Black Diamond gyarusa! But before I ruin it all, let’s take a peek to see what the first issue of Papillon has in store…
I have always asked, “What’s your Gyaru story?” whenever I meet someone new and to the people I interview but I never really got the chance to tell you my journey. I might have mentioned it here and there in the past, but it’s something that I never really delved into. After asking you what you wanted to read from me over on my Instagram stories, my Gyaru journey was one of them so let’s take a trip down memory lane to see how it all began…
Gosh, I love himekaji. I was actually thankful that it wasn’t as sunny as it had been because then I was able to wear my new Liz Lisa jumpsuit for my birthday (which I actually bought secondhand – but still “new” in my eyes). I had no idea where my hubby was taking me but he did hint that my jumpsuit would be perfect for it, and it was! We spent the whole day in the sunshine (and some rain) strolling through the countryside and eating afternoon tea in beautiful English manors, and I felt like such a princess. I was definitely treated like one in any case!
As I sit here all bundled up in bed writing up this post I feel nothing but love for the gaijin gyaru community. It’s been exactly a week and I’m still recovering from a very eventful weekend where myself and my QueenE gals (Wib, Kei, Rachel and Danielle) hosted our very first international gyaru meet in the UK, “Gyaru Jubilee”. I couldn’t have been prouder of them and it’s crazy to think that a year’s worth of planning led up to this weekend. How quick it’s gone! So here’s what happened about Gyaru Jubilee (because I know you’re dying to know about the crazy gals and half-naked guys)…
Before Hyper Japan, MCM Expo was the only convention I went to in London but I didn’t enjoy it as much because I wasn’t a cosplayer. It was simply a place where I could meet and hang out with friends but other than that it was pretty, well, boring. But then my girl Chewiee told me about Hyper Japan and my life changed! (Dramatic much, Lizzie?) Here are some of the reasons why I love it so much…
As soon as I stepped out into the sunshine and onto the cobble-stone streets, surrounded by beautiful French architecture, I knew I made the right choice to wear my Clueless inspired outfit (with a gyaru twist, of course!). I’ve got to hand it to my friend Nini who actually persuaded me to wear it, and who also styled my hair in two cute little buns resting on either side of my head. I haven’t felt this cute in so long and was excited to be roaming the winding streets and tasting Bordeaux wine.