Outsiders in Okinawa: Sakura at Mount Yaedake

It’s been a while since I’ve written an Outsiders in Okinawa post, but I figured cherry blossoms were the perfect way to get back in the groove! Sakura, or cherry blossoms, are kind of a big deal in Japan. Cherry blossoms are in bloom for a very short period of time, and as such are symbolic of the ephemeral nature of life—embodied in the Japanese phrase mono no aware, meaning the pathos of things, and referring to the heightened appreciation for lively beauty and sadness at its impermanence. Millions flock to different parts of Japan every spring to catch the flowers in their notoriously unpredictable prime. They bloom earliest on Okinawa because of how far south the island is located, typically flowering in mid to late January. Cherry blossoms then bloom across mainland Japan, making an appearance in Tokyo in March and blooming in Hokkaido as late as April. We visited Mt. Yae (or Yaedake), home of Sakura no Mori Park and thousands of sakura trees, to partake in hanami, or cherry blossom viewing. Mt. Yae is north of Nago near Motobu, so if you live near Camps Kinser and Foster or Kadena Air Base, be prepared for a drive. There are several different entrances to the park, but I’ll include a pin for the spot we went to off of the Expressway and Route 58. You’ll come across a small bakery selling fresh bread and mikan juice (so good!), and you can either continue driving or park and walk through the rest of the park.

 


Cherry blossoms line the roads leading up to Mt. Yae’s summit.

Cherry blossoms range in color from white to vibrant reddish-pink.

Shisa representing (from left to right) good relationships, health, wish fulfillment, safety & prosperity, and mental achievement.
Sakura ice cream is a fun, festive treat to try! Even in the rain. ☔️
sakura
Contrary to what Bath & Body Works may have led you to believe, these cherry blossoms have virtually no smell!

It’s free to enter Mt. Yae, but I highly recommend bringing yen for fun sakura-themed treats being sold in booths along the road. There are bathrooms and vending machines throughout the park, and there are other attractions as well—a small shrine, a large playground, and views of Motobu and Ie Island. If hanami isn’t on your Okinawa bucket list, it should be! You don’t want to miss these stunning flowers in bloom. | xo

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K-Palette 1 Day Tattoo Eyebrow Tint • Fri-yay!

Happy Friday! I snagged some new products at the drugstore today and couldn’t wait to try the K-Palette 1 Day Tattoo Eyebrow Tint…so keep reading! 👇🏼

I purchased the shade 02 Natural Brown. It looks somewhat like a lipgloss tube with a brush applicator, and the product is a gel that looks frighteningly black. For someone like me with blonde hair, it felt a little ominous. But, ya know…do it for the ‘Gram. You apply the product to clean eyebrows and let it sit for a minimum of two hours, but preferably overnight. When you’re ready to reveal your new brows, simply peel off the product and voila! This product won a 2017 Cosme award (think Allure beauty picks). I have thin, sparse eyebrows and I would loooove not having to spend time filling them in every morning.

I was surprised at how easy it was to apply. There are two eyebrow stencils tucked into the box, but they were both too thick for my natural brow shape. If you make any mistakes, you can swipe them away easily with a q-tip. When you first apply it, it looks very dark and ridiculous. I felt kind of like Groucho Marx, which then made me really antsy about committing, but the tint only lasts up to a week, so it’s not nearly as much of a commitment as microblading. I figured I could just cover my eyebrows with foundation and salvage them with a pencil if my little experiment went south.

I left the tint on for about three hours (I was impatient and nervous, what can I say!), and I was shocked 1. at how easy and painless it was to peel off, and 2. at how good it looks! My brows definitely look fuller and more defined, and I’m so excited about shaving time off my morning routine. It only took me 5-10 minutes to apply the tint, which should last for 3 to 5 days. A few sweeps of the Kate Tokyo brow powder I picked up today should be more than enough in the mornings now! 🙌🏼

If you’d like to try the 1 Day Tattoo Eyebrow Tint, it’s available on Amazon. Okinawa friends: you can find this at Tokyu Hands, Don Q, and some Matsumoto Kiyoshi drugstores for roughly ¥1200. The product comes in 5 shades: Light Brown, Natural Brown, Mocha Brown, Ash Brown, and Smoky Brown. If you have sparse brows like me or are just looking for an easy, low maintenance brow routine, I highly recommend trying this product out!

Outsiders in Okinawa | Sea Glass Beach

Hi everyone! I missed my Fri-Yay series last week so this is me playing catch up. Buuuut, since it’s not Friday, I can’t really call it a Fri-Yay blog. So, instead, it’s Outsiders in Okinawa for the day. Alex and I haven’t been able to do much exploring since we’ve been on this amazing island, but we did recently pay a visit to Sea Glass Beach. It was a little tricky get to, but it was so worth it!

The beach is north of Ginoza off of 329, so it’s easy to get to the surrounding area from pretty much anywhere on the island. You’ll have to take some dirt roads to actually find your way (PS – they are single lane, so watch for oncoming traffic!), but that’s the hardest part. We saw hundreds of adorable hermit crabs, plenty of sea glass, and some gorgeous panoramic views of the coast.


Sea Glass Beach is definitely worth a visit! The sand is a little rough (and hot!), so hubs and I kept our shoes on. The water also felt like hot bath water so neither of us swam, although the water was pretty clear at the time. We saw a fair amount of sea glass and coral, but I’ve heard the best pickings are after a typhoon. We haven’t had our first typhoon of the season yet, but once we do, believe me – I will be out there beachin’ it and collecting glass. Let me know if you have any craft ideas for sea glass in the comments!

PS- here’s the pin drop:

 Sea Glass Beach

Henoko, Nago, Okinawa Prefecture 905-2171

https://goo.gl/maps/xya7HKGY1YR2

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Fri-yay! Maybelline x Star Wars

Happy weekend everyone! This is a short entry, although I promise I’m sitting on about four blogs that I need to roll out. Alex and I visited the big new Aeon mall, and at his suggestion I picked something out from the cosmetics counter in the department store. If you read my last Fri-yay blog you know that the drugstore and high end cosmetics are all together in the Aeon department store, which is kind of cool.


My husband and I love Star Wars, and since I didn’t try any of the cool Covergirl x Star Wars beauty products back in the US, I thought it would be fun to try out one of the products here. My Stila Stay All Day liquid liner is on its very last threads of life, so this liquid liner caught my eye. Just look at the cute Stormtrooper! I wish I’d taken photos in the store because they also had a cute one with R2D2 and C3PO. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what shade they were, even with the assistance of Google Translate. I did a lot of Google-ing and figured out that the Stormtrooper one was “soft black.” I don’t know what I was expecting out of soft black – maybe still black but not like…black hole black? I’m not sure. I will say that I was super disappointed!


^That’s with multiple swipes back and forth. It is barely pigmented! The tip is very precise and similar to the Stila, which I like. However, this barely shows up over my eyeshadow, so it’s almost not worth it. It does add a teensy bit of definition though, so I’ll still use it on occasion. It was ¥1200, so roughly $11.

Although this was fun to try, it’s definitely not something I’ll repurchase. If you have any recommendations of products to try or things you’d like to see reviewed, let me know! I’m waiting on an order from Colourpop and I’ve been testing some drugstore brow products, so look out for those in the coming weeks!

Xo Shelbie

Fri-YAY: Japanese Beauty Products

It’s a beautiful (and hot!) Friday here in Japan. I’ve been struggling over the last few weeks with what to blog about – it seems like I have so much to share and yet writer’s block has been haunting me. So I figured for now I’ll spare you all of the details of our journey (although we did make it to Japan safely almost exactly 4 weeks ago and have been settling into our new home) and instead jump into a fun Friday series of fun things I’ve been able to see, try, or experience!

Alex and I took a trip to the Aeon Mall in American Village and I got to see Japanese beauty counters for the first time. I was surprised to see high end beauty products sold right next to what would normally be sold at a drugstore in America. I was also surprised to see that brands such as Revlon and Maybelline were much more expensive than in the States. I picked out two products to test, Makeup Revolution’s Blushing Hearts triple baked blusher in Candy Queen of Hearts, and Maybelline’s The Magnum Barbie Mascara.


I was drawn to the blush because it looked like an awesome dupe for Too Faced’s Sweethearts blush, which carries a $30 price tag. The MUR dupe was ¥1300, roughly $11.80 with today’s exchange rate. Definitely more affordable! It’s a beautifully pigmented blush with a satin sheen. The Candy Queen of Hearts shade looks like it’s an almost identical dupe for the shade Candy in the Too Faced counterpart. I’ve been using this blush almost daily for a week now with no complaints – it’s gorgeous!

I was drawn to the mascara, because, well…Barbie. The packaging is cute and I was intrigued by the fact that I hadn’t seen anything like it in the States. I have absolutely no idea what any of the packaging says, so I tried to read as many English-translated blogs as I could to figure out what the claims were! I was able to gather that it is waterproof and meant to give doll-like lashes. It had a curved brush and lash fibers to extend the length of your lashes! One of the first things I noticed about this mascara was the smell. I can’t describe it, but it’s strong. I compared the scent to my Maybelline The Falsies Black Drama mascara, and they smell the same, although the Barbie one is definitely stronger. The brush is pretty similar to the Falsies brush in the US, and I think it has a relatively wet formula. I haven’t taken many photos wearing this mascara, but you can see below in my Snapchat update that it definitely gives doll-like lashes even with one coat. 

Despite how beautiful it makes my lashes look, I have a few complaints. First of all, this mascara is beyond waterproof. In fact I think it might actually be bulletproof. After using makeup wipes, eye makeup remover, and cleanser, I still had residue on my lashes. It took so much scrubbing that it irritated my eyes. My next complaint is that if I don’t seal the final coat with another mascara, the fibers flake off into my eyes. That’s no bueno! Overall, I still think it makes my lashes look fabulous and I’ll definitely use it for special occasions! It was ¥1400 yen, so again, it was more expensive than I had anticipated. Maybelline The Falsies mascara in the States runs for about $6-7. 

Overall, I’m generally pleased with both of these goodies and it was so fun getting to explore new products! I hope to experiment with some skin care products next, so if anyone knows of some great products available in Japan, please let me know in the comments! 

Have a happy weekend!

Shelbie