Saturday, February 15, 2014

Liebster Awards

The Liebster Award is not so much an award as it is a way of finding new and small blogs, promoting those that we think deserve recognition and making new friends. As a new blogger, it's a great way of feeling that people are actually listening to my ramblings and that I'm not just posting all of this the Internet void.

I've been nominated twice over the past month - first by Emma of Emma's Space, then by Dawn from Sassy Little Nails. Finally I'm getting around to posting this!

How the Liebster Award  works:
You are given 11 questions by the blogger who nominated you. Answer these questions. Then, nominate 11 blogs which have 200 or fewer followers. Give them 11 questions to answer! And thus the process repeats.

So, here are the answers to the 11 questions provided by Emma!

1. How long have you been blogging for?
As a nail blogger? About a month and a half. I started this blog on December 27, 2013. I know, next to all of the people whose blogs I follow, I've only been around a heartbeat! I've written other blogs / livejournals on other topics in the past, though!

2. Where is your favourite place to blog (eg bedroom, train)?

My computer is set up on a desk in the corner of my bedroom, so there, I guess? Sometimes, though, I'll type out entries on my Kindle Fire while sitting on the couch.

3. What do you use to do most of your blogging?
Assuming you mean equipment, my laptop, I guess? And my Kindle?

My laptop (pictured above) is an old Japanese HP Pavilion that I got used from a store after my Macbook Pro got stuck in international airport limbo. I accidentally left it in the security area of Kuala Lumpur International Airport's LCC terminal while traveling. It took months to get that laptop back, and when I finally got it the screen died a month later. At least I had gotten this cheap laptop in the meantime! Due to a battery error, it has to stay plugged in, but at least it works decently.

For photography, my usual camera is a white Pentax K-x, typically using a Pentax D FA 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens. (It's way too big for nail photography, but it's the only macro lens I have at the moment. )

Unfortunately, this camera is out of commission until I take it apart and clean the mirror. For the past few posts, I've been using my Pentax Optio WG 2 point-and-shoot. (It's actually waterproof! I took it rafting with me last summer).

4. What is your favourite thing to watch on tv?
At the moment, the Olympics. I LOVE the Olympics. Otherwise? Project Runway is probably my favorite show. It's taken some time to get used to American TV after being abroad for so long.

Over the past five years, my favorite show was probably Nani Kore Chin Hyakkei (ナニコレ珍百景), a variety show that looks for strange and unusual things, people, places, talents, etc. Or Nep-League (ネプリーグ), a game show.

A segment from Nep-league where the celebrity guests have each write a letter to translate the Japanese word into English

5. Do you collect anything?
I collect vintage Takarazuka Revue books and programs and Takarazuka goods (really obscure, I know). Takarazuka is a Japanese all female musical review company and I love it to death <3 The company was founded in 1914 and my oldest program is from 1921, I think.

 This is half of my collection, trapped in these boxes ever since I moved back to the US. I don't want to unpack them since I plan on moving in the next few months.

6. Do you have any pets? What are they and what are the called?
My family has an elderly golden retriever named Molly <3

7. Which season do you prefer and why?
I love the spring, with everything blooming and coming to life. Unfortunately, my alergies don't agree.

8. What is the best make up tip  you have heard or read?
How to contour, perhaps?

9. If you could use 3 make up products for 1 year, which 3 would you pick?
Nail polish, of course, mascara and eye shadow. If I had to pick specific products....
1. Nail Polish: Zoya - Blaze
2. Mascara: Dior Diorshow Extase Mascara (a lot of people don't like it, but it worked great for me)
3. Eye Shadow: Is it cheating if I say my Naked palette?

10. What is your favourite colour of nail polish to use and what is your favourite nail art technique?
I'm always drawn to blue nail polishes, for some reason. I have a bunch in my small-but-growing collection. I DO love a good berry red, though, and the afformentioned Zoya Blaze is my favorite at the moment.
As for techniques? I like stamping and using my dotting tools, but honestly? I'm so new to this all that I'm just learning and experimenting <3

11. What is your favourite brand of make up / nail polish?
I don't really have one! I like trying all kinds of new things.I like different brands for different things, as well.
So, here are the answers to the questions provided by Dawn of Sassy Little Nails:

Now, on to Dawn's questions!
1. Must have in ____ your beauty bag?
I have to have mascara. Even if I'm not wearing any other makeup, I'll  typically wear mascara. I dye my hair burgundy, and since the color is so much darker than my natural light brown hair color,  pale eyelashes look a bit strange.

2. Guilty Pleasure?
God, I don't believe I'm going to admit this to other people, but Twilight fanfic. After reading the Twilight books - which I acknowledge aren't GREAT- I was so disappointed in the ending that I went looking for fan fiction that would give me a better alternative ending. I found that some fics were actually better than the original series. Somehow I kinda got sucked into reading it regularly. And yes, I actually read the Fifty Shades series before it was published, back when it was still a Twilight fanfic ^^;

I guess another guilty pleasure would be YA fiction in general...particularly when you consider that I'm 33.

3. Hobby besides beauty/fashion?
I mentioned Takarazuka Revue up above in the collection question, but this is what it looks like:

I love watching live shows and musicals. I was introduced to Takarazuka back in college by a Japanese friend and I fell in love. When I moved to the country to teach with the JET Program, I was placed in the city next to where this theater troupe performs and I was in love.  I've been in a fan club for the years and seen a lot more shows than I  care to admit. I've also been one of the editors on the Takarazuka Wiki website.

I also love to knit <3 if you knit and are on Ravelry, my username is zephyrsky.

4. If you could only own one make-up brush, which would you choose?
Before coming back to the US, I splurged on small basic set of Hakuhodo brushes that I love to death. Trust me, I was never a big makeup person, so me actually spending money on brushes was a big deal to me. My favorite blush brush ever is the B110 brush <3
5. What's a good book you've read recently?
I read these books before, but I'm working on rereading the Divergent series. I want to read them all again before I tackle the newest book (Allegiant). I really like the first book. The second is okay...not as good as the first, but not bad.

6. Who do you look to for style inspiration?
Honestly, I don't really look towards anyone in particular. I've gotten to the point where I realize what I like. I wear what I like and what I think looks good on me. I don't like chasing fashion trends. I like following my own style.

7. Name 2-3 favourite online shops?
Hmmm... does Amazon count? No? Okay, then. I'll go with Modcloth and Pin Up Girl Clothing.

8. What is blogging to you?
Blogging is sharing something I love with a community of like-minded individuals. It's learning, exploring and giving. I'm not one of those bloggers looking for free stuff or for fame or even to make a career of it.  I just want to be part of a larger community.

9. Who is your favorite blogger?
I don't have a favorite, per se, but there are plenty of bloggers whom I respect and admire for various reasons, from content to community involvement. I don't want to choose any favorites and leave others out, so I'll make it a point to make spotlight posts on blogs and bloggers whom I love!

10. Which is your best post?
I don't have that many posts to choose from yet, but  really liked how the weather-themed art in this post for Finger Food's Theme Buffet turned out.

11. If you could choose a charity to donate to, which would it be and why?
I like microloan organizations like Kiva because I feel as though my money is going towards something worthwhile.

SO, now that I have all of the questions out of the way, I'm supposed to tag others with questions. The problem is that all of the blogs that I follow seen to have already done this multiple times or have more than 200 followers. I might put off tagging until another time when I can find someone who hasn't already participated.. unless anyone out there WANTS me to tag them!


  1. Great answers! your dog Molly is adorable :) I have never heard of Takarazuka I will have to check it out sounds interesting.
    I must check out the Hakuhodo brushes! they look good.thanks so much for joining in.:) xxxx

    1. Thanks <3

      Takarazuka is pretty obscure, so I'm not surprised you haven't heard of it. Even my Japanese friends and coworkers were shocked to find out I liked it!

      The brushes are really nice quality. I have to admit that I don't know a ton about makeup brushes, and don't have a ton, but I know that i like these ones a lot <3

  2. Awh, thanks for answering my questions!
    That sucks about your macbook :O .. Your camera looks so gorgeous!
    I am loving the Olympics at the moment too, got in to so many sports that I wasn't really interested in before.
    OH, anddd I really like the post you picked for best post, a nice cheerful manicure making rain seem less gloomy!!
    Thanks again for taking part :)

    1. Oh and i forgot to say Molly is so cute! :)

    2. Thank you, and thank you for tagging me <3

      I missed Molly so much when I was abroad.
      The best part of watching the Olympics is definitely watching sports that you normally wouldn't watch! I don't care much about national pride, I just like seeing all of the events.