Beauty Blogs’ Backstage – Interview with Mika-chan from Aijuswhanakno

It’s time for Beauty Blogs’ Backstage again! This month, I was paired with Mika-chan (Dominique) from Aijuswhanakno. Mika-chan’s blog features a ton of fabulous bright looks with such creative color combinations!  This is also the first time I’ve been paired with a beauty blogger that I’m already friends with.  It was a fabulous chance to ask the questions that I’ve always been meaning to ask!

1. Many of us have been following your move from Okinawa back to the US.  Have you experienced any reverse culture shocks? (K’s note: to read about Mika-chan’s move from Okinawa, Japan back to the US, see here)

Oh my goodness, yes!  I still have a hard time finding food to eat, because I want Japanese.  People here are so rude, too 🙁  There are good things about being in California (like my better job), but I definitely miss being in Okinawa.
2. Could you tell us the backstory behind your blog name “Aijuswhanakno” and “Mika-chan” (and especially the kanji)?
“Aijuswhanakno” is simple to explain.   It has been my online screen name for a while now.  Years ago I stole inspiration from Musiq Soulchild, and his album “aijuswanaseing” (I just wanna sing.”  I am very inquisitive by nature.  I just wanna know = aijuswhanakno 🙂
“Mika Chan” was actually coined by my Okinawan/Japanese friends.  “Chan” is just a very familiar term for friends, and is often added after the name of the person you are speaking too.  When I met my first few Okinawan friends, they would struggle to say my actual name (Dominique).  To make it easier, I told them they could just call me “Mika” or “Miki”, which various people have used as a nick name.  That took off well, and anyone in Okinawa knows me as Mika Chan.  The kanji came from a dear friend of mine, (and the first one I made in Oki).  The kanji for “mi” (美) is actually the same as the “mi” in her own name, so we share that.  It means “beautiful”.  The kanji for “ka” (華)looked best with “mi”, and made sense to us.  To my kanji is “beautiful flower” 🙂

(K’s note: the name Mika-chan, as well as the kanji used, are perfectly legit Japanese female’s names. Dominique and her friend have good taste!)
3. I love how you embrace trying out bright, bold colors.  Is thereany eyeshadow color which you think more people should try, either a brand or a general color?
I think people should try the colors that they are afraid of!! More often than not the colors end up looking amazing on them when applied correctly.  I’m just sick of people thinking everyone should wear nudes, lol
4. I noticed that your profile pic has you with straight hair, but you also post pics with curly hair.  What do you like best about straight hair looks and about curly looks?
I think that when I have straight hair, my facial features are more clear and less muddy.  Does that make sense?  However , I LOVE my curly hair 🙂
5. This is a question someone else on B3 asked me: What is your definition of beauty?
I think that beauty is just being comfortable and confident with yourself.  Embracing your natural curves, enhancing your sexiness, being YOU.  I don’t believe much in following our society’s standards.  And sexy is NOT being forcibly waif-thin.
6. What is your go-to non-alcoholic drink?
Energy drinks and coffee!!   I cannot survive w/o caffeine, lol.
7. I also moved recently.  Is there anything you miss about Okinawa?  What is the best part about going back?
Omg everything!!!  The people, the food, the environment, weather, resources available, everything!  I miss every single last little bit.  I cannot wait to get a chance to go back, but I know now that my son is getting everything that he needs.  That is what matters the most.
Thank you for answering my questions, Mika-chan! It was such a pleasure interviewing her – you can see how much effort she put in answering my questions!
xoxo, K
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Beauty Blogs’ Backstage – Interview with Helen from Just Nice Things

It’s time for Beauty Blogs’ Backstage again! This month, I was paired with Helen from Just Nice Things. Helen is a beauty blogger from the UK, with great product reviews and nail polish swatches.

(1) I’m completely uncoordinated when it comes to applying nail polish.  Could you give me some tips?

Buffing your nails gently first will even out the surface and make them less prone to chipping. Make sure that your nails are clean and free of any oil and grease. Use a decent base coat (I favour Orly Bonder) and wait for it to dry fully before applying your colour. Use thin, thin coats and layer it up. Thick coats are likely to smear, run into you cuticles or go all over your fingers, and will take longer to dry as well, therefore being more prone to smudging and marking. Always paint around the free edge of your nail and lock this in with a topcoat as this will prevent chipping.

(2) What is the trend for nail polishes this summer?

Much like the rest of the world, crackle/shatter polish is everywhere. I’m not a fan of this particular trend, I have to say – it makes me think of skin complaints. I’m also seeing a lot of orange toenails which is a look that is growing on me.

(3) What are your favorite UK beauty brands and why?

Easily Illamasqua. I’m really proud of what they have achieved and have been “following” the brand since their launch in 2009. I’m lucky enough to know quite a few people who work for the company and their enthusiasm and drive is totally infectious. I love their products, their marketing and their whole ethos and am so happy to see them going from strength to strength.

(4) Tell us something about the Royal Wedding that non-Brits may not know about

I am stumped by this question. I cannot think of a single thing that hasn’t been out under the microscope of the world’s media already!

(5) Have you had any unusual experiences in beauty blogging?

A few. Once, I blogged about a spa that I went to where I found the water to be beneficial to my skin. The next minute, I receive an email from a TV production company asking me if I wanted to participate in a BBC show where a disgraced politician was travelling around the UK and visiting people and interviewing them about this and that. So there I was, freezing to death in an open top pool for the best part of three hours, waiting to be interviewed by this chap about why I liked the spa. Definitely one of my stranger moments, and the one and certainly only time I will ever appear on national television in a swimsuit.

(6) Any summer vacation plans? If not, what is your ideal summer vacation?

None! We are in the throes of buying a new house so all non-essential spends are on hold (possibly for the rest of our life). My ideal summer holiday would be the one I had last year which was my honeymoon in Disneyworld. Two weeks of hot sunshine, entertainment, great food, drink and fun.

(7) Last question: What are your favorite beauty blogs or youtube channels?

I don’t really watch YouTube (there are only so many hours in the day) but if I do, it has to be the fantastic Pixiwoo sisters. My favourite blogs (and it is hard to only name a few) have to be: as Kelly is without a doubt of the best bloggers out there for UK products, great reviews, and not taking itself too seriously for niche brands and a very English sense of humour

I had a fantastic time interviewing Helen.  You can find her interview of me here.

xoxo, K

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Beauty Blogs’ Backstage – Interview with Jerlene from Of Faces and Fingers

It’s time for Beauty Blogs’ Backstage again! This month, I was paired with Jerlene from Of Faces and Fingers.

For those of you who are not familiar with it, Beauty Blogs’ Backstage pairs participating bloggers with each other each month to do an interview. This is my interview of Jerlene.  You can find her interview of me on her blog!

1. How did you come up with the name of your blog?

When I started my blog, I was already into makeup and nail polish, thus I named it Of Faces and Fingers – faces referring to the makeup, and Fingers referring to the nail polish. I did get a couple of comments saying it was a very creepy blog name, though! LOL

2. What is your favorite spring beauty trend?

I always love the bright lips and cheeks that come around during Spring. I’m a big fan of bright blushes, so cheek colour is my favourite thing!

3. Which beauty trend do you wish would go away and never return?

In general, I’m quite tired of the super-pale nude lip look. I can never pull it off, and I think it looks aging. That said, I do wear nude lips myself from time to time, but those are usually to counterbalance dark eye makeup. I guess I just don’t like the trend as much as some other trends.

4. What is the one beauty product you would recommend to anyone?

Remember that old Baz Luhrmann song, Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)? (Which by the way, was an adaptation of a written piece, Wear Sunscreen, by Mary Schmich. Cool beans!) I’m so going to quote from that right now: “If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.” ‘Cause it’s true! Okay, so it’s not a specific product, it’s a class of products. But you get the idea 😀

5. Do you have any pets? If so, tell me about them.’

Not at the moment, but I’m a pet lover. I used to keep dogs and rabbits, so I’ve always had a soft spot for anything cute, furry, and fluffy.

6. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?

Oh darn, non-alcoholic? I was just going to launch into a rave about pear cider (which, by the way, is near-impossible to get in Asia)! Okay, I’m going to go with lime juice. Because I love the sour tang it gives my tongue.

7. What summer trend are you looking forward to?

Bright nail polish! Summer is a great time to wear a pop of colour on your nails!

Hope you enjoyed this interview!

xoxo, K

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Beauty Blogs’ Backstage – Interview with Zara from Pinch Your Cheeks

It’s time for Beauty Blogs’ Backstage again! This month, I was paired with Zara from Pinch Your Cheeks.

Zara is a blogger from the UK.  Read on to see her answers to my questions!

1. What got you into blogging?

I got into it for personal reasons. I needed somewhere to just write about stuff without having to worry about the affecting feelings of people I know. Then it evolved to writing about things like skincare and make up which is my little decadent interest! My little blog is very personal to me, but I love talking about beauty products which is why there are a lot of posts on that type of stuff!
2. I see you are from the UK!  What brands do you hope will become available there?
I’d like to try out more NYX stuff which is not readily available in the UK. Also I hear so much about Bioderma and Emboryolisse products which would nice if they were more available
3. What are your favorite youtube channels or blogs?
Just to name a few and in no particular order:
4. Describe a favorite daily look
I always end up going back to winged eyeliner and volumised eyelashes!
5. I see you have a lot of experience with dying your hair.  What colors have you dyed it?
A LOT of colours – red, purple, streaks of green, blue, blonde hightlights, countless shades of brown. For the last six months, I have settled to jet black and am still not bored of it surprisingly. But I reckon will go lighter by summer for a few months. 
6. What are your hobbies other than blogging?
I love experiencing new skills. Recently I have done some archery, boot camp, rock climbing and ahem – burlesque! . I am always looking for deals on traveling anywhere. I’ve discovered my love for the gym for the first time in my life (which I hope that I keep up). Oh and reading. Love that.
7. What is your guilty pleasure?

Chips/fries. Also, vegging out all day and night in my pajamas with no make up on (basically being a slob!) 

I hope you enjoyed this interview.  Head on over to Pinch Your Cheeks to see her interview of me!

xoxo, K

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Beauty Blogs Backstage: Lipstick and Luxury

It’s time for Beauty Blogs Backstage again!  This month, I interviewed Nicole of Lipstick and Luxury.

1. What is on your holiday wish list this year, in terms of beauty products?
There are two makeup lines that I’ve had my eye on: Dolce & Gabbana and Guerlain. From Dolce and Gabanna I’d love to try the Sicilian Lace Powder Bronzer and the Smooth Eye Colour Quad. From Guerlain, I’ll just take one of everything! SInce that’s not in the budget, I’ll just settle for the L’Or Makeup Base.

2. What is your favorite part of the holidays?  What is your least favorite part?
I absolutely love the holidays because they bring family together, there is lots of good food and people are generally in good spirits. My favorite part would be seeing my two boys so happy on Christmas morning. Christmas was something that I looked forward to as a child and I enjoy making my children happy. As for my least favorite part, I would have to say the lines! It’s almost unbearable to shop in overcrowded stores and the long lines make it ever worse.

3. What was your favorite product(s) of 2010?
The Clairsonic Mia. Although the Mia is not a new product, it’s still my favorite product of 2010. I have very oily skin and large pores so a proper cleansing routine is a must for clear skin. The Mia removes makeup even after I’ve washed my face and it leaves my skin super smooth. It’s worth every penny.

4. What is your favorite part of makeup application?
Putting on makeup is such an “experience”, I simply love the transformation. My favorite part is putting on my lipstick or lip gloss. It’s like the finishing touch or the icing on the cake. I usually go for a bold color on my lips because they are my favorite feature. If I use a light shade, I prefer a gloss with a lot of shine, I like my lips to “pop”.

5. What was your signature makeup look in 2010?
In 2010 I kept it pretty simple because I work in a corporate environment. If I use foundation at all I just apply to the areas of my face where I need it, I’ll finish with a light dusting of powder, mascara, bronzer and lip gloss. If I’m going out at night then I’ll add a red lip and a little eyeshadow.

6. What is your signature drink at Starbucks?
Since I’m watching my weight I try to avoid Starbucks, but if I simply can’t fight the craving then, I’ll opt for a Skinny Vanilla Latte.

7. What “miracle” product do you hope is invented in 2011?
Something that prevents and reverses wrinkles. Growing old in inevitable but do we have to look old? I say NO! So somebody please event a serum that keeps us looking young forever. Amen.

I hope you enjoyed that interview.  Please visit Lipstick and Luxury to see more about Nicole!

xoxo, K

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