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A lifestyle blog by a London gal who loves plants, metal, bleaching my hair and Osaka

Wednesday 28 December 2016

Candyflossoverkill in 2016: Blogging goals revisited and 2017 goals

2016 Blogging goals revisited and 2017 goals

2016 was a great year for my blog: I feel like the quality has gone up so much in such a short time. I learned tonnes about photography, I got a design and a URL, and I managed to up my posting schedule too. I also got a couple new readers too (hey <3) and my page views are up too. Nothing crazy, and I'm not aiming for anything crazy, but it's quite nice to have people reading what you're putting out there, you know? On the other hand, I'm glad I didn't get crazy growth just based on posts about Japan, because I'm not there anymore. I mean I'm sure I'll go back soon, but I didn't want to set myself up as a "Japan blogger" because I'm not... Jblogging is suuuper over saturated anyway. (although saying that, so is fashion/lifestyle blogging....)

So anyway, let's have a look at how I did with my 2016 blogging goals:


Wednesday 21 December 2016

Did I achieve my New Years Resolutions for 2016?

2016 New Years Resolutions review

2016 was such a crazy year! Along with huge political events like Brexit etc, (which still needs to get out asap) it was also a really big year for me. The first 8 months was in Japan- I blogged all about it and you can find more on my adventures in the Japan tag. (I'm still blogging about it because I got a little behind... whoops.). Then once I was back in the UK, I've had a bit more chill time, getting back into the routine of *actually studying* things like history and international relations along with Japanese. It's been a bit weird, and I definitely miss Japan and had a healthy dose of reverse culture shock, but I think I'm settled back in now. I blogged about my 2016 new years resolutions last December, so I thought I'd take a look back at whether or not I achieved them.

Anyway, these were my New Years resolutions for 2016:


Monday 12 December 2016

Silver toners reviewed: Wella T18 versus Colour Freedom's white blonde

Silver toners reviewed: Wella T18 versus Colour Freedom's white blonde

In my hair update post a few days ago, I told y'all how yellow my roots had gone, and that I was going pink for a little bit to hide the contrast... Well, I really liked the pink on me, but I wanted to have silver hair for the Christmas party I had the other week. I don't usually use silver toners in my hair- I just leave in my regular silver shampoo (Bleach London) in my hair for a few more minutes when I want to get it more silvery. But this time my roots were quite yellow, so I decided to try out some toners.I thought I'd do a mini review on the two different toners I used: Wella's T18  and Colour Freedom's white blonde toner. I know it's not entirely fair to compare these two products- they are completely different- one is professional and permanent, and the other is non permanent and designed for use at home. Still, I thought that reviewing them might be useful, so here goes!

Colour Freedom White blonde

This toner is the one I bought first, as it's easily available from Superdrug. It's non permanent, smells pretty nice and is really moisturising. It made my hair feel absolutely amazing. At £7 for 150ml, it's easily the cheaper option too. You don't need a developer and I got two uses out of it. However, although it toned the lengths of my hair fairly well, it wasn't that good at at tackling the dark yellow patches in my roots, even when I used clarifying shampoo beforehand and left it on for the full 30 minutes. I'd advise using this only on really pale blonde hair.


Colour Freedom White Blonde toner result
You can see it didn't make that much of a difference, but it did tone the lengths of my hair a little. Unfortunately, it was the roots I really wanted to tone...

Wella T18 Lightest Ash Blonde 

This one is a permanent toner, and it is a professional product, so it's more expensive and more difficult to get your hands on. The bottle mine came is was teeny- £5.82 for 42ml- and there was only enough for one whole head application, or maybe two if you were just doing the roots. Definitely use a different brand of developer- the Wella one was £8 on amazon (!). I think it is more damaging on your hair than a temporary colour like Colour Freedom, but I conditioned my hair after I toned it and it feels ok. I'm not going to mince my words here, it smells disgusting! It did tone my roots better though :I left it on for almost the full 30 minutes, and they were almost totally silver. If you're just trying to tone your hair white, or if your roots are less yellow then I'd leave the colour on for less time though. Obviously my roots are still darker than the rest of my hair, but at least they were silvery- toned. Even though it is a permanent toner, after a couple of washes (using Lush's Daddy O silver shampoo) I do kind of feel like it's washing out from my roots a bit. I think it's common for even permanent grey colours to fade easily, but I'm kind of sad considering that this one was quite pricey. Lastly, I want to say that I am not a hair dresser and please don't use professional products like this if you're not experienced with colouring your hair! They are not idiot- proof, so please be careful ok :)

My hair was this pastel pink before:

And this was what my hair looked like after I'd toned it.
Wella T18 toner result

Wella T18 toner result
Most of my hair was this lovely silvery lilac colour, but some of the roots were just too dark yellow to take to even the Wella toner.

Since then, I've just been washing my hair with my usual Bleach London Silver Shampoo, and it's looking like this lately:
Silver toners reviewed

Silver toners reviewed

Silver toners reviewed

So honestly, a cheaper way to get my roots looking better might have been to just wait it out and keep shampooing my hair with silver shampoo.

Next time I bleach my roots, I'm going to make sure I get them light enough first, and then I want to try Colour Freedom's permanent silver toner, or Bleach London's white toner. Also Schwarzkopf's Blond Me has some products which bleach and tone your hair at the same time, which sounds pretty good.

Do you guys have any silver toner product recommendations?
Thanks for reading! -Amy xoxo

Colour Freedom Misty Grey review and before and after// Treat yo'self haul: Lush and T2// Kare Sansui and maple leaves at Tofukuji, Kyoto

Thursday 8 December 2016

Gig report: SuG tour 2016 SLVS at Umeda Akaso, 10/4/16

Picture from SuG's official website
So this live was a while ago, but I didn't blog about it for a while... I was actually too emotional about it. I've been a SuG fan for a long time now, and this live was the culmination of my little fangirl existence!!! SuG are amazing live, that's for sure. (P.S. this post is v fangirly, I apologise in advance)

SuG are definitely one of all time favourite bands, and actually getting to see them live... it was so amazing. I was also absolutely terrified, because I was at peak anxiety last year and going to a gig on my own wasn't the easiest thing to do. Worth it though!

So, without further ado, let's get into the live report:

The gig was at Umeda Akaso, which was pretty easy to find- it's quite close to Hep 5.
Umeda Akaso

Umeda Osaka

Ticketing was a little confusing: There was no line beforehand, because you lined up in order of the number on your ticket: Fan club first, and then it depended on how early you bought your ticket.
The line was also v scary- I was one of the only foreigners there so I felt extra stared at. Also Japanee gigs start early- this one started at 5pm, with doors at 4:15.

Merch was sold outside the venue: I got a wristband and a T shirt (YESS SUG SHIRT)
Although, I should have got a towel, because you need it for some of the Furitsuke. Actually, the Furitsuke was something I'd been worried about, as I hadn't learned them beforehand, but they were quite easy to pick up so it was ok :) There was also a box near the entrance of Akaso for letters and presents (I was too scared to write a letter and I regret it dearly).

There were lockers at Akaso, but not that many, so I stashed all my bag and stuff in a coin locker at Osaka Station. You had to buy a drink ticket on the door for 500 yen (I think this is pretty common) so before the live started, I grabbed a lil dutch courage, downed it and secured my place in the crowd.
It was a small-ish venue so I had a good view :)
Unfortunately, taking photos isn't allowed in Japanese gigs, so I have no pictures of the boys. So sad. 

When SuG came onstage, something inside me honestyly just broke. I was so happy, I couldn't stop crying. Sorry for being lame, ahahah. SuG played so many songs! And quite a lot of their new stuff too, which was awesome~

Song list

Gimme Gimme
Fukanzen Beautyfool Days
Jun Fujun Isei Kouryuu
Teenage Dream
Smells Like Virgin Spirit
Sakura Ame
Dead or Dead
Teenage Dream
Mugen Styles
Toki Doki Sutekina Kono Sekai
Cry Out

I'm pretty sure that was it, but I can't find it online so I'm not 100%- they might have played even more songs than that!

Also in the breaks, Takeru was talking about things like how the Osaka crowd were louder than usual, and how he felt 'we could understand each others' feelings' which didn't help my poor heart.

There was also a handshake meet afterwards, I'd got a ticket for the meet when I bought Virgin
It was quick, and the security were literally pushing us along, which was so sad, but I got to say thank you to everyone... Embarrassingly, I was still absolutely crying my eyes out, but I told them to come to come to the UK again <3 (they came in December 2015 while I was in Japan... typical...)

Also can I just reiterate: I TOUCHED THE ACTUAL MEMBERS OF SUG!!
I think Yuji gave the best handshake, but they all like actually squeezed my hand and looked me in the eye and like they actually appreciated us coming. And I got to speak to Takeru-Sama! (My first love. hehe).

This gig meant so much to me guys... I never thought I'd be able to see SuG when I first started liking them way back when. But I did! In Japan~ It's made me more determined to go to more gigs next year! Come on, me! I know the amazing Crossfaith are going to be back in the UK next year, and I'm determined to get to see them again (I saw them in first year but I don't think I blogged about it).
This picture accurately represents me after the gig walking through Umeda crying my eyes out...

If you don't know SuG, check out their latest video "Kill Kill" :)
Also, if you ever get the chance to go to a SuG gig, DEFINITELY go omg! I'm ordering their latest Album, Shaddup,  for a sneaky Christmas present to myself and I couldn't be more excited~

Thanks for reading! What bands do you guys like? If you have any recommendations, let me know :3
-Amy xoxo

I finally visited a cat cafe! Hogo Neko Kissa Kagishippo in Ibaraki, Osaka// Kare Sansui and Maple Leaves at Tofukuji, Kyoto// My Christmas Wishlist

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Being Enlightened (?) at Unryuuin and Sennyuji, Kyoto

Being Enlightened (?) at Unryuuin and Sennyuji, Kyoto

After the Inari Shrines, I walked on to Unryuuin, to see the famous Satori no Mado- the window of enlightenment. It's a little out of the way, but I think it's definitely worth the visit. Because it's out of the way, Unryuuin and Sennyuji are a lot quieter and more reflective than some other temples. They are definitely hidden gems!

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Things I've done recently to make life a little better

Things I've done recently to make life a little better

So I had a teeny bit of a breakdown recently. Part reverse culture shock, part general uni stress and part not taking care of myself I guess, but I was so down and in a little bit of a bad place. Luckily, I'm doing better now (apart from a looming essay crisis), and I thought I'd share with you guys a few ways I've been making things a little bit better for myself :) I wrote about in my Basic Self Care post a while back, and I thought it was time to take my own advice.

Things I've done to make life a little better

Having breakfast each morning// Especially porridge. I know it's a bit basic, but just having breakfast in the morning

Having a cleaning routine// Washing my sheets, giving my room a dust and a whip round with the hoover on the regular makes me feel like a functioning human.

Going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day// Getting a bedtime and morning routine established makes everything easier. I'm still not totally there yet- I tend to roll around on instagram

Drink more water// Helps your skin, your mood, helps you feel more awake... water is great. You guys knew that already

Make time for your friends// Even if it's scary. I am trying to say "yes" to things more- I used to reflexively say no because I was scared, and then I'd miss out on what would probably have been a fun time.

Cook more// Cooking is fun! When you take the time to cook properly, you'll save money and encourage yourself to look after yourself a little more. I made an apple crumble the other day and I shared it with the flat which was really fun.

Cut down on caffeine// Now I could never go cold turkey, but limiting tea and coffee to only a few cups a day is great, guys. Caffeine can actually make you feel more jittery and anxious, and caffeine addiction is also super real. At the moment I'm trying to only have a few cups a day, and stop drinking caffeine at all after 5 or 6pm.  Fruit teas and decaffeinated coffee have been slight game changers.

Paint your nails// This makes me feel so 'together'

Buying plants// I am still absolutely plant obsessed. My basil plant makes the room smell amazing, my little succulents seem to be doing all right, and having plant friends is just great ok?

Sort out your uni work/ any papers lying around// This is a tad boring, but filing my papers away instead of leaving them just lying around is just prettier, you know?

Do things you love! Like blogging :) I'm relieved to say that I'm back with some new blogging plans. I'm not quite up to daily posting yet, but I have a few really good posts lined up :) I still have a little bit of Japan content left too.

And some things I still need to work on:

Cut down on screen time//
 I think everyone is a little guilty of this, but I spend way too long on my phone. Too much screen time has been linked with depression, and I definitely don't want any of that!

Be intentional with the media you consume// I want to watch more stuff in Japanese (which I am doing~) but I also want to avoid randomly clicking around on Youtube. I go to Youtube when I want to be entertained, inspired or to learn something. So,I unsubscribed from some of the more negative accounts I used to follow (bitchiness will only get you down really) and some of the ones that weren't *that* fun and made me feel like I had wasted my time. Sounds brutal, but even though I didn't unfollow many channels, I feel better for it.

Listen to podcasts// I'm so late on the podcast train, I know, but better late than never right? If anyone has some recommendations, please let me know!

Be more intentional when shopping// I'm halfway there, but I need to save money more! I am going to re-start saving my 50p coins, and just generally try and avoid town a bit more...

Learn Korean// I've started learning Hangeul, so now I need to get myself a proper textbook with a CD- I don't want to learn it wrong!

Get some more exercise// yeah.....

Get some more motivation for Japanese// I'm ok with everyday conversation, but I want to be able to use Keigo without dying of nerves, and I want to be able to write all the general use Kanji soon(ish). I've been working hard for my history modules, but I've been somewhat coasting in Japanese recently. I mean I'm glad I'm doing ok, but ever since I got N2 I've been lacking motivation, and I need to get some back sharpish...

Anyway, I hope you guys are doing well! December and Christmas are great, but they can get a bit hectic, can't they. If you have any self care tips, or podcast recommendations, let me know <3
-Amy xoxo

20 ways to look after yourself: Basic self care// Kare Sansui and Maple Leaves at Tofukuji, Kyoto// New in Beauty// What to do in Kamakura

Sunday 4 December 2016

Exploring Kyoto: Abandoned Inari Shrine and a secret waterfall

Abandoned Inari Shrine Kyoto

On the way from Tofukuji to Unryuu-in, I found an abandoned Inari Shrine. I was walking along a path on the outskirts of Kyoto, and I saw a Torii in the middle of overgrown trees. When I got to the other side, there was an entrance with a sign on the Torii saying 倒壊する危険あり 通行注意 -(danger of collapse, be careful when passing through). It didn't say 立ち入り禁止 (do not enter) though, so I went in and had a look around. It was definitely worth going in!

Thursday 1 December 2016

Kare Sansui and Maple leaves at Tofukuji, Kyoto

Tofukuji Kyoto
Travelling and exploring places on your own is nerve wracking, but it can be so cool. You can go to wherever you like without anyone complaining, and sometimes you get to experience things that you wouldn't have got the chance to otherwise. There were so many places in Kyoto that I was desperate to explore, so one hot summer Saturday in June I took myself off exploring. First up on my agenda was Tofukuji. It's famous for it's autumn leaves, but there's a tonne to do in any season~ Like Toji, I think Tofukuji is a little less well known among international tourists, and certainly it was less busy than super famous places like Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kinkakuji or Kiyomizudera.
© Candyfloss Overkill

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