Diary: Trip to the USA | Part 2

Good Morning! It was the 20th June, and the first day of Idol Matsuri!

The working day started and ended for me with the Opening Ceremony. 

The acts performing at Idol Matsuri were as follows:

Beri! New Day, SHEawase, Ally and Sally, Beckii Cruel, RYUTist, Aither, Halko Momoi

  • Beri! New Day are a local Washington trio of American girls! 
  • SHEawase are a three-piece set of performers from Oklahoma and Texas, though only two members could attend this event. 
  • Ally and Sally are two twin Canadian girls who have a love for Idols, Eroge, and Performance!
  • Beckii Cruel is ya girl, it me
  • RYUTist are an Idol act from Japan! They were flown in for this event. They are a 4-piece unit.
  • Aither are another Japanese Idol act flown in! They have 5 members, and their style is more "kakkoi" than RYUTist, who are more "kawaii".
  • Halko Momoi is a famous Seiyuu, who has performed at conventions such as this across the world! 

The Opening Ceremony (from what I can gather, I was in the service alleyway until I was called out) comprised of the co-founder, Bethany, introducing the event, and one-by-one, calling out the acts to introduce themselves on stage! We then lined up on the side of the room, and some more words were said, and then, Idol Matsuri was officially open!

I didn't have any more official work to do this day, so I decided that after looking around the event a few times, I would get changed and explore Silverdale once more!

We made a plan to watch The Fault In Our Stars, which was showing at 3:30PM at a cinema about a 10-minute walk from the hotel! So, in the meantime, we went out for breakfast with SHEawase!

Tara and Melissa were really sweet girls, and I am so glad I got to hang out with them as much as I did. This time to eat, we went to Taco Time, which apparently is a restaurant only found in the Northern states! So it was a new experience for SHEawase, too. Again, I had a cool Taco, which was lettuce + mince. It was really delicious! I also got confused by 'chips' for the first time- in the States, Chips means Crisps. And British Chips are Fries. 

After breakfast, Sparkles* and I made our way over to the cinema to buy some tickets. We still had plenty of time to kill, so we went to a Froyo place! 

I'm certain mine was more delicious!! And these were the small cups, too, they're a large in the UK!

Next, we made our way over to the Toys R Us, because I had never been before! We had a really fun shopping trip, though we were totally too old for a lot of it, our inner children really went wild! 

I've cut together a little vlog of our clips from the Froyo, to us exploring Toys R Us, and watching TFIOS. Please watch it here in the embed, and then continue to read the rest! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9zVlMVhnGc

After returning from the movie, and the shopping trip, I got ready for the evening's event: Dinner with an Idol! As Idol Matsuri was an event partially crowd-funded, one of the perks was to have dinner with an Idol! At 8PM, we made our way to the Azteca restaurant, to have (even more) Mexican food!

The dinner was banquet-style, and I was sitting next to one of the attendees, and SHEawase. I tried lots of new Mexican foods, such as Chimichangas, Sopapillas, and even more that I can't remember! One of the attendees ordered a mocktail drink called a Mango Berry Burst, and she started a trend, because almost every one of the performers ordered one too! It was a really nice evening getting to know the attendees and it was a very relaxing experience.


Next day! By the way, my jetlag still was ever present, and I was waking up at 5AM every morning. I think it was good though, it's nice to have an early start when you're on a trip abroad!

This morning's work was the Western Guest Panel. This was attended by myself, Beri!, SHEawase, and Ally and Sally. 

Our panel was really great! We emceed it ourselves, and a good number of people attended. We were asked a multitude of questions, and it was a really relaxed atmosphere. It lasted for about 1 hour! 

After the panel, it was nearly time for Ally and Sally's performance, followed by SHEawase's! I was so excited to see them perform live, and all of their outfits were really beautiful! 

We took some selfies after the panel ♥

With SHEawase

With SHEawase

With Beri!

With Beri!

With AllySally

With AllySally

Ally and Sally were the first performers. Their set was filled with singing, dancing, and plenty of wota MIX and calls! This was the first concert I had watched at Idol Matsuri, and I was already very impressed by the enthusiasm of the audience. They really knew how to call for idols, and it was just like being at a C-ute or AKB48 gig in Japan.

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Ally and Sally were such professional performers. Ally was losing her voice, unfortunately, but I thought they still did a phenomenal job! 

Next up were SHEawase. 

Again, they were amazing performers! They crowd did an awesome job cheering for them too, even after being on their feet for a full hour beforehand for Ally and Sally. 

 

In the evening, Sparkles* and I went out to get some dinner. We decided we wanted to go to a steakhouse, so we scouted out the Fujiyama Habachi Japanese Steakhouse!

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The food was delicious! I had salmon, and Sparkles* had the steak. The habachi chef was really talented and funny, it was a really nice night out! 


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The final day of the convention rolled around! This day was my performance day. The morning held some press interviews for me, which was really fun! And straight after was the signing event. I set up my merch table and met lots of attendees! 

I also managed to take a photo with RYUTist, they're so cute! 

somebody commented 'attack on titan'! ( ´_ゝ`)

somebody commented 'attack on titan'! ( ´_ゝ`)

I also took a 2-shot with Halko Momoi ♥ She was so cute! It looks like she was wearing the Star's Rainbow Seifuku, I should have brought my purple one so we could twin!

I was given a really sweet scrapbook from the event attendees! There were postcards and letters in it, it was so heartwarming! 



In the afternoon, all the guests and attendees headed outside to create a special video, a tribute to BiS! We all learned and danced a section of Nerve by BiS, as they are disbanding soon and we wanted to show our support one last time. 

Can you see me? I'm in the centre behind RYUTist! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AX7CKs8LDtc

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With all the guests and attendees!

With all the guests and attendees!

Groupshot of all the guests minus Aither!

Groupshot of all the guests minus Aither!

And then, it was time for me to perform! I was on after Beri! New Day, and my performance was the finale of the event! 

It was so fun! They had opened up the room by now so there was plenty of space for people to do wotagei if they chose! My performance ran about 40 minutes, and I thought it went perfectly. Thank you everybody who came to see me!

After my performance, the event had its closing ceremony. Our lanyards were raffled off, and we presented them to the winners personally! It was kinda emotional, this convention had such a personal and friendly atmosphere, and when Bethany spoke some words, we all felt just so grateful that we were there to share this event with her.

That evening, Sparkles* and I had Papa John's Pizza for dinner, and later on in the evening, we met with Ally and Sally for dessert. I was so happy that we could meet up and talk before they left; the event had been really hectic and we hadn't found an opportunity to talk more than 'hello' in the corridors until then!

We spoke about a lot of things, how much we enjoyed the event, and how nice it was to finally meet! I had a S'mores Pie, from Shari's! All in all, it was the perfect ending to the first ever Idol Matsuri.

Diary: Trip to the USA | Part 1

June 2014 was extremely exciting for me this year: not only did I turn 19, but I had some amazing travel opportunities. On the 15th June, I performed at Yorkshire Cosplay Con, in Doncaster, UK. I will have a separate blogpost for that at some point, but after YCC, I had a couple of days to stay in Yorkshire. Eventually, it was time to depart on my first trip to the United States!

was just released ❀ my trip's soundtrack

was just released ❀ my trip's soundtrack

travelling up to manchester the night before. british as ever.

travelling up to manchester the night before. british as ever.

On Tuesday the 17th June, myself and Sparkles*, my travel companion, made our way from Yorkshire to Manchester. We stayed in the Britannia Airport Hotel in Manchester, on a last-minute reservation, after realising that we wouldn't be able to get a train from Selby to Manchester Airport early enough on the morning of our flight! The hotel was very economic and a pleasant stay.

Morning of the 18th, and it begins! 

the big travel fish

the big travel fish

First Leg: To The States (via Amsterdam)

I was in charge of the travel itinerary for the entire trip! It's quite fun, being your own travel agent, but also quite stressful! I used this great website to hunt down low airfares, and I booked them through ebookers.com.

Our flights were £551 return per person, from booking 1 month in advance. I think that is quite reasonable! It can easily cost £200 to go from the Isle of Man to England and back, so I was really pleased.

Cheap flights tend to have connections, so we flew from Manchester at 9.05AM, to catch our first flight to Amsterdam!

Amsterdam is one of my favourite places in the world, I have been before and have always been craving to come back! Unfortunately, we didn't leave the Airport at all on our 3-hour layover, so my beloved city remained untouched by me for today...

we flew with Delta/KLM, so this BA plane is irrelevant, but it gives the post flavour, i feel.

we flew with Delta/KLM, so this BA plane is irrelevant, but it gives the post flavour, i feel.

The flight was comfortable! It had a duration of 1 hour, however we arrived "2 hours later", as The Netherlands is +1 timezones away! So at 11AM we landed at Schiphol, and made our way to our correct terminal.

Travel Buddies!! I very rarely wear makeup when I fly, and unfortunately I was breaking out pretty badly :( 

Travel Buddies!! I very rarely wear makeup when I fly, and unfortunately I was breaking out pretty badly :( 

took the last chance to have a Kinder Surprise in the UK ♥

took the last chance to have a Kinder Surprise in the UK ♥

The layover in Amsterdam was 3 hours 25 minutes, so we had plenty of time. 2:55PM rolled around, and it was time to set off! We had to go through a second hand-luggage check and full-body x-ray immediately before boarding, which was frustrating, as I had to throw out my brand new water bottle which I'd bought for the flight. There was no opportunity to buy water on-board, either, so I had to ration the cups they gave me intermittently throughout the flight. 

The flight was really comfortable, even in economy class. Because it was a daytime flight, we had no pressure to sleep on the flight, as it would be evening by the time we arrived, which was perfect! I watched a bunch of movies, TV, and played games on the in-flight console! 

After 10hr8min, we landed in Seattle-Tacoma International airport! By then, I had been awake for 20 hours, and I was not feeling my freshest. It was 4:03PM when we arrived in the States. Immediately, we had to go through immigration, which was absolute hell. I was interrogated for about 40 minutes, before finally being granted access to the country! My anxiety was at a peak, and I was so scared they were going to put me on a plane back home!!

I took a picture with Nathan's 'stang, as a G

I took a picture with Nathan's 'stang, as a G

Eventually, we collected our luggage, and headed outside to meet with Nathan, co-founder of Empty Melon LLC!

The reason for my trip is that I was invited to attend Idol Matsuri 2014- the USA's first Idol Convention! Nathan is the co-founder of the event, and it was fantastic that he came to meet us. He drove us to Silverdale, more specifically: The Best Western Plus Silverdale Beach Hotel, Washington!

 

The Beach Hotel was where, for the next 3 days, Idol Matsuri would be held!

This was the view from my room. About 10 minutes after taking this, at about 7PM, I checked out for the day and slept, at last, after about 23 hours of travelling! 

 

and subsequently...

 

I woke up this early!! Feeling absolutely refreshed, too, it was a great sleep. We had arrived with 1 free day before the event to recover from jetlag, and I'm really pleased that we did. Even though I felt better for sleeping, I certainly wasn't able to work that day, and I went for frequent naps!

This was the day that many of the other performers would arrive. But since I was ready to leave the hotel and start my day at 6AM, we decided to explore the local area!

Silverdale is located in Washington state, in the north of America, just next to Canada. Seattle is the main city, however Silverdale is a pleasant town about an hour's drive out! 

We had our first meal of the states, a brunch, at Burger King! I had chicken nuggets, fries, and a lemon ice drink! It was pretty delicious, the portion sizes were bigger, but the lemon drink was really tart! I wore the crown.

I'll also now mention a sponsor for my trip: TelecomSquareUSA! They provided me with this device for the duration of my trip to the States. This device is a mobile WiFi unit, which means that I could stay connected even when out-and-about in the country! As a blogger and internet addict, it was so useful, and super-fast, out-performing the hotel WiFi by leagues. It costs $12.95/day, and I would really recommend it. You can connect multiple devices, so maybe you and a friend could split the cost! The battery lasted about 10 hours before needing to be recharged,and that was with heavy usage and two devices connected. Impressive!

http://mobilewifi.telecomsquare.us

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After our BK Breakfast, we went for a walk to see the local area! America, so far, was very anti-pedestrian, and so vast in comparison to Britain! So we couldn't really go very far on foot. Even still, it was a beautiful day, so we sat by the beach for a while! 

We found a mall, and I went shopping! You can see the contents of what I bought in my Seattle/Idol Matsuri Haul, which I recommend you watch!              www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGCPw2WU8AI

In the evening, it was time for Orientation, for all of the guests to attend. 

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Orientation was to meet with Bethany, the co-founder of the event. She ran me through my schedule, and I had the opportunity to rehearse! Admittedly, I was too tired to do so, and I was desperately hungry, so we went off in search of dinner! 

Taco Bell was only next door ♥ I had never been before, nor had I had a taco, so I was excited to try it! The staff were really helpful, as we had never really had Mexican food before. I had this Doritos Locos Cool Ranch Taco, which was so good! It was a Dorito shell, with mincemeat, lettuce, and cheese in it, with the cool ranch sauce. I will gladly eat one a day for the rest of my life.

Sparkles* had a Quesarito (Quesadilla Burrito Combination), which he said was great! He also had a Baha Blast, which I tried a little of (I don't like fizzy drinks! But it was still pretty good!)

We retired to the hotel, not before the evening light gave me this glory! I hope you feel free merely by the sight. 

All in all, I was feeling very good for my first day in America! Please look forward to Episode 2: Idol Matsuri! 

Etude House | Lock 'N Summer Precious Mineral Collection

I've been sent another beautiful box by my favourite brand, Etude House!

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The theme of this month's box is Lock 'N Summer. 

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I received the first issue of K-Beauty Princess Manual! This is absolutely amazing, I think you'll really enjoy it. It's a Korean beauty magazine, but completely in English!

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This month's info-sheet and folder ♥

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I'll discuss the Lock 'N Summer series first! The packaging is so beautiful ☆ It reminds me a little of the British flag!

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The first product I received is the Lock 'N Summer Precious Mineral Proof Any Cushion.

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As you can see, the product is part of the Any Cushion series, and is the same size and method as my Magic Mint Cushion! (That means I can put it in my macaron case that I got last time, too!)

The way that the Any Cushion series works is by pressing a makeup puff against the sponge, which is infused with the product. It's an interesting method which I've never seen before! It's not really possible to pick up this product with anything other than the makeup puff provided.

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This time, it comes with a royal blue puff!

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Before and after blending. It comes in a variety of shades. Mine is in Beige, it's a great fit! You can see when blended, it has a nice dewy finish to it, and a lot of coverage.

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The next product is the Cushion Lock'n Liner. This is such an interesting concept. The box is really useful, I've kept my outer packaging as it fits the brush and the product in nicely, so they won't get lost from each other in my makeup bag!

It uses the same cushion sponge technology, but this time with a liner! I think this is an interesting step from Gel liner, which tends to dry out after a while. This cushion will ensure the product is always moist.

Mine is in the colour Brown, and as you can see you can create a variety of strokes. The brush tends to create very thin lines, so you do have to build up the thickness! It recommends to wipe off the brush after using it, and it's true, because the product dries hard and fast once picked up. The staying power of this liner is again, incredible!

This next product is the Cushion Blusher!

It's a simple pot with a puff, a separator, and the product cushion.

It's a gorgeous coral cream blush. You have to blend it out once applied, as it dries very well and it's very pigmented too!

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I also received these products from the main line at Etude House, to perfect my Lock 'N Summer look!

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The first is the Baby Sweet Sugar Powder. This is a loose powder product for setting your makeup. I usually use a pressed powder from MAC, so it's exciting to try a loose powder!

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Artistic shot of the puff ♥ The product gives a velveteen finish to your skin. With loose powder, it's easy to pick up too much product, so remember that you can always build it up, and it's better to have less than more!

 
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The final product is this: The Face Conditioning Fixer!

Firstly, this smells INCREDIBLE. It's an absolutely enchanting scent. I would recommend you buy it just to perfume your face after you apply tour makeup. But not only does it smell good, but it works really well! It adds some hydration back into your skin, and it fixes it down to last even longer. One or two spray-pumps is all you need.

Application

I have edited these photos as little as possible so you can see the real effect of the product! You can see above no makeup to just the application of the Proof Any Cushion. This is crazy good coverage, it's absolutely as good as my foundation, if not better! It's evenly covered my skin, including my problem areas (chin), and topped it with a dewy, flawless finish.

Applied the liner. Was very easy to create super thin wings. Needed to go over the strokes a few times to darken them.

With the powder. I personally prefer the dewy finish, but for matte lovers, the powder does just that!

Finished the look off with my Etude House Brow Pencil, Miss Manga Mascara, Etude House Coral Blusher from this post, and used the Etude House 101 pencil on my lips to create a semi-gradient finish.

The next day, I did a slightly different look! Still used the Proof Any Cushion as my base, used some concealer as well this time, used my MAC pressed powder, and the Etude House tear liner for the inner corner. The lip colour is Poem from BLL by NYX.

Second attempt at a gradient lip! It's super fashionable to do this in Asia. I used the Proof Any Cushion as the lip concealer, it worked much better than regular foundation would.