Wednesday, August 27, 2014

fall colors

A really quick post for today. It's finally cooling down in Tokyo (raining, but at least it's not humid), which means fall is right around the corner! I found some time to do some shopping for myself, so hopefully some more outfit posts soon :) I recently picked up this MAC lipstick to spice things up in terms of makeup (I think the shade is called Hearts Aflame). I still love my Lola by Marc by Marc Jacobs, but I am thinking of trying a different scent - any suggestions??

What items make you excited for the upcoming fall season? Let me know in the comments!


Samantha Mariko

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Monthly Favorites #3 | the ultimate acne-free skincare routine

New monthly favorites is finally here! This time I want to introduce my skincare routine to keep the break-outs away.

I've mentioned in several beauty posts that I don't have the best skin and I break out easily (and still do if I am not careful), but I think I finally found a skincare routine using products that work with my skin. The key is to cleanse thoroughly and to moisturize, but in an oil-free way.

This is essentially water for your face. I do use tap water to wash my face, but it just feels nice to spritz some of this on before and after I wash my face. It's great for sensitive skin (as the website notes), and it really does soften and moisturize my face. They have this in a travel size, which is great.

This is actually very similar to the Shu Uemura cleansing oils, but I happened to be in Shinokubo (Tokyo's Korea Town), and decided to give this one a shot. It definitely does its job - all my makeup is off in one wash, no rubbing, just light circular motions with some water and your fingertips. A dermatologist I spoke with recently told me this is the best way to remove makeup and dirt. I use this only at night before I use a regular cleanser.

This is the most gentle cleanser ever. I use a foaming sponge to get it really foamy, and gently cleanse my entire face with it. This is especially made for oily sensitive skin, so it's perfect. A little goes a long way too. The one I use seems like it is only sold in Japan, so I think this is a similar version sold in the U.S. 

After cleansing and spritzing on more thermal water, I apply witch hazel with a cotton ball. Yes, I am aware that the website says it is used for first aid, but it is an astringent and I swear they sell it in the skincare section in Japanese stores! (that's where I got mine). Anyways, this stuff is amazing. It gently removes any and all traces of dirt. It may seem like I am crazy about cleansing my skin to the last bit, but I read an article that if you take the time to apply makeup, you should also take more time to remove it well at the end of the day. It is the best way to avoid break outs and imperfections on the face. This astringent is alcohol-free, and I use it as a toner.

This is also an important step in my routine. La Roche-Posay is a a great skincare line that has amazing products for sensitive skin. This essence in particular smooths the surface of the skin while unclogging and minimizing the appearance of pores. I think this is a similar product sold on the U.S. site. Lovely product. 

Fragrance free, for all skin types, light, non-greasy, broad spectrum protection, enriched with vitamins A, C, and E, PABA free, non-comedogenic (does not clog pores). I think that explains this product well. Non-comedogenic is a key word. 

I can't and will not let go of this product. I've been using it for over half a year now and it does wonders. Paraben and sulfate-free, this is a non-greasy cream that really awakens dull skin. It's almost like a mask I wear overnight, finding my skin looking so much healthier in the morning no matter how tired I am. 

The perfect sunscreen for the face. It is water resistant, fragrance-free and tested on sensitive skin. No problems with this one.  

I hope this helps if you also have sensitive, acne-prone skin like I do. I'm not saying you will never break out because I still do sometimes because of stress or hormonal factors, but this routine has  helped me significantly. I think because I take my time to cleanse and prep my skin, it feels and looks better than before. It's the first thing a person sees, so it might be best to take extra care of it :)

I would love to read any suggestions, any questions, concerns, or even any comments if you have used these products already. Love reading your opinions!

Have a great week! (almost the end of summer - enjoy it!)


Samantha Mariko

Friday, August 22, 2014

Moschino Opening Party at Harajuku La Foret

I attended the Moschino Opening Party at La Foret in Harajuku with my friend Amy. It was probably one of the more colorful events I've been too for sure! Red and yellow everywhere! I especially loved the Moschino x Jeremy Scott collection (the cow print bags and accessories) and the Fall Winter 14-15 Runway Capsule Collection (the McDonald's inspired items) which included T-shirts, bags and tech accessories. You can check out all the collections here. Amy's favorite was the "I don't speak Italian but I do speak Moschino" T-shirt. Isn't she the cutest?:)

I had a full day of work before the event, and it was so muggy and humid yesterday, so I went pretty bare with a cropped tank that I got a while ago at Zara (similar here) and some loose-fitted tapered pants from Forever 21 (similar here). Anyways, I had a really great time last night!

I know I haven't been the best at posting new content recently, and also responding to comments.. I don't know what it is with summer but it is really hectic!! Please be patient with me - I do read all the comments on my posts! You can follow me on Instagram @samanthamariko to keep up with me :) 

Thanks for taking the time to check out my page, truly appreciate it! Have a wonderful weekend.


Samantha Mariko

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Marc by Marc Jacobs Classic Gradient sunglasses

(dress: H&M (similar here); clutch:Wego (similar here); sunglasses: Marc by Marc Jacobs
watch: Marc by Marc Jacobssandals: Aldo (similar here))

Photos by Lisa from Paint with Stars

I finally got a 4-day weekend for Obon (Japanese summer holiday), so I was happy to have more time to finish up other work (sort of haha.. ) and some time to myself. I met up with Lisa again this weekend for a quick outfit shoot and a meeting for an upcoming photo shoot project. I'm excited because I will be working behind the scenes instead of in front of the camera :)

For this outfit, I kept it simple in terms of colors and patterns (as usual). I wanted to show off these awesome sunglasses I received from Shop Bop - the Classic Gradient Sunglasses from Marc by Marc Jacobs. These are the perfect shape & fit, and the lenses aren't too dark which I really like. If you haven't noticed already, Marc by Marc Jacobs is one of my favorite brands and I am starting to accumulate a Marc by Marc Jacobs accessories collection... You can check out more gorgeous eyewear here.

By the way, did you all notice a slight difference in my hair color?? I decided to try something new and add a strip of color in my bangs and the ends of my hair. When I first had it done, it was a vivid red, but since it was a hair manicure, it was starting to fade quickly, so I decided to do a violet-colored hair dye so that I wouldn't have to worry about it fading. Even though it isn't as noticeable, I like the subtle color :) 

Thank you so much for the positive vibes on my last post - it truly means a lot! You all are awesome!
Have a fantastic week ahead!


Samantha Mariko

Friday, August 15, 2014

Japanese magazine InRed Sept. Issue fashion snap

Good news! A snap of me with some of my model friends was in the September issue of InRed magazine :)

InRed magazine is a Japanese ladies' fashion magazine aimed for women in their 20s to 40s. A snap of the girls and I was featured on p.121 of this issue! This photo was taken at the Eva Madrid Launch Birkenstock party, where the model in the white & blue dress, Melody Yoko, was the image model for Birkenstock. This is my first time seeing myself in a Japanese fashion magazine, so it is such an honor! I hope more opportunities like this come my way :) 

I know I haven't been posting for a week and I apologize.. but I have been reading & responding to comments (thank you!!) and I'm planning my next few posts. I also started up my Japanese Ameblo blog again. If you can read Japanese and are interested, you can take a look here. The content is a little different than this blog, but I mostly expand on my Instagram photos, or just write about photos I post here but in Japanese. Enjoy!


Samantha Mariko

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Nathalie Du Pascuier for American Apparel

(top: American Apparel; tassel kimono: old; shorts: Vintage Levi's (similar here);
purse: Front Row Shop; sandals: Birkenstock; sunglasses: similar here)

photos by Pascal Uehli

Just a quick post of an OOTD from a few weeks ago. One of my good friends gave me this American Apparel top for my birthday, and since it was becoming really humid by mid July, I decided to coordinate an outfit that would keep me cool in this heat. That's when my Levi's cutoffs come in handy, and this tassel kimono jacket I got a couple years ago balances it all out. I know I'm wearing these sunglasses a lot these days... starting to look around for other pairs to add to my collection :)

Hope everyone is having a good weekend! If you are living somewhere as disgustingly humid as Japan, stay cool!


Samantha Mariko

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Letters Impromptu x Alma Chains

This week, featuring the Derek chain from Alma Chains.

(glasses chain: Alma Chains; top: Front Row Shop; pants: Forever 21 (similar here);
sandals: Aldo; sunglasses: similar here; clutch: Wego (similar here);

Photos by Lisa from Paint with Stars

Who ever said glasses chains were only for reading glasses? The amazing Alma Chains has got every kind of chain to dress up your sunglasses, glasses, any kind of eyewear you can imagine. Alma is an Australian company founded by two ladies, Anji and Darcie. I love their concept of glasses chains - "harmonizing function with style... a 24 hour accessory." With a stylish pair of chains, you will never lose your glasses (ever), and it makes for a statement accessory.

For this shoot, Lisa and I trekked over to Kagurazaka, a cute little place in Tokyo with a beautiful shrine right behind the station. I paired my Derek chain with these sunglasses I randomly found at the Red Brick Warehouse in Yokohama for 1000 yen (about $10). A match made in heaven, seriously. I wanted to keep the rest of my look minimal, just black and white with a touch of red lip color. I also love this bralet top from Front Row Shop - I'm hoping I can find something sheer that I can layer under when it becomes a little cooler (I am melting everyday in this extreme heat).

You can check out more awesome chains from Alma Chains here, and follow them on Instagram @almachains. Which chain do you like the best? Get yours today :)


Samantha Mariko