Function of Beauty Shampoo and Conditioner Review

Recently I purchased custom shampoo and conditioner from Function of Beauty. Function of Beauty makes personalized shampoo and conditioner with over 300 million possible combinations, all based on a quiz you take about your hair type and goals. Their products are sulfate, paraben and cruelty free. You also choose the color and fragrance of the finished project. You can get various sizes, but for 8 ounces each of shampoo and conditioner it costs $32.

You can visit their website here.

Ordering was very simple. The quiz had a good few questions to find the perfect formula, but one thing I thought I might have an issue with was not being able to select a “gentle” shampoo. I rarely use any hair products and so I prefer to use a gentle shampoo since there’s not much to wash out of my hair. I had been using Paul Mitchell’s “Shampoo One” and liked it.

 

The packaging looked nice, but seemed like an unnecessary amount of trash to me. I would have preferred something just a bit smaller / simpler. The products came with pumps (underneath the display) to fit the bottles and a pamphlet explaining the products.

Using the shampoo the first thing I noticed was a slightly “harsh” feel, as if it was a bit acidic or basic or going to dry out my skin or something. I might have been thinking too hard about it, but I did notice this later, too. It didn’t lather as much as I’m used to and didn’t seem to spread out over the top of my head well. I felt like I had to use at least three pumps.

I like a thick conditioner that makes it super easy for me to run my fingers through my hair, and this was not even close to that or to the texture I’m used to. It soaked right into my hair like water and then I could hardly notice it was there. I thought I rinsed my hair thoroughly, but it looked greasy after my shower. It was and continues to be difficult to tell if and when I’ve managed to rinse the conditioner out of my hair.

I used this shampoo and conditioner several more times to see if it would make any difference in my hair. It seemed to get greasy looking a little bit more quickly than before, and it was a bit more wavy. I didn’t notice any other changes. AND THEN…

One day the texture of the shampoo changed dramatically. It had a much thicker, creamier texture and lathered extremely well. After my shower my hair had lots of volume compared to before. (I had listed volume as a hair goal, so that’s a good thing.) I realized that the shampoo was not mixed well. Nothing with the shampoo had warned me that it needed to be mixed or shaken before using. I was annoyed, but hopeful that the shampoo and conditioner would start working better if I mixed them before each use. However, after mixing them the only difference was that the shampoo was somewhere in between the harsh shampoo I started with and the very volumizing shampoo I got by surprise.

(All I did was have it braided overnight! This is not normal for me! Fun though!)

Overall I’m not impressed with this product. Not only do I like what I was using before better, but what I was using before was also considerably cheaper. I might consider trying this again one day if they add an option to request a gentle shampoo, but I probably won’t be buying again. There are plenty of really positive reviews out there, so I wouldn’t discourage anyone who is interested from buying, but for me, it didn’t turn out so great. I’d rate it a 4/10.

50+ Lolita Meetup Theme Ideas

Every Lolita meetup doesn’t need to have a theme, and in fact it could be weird to attach a theme to a casual meetup. However, if you’re going to put a lot of effort into coordinating a meetup, it could be a good idea to have a theme! A theme can make a Lolita meetup more interesting as people try to dress to match the theme, and activities or food can often be planned to match the theme as well. This in mind, I’ve made a list of 52 possible themes for Lolita fashion meetups! I’ll include activity ideas with some of them, as well. (These ideas are in no particular order)

  • Mystical Forest
  • Neverland
  • Fairy Tales
  • Strawberries
  • Chocolate
  • Flowers (Attend a flower arranging class or visit a botanical garden!)
  • Winter/Holidays
  • Mermaid
  • Old School
  • Disney
  • Music
  • Teddy Bears
  • Love Letters (Have attendees write love letters to each other!)
  • Space
  • Mythical Creatures
  • Perfume (Allow attendees to blend their own essential oils to make their own scent!)
  • Roses
  • Pets
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Halloween (Costume contest – who has the best Lolita costume?)
  • Princess
  • Roomwear / Dreamland
  • Pearls
  • Candy
  • Birds
  • Horror
  • Fall (Have the event somewhere you can see lots of lovely fall leaves!)
  • Jewels
  • Magical Girls
  • Macarons
  • Art
  • Cosmetics
  • Carousel
  • Masquerade
  • Kamikaze Girls
  • Underwater
  • Rococo
  • Easter / Pastel Day
  • Tea (Attend a class about tea, or make something unique with tea, such as soap)
  • Gingham
  • Sanrio
  • Zodiac
  • Fairies
  • Cats
  • Sky
  • Bambi / Fawn
  • Harry Potter
  • Country (Have a picnic!)
  • Pirates
  • OTT
  • Gothic
  • Victorian Christmas

There you have it, 50 themes! I don’t claim that these are all my original ideas, though it did take me a bit of brain storming to come up with the list. You might try to brainstorm your own original theme. Things to consider in coming up with your own theme are:

  • How hard is this theme to dress for?
  • If it is difficult, do attendees have enough notice to buy or make something to match this theme?
  • Should I try to broaden this theme? (Example “Mermaids” could be broadened to “Neverland,” which includes mermaids, pirates, fairies and other potential outfit inspiration.)

I hope this list was able to help you plan your next Lolita meetup!

Wardrobe Goals

I intended to work on this post much earlier in the year and shortly after finishing my wardrobe post, but I’ve been incredibly busy. Better late than never!

This year and last I posted my wardrobe to EGL for the January theme. Those posts can be found here:

This year’s wardrobe post

Last year’s wardrobe post

In 2015 my wardrobe grew a bit in both size and variety. I didn’t get rid of many pieces, (I never do) but I did add some new colors as well as my most elaborate printed dress yet. I also found a new favorite Taobao brand, Doll Paradise. In the upcoming year I’d like to plan my purchases a bit more carefully so I can feel a real sense of improvement in my wardrobe aside from just growth. To accomplish this, I want to set myself some specific goals for the coming months…

Sew Lolita clothing for myself. I’ve had a huge pile of fabric and clothing I intend to alter for years. I rarely work on it at all! It’s time for me to finish my unfinished projects and sew some of my own clothing.

Flesh out what colors I have instead of adding new ones. I’d really like some green or deep purple in my wardrobe, but first I need to add some shoes and accessories in colors like sax blue, lavender, navy and red so I can make better coordinates with what main pieces I already have.

Get shoes that are comfortable enough that I can wear them at a convention without hating myself for the next week! I have some really gorgeous pale pink and black shoes from Bodyline, but they hurt so much. After wearing them for most of Nekocon my two big toes were numb for approximately two months. I think I caused nerve damage. Yikes.

On that note, I’d also like to stop buying from Bodyline at all. I haven’t had any main pieces from them in a while because I never seem to like them as much as my other pieces, but I’ve really enjoyed buying their shoes as they’re really the most convenient place to get shoes from and have done me well in the past. However, after seeing other Lolitas’ negative experiences with their shoes and because I don’t want to support Mr. Yan, I think it’s time for me to stop purchasing from them altogether.

Have at least one brand new outfit for Nekocon! I don’t mind wearing the same thing twice at all, but Nekocon is a really big event for me. While I want to focus on things other than main pieces, I still want to have a really good new one for Nekocon.

Reading through my list, it seems that the first thing I should really focus on is shoes. Wish me luck finding ones I love!

House of Novelty (Aliexpress) Review!

Recently I placed an order with “House of Novelty” on AliExpress. http://www.aliexpress.com/store/613287

My friend Krista found this store and thought they would be great for goody bag contents for our next big Lolita meetup. They have all kinds of cute and weird items, mainly stationery, and the prices in many cases seem like they might be too good to be true. She ordered a few things to double check that they came out fine before I made a big order, and she said it was all good so I went ahead!

I ordered various items for goody bags, and for myself I got a set of Hello Kitty makeup brushes in a cute pink tin from them for $4.

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Shipping: Some of the items said they might take over a month to ship, so I made sure to order early enough that it wouldn’t be a problem if they took the maximum ship time. A package arrived from them well ahead of schedule, and I put it to the side because I wanted to review it when I opened it. A week or two later, another package arrived. This package was so badly crushed and beaten that I had difficulty figuring out how to open it. The box it was sent in was made of a very weak cardboard, and not fit to ship. When I opened it I was glad I had been careful opening it, because most of the items were just floating around inside, not wrapped in any way. I was really shocked that nothing was broken after double checking the contents, and then decided to check the first package. The first package was also poorly put together on the inside, and had there been any kind of tear in the packaging, things could have just leaked out one by one. I was disappointed by this, and confused that they had sent two packages without notifying me, as each package had some of each type of item haphazardously mixed in, it wasn’t as if some items had to be sent later or from a different place. Everything I ordered was included in the correct quantity, so I figured it was fine.

Quality of items: The Rilakkuma sticky note sets I ordered were all individually wrapped and well-printed, and the mini-highlighters were all perfect as well. The pens were super cute, very sturdy, and from the barcode on each seemed to be legitimate Sanrio items. What was strange about the pens was that they were filled with blue ink. This wasn’t mentioned in the item description, but there wasn’t anything specifically saying that the ink would be black, either. I wondered if these were defective Sanrio items that the seller had somehow gotten ahold of. It seems possible. The size of the makeup brushes surprised me, since I hadn’t paid close attention to the measurement in the description. I was expecting full-sized brushes, but what I got was right in-between full-size and mini-size brushes. I hadn’t seen makeup brushes in a size like this before. At first it seemed like they might be inconvenient, but I ended up really liking them and using them every time I apply makeup. Because of the small size, the tin fits nicely into my makeup bag and the brushes are a nice quality. The plastic macaron “ring boxes” were the only items I could have any real problem with. Most of them were great, but a handful of them were misshapen and the two halves didn’t want to stay together. Regardless, these were a fun and very cheap item, so if you want to get some I just recommend ordering a few extra just in case.

Overall I would say this is a neutral/positive review. There were some definite issues with shipping and some small issues with some of the items, but for the prices I paid it’s really hard to complain. I would recommend them to anyone trying to put together goody bags for an event, or to anyone who just wants some of the cute and silly novelty items they have. (Like the squirrel plushie neck pillow!!) Just make sure you order well in advance in case you have any issues, (and because shipping can take some time) and if you’re making a large order for goody bags it wouldn’t hurt to get a few extra of anything that looks like it might be flimsy.

Kawaii Shop Japan Review

Recently I needed some stationery and flake stickers, so I placed an order with Kawaii Shop Japan. I chose them because they had a very wide selection of both cute Japanese stationery and cute Japanese flake sticker sacks.

Ordering: At the time I found them they were on hiatus, but they came back when promised and I was able to place my order in time for the event I needed them for. Their website was fairly easy to use, however I had some confusion when it came to shipping options. There were no cost estimates for the several shipping options, so I chose EMS since I almost always get EMS shipping from Asian countries.

Customer service / shipping: They promptly invoiced me, but I was surprised at the cost of shipping, which was very high for a small package. I asked what the cost of registered air mail would be instead, and that very same day they gave me cost estimates for each type of shipping and said it was fine if I needed to switch. I was very pleased with this, because registered air mail was indeed cheaper, but registered SAL was considerably cheaper than either of the other registered shipping options, and therefore the best option for me. I was happy that they pointed this out to me! They told me they would ship the next business day. 2 days later they told me they had shipped the package and provided me with the tracking number, apologizing for not having shipped the day they had said they would. Since it was only one day later this wasn’t a problem at all, but it was nice that they apologized regardless. At this point I was extremely satisfied with their customer service and told them so. I received the package not long afterwards and found that they were sturdily packed in an envelope and sandwiched between cardboard to protect from folding.

Merchandise: I was delighted to see that some free gifts were included. These extras were wrapped in plastic wrap, then clearly marked, so that it looked like the word “Extras” was written on the stationery. I found this cute. Here are some pictures of the extras:

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Everything I bought was in good condition and as described in the listing. Here are some pictures:

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In the end I was extremely satisfied with this purchase and would definitely go to them again and recommend them for any Kawaii stationery needs! The prices were good, the customer service was excellent, and the products were lovely.

 

 

Happy Birthday to Me

A week ago was my birthday! (It was on Thanksgiving this year, actually) I had a birthday party and my good friends came and looked cute and brought me cute presents. For my birthday party I wore the outfit that I had originally planned for Saturday at Nekocon but ended up not wearing. We had lots of food (including macarons!) and earl grey tea from Discover Teas.

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Here are the lovely presents my friends got me!

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My mom got me some makeup from Too Faced, Heather got me macarons from Hummingbird Macarons, my little sister got me some Hello Kitty socks with aloe in them, Alycia got me three pairs of brand socks, and Krista got my nail glitter and lotion for applying in the corner of the eye. Krista also decorated a tiny, super cute layer cake for me! I loved it. I realy appreciate all of the lovely presents. ♡

I spent 6 hours of my actual birthday in the car, but I still had a good time. I wore a lazy Lolita outfit, (no petticoat and tennis shoes) and I got to pet lots of animals, which is probably my favorite thing to do! Here are all the cute friends I got to pet!

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Thanks for reading! ♡

I’ve started a blog!

Hello and welcome to my blog! My name is Jessie-Kate and I’ve been a Lolita for a looong time. For years I’ve been thinking about starting a blog, but I would tell myself I didn’t have time or that I wouldn’t keep up with it. Now I’m here and determined to do my best!

Why “Pumpkin Princess”? Most of the time on the internet, I just go by Princess Jessie-Kate. A long time ago I used to follow and adore Princess Skye’s blog, the Princess Portal. Eventually this blog closed down and now it can only be found through the Wayback Machine, but at the time I was very inspired by this blog. I started referring to myself as a princess and have ever since. But why pumpkin, you ask? Well, just because I love pumpkins and always, always have. I was born around Thanksgiving and even when my birthday isn’t on Thanksgiving I would often ask for a pumpkin pie instead of a birthday cake! I get excited for pumpkin desserts every time fall is coming up and lament the fact that stores don’t stock canned pumpkin in other seasons. I love pumpkin! (But it’s also such a cute word, isn’t it?)

On this blog I plan to post pictures from Lolita events, reviews, the occasional Lolita discussion and possibly some tutorials! Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy what’s to come!