Saturday, March 23, 2013

Japanese Magazines: The Best Part

Koakuma Ageha, March 2013
I've been buying Japanese fashion magazines off and on now for about the last six years or so, ever since I started being interested in the fashion. It started with a couple magazines at an anime convention, then I started subscribing to Scawaii through an online service that would ship the magazine to me every month (about a month after it came out). In the past few years though, since I've been living in close proximity to a Japanese bookstore (both in Maryland and now here in Washington) I've been a regular subscriber of Koakuma Ageha and now KERA. I also have a terrible weakness for impulse magazine buys and love to pick up just about anything that perks my interest after a quick flip through. I love magazines that feature Lolita fashion, nail art, deco, high school fashions, makeup... I tend to be very ecclectic!

I know many people today tend to just download scans of their favorite magazines instead of trying to purchase them outright. I know I have been guilty of the same! However I really believe in supporting the industries that we love and I really love these magazines. Not to mention, when you don't buy the issues outright, you miss out on one of the best parts: the included freebies!

1.Cecil McBee totebag 2. Q-Pot tote and apron 3.Glad News mirror 4. Cath Kidston Kids bento set 5. Eyelashes from Ageha 6. Liz Lisa pouch (currently filled with my makeup from my trip last weekend) 7. Cecil McBee eyelash storage case 8. Liz Lisa Wallet
Many Japanese magazines come with free giveaways packaged with the magazine. Of all the magazines I usually see, gyaru magazines tend to have freebies more regularly. Also, different brands will release a one-off magazine or “mook” (magazine + book) and include a special product. Most recently, Lolita brand Angelic Pretty released such a magazine and included a tote bag featuring one of their most popular prints (mine is currently on it's way here!). I've bought tons of cute things this way from brands like Q-Pot, Cath Kidston, and Sanrio in this way. I think the easiest way to get me to buy a magazine though is to include false eyelashes. I am an absolute SUCKER for false eyelashes and have gotten some amazing sets from both Ageha and Ranzuki.

Koakuma Ageha with included items, Jan 2013 Feb 2013 March 2013
This last weekend I was in Seattle and finally got a chance to pick up my backed up subscriptions of Ageha and KERA. In the years that I've followed KERA I can't ever remember a time when they've included a freebie. Ageha however has been on a roll recently and for the last five months or so have had an included product! I absolutely love that Ageha's freebies are almost all really useful, cute, and relatively good quality (especially for being free with a magazine). These last three issues have all come with a pouch from brands Ravijour, Cecil McBee, and Glad News which you can use for cosmetics, travel, or just about anything. These are my absolute favorite to receive because I have found a million and one uses for them!
CUTiE March 2013, with my new Liz Lisa wallet

I also saw that this issue of CUTiE included a Liz Lisa wallet so I had to pick that up as well. I mean Liz Lisa is one of my favorite brands, I needed a new wallet, it JUST SO HAPPENED to match the Liz Lisa suitcase I was using that weekend... I actually started using the wallet right away and I absolutely love it.

Of course I do actually buy the magazines for themselves as well. Even though I don't read Japanese I find them unbelievably inspiring for me. I actually keep most of the issues for reference when I'm looking for inspiration for an outfit, a design, or even just to get my creative juices flowing again. I still haven't really gotten a chance to pour through all the magazines I picked up (seven in total) so I'm really looking forward to the blossoming of so many new ideas!


  1. Kind of want to pick up that CUTiE issue.. just for that wallet. crap

    My ageha collection is HUEG now. I can't stop :<< I'm just glad the yen lost a bit of value so the mags arent ridiculously priced now..

  2. LOVE the wallet. It's a bit plasticy, but it's still super cute and very functional. I love the fact that it has a little coin pouch inside... so many western wallets don't anymore.

    I've been really thinking about what I'm going to do with all my ageha's when I have to move... still not sure! I subscribe monthly from Kinokuniya (need to re-up right now) so I never notice the price changes. CUTiE only cost me like $10 though and that was a nice surprise!


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