September 13

Custom Engraved Lipstick

Here in Japan, occasionally I’m brought up short by a completely unexpected question.

In the line at the supermarket: “Would you like that fruit gift-wrapped?”

At the post office, trying to mail a package of weird snacks to friends: “I need to tell you that if you list ‘snacks’ on the customs form, your package might be opened and some of the contents confiscated because U.S. customs thinks food coming from Japan is radioactive.”

And yesterday, at the cosmetics counter at Matsuya Ginza: “Would you like your name engraved on your lipstick?”

It was free! (Well, “free,” except that the current yen/dollar exchange rate makes buying a lipstick like buying a small car, but I digress.) I gave the saleswoman my card so she knew how to spell my name, chose a heart motif over leaves, and a few minutes later she returned with my customized lipstick!

Jonelle Patrick is the author of the Only In Tokyo mystery series, now out for the first time in paperback

More Nightshade book goodness here, in case you think you might want to, you know, read it or something

A young woman is found dead in an abandoned car, with a pair of strangers old enough to be her parents. Their suicide note apologizes for a disaster that hasn’t yet happened. And someone is stalking the…read more

…or watch the book trailer (0:52)