Thursday, November 24, 2011

Steph's Birthday Party

Last Saturday night was Steph's birthday party. She and another pal (who was also celebrating his birthday) had booked the VIP lounge of Zouk so we didn't have to bother with jostling with the crowd and fighting for a table or space. After combining her friends and the other birthday guy's friends, there were like 30 of us or so, quite a large group that night. I can't remember everyone so I'd rather not randomly slap pictures of their faces here, especially since I'm not really friends with them.

I was on photography duty that night so there's very little pictures of me, as I was busy trying to capture all the action that was going on that night.

Steph (second from the left), the rest of the girls and I. Yes, my DIY flower clip is pretty big, and I was teased quite abit by Steph's bf bout it. Ironic much, since Steph has a similar flower too and funny thing was, she mentioned that she had initially wanted to wear her flower and the same Vivienne Westwood necklace that we both have (albeit hers is red whilst mine is the pink version), which I wore that night. It also funny considering we never once decided to get those similar things together, we just somehow procured them on our own and ended up realising we have similar ones.

Samanth and I. I ended up chatting with her a fair bit during the night, it was a pity that she had to leave early.

Lets see if I remember the names of Steph's "brothers" clearly, from left: Shin, Clarence and Amos, I think. They were extremely fun to play and chat with and they definitely made the night really fun.

The evening started out fun, but deteriorated quickly. Quite alot of things happened too fast and too furious to get a proper grip on what was happening, and somehow I think I ended up drinking something that I was allergic to.

I ended up with incredibly puffy and swollen eyes for 3 days after that night and my skin itched like mad for 2 nights. Till now, I have no idea what caused it but I do know that drinking and partying the night away still isn't something I can envision myself doing every weekend. It's definitely fun, but just not my cup of tea and I definitely like my wine and sweet, girly cocktails over mixers and shots any night.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Personal Outfit 74 (Music to Sooth the Soul)

Ah! I have assignments to finish and an exam to prepare for, but I can't seem to get round to doing either one of them. Procrastination at its finest I guess....

Haven't had the chance to dress up lately due to school, plus I haven't gotten anything new for awhile so I often end up staring blankly at my bursting wardrobe and still can't find anything to wear. I should probably get some new clothes soon I guess. Anyway, the Bf took my camera with him to his holiday so no pictures till he returns but I managed to take a quick but blurry picture with my iphone of my last outfit when I was out shopping for Steph's birthday gift.

Top: Glad News

Shorts (hidden): Can't remember

Over-knee socks: Cosmode

Shoes: Gal Star

Bag: Taobao

I haven't been sleeping well lately, I tend to sleep for abit and then wake up with a jolt and it'll be a couple hours before I manage to roll myself back to sleep. Not quite sure why its happening but I find listening to the opening song of this anime, Dantalian No Shoka aka Bibliotheca Mystica de Dantalian helps me relax and get back to sleep alot faster.

Its sung in a mixture of Latin, Italian and French and I love the lyrics to bits. Its also rather interesting that Gainax worked with lolita giants Baby, The Stars Shine Bright and Alice and the Pirates, for wardrobe designs for the characters in the anime. Too bad the anime had a rushed ending, perhaps to poor reviews since its not really something the mass audience would appreciate I guess.

Cras Numquam Scire (Tomorrow is Never to Know)

The moon speaks faintly
In a voice unheard by all
of the ever-repeating rise of the tide
are the sights of the moon's vanishing memory

The stars record arcanely
in letters known by none
of infinite, swirling words
that birth books beyond count

The sky is too vast for one such as me
and the pace of time is far too swift
Forever lost
the words gathered for naught
will simply rot away inside the earth

Yet still, I will clamor.
I will raise my voice, not knowing why
May my echoes reach the heavens
And before long, a new sun will rise

The moon speaks faintly
In a voice unheard by all
of the ever-repeating rise of the tides
are the sights of the moon's vanishing memory

The stars record arcanely
in letters known by none
of infinite, swirling words
that birth books beyond count

The sky is too vast for one such as me
and the pace of time is far too swift
Forever lost
the words gathered for naught
will simply rot away inside the earth

Yet still, I will clamor
I will riase my voice, not knowing why
May my echoes reach the heavens
And before long, a new sun will ris

The despicable darkness answered me,
saying none has ever seen the future.
I reach my hands into the empty sky,
and grasp the cold wind.

Oh, despair, blow through me!
All dreams and agonies shall be left in the past.
In the faint twilight above the sleeping earth,
I will walk forward
towards the tomorrow that is yet unseen.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Aftermath of AFA (Anime Festival Asia) 2011

I'm finally gonna write about AFA (Anime Festival Asia) 2011, after having to recuperate for 2 days. Its my least favourite event so far, the crowd was insane with nowhere to move about, there was zero attempt at crowd control, my prop for my second day of cosplay got partially destroyed by some kids who snatched them out of my hands while their parents happily told them to pose for pictures, and there were many other issues.

I usually get all motivated and pumped to do more cosplays after an event and I go nuts to the point I search for any cosplay available and try to convince myself that I might actually achieve them all. But with this event, I feel nothing but drained emotionally, mentally and totally demoralised whereby I question why am I doing cosplay in the first place? Perhaps its abit too much to have all these emotions after a lousy event but questions like that were running through my head throughout the 2 days recuperating. However, I know it won't stop me from doing something I love, I'll just get my kicks from eleewhere I guess haha.

Anyway, some good things were, I managed to meet Usagi (an awesome photographer) after such a long time and he introduced me to these 3 lovely cosplayers from Thailand. They were so sweet and pretty and they gave out some Thai milk candy and a Pretz snack with a unique flavour only available in Thailand. Its called "Larb" and from what I remember, its a savoury stir-fried meat dish.

I doubt I'll be able to find much good quality pictures taken at the event due to the massive crowd and poor lighting, so these are the ones taken at a photography booth conveniently located inside the event hall.

Did Freya from Chobits on Saturday

Cosplayed Panty on Sunday with Esther as Stocking. The Bf helped us make our weapons and it actually lights up with the push of a button, thanks to the built in LED lights.

Another picture taken at another background at the booth. I don't think I did a good job as Panty, so I'll try to change up the wig and outfit for the shoot and hopefully, I'll channel her better.

Oh yes, before I forget, I was actually featured on the Japanese version of Youtube, called Nico Nico Douga. I was interviewed on both days so if you do manage to track down the video of me, please link it to me as I can't seem to locate it. I really wanna read the funny comments that the Japanese made as they watched the interview.

The next cosplay event is in December so I'll see how it goes, I gotta start preparing for next year's events too, I have about 4 other costumes that I feel like doing, so I gotta save up!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Kuroshitsuji II Shoot From Long Ago

Tomorrow is the much anticipated AFA (Anime Festival Asia) event (well technically it starts today but cosplay starts tomorrow). I'm not 100% excited about it to be honest, because of some stuff that have changed my initial plans from before, such as I'll be cosplaying as a solo character tomorrow because Esther couldn't get her preferred costume in time and thus she's joined some other friends for another series and I'm scrambling to finish my props at the last moment for Sunday's cosplay.
However, in the meantime, I'll show some of the results from my last shoot. I cosplayed Alois Trancy once again and with my other friend, Kazu as Claude Faustus. There are some other pictures still with my photographer because it requires some photoshopping and he hasn't had the time to get round to editting them. The weather was incredibly warm and humid that day so wearing our thick, layered costumes didn't help much in an outdoor location infested with bugs and mosquitoes.

This shot was inspired by a picyture of Alois standing by the staircase in his home. Too bad I don't have a large mansion to pose by so this outdorr stairs had to do. Pardon the stray lock of hair by my eyes too.

Love this picture alot. It was inspired by another art picture and I had to try to make my face as sad and pitiful as I possibly could. Luckily my drama class acting lessons came in handy to produce this look haha.
I don't actually like how I look in this picture but I think Kazu really embodied Claude's evil persona in this shot, so I figured it'll be such a waste to not let people see this amazing shot of him.
Love the colours of this shot
Kenneth (the photographer) & I played a game of chess whilst waiting for Kazu to get ready, and he took this shot of me after finishing a round of the game. In case you're wondering, I lost badly, I'm a terrible player of chess. Also pardon my fat thighs (>.<)"
This shot was inspired by how Ciel was constantly portrayed as the Black King chess piece in the first season of Kuroshitsuji and considering Alois is his arch nemesis in season 2, I figured it would be fitting for him to be represented as the white king.
A slightly embarassing shot of me trying to show Alois in a "sexy" pose that Kenneth was asking for. This was the best I could come up with and already a girl on Deviantart has written some very strange but funny comments about Alois in this pose. If you're a fan of the Yaoi and Boys Love genre, you should get an idea of the stuff that has been left in my comment box.

Despite having my plans all cancelled for next year, I've already confirmed bout 3 plans with another friend called Shiro and I'm also considering 2 other potential cosplays. The only problem is, the other 2 require showing quite abit on skin, well one has a skirt to cover but the other is a plunging neckline that stops just short of the crotch area. So I'm still giving them some thought, but a little voice in my head keeps urging me to give them a try. I'll see how it goes, might just do a shoot for them just to staisfy my urge to cosplay them without actually having to parade half naked in ront of hundreds of other people.

In the meantime, do look for me tomorrow and on Sunday if you wanna get a coscard from me. I've printed quite a large amount so I should have enough for almost everyone. I'll be re-cosplaying Freya from Chobits tomorrow and then Panty the school uniform version from the anime Panty & Stocking. I'm guessing our weapons are the only ones with LED lights in them, this year, but you'll never know. I also apologise ahead of time if I don not recognise you at the event, I'm quite bad at recognsigin people and its alot more difficult when you're in full costume and makeup for cosplay.

Anyway, I wanna thank Kazu for being a wonderful partner for this shoot. It would be great if we could work together again in the future.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Makeup Review: Candydoll & Canmake Blush Comparison

Today I'm gonna be doing a comparison and a review of sorts of the 3 blushes that I constantly use in my makeup kit. The 3 blushes in this comparison are: Candydoll blush in Strawberry Pink, Canmake Cheek Powder in PW20 "Lollipop Pink" and Canmake Cream Cheek in Shade 03 "Strawberry Whip".

A short background on each blush:

  • Candydoll is produced by Gyaru model, Tsubasa Masuwaka. The Strawberry Pink colour shade is a rather unique colour that cannot be easily duplicated and is often shown being paired with the lighter Peach Pink blush or Marshmallow Purple highlighter.

  • Canmake is a Japanese drugstore brand that sells pretty good quality products for reasonable prices. The Cheek Powder in shade PW20 is the most popular in the range and is often ranked in top 3 favourite blush category in alot of gyaru magazines especially Popteen. The Cream Cheek shade on the otherhand, is a newer product hence it hasn't gained as much recognition as its powder cousin.

The 3 blush in today's comparison. It was only after putting these 3 side by side did I realise that the 2 Canmake colours have a peachy undertone as compared to the pure pink colour of the Candydoll blush

Left is without flash and right is with flash

From left: Candydoll blush, followed by Canmake's powder blush and finally Canmake's cream blush. Also note that it took 4-5 swipes of the Canmake powder blush for the colour to appear this way, whereas Canmake cream blush took 3 swipes and Candydoll only took 2 swipes.

As the picture shows, Candydoll is the most pigmented of the 3 blushes, the 2 Canmake blush are lighter in shade in comparison. Hence, when it comes to application, Candydoll usually requires just a single swirl of the brush that often picks up enough blush for each side of the cheek. Canmake Powder blush on the other hand, requires multiple applications before you actually see a build up of colour on the cheek, but that can be useful if you want just a light pink of colour that is barely there or you wanna slowly build up the colour. I apply the Canmake cream blush and blend it out gently with my fingers and upon application, the cream becomes slowly develops a powdery finish. Like the powder versions, the colour is buildable and can easily be blended out with other shades.

However, between the 3, Canmake's powder blush is my least favourite, because, it requires a great number of applications before I see any colour on my cheeks and considering how small the palette is, I need to constantly swirl my brush around causing a great deal of fallout of the product. The colour is pretty nonetheless and lasts for a fairly long time, but it would help if it was a tad more pigmented so that I needn't get a workout everytime I apply it. My last palette took me about a year to finish it and that was after daily use.

Canmake's Cream blush is a cosplayer's/model's best friend. The colour is light in real life and unlike most powder blushes, it actually shows up pretty well in pictures even if one is subjected to awful strong flashes from the camera. It's a must for me to apply it at every single cosplay event or shoot to achieve the sweet anime look most of the anime girls seem to have. The cream blush gives one a glowy blush that seems to radiate from within and the colour lasts for hours, also it doesn't dry out quickly unlike cheek stains so you needn't worry about getting uneven patches of blush on your cheeks. With that, this blush has a permanent place in my makeup kit and I'm getting a new palette pretty soon (I'm scraping off the edges from my current palette). A palette will be able to last for about a year, even if you apply it everyday.

Candydoll's Strawberry pink blush is my latest addition to my collection and I've loved it from the first application. The colour is vibrant but blends well with the rest of my makeup and vcan easily be toned up or down with the amount applied. I use it alone for simpler makeup or combined with the Canmake cream blush when applying heavier makeup. However, my gripes for this product is that firstly, being so pigmented means that you have to be extremely careful when applying the product. If you go crazy and swirl the blush like mad with a brush, you're gonna end up looking like a cartoon character. Go light and easy with the product application and you'll have a very nice pink blush. Also, the palette size is rather small so be careful of product fallout, but with its high pigmentation and containing 5g of the product inside that small palette, the blush would probably last more then a year of daily application.

In summary:

Canmake Cheek Powder in PW20 "Lollipop Pink":

  • Colour Intensity: 5/10

  • Price: 8/10 (can't remember exact price but I know it isn't very expensive)

  • Lasts for about a year

  • Barely shows up in pictures whne applied on its own

Canmake Cream Cheek in 03 "Strawberry Whip" :

  • Colour Intensity: 7/10

  • Price: 8/10 ($17.90 per palette)

  • Also lasts for about a year

  • Bonus points for showing up extremely well in pictures

Candydoll Blush in Strawberry Pink:

  • Colour Intensity: 11/10 (unlike the other 2 which you can apply them quite liberally, apply this blush with a light hand to avoid looking like a clown)

  • Price: 7/10 (can't remember the exact price but I remember paying over $20 for it)

  • Will definitely last over a year if applied with a light hand

  • Shows up fairly well in pictures but results are best when its combined with the Canmake cream blush

Okay, that's the end of this post that ended up far longer then I had intended. I might do a comparison between my peachy/orange shades of blush next time, we'll see....

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Traumatised by Palty & New Hair Color

I have a beef with Palty hair products, after they caused my last hair disaster. Considering the number of DIY at-home kits on the market, I figured the chance of something going terribly wrong would be pretty slim. I was proven wrong.

First, I tried using the Palty bleach spray, hoping it would help me deal with my roots for abit. After a week of spraying and blowng dry and letting it sit for an hour each day, the results were.... nothing! I didn't see any difference in anyway with my hair.

Upset at the spray's utter failure, I figured it was time to bring out the big guns. I got myself two boxes of Palty's Natural Brown bleach (they cost $13.90 a box), steeled myself into doing it and even roped in my sister for help to getting the back of my head done.

After 2 hours, a fist-sized pile of hair being pulled out of my head, choking on the smell of ammonia throughout the ordeal, and traumatizing my sister into declaring she'll never ever be a hairdresser even if her writing gig fails, the results were this:

The left was my hair after using the bleach spray for a week, and the right was after the bleach dye.

I had an amazing rainbow of colors on my head after the bleach dye. The roots on the top were bleached brown, but there were parts which remained black especially the back of my head. I had parts of my hair looking like my old blonde hair and other sections looking more like a golden blonde. My pink section got bleached out to a faded pink and the best part, the hair on the top of the back of my head got fried till I started getting those weird curly bits.

I was so distraught at the results of my hair after the bleach dye that I got very depressed and when I went out, I would either wear a wig or would bun up my hair and tuck it under a hat. I also made an emergency call to my hairdresser to try and rescue my horrible hair.

When I got to the salon, appalled, would be a very gentle word to use at my hairdresser's reaction. She was jumping around and flinging conditioning products onto my hair and demanded I promise her to not bleach my hair till the damaged parts had grown out. Then, she proceeded to work her magic on my hair and managed to salvage it.

The result, after 3 hours of dyeing and steam treatment. She dyed my hair back to the same brown I had before it faded out, the colour that Esther calls raspberry brown. I also requested for pink lowlights, but my hairdresser didn't have a nice pink dye, so we decided to dye it purple and let it fade out to the the nice pink I had before. I quite like the current combination, it reminds me very much of when Sakurina gets black highlights done because my purple parts look black unless there is a strong light.

The bright idea I had to try and use a box dye to save some money totally backfired on me. I ended up spending alot more money then I initially thought, firstly on the horrible wasted boxed bleach, and then going back to the salon and fixing the horrendous result.

Lesson learnt, I'll just stick to the expertise of my hairdresser next time, instead of attempting to be smart and cheap.