Monday, June 17, 2013

Simple Cosplay makeup (Nanami Haruka's Makeup)

 A couple of people have asked how do I do my makeup for cosplay, it's not really rocket science but I do have to admit it takes plenty of trials and experiementing. My first few cosplays had pretty lousy makeup but I learnt from there. Okay less talk and more getting into it! I'll be demonstrating my cosplay makeup for the character Nanami Haruka from the Uta Prince series, she's rather plain so I'd thought it'll be a good first introduction.
Firstly, research the character, watch the show or read the manga to find out more about their personality. Are they sweet, genlte and mild-mannered? Or fiesty with a penchant for shouting and hurling things around? These information will actually help you in your makeup to a certain extent. It's also good to save pictures of different views of the character especially if they have unique quirks such as scars or unusual eyebrows.

One of the most important part of cosplay makeup, the base. You need to create porcelain perfect skin for both guys and girls, and very few of us have it so here's my cheat. I use a Base to even out everything (mine is Morning Kiss from Guardian), then I apply Makeup Forever HD Liquid foundation (review coming soon), Concealer to cover imperfections (Covermark Japan) and then powder foundation over everything (Cezanne) to make sure everything is set and doesn't budge. You don't have to use the same products that I do but personally, I find a liquid and powder combo works best for my oily combination skin in my humid country. Don't worry about the base looking thick and mask-like, the camera washes away most of it so you need to apply with a heavier hand.

Nanami has orange hair but plain brows that look like just 2 lines, so I'm sticking to natural brown shades. Some people prefer to match their brows to their wig colour, that is up to you. For me, as long as the brows aren't obvious, or undefined, I will just use normal brown colours. My makeup of choice here are: Dollywink brow powder, Dollywink brow pencil and Kate eyebrow mascara. The eyebrow mascara helps to cover most of the natural black eyebrows that I have, the rest are just to define the shape. Also note the character's eyebrow shape and personality, gentle characters have mildly curved brows but fiercer characters have sharper brows to emphasise their personality

Here is a picture of me with my base and eyebrows done, unfortunately my brows can't really be seen. I know I look rather pale and sickly, but that's because everything else has been washed out. 

Next step is eye makeup, to achieve that wide-eyed anime girl look, contouring using eyeshadows is a must. You won't get the same results by simply drawing an inch of eyeliner, it'll just make you look like a panda. Even guy makeup looks better with some form of eye contouring with shadow though eyeliner does most of the emphasising. With most characters, I stick to a neutral ivory, gold and brown palette unless the character has a defined colour for their makeup such as Blue Rose from Tiger & Bunny. I use eyelid tape (from Daiso) to emphasis my double eyelids as mine are hidden so from afar, they look like single eyelids. Eyeshadow is also from Daiso and liquid liner from Heroine Make. Liquid liner helps to create those sharp, defined flicks at the end, gel and pencil can't create the same effect 

After eyelid tape, eyeshadow and liquid liner, my eyes are are more defined now. Don't forget to use the liquid liner to line the inner corners of your eyes to define them further, it also makes your eyes look bigger. Use a fast drying liquid liner for it, and with alittle practise, you'll get the hang of it.

Next is more eyeliners and lashes. Use the liquid liner (Heroine make) to define any tips such as inner eye corners and flicks at the outer eyes. Use black pencil liner (Sana Super Quick Slanted liner)to line the top waterline of your eyelid, it takes some getting used to but at least you won't have a "space" between your eye and lashes, it also helps make your eyes appear larger. Brown pencil (Dollywink) is for defining the crease on my eyelid, just follow the crease with your eyes opened and extend it alittle bit further in front and at the back, this will give the illusion of deeper set eyes. White pencil (Splash!) lines the waterline of my lower lid, to look fresher and enlarge it just by that tiny bit. I personally detest the look where girls draw a whole patch of white below their natural eyes to give the illusion of larger anime eyes, it doesn't work and I personally find it horrifying to look at.

After everything, the lashes used on my upper lids are simple neutral ones from Daiso and Dollywink no. 5 for my lower lids. Lashes were chosen based on the plainness of Nanami's character, for more glam characters, I go full-on out with drag queen style heavy lashes sometimes, even stacking lashes to create the desired look.

After my eyes are done, I countour my face. I do this last as I do not want the colours of my face clashing with my eyes, but it's not necessary to follow my style. Bronzer (Bahama Mama) is used to sharpern my cheekbones, pink cream blush (Canmake) and pink powder blush (Candydoll) were used as the character is innocent and cute, for mature characters, I use a deeper more mature wine blush. For small boys and guys I use a hint of peach just for definition. Purple highlighter (Candydoll) to highlight cheekbones, nose and chin.

After application, I know it looks heavy but trust me, in cameras, pictures and even after putting on your wig, everything gets washed out.

Last parts of my makeup, contour kit (Daiso) and highlighter (Sephora) for my nose to sharpern it, lipbalm (Korres) to moisturise my lips as flaky lips don't look good. If you really want to be accurate, most anime characters have nude lip colours, but for girls, I gravitate towards a pink lip, just to emphasis their femininity and it works especially well for cute girls. Fiercer girls tend to get a more reddish-hue or a nude lip, but guys are just plain nude with the tiniest hint of gloss. I used a lip stain (Anna Sui) and applied copious amounts of gloss (Elf) for this event. I finally set everything with some losse powder (Palgantong) and also used a makeup setting spray that I forgot to show here.

After contouring my nose and applying the lip products, my look is complete!

here is a picture of me during the event, as you can see, the result is quite natural despite looking heavy in the initial pictures.

The most basic advise I can give is to experiment with styles, different people have different face shapes and eye shapes, so they require different methods of contouring, drawing eyeliner etc. Also remember to apply heavier then you normally would, if you think its too heavy in real life, it's probably just nice in front of cameras. Stage and performance makeup follow the same logic as the glaring lights wash out almost everything in the end.

Most of all, just have fun, no one does anything perfectly the first few tries, so give yourself a break if you don't do well intially.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Style Icon: Yuu Kamazawa

One of my key style icons that got me into my current looks is non other then Yuu Kamazawa, also known as Youchama the singer or Yuutuntun on Twitter.

Girl's got a knack for having fantastic hair in varying colours

She often makes her own accessories and clothes such as these adorable sunglasses

I first took notice of her when she kept appearing on her unique style and eye-catching hair intrigued me

She does funky and sweet so well and it's amazing how she looks so good with  the different hair colours

One of the sweeter coordinates, she mixes alot of vintage and handmade stuff with store bought clothes, creating a truly unique look of her own.

Yuu truly moves to her own beat and wears whatever she likes. It's bit difficult to point down a single style of hers as she's constantly surprising me with her coordinates, but from what I've seen, she likes tights/socks and large accessories and ofc ourse, how could we miss her ever colourful hair.

She was the beginning of my shift from gyaru as I was constantly blown away by how funky she looked and how she managed to reuse the same coordinates in different ways to produce different looks.

You can find her at:

Twitter: @yuutuntun
Her singer name is Youchama and she currently has a single out on itunes
Instagram: @yuukumazawa

Monday, June 10, 2013

Music & Friends for the Weary Soul

Had a minor breakdown at work last week due to the built-up stress from having to manage so many things. Looking back now, I probably made a mountain out of a molehill but at that moment, I felt a huge weight pressing upon me.

Met up with darling Steph again to watch her performing with her band. Her band, Zefyr, was the only non-Japanese band among the line-up and the bar was packed with mostly Japanese people supporting their friends. It felt like an escape of sort, to hear an unfamiliar tongue rolling about as people laughed & chatted with each other.

The amazing Zefyr!! From left: Peter the guitarist, Alvin the drummer , Izu the vocalist, Steph as bassist and Si Wei as the other guitarist.

Zefyr performing on stage, too bad Peter isn't in this pic, he's probably at the other end of the stage

Other friends that day, Jared and Mio

Steph made a new friend, think his name is Masaki, quite a funny dude and his pictures are amazing!

Picture of all the other bands, at least the ones that stayed till the end. Was surprised to watch a high school band performing songs from English bands such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, they also had quite a few fangirls, probably schoolmates of theirs, watching them perform

Of course, I had to put in a picture of Steph performing

Camwhore while having a smoke break and waiting for her turn to perform, no idea what am I looking at LOL
Tried out a different style of makeup that day, I elongated instead of widening my eyes, also placed blush just on the top of my cheekbones and used a stronger coloured lipstick. Love my short wig, I'm always tempted to chop my hair short everytime I wear this wig, but it'll be a pain to style it the same way.
Super simple outfit:
Leopard beret: Accessorize
Shirt: Forever 21
Ripped Jeans: GoJane
Creepers: Taobao
Cross necklace: Taobao
Spiked bracelet: Bought in KL
Chain & leather bracelet: Taobao
There was free flow of food and drinks for the remaining people, didn't really eat much but I had a few glasses of beer and enjoyed this amazing whisky, paired it mostly with coke. Most of the guys were surprised that I enjoyed it :/ I do have quite a high tolerance for alcohol

The weekends fly by too fast now, and I need to get stuff prepared for my cosplay event in July, luckily it's just a simple headband hat should be ready within a few days

Friday, June 7, 2013

Anime Matsuri 2013

Attended the Anime Matsuri event held last Saturday at Funan Mall with Minichaos. Selicia wasn't able to jon us as she had a shoot that same day :(

The event was small, tiny to be honest but at least I was able to catch up with some friends and I finally got to use this costume of mine, that had been stuffed in a corner for the longest time. I was cosplaying Nanami Haruka from Uta Prince once again, this time in the S.A.S uniform, though technically she doesn't have an official version of the costume, just inspired versions from the guys.
Mini cosplaying as Cecil, I think she looks adorable as him! Being an unofficial uniform has its perks, I decided to use the sailor hat as part of my costume as I felt it looked cuter then a rigid, formal hat. Mini also kindly helped make for me the shoulder details and the rope decoration around my arm 

Met up with Kitska (the one in the blue wig) and Tessie (in orange wig), they were also cosplaying characters from Uta Prince, but the casual outfits version. I also met Milodrums aka Janice for the first time, she was cosplaying Zuko from the Avatar Last Airbender series and it's such a small, small world. Janice has been friends with Steph for quite a few years now, LOL so I was really surprised by our connection

Met up with Akairi, her wig suits her so so well!! Doesn't she look just adorable? The dude photobombing us is Vaxzone, the amazing photographer

With Kazu, if you find him familiar, that's because he cosplayed as my butler, Claude Faustus when I was cosplaying Alois trancy
With pretty pretty Lawliet, love her amazing cosplays, she does both guys and girls equally well

A full length shot of Mini & my costumes. Mini's smile in this shot really cracks me up

Wandering around the event, MIni and I encountered a couple of amazing surprises!

We met celebrity Japanese cosplayer, Kaname, by total chance as he was wandering around and checking out the booths at the event! He was cosplaying as the character Kurosaki Ichigo from the series, Bleach. Unfortunately, his bodyguards refused to let us take pictures together with him, but they at least allowed us to take pictures of him.

I also managed to track down this cosplayer I had heard was going to the event. He's actually cosplaying King Isley from Claymore. I managed to have a chat with him and convinced him to jon my team for a shoot, it's gonna be so epic!!

At the event, there were a few booths, including one selling raffle tickets to win products from different series, I've never had much luck with these kinds of things, but I figured why not?

I had asked for the Evangelion raffle ticket, but the guy misheard me and gave me the Hello Kitty X Evangelion ticket instead. So I got this pair of socks, was quite miffed at the mistake but luckily the guy was nice enough to swap for me after I told him the mistake.

My eventual buys:Asuka Maid figurine from the raffle (I have her now at my office) and Monster Hunter cat for the bf (tried to get the meat toy but my luck failed me)
I also scored super amazing deals with these figurines!! First was the Penguindrum pair, can you imagine, I got the both of them for only $35!!! I had mistakenly seen the price as $85, but Mini double-checked for me and after realising my mistake I grabbed it instantly!!! The Princess of the Crystal figurine is worth at least $75 on her own, so this was a major score!! The other great bargain I had was an Origami Cyclone figurine from the series Tiger & Bunny, I got him for only $20! He's super fun to maneouver and play with so he entertains me at work right now.

Despite being such a tiny event, it was fun nonetheless and I'm looking forward to any upcoming events.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Museum Trip & Craziness

I finally got to meet my best friend 4eva and ever and ever Steph  today, with our work schedules and other hobbies it's been difficult to meet up. I really missed the honest heart-to-heart talks we always have and her hilarious descriptions of things.

Camwhore with her is always a must!! Though not quite sure why she's pulling a face here LOL

Decided to wear my wig as I'm tired if having normal brown hair, a must for the coporate world ugh! So thought I'd spice things up abit.

Cropped shirt: Candy Stripper
PVC shorts: Salvation Army
studded thigh high socks: Taobao
Velvet flatforms: Taobao
Beanie: Maison Gilfy
Winged backpack: Glad News
Choker: Hellcat Punks
Circle sunglasses: Taobao

We went to have a look at the small but interesting Red Dot Design Museum, saw many may weird and funny things there and the best part bout it was how we were allowed to take pictures and poke and prod pretty much everything on display.

I really really liked this light display but they could have used bulbs with lower wattage, the brightness killed my eyes

Stpeh was seduced by the pretty lights... nooo!! Steph!!! Move away from the light!!!

Played around with this award-winning urinal

Steph said with her red pants, she looked like she was pissing fire hahahahah

Super comfy bed to lie on, so I took a cat nap.. LOL not really, it was placed vertically against the wall

Steph trying to nap only to look like a corpse in rigor mortis hahhahahaah

National geographic documentary in session: "Observe as the foetus rests within the comforts of the mother's womb" ROFL!!! But the tub was awesome, sooo massive!!! Wish I could install it in my home

Steph being all gangsta and shit, just missin the hundred dollar bills within the tub

Saw these and all I could think of was how much they looked like the Kyojins in the latest anime Shingeki no Kyojin
I was so so so interested in this!! It's a small automatic button sewer!! Like seriously how convenient and cool is that?!!

After going nuts and playing with all the exhibits, we took a walk around the area. Lots of cool shophouses with art studios, architect studios, bars, restaurants etc. Though most were closed

Met this friendly "lady", Steph decided to take her out for a date
Luckily the "lady" didn't want to leave me behind!

Finally got a chance to try out Hoshino Coffee!

Had baked curry rice, sooo good!!!! Though I wish the broccoli florets were alittle bigger.

at Hoshino Coffee, you MUST try their famous souffle pancakes. I ordered the normal version, which was served with maple syrup and whipped cream cheese. It had the light texture of a sponge cake but the maple syrup reminded me too much of Mcdonalds, shall try it with honey next time.

It sucks to be working, the weekends fly by in the blink of an eye and the next moment, it's back to the grind. Ugh!