December 31, 2018

Year of Cosplay 2018

Good morning!

The clock keeps ticking and somehow 2018 is already almost past us, how?? Like, I swear every new year feels shorter than the one before it and it's just... extremely anxiety-inducing when you're one of those depressed people who feel like you haven't really achieved anything in your life, rip.

I have really mixed feelings about this year on the cosplay front, but before we get to that I'll do the traditional list of what conventions I attended during 2018:

Okamicon - Sundsvall, Sweden
Kummacon - Oulu, Finland
Närcon - Linköping, Sweden
Chibicon - Oulu, Finland
Skecon - Skellefteå, Sweden

That's 5 cons, even less than last year's personal lowest at 6. I've been feeling like I'm falling out of it, like it's not as enjoyable going to cons as it used to be. The magic and the passion isn't there and I mainly just feel uncomfortable and anxious if I dress up and that kills me as I used to love cosplaying. It's a chore to put on a costume and I feel devastated when I only get ugly photos, if any at all. :( I think I long for something new and different, along with getting to feel better about myself. Not even lying but this year has been horrible regarding my mental health and of course it naturally bleeds into my hobbies and yeah, cosplay isn't an exception. And it didn't help that I lost a dear family member too.

2018 is still notable though because on January I finished my biggest and most badass challenging cosplay prop to date, the Eldaora's Taus from MH4U and I'm really proud of it, even though I could have made it more detailed etc if I wasn't on limited time and resources. I don't think I'll surpass it anytime soon, at least not in the prop department. I definitely want to make more Monster Hunter props and this one gave me a good taste of what it's like to do huge cosplay weapons.

Regarding cosplays I've only worn three costumes to cons, which at least is good in the sense that they were all new cosplays being debuted for the first time, even though two of them I had finished already long before the con. ^^" When I think about it I believe this is the first year on which I haven't recycled a single costume. I did two other cosplays too but those were for review purposes and stay undebuted for now, so I can't really count those as proper photoshoots, which means I haven't done a single photoshoot this year. Ouch.

...
...
...
You know what's coming. 


I'm in this kind of cosplay decline on which I feel bad wearing costumes out to cons and I don't feel inspired to make cosplays but I still want new cosplays and good photos of them, ya know? I'm so conflicted, lmao. I also keep thinking that to ignite that passion again I would need to try something refreshing either go to cons in new countries or start competing or something else that would change the pattern up, as I feel like I've seen everything and it's becoming too repetitive at cons. Also, it concerns me that I'd rather go casual than dress up in cosplay as I can't be bothered and feel too uncomfortable for a myriad of reasons, probably half in my head only but my anxiety has skyrocketed over the past couple years and I just can't act nor think like before. I'm beating myself up over almost everything and I hate how I look in my cosplays – there, I said it.

Here's a little list of what I wore at the cons I attended this year:

Okamicon: I wore my shiny Mightyena gijinka (Pokémon) on Saturday for a short time between my work hours. Otherwise I was in workwear.
Kummacon: Casual, no regrets.
Närcon: No cosplay on Thursday but changed into Hotaru (Samurai Deeper Kyo) on Friday evening once the worst heat had passed. On Saturday I wore Team Aqua Grunt (Pokémon) on the evening to avoid the heat again and on Sunday I only had breakfast at the con and then left.
Chibicon: I was geeky casual and part of the work force.
Skecon: No cosplay as I worked and had a worker t-shirt.

If I have to pick a favorite con for the year it would be Närcon. That's where I wore my two "proper" cosplays for this year, both which I finished years ago but only got to debut now. I'm happy with both costumes, except that Hotaru needs some slight fixing, but I lack photos of both. I generally had fun at Närcon and I even occasionally had that fuzzy con feeling going on, which was nice to remember what it felt like. Only sad thing was that I went there alone and because I'm so awkward at approaching people I did sometimes feel like I was a bit... lonely. It's just not the same thing when you don't have your squad with you, or at least someone you feel safe with. But yeah, I still say that Närcon was the best con this year for me, followed by Skecon or Kummacon.

~~~

Wow, this is such a depressing read but honestly, I can't always hold up the happy facade. I just simply don't feel good at all and cosplaying is another stress factor for me right now when it should be something relaxing and fun. :( I sometimes think that what I really need is to do cosplay groups with friends again, to feel that unity and camaraderie – I feel like I've been doing solo stuff for a long time now and while it's cool to not be bound to all the things that come with group planning I still feel like I need my friends, probably more than ever right now.

And before I end this post I want to thank all my friends who are still there, readers and everyone else who visits my blog I hope you all have enjoyed your time reading my ramblings. Thank you so much for staying with me, like really I mean it. I'm gonna try to activate myself again.

Bye bye & Happy New Year 2019!

December 20, 2018

Lens review: Vassen Lollipop Green

Hiiiii~

I will review a lens with a really unique and eye-catching design this time, it's the Vassen Lollipop Green! I'm pretty sure that it's the same lens as I.Fairy Cara Green as Vassen is the manufacturer of many of I.Fairy's lenses as far as I know. I'm not sure though why it says Winky Green on the vial caps, maybe it's an alternate name for these but to be honest, I've never seen Winky used. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Oh well, let's get on with this review already!



Base curve: 8.6 mm
Diameter: 14.5 mm
Water content: 42% 
Life span: 1 year (I recommend 6 months)


I remember having been curious about these for years, mainly because of their really different and extravagant print. I haven't seen another brand with a design even close to this it's like a galaxy explosion or some sort of magical supernova or something. It's super colorful and cartoony at the same time! How can you not be enticed to try these?

One lens in.
Holy shiiiiiiiiiiieeeeet! These are pretty as fuck, not gonna censor myself. I'm amazed by how they're just perfectly transparent enough to "suck in" my real eye color into becoming a part of the design, it makes the color look more realistic instead of doing the ultra bold crazy lens effect that I was half-way expecting. I'm also a bit surprised by how the super harsh pupil opening disappears into my eyes, I was expecting it to do a really ugly 'clash' effect because there's no visible fading and the print just abruptly ends. Of course it's still visible where the edges are but I think the transparency is working its magic here to lessen the eyesore.

The color is AH-mazing! It's like a huge ball of sparkly candy, the eyes of an otherwordly being, a glittery sea's surface... you get the idea. It's really magical and ethereal at the same time. I'm in love with the design and the color, the green is immensely pretty, deep and has a depth I can't even begin to put into words! There's a thin limbal ring framing the lenses and it brings an 'anime' look along with making the lenses appear bigger.

Lens photos ahead!
All photos taken by me during a morning with a semi-clear sky with the sun super low on the horizon line (polar night is a thing here). There's no color filters or such on the close-up photos and that's so that the colors would be as true to real life as possible.

Indoors, natural room light.
Indoors, bright yellow room light.
Indoors, more distant yellow light.
Facing window. (shadow side)
Flash photo.
Outdoors, back against sun. (facing wall)
Outdoors, facing sun while it's blocked by a roof.
These lenses are really thin, to the point they are floppy and don't hold their shape really well when I try to insert them I had the lenses flatten themselves on my finger multiple times. Thankfully once they're inside the thinness is a great plus as I don't feel them in my eyes! The Lollipop Greens are really comfy and I can easily see myself wearing them for 3-5 hours despite having really dry eyes. There's no blurred vision or colored corners.

I wish I would have reviewed these earlier and not on December (the shittiest month to review on as the sun barely comes past the horizon line, no joke) but I had no time. :( I would have loved to see what these would look like in a clear, bright sunlight. Oh well, I have a good idea even like this and all I can say is that I would definitely recommend these lenses for anyone who likes fancy, beautiful lenses that stand out from the crowd. These sport a great punch of color, multiple shades of green mixed with yellow and it's just simply fantastic. I'm probably just gushing at this point but seriously, try these for j-fashion, live-action roleplay, cosplay and basically anything where they get the chance to shine and steal the spotlight. I'm sure these are gorgeous on any eye color!

Distance photo!


Short summary:

Color: 10/10 

Beautiful, multifaceted green that's incredibly rich in color and depth.   
Design: 9/10 
Absolutely gorgeous design that looks like it's a magical explosion or a shiny gemstone.
Opacity: 7/10 
It's opaque enough to be green but lets my real eye color, in a beautiful way, affect the final outcome.
Enlargement: 7/10
Definitely on the bigger end.
Comfort: 7/10 
Thin and invisible to wear. They're a bit floppy and thus flatten on my fingers but overall a great lens with no discomforts.
Naturalness: 1/10
Seems to belong to a being from our fairytales.

Thank you so much for reading, I love feedback if you liked this review!

December 15, 2018

Lens review: Vassen Diamond Blue

Hi guys!

Another lens review up for you all to dine on, let's do this! It's the Vassen Diamond Blue today, my third and likely last color from the Vassen Diamond series. I was surprised once again by how the blue ones became my favorite, despite being the "most boring" color as my eyes are naturally gray-blue.



Base curve: 8.6 mm
Diameter: 14.5 mm
Water content: 42% 
Life span: 1 year (I recommend 6 months)


It's a sparkly diamond print that's impossible to miss. It's really pretty and gives glimmery gemstone eyes in a second. The black detailing adds depth and a crystalline reflecting look when worn, it's honestly beautiful! I feel like because of my real eye color being similar to the lenses it looks even more gorgeous than usual and I'm in love, haha. *q*

One lens in.
It's a fairly big lens and it has a pretty light-ish blue color that even looks a lil' dreamy coupled with the diamond print. It's a youthful, precious design and the overly artsy print actually doesn't clash as much with my eyes as one might initially expect, most likely because of the closeness in color. Of course it doesn't fade perfectly either but I like the look anyway. There's also a thin black limbal ring to help make your eyes 'pop' more and add an illusion of bigness.

Lens photos ahead!
All photos taken by me during a morning with a semi-clear sky with the sun super low on the horizon line (polar night is a thing here). There's no color filters or such on the close-up photos and that's so that the colors would be as true to real life as possible.

Natural room light indoors.
Yellow room light indoors.
Facing window. (shadow side)
Flash photo.
Outdoors, back against sun. (facing wall)
Outdoors, facing the sun while it's blocked by a roof.
What had me surprised was that this blue pair was actually more comfortable than the green and the red – I probably just got lucky but still. I was really taken by how thin and invisible these were to wear, I literally didn't even feel like I had lenses on as soon as I popped them in! They're really comfy and I would estimate around 4-5 hours of wear, possibly 6. I do have really dry eyes naturally so anything past 3 hours is already good. 

I feel like the camera doesn't really do these justice, I swear they look more alluring in real life! There's something magical happening every time light hits the eyes and it's lovely. These look so nice with my natural eye color, almost like a really fancy enhancing lens! I was positively surprised by how much I ended up liking these and I would recommend them to anyone who likes to try more fabulous lenses. I can definitely see these used for many different fashion styles and yes, I would say that they are versatile. I can also see these work for cosplay, especially for shoujo or bishounen characters.

Distance photo! 

 
Wanna see more diamonds?
Check these out: Green, Red

Short summary:

Color: 7/10 

I'm surprisingly fond of the lightish medium blue shade. It evokes a feeling of calm.
Design: 7/10 

A glamorous, fancy diamond print that provides sparkly and gleaming eyes.
Opacity: 7/10 
There are hints of transparency but the overall color covers well.
Enlargement: 7/10
These go into the dolly category.
Comfort: 7/10 
Really thin and I literally don't even feel them. Anywhere around 4 to possibly 6 hours on really dry eyes, which is definitely good.
Naturalness: 3/10
Unless you were born to be fabulous then I don't think so.

Thanks for reading my blog, I hope you liked this review~

December 12, 2018

Lens review: GEO Animation CP-A1

Hello guys!

I still have time to cram in a few more reviews before this year is over so here goes. Today I'll review the GEO Animation CP-A1, a pink animation/crazy lens! I'm gonna have to say that I didn't really expect these to look as creepy as they do. xD



Base curve: 8.6 mm
Diameter: 14.2 mm
Water content: 40±2
Life span: 1 year (I recommend 6 months)


The design is very obviously made to mimic manga eyes, sparkly shoujo eyes in particular I'd say. There's a lighter pink half and a darker half, separated by black parts which are probably supposed to be "shadows" in a very cartoony way. There's these thin streaks all along the pink areas and sometimes they are accompanied by white thicker streaks meant to be light reflections.

I remember being very curious about trying these out and I was not quite prepared for how freaky they look in real life. xD It's not as bad on the photos but my first reaction was almost jumping back from the mirror, lmao. Like there's something that looks off but I can't pinpoint exactly what it is and this sadly makes me not quite like these lenses as much as the other GEO Animation lenses I've tried.

One lens in.
They don't look as weird on photos as they do in real life, somehow? Actually look pretty okay on photos, haha. I have to admit though that I had a hard time figuring out which way you are supposed to wear these, aka which part of the design is supposed to be up and which down – I took a wild guess and poked my eyes until the lighter half was up. Oh and yes, these do spin in your eyes. Slowly.
As is to be expected these look really... anime. The colors are super opaque and bright and the design is really far from natural. This is a cosplay lens or perhaps for some really funky colorful fashion styles? There's a slight enlargement effect so it's suitable for most people.

Lens photos ahead!
All photos taken by me during a morning with a semi-clear sky with the sun super low on the horizon line (polar night is a thing here). There's no color filters or such on the close-up photos and that's so that the colors would be as true to real life as possible.

Natural room light indoors.
Yellow room light indoors.
Facing window. (shadow side)
Flash photo.
Outdoors, back against sun. (facing wall)
Outdoors, facing sun while it's blocked by a roof.
These are thin and comfy to wear. It's worth noting though that these lenses do greatly obstruct my vision in the sense that a part of my vision field is black at the corners. It's a bit annoying and makes a sort of 'tunnel vision' effect that's more or less constantly there as soon as I step outside the door. I can't imagine these being all that nice to drive or bike with because of the restricted vision. But besides that little detail I have no issues with these and I do think that I could wear these somewhere around the 3-5 hour mark.

So yeah, it's a cosplay lens definitely but I just personally somehow don't like these as much as I thought I would – mainly because of hos unsettling they look face to face. They're okay on photos and even look great from a distance but afhdsfdsjs, I just can't explain why I'm not warming up to them. I think it's something with how obvious the thin streaks are in real life and it somehow makes these look eerie and "too busy"... but I'm not sure at all. I guess some would love these lenses but I feel like the other GEO Animation lenses do the anime look better. It's not bad by any means and definitely worth a shot if you need this kind of pink-violet color as it's really hard to come by. I'm sorry this sounds so negative, I don't mean to. ^^"

Distance photo! 


Short summary:

Color: 9/10 
Really bright violet-pink color that shows up well from a distance.
Design: 6/10 
It's cool with the 'anime eye' look but something makes them look creepy to me.
Opacity: 10/10
Really covering, as you'd expect from an animation lens.
Enlargement: 4/10 
Small-ish size increase. Suitable for most.
Comfort: 6/10 
Thin and comfy. Beware of very prominent black corners and 'tunnel vision' outdoors (at least in the light conditions I had).
Naturalness: 0/10 
I was legit afraid that I'd scare the piss out of a small kid who passed me by while I was outside taking photos...

Thanks for reading my blog!
Shiro Samurai out.

December 5, 2018

Lens review: Neo Ring Black

Eey ~

I'm gonna be honest, I'm not 100% sure what the name of these lenses is but I'm gonna go by Neo Ring Black as that's what my order confirmation says. Their identification number or whatnot is N019. I bought these from Honeycolor a long time ago and I can't seem to find them anymore, at least not the yearly version. ^^"

Oh well, let's do this review anyway!



Base curve: 8.6 mm
Diameter: 14.2 mm
Water content: 45%
Life span: 1 year (I recommend 6 months)


It's really rare that I review a black lens, haha. There's not that many to begin with and I think black lenses in general are meant to be like an "enhancing lens" for dark eyes. With that said they tend to look really, shall we say, intense, on light eyes? :D Like the effect is cool and a bit creepy at the same time. I personally dig it but it's not for everyone.

One lens in.
The color fades nicely towards the center and yeah, it's definitely black. It's really dark and eye-catching and really draws attention to your suddenly super-dark rimmed eyes. In a way I guess it can be called dolly but yeah, I'd say it borders more on the supernatural territory than on the cute one, lol. It's an interesting lens nonetheless and fun to play around with – I can definitely think up some funky outfits to wear these with!
 
The size increase is there but Neo lenses tend to stay within moderate range so it's not particularly big in any way. The colored part of the lens is focused on the area around the edges, which leaves my natural eye color fully visible at the center – it 'clashes' as the contrast is really huge going from very light to full-on black, despite the smooth blending trying to ease it.

Lens photos ahead!
All photos taken by me during an afternoon with a semi-clear sky with the sun super low on the horizon line (fuck you polar night :D). There's no color filters or such on the close-up photos and that's so that the colors would be as true to real life as possible.

Natural room light indoors.
Yellow room light indoors.
Facing window. (shadow side)
Flash photo.
Outdoors, back against sun. (facing wall)
Outdoors, facing sun. (last rays of sunset)
Outdoors, facing the sun while it's blocked by a roof.
Outdoors, standing under the shadow of a storage building.
These lenses are thin, invisible to wear and overall quite nice actually. Sometimes they feel a bit dryish but most lenses do that to me nowadays so it's hard to tell when it's the lens and when it's just my eyes being dry and crappy, lmao. I expect to be able to wear these for around 3-5 hours, which is on the better half of good as I have really dry and sensitive peepers. 

All in all black lenses are interesting on light eyes because of the effect they bring in play. Some will love it and others will think it's way too unnatural but I personally am some sort of fascinated. It's a nice lens and especially cool for visual styles, dark styles and why not cosplay too? Goths, emos and the like might get a kick out of these and basically anyone who is curious about rocking eyes with massive black edges. Thankfully the fading effect mitigates the worst 'clash' effect and thus I think these are likable even on non-dark eyes. :)

Distance photo!


Short summary:

Color: 8/10
I wish the color reached a bit further in but it's black and that's about all you can ask for.
Design: 7/10
Streaky fade effect with super-dark edges. Looks pretty cool and keeps the worst 'clash' effect away.
Opacity: 6/10
The further outwards the more opaque. Color gets weaker and fades more towards the pupil hole.
Enlargement: 3/10 
Quite small, although the blackness really fools you into believing otherwise.
Comfort: 7/10 
Invisible to wear, thin and overall pleasant. A bit dryish sometimes but I can still expect to be able to wear these for 3-5 hours on super dry eyes.
Naturalness: 2/10
Highly unnatural on light eyes but it would sound differently if I had brown eyes.

Thanks for reading!

December 1, 2018

Blog 7-year birthday!

*drumrolls*

Happy birthday to blooog, happy birthday to blooooog, happy birthday to---,
...
... nah, fuck this. I'm horrible at singing.


Today is happy birthday day for my cosplay blog, clocking in at 7 years of existence! Yes, I totally forgot to post on the 6th birthday and some previous years too but oh well, shit happens. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
As per usual I'm happy to still be around and be relevant, even though my blog has been really circle lens heavy lately, which might not be to every reader's liking. ^^" It's just that I have a shitlot of lenses that I need to review as I bought a lot back some years ago and didn't do reviews often enough back then so now the pile caught up on me, lol. I can almost say with certainty already now that next year will be circle lens heavy too and after that it will subside and become more cosplay focused again!
To be honest I wish I worked more on cosplays but school is eating up what little energy I have (and honestly I don't want to look at a sewing machine once I get home as that's what my class room is filled with, lmao) and so it's been a kinda unproductive year.

I know that cosplay blogging is past its prime at least in my home countries but screw that, I always loved blogging so I'm not going anywhere! I just really enjoy documenting everything I do carefully and then returning to look back at it years later bonus points along the way if my ramblings help a fellow cosplayer out or inspire someone to check out a new convention etc! I mainly blog for myself but I of course appreciate every single reader and visitor that I've had over the years, thank you for visiting my blog! ♥ Oh and a thank you to all my sponsors over the years too, it's been a blast to work with you all!


I sadly don't have any giveaway for this birthday post but I think you guys can live without one for this time, right? Riiiight? :D No? ;_;


I don't have so much more to say, I wanted to keep this short and save the wordy treasure chest for the yearly summary instead, on which I'll bring up some things I've had in my mind if I remember by then, lol. It'll be up before you know it anyway so stay perked for that!

Yo-ho and thanks for all the years together!

November 29, 2018

Lens review: EOS Dolly Eye Green

Hi guys!

I'm pretty excited about bringing you all this review of a really popular lens, the EOS Dolly Eye Greens! I feel so nostalgic saying this but back when I first got into using circle lenses in 2013, thanks to cosplay, I already then saw the Dolly Eye lenses recommended everywhere. It was one of the very first lenses I knew by name and pretty much every cosplayer had tried them at some point, lol. I'm not sure if their fame is still holding up but nevertheless it's a really great cosplay lens!



Base curve: 8.6 mm
Diameter: 14.2 mm
Water content: 38~42%
Life span: 1 year (I recommend 6 months)


This is without a doubt a cosplay lens no shit Sherlock – the tiny pupil hole (in circle lens standards, that is), the super opacity, the vibrant color, the anime-like print with a thick limbal ring... everything just screams cosplay! Another extra good thing with the EOS Dolly Eye lenses is that they're quite small actually, which means that they're really versatile in the sense that they can be used for both male and female characters equally.

One lens in.
So what we have at hand is a super opaque and cartoony lens. It's impossible to miss and really stands out, which totally means that it's highly unnatural too. The design itself is really simple but that's a good thing as such a classic, keep-it-generic print works for so many characters! Yep, I constantly refer to cosplay because come on, I'm a cosplayer and these used to be the number one cosplay lens when I started out and probably still are in people's minds. xD 

The green is really intense and highly pigmented. It's not radioactive but it's damn noticeable and shows even from greater distances – yep, it's great for cosplay photoshoots even when you aren't limiting yourself to close-ups just to have your lenses show, lolol. 
The black limbal ring adds a dolly touch and brings the 'anime eye' effect together. These also have such an impeccable opacity that they rival crazy lenses! The Dolly Eye lenses are sure to completely cover your real eye color, whatever it might be.

Lens photos below!
All photos taken by me during a November afternoon with a semi-clear sky with the sun super low on the horizon and blocked by a roof (fuck you polar night :D). There's no color filters or such on the close-up photos and that's so that the colors would be as true to real life as possible.

Indoors, natural room light.
Indoors, yellow room light.
Facing window. (shadow side)
Flash photo.
Outdoors, back against sun. (facing wall)
Outdoors, facing (setting) sun.
Outdoors, facing the sun while it's blocked by a rooftop.
Outdoors, standing behind a building's shadow.
These lenses are thin and invisible to wear, a pleasure. I can see me wearing these for 4-6 hours at a time, which is better than average when taken into account that my eyes have gotten more dry and douchy over the years. The thing to keep in mind though is that because of the notably smaller pupil hole there is a very real possibility of blurred vision in poorer light conditions along with seeing green corners whenever you move your eyes. Happens to me but I don't mind, that's a typical payoff of a great, vibrantly colored costuming lens. 

If you've ever wondered what the fuss is with popular lenses then the EOS Dolly Eye lenses do earn their mark – they stand up and shine even today when there's considerably more options to choose from in the market than back when they first started making word in the cosplay community. These lenses have everything: a great green color, versatile size, perfect coverage, good comfort, anime look and a small pupil hole to hide your real eye color from showing too much in the center and ruining the effect. Honestly, seriously consider getting the Dolly Eye Greens for your green-eyed cosplays if you haven't already, they'll definitely show up!

Distance photos!



Wanna see more Dolly Eye lens reviews?
I thought so, check these out: Pink

Short summary:

Color: 10/10 
Awesome medium to darkish green that's a definite win.
Design: 7/10 
Highly cosplay-friendly simple yet really cartoony design.
Opacity: 10/10 
Perfect color coverage and it's not even a crazy lens!
Enlargement: 3/10 
Far from as dolly as one might think because of the name. Should be "EOS Cosplay Eye" instead, lmao.
Comfort: 7/10 
Thin and invisible to wear, estimated 4-6 hours on super dry eyes. Warning for obvious green corners in vision field and perhaps blurry sight in poorer lights.
Naturalness: 0/10 
Nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnope.

Thank you so much for reading my blog! Have you ever tried EOS Dolly Eye lenses? :)