August 12, 2017

Lens review: Flora Diva Green

Yooo folks! 

Ready for another circle lens review? I for sure am!
This time the spotlight is on the Flora Diva Green lenses, a beautiful green lens that I'd recommend for bishounen characters and the like!
I haven't seen the Flora brand of lenses for sale anywhere else than at HoneyColor, just in case anyone wants to know where to purchase these. No, I'm not sponsored by them, if anyone wonders.

Let's get on with the review!



Base curve: 8.6 mm
Diameter: 15.0 mm
Water content: 55%
Life span: 1 year (I recommend 6 months)


The design is sort of simple but it's really appealing to me nonetheless! It's an incredibly pretty lens with a flower petal-ish print and a thin black limbal ring to add definition. There's some irregular black streaks reaching towards the pupil hole as well and these help in making the lenses appear more lively. It's a beautiful and alluring design that is great for cosplayers and alternative fashion fans alike!

One lens in.
I have light blue-gray (gray-blue, idk) eyes naturally and these definitely make my eyes look unmistakably green, which is a feat already in itself because a lot of green lenses end up looking muddy and bland on light blue-ish eyes like mine. I'm so happy with the color payoff of these, it's amazing and such a fresh and bright green shade to boot! This lens will definitely show up as green on any eye color, I'm pretty sure!

Lens photos below!
All photos taken by me during an August morning with a clear sky. All close-up photos are free from color filters and such and that's so that the colors would be as true to real life as possible.

Apartment room light, only natural light.
Bathroom light.
Flash photo.
Facing a window in the corridor. Not sun side.
White light in the corridor.
Yellow light in the staircase.
Indoors storage room. Natural light turned blue on camera for some reason.
Basement floor. Poor natural light in the distance.
Outdoors, back against the sun. Facing the wall, in other words.
Outdoors, facing the sun.
I can't help but think that these gives the look of fairytale eyes, haha. -U- The size is on the bigger side but it's not eating up my eyes either; these will work for dolly looks if that's what you like. I would love to use these for cosplaying some pretty boy characters since these lenses show up well from a distance and look all magical and sparkly if the light hits in a certain way!

Regarding comfort I'm extremely pleased, like seriously! I have really dry eyes naturally and I could easily wear these past 5 hours with no problems – I literally don't even feel them in my eyes for most of the time. I did notice though that in poorer lights (especially indoors) I do sometimes experience a slight blur/haze but it's nothing that really bothers me and it's really minor anyway. I wore these for approximately 6 hours before I got a random headache and decided to take them off, although the lenses still didn't feel dry at that point. Here you should know that normally anything past 3 hours is good in my standards but these are like, fucking comfort beasts in comparison. 8D It was so long ago since I last had such comfy lenses! I had almost forgotten that they existed. Definitely recommended in other words – give them a try if you're yearning for some legit awesome green lenses!

Distance photo!


Interested in reviews of the Flora Diva lenses in other colors?
Check out these: Violet, Gray

Short summary:

Color: 9/10
Lovely fresh and vibrant green color. Appears a true and non-muddy green!
Design: 8/10
A mesmerizing and versatile flower petal print. Cannot go wrong with this one!
Opacity: 8/10
Solid coverage, really good for costuming purposes.
Enlargement: 7/10
Definitely on the bigger side but not massive by any means.
Comfort: 9/10
Amazing comfort! I can easily wear these 5-6 hours with no problems and I have really dry eyes naturally. I don't feel them in my eyes for most of the time, save for slight blur in poor light conditions.
Naturalness: 2/10
Too big and too unrealistically green to pass off as any kind of natural, to be honest.

Thanks for reading and do leave a comment if you have any questions!

August 10, 2017

Lens review: Vassen Sakura Candy Red

Hello puppies!

I will be reviewing a circle lens today – it's gonna be all about the Vassen Sakura Candy Red! What we have is a quite simple lens with a great dose of color and a huge black limbal ring, which in turn makes the lenses appear really cute and colorful. ^_^

Yo ho, let's go ~



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


This kind of lens style is popular with cosplayers, or at least that's the impression I got a couple years back when I first started using circle lenses. It's a simple single-tone red color that gradually fades towards the center and the print also features a really thick black limbal ring. I'd say that it's a pretty big lens, but it's not too big either; the bold limbal ring adds to the illusion.
The color is surprisingly vibrant and it pops in most lights. It's a crisp and bright shade and adds to the whole lens looking 'anime' – definitely cosplay material, as long as you're not too bothered by the large pupil hole.

One lens in. Notice enlargement effect.
Regarding comfort the lenses are thin and a bit floppy; I had some problems inserting them because of that the first time. I sometimes feel them in my eyes directly after insertion but I get used to the feeling rather fast and it disappears quickly too. These lenses don't block out my vision in any way and are nice while worn – I don't really feel them much in my eyes, which is always a good thing!
I got some occasional dry bouts but they only lasted a couple minutes at most and then the lenses went back to normal but I don't know, it happens to me with pretty much any lenses nowadays so I don't know what to think about it, lol. After 4,5 hours they suddenly felt really dry out of nowhere so yeah, I guess that's approximate wearing time for me. Pretty good, considering how horribly dry eyes I tend to have.

Lens photos below!
All photos taken by me during a August morning with a clear sky. All close-up photos are free from color filters etc and that's so that the colors would be as true to real life as possible.


Apartment room light. Only natural light.
Bathroom light.
Flash photo.
Facing a window in the corridor. Not sun side.
White light in the corridor.
Yellow light in the staircase.
Indoors storage room. Natural light that turned weirdly blue on camera.
Basement floor. Poor natural light in the distance.
Outdoors, back against the sun. Facing wall.
Outdoors, facing sun. Yes, it's painful.
I love red lenses, it's such a cool color! It's obviously not natural by any means but there's something with the red pairs that really catches my fancy, hehe...

I also want to mention that I've come to notice that a general rule of thumb is that the bigger the lens is the bigger the pupil opening tends to be, which in turn means that more of your real eye color will show through the center. Of course there are exceptions but yeah, this is the general conclusion that I've landed at. Just thought I'd throw that piece of information out into the world. :)

Distance photo!


Short summary:

Color: 9/10
Really fresh and bright red lenses that show up well!

Design: 7/10
Simple yet cute lens design with a single color and a bold black outer ring.
Opacity: 8/10 

The color is opaque and fades beautifully towards the center. Just be mindful of the big pupil hole if you dislike that look.
Enlargement: 8/10
Definitely on the bigger side but still wearable for casual-ish looks as well, assuming you rock a fancy style.
Comfort: 7/10 

Pretty good. A bit flimsy to put in but I don't really feel them in my eyes once worn. Wearing time approximately 4,5 hours on my dry eyes, possibly longer.
Naturalness: 1/10
Big red eyes, you say? No, not cutting it.

Thanks for reading my circle lens reviews!
Shiro Samurai says sayonara.

August 8, 2017

Hotaru's tengu geta update!

Yo!

I have been silent about my finished Hotaru cosplay for a while now, sorry about that. I do plan on debuting him eventually and the truth is that I was actually considering to wear him for Närcon earlier, but I changed my mind at the last second. ^^"

You might remember that I made a pair of tengu geta for him earlier and back then I didn't try to walk or balance in them, hence why I wasn't sure how they'd handle that part. So yeah, some time after I had taken home the finished shoes I did some experimenting in my apartment (with a really slippery floor I might add, hence no actual walking, just standing/balancing) and came to some conclusions.
Originally I was thinking that I might need to resize the hanao (aka the thongs) because of them maybe being too long, but after some testing and measuring it turned out that the problem is not the length but how loosely I had tied them in place! I compared my self-made hanao with those found on some of my imported Japanese geta and the length is the same, approximately 30 cm long. 

Tengu geta before any modifications.
Same as above, but from a different angle.
Standing with the tengu geta in their original setup was wonky at best; it basically felt like the hanao didn't support –nor hold on to– my feet enough and it was impossible to lift my feet without fearing that it would just slip out of the geta. So yeah, I really didn't need to do much testing before it was clear that something needed to be done or I'd be faceplanting all over the place while wearing this costume... :D

I undid all the knots keeping the hanao in place, at the back of the shoes, and then just pulled everything as tight as I possibly could and retied it all. At first I was thinking that "this shit is gonna be so tight that I can't even get my feet in!" but after some wiggling it works and it actually feels sooooooo much safer – how safe walking on tengu geta now can feel, that is. :)) It's not the most comfortable but at least it doesn't feel like my feet will slide out as soon as I lift them from the ground!

Also, I want to mention –in case it wasn't obvious from the photos– that these Killer Platforms from Hell™ are not made in an authentic way, just for cosplay purposes. Same thing goes for how I've tied everything in place, it's all just a lot of spontaneous knots here and there that seems to do their job.

Hanao to the left tightened, to the right unmodified.
Same as above but from a different angle. Notice the arch!
Another thing that I noticed was that those plastic pieces that I cut out and glued to the bottom, in hopes of protecting the 'teeth' of the geta from wear, and to make them less slippery to wear for example indoors, was that they actually fucked up the balance! The little plastic protections made it really hard to balance on these shoes (possibly partly because of the uneven, bumpy texture) and it was a suicide attempt to even try to take a step because the plastic would "flop at the edges" by any kind of surface contact/movement – it just felt incredibly risky, aka gave exactly the opposite effect of what I wanted.
Good thing I had only fastened them with hot glue and so it was easy to just rip them off, which I did.

Geta to the left modified (incl. removed plastic sole), to the
right still in original condition.
Once I had fixed up both shoes I tried standing on them again, of course holding onto the nearby table because my apartment's floor is like a fucking ice-skating rink, lol. The difference the tightened hanao and the removal of the plastic sole did is HUGE!! Like seriously, I feel like I could actually even learn to walk in these. :'D Maybe.
I'll still probably reserve these monster shoes for photos/photoshoots only because I don't want to wear them out by normal con walking and without the plastic the 'teeth' will take damage really fast, especially if I walk on any ordinary outdoors road (aka where there will be small stones etc).

Pssst! As you might notice, all of the actual in progress photos are taken with flash. This is simply because I was modifying these fuckers in the middle of the night that's when we all get the cosplay motivation, isn't it and thus the natural light was way too crappy to do me any good and I had to resort to using flash.

Improved tengu geta!
Now I just need to do a cosplay test for Hotaru because, truthfully – I have not even tried on all the parts of this costume together. :'D I don't know yet when that will happen but I promise that it will happen. I really love Samurai Deeper Kyo and Hotaru is just one of the many characters that I want to cosplay from this awesome shounen manga. SDK is love!

Thanks for reading!
~ Shiro Samurai out.

August 4, 2017

[Sponsored] Lens review: GEO Xtra Forest Red

Hello folks!

This time I'll be reviewing the GEO Xtra Forest Red (aka WT-B68) circle lenses, sponsored by the lovely and sweet circle lens shop called CirclelensesEurope, also known as Cirkellinser. ^_^ I've done multiple reviews for them before so, in case you've read any of my previous reviews, you'll know by now that I really love and support this store! It's so handy when they're based in Sweden and I live there too, haha ~

The lenses I'm reviewing in this post were kindly sponsored by CirclelensesEurope, aka Cirkellinser. Rest assured knowing that all my reviews are purely 100% my honest opinion. I don't ever compromise the truth.

The discount code "SAMURAI" gives you 10% off on any order placed on both CircleLensesEurope and Cirkellinser – feel free to use it! ♥



Base curve: 8.8 mm
Diameter: 14.8 mm
Water content: 40±2%
Life span: 1 year (I recommend 6 months)


Note: To all my Swedish readers, please scroll to the end of this post for a summary in Swedish. // Till alla mina svenska läsare, bläddra gärna till slutet av detta inlägg för en sammanfattning på svenska. :)


Before I start with the actual review of the lenses I want to tell you guys a little about CirclelensesEurope, also known as Cirkellinser. You might wonder why I'm mentioning two stores but the thing is that it's actually the same store, just for two different markets – CirclelensesEurope is catering for the whole Europe while Cirkellinser is for the Swedes. Both sites have the same people behind it, the same products for sale, ship from the same place etc so yeah, nothing weird there. Neither of them is a copycat or a scam site so you can buy from both of them with confidence!

Both of their sites are fresh, inviting, cute and easy to use. There is not a crazy amount of circle lenses to choose from since they seem to focus on just a couple lens brands – GEO and EOS, respectively. But what CirclelensesEurope lack in options they make up for with really high-speed and cheap shipping – it's a flat price of 3€ for anywhere in Europe. The fast shipping puts CirclelensesEurope at an advantage over Asia-based lens stores because yeah, if you're a cosplayer and need lenses urgently (let's say, a week before the con) then this here is the store you should be praying to.

Regarding the shipping and handling time I want to say that I've always received my orders extremely fast – most commonly already on the next working day. Shipping to Sweden is usually 1-2 days and to the rest of Europe it's 3-7 days and it also says on their site that they ship out within 24 hours.

If you wonder to what European countries (note: they do NOT ship outside of Europe!!) they ship to then this is what it says on their site:
We deliver to following countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom and Austria.
Their customer service is solid; they seem to answer within 24 hours, even during weekends it seems. Customer service is also really kind and easy to approach while still having that professional air to it. All in all CirclelensesEurope is a very easy and smooth shop to deal with, safe to buy from and I would definitely recommend them to all fellow European (and Swedish) cosplayers and circle lens fans! They are a really good store, all in all.


 ~***~ Lens review continues ~***~

The lenses arrived in a small regular white bubblewrap envelope that easily fits into your average mailbox so yeah, at least I didn't have to go pick it up from the nearest post center, which is on the other side of town. The shipping is super quick, as always, and normally shouldn't take much more than a couple days within Sweden.


Inside the white envelope the lenses are packed in a small super cute drawstring bag – I love small details like this! With the order also came a free lens case (of course), a fancy business card with a hand-written 'thank you' note on the back, a GEO Medical information sheet (because I received GEO lenses) and, of course, the shop's own leaflet with information about their guarantees, wear & care etc – it's a really good piece of advice for all the first-time contact lens users out there!

~***~

Before wearing any contact lenses I always take them out of their little glass bottles and put them to soak overnight in lens solution – it's not recommended to wear lenses straight out of the vials!

I have naturally very light blue-gray eyes (gray-blue? I don't know xD) and the color of these lenses shows up amazingly well on my eyes! It's a super rich and deep, intense medium-dark red color that is sure to catch attention. It's a super pretty color, I adore it! It's just really cool and definitely suitable for cosplay purposes, especially for close-up shots.
The design consists of irregular black streaks that run towards the center and make the lenses appear almost alluring in some way; it's a pretty cool effect and I dig it, to be honest. There's a thin black limbal ring to frame the lenses as well and the red color fades a little the closer to the pupil hole it gets. I don't experience any red corners in my eyes or tunnel vision effects while wearing these lenses.

One lens in. Notice the size difference.
The enlargement effect is pretty modest – it's definitely there but, honestly, I don't pay a lot of attention to it. It's not necessarily a bad thing though, unless you prefer super huge dolly eyes of course. Personally I tend to gravitate toward medium size lenses so yeah, these are really good in my book!

Lens photos below!
All photos taken by me during a August afternoon with a semi-clear sky. All close-up photos are free from color filters and such and that's so that the colors would be as true to real life as possible.


Apartment room light, only natural light.
Bathroom light.
Flash photo.
Facing a window in the corridor. (not sun side)
Yellow light in the staircase.
Indoors storage room. Natural light from the side.
Basement floor. Poor natural light in the distance.
Outdoors, facing the sun while being under the building's shadow.
Outdoors, back against sun. Facing the wall, in other words.
Facing the sun, cloudy sky.
Facing the sun.
In terms of comfort I must mention that these lenses are really thin and I don't feel them in my eyes most of the time. I had no problems inserting them either and they are comfortable right from the start! I had a couple moments when the lenses suddenly felt a bit dry but those passed by almost as soon as they came, so dunno. That tends to happen to me with almost any pair of circle lenses, by the way. Overall I could wear these for a bit over 4 hours before they started to feel uncomfortably dry, which is pretty good in my book – especially considering that my eyes are prone to being really dry and/or sensitive. I also managed to wear these for approximately 5 or so hours (I didn't keep track of time, sorry) at an anime convention before they started to feel really dry so yeah, I'd say that they're pretty decent. :)

Distance photo!


Want to see reviews of the GEO Xtra Forest series in other colors?
Check out these: Pink

Regarding CircleLensesEurope I need to mention that, sadly, they and their Swedish counterpart don't carry prescription lenses for the moment. I don't know if they plan to change that anytime soon since a lot of people have vision defects, me included, and need prescription lenses to see. My own vision defects are minor enough (-0,50 on my weaker eye) that I can get around just fine with plano lenses but yeah, if you can't wear lenses without power I'm really sorry to say that CircleLensesEurope don't carry lenses with power.

Remember, if you make a purchase at CircleLensesEurope or Cirkellinser you can get 10% off any order if you use the discount code "SAMURAI" during checkout – enjoy! ♡

Short summary:

Color: 8/10
A really rich, deep and intense medium-dark red color!
Design: 7/10
Simple yet eye-catching design with irregular black stripes mixed in with the red.
Opacity: 8/10
Really good opacity!
Enlargement: 6/10
Decent size increase. It's not overwhelming but it's there.
Comfort: 7/10
Thin and comfortable in general but I do experience random dry bouts on and off. Approximate wearing time around 4-5 hours on my naturally dry eyes.
Naturalness: 1/10
Not natural because, honestly, do you know anyone who was born with red eyes? I thought so, me neither.


• Sammanfattning på svenska

Vad är cirkellinser? 

Cirkellinser är kosmetiska linser som har tagit världen med storm! Till en början användes dessa färgglada och förstorande linser främst i Asien av idoler, modeller och liknande men har, på sistone, blivit alltmer populära även i västvärlden – särskilt bland ungdomar som har ett intresse för asiatisk populärkultur. Det som skiljer cirkellinser från vanliga färgade linser är att dom kommer i otroligt många olika designs och färger (även onaturliga färger så som röd, rosa, gul och lila är vanliga) samt att dom får dina ögon att se större och vackrare ut! Cirkellinser finns att köpa både med och utan styrka. Det är flest unga kvinnor som använder cirkellinser men även män, transpersoner, ickebinära och många fler har insett hur uppfriskande och kul det kan vara att byta ögonfärg lite nu och då för att få en helt nu känsla till din look!

~~~~~~~~~

Cirkellinser är en svensk online-affär –förmodligen den första och enda i vårt avlånga land som säljer äkta "circle lenses", numera även kallade cirkellinser på svenska. Tyvärr så säljer inte Cirkellinser linser med styrka i dagens läge.

Denna gång valde jag att recensera ett linspar som heter GEO Xtra Forest Red (bilder finns ovanför!) då dem verkade extremt fräna med den rödsvarta designen och jag var bara tvungen att testa dem! Linserna anlände inom nån enstaka arbetsdag i ett vadderat kuvert. I kuvertet fanns även ett snyggt visitkort med en handskriven hälsning på baksidan, ett gratis linsetui samt linserna själv som var förpackade i en söt liten snörpåse.

Linserna är helt klart grymma, har färgtäckning så det heter duga och är i överlag schyssta att bära. Färgen är en otroligt fin och djup mellanmörk röd färg som syns på avstånd och jag kan inte annat än att tipsa om dessa för alla er andra som också håller på med cosplay – väldigt snygg och bra färg!

Dessa linser har helt okej bekvämlighet. Det tål att nämnas att jag kan ha riktigt jävla torra ögon ibland (okej, ganska ofta) och ändå kan jag bära dessa i ungefär 4-5 timmar utan ögondroppar, vilket är respektabelt i mina mått mätt. Dessa linser är lätta att få in i ögonen och jag känner inte av dom, förutom att de lite nu och då gör random "uttorkningskänslor" som varar i några enstaka minuter och sen försvinner lika fort som de kom – fast till linsernas försvar så kan jag säga att i princip alla kontaktlinser gör denna effekt för mig. Så jah, helt klart godkända i min bok.

Linserna fick jag såklart från Cirkellinser, en av mina sponsorer, i recensionssyfte. ^_^ Men fast jag inte själv betalat för just detta par så påverkar det absolut inte min ärlighet! Jag kan med handen på hjärtat säga att Cirkellinser är en professionell och pålitlig hemsida och att jag, utan att tveka, skulle lätt beställa från dom själv även om jag inte var sponsrad. De säljer endast äkta cirkellinser som är tillverkade i Korea, ursprungslandet för dom alla flesta märkena.
Cirkellinser innehar även en äkthetsgaranti samt öppet köp i 30 dagar – de gör verkligen allt för att du ska känna dig trygg och nöjd med ditt köp. Beställningar som gjorts före klockan 14:00 skickas samma vardag och frakttiden inom Sverige ligger på 1-2 dagar och kostar endast 19 kr. Jag kan varmt rekommendera deras onlinebutik till alla som är intresserade av att prova på att använda färgade kontaktlinser!

Min rabattkod "SAMURAI" ger dig dessutom 10% rabattdin beställning hos dem, glöm inte att använda koden i kassan!



Thanks for reading!
A massive thank you to CircleLensesEurope and Cirkellinser for making this review possible!

~ Shiro Samurai out.