November 29, 2022

[Sponsored] Lens review: Freshlook Colorblends Honey

Hello everyone!

I'm a bit late with this review but as we all know the time near Christmas is a very busy time! Today I will be reviewing a pair of colored contact lenses that Coloured Contacts sent me for review purposes so this post also doubles as a store review! I received three pairs of lenses that I will review separately and today's review will feature the Freshlook Colorblends Honey, a very natural hazel brown lens. :)
The lenses that I'm reviewing in this blog post were sponsored by Coloured Contacts, meaning that I did not pay for the product(s) myself. This does, however, not affect my honesty in any way. The words and opinions in this review are my genuine opinion; I don't ever compromise my true thoughts and feelings.


Base curve: 8.6 mm
Diameter: 14.5 mm
Water content: 55%
Life span: 30 days


Before I start the actual lens review I first want to air out my thoughts and feelings about my sponsor Coloured Contacts, the contact lens online store that made this post possible! Think of this as a store review. :)
When they first contacted me I was assuming it was another circle lens store based in Asia as, let's face it, a huge majority is. This can sometimes be a bit of an issue if you're in Europe or America etc as shipping might end up taking longer than you have time for and you might get your order stuck at customs and get extra fees slapped on, which no one likes lol. So you can guess my surprise when I saw that Coloured Contacts is actually registered in the Netherlands! This is pretty huge as I only know of one other cosmetic lens store that operates in Europe.

The site itself is pretty straightforward (just like the name) and easy to use; you can search lenses by color, style, occasion, prescription and even sales. It's not the most aesthetically refined layout so there's no floaty extravagant pop-ups with beautiful models bombarding your senses and well, that's actually a pleasant change of pace from how over-embellished the ads tend to be on many other circle lens stores nowadays. 
Browsing and navigating the site is fairly simple and there's everything from daily, natural lenses to Halloween and crazy lenses for parties. I hesitate to call them a circle lens store as they don't really carry what I consider to be "circle lenses" (enlarging lenses, popularized in Asia) but instead sell "western lenses" (color enhancing or sfx lenses, Western market). So this means that you won't find brands like GEO, I.Fairy, EOS etc over at Coloured Contacts but what they carry instead is the just as renowned Chromaview, Air Optix and Freshlook brands.
As I mentioned earlier I got to choose three pairs for reviewing and I ended up picking one natural lens and two crazy lenses. Coloured Contacts sells 1-day lenses, lenses for 30 days, lenses for 90 days and there might have been 1 year lenses too. Be aware though that the stock photos of the lenses are very clearly photoshopped (try layering two open tabs on top of each other with the images aligned and you'll see) and don't show how the lenses will truly look so yeah, I don't recommend trusting the stock photos blindly but rather with a big grain of salt and googling for reviews of any lenses you're interested in, to get a more accurate understanding of how the lenses appear. Or, if you're a contact lens veteran like me then you probably already have so much experience that just by looking at a design you can roughly tell how it will appear when worn.
I do want to note though that stock photos are provided from the manufacturers etc and thus not a reason to consider Coloured Contacts as a shady or illegitimate business – it's just what they're provided with and many other sellers of the same brands use the same stock photos for illustration purposes.

I have not had any issues with the store and my contact person Amy has been quick to reply, patient and understands English well so I really have no complaints whatsoever with customer service. 
Based on my experiences I would recommend Coloured Contacts, they appear to be a legitimate and safe online business that sells reliable long-running Western world contact lens brands that are both FDA Approved and CE marked.

Once they shipped out my chosen lenses it took almost exactly two weeks for the package to arrive. The package was in the shape of a common white bubblewrap envelope and it arrived straight to my mailbox, which is always preferred as the post office is a few kilometers away and I don't have a driving license. And when it goes straight to my mailbox it also means that it was sent within Europe and in my case I think my package was sent from Germany. According to their site though they have delivery options in USA, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada as well so I think that, depending on where you live, they will send your products from the nearest warehouse to make it as effective and hassle-free as possible.

Contents of my package. Lenses and a bottle of solution.

I doubt the all-in-one solution would be included to a regular customer but it's a nice gesture from their side to make sure that I, as a reviewer, have lens solution at hand. :) All my three chosen lenses are in blister style packaging too, it appears as if this is the norm for Western brands so to say?
~~ Lens review ahead! ~~ 
This is my first time ever trying Freshlook Colorblends. I've known about this brand ever since I first dipped into the world of colored contact lenses as it's such a staple brand and probably the one you would get recommended by your local optician if you asked about colored lenses.
I also want to note that while handling these lenses I noticed that it's legit hard to tell which side is 'right' and which side is 'wrong', the print and color etc look exactly the same so you have to stare at if the edges flare out or not when the lens is on your finger to determine if it's inside out or not. And even then the difference is very slight and I had to double-take to make sure I wasn't just imagining things.
Lens close-up. Notice how far off the edge the design is printed.

I decided to go with the color Honey, which is a softer brown shade, as I have naturally light gray-blue eyes and I wanted to see how big of a difference it would make. I was half expecting perhaps a brown toning effect at most but I was actually surprised by how impactful the color coverage ended up being for such a natural lens!
One lens in.
As you can see the overall design of the lens quite closely mimics the shapes of a human iris and it features multiple different brown shades to avoid a fake look. There's hardly any enlargement effect and there's no distinct limbal ring either, aside from the edges being a darker brown than the center of course. It gives a natural brown-eyed appearance and is passable for a daily look and if you ever wanted to see how you'd appear with a different eye color than the one you were born with. Experimenting with looks is fun! But please remember that contact lenses need to be handled with proper care and hygiene measures!

Lens photos ahead!
All photos taken by me during an afternoon 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.

Natural room light, indoors.

Bathroom light.

Flash photo, indoors.

Facing a window, backyard view. (not sun side)

Unlit corridor, poor distant natural light.

Outdoors, back against the sun. (facing wall)

Outdoors, facing the sun directly.

Comfort appears to be pretty decent, the lenses feel thin and I mostly don't feel them much at all. Before insertion I noticed that the lenses don't keep their shape as well as some other brands I've tried over the years, they kinda wanted to flop on my fingers a bit but they were still rather easy to handle and insert and it provided no added difficulties for someone used to wearing lenses. I did notice a slight vision blur at first too but once my eyes adjusted it quickly went away and everything was normal. It's hard to gauge what would be an expected time of wear as it's so highly individual for every person and it depends a lot on factors such as how dry and sensitive your eyes are etc. I happen to have naturally very dry eyes which means that I spam eyedrops periodically like a junkie so for me wearing lenses above 3 hours without eyedrop intervention is already a pretty decent accomplishment. But I doubt these lenses would be hard to wear for most people as they have a rather good water content percentage of 55% so yeah, if you have normal eyes I don't really see why you couldn't wear them for at least half a day, maybe a full day out in town, at work or such. But of course I recommend carrying with you eyedrops (make sure they're suitable for contact lenses!) just in case too, sudden discomfort and dryness while on the move and living your most fabulous life is never fun.

So to sum it all up I'm quite impressed with how colorful these lenses actually ended up being – I didn't go in with particularly high expectations as the Freshlook Colorblends are known for more natural looks (and I'm a cosplayer who's a sucker for intense colors) but I was still very much surprised by how undoubtedly brown they make my eyes look! And it's a very gorgeous, light and lively shade too! It's a lovely lens if you're looking for something discreet and that you can pass off as natural in the eyes of most people passing by. For costumers it will entirely depend on what kind of effect you're looking for.

Distance photo!
Short summary:

Color: 6/10
Pleasant and invigorating hazel brown shade. Looks natural and instills a sense of warmth.
Design: 6/10
A simple design that mimics a real iris sufficiently. Works great as a daily lens.
Opacity: 7/10
I'm very surprised by how well these cover my light gray-blue eyes, I wasn't expecting a full color change! Very potent for a natural style lens.
Enlargement: 1/10
Very tiny, there's hardly any notable enlargement effect nor the illusion of any. Not a circle lens.
Comfort: 6/10
Thin and I don't feel them much. A slight blur at first but disappears quickly. Overall comfortable and easy to wear.
Naturalness: 8/10
Very natural-looking, I could probably wear these out to the streets and few would notice that I'm actually wearing lenses. Approved!

Thank you for reading and more reviews will follow!
Thank you, Coloured Contacts! ♡

October 31, 2022

Kummacon 2022 – Luck in misfortune

 Hello nerds!

I was away at my first convention for the year this past weekend and well, what started as simple plans to go as visitors to Kummacon with a group of friends ended up being a lot more chaotic than that. :D So I'm gonna tell you all about my Kummacon experience but first some base info about the con itself – Kummacon is a free entrance, small-ish convention held in Oulu that is dedicated to literature and popular culture. This year it was held in Tuira's school (Tuiran koulu) during 29-30.10.2022.

Let's go~

Kummacon main entrance (school's courtyard).

So as I said I had originally planned to go with some friends and we had sleeping accommodations planned over at another friend's place, who had newly moved to Oulu to study. Everything was looking normal but less than a week before the con one of my friends ended up getting covid and had to cancel the trip. Well, I figured I could still go together with the Oulu friend (at this point it was also unsure if Sallukka and her bf would make it) so I kept my plans intact, after all I already had bus tickets that couldn't be refunded...
Well, like a couple days before departure I get the news that said friend in Oulu was down with a case of covid as well and I had to find another place to sleep. Aw shit, here we go again with me old fine luck. So yeah, I ask my aunt (who lives in Oulu) if she could take me over and initially she said yes, although she warned that she had some very slight symptoms of an approaching cold. I tried to stay hopeful although I had a bad feeling about it. Friday morning came, the day of departure, and she sends me a message saying that she's sick and can't take visitors. So there I was with no place to sleep and my bus leaving in 8 hours and I literally knew no one else in Oulu who could help. The panic was real. I was so desperate I figured I'd try the only thing I could think of in that very moment – contact Kummacon itself through their social media channels. Yes I was that desperate and had exhausted all my other options and no, I wasn't willing to sleep in the station or some other spurgu 101 thing like that. 
So I reached out to Kummacon and by the time they saw my message and answered I had 45 minutes left before I would have to leave for the bus station at the latest. I was told I was welcome to sleep in their 'lattiamajoitus' as we say in Finnish (floor accommodation literally, or 'sovsal' as the Swedes say) if I could help with building the con on Friday, said sleeping accommodation was reserved for workers only. I of course agreed to this pseudo worker role, it saved my ass and my con trip. But then I had the horrible realization that I need to bring my own shit to sleep on! And I don't own a sleeping bag or even any kind of yoga mat or the like! And I had less than 15 minutes to come up with something, pack it and leave my humble abode. 

This was my panic solution: a tiny bean bag chair and two wool blankets.

The trip down to Oulu went somewhat okay, I got some motion sickness in the bus (and a shiny Halloween Pumpkaboo fled on Pokemon Go because the bus was moving too fast to catch it) but other than that it was bearable.
Once I arrived in Oulu the clock was 18:00 and I had no idea where to go. I looked up the school on Google Maps but it was very weird cuz it would change the name into something else starting with 'L' when you entered it, making me very unsure of if it was the right location. But Kummacon didn't answer my messages so I just had to trust Google to not be a jerk. I walked for roughly 30 minutes before I got to what Maps told me was the right place – it looked pretty dead. I walked around the building in the dark until I found a glass door type area where I could see people inside, people who clearly looked like con workers. I stood there for at least 10 minutes waiting for someone to notice me (door was locked) but even if someone did then everyone actively ignored me. This was quite anxiety-inducing and somewhat frustrating as I expected someone to at least have the courtesy to finger point me in the right direction as I'm not a local (evident by my big suitcase lol) and the school's layout was quite confusing to me. After a while I gave up and continued wandering around the building; I was quite exhausted by the time I found where you could slink in. I made sure to find one of the organizers and explain my situation and that I'm here now and I was told I could just drop my stuff somewhere and get to work.
I don't really remember much what I did on that Friday night once I arrived, I know I helped unpack stuff in the secondhand shop at least and that I moved some chairs around and texted on the doors to the Holmes and Poirot lecture rooms.

Yes, this is my handwriting. :>

Oh and at the end of Friday I upgraded myself from a pseudo unofficial con worker to an official con worker, especially as I was informed that Kummacon had in fact had several cancellations due to people getting sick and that they were a bit understaffed. I figured why not as I have plenty previous con worker experience anyway and now that I was alone and had nowhere else to go (except the con building) that I might as well do my part and be useful while getting green room benefits heheh.
I remember I had massive issues falling asleep on the Friday-Saturday night as my panic bedding solution was quite uncomfortable and made my lower back pains worse. I know I slept less than 4 hours that night and I constantly woke up because I was trying to find a position I could sleep in.

Saturday morning came and while I was still morning groggy I was tasked with going outside in the rain and putting up Kummacon posters nearby with painter's tape. Well at least that woke me up. xD 
Back inside I had breakfast in the green room and then I was assigned to 'yleisvänkäri' duty (general con worker, so I did a lot of random stuff) and just patrolled the con area, emptying trash etc and just offering a helping hand wherever needed.

Kummacon info desk. Notice the reindeer plush.

Kummacon mystery game. Solve the disappearance of their mascot.

This year Kummacon had a 'Noir' theme if you wondered about the mystery and detective approach, including the names of the lecture rooms mentioned earlier. 
Near the entrance was this black paper roll on the wall that visitors could draw on, I love it when cons do this as it's such a simple thing to add but it creates a lot of engagement and personality over the course of the weekend and it's fun to go back to it over time and check what has been added. I forgot to draw Buttman on it though, I'm so sorry I've stained the very legacy I promised to upkeep. ;_;

Notice the sunbathing seal at the very corner. xD

I've always liked Kummacon in general, it's a very low-threshold event for first-timers as there's never been an entrance fee to date and it has this comfy, tiny community feeling. It doesn't have all the 'oohs' and 'aahs' that bigger cons do in terms of content and spectacles but Kummacon has the classic con repertoire to keep you at least entertained through most of its duration: anime karaoke, board games room, Artist's Alley, merchandise and Asian sweets to buy, cosplay competition, panels, escape room etc. There wasn't a video games room (which usually is a staple at cons) but other than that I don't really felt like it was missing anything crucial. And I'm low maintentance.

Part of the main area where sponsored shops were.

If you wanted plushies Urumi had you covered...

... and if you wanted sweets there was Manga Cafe.

Sponsor area viewed from opposite direction. Notice Pelimies in the corner.

Opposite side of sponsor area was for chillaxing.

Artist's Alley was located in the corridors and back area.

Tuira's school as a host building wasn't optimal but decent enough to function. The layout of the building is kinda awkward, even for a school. It's very narrow and feels like it's 75% corridors lol. So needless to say there were a lot of situations when certain passages would get really crammed because people would pile up there and block the hallways due to walking into the area from two different directions simultaneously etc – the Artist's Alley was particularly notorious for creating bottlenecks like this as half of the tables were placed along a narrow reverse U-shaped corridor while some were lucky enough to be put in the tiny open area (as seen on my photo above) at the end of the building. At some point the issue was somewhat lessened by putting up signs showing the walking direction, although I lowkey feel like this should have been predicted and prevented already before the con started by putting up big arrow floor signs or markers etc. The papers were very easy to miss, to be honest.

I found someone sus.

There's one thing that really caught me by surprise though and that was the popularity of the second-hand shop, aka 'conikirppis'. For those not aware of how this works it's basically that con attendants can sign up prior to the event to leave items that they want to sell (price marked etc) and those will then be sold in the second-hand shop by some workers who have that as their responsibility. Unsold items will then be returned to the owners along with money gained. But yeah, what I was about to say was that already before it opened its doors on Saturday there was a clear line of people queueing in front of the door. And it kept getting bigger. And bigger. And bigger. And by the time it was time to open I saw that the line of people had grown so big that it ran across almost the whole length of the corridor, all the way to the Artist's Alley. It was crazy. People had to line up and patiently wait for their turn to have a chance of entering the second-hand due to it being located in a small classroom. I kept walking by the area many times due to being a worker and I noticed that the line was there and it felt like it didn't get any smaller for the longest time. There were even some con workers outside the door regulating the entrance to keep it from escalating into overcrowded chaos.

Found this funny. xD In the second-hand shop.

I realized I forgot to take photos of the merchandise hall as it was located in another interconnected building (you had to go outside and enter another building directly to the right and then left, if exiting from the school's courtyard) but yeah, this was where you could find the non-sponsor shops and booths. Some other conventions like Matsucon and Kazecon also had their information stalls here along with some book publishers and the local LGBTQ+ organizations. 

Oh and yeah, to fit with the mystery theme one could find these funny little "missing person" posters scattered around the con. These gave me a chuckle or two, there were more of them and I'm not sure I even spotted them all as I didn't venture into all the available classrooms to check.

I gotta say I'm happy things turned out the way they did in the end. Sure that the panic mode before departure was absolutely horrible, in every imaginable way, but I had some serious luck in misfortune and I ended up being a valuable asset for the Kummacon crew too – so it worked both ways!
And I gotta admit that I had a lot of fun and that the co-workers were all really pleasant and fun personalities to deal with although I'm in awkward potato mode quite often lulz. 
The Green Room had some really wild discussions going on at times, like I remember walking into some deep talk about condom-flavored ramune that escalated into playful lobbying for a 18+ version of Kummacon that should naturally be called Kuumacon (literally Hotcon). I had to excuse myself at that moment and leave the room before I died. It was hilarious.

The secrets that lie inside the Green Room...

Oh and I gotta say that I slept the Saturday-Sunday night so much better and guess why? I got to upgrade my bedding! There was this other con worker who also slept in-location and after I happened to spill the beans about my uncomfortable last night's sleeping ventures I was told that I could borrow the megasized bean bag chairs that had been in use for visitors to sit on during the day. Well, needless to say I went to the chill corridor and grabbed one and dragged it into my lair!

Panic bedding 2.0

It's not that visible on the photo but the blue one is easily twice the size of my emaciated black one and had so much more stuffing. Obviously I slept like a rejuvenated king considering the original situation, almost. :D

I couldn't stay the full day on Sunday. As I had prebooked my bus tickets already before I had any idea that my original plans would fail it of course meant that I was limited by those times. So on Sunday I left the con building around the 15:00 mark after doing some last minute Artist's Alley gift shopping for friends and relatives. 

My treasure haul for myself. The shirt was a worker bonus.
(gifts for others not pictured)

All in all I had a great time at the con and left with a warm and fuzzy feeling in the chest. I will definitely keep on attending Kummacon as it feels like a safe place to be, it's relaxing, moves at its own pace and the people behind it work hard to keep it free and inviting for everyone. It's not perfect but you can tell that the organizers do it with their hearts; it's a passion project that has endured over the years and for that it deserves a round of applause. I would definitely be interested to go as a worker in the future too.

That's it for this time, thanks for reading!

October 7, 2022

Lens review: Kazzue Twilight Yellow

 Hello beans!

I'm doing another circle lens today for y'all and, although I'm not sure if this lens brand is really Kazzue under a different label (rebranding is a common practice with circle lenses) or not, but aaaaanyways the design is exactly the same so let's roll with that for now. I mean, the website on the label doesn't even lead to anything relevant. So today's review is essentially Kazzue Twilight Yellow, let's-a go!

Base curve: 8.6 mm
Diameter: 15 mm
Water content: 55%
Life span: 1 year (I recommend 6 months)

I honestly can't even remember where I purchased these as it was a long time ago, but I know it was either LensVillage or HoneyColor. I'm pretty sure I originally bought these just out of curiosity how they'd look, although I was worried that the black center rim would look awful on light eyes.
This style of design has been around for a bit and due to its intense color (it's crazy lens levels of pigmentation!) and cartoony style it's been quite popular with cosplayers. At its core it's a really simple design though; there's a solid single color base with thick black rims on both the inner and outer edges along with some evenly spaced darts reaching towards the middle. It's not the most artistic but it works for creating a rather intense effect.

One lens in.

There's some fairly big enlargement going on and, as anyone would have guessed, the yellow color is very bright and unmistakable! It's very much opaque and completely blocks out my real eye color, which is a light grayish blue. These definitely fall more into costuming territory than being something you'd casually wear out to town (unless heading for a wild party) or something... I mean, uhh, some poor old believer might think that you're a spawn of Satan and prompt to hit you with a certain holy book or something.

Lens photos incoming!
All photos taken by me during an afternoon with a partly cloudy sky.
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.

Bathroom light.

Flash photo.

Unlit corridor, weak natural light in the distance.

Facing a window indoors, not sun side. (backyard view)

Outdoors, back against the sun. (facing wall)

Outdoors, facing the sun while standing under the roof's shadow.

Outdoors, facing the sun.

Comfort is not something I can say a lot about this time either. If you've been reading my blog for some time you know what's up but if you are new I'll just say that I had forgotten about a big box of unopened lenses for literal years and, when I found them, they had expired. So I've just been going through those pairs and making reviews in hopes it helps someone out there. This also means that I don't wear the lenses for longer than absolutely necessary to get the photos taken and that translates to me not being able to give a correct estimate on comfort.
What I can say though, based on my very limited time wearing these lenses, is that they appeared to be thin and essentially invisible to wear, as in I didn't feel that I had lenses on. They seemed generally comfortable. There might have been a tinge of a dryish feel but that could just as well be my eyes having a dry eyes because yes, my eyes are naturally pretty damn dry (I periodically spam eyedrops lul).
But anyways, that's mostly it for this quick review. Should you be in the need for bright yellow lenses then I would wholly recommend checking these out (especially as it's one of the few yellow lenses and probably one of the more readily available styles). They aren't natural for shit and might look a litttle weird up close on light eyes (due to the inner circle being pure black, it's a bit jarring) but from a distance they look pretty dang sweet! So yeah, this is a viable cosplay lens for photoshoots and especially if you want your super yellow lenses to show up on more than just portrait style pictures. It's definitely not a bad option in any regard but yeah, just don't give the neighboring grandma a stroke if you decide to don them casual around the garden... :D

Distance photo!

Short summary:

Color: 10/10
A super yellow lens, very bright and true color. Great for Halloween, cosplay etc.
Design: 7/10
A big, solid color lens with some bold edges and cartoony darts. It's very costume-y in nature.
Opacity: 10/10
Damn son, these deliver. It's not even marketed as a crazy lens but the pigmentation is on the same league.
Enlargement: 8/10
They come across as pretty large, especially due to the very prominent black outer rim.
Comfort: 7/10
Appears comfortable, thin and I don't feel them on at all. Didn't really experience any colored corners either.
Naturalness: 0/10
*insert trolololo rhythm here* Nononono no nononooo nono noo~~

Thanks for viewing, more content coming later!