January 26, 2015

Hakuouki's Souji Okita makeup test!

Chu chuuu ~

I know I know, I've already cosplayed Okita several times so why am I doing a makeup test now? You see, that's because during the last month or so I've been trying to change and improve my cosplay makeup a bit; I came to the conclusion along the way that I wanted to update and try on the new makeup first for my Hakuouki character cosplays, mainly because they have really beautiful eyes that require more makeup than some of my other cosplays. For most of the Hakuouki guys I do the same eye makeup (with possible slight differences) but since I had thrown away all my circle lenses (they expired) that I had been using for all the characters except for the green lenses that I use for Okita... well, guess? :'D

I still don't have his usual Japanese style outfit, so I just took my asanoha pattern yukata (that I'll use for the cosplay) and rolled with it for now. The lenses I'm using are the I.Fairy Ash Green and after taking these photos I threw them away. :'( I've had them since last summer and I never wear circle lenses for 1 year anymore max 6-7 months, just to be on the safe side.

Actually, when I was taking the selfies (yeah, had no photographer around...) I got surprisingly many decent ones and well, I just couldn't decide which ones to upload because they were all good so, err, prepare for seeing my face a lot... xD I hope you don't get sick of the photo spam ahead!

But I'll stop babbling now and let you see the updated makeup test results.
Sorry about the unfitting background, I didn't have much choice because the lights were kinda bad in the house and so I had to go stand next to the windows...

It was soooo hard to blink like that lol. OTL
I actually have more pictures than this but I think I'll stop here...

How do you like the new makeup look? o/ 

Personally I do kinda like it, but I really need to buy some more precise makeup tools because it felt like I didn't have the right equipment for this kind of shit. Some lines could have been thinner/cleaner/less bold *coughlineundertheeyecough* but I blame my lacking makeup brush arsenal and my lack of knowledge of said brushes for that. I also should invest in different color shades for, well, shading, as well as blending equipment etc. I don't have enough makeup and I also need to learn more. Makeup is not my strong point when it comes to cosplay.
I will do changes to this makeup style and improve it along the way; this was just a first try to try it out and see how it looks. Needs more practice ~

Not really anything else to say, sayonara!
Shiro Samurai out.

January 24, 2015

Cosplay with circle lenses – Necessary or not?

Hi everyone!

I've thought about making this kind of post for a long time now and that's because, well, I have quite something to tell about this whole topic! :'D You see, I realized that almost exactly 2 years ago from this day I ordered my very first circle lenses. Wow, can you believe it?? o_o
Khrmm, yes, the post for today will basically be about my life as a cosplayer before and after I started using circle lenses, along with how drastically my opinions changed along the way! This whole post will be based on my experiences and opinions only, your mileage may vary.

So let's get to the chase, shall we? ;)
*drops the bomb*

First off, I've been a cosplayer since late 2009 and the first time I wore a cosplay out for the world to see was on summer 2010. I remember being aware of cosplayers using colored contact lenses pretty early on in the hobby, but for several years I was strictly of the opinion that "it was not for me". Maybe it was out of fear of trying, maybe not. I don't know. We'll never knoooooooow...
I saw lenses as some do-it-only-if-you-have-the-extra-cash-to-burn thing that wouldn't even pay off and be worth it unless the character had obviously unnatural eyes like screaming red or something, then I thought that maybe it could be needed. Maybe. But even so it was low-priority and easy to forgive if you didn't have contacts.

This so illustrates me and my opinion towards circle lenses pre-2013. xD
I used to think that colored contacts were one of those "optional but kinda pointless" extras that you could add to your cosplay if you had nothing better to spend your money on, basically. I kept this point of view from 2010 to the end of 2012 something; in the early 2013 I started slowly loosening up and changing where on the line I was standing. Black had started moving towards white; now it was gray and in the middle.

"Maybe contacts weren't so unnecessary and pointless as I had thought. Maybe wearing lenses was actually a more noticeable thing and could even give your cosplay a whole new level of feeling complete."

I believe that one of the reasons I started slowly to realize that "hey, having circle lenses for cosplay actually looks good!" was because some of my cosplay friends were using lenses and *gasp* it was actually one of the things I noticed first as I talked with them! No way! I mean, how could I have missed to see the bigger-than-usual eyes with pretty patterns and vibrant colors?
Before I had seen circle lens users in real life I had always thought that "nah, it's just the eyes; it's such a small detail that no one will notice it unless they're basically standing so close that they can see your nose hairs moving". Oh boy, how wrong I was.

So yeah, on mid or late January 2013 I had a cosplay coming that had obviously violet eyes. I thought that now was the time to step into new waters it was "now or never" and "you couldn't know unless you tried" and all of those. It was unfair to judge without at least trying so now I threw myself in there too...

"Even though I had done a lot of research on how to wear and care for circle lenses I had to admit I was scared. Really scared of wearing them for the first time."

Seeing how much I love circle lenses today it's unreal to think that I used to be so bleh about them earlier. But even I, when I started, was more scared of putting something into my eye than I'd like to remember lol. I remember that the first time I ever put contacts in it felt SO WEIRD. It surely took me around 10 minutes to get both of them in and I remember my eyes turning very red and watery and oh gosh, it took forever before my eyes returned to normal and it was horrible. xD I also remember my eyelid blinking and twitching like hell when I approached my eyeball with the "foreign piece of plastic", pff. But yeah, never underestimate the importance of hygiene when handling your lenses and remember, some people just can't wear contact lenses for whatever reason. Personally I don't have any problems with poking my eyes and so for me it was no biggie to get the lenses in the first times and yeah, when they were in it felt like a big fat slap in the face of my former ignorant self circle lenses made my eyes pop and look really anime!! OO Definitely improved the overall impression of my cosplay!

Suddenly I had moe moe desu kawaii bling eyes... or something like that.
Okay so, first I only bought lenses for cosplay characters that had eye colors that were notably different from my own red, gold and violet for example. I tried to limit myself to unnatural colors only because I thought that these would be the most noticeable, but at some point I started feeling like something was missing if I wasn't wearing circle lenses even for characters with natural eye colors! *double gasp*
I ended up widening my self-put restrictions to also allow purchasing brown and green lenses before long, but I thought that I wouldn't really need blue or gray lenses because my eyes were blue-grayish to begin with "why would I spend money on an eye color I already had?". Well, that didn't last long because when I had lenses of all colors except those closest to my natural eye color then it felt like all cosplays had that extra "oomph", except those that I didn't wear contacts to... yet. Something was lacking. I wonder what?

By now I'm wearing circle lenses of all colors and yes to all my cosplays. I can't even imagine cosplaying without lenses because, after all, the eyes on anime/manga characters are usually a very important and noticable part of their visuals. Human eyes with normal-sized pupils just aren't always flashy and eye-catching enough lol. I actually feel kinda naked without lenses on my cosplays and circle lenses look especially amazing on close-up photos etc.

"Before I noticed it my opinion had drastically changed. I had gone from 'contacts are an almost pointless addition' to 'I can't even cosplay anymore without circle lenses'!
What you mean I went from black to white just by giving it a try?"

I think that about sums it up quite a difference, neh?
I hope you found the read not to be a complete waste of your time and psst, any comments are very welcome! ^_^ Ciao ~

January 22, 2015

A peek on possible 2015 cosplays!

*waves and smiles*

I know that it's maybe a bit late now but I thought that it could maybe be a fun thing to show some of the characters that I've planned to cosplay this year! :D I don't have very many plans right now because money problems and lack of space problems :C but at least I have some characters in mind that I at least want to try to make for this year! How much bet that by the end of the year I haven't done half of these?

But without any further chitchat, let's get to the guys in line!


Series: Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan
Character: Chikage Kazama (game version)
 I've been wanting to cosplay this demon for a few years now. He's cool in the anime (although his motives for wanting Chizuru in the anime are.. err, simple unique.. *cough* xD) but most of all I freakin' love his design red, white and black and red eyes to top it off! I maybe have a slight love-hate relationship to Kazama though and that's because he hurt Okita in the Ikedaya affair.. </3 But I just can't help drooling after his design and hey, it's fun to be a bad guy every once in a while too!

Series: Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan
Character: Heisuke Toudou (western outfit, game version)
I admit that Heisuke is not one of my main favorites in Hakuouki but I can't help liking him anyway he's fun and always cheerful and positive!
I like his western outfit in all its simplicity at least compared to the other guys and I kinda want to cosplay all the main shinsengumi guys anyway so here goes for the shota too! x) Also I want to make that pink-gayflower-buttcape-decoration... thing. Thing.

Series: Attack on Titan
Character: Eren Yeager (kimono version)
HNNNG, this version!! ;A; I don't know for sure where it is from.. some online game?? But if I can find the money, dedication and time to make this cosplay this year then, oh lordy lord, I will! Just look at it!! *O*

Series: Black Bullet
Character: Rentarou Satomi
I watched this anime at the end of last year and I found myself enjoying the show surprisingly much! I liked the setting, the mood and the idea of it. Too bad that some things were left unexplained, but I'm crossing my fingers for a second season because it felt like there was a lot more to the story.
I liked the main character, Rentarou, and I really want to do a pair cosplay from Black Bullet with Hasakitsuki this year!

Series: Rurouni Kenshin
Character: Kenshin Himura
Ah, Rurouni Kenshin. <3 Hopefully now that I got the wefts needed to fix my wig I'll get to make the rest of the costume and take this peaceful swordsman out for a con day or two! I really can't wait to get to cosplay the most recognizable version of Kenshin!


Well, that's actually most of them. There's of course the obvious Team Aqua Grunt who will get his debut this year because duh, the costume is already done! :-DD Then there is also Masamune Date from Sengoku Basara whom I bloody hell should finish it has been such an eternity project, oops.
Except for those two there is also at least one gijinka cosplay that I have kinda promised to do because cosplay group but I want to keep it as a secret a little bit longer, mufufu... ~

Did any of those characters/series awake tingling feelings in you?
Anyone that you especially want to see done?
Tell me! <3

I think that's all I have to say for this round, sayonara ~~ 

January 21, 2015

Long awaited extra hair and a Naruto headband!

Whazzup bros? ;)

I recently received some wig-y parts from an Arda Wigs order that Jäätynyt Enkeli placed some weeks ago. I hadn't bought a full wig, just a pack of short wefts and two short clip-on bangs. Jäätynyt Enkeli did buy a lacefront wig though.

Colors from left to right: Royal Blue, Cobalt Blue
& Light Copper Red.
I admit that Arda has amazing quality, variety in both styles & colors and their wigs are a godsend if you have a bigger than average head _but_ it's a bit expensive and even more so because the shipping costs (at least to northern Europe) are really high I think it was around 20 dollars just for our order that consisted of one wig and some small stuff that barely take space or weight anything. Ouch. D;  And on top of that we got stuck into customs and had to pay like 30+ dollars more... the wallet is bleeding. x_x
The reason that Arda's shipping is so high is also the reason why I've been putting off from ordering especially the pack of wefts for like, I don't know, at least one year? :< But now that le bro urgently needed an Arda wig I finally got my chance to jump in on the same order! Not keen on paying shipping twice the item cost for just some wefts and nothing else..

You see, I've been needing to order the wefts to fill out the ponytail on my Kenshin wig (also from Arda and thus the reason I needed wefts from the same company, so that colors would match) and yeah, I mean the non-Battousai usual Kenshin wig that I've had lying around in my closet for a long time now.

This Kenshin that we all know and love. <3
Yeah, I'm happy to finally have gotten a hold of the extra hair that I needed and so I will continue the progress again on our wandering swordsman and, possibly, cosplay him at a con this year!

But except for the new hairy friends I also got a new ninja accessory friend!

le ninja headband.
(there's still the plastic protection film on the metal)
This one was originally Jäätynyt Enkeli's (dad had bought it for him from Fantasybutiken) but he lost interest in cosplaying from Naruto a long time ago. Lately I've been getting into this popular show what you mean late to the party? and I guess I had mentioned that I had thoughts on cosplaying a few characters that would have use of the same headband he had lying around and so he ended up giving it over to me, whoopee! (◕//ヮ//◕)

That's all for this time, cosplay updates might come later this year! Cya!

January 18, 2015

Lens review: Vassen Dori Green

Le-le-le-lens review time! o/

Some days ago I did a cosplay test with these lenses on and today I will review them! :D I've been itching to review these for days but the weather hasn't been in a cooperative mood...
These lenses are the Vassen Dori Green, although their color is not a true green but much more of a blue-green. Yes, this is exactly the reason why I wanted them!

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

The Vassen Dori Green have a base curve of 8.6 mm and according to the bottles a diameter of 14.5 mm. I can assure you that just by looking at the lenses in the vials you can tell that they definitely look bigger than average; the design is also printed very close to the edges, unlike on SeeShell Dizoneye Green.
Oh, and they have a shelf life (aka how long they hold in the vial's original solution if unopened) of 3 years instead of the much more usual 5 years.

Photos of the lenses in the vials, taken in
different room lights without flash.
The first time I put the lenses in the right one went in just fine but the left one stung like hell so I immediately took it off. I cleaned the lens and tried again and this time I could stand it in my eye, although I kept feeling that the contact was there and especially so when I blinked. It took several minutes (10+) before the "something's in the eye" feeling (my eyes kept watering) went away a bit and I was just constantly aware that I was wearing contacts which wasn't pleasant. I kept poking the inner corners of my eyes and trying to move the lens around under my closed eyelid and such, it's bothersome. They are borderline okay to wear but seem to dry fast on my eyes; at least my vision isn't hindered at all and I don't see in a blur or have colored corners when I move my gaze.
But yeah, the comfort is disappointing because otherwise I really love these lenses. :'( I don't know, maybe it's just that I keep having dry eyes aka bad eye day when I wear them.. *shrugs* It's a shame because if they were more comfortable I would definitely wear them out more often...

One lens in.
Enlargement effect is obviously there but it's not overwhelming and it doesn't look freaky either, at least not on my eyes. I do suspect though that you might need to wear eye makeup with these lenses or they might look out of place.

But now, prepare for a crapton of photos!
You have been warned...
All photos are taken by me.

The first batch was taken outdoors, while standing on a balcony around 11:30, during a winter day when the sun luckily was showing. Yes, it's been super cloudy and gray for like the whole week, bleh..

In... 3, 2, 1...

As you can see the color is amazingly pretty!! <3 It looks very good on my light eyes and it doesn't look too unnatural either; they blend and fade nicely towards the center. The color is this blue-green shade that is absolutely gorgeous and I have to admit that based on color alone these would be among my favorite lenses!
Definitely great for cosplaying characters with this kind of rare eye color, like Heisuke from Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan or Eren Yeager from Attack on Titan.

Second batch of photos are still taken on the same spot and approximately same time, except that the sun had time to go hide under a group of clouds... which means that the light is less orange.

Flash photo outdoors.

The design is unique and very flattering it makes me think of some kind of discreet stylized flower petals, but it's not too girly for us guys to wear either! ;) Personally I really like the design, it kinda draws the watcher's gaze towards your pupil with the small black lines going inwards. Very beautiful, me gusta.
Oh, and these do occasionally give my eyes a pretty halo effect! *w*

The last batch are all taken indoors under various lights; time approximately around 11:50. Still cloudy outside, for your information. Some photos are flash photos.

Flash photo.

Flash photo.
Flash photo.

Gah, I love these so much! ;w; Too bad I don't wear them often because of the lacking comfort; as I mentioned earlier it's just a shame that they dry pretty fast it feels like freedom every time I take 'em off and I always feel that I have contacts on when I wear my Dori Greens, damn. u_u
Aaah.. but I'd still recommend these for anyone who's curious about them; just make sure that you carry around some eyedrops if you plan to wear them for more than three or so hours!

Lastly, have some selfies I took from a slight distance I even took more than the usual one only!

This one is taken outdoors, the rest are taken indoors.

Short summary:

Color: 9/10
Super awesome blue-green color that is hard to come by
I love it to bits!
Design: 8/10
Very pretty and unique pattern that seems to look like some kind of flower petals up close.
Opacity: 7/10 

The colored areas are rather opaque, but the lenses have a big-ish pupil hole so the center blends gradually into your eyes it's a nice effect though!
Enlargement: 8/10
Big lenses, definitely.
Comfort: 3/10
Disappointing. I keep feeling that I have them in my eyes and they seem to dry a bit fast for me. :<
Naturalness: 2/10
Ignore the big size, unnatural color, design and... nevermind.

Thanks for reading! o/
Bye bye ~