December 31, 2017

Year of Cosplay 2017

Good day folks!

Once again we're nearing the end of yet another year and every time it feels just as sudden. I don't know where the days go but I know that time can't be stopped from running its course. I can say already now that in terms of cosplay the year 2017 has been very... underwhelming. I'm just not feeling it and trust me, I'm not happy about it either.

As per blog tradition, I'll start by listing all the conventions that I attended during 2017:

Matsucon - Oulu, Finland
Euran Mangapäivä - Eura, Finland
Mushucon - Rovaniemi, Finland
Närcon - Linköping, Sweden
Chibicon - Oulu, Finland
Skecon - Skellefteå, Sweden

Well, that list is not very impressive. I tick in at 6 cons for this year and I think that's a "personal worst" if we don't count my first cosplay years in like 2010-2011 something (aka before I even had this blog). One might notice as well that out of all these cons Närcon is the only big one – the rest are all what could be considered as local small cons, save for the one in Eura as that's totally not local for me. xD I just haven't been feeling the con hype this whole year and there's been a lot of other shit getting in the way, like school and mental health.

2017 is pretty similar to 2016, except probably even worse. I've literally only had 3 photoshoots during the whole year, of which only 1 can be considered a proper one. Needless to say the lack of new, updated cosplay photos is huuuuuuge. It's like I know I've improved but I have nothing to show for it and it makes me feel shit, lol. I'm not getting my hopes up about 2018 being much better in the cosplay department since I'll probably be very busy with my new school and other real-life matters. Yep, I'm starting new studies in January and I'm finally gonna get myself a profession!

Aaaaaand what about the... the other traditional thing, you wonder?

I think this has turned into a meme of its own by now. x) Every year I wear fewer costumes, which of course naturally results in fewer photos and thus nothing to really show the world. This year it's the same curse – out of all four cosplays (wow, what a number) that I wore to cons I only have non-selfie photos of two of them, and that's like two photos of Itachi and one photo of Prussia. Urrrgh. Wake me up inside.

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

Matsucon: I wore my kimono!Itachi (Naruto) cosplay on Saturday and went casual on Sunday.
Euran Mangapäivä: Rewore Itachi again.
Mushucon: Because it was really spontaneous I went causal.
Närcon: I borrowed Firith's Teutonic Knight Prussia (Hetalia) cosplay on Thursday and wore swordboy Yasusada (Touken Ranbu) on Friday. On Saturday I wore a Rilakkuma kigurumi and on Sunday I wasn't even at the con.
Chibicon: Filthy casual.
Skecon: No cosplay on Friday, Gin Ichimaru (Bleach) for a few hours on Saturday and no cosplay on Sunday.

Yeah. I haven't done a lot of cosplaying this year, what more can I say?
I guess my favorite con of the year would be Närcon, but even that is with mixed feelings. I got a lot of joy from being with my big sister for the last time before she moved to Germany – I'm happy she came with me to visit Närcon on one day as well! It's gonna feel weird to not be able to sleep at her place during the con weekend anymore but oh well, there's the Närcon camping. It was fun to hang with Firith as well, although I'm still sorry about some of the things that didn't quite go as planned and I hope it didn't screw up the experience too much for my friend. :'( 
Otherwise Mushucon deserves a mention because, despite our trip being super sudden and spontaneous it was surprisingly fun! Although I guess all the derping with friends in the camper accounted for the positive memories of the con. xD


I'm sorry about this whole post being kinda low in tone but, honestly, that's what this year has been like for me – lowkey shit. Of course it has had its great moments but I feel like for most of the time I've been my own anxiety's victim, combined with stress and whatnot. I just haven't been able to enjoy cosplaying and going to cons the same way as before and I miss the magic, honestly. I'm hoping that the future will reignite the fire that I've been searching for the past couple years. I'm also hoping to get at least one big cosplay project done next year (Monster Hunter anyone?) and that I'll have more time, money and inspiration to go farther to explore new conventions!

But before I end this post I want to thank all my friends, readers and everyone else who stumbles upon this blog of mine I hope you all will continue to come back to read about my cosplay life and support me! Thank you so much for staying with me, like really.

Bye bye & Happy New Year 2018!

December 21, 2017

Lens review: GEO Xtra Morning Glory Brown

Hello sweeties!

Here comes my last circle lens review for this year, which is nearing its closure. It feels really weird to think that 2017 is soon over. I've had this pair in my possession for years but only now got around to actually open them, oops. Without further ado I'll say that today's review will be about the GEO Xtra Morning Glory Brown (WFL-A34) lenses, let's a-go!

Base curve: 8.7 mm
Diameter: 15 mm
Water content: 42%
Life span: 1 year (I recommend 6 months)

As with any legitimate GEO lenses these also came with authenticity stickers that could be checked online, to prove that the lenses are genuine of course. It's always worth it to be careful and only buy circle lenses from online shops that are trustable.

The Morning Glory lenses have a beautiful, intricate print and lovely color. Brown lenses are usually not my first pick but these I just felt like I had to try! *_* I am often drawn to lenses with unique artsy prints and these are no exception, hehe.

One lens in. Notice enlargement.
As you can see my natural eye color is a light blue-gray and these lenses turn into this lovely soft brown on my eyes. My real eye color does show through in the middle, because of the large pupil hole, but it doesn't clash with the brown and actually looks pretty nice. I like this kind of caramel-colored brown lenses anyway because they make my eyes look gentle somehow? That probably sounds kind of dumb but light brown eyes I tend to interpret as warm and kind. ^^

I guess the pattern itself is supposed to mimic a flower or something (it's from the Flower series after all) but it's so artistic that I don't instantly see it, lmao. I do like the thick limbal ring as it frames and brings focus to the eyes! The enlargement effect is obviously there too but it's not eating up my eyes, just making them look a bit more doll-like and cute.

All photos taken by me during a December morning with a sun that barely rises above the horizon line so yeah, no can do about the shitty light conditions because we're experiencing a phenomenon called polar night right now.
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.

Facing window. Sun side.
Facing window. Not sun side.
Bathroom light.
Natural apartment room light. (only window light)
Flash photo.
Outdoors, back against sun.
Outdoors, facing sun.
This is a fancy fashion lens for the fabulous earth-walkers but it could just as well serve as a cosplay lens, if wanted. The design is lovely, the size increase is there and the blending into my blue eyes is just right. The fabulous print draws in the watcher's gaze and gives this kind of mesmerizing, almost dreamy look to your eyes. I would recommend this pair if you like brown lenses especially artsy ones with thick limbal rings.

Comfort is surprisingly good. I rarely find lenses exceedingly comfortable, seeing how dry my eyes are naturally, but these are definitely on the better side of average. These lenses are thin and I don't feel them in my eyes, which is always a plus because no one likes the obvious feel of "plastic in the eye" that some lenses give. I experience no vision blur or stinginess with these lenses and I can easily wear them past 3 hours without any dry bouts or hints of dryness/irritation. I would estimate wearing time on dry eyes for about 3-5 hours, at least for me. Definitely better than average in my books.

Distance photos!

Want to see Morning Glory lenses reviewed in another color? 
Check this out: Blue

Short summary:

Color: 7/10
Soft caramel-like brown color that goes nicely together with my light blue-gray eyes.
Design: 9/10
Gorgeous flower design with black details and a thick limbal ring for definition.
Opacity: 7/10
These do make my eyes appear brown but yeah, the large pupil hole lets through my real eye color in the middle so it doesn't look mega brown from a distance, lol. Still pretty though!
Enlargement: 7/10
Big and doll-like.
Comfort: 7/10
Thin and comfortable. No dry bouts or stinginess. Wearing time anywhere between 3-5 hours on my super-dry eyes. Definitely good!
Naturalness: 3/10
The thick dark rim, artsy design and size give them away. Looks too artificial and dolly to pass.

Thanks for reading and I hope you found this review useful!
Shiro Samurai out ~

December 18, 2017

My to-this-day undebuted cosplays

Hello folks!

Here it now is – the list of all my yet-to-be-debuted cosplays, as of now. I think every cosplayer is guilty of this one and what I mean is that we all start cosplays and then life happens and we just don't... finish them, for whatever reason. Sometimes we lose interest, sometimes we get other costumes in the way (that we want to finish first) and sometimes we just get lazy. Or something. :D

Regarding my own list I want to say that fear not, all the characters on the image below I still have an intent to finish and wear to a con. I haven't forgotten them! It's just that, for various reasons, all of these guys have ended up on the backburner – finished or not. I will detail below the status of each listed character.

From top left to bottom right:

Sanosuke Harada (Hakuouki, western outfit): Mostly finished. Looking for the right wig.
Team Aqua Grunt (Pokémon, RSE version): Finished, I might have lost my gloves though. Waiting for the right summer con because this is a very light costume.
Invoker (DOTA 2): In progress. Currently on a break.
Rentarou Satomi (Black Bullet): Need new shoes, otherwise finished. Hoping for a group/pair cosplay as I'm not too interested in doing him alone...
Leon S. Kennedy (Resident Evil 4): In progress. Hoping to get him finished early next year.
Mikazuki Munechika (Touken Ranbu): In progress but on a break. I have the wig and headband.
Tsurumaru Kuninaga (Touken Ranbu): In need of upgrading/repairs. Making the sword. Currently on a break.
Kenshin Himura (Rurouni Kenshin): Need to style the wig and fix the sword, otherwise ready. Currently on a break but plan to get back to him soon.
Hotaru (Samurai Deeper Kyo): Finished. Just need to learn to walk without faceplanting with his tengu geta. Waiting for a summer con.
Cheshire Cat (Yume Oukoku to Nemureru 100 nin no Ouji-sama): Needs some small fixing. Currently on a break.
Hajime Saitou (Hakuouki, rasetsu): Finished, except that I kind of want to find an even better wig for him. The juban needs some repairing before wear and the waraji shoes need to be strengthened.
Masamune Date (Sengoku Basara): My eternity project. ::DD Seeing how I last worked on him in 2014-2015 I might want to remake most of the armor parts by now, seeing how some of them aren't even comfortable/possible to wear. Currently on a break.
Shin Kazama (Area 88): In progress. Working on his flight suit. Hopefully finished for next summer.

There you have it. :) Although I must admit that I did not add all characters in there, mainly because either a lack of reference images of the particular version or because I'm highly considering scrapping them from my cosplay list altogether. Look at the list below to get an idea of what characters I left out and what their fate looks like.

Here's the "invisible list" of the second-grade cosplays:

Eren Yeager (Attack on Titan, casual): I actually started making this costume in January 2015 and got like halfway done before I suddenly lost interest. Don't get me wrong – I still think that the show is good but because of bad experiences I don't think that I want to cosplay from it anymore.
Levi Ackerman (Attack on Titan, suit): I still kinda like the character but I just can't look at this cosplay the same as before. The costume is finished but I doubt I could ever get past the mental barrier to actually wear him out, seeing how this very cosplay worsened my already existing insecurities. I know that my friends would tell me to not let anonymous hate stop me from cosplaying him but honestly, I don't want to risk getting bullied for wearing a cosplay again. Especially one that is not important to me anyway... 
Masamune Date (Brave 10): I did actually do a wig test in like 2012 but haven't started working on this cosplay. I later sold the wig but I still plan to cosplay this guy eventually especially if I could get a group together.
Rokuro Unno (Brave 10, kimono): I was about to wear him to Desucon 2013 but just did a quick photoshoot outside the hotel and skipped actually debuting him. On hindsight I'm happy about that because the costume needs some updating, aka a better wig and eyewrap. Still plan to cosplay him one day, hopefully.
Yuuto (Original Character): One of my early OCs. I wore him for a home photoshoot in 2010 (holy shit that's old!) but since then I've been wanting to improve this costume and rewear him.
Jushiro Ukitake (Bleach, original suit): Did this for Valentine's Day 2012 and for Desucon Frostbite's "iltabileet" the same year. I kind of want to have a proper photoshoot of this costume one day.
Chikage Kazama (Hakuouki): I think I bought a sayagata patterned collar to use for his haori in 2012 and then just... forgot about it. xD I still want to do him but it's probably gonna take a while.

I might be forgetting someone but I left out a few new (or old-new) cosplays that I will soon start working on and want to keep secret for a lil' while longer. x) Also, I chose to skip adding all the different versions of Hakuouki's Souji Okita and rasetsu versions of other characters that I have more or less started working on because yeah, they would quickly take up a lot of space – I only added Saitou and western Harada on the list because those I actually got far enough to costest, haha. I bought perfect red fabric for Okita's regular version in 2014 and it has been waiting for its day since then. I also have red leather fabric for his gloves etc.


There ya go. I hope you found this little post of interest, hehe. ^_^
Thanks for reading and see you!

December 14, 2017

Lens review: ColourVue Crazy Lens Emerald

Hello lovelies!

As I promised on the last crazy lens review... here's the next one!
This time around I'll be showing you all the ColourVue Crazy Lens Emerald, which is a pretty interesting lens that gave me a couple surprises.

Now let's roll!

Base curve: 8.6 mm
Diameter: 14.0 mm
Water content: 45%
Life span: 1 year (I recommend 6 months)

I have to say that photographing these lenses in their vials was stupendously hard!! They always turned into this weird light fluorescent blue-ish green on camera when they have a richer, darker shade when viewed in real life. The photos above are the closest I could manage but it's still not 100% accurate to show what the color looks like...

One lens in.
My natural eye color is a light blue-gray and these crazy lenses turn a really interesting color on my peepers! They are not completely opaque and the little amount of transparency that there ismakes a really cool effect and attempt in making the lenses appear slightly more... realistic, I guess? It's a bit hard to explain but the way these go over my eyes makes them look a bit more believable than those 100% opaque single color crazy lenses that are quite popular and have the same base design. I really dig the effect the lenses create – it would be super cool for doing stuff like zombies, virus or possessed humans, supernatural beings and the like. I see the Crazy Lens Emerald as a pretty versatile lens, partly thanks to its transparent effect.

Lens photos incoming!
All photos taken by me during a December morning with a sun that barely rises above the horizon line so yeah, polar night is a bitch. :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.

Facing window. Sun side.
Facing window. Not sun side.
Natural apartment room light. (only window light)
Flash photo.
Outdoors, back against sun.
Outdoors, facing sun. (the sun barely rises from the horizon
and a roof was blocking it from my view)
I love how bright these lenses are the color looks so unrealistic but in a super cool way! Also, because these lenses are slightly larger than my real iris there is this thin colored rim around my eyes that shows the true, unblended color of the lens and it's a nice touch; it's almost like some sort of 'halo effect' but for single color lenses, hehe. I could totally see these work for cosplay and crazier alternative fashion styles!

I was really surprised when I put these lenses on because they felt so thin – I literally didn't feel them in my eyes! Most times crazy lenses tend to feel a bit thicker than your average circle lens but these were super thin (without being flimsy) and invisible to wear, meaning that I don't feel them in my eyes. These lenses don't obstruct my vision in poorer lights by doing the "colored corners" effect either, which was a positive surprise as I was expecting it, considering that these don't have the typical large pupil hole that circle lenses normally have; crazy lenses tend to have smaller pupil holes and thus obstruct the vision. These don't scratch, sting or do anything of the sort – although I must admit that I did experience having my vision blurred during night-time when sitting indoors with poor lights.
Regarding wear time I guess, with my extremely dry eyes, it's not that bad – I would say anything between 1-3 hours, although if your eyes are not dry I would guess that these could easily go past 5 hours. These lenses are generally really pleasant to wear except that, in my case at least, I did experience semi-regular dry bouts every hour that stung my eyes for a couple or so minutes (it felt like I really needed to take them off) but then the irritating feeling went away, as suddenly as it had come, and the lenses were perfectly fine again. After the third hour clocked in they started to feel legit dry and that's when I gave up.

Distance photo!

Short summary:

Color: 10/10 
Single color lens with an awesome but weird green shade that really pops!
Design: 8/10 
Simple single color design but the transparency makes it stand out from other similar lenses.
Opacity: 8/10
These don't have perfect coverage but instead shine through a bit, creating a fluorescent effect that's really intriguing.
Enlargement: 2/10 
Barely noticeable but enough to give a small green rim around my eyes, at least.
Comfort: 4/10 
Really thin and generally invisible and pleasant to wear (save for occasional dry bouts) but, on my super dry eyes, wearing time is around 3 hours at most. Might blur vision slightly in poorer lights.
Naturalness: 1/10 
The color screams fake but I'll give one point for the blending... in crazy lens standards. ;)

Thanks for reading! One more contact lens review coming this month!

December 3, 2017

Lens review: ColourVue Crazy Lens Green Target

Hello folks!

I'm sorry about the silence but I'm super busy with school, work search etc right now and it's a really hectic time of year anyway (for most of us). ^^" I'm hoping to finish my studies so that I can finally move on to the next step in the ladder towards glory. x) But yeah, I don't want to let my blog die completely for this month so I scrambled together a review for a pair of crazy lenses – let's do this!

Below is a review of the ColourVue Crazy Lens Green Target contact lenses. This is a lens with a really funky green target print on a white background it looks pretty intense and is a great addition to people who rock more extreme fashion styles and want to spice things up!

Base curve: 8.6 mm
Diameter: 14.0 mm
Water content: 45%
Life span: 1 year (I recommend 6 months)

As you might notice these lenses come in a fancy cardboard package with a cut-out window from which you can see the vials inside. Inside the package is also an information sheet about lens care etc and it's pretty handy if you're new to wearing colored contact lenses.

As to be expected from crazy lenses these are opaque and thus really covering. The print looks like this kind of lock-on target from a firearm and it's pretty badass. This is not your everyday lens but it's totally cool for parties, raves and the like – I dig it. 

One lens in.
My natural eye color is a light blue-gray and these do the job in terms of coverage. It's a really eye-catching lens and sure to be noticed. The pupil hole is also small, which means that your eye color doesn't show through in the middle and spoil the effect. :)
These lenses are not really proper circle lenses so yeah, the enlargement effect is not their trump card and, quite honestly, it's really discreet. In other words the size increase is small.

Lens photos incoming!
All photos taken by me during a December morning with a sun that barely rises above the horizon line so yeah, say hello to polar night. :)
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.

Facing window. Sun side.
Facing window. Not sun side.
Bathroom light.
Orange lamp light in the kitchen.
Natural room light in the apartment. (window to the side)
Flash photo.
Outdoors, back against sun.
Outdoors, facing sun. (the sun barely rises from the horizon
and a roof was blocking it from my view)
The only thing I'm not happy with when it comes to these lenses is the comfort. They do obstruct my vision in poorer lights (indoors etc) but that's not a surprise considering that these have a rather small pupil hole which, in turn, is common for this type of lenses. These lenses do also feel a bit thick in my eyes but ehh, I can deal with that... but the thing I can't deal with is that they literally started to feel dry already after 15 minutes and that's even though I used eyedrops before putting on the lenses!? Ugh. ._. Now I happen to have really dry and sensitive eyes but yeah, just before the 2 hour mark the only thing I could think was "I need to fucking take these off". :D These might be super comfortable for someone else, what do I know, but for me they are a bummer. I wish they were comfier because they're really unique in terms of design and I'd love to wear them more for special occasions.

Distance photo!

Short summary:

Color: 10/10 
Unrealistically bright and super noticeable green color on a bold white background. Nothing to complain about here!
Design: 9/10 
Really cool and unique target print. They do spin in my eyes but, unlike cat eye lenses and the like it doesn't look retarded.
Opacity: 10/10
Perfect coverage. Super bold.
Enlargement: 2/10 
These have minimal enlargement effect.
Comfort: 2/10 
15 minutes in and they feel dry and irritating for me (I have super dry eyes). I managed to wear them 1 hour and 45 minutes before my eyes were screaming to take them off. Obstructs my vision and feel a bit thick as well, but that's to be expected.
Naturalness: 0/10 
Heheheh... nope.

Thanks for reading! More contact lens reviews coming later this month!