Saturday, 31 January 2015

Jaycee Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Cosplay Progress Report

This is the reason I haven't been paying much attention to Uni and my blog lately. I have become obsessed with sewing this year's cosplay! I am in my last and hardest year of my degree, and this is the absolute worst time to begin obsessing over something, but I can't help it!

I've played the Tekken franchise since I was young, I loved going to my cousin's house when I was not yet a teen and I distinctly remember that my favourite character was King. We purchased Tekken Tag Tournament 2 last year and I was quite taken with Jaycee aka Julia Chang, because she is quite difficult to play. 

Her Jaycee wrestling costume is much better than her normal garb. It has the appearance of being quite scandalous, but she's actually all covered up except for her butt. 

I don't have boobs so my chest is practically fully covered haha.

FYI, I have never sewn anything in my life before. I showed my Mum the costume and she gasped and said 'that's too hard! There are too many components!' I didn't listen and got her to show me how to use the sewing machine and overlocker and proceeded by myself.

I started by making multiple trips to spotlight for pattern cutting material, lycra, eyelets, metal rings, coloured thread and all the right bits and bobs. I actually spent hours drawing my own pattern to fit my body exactly and made a prototype out of scrap lyrca first before I started using the real material. All up this costume is going to cost me around $200! And I don't regret it one bit.

Then there were all the other things you don't think about. For example- lining, interfacing, boob padding, etc. I became obsessed with finding my way around all the challenges. Instead of typing my management plans and studying, I found myself sitting at the table surrounded by piles of material for days. 

I have tunnel vision when I have a goal in mind. That combined with my obsessive, perfectionist personality means I get what I want, but at the expense of forgetting about everything else important!

The leotard is almost finished, bar the blue outline because I am waiting for my material to come. I ordered it online because Spotlight didn't have the perfect blue. I also need to attach the rings to the sides.

I'm very proud of the corset back! The silver material is stretchy, so by itself will not hold an eyelet (the rings that the ribbon goes through) because it will stretch and the metal will fall out. I got around it by ironing on stiffer interface and then pounding the eyelets through.

This is my bondage collar (lol) which holds the whole leotard up via metal rings. I'm waiting on silver rings to come from the States- you have no idea how hard it is to find 1.5 inch silver metal rings!

My gloves! I need to add padded elbow shields and wrist cuffs.

The mask will be the most challenging part I think. Here I practiced making a half balaclava out of scraps as a base for the mask. 

I am taking a hiatus from sewing now, simply because I can't proceed any further without my metal rings, canvas shoes and blue material! Have you ever been this obsessed with something before?

I cannot believe that this is my first time sewing and I have made a bustier leotard with a corset back. Every website I looked up said that they are very difficult to make, haha. 

I am crazy.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

BornPretty Gold Foil Eye Make Up Tattoo Review!

Last year, BornPretty Store asked me whether I would like to review some of their new gold foil eye makeup temporary tattoos. I hesitantly said yes because they looked so 'out there', but boy am I glad I tried these out because I absolutely love the effect! Must.Get.More.

The set I am reviewing only costs $1! Keep my discount code KIMH10 in mind for 10% off any full priced items from BornPretty.

The sheet comes with two beautiful gold foil designs that are safe for everyone except those with highly sensitive skin. I suggest trying out some of the random stars around the designs on your wrist first if that is the case.

The first is comprised of stars and pentagons.

The second is a bold, loopy baroque style which kind of reminds me of a masquerade mask!

I decided to try out the baroque style tattoo first because it appealed to me more. So, how do you use these? 

Simply cut out the design you want to try and cleanse your skin of any oil.

I decided I only wanted to try on the upper lid design so I cut off the bottom line (I love how customisable these are)!

Close your eye and place the tattoo (foil side down) where you want it. I chose to have the bottommost part of the tattoo directly over my eyelid crease.

Wet a sponge with water and hold it over the paper back for 30 seconds.

Remove and peel off the paper backing.

VOILA! That easy! The hardest part was placing the tattoos evenly on both sides. Mine are slightly wonky, but no one will notice because they will be too stunned by the flashy design!

To complete my eye make up I added a double black and turquoise winged eyeliner for a 'Cleopatra' look. Some glitter between the wings and some falsies completed the look!

Contacts are my G&G Brown GT03's.

As you can see, the foil has cracked in some areas. This is unavoidable unless you have an expressionless botoxed face, because your forehead and eyebrows will move as you go about whichever party you are attending. The foil is solid and extremely reflective and will not come off your skin unless rubbed hard. The website claims that the tattoo will last days if applied correctly, but I don't really see how that is possible unless you don't wash your face (don't do that)!

Here are some selfies with finished makeup. I chose to draw my brows very arched, kept my lips a pinky neutral and applied heaps of bronzer for a Goddess-like effect. So easy, yet makes such an impact!

I added my gold head chain I made for my elf cosplay I wore to Supanova 2013 for the finishing touch.

I kept my tattoos on for 6 hours (at home), and they did not crack any further. It looked exactly the same until I removed it with a cotton pad and makeup remover. Make sure to thoroughly saturate the tattoo with product before gently rubbing because they are a little stubborn. The tattoo will not dissolve, but rather rolls up into little balls.

Overall, I am in love with this look and think it's an amazingly easy, pretty and effective part of any grecian inspired costume. I'm going to stockpile some designs for use in the future- for only $1 for two pairs, it is so worth it! Check out BornPretty's range of eye and body tattoos here!

Just to illustrate how strange life can be sometimes. Me taking selfies, wearing no pants, in full cleopatra make up whilst Yanto swings around his sledge hammer (he uses it to work out) in the background. 

Buy these star and baroque style foil tattoos here for $1!

Would you wear these? What costume would you incorporate them into?

*I was gifted this item for review. All opinions are 100% honest.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Soomon Smooth Heel Care Patch Review

Along with some awesome SLC and Vanedo sheet masks, I was sent a pair of Soomon smooth heel care patches from the Ebay store dhowaus. Unfortunately, these are not the foot masks that make your feet shed layers of skin like a snake (they look so satisfying!), but the kind that just make your heels smoother. I'm not the kind of person that takes care of my feet or heels so I was curious, but not too excited to try these out.

These patches remove dead skin as well as moisturise, calm and provide nutrients to your skin via ingredients such as shea butter, witch hazel and argania oil. They can be used on the heels, elbows and knees. Simply wear the patch for 2 hours or overnight, peel off and you're good to go!

The patches come in a simple tear open plastic sleeve and there is a sticker on the back that provides information and instructions in English.

The patch looks like a large band-aid!

After cleaning your heels, you simply remove the 3 paper covers from the patch and wrap it around your chosen body part.

Here is my heel skin before the patch. Seeing as I never exfoliate or moisturise anywhere near my feet (or even look at them), I was pretty impressed at the good condition of my heels! *pats self on back*

The patch reminds me of a nappy for your heels! I felt a very slight cooling sensation, presumably from the witch hazel, and the patch was barely noticeable as I walked around for 2-3 hours. It had a really nice essential oil scent when you open it, but you can't smell it when you're wearing it.

This is the result! Considering my skin was not that bad beforehand, I was quite surprised as the difference was very noticeable. My heel was baby soft, smooth and less red for some reason. To properly judge the power of the patch, I only used one on my left heel and left the right alone. 

5 days later my left heel was still considerably smoother and softer than the right. 

9 days later and now my heels feel the same. 

My verdict is that these patches definitely work and not just on a superficial level seeing as the effect lasted for around a week! You would not get the same result from applying a layer of moisturiser once. I would love to see the results on someone with really dry and cracked heels who really needs a heel treatment. I can also imagine these being a nice treat for a pedicure day! However, seeing as I don't take much pride in my feet and that my heels are not terrible I don't think I would repurchase these. 

You can buy the Soomon smooth heel care patches from dhowaus for $3 AUD. 

*I was gifted this product for review. All my opinions are 100% honest.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

LUSH Confident Liquid Lipstick (Marsala) Review

I'm sure everyone has heard that the 2015 Pantone colour of the year is Masala? Well LUSH has just released a new liquid lipstick inspired by the deep, wine red colour of Masala! As soon as I saw the press release I knew I had to request a sample. 

I'm a big fan of LUSH haircare and bath products, but I had never tried any of their make up until now. I was intrigued after I read the idea behind their cosmetics line named 'Emotional Brilliance':

Emotional Brilliance matches your psychological needs with the colours you should be wearing. The range- consisting of lip colours, eyeliners and eye shadows- is not about wearing make up that's in season or someone else's vision of what's on trend, because it won't fulfil your needs. Emotional Brilliance works as a way to wear something that's designed for you- each word corresponds to a colour. You wear them to get that point across. It's the power of suggestion- it's enough that you believe in it, you will then start to behave in a certain way.- Press release

I recently rewatched 'The Secret' and fully believe in the power of thought and suggestion. Yes, I'm one of those people with mantras, dream boards, journals, the whole deal. I love this concept of linking thought and emotion to your make up! 

This particular colour is aptly named 'Confidence'. 

"Your CONFIDENT nature shines through today. People admire you all around for your self –belief. Some may feel irritated by your assured manner, as they might not be feeling so great themselves. That said, your focus should be on your certainty as it is making you strong. You might need a little bit of self-belief today, and that is why your subconscious is asking you for some confidence. Wear this colour to give you the assurance you may need at this moment, and let it remind you of what you require as you continue your day. Feeling CONFIDENT is key, and you have this in spades. What a talent to possess today! It can help you achieve anything! Stay bold and great things will come of it."- LUSH au

Sounds a bit like a horoscope doesn't it?

LUSH's liquid lipsticks have an impressively short ingredients list including jojoba oil, rose wax and candelilla wax base to soften dry lips (full ingredients list). LUSH claims that colour pigment can be adjusted to however bold you like, and will stay put all day long. The product is 100% vegan and is not tested on animals. 

The liquid lipsticks can also be used as a cream blush!

The packaging is minimalistic and my little vial of rich colour looked so appealing I had to try it on immediately! The lid looks like an eyedropper, but unscrews to reveal a short felt applicator. Considering that words play a pivotal role in the Emotional Brilliance line, I find it odd that they are not directly printed onto the glass container. Instead we just get a paper label marked with 'Confident'- what if I lose it and forget the name? 

I applied Confident directly to my lips, sans balm, to test it out properly. With a colour as bold as Confident, you need to take your time with the applicator and make sure to wipe it off before you outline the edges of your lips. The applicator was adequate enough to draw a sharp edge, but felt a bit clumsy.

The formula is like nothing I have ever tried before. It's thin, waxy and highly pigmented similar to how I imagine a melted cream eyeshadow to feel. The jojoba oil allows the colour to glide over my lips in a thin layer that is indeed buildable. My swatches show one generously applied coat- see how it is very slightly patchy? I have found the best way to avoid this is to apply, blot with a tissue and then reapply. It is super moisturising and is one of the only lipsticks, in my opinion, that can be applied without a balm underneath. There is no way your lips will get dry with this product on!

The finish is semi-matte and actually has a cool toned pearlescent sheen to it which is more visible in person. The colour is extremely bold, almost bordering on goth! I adore the colour and think it would look best on medium to dark skin tones.

As you can see from the swatches, the colour does bleed slightly- but only enough to be noticed in a macro photograph. Disappointingly, the colour does not last long on me at all. Again, because of the oil based formula, the lipstick never dries/sets and thus remains wet and slippery on the lips until it wears off. I ate a nectarine whilst wearing it and ended up with lipstick smeared all over my chin! It will also transfer to anything that touches your lips, so be careful. You will definitely need to reapply these after a meal.

I also must mention the smell. To me it smells like some kind of spice used in curries? I'm not sure whether it's just this shade that has the smell, but I don't like it. Thankfully it disappears after application.

In the next 2 photos I used a touch of Confident on my cheeks. I don't particularly like using cream/liquid blushes (personal preference), but just letting you know it's a viable option.

Overall I think these are pretty great! Really, the only negative is the short wear time, which is really not an issue for more neutral shades. I love the alchemy themed packaging, the punchy pigmentation and the fact that my lips will never get dry while wearing this product. It also contains some super ingredients that do not harm you or any animals in the process.

The price is good for a vegan product, you can buy it online or in store for $19.95 AUD.

Have you tried any of LUSH's cosmetics? What did you think?

*I was gifted this product for review. All my opinions are 100% honest.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Skincare Heros for my Newfound Oily Skin!

As I mentioned in my most recent sheet mask review, my dry skin is now oily due to going off the Pill in a bid to improve my health. Clearing my body of drugs and foreign chemicals etc (ask if you wish!). I'm in two minds about my newfound skin condition. I'm torn between feeling glad because people with oily skin appear to age 'slower' and upset because I'm breaking out a lot more now, leaving me with dark marks. 

My skincare routine has changed drastically. Before I used to apply 2-3 heavy moisturisers to keep my skin from drying out. Now I simply apply 1, sometimes 2 light products before going to sleep! After some experimenting, here are some of my skincare favourites for my oily skin!

Cure Natural Aqua Gel
This gel is insanely popular throughout Asia and for good reason. There are hundreds of reviews of this product online, which is why I didn't review it. But Cure definitely deserves a mention on my blog! I purchased this bottle in Japan last year and it has lasted two people till now. When I had dry skin, it didn't work that effectively and only a few flakes of dead skin would come off with every use. My oily skin seems to have an increased cell turnover because now when I use it, the dead skin comes right off in hundreds of little balls. It's gross but extremely satisfying! I need to use this 2-3 times a week otherwise my pores become clogged and blackheads form. It's pricey, but worth every penny.

Biotique Bio Clove Purifying Anti-Blemish Pack
This nifty little mask was a huge surprise because I bought it for approximately $3 AUD in a convenience store in India. That's right, I was looking at skincare and cosmetics in the slums of Siliguri on my volunteer trip. This mask smells all spicy, clove-y and earthy at once! It's the colour of mustard yellow and is one of the best clay masks I've ever tried. It dries in a smooth layer and does not dehydrate my skin at all. I feel like it really sucks all the dirt out from my pores and prevents acne from forming. I also tried one of their cleansers and a brightening mask and I'm a fan! Definitely a brand to try out!

I've received this product twice from Bntnews and love it even more now I have oily skin. It's lightweight, gel-like formula is slightly cooling and absorbs in really well. It helps to keep my skin bright and relatively clear. I'm left with really fresh feeling skin with no greasy residue or dryness. I use this every morning and night as my main skincare product.

Nature Republic Honey Real Nature Essence
I picked this up on my South Korea trip for around $12 AUD and use it on days where my skin needs a little extra moisture, especially on my cheeks. It has the texture of a slightly sticky serum, but doesn't sit on top of the skin. It absorbs fast leaving everything feeling groovy. I'm not sure I would repurchase this one, but for now I'm really digging its texture and absorbency. 

Vanedo Beauty Friends Sheet Mask
I recently reviewed these masks here and loved them! They are cheap, easy to use and the serum is very lightweight compared to other masks I've tried. Some of them have a distinct brightening effect and all of them leave residue that absorbs into the skin within 5 minutes. Perfect for a skin treat! I've been quite addicted to these and will probably repurchase them seeing as they cost under $1 a piece. 

I'm not used to having oily skin and still get a shock when I look in the mirror around 1pm and find myself looking like a strip of bacon! Can any of you recommend a good Korean primer, without silicone, that can help me out?!

*The Doctorcos and Vanedo products were gifted previously for review. Everything else was purchased with my own money.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

BornPretty BOB Curl Upwards Flawless Definition Mascara Review

I really like reviewing mascaras, although I don't do it often. Mascaras are deathly expensive in Perth which is why I always end up refilling my favourite Maybelline Collosal Lash (waterproof) stash overseas. I'm always on the hunt for a cheaper alternative which is why I chose to review this affordable mascara from BornPretty. 

You can buy the mascara for a super cheap $3.99 here! 
Don't forget to use the code KIMH10 for 10% off on full priced items from BornPretty!

This mascara is made by a company called BOB and is simply named 'long lasting, super waterproof mascara' on the packaging. The tube itself has 'curl upwards' printed on it, so from this I gather the mascara's main functions are to curl and hold the lashes in place.

I don't have any pictures of the packaging because my box was crushed in the mail, but you can view packaging photos on the product page. Thankfully all the products were fine! 

The tube is actually very cool and unique! It's long and thin, matte black with pink and silver foil details. It definitely gives off a party vibe! It could have done without the random ovals on the bottom end though.

The Engrish on the box: 
"With the latest thick and roll formula, applied slightly will keep eyelashes thick and curve for day long, show your charming eyes. The raise-roll wax formula would raise each eyelash rapidly, keep it roll from 75 degrees as a perfect sharp. The unique designed plastic brush, tidy thick eyelash clearly without any agglomeration or conglutination".

These descriptions always make me giggle! 

I was quite excited when I saw the brush! It reminds me of a mix between the comb like brush of Majorlica Majorca mascaras and Covergirl's Lash Blast mascara, both of which I liked. The great thing about this type of comb-like plastic brush is that it does not pick up too much product, meaning less clumping. 

The formula is definitely reminiscent of Majorlica Majorca mascaras. It is thin, inky and 'stretchy', if you get what I mean. Pictures really give you the most information when it comes to mascaras, so here goes!

Bare Lashes
Curled with Etude House's eyelash curler.

1 Coat 
The mascara separates my lashes really well with 0 clumping, however there is hardly any lengthening or volumising going on. It did not hold or add curl as I hoped, but my lashes drooped slightly with the wetness of the formula. I have a feeling that as the product dries out with use, it will hold curl better. Great for giving you that super natural, wide-eyed Korean drama 'I'm not wearing makeup' look.

2 Coats
My eyelashes turn visible (yay!) with 2 coats of mascara. My eyelashes are definitely well separated, but clumped together at the same time which makes them look a little spiky. There is some lengthening going on, but no volumizing action. The mascara dries very quickly which is great because you can go back in with your eyelash curler and recurl your lashes. I found mine drooped slightly more after the second coat.

On the plus side, it is definitely long lasting, and does not budge all day. Majorlica Majorca mascaras are notorious for being difficult to remove, however 3 coats of this mascara came off with one wash of my makeup removing cleanser! 

I don't think this is a bad product, it sits more on the average 6/10 mark within the scale of mascaras I have tried. It separates and holds lashes well, and in time may hold curl better as it dries out. It actually performs better than mascaras that cost 5 times as much!

If you are looking for that natural, Kbeauty curl, 1 coat of this mascara is perfect for that. And for BornPretty's $3.99 price tag, you can't go wrong!

However, look elsewhere if you are on the hunt for a mascara that will give you dramatic Look-at-me lashes. 

How do you prefer your lashes to look?

*This product was gifted for review. My opinions are 100% honest.