Shmuberry

IMG_0122

Convention season is just around the corner and it’s time to freshen up those cosplay makeup kits! Luckily, your friendly Shmoo is here with a few recommendations – all thanks to her makeup addiction !

Eyeliners

I could dedicate a whole post just about my favourite eyeliners…  but today, let’s keep it simple with liquid eyeliners!

When you need a very fine and precise line, K-Palette’s 1 DAY TATTOO Real Lasting WP Waterproof is a winner. I love how this eyeliner is very long lasting and includes a fiber brush!

Also straight from Japan, if we are talking eyeliner, KOJI’s Dolly Wink Liquid Eyeliner in Deep Black deserves a hurray! It is one of the very few eyeliners I have continuously purchased over the years because of its formula and its fiber brush. While it isn’t waterproof, it is water resistant and if you use a base and set it correctly, this puppy will last a very long convention day!

A little closer from home, a very popular eyeliner that I have also re-purchased several times is Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner. Formulated to be waterproof, this great eyeliner is also free of animal-derived ingredients and is not tested on animals. Yay for cruelty-free makeup!

Finally, to round things up, Stila’s Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner is the only eyeliner with a felt tip that I like. Also, of all the eyeliner mentioned… it is the only one available in various colours. Hey you, you need green eyeliner for a Jojo cosplay? No problem, Stila has your back! I particularly love their Jet Black eyeliner as it is the deepest black of all of the eyeliners on this list!

Eyeshadows & Palettes 

God help me for I am obsessed with palettes… but let’s be real here. Most cosplayers don’t need 32 eyeshadow palettes! If you stick with neutral colours, you’ll be fine! Here are a few palettes to consider adding to your kit this season that… hopefully… won’t break the bank!

If your Target hasn’t up and left you, check out Sonia Kashuk’s Eye Couture palette. Available in both matte and shimmer, this palette has all the neutral tones you need to make your eyes pop – without breaking the bank. If you are Canadian… continue cursing Target.

Don’t worry Canadians – tons of brands and stores haven’t left us. Like NYC, available pretty much everywhere! They have a few fun palettes like Lovatics by Demi Lovato palette for a lot of fun nudes. And for when you need the pop of colours, NYC has got you covered with the HD Color Trio Eye Shadow!

Now, if you are like me and your local Sephora calls your name regularly, you are definitely tempted to get a fancy palette. Fear not. The fancy, shiny palette is the acclaimed Chocolate Bar by Too Faced. Duh. All of the nudes – matte and shimmer. BONUS: it’s smells like chocolate.

Now hey… this is is a lot of make-up and a lot of money. Don’t worry, I got your back. One of my favourite palettes is The Balm Cosmetics’ 12-Color Nude’tude palette! This one is a lot of fun to play with AND has naked ladies on it 8D

For when you just need one random colour – Colourpop is your go to. Canadian friends, this is where we curse our American counterparts since they have free shipping options… BUT don’t worry! This brand is so much fun – plan a group order for eyeshadows, blushes, highlighters and lip products. Literally everything from this brand is worth it!

Mascara

Mascaras are super personal but I believe in 2 things; it should always be waterproof and it should never clump! So here are few of my favourites that live up to those expectations.

L’Oreal’s Telescopic mascara is my ultimate favourite. Is it me or this has been around forever? In any case, I love how the thin brush allows me to get all my lashes. It also works great for both top and bottom lashes!

When I first wrote this post, I actually forgot about Clinique’s High Impact Waterproof mascara! I can’t believe it since I use it almost daily ( along with L’Oreal!) This mascara doesn’t clump and really makes your lashes look long. So worth it! 

On the more expensive side of the spectrum is Chanel’s Sublime mascara. I’ve been buying this stuff for a long time and while it isn’t marked as waterproof, it certainly deserved a mention for well put it has stayed through conventions!

Finally, Benefit’s They’re Real! Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara wins the mascara game. Maybe a little bit too much because that stuff won’t come off. Which is great – no bleeding eyes for me during conventions, but a little less great when you’re trying to remove your makeup haha.

More Eye Stuff

Obviously, you’re priming those lids because applying those shadows… wait you aren’t? Girl, let’s hook you up with some primer!

My favourite primer is MAC’s Pro Longwear Paint Pot (in Painterly!) This product is really creamy and makes your eyeshadows stick to your eyelids. Boom. They are are not going anywhere – awesome. It also looks really pretty on its own, especially for the last day of the con, when your eyes are tired and your lids are all kind of shades of purples and blue? Boom. Gone.

On the more wallet-friendly side, NYX’ Eye Shadow Base is a total steal. I mean, for 10$, I feel like I’m stealing from them! and unlike Target, NYX is now available in Canada at Shopper’s! YAY!

Foundation and Face stuff

The obvious one. This is hard to recommend because everyone’s skin is different so for foundation – I can only recommend the ones that I use. For reference, my skin is very fair and dry.

My ultimate favourite foundation is Make Up For Ever’s Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation. I get great coverage with this foundation without feeling cakey. Plus, it’s easy to blend – God knows I’m blind when I’m doing my makeup!

On the wallet-friendly side, I also love and frequently use Maybelline’s FIT ME in Dewy + Smooth! I feel like everybody and their grandmother uses this foundation – it’s really great! Not only that, they have a formula for oily skin too!

Don’t forget to put some colour on those cheeks! Maybelline’s Dream Bouncy Blush are one of my favourites since they be applied using your fingers and are so easy to blend!

When it comes to powder, there is only one powder you need. Recently, YouTubers discovered this product so it is a little bit harder to come by… with good reasons! The RCMA No Color Powder is a must! This powder will not only set your regular makeup but also works flawlessly on crazy body paint that we often need to set. For my Canadian gals, don’t worry, Kind of Magic in Ontario has got you covered!

Finally, you need to set that makeup so it won’t move! No runny makeup here, nuh-uh. My favourite setting spray is NYX’s Setting Spray – available in both a dewy or matte finish, depending on how you prefer your makeup!

Torture Tools

All that other stuff you should use to apply makeup with. Duh.

For foundation, or if you favour BB cream, skip the Beauty Blender. We don’t have money for that. Instead, check out the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge! Wet it and you are good to go!

Now, Real Techniques is really awesome for all their make up brushes and if you want to get affordable and durable make up brushes, you should definitely check out their Starter and their Core sets!

If you got fancy with the eyeshadows, you might want to consider fancy eyeshadow brushes. Nah. Stick with Real Techniques and get one good, reliable blending brush, like the Classic Crease Shadow Brush #73 from the Sephora Collection.

For those lashes, no one needs a 25$ Shu Uemura eyelash curler. No one. Joe Fresh Beauty‘s and Revlon‘s Lash curlers are just as good.

* * *

And that’s it, ladies! Hopefully, you discovered some products on this list – if not, what products are your holy grail when attending a convention? :)

Oh hey! Look it’s a makeup review! We haven’t had one of those in quite a while!

I recently was on sick leave for a few weeks… it’s really boring being sick. What is a girl to do in her bed?? Play with makeup and renew my friendship with Sephora is one of the many things I did~ Obviously when I heard that Too Faced was releasing a limited edition palette of their hyped blushes, I had to have it!

IMG_1611

I like pretty things~ I seized this occasion to FINALLY get a Chocolate Bar. Yum!

The palette includes all 6 popular Love Blush in a convenient palette. Each heart shaped pan includes 0.07 oz of product, comparatively to 0.21 oz of the individual blushes.

I particularly like Love Hangover, Baby Love, How Deep is Your Love ? and Your Love is King – I’m pretty sure I’ll be wearing those quite often as they are easy to apply, blend and smell very nice :)

I haven’t tested the claim that these last for 16 hours but these have been thoroughly reviewed before… and the consensus is that they are indeed long-wearing.

FullSizeRender 2

Overall I really like this palette and I’m really glad I got it! My only beef with it, and this is just a personal peeve… is the packaging. I dislike cardstock palettes. When compared to other Too Faced palettes that are similar in prices, I feel like Too Faced could have done better with this one.

Still, I’m happy with the product and the colours and my personal peeve with cardstock is not going to make me return this lovely palette.

 

Where to begin – Montreal Comic Con was a roller coaster of emotions, thrills and adventures. I had been excited about MCC for a while. It’s been some time that I almost only exclusively read comics, making MCC so much more excited than any other conventions!

I had been working on all week so I arrived late Friday night to our hotel, which I was sharing with Aree, Nayel-ie and her boyfriend. As per tradition, Aree and I ordered some Saint-Hubert and called it a night.

Saturday was the big day, I got suited it in Katniss and on my way to sign up for the masquerade. On my way, I stopped by Weapon check to get it approved. Little did I know, I was off to a really bad start… As I was explaining to a volunteer that I had designed the bow in a way that it was too tight to shoot anything and that the string was purely decorative, he pulled on it with all his strength! It caused the bow crack down in the middle! I lost it! I made a scene but he said he couldn’t approve it “because he was able to pull on the string”. I started to yell so the Master of Weapons, Aaron, got into it after almost 20 mins and simply said “obviously if it cracks down the middle, it can’t handle one pound of tension which is what we want so it’s alright, I approve of this”. I still complained about the fact that they broke my bow – not even 5 minutes I had walked in the convention center but they could barely muster an apology.

IMG_2262

I rushed to the masquerade sign-up room but, of course, the women right before me… grabbed the last entry. I left defeated and angry. I had worked so hard on Katniss for so long… to not be able to enter the masquerade because I was late… because some jerk broke my bow on purpose… it all sucked! After wallowing for a bit in a corner, I ranted on my personal Facebook and it caught the eye of friend who works for MCC who brought it to the attention of the Masquerade Director. The Masquerade Director decided that if the Master of Weapons was not going to make it right by me, he would. And so, this is how I was able to get into the Masquerade after all!

IMG_2259

The green room was great! A lot of times, green room lack organization and are too long for our own good but it started later, giving us time to do other things. During the day, I was able to shoot with Pithier Photography and Theorem Productions! Having the masquerade later made Saturday not just about the masquerade anymore.

Finally, when it actually was my turn on stage, something magical happened…

Funny story about that skit. I had that track planned for 3 months but over the last 4 weeks I thought it was not good enough so I had 2 more and I was stuck with 3 audio tracks for a hypothetical masquerade… so the night before masquerade, I bothered my friends asked their opinions. Are, Ray, Nathan, Olivia, Alexia, Jaspinder, Elisabeth and many more. I owe this one to you all! When I got on stage, I just had in mind that I would lipsing, salute, maybe do something with my bow and bounce. But then… I saw the hands saluting back, I almost lost it! All I could think about was “OK WHAT IS HAPPENING… THIS IS HAPPENING. KEEP SINGING. OK. ARROW. BOW. POSE. OK. WOW. SALUTE “

haha

I really didn’t see it coming!

Sunday, Aree and I went for dim sum to start out the day just right and we spent most of our days just picking around with friends :3

IMG_2299

I nervously attended the awards ceremony. I was so pleased that all my friends won an award! I was extremely surprised when I was awarded the Best Evocation Prize for my presentation and a Special Ninja Award for Best Ninja Use!

As usual, I had a wonderful time at Montreal Comic Con. Like any cons, it had some downs… but the ups were so phenomenal it makes everything else seems like white noise À l’année prochaine, MCC !

IMG_2306

17. 04. 2015

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a long time now and here it is!

What is in my purse!

IMG_0028

For a while, I’ve been using this Well Acquainted bag from JustFab :) I like it since it quite large and I’m able to carry a lot of things in it!

IMG_0029Here’s all the stuff I need for work; my glasses, some vinegar wipes to clean my shoes, a t-shirt and a pouch. The pouch contains some random cables, keys and whatnot that I need for work. Instead of having them just being a mess in my purse, they are in this cute little pouch from Forever 21 :)

IMG_0030Then of course you have the essentials. Wallet, with your boring cards. Mini wallet – which contains my business cards and subway pass. Keys (home, work, David’s Tea card, emergency tag) and my meds!

IMG_0035And finally the fun stuff! I like to carry around my new Instax Mini 8 and a packet of extra film. I also never leave the house with hand moisturizer (my colleagues are probably sick of me offering moisturizer… oops), lipbalm and a water bottle.

Not pictured is your usual change, receipts, rescued bobby pins and random papers… I actually did take a picture but yeah… not worth posting XD

14. 04. 2015

* Disclaimer: While my blog is often a source for pink hair advice – this post discusses taking dietary supplements. Before making the decision to take any of the mentioned supplements, please check with your doctor 😉

IMG_1020Well it’s not a secret that I chopped my hair off last summer. And once again in November…. however how I am suffering from the incurable syndrome of “omg I want my long hair back”! So I decided to take my hair regimen out of the window and do a little bit of research on how I could improve my hair growth since it’s never been really good before…

First, I talked to one of my colleague. She has beautiful, long red hair and pointed me in the direction of Biotin supplements. It helps keep her hair long and strong.

A lack of biotin would not be crazy – I’ve been working a lot and not eating really well. So a supplement was the way to go – after getting the ok from my doctor. After doing a bit of research, it appeared that these were the most popular supplements with the most positive reviews ( NOT from Facebook ads *cough*)…

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

 Natrol Biotin Maximum Strength & Phytophanere Dietary Supplement

Here are the benefits reported for both supplements;

In short – both supplement bring to your body Biotin, Calcium, Vitamin A, B & C and some omegas. In the end, all that helps with hair growth and nail growth.

I’ve been taking these for a month now and I’m happy to say that I’ve noticed a difference both in my hair and my nails. My hair has grown approx~ 3-4 cm in a month and my nails have been breaking less (albeit my nails will always break – work hazard).

Overall – I would say ; yes, biotin supplements work for me! The growth is not quite noticeable at first so it takes patience but it’s slowly noticeable and I can’t wait to share with you progress pictures when it becomes quite apparent :)

Katsucon2015_Zatanna_03

I’ve been a fan of Zatanna for a long time. I’m pretty sure it’s one of the first comic book characters I feel in love with: she so witty, smart, strong and intelligent. I’m so proud to say I own all 16 volumes of her series + and the alternate covers ! I’m not much of a collector but when it comes to Zatanna, I get a bit crazy.

I had originally cosplayed Zatanna back in 2012 in a very last minute cosplay and I decided that she was worth a proper hommage.

I kept the corset I had used in 2012 – I had originally bought it on ebay – slightly modified it so it would fit me better. The shoes are actually my high school uniform shoes (!!!) which are well over 10 years now… The blouse and the bow tie are my pieces of old bartending uniform.

cropped-82894712da3b5030679340c33ac40737.jpeg

For the jacket, I used Simplicity #2525 pattern. I LOVE this pattern – it was really easy to follow and I made the jacket in one day. I realized that I used the wrong collar pattern but it didn’t bother me so much… one day I will go back and the one I meant to use. On the back on the jacket, I decided to add a “butt bow” since I really like the jacket material I had picket and I thought that bows just look nice on everything and everyone XD I added some dangly pearls and gems to the bow but it is barely noticeable ^^”

For the bottom, I used our Green Pepper pattern we used for our Sailor Moon leotards and transformed it into a high waisted panty – so I can tuck in my shirt under the corset.

For the gloves, I cut long white gloves I had around the house, sew a lace trim on them and added cute gold buttons with gems.

Finally,  for the flower, I used scraps of heavy matte satin Aree and Lolipuff left at my house when we were working on Sailor Moon and made a rose ^^!

As for the top hat, I ordered it from the lovely hat makers at Patterns of Time and the wig if a Black Matilda from Arda Canada!

15977032423_748a91f7ae_o

I hope this is everything you’ve wanted to know about how I made my Zatanna cosplay! I hope to make from cosplay of her in the future! 😀

Photo credits: Eleventh Photograph, DarkainMX , Novii

18. 02. 2015

cropped-16562940282_b722f266f6_o.jpg

Ever since MCC ended – I have been looking forward to Katsucon, like a child looks forward to Christmas. With Aree, Lolipuff and Vilya, we started planning our trip months ago. This time around, we chose to drive in (instead of flying in) and to stay extra days to accommodate our long travel hours.

We arrived on Thursday night, after nearly 12 hours of driving – thought I didn’t drive, I took my DJ role very seriously. I was quite annoyed when my Itunes match got disabled the minute we crossed the border and ended up busting my American plan over re-downloading my music but oh welp… it’s not like I was going to listen to nothing for 12 hours. We did our best to minimize stops – American fast food no long impresses us.

Since we couldn’t finish our Love Live cosplays (damn you Canada Post) I decided to stick to cosplays that I had completed months ago and I believe this is what made my Katsucon, once again, really enjoyable! My fellow Idolm@ster girls changed their plans so I ended up not wearing Miki but I was quite happy wearing my new and revamped Zatanna.

On Friday, we headed out to the con quite early and were luckily able to obtain our badges really fast – unfortunately, I hear it was very problematic this year again for a lot of people :( Then off to the con floor we went! I was happy mingling and meeting friends I hadn’t seen in a long time – or friends I had until now only talked online.

1959525_784962658207409_350489349439076024_nPhoto by Beat Down Boogie

KiraKira Cosplay was particularly ravishing with her Armoured Little Ponies, I had to contain myself when saying hi to her >_<” I have so much respect for her work and the quality of her craftmanship, it was hard not to fangirl when finally meeting her!

Vickybunnyangel also had a wonderful group of Sailor Senshi designed by NoFlutter

10985592_819321934809269_6778383552091177143_oPhoto by Flutter Tee Photography

It was hard to take my eyes of such wonderful groups. When people say “Cosplayers bring their A-Game at Katsucon” they really mean it. Everyone looks so amazing <3

I ended up having a lot of fun taking pictures here and there as well as helping friends with their shots. Eventually I had my share of the con (and the corset) for the day so I headed to my room and met Gina at hers. We had planned to head out to a party but ended up drinking wine and helping Mao-chan with her castanic cosplay. I had a lot of fun sewing her panties and wearing them on my head… of course.

10389652_10205197814678349_823675577245738917_nPhoto by Alpha Neko

On Saturday, I wore Zatanna again; running around with friends, photographers, videographers. Finally, my partner, Nathan DeLuca, met me in his Robin cosplay but quickly change – in a Ironman cosplay haha. We were supposed to meet for the DC meetup but I suddenly felt ill and faint so I headed back to my room and rested for a bit. We then changed into Eternal Sailor Scouts, a much more comfortable cosplay and proceeded to twerk on everything that moved.

Rolled saturday night, we made our way to Nando’s, as the Katsucon traditions oblige and indulged in delicious spicy chicken. All while we were planning on what parties to attend – we noticed the strong winds outside and got word that the Gaylord was not letting people out because of the weather. I’m not sure if this was ever true but it sure made us reconsider partying our butts off. We decided to rest our tired butts instead and headed back to our room, with Flaming-Goddess and joked around until no one could stand up.

10996542_1050636881628417_6724273918848485414_nPhoto by Eminence Rain

On Sunday, we geared up in Sailor Scouts again and decided it was time for the twerking scouts to make one last appearance at Katsucon. We crashed a lot of cosplay footage (sorry not sorry) and had a lot fun teaching Mao-chan how to twerk (results: she can!). The adorable CosplayGhouls were one of our unfortunate twerk victims… or maybe they rather enjoyed it?

We then had a late lunch at Nando’s (again) and I started feeling faint again so I went to bed and rested for a while. I ended up missing a dinner party but oh welp; you’re no good company when you feel ill… I needed to rest before leaving on Monday morning for the long ride back home.

Overall, I had a wonderful time at Katsucon. While I hate comparing a convention to a previous, I find that my time at Katsucon this year was much tamer, with no wild parties but I still had a wonderful time. Katsucon is one of those conventions where I know I will have fun <3

Bonus pro:

Bumps:


Recently, I was asked this question and I realized how complex the answer was. You can cosplay with your friends or with strangers but either way… it can either be a great experience or it can be a train wreck.

Here are a few things you need to know before you sign yourself up for a group cosplay…

Whether it’s because they lost interest or something else came up, people will not be able to finish their cosplays. As a member of a cosplay group, you have to accept that everyone in the group is likely to drop out for whatever reason and you shouldn’t hold it against them. It’s always a bit disappointing but sometimes, it’s best to lack a member than have a member who didn’t want to do a costume and ended up botching it.

Several brains is better than one. It also means, several opinions on several ways of doing of part of a cosplay. It’s important to not impose YOUR way and to discuss with your teammates and research what everyone would be comfortable with. If you vehemently disagree, let it be known in a fashion that won’t upset your peers.

Aree at my place, working on our upcoming Love Live cosplays

One of the fun aspects of group cosplays is that you can work together and get things done faster, especially if your outfits are similar. It not only speeds up the process but it’s also more fun to work with peers. Whenever it’s not possible to work together, make sure you share your notes and updates so that your peers are not only aware the techniques you are using but also feel motivated by your progress.

Every group I have been part of were planned months ahead of time. This might as well be a general cosplay rule but I feel that for cosplay groups it is particularly important since working until the very last minute on a cosplay can add unnecessary tension to the group members.

Keep in touch with everyone in your group. In all of my groups, we liked to create hidden Facebook groups and keep everyone update as well as converse almost daily regarding our progress. Never leave anyone out of the loop!

Be proactive and be a leader; if nothing is happening and no one is making progress, take it upon yourself to organize an outing and go fabric shopping or get together to craft. However, just because you show signs of leadership, that doesn’t make you the leader of the group. No one likes to be bossed around, especially when they are doing something that is meant to be fun. Just because you’re cosplaying the main character, it doesn’t make you the leader of the group!

Overall, just have fun!

Groups can be a lot of fun and they can also be a nightmare. Overall, it all comes down to communication and respecting your group mates. If you take it too seriously and you’re not having fun, maybe a large group isn’t what you need 😉

09. 12. 2014

White Canary was a bit of a last minute project. I’ve been reading Birds of Prey for a long time and I’ve been wanting to cosplay Black Canary for a long time. The only thing is, when I do, I want to cosplay Black Canary’s new 52 outfit, as the original is really popular at conventions.

Recently, Aree and I teamed as White and Black Canary and had a photo shoot with Lexa One and Beevii as out make up artist. We were able to produce these amazing photos!



White Canary turned out to be a great challenge. I had never done a bodysuit. I had never done a duster. I had never done boot covers. I had never worked with PVC stretch. Overall it was a lot of first and there are a few things I’d like to improve (like the booth covers… they were not how I wanted them to turn out) but overall, it’s was fun to challenge myself.

Lately, I feel a lot of my cosplayer peers have been taking an easier route with armoured cosplay as worbla is becoming an easy material to work with. I’ve decided to step away from armour and improve my sewing skills instead. I want to challenge myself, I want to grow as a cosplayer and I feel that sewing is the way to go for me. It may not be as flashy and as impressive as armoured cosplays but my true love is in sewing, where it all started! <3

05. 11. 2014


Is it talent?

I’m quite lucky. I have a really cool job in real life. Ever since I dropped out of college (oops, did I forget to blog about this? maybe I will later), I’ve realized how much I love my job and how much I love my coworkers. I am blessed with coworkers who are creative and who embrace cosplay. Often they ask me:

Fred, why do you work here? you’re so talented… you should be in costume design, behind stage or designing costumes for people.

I know this is flattery but ever since I was young, I never liked being told I was talented. Maybe because I had drill-sergent piano teacher, she thought me that most talented people are useless; it’s the hard working ones who make it and get what they want. So when someone tells me “You’re so talented”… I know they mean well, but in the back of my head, I’m yelling “IT’S NOT TALENT, IT’S HARD WORK! ” It makes sense tho, right?

And I know most people are thinking that cosplayers are so lazy… of course we are lazy! We procrastinate, we rather watch 200 episodes of Naruto than actually work on a Naruto cosplay but when we actually get down to work, we defeat the huns faster and better than Mulan!

So do me a favor, next time you want to highlight the work a cosplayer did – don’t say they are talented. Say they are hardworking; admire how much work must have went into their art! It’s probably the best compliment you can ever give us :3

photo by Bret DR, featuring Vickybunnyangel, Gebgeb & Mao-chan