Friday, 28 June 2013

Lolita Blog Carnival: My Process For Wearing Lolita

Hi everyone! How are you all? I realised how long it has been since I last blogged! I apologise for that, I've been a bit tired and in a slump recently but I have some new posts lined up for you, including an excited Cosplay Progress series of posts detailing my Poison Ivy cosplay for Manchester MCM (July 20th) from start to finish!

So to kickstart my blogging again, I've decided to do another Lolita Blog Carnival. This week, it's talking about your personal process for wearing Lolita, illustrated by luxurious Marie Antoinette screenshots. Somehow I wish it looked like this:

But that's far from the reality. I have a bath the night before to clean myself (obviously :P) and wash my hair. I try to do something with my hair involving no heat curls but up until recently they have never gone to plan. I've tried plaits for waves, bendy curlers, sock bun curls and my latest one has been bandana curls, which seem to be the best one at the moment! They dropped a little bit during the day the first time I tried them but I think my hair was a little bit too damp. So yeah, I wrap my hair up in bandanas/a rolled up sock/braids, etc. the night before after leaving it to dry a little bit for the morning ahead.

The Lolita meets or events I normally go to tend to be a bit away from me distance-wise so I have to get up quite early to get the right trains and buses. For meets and events in Manchester I get up around 6am. I leave my hair in whatever wraps they are in right until I'm about to leave, so they can have more time to dry or set or whatever. I brush my teeth, do my skincare routine and apply my make-up. Make-up for Lolita takes a bit more time than usual make-up; it involves more eyeshadow, eyeliner, false eyelashes and a base, primer or both under my foundation.

Afterwards I get dresses, starting with tights and blouse, then petticoat to trap the blouse underneath it, if I'm wearing a JSK or OP with blouse. If I'm wearing a skirt or OP without a blouse, I put on my petticoat before my blouse or no blouse at all for an OP. JSK, skirt or OP next and I sort everything out, including making sure my petticoat isn't showing, smooth down my blouse and/or dress, tying waist ties, etc. 

Now it's time for the scary moment of undoing my hair. I often have visions of it being horrifically awful and wrong, yet not having enough time to sort it out before having to leave for buses and trains. Thankfully this hasn't happened yet, the worst case scenario has been mediocre curls. Sometimes I think I should just buy a black straight or wavy wig in case something awful does happen, or if I am too busy for a bath/shower. XD I could also wear it when my hair is greasy on regular occasions, such as popping to the shops. I try to tame my flyaways and glue my fringe in place with hairspray.

Next it's accessories! I put a coordinating hair piece into my hair and compliment my outfit with the proper necklace, bracelets and rings to match. I try to have false nails to match particular coords and apply these towards the end of my preparation so I don't have trouble applying make-up, dressing myself, etc. with false nails. Sometimes I'm running out of time and end up just rushing around, grabbing sparkly things and throwing them on but seeing as most of my accessories are one or two colours only, it never looks horrendous. Shoes are next, which can be a bit fiddly or accidentally pull petticoats down, which I then have to sort out again. Don't even get me started on going to the toilet.

Next it's a bus or two to the city train station, depending on the day of the week. If it's a weekday, there is a university bus that runs right from my house to the train station but if not, which it more than likely isn't, I have to get a bus to the city centre, then another to the train station. I could walk it but I prefer having an extra 20 minutes to getting ready, and the ease of mind time-wise. I walk back to the city centre coming home because I don't have time restraints. Then it's the fiddly notion of trains, changing them, stealing wi-fi from Upper Crust and either paying silly pence to use the train station toilets or maneuvering round tiny train toilets to arrive at my destination.

Again, I wish the end product with my friends looked like this:

But it more than likely doesn't, just because it has me in it. ;) Even though I have to get up early, I do enjoy dressing for Lolita events, it adds to the whole princessy experience!

Want to join the Lolita Blog Carnival? You should! We vote on a Lolitary topic of choice, then blog about the winning one the following week. These lovely Lolita bloggers have also participated this week:

Hello Kitty Loves Disney
I'm a Princess

Sunday, 16 June 2013

The Seven Deadly Sins of Beauty Tag

I've been reading Dolcellita's blog lately and she found this super cute 'tagging' post where a friend or fellow blogger tags you to complete this little meme. She tagged herself and now I am too! To pass the bug along, I will tag some people at the end of the post!

Greed - What is your most expensive beauty item?

It is Coreana Senite's Polynesian Intensive Cream. I really wanted to try it out after reading a review of it from Airi's Blog so it was my first mid-end cosmetics splurge and I treated myself to it at $40. Unfortunately I am now pretty steamed that it is on Koreadepart's Cosmetic Outlet at just $15! I have been waiting to run out of my current face cream to try it but now I am going to try it, see if I like it and if I do, stock up on it! Grr!

Wrath - What beauty item do you have a love/hate relationship with?

Missha The Style Liquid Sharp Eyeliner. It has really good staying power, pigmentation and easy removal but it has this waterproof film barrier that gets stuck on my eyelashes, clumps up my mascara and looks like eyelash glue when removed. It's really annoying when applying this eyeliner and makes me dread putting it on because I have to remove the chunky, filmy bits on my eyelashes before applying my mascara.

Gluttony - What brand makes up the largest chunk of your make-up collection?

Etude House! Their super cute packaging and amazing prices gets me every time. I own their Baby Choux base and Dear My Jelly Lips Talk lipstick from their Sweet Recipe line, Surprise Concealer Kit in both shades, Wonder Pore brush and a few other things. I don't own a whole lot from them but more than other brands. I don't really feel I am favourable to one particular brand, I like to try them all!

Sloth - What beauty product do you neglect due to laziness?

My homemade eyeshadow primer, unfortunately. It's not that I have another, commercially made or better eyeshadow primer, it's just that in my day to day make-up, I ask myself 'Do I really need eyeshadow primer today? Is anyone going to notice?' and the answer is usually no to both questions. I do wear it for anything else other than casual errand running, including Lolita meets, conventions, days out, etc.

Pride - Which beauty product gives you the most confidence?

It's a tough decision between foundation or mascara but I will choose mascara. My eyes just feel and look tiny without it! Saying that, they feel/look tiny without eyeliner on too, wah! But I feel mascara really opens up my eyes and makes you look more awake.

Lust - Which item is at the top of your wishlist?

Etude House's Etoinette Crystal Shine Lips in PPK001! It's a super sugary baby pink shade I've been longing to try out for Gyaru style make-up and the packaging is to die for. The Etoinette series is a little more expensive than Etude House is normally, which is why I haven't bought this yet. I'd also love to try one of the blushes or powders from the Etoinette series in their cute little plastic box but they're around $20 and mediocre quality for the price, or so I've heard.

I'd also really like to try the Candy Doll lipsticks and lipglosses - the lipglosses seem unbelievably pigmented and they are what Japanese Gyaru use so I wanna try! *makes grabby hands*

Envy - What make-up product looks great on others but not on yourself?

Nude lips, unfortunately. >_< I know a lot of Gyaru use them if they don't have light pink lips but I feel nude lipstick shades make me look washed out and sickly. Slightly browner or brownish pinks look fine but it's the proper beige or fleshy pink lipsticks that just don't do it for me. Other girls look amazing with it and it's lovely for natural make-up styles but I need a bit of a 'pop' to my lips.

This was really fun to do! I hope you can do it on your own blog too! I'll tag some people now, la la la~ Airi, Cominica, Ada, Halainn, Eva and Tiffany!

Friday, 14 June 2013

My Latest Dark Mori Finds

Hello all! How are you today? Tomorrow I am going to Chester university for a convention called Moe Moe Con; I will have a stall there to sell my jewellery and accessories from 8th Sin Creations. I don't know what to expect numbers or popularity wise but I'm excited! I will also be doing a 'Basics of Lolita Fashion' panel detailing the origins of Lolita, basic coords, sub styles of Lolita, where to buy it in the UK and so forth. I did it last year at J-Con, a convention in the city I live in at the moment (and indeed ran by my partner :P) so this is an updated, tweaked version. I hope people don't think it's too similar to the J-Con one or find it boring.

Anyway, as you all know, or hopefully know, I've been getting more into Dark Mori fashion lately. My latest mission will be to go into all the charity shops of my city, a small shopping centre nearer where I live and my hometown on my next visit to my mum and scour high and low for Dark Mori hidden gems! I feel you can also find some great items for Dolly Kei in charity and thrift stores too, and even pieces that intertwine with both styles so I will be keeping my eyes open for Dolly Kei-able pieces too.

I had the chance to nip into Oxfam running some errands in Derby and came across a few items to slip into my Dark Mori wardrobe. I've also found an addictive new (well, new for me) website called where, you've guessed it, everything is £5. They update daily with new items and some of the items have real potential for alternative wardrobes, including Dark Mori Girl! So here's a snippet of what I found and bought from both Oxfam and Everything £5 as well as a skirt from eBay.

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This was my first Dark Mori purchase, a classic floor length black skirt from eBay. The skirt was less than £10 and is very high quality - it's made from pleated chiffon with a ruffled trim at the bottom and lace yoke under the waistband, with an opaque underskirt underneath it. I'm not sure if I suit long skirts, I will have to ask a few more people and wear it out a bit more but if not, I can stick to calf and knee length skirts.

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This dress was from Everything £5, isn't it pretty? I love the black floral print on it and the tulle underskirt. It looks lovely with a black chiffon blouse or lace top underneath it. It also looks cute with the aforementioned black floor length skirt under it and I will experiment with other, poofier skirts under it too for a bit more flair/layering.

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These shoes were from Everything £5 too. I don't really buy or wear flat shoes for other fashions as I find them boring and bland but these are pretty cute and Mori Girl has that comfy, casual look about it. The shoes have a bow at the front, a pointed toe and fake sheeps fur trim around them. I would have preferred the toe a bit rounder but I think they look quite witchy and cute with a more pointy toe. I wanted them to be super comfy but they pinched my toes and rubbed the backs of my heels on their first wear out - I hope they just need breaking in and aren't pains in the ass.

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The first thing I spotted in Oxfam was this super cute black lace shawl. It's from Wallis originally and is really high quality - the lace is very thick and super heavy, with a cute ruffle trim round the edges and sleeves. It has a hook and eye closure at the top of the edges to close the shawl. It was £5.99, which is a bit pricey for a charity shop in my opinion but the shawl was almost, if not new and high quality, so it should last a long time.

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I also found these thick woolly tights in grey and purple, a perfect break in black for Dark Mori Girl. The tights are new, obviously, as you can't sell used undergarments and there were multiple pairs of each colour available. These were only £1.99 a pair, which I think is good value for thick tights. I hope they last long, being thicker, and don't ladder! That is my ultimate pet peeve.

I am looking forward to tomorrow, meeting new people and hopefully customers and generally having fun. After that, I'm looking forward to a proper charity shop crawl and will report back my findings here - for fashion!

Monday, 10 June 2013

What is Mori Girl?

Hello everyone! I finally got a new laptop! Did I mention that in my last post? I can't remember... /XD But it's the laptop I used to have when I was back home, a sturdy Toshiba Satellite with a CD drive (my last one didn't have one in >_<). A quick factory reset and it is good as new, though may need a new hard only has 70GB, bless it, and I have 35GB of music alone... o_O

Anyway, I thought I'd take a break from beauty reviews to talk about fashion! Yay! I've been getting more into Mori Girl lately, or more specifically, its gloomier older sister, Dark Mori Girl. So I thought I'd put this post together to explain what Mori Girl is, for those who don't know, basic outfits and clothing items, inspiration, etc!

'Mori' means 'forest' in Japanese, so the style translates to 'forest girl'. It's a cute, comfy, casual fashion style based on imagery of forest fairies, farm girls, witches in the forest (good or bad, see Dark Mori!), elves, etc. Think about the style and themes of Sylvanian Families and you've pretty much got it! The style uses lots of layers, light, springy colours and natural fabrics like cotton, wool, fur, lace, leather, etc. Different people take the style down different routes - you might want to look like a forest fairy/sprite whilst the next girl might want to make it more kitschy and cottagey/farm looking.

Colours are quite light and can include white, ivory, pink, pale green, yellow, beige and brown. Clothes are kept comfy, casual and practical to keep in line with the theme. If you lived in the forest or on a farm, would you want to wear a mini skirt and stiletto heels?

As I touched upon before, Mori Girl makes use of layers very well to create a comfy, cute look that can be adjusted to fit in with the varying seasons and temperatures in your country. A basic Mori Girl coordinate might be a flowing, baggy top or camisole dress with a tighter fitting blouse or shirt underneath, a cardigan or shawl and a skirt of your desired length. Mori Girl style skirts can be any length, really; just above knee, knee length, calf or floor length, whichever you feel most comfortable and suits you best! They can be a-line, puffy and gathered, asymmetrical, layered/raggy or just flat and basic shape. Shirts can be anything from blouses to layered shirts, camisoles/babydolls, summery, floral t-shirts, etc. Strappy tops are usually worn with something under them, like a blouse or other shirt. Shoes are usually flat or have chunky heels to keep them practical and can include penny loafers, brogues, moccasins, boots, pumps, mary janes, etc. and can be worn with tights, socks or barefoot - the list goes on! This fashion doesn't have too many rules, unlike Lolita so feel free to experiment, see what you can incorporate that's already in your wardrobe and see what your particular style is!

Dark Mori Girl takes a twist on regular Mori style, using darker colours and items to make a more macabre, melancholy forest girl style. It can look like a dark fairy of the forest, a witch living in a cottage, a mischievous sprite or nymph, etc. As with normal Mori style, take the idea and run with it! The best way to have a good Dark Mori outfit is to look at a normal Mori outfit or clothing item, and simply tone the colours down a bit, make them darker, etc. You don't have to limit yourself to black; Dark Mori Girl often incorporates jewel tones like red, purple, green and blue as well as using grey, white/ivory and brown.

You can also add a gloomy twist to the otherwise optimistic approach of normal Mori Girl - accessories usually take the form of natural things such as leaves, flowers, fruit, fur (real or fake, usually fake), etc. so Dark Mori Girl is great for adding skulls, dead leaves or decaying flowers, sticks and twigs, potions and witchy or alchemic element, etc. Both styles also incorporate antique silver and bronze jewellery/accessories into the fashion as these are usually timeless pieces that can be used in lots of fashions like Lolita, Dolly Kei, Cult Party Kei and others. Think keys, pocketwatches, owls, teapots, etc!

Unlike Lolita or Gyaru, many girls only consider Mori Girl a fashion, not a lifestyle, so it doesn't really have any influence in their literary, music or film tastes. Still, if you'd like to inject a little Mori Girl into your other tastes and hobbies too, to make it seem even more magical and fantastical, read classic books by authors like Jane Eyre and Charlotte Bronte, listen to quirky, fantastical music like Rasputina, Hannah Fury, Collection D'Arnell-Andrea (who I have recently got into and love) and Emilie Autumn's earlier Enchant stuff. I can't really think of any Mori Girl style films except films adapted from classic books (such as Wuthering Heights) and Ginger Snaps. Ginger Snaps is amazing Dark Mori inspiration as it's about two death-obsessed, melancholy sisters that have to get to grips with puberty and becoming a werewolf. Yep, that's right. It's very beautiful, dark and haunting and I pretty much want everything they wear for Dark Mori! I will watch the film again and take some screenshots of their wardrobe for Dark Mori inspiration for y'all as it seems there isn't enough of it around.

Mori Girl is a super cute and casual fashion you can wear everyday, for special occasions or just when you feel like it. I want to wear it in my everyday fashion (that's not to say I want to wear it every day) rather than Lolita or Gyaru, just so I can have a cute, comfy fashion I feel comfortable in and is easy to put together. I went out in Dark Mori Girl today (I wore a blouse, cardigan and black chiffon floor length skirt with black sheep's fur trimmed pumps) and it was nice not to have to worry about whether my bum is showing, if my top is riding up, I'm too cold, etc. I'm not sure whether I suit long skirts yet or not but if I don't, that's not a problem! I can wear cute puffy asymmetrical skirts that go just below my knee, calf length or more Lolita, above the knee length. I have just bought some black rose print stretch jersey fabric I plan on turning into a high waisted tulip skirt style salopette! Anyway, if you have any questions about Mori Girl, feel free to ask! I will put up The 30 Day Mori Girl Challenge soon and answer a few questions on it and in the meantime, I'll leave you with some more pictures and inspiration! Here's a good description of Dark Mori Girl I found on Tumblr also:

“Black forest mori: if a mori girl is a sheep, the black forest girl is the wolf. She and the romantic goth have many interests in common, the metaphysical and the macabre are as fascinating and beautiful a facet of nature as life and light. Rather than letting the “memento mori” idea get them down in the dumps, they allow it to let them appreciate living while respecting death. Humor about both is essential to them and the classicgothic motifs like bats, spiders, spiderwebs and crosses are cute and charming to them. The black forest girl wears lots of black, dark blue, blood red and gray. She would be completely camouflaged in the night."

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Review: Missha The Style Liquid Sharp Black Eyeliner

Today I'm going to review an eyeliner I've been using for about 6 months now so it's probably about to run out on me any time soon. XD It's Missha The Style Liquid Sharp Eyeliner! The Style is a line Missha has that is less expensive than their regular items and is perfect for the younger market. When I first heard that Missha was mid end prices, I was really surprised because everything I saw was really cheap - obviously I was looking at prices from low to high! So I hope Missha The Style compares in quality to their regular items!
Brand: Missha
Name: The Style Liquid Sharp Eyeliner
Shade: Black (the only shade available)
Price: $4.10
Where to buy: Koreadepart, Amazon

This eyeliner promises a watertight barrier for girls who want to wear make-up at the gym, beach, swimming pool, etc.
The packaging of the eyeliner is pretty standard and a bit boring, to be honest. I guess it's supposed to appeal to all tastes and look chic. All of Missha's products look chic. XD

You get 6g of product, which I thought was really tiny at first but it has lasted a long time and is regular eyeliner volume, I guess.
The brush is quite thin and soft. It's good for drawing precise lines, thick or thin, and tapering them is easy enough.

The eyeliner has an inky consistency and dries with a protective film over it - this must be the waterproof bit, I presume. Other reviews have complained about the look and feel of the film but I don't notice it at all when applied and it hasn't put me off. The only time I notice it is when the eyeliner gets on my eyelashes due to a tilted brush angle, and dries to the consistency and look of mascara. This makes mascara application really frustrating and clumpy as the wand has to try and cut through the filmy eyeliner. I've taken to removing the eyeliner from my eyelashes with a baby wipe or my fingers before mascara application, which is messy, annoying and time consuming. The eyeliner/film has also dried up around the opening of the tube, making the rim and brush a bit gunky and unclean. I usually have to wipe chunks of the eyeliner off the brush before application now. Another annoyance!

I also can't seem to get the amount of product right when I apply this. I start in the inner corner of my eyes and the brush has too much product on at first to get a thin, tapered line, so I wipe some on the side of the product and then the amount is inconsistent. It's fine for the first few seconds but then the colour weakens, making application look patchy. You can see it on the last line and heart I drew, especially with the thicker line to the right of the heart as I twisted the brush. I have to dip the brush back into the product a tiny bit to go over areas that are too sheer, which is inconvenient and time-consuming. >_<
The colour is very opaque and stark, which is great as you want the most pigmented black eyeliner you can find! Sheer eyeliner that you have to apply a lot of layers with just doesn't cut it. XD
Very stark and noticeable, right? No mascara was worn so the view isn't obstructed.

The first photo is after slight rubbing with a wetted finger. The eyeliner was fully dry before I attempted this. Some patches flaked and rubbed off but it was quite intact. I tried a bit harder and it almost all came off. A third attempt removed it entirely from my hand.

So this is one of those waterproof eyeliners that is waterproof, but you can't rub your eyes with it on - either wait for it to dry naturally or pat.

It stays on my eyes all day without smudging, flaking or running and comes off very easily with make-up remover or cleansers - one swipe almost takes it off completely!

If I apply false eyelashes over this eyeliner, a strip of the eyeliner comes off with the eyelash band/glue when I remove them in the evening. o_O So it looks like I have a long line of no eyeliner, then eyeliner above it, which is very weird. I can only guess the film adheres very well to the glue. At least when I take my falsies off, no one else will be seeing the result but you couldn't take off some false eyelashes during the day to touch up your make-up or transition your look from day to night, then put some more eyelashes on, for example.
The scent of this product is a bit weird - it's not pleasant, but it's not terribly off-putting either. It smells a bit like chemicals, or particularly chemically/strong scented make-up?
This eyeliner is very cheap and has good colour payoff but the colour/amount of product can become inconsistent very easily, making touch ups frustrating. The waterproof film is ingenious but gets on my eyelashes and makes mascara application tricky. The eyeliner also comes off when you remove false eyelashes, giving you a weird, blank strip at your lash line. The eyeliner has also dried up near the opening of the tube and brush, making it gunky and annoying. All these little annoyances build up to a point where I'm reluctant to apply this eyeliner anymore, and would rather reach for my Kill Brown liner instead. 2 out of 5 stars for me - I would try a more expensive black liquid eyeliner next time.