Category Archives: cosplay

The business of inspiration part 1

This week , the show was about business, and as it happened we recorded the show early at the site of a new business. It also happened to fall on International Women’s day – which was lucky! 

I asked a few of my lovely friends to discuss pros and cons of business, and it was interesting to get prospective from people’s personal experience. But it was also empowering that the respondents were all female. Because of this I wanted to spot light my amazing and inspirational friends.

Firstly we have Donna Bull MUA click here for her facebook page. Her biggest tip for being self employed/running your own business is to keep on top of paper work. She also suggested using Joist which is a great application that you can download onto your phone or tablet to help you create estimates and invoices. Donna also suggested making sure that you don’t spend all night on your phone. With much business being conducted on line, it is easy to forget to switch off. If you are interested, Donna is a fantastic makeup artist, face and body painter. She is based in Slough.

Lisa and David had a couple of suggestions – Lisa said that you shouldn’t try and learn everything at once, there is a lot to learn. Just the way it goes. And her husband David offered this bit of advice: Try something, if it works repeat it, if it doesn’t build a hypothesis on why not, then test that by trying something new, if it works repeat, if it doesn’t loop till it does. Cashflow is king for first 3 years, spend your cash wisely. Enjoy

Lisa owns and runs Espiritu Salon & Spa in Radlett click here for their website, and  click here for the Facebook page. The Salon is a gorgeous place for a mini spa day, a quick treat or a little general upkeep. Very relaxing, with a fantastic range of treatments and I recommend a visit at your earliest opportunity! 
Lisa also has a blog – go check it out!
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Katherine – who has taken a break from running her Etsy store, Handmade by Ify had this to say : Definitely the paperwork as Donna said, but also, if building the side hustle around work then it’s about being organised with your time, that’s where most people go wrong when starting a business. My main struggle was balancing motherhood and side hustling whilst working my day job… Also be patient if progress is slow at first, always be thinking what can I do in this down time? When times were quiet for sales at etsy I always built up more inventory and started designing for the following seasons stuff. Ify has taken a break from running her store – she initially started her store while at university, but after finding herself in full time employment and with a new baby wound down the shop until she could find a better work life balance. I am patiently waiting the big reopening!
Hazel runs Jax ‘n Boo with her husband as well as being a part time model – and online wax melt (and accessories) business and has the following advice: Learning to seperate business and home life, that Facebook message on you page doesn’t need to be answered at midnight when they sent it lol. Utilise social media to access a wider audience. Paperwork I agree with what Donna says, keeping on top of it so there’s not the end of year tax return panic. If you are creating your own product, pricing it correctly and not undervaluing… Oh and to remember it’s your business and livelihood, I always struggle cos I want to help people out, that’s not the way to earn yourself a paycheck though lol
 I highly recommend their products, some of my friends have had the starter kits inflicted on them as gifts – great value! I find that they are not too strong so even if you or another member of your household isn’t a massive fan of scents in the home, I am sure you will find a compromise! If you are interested, click here for their website and click here for their facebook page. 

 

Last (for this blog) we have the lovely Gillian who runs Emerald Wig Emporium Click Here for the website and Click herefor the facebook page- she is also a fantastic costumer and cosplayer! So you will be hearing more from her as I have picked her brain about a cosplay blog I am putting together. I haven’t approached her yet about the Lady Gaga wig suggestion we came up with on the show so watch this space! Now, this is what Gillian had to say : Yeah, the paperwork side of things is huge, and can become an issue down the line if you don’t get on top of it from the start.
I registered as a private limited company, Directors etc., from the very beginning, to protect my family in case there was ever an issue in the future (you must always think ahead). This meant a million times more paperwork, costs, effort and confusion – including all sorts of official scary paperwork and vat returns after the first 6 months.
I’m very organised anyway, and my hubby is an auditor/quality manager/systems developer so having him helping me was priceless. He’s created stock databases, automated order sheets and so on. Absolute time savers.

Try to restrain yourself when it comes to giving out freebies. While I’d only love to give all the wonderful people I’ve met through wig wearing, a free wig as a present, it still costs me to purchase the wig and then ship it…..this money comes out of the funds for advertising, promotional material flyers etc. and brings in no profit which can be used to increase stock variety.
It is a business after all, and if you intend growing a business, you always need to aim to increase stock variety etc.

Work hard, but have fun. I love what I’m doing, and that makes all the difference. There’s no effort involved when it’s something you enjoy.

Be fair to yourself and ignore the negative Nancy types. Hehe! You’ll never please all of the people all of the time. Dream big, and go for it.

Now I am more than honoured to count these people amongst my friends, all inspirational, finding their own path, and happy to help when and if they can. Donna is a stunning makeup artist, she genuinely can turn her hand to it all and will not hesitate to give you tips and advice, Ify is such a kind and generous person – she will help create anything you have a mind to make. She is also the inspiration behind my ‘clashes but matches’ fashion approach. Lisa and David – these are just the kindest, sweetest couple. Will do anything in their power to help and are good to have if you need advice. Hazel is a sweetie – she has had some setbacks in the last 12 months but instead of allowing it to break her, she has come back with a business. Gillian is fabulous – she has put a lot of time and effort into her new business, and is happy to share her experiences. Gillian is not only a great business woman, she is a fantastic cosplayer and I love seeing what she comes up with next. When thinking about what or whom inspires you… you don’t have to look far. Have a look at the people in your life and see what they have done, what they are doing. Every day people are setting new goals and challenges and it is fantastic to see people helping each other, building each other up. 

 

Cosplay by Beth

In a recent show, I talked about Cosplay, I love cosplay, and embrace the fact it has become more mainstream. I follow a few cosplayers on line – I love seeing the process and the costumes they come up with. There is a different level of interaction with different artists, and I approached a couple to gain some insight to their experience of cosplay and the community. One of the cosplayers I approached was Beth Yuka. Beth is a British cosplayer, the only one in this line up! Sorry guys, next time I will drag some more local artists into the love in! Beth is cute as a button, and so sweet! We met through wigs – but I really love her attention to detail and the fact that she shows the entire process. It gives you a glimpse into what it takes and the skill involved.

Beth is a really sweet person, go give her Facebook page a like for gorgeous costumes, some great art work and possibly posts dedicated to noodles. I can’t promise poetic dedications to noodles… but I am sure if you ask Beth nicely! Anyways, enough of my waffling, this is what the lovely lady herself had to say !

 

  1. How did you first get started in cosplay
  2. Why do you cosplay?
  3. What are your favourite aspects of cosplay
  4. How do you find the community
  5. How do you select a costume – do you go for ease, comfort, do you consider your body type
  6. Do you design and create your own costumes? And do you stay true to the source material or ‘inspired by’ designs?
  7. Have you ever faced any negativity while in costume or in the wider community?
  8. Have you ever faced or found yourself in an unsafe situation?
  9. Tips for staying safe and having fun while in cosplay?!

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  1. I first got into cosplay back when I was 12 years old, I didn’t fully know about cosplay at this time but I was a textiles student and I had begun making bags and pillow cases ect and I was getting really into video games, anime and sci fi at this time too. I remember when I was around 14 planning out to dress at Princess Peach for Comic con in London but because I was 14 I wasn’t allowed to go.
  2. I cosplay to become awesome characters. To leave behind boring Beth and bring to life Korra, Lady Loki, Thor or whoever I want to be. Also it gives me a pretty good reason to own a load of wigs.
  3. My favourite aspects would be a majority of the community. They’re very loving and welcoming and accepting of anyone. I also love the fact that there are companies out there who have pre made costumes for people who don’t sew or build/craft like me. It means it’s available to everyone.
  4. The community for the most part is great, there are a lot of people who are very supportive of you and the costumes you make/wear and will give you advice if you need it. However there is a side that’s become more apparent as cosplay ha gotten more popular and that’s the ugly side of it. There are a lot of people who will put others down for no reason and that can be really off putting for a lot of new comers but it’s all a game of just ignoring the haters (lol). You need to be tough and prepare yourself because there are people who will be dicks for no reason.

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  1. I don’t really have a process of selecting costumes. I mainly just fall in love with a character and want to be them so I go ahead and make that costume.
  2. I sew/build all of my costumes, I’ve never bought one. I also like to stay true to the source material however I do enjoy seeing steampunk versions or armoured version and even mashups too, I’ve just never gotten around to making one.
  3. I personally haven’t faced it yet but I feel it’s inevitable. At one point I think someone will start following my page and sending messages telling me I’m ugly and my skills are bad but I don’t care. I do it for me not to please them.
  4. I haven’t found myself in bad situations before but I’m also a very safe and cautious person when it comes to conventions and what not.
  5. Be part of a group, and make sure that the group are your friends. Whenever I’ve been in costume to a convention I have been in a group with people who care about me and help keep me safe. Also never send pictures to people over facebook, tell them that if someone wants to do business so photographing/doing a shoot then make sure you use email as it’s more professional and you can keep emails as proof just in case something bad happens. And something that every cosplayer in general should know is to always carry a bottle of water with you. If you’re in heavy armour it can get hot and in the summer it can only get worse so drink water and keep yourself hydrated. ❤

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Cosplay by Roxy Lee

In a recent show, I talked about Cosplay, I love cosplay, and embrace the fact it has become more mainstream. I follow a few cosplayers on line – I love seeing the process and the costumes they come up with. There is a different level of interaction with different artists, and I approached a couple to gain some insight to their experience of cosplay and the community. One of the cosplayers I approached was Roxy Lee – like Mistress Zelda, I first found Roxy Lee through Geek Girls and now spend most of my time stalking her on her Facebook Page.

If you recognise the name, it is because Roxy Lee is my mentor when it comes to make up – her skills are fantastic, what first attracted me is her ability to put together some pretty epic special effects looks using items found in the average makeup bag. She is always there to answer questions and a mother bear to her friends as well as putting together some ass kicking cosplays – which you will find on her page. And now over to the lady herself :

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  1. How did you first get started in cosplay
  • I was actually a booth babe for a known comic series called “Bad Kids go to Hell” Funny enough I was modelling at the time and looking to branch out into something more interesting and answered an ad! I did it voluntarilly and had the time of my life and found a culture I never knew existed. You could say I kinda accidentally fell into this world and thank god for that!
  1. Why do you cosplay?

– Honestly there are times I don’t have the motivation, drive or energy to cosplay and that goes hand in hand with what is going on in my life at the time. But mainly I cosplay when I am in a great place mentally and emotionally as it helps me feel creative and express myself. But mainly I just enjoy the artistic side of it, I love the feeling of accomplishment I receive once completing something I am proud of, and the outpour of support from viewers and those who share my work is beyond a feeling I can express. I also love attention. Not many will openly admit that but I do. I am a born performer lol. It also helped me meet some of my greatest friends, people whom have accepted me for me and not bullied me for my interests.

  1. What are your favourite aspects of cosplay

Easy, people, creativity, feeling of accomplishment, pride, attention, fun!!! Performance, love and a feeling of being understood and accepted.

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  1. How do you find the community
  • We would need a lot more than this page to explain my stance on this at the moment but I will say it isn’t a very good one lately. The community is becoming something different and as sad as it is I still remain accepting of peoples choices and direction. But it is making it extremely hard for certain artists to be noticed in their work to create a business out of it. And the negativity, bullying, harassment and judgement is starting to get to me. Call me jaded I guess. The things I stated above of why I loved this community and this hobby are slowly diminishing. Which adds to the lack of motivation to create new costumes. It is vicious cycle. I got into this community for acceptance and quickly realized that was the last thing on the list for a lot of people. I think I will mainly stick to my makeup for the time being as that is my happy place haha.
  1. How do you select a costume – do you go for ease, comfort, do you consider your body type

I wear what I feel best in, comfort and mobility are huge factors as I love to really get into character and move around a lot in photo shoots. I tend to pick characters I can easily portray as closely as possible or resemble as much as humanly possible also. I don’t like to wear wigs all that much so a character that I can fit my hair into, or dye or cut to resemble is a plus. But for myself personally I costume to my comfort in my body, not my body type. If I cosplay as a character, say my arkham asylum ivy, she has an open exposed shirt. I am not comfortable with that but still wanted to wear her outfit, so I simply wore a buttoned up blouse instead. Bam problem solved! But I also tend to wear costumes I can add my spfx background into, and basically every costume I wear I add blood and cuts into anyway haha.

  1. Do you design and create your own costumes? And do you stay true to the source material or ‘inspired by’ designs?

Little bit of all worlds. I don’t stick to one type of cosplaying. I have bought pieces from thrift stores and modified them or pieced them together, I have made entire cosplays from scratch, I have commissioned others to create armor and guns for me and I have borrowed other costumes from friends just to try something I normally wouldn’t for shits and giggles. I don’t hold a standard to any one cosplayer. Their cosplay is their cosplay experience. It is all personal. I do however tend to add something of my own into every costume for creative purposes.

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  1. Have you ever faced any negativity while in costume or in the wider community?
  • Sure, I was once told I was fat as Lara Croft even though I was probably at my thinnest and felt really great about myself haha and was an athletic ass kicking lara croft, I knew this. So it didn’t affect me as much as it might have. I am a curvy girl and I am perfectly ok with that but it did not make it right for this stranger to try to make me feel uncomfortable about my own body. I was also in a situation where two people were taking about how they wanted to rape me in a costume as if I wasn’t even present on my own page reading it as a person, that one upset me and I spoke out about it, it kinda received a viral amount of support from people so that was awesome to see so many people stand up to these bullies. But other than that my page is an extremely safe place with wonderful people that I admire and respect and adore. But as an admin at Geek Girls and manager at Super Cosplay Girls I see the harassment every single day, and it starts to weigh on you.
  1. Have you ever faced or found yourself in an unsafe situation?
  • Myself and many of the Geek Girls faced a sick man who was stalking, harassing and threatening us with horrible murderous actions and rape for months. Simply because we cosplayed and simply because some of us (many of us didn’t do this) had sexualized images. He was horrendous in what he would say and I wont repeat it but it scared us. He would make new accounts and harass us for weeks at a time non stop. He actually threatened to come kill us at our events. We went to the police with that one and it is an on going case. It is sad because he finally admitted to myself and another girl that he did it because he felt rejected by women like us and just wanted to see us naked…. Da fuq? I didn’t sign up for that.
  1. Tips for staying safe and having fun while in cosplay?!

Never ever let someone tell you to just deal with it. And to not stand up for yourself or that you deserve it or encouraged it because of what you do or who you are. They are absolutely wrong. Everyone will react differently to an unsafe or potentially harmful situation. We all have different coping mechanisms. You deal with these problems as you see fit. Never allow someone to make you feel uncomfortable or unsafe in your own environment and do not be afraid to speak out about it or call them out on their behaviour. Do not condone it. Ban and delete them as soon as possible, do not give them the option to repeat their behaviour or defend their actions. Freedom of speech does not equal freedom to harass. You are the boss in this situation. You control it. Never forget that you are in control. The worst possible thing you can do is allow these people to take that away from you.

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Cos play by Jonny Ruckus

In a recent show, I talked about Cosplay, I love cosplay, and embrace the fact it has become more mainstream. I follow a few cosplayers on line – I love seeing the process and the costumes they come up with. There is a different level of interaction with different artists, and I approached a couple to gain some insight to their experience of cosplay and the community. One of the cosplayers I approached is Jonny Ruckus. He replied, which – and I am not afraid to admit, caused arm flapping and generalised fan girling. I first came accross Jonny in his LV Stormtrooper armour – or was it the Ghostbusters outfit? I don’t know! But I fell in love! Jonny is an incredibly talented prop builder, with an amazing attention to detail… including his Hello Kitty proton pack. He also doesn’t take himself seriously (you already got that with the Hello Kitty and LV reference though…. right?)- this makes the page engaging and entertaining – and he gives some amazing photo opportunities. Let’s hear it for the worlds okayest cosplayer!

If you haven’t already, give his facebook page a like. But enough of my waffling, here is what he had to say :

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  1. How did you first get started in cosplay

I was building props from Ghostbusters just as something to have in my house to display and wear for Halloween; it was during the building process it was explained to me about cosplay and doing so a cons.

  1. Why do you cosplay?

I got into it for the charity aspect; always had booths at cons raising money for charities or doing charity events. I still enjoy going to cons for the sake of being a ham and showing off my costumes

  1. What are your favourite aspects of cosplay

Easily meeting new people and seeing kids reactions to your costumes, to them you’re real, they don’t know it’s some guys dressed as Superman; to them they just met the real Superman

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  1. How do you find the community

I had friends explain to me what cosplay is and having a local comic shop I was frequent to gave me the heads up on cons that are worth starting at.

  1. How do you select a costume – do you go for ease, comfort, do you consider your body type
    I only do characters I have a connection to, body type plays into that as well but Cosplay has certainly helped me stay healthy and fit to continue doing the characters I love.
  1. Do you design and create your own costumes? And do you stay true to the source material or ‘inspired by’ designs?
    I build everything myself, it’s my favourite part of the hobby is building props. I’m very be into accuracy and staying as true as possible. I’ve also had some fun doing some funny mash up costumes too.

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  1. Have you ever faced any negativity while in costume or in the wider community?

Oh absolutely, it’s a very competitive hobby, even if you’re not completing in contests. Everyone wants to be the best and they’ll bring people down to do so.

  1. Have you ever faced or found yourself in an unsafe situation?

I’ve had a hand full of times I was pretty sure I was getting knocked out for what I was wearing. Usually they were people outside of cosplay who didn’t understand what I was doing and were also drinking.

  1. Tips for staying safe and having fun while in cosplay?!

Big fan of traveling in packs or pairs; The average Con goer is friendly and nice, but like in everything there’s always that weirdo who can’t handle social scenarios. Always be with friends and people you trust.

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Look good getting sweaty

Wait…. hang on a moment, is that even possible?!

Well it is that time of year, we have all eaten and drank with abandon over the last couple of week, or even the month with various socialising we all do in the run up to Christmas and the New Year.

So this isn’t going to be one of those preachy articles you read at this time of year telling you to get into a gym. Hell, I haven’t been to a gym for a while – actually, can I tell you a secret, I cancelled my sub today.

But you know what, I have said it before, and I will say it again. Gyms and working out is not a bad thing, and yes people will look at you. I mean you notice people in the street, this is just another excuse for people watching. And I know a lot of my friends have commented on how they prefer to work out at home because they prefer not to be noticed.

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And my answer to this is, wear something that makes you both look & feel comfortable. People are going to look at you, well give them something to look at.

So with this in mind, instead of telling you all, get to the gym, get healthy, feel great. Although I full encourage you to do this. No, I am writing this to give you some ideas of how to look kick ass while at the gym. Or in your own home 🙂

I am going to start at the top – now, I am a geek *gasp* and so I do follow cosplayers – one of which Pipa Wolf Cosplay has recently opened an etsy store – which I obviously had to check out. And I am glad I did, she has some really cute accessories, there are a couple of gym t shirts available – both vest and standard t shirt style. Gym as in Pokemon gym 🙂 I had to buy both in the vest style as I really couldn’t decide which I prefer. Her etsy store is called Side Quest Designs – please go check it out.

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I wasn’t sure what the quality would honestly be like, having no idea where the base was being sourced. So I am happy to confirm that the quality is good – I also washed the shirts when I got them – which is another standard test which many screen printed shirts fail. And again, aced the test, no sticking or stretching. So if you want a couple of cute tops to wear, and show your geeky side while working out – I highly recommend them. And how knows, might help you make new friends with similar interests at the gym!

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So you have your top sorted out, what about your bottom half? Now, I am a leggings kinda girl, I have got jogging bottoms but I have never felt entirely comfortable wearing them. And while I appreciate the billions that goes into designing yet another pair of black exercise leggings, I am going to have to go with Wild Bangarang to complete my look. They have got a dedicated fitness wear section – Wild Storm Fitness. But I just wear a pair of the basic leggings – any which are at hand when I put them out of the leggings basket. Yeah judge away, I have a basket full of leggings 🙂

I won’t bore you massively, as my love for these leggings are pretty well documented – but there are a couple of new lines which are very different but also perfect for the gym – I can only review on, although I am lusting after the other!

The first line is Kokonuzz which are just a cute fun, cartoony line of leggings – both in children and adult lines. The colours are bright and the characters are fun – I have Finn and Otto and they make me smile just wearing them. So if anything is going to make you feel more upbeat about going to the gym….. well possibly the walking back out high on endorphins – these leggings will be it 🙂 So if you want something bright to cheer up a dreary day in January…. well look no further!

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The second line that Wild Bangarang have recently released the Geekweave Collection which are armour based designs which initially started a kickstarter project. I am so happy that WB have taken them on, and really the only reason I haven’t bought any yet, is I am genuinely struggling to decide which ones! If you are on the fence about armour style leggings, which are not traditional style you may be expecting. I fully support your decision to buy the entire collection. Go. Go now!

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Well okay, you may want a little more information that about the leggings that ‘hey they look cool’ … which they do. I have been wearing WB leggings since the brand launched over a year ago. Honestly, I would not have seen myself as a nylon, bright prints, kinda girl. Staying safe with jumpers, and black legging.. However, I am a complete convert. I will generally be found in a pair of leggings at any opportunity. What I do love about this brand especially is that the pattern doesn’t fade out. I don’t have to worry about it dispersing over my generally booty. The length is great for me – I am an average 5’7″ and there is legging to spare which is great when prancing around a gym. I never find myself pulling them up or creeping up my calf. And a lot of their newer ranges like Geek Weave are produced in the UK – the cut is so nice and comfy.

So when you are putting together your gym kit, have a moment’s pause – do you want to fit in with the crowd wearing bland greys and blacks. Or do you want to wear some bright colours and show a little geeky side off? Not a difficult choice is it 🙂

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Adam rocking a pair of Wild Bangarang leggings!

And if you are wondering, I signed up to a new gym today – closer and cheaper – win win.

All tangled up!

So, I have done a couple of posts recently on caring for your wigs. Well…. I don’t always care for mine. I try my best, and what I have previously shared is best practice. But what if you have something in mind for your wig? 

I bought a long, blonde crimped with in the sales early last year, I love crimped wigs, but having naturally dark hair, I wasn’t sure what blonde would suit. This blonde for me, felt too light… so it wasn’t ever going to be in my daily rotation. As you can see from the featured image, I have had a little fun with the wig 🙂 And that I am the Queen of derp faces – I cannot take myself seriously, clearly not a model heh

I was asked by a neighbour if I could come and help at her daughter’s birthday party, and we somehow agreed that I should do it dressed as Elsa from Frozen… so the wig was transformed, which to be honest was pretty easy! 

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The only thing you really need to be aware of when styling a wig like this, is making sure that the wig cap is covered. As these wigs are not really designed to be pulled up and around you can easily show the cap, and even worse (especially if you have dark hair) your own hair line!

I don’t think I made a bad Elsa, all things considered, and thought that would be the end of it. I could drag the wig out for make up, if if anyone needed an Elsa wig (or a plus size Elsa LOL).

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Early last year, I got talking to Wechselberg (Wechselbalg Facebook Page – give him a like!) about Hazel & Gretel: Witch Hunters and we were both inspired by the witches, more so the concept art attached (which is another post!) and I knew exactly which witch I would tackle first. You see, I like a challenge – I had a wig I didn’t really care for, so it was the perfect excuse. 

So I set about making the wig resemble the hair of my chosen witch, including plaits and braids, tangles and general untidiness. I had no intention of ever returning her to her former … glory? So I really had a lot of fun, back combing, pinning, sewing… just treated the wig as badly as you can imagine!

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And this is the result of my hard work! I really had a lot of fun, and it felt quite liberating treating my wig with such disregard. The worse I treated her, the better she ended up looking. It was the first time I really put together an entire outfit to complement my makeup, and it turned out rather well!

I haven’t really had any cause to use the wig again, but figured it would be beyond my capabilities to get her back to normal, and that I might need a message up wig again. Into a cupboard she went.

Until thursday, when my friend called and asked if she could borrow my ‘elsa wig’ … well, like I said earlier, I do like a challenge. I knew the basic principles, combing out gently, fabric softener, steaming, washing in warm water, and praying to the gods of good hair. 

The wig started out like this:

 

And I honestly thought I would be at it all weekend, I figured I had four days to get it to the point it could be put back into a braid and look like an ‘Elsa wig’ again. I sat down in the bathroom with my trusty backcombing brush (ironic I know) and slowly started brushing the messy dreads out from the bottom. I then started on the various braids that had been backcombed so they would stay in place and not unravel. It took 40 mins, and then I brushed out my wig. I was honestly expecting to take long, it was a lot of fluffier but washing would help that. Because I had not applied heat while restyling the wig, it bounced back so to speak. 

After it had been brushed out, I soaked the wig in a lukewarm bowl of water with wig shampoo – any mild shampoo or fabric softener works equally as well 🙂 and dried it overnight.

As you can see, she turned out pretty nicely, and is now braided up as an ‘Elsa Wig’!

(please excuse my lack of a top, I was about to do some body painting!)

While I am not for a moment suggesting that would should all back comb your wig to within an inch of it’s life, it is doable, and you can get some great results, and wigs can be rescued! 

If you have found that your wig it damaged, nearing the end of it’s life, and you are lost as to what to do, you can always speak to Scarlet von Trapp who did an amazing rescue on a wig, which really was beyond my ability! 

 

 

Life in plastic… is fantastic?

So last week I touched on the difference between real and online friends – it was a topic on the radio show, and there was split opinion. I am firmly in the ‘internet friends are real friends’ while my co host feels that they are entirely separate creatures. Now, I use social media a lot, and there are a variety of friends, some are purely online, and I am unlikely to ever meet them. Others are people I have known for years, but am no longer geographically close to, others are work friends, current and old, there are networking friends, of course, there are people who actually realise I am not a cat, and see through my filtered photos on I.G.

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As touched on in a recent blog, social media can be a lifeline for many – there is someone you can speak to, you can let your hair down, be yourself without the same responsibilities that you have in your ‘real life’ there is a reason after call, the phrase ‘on the internet, nobody knows you are a cat’ was coined. I have moved around so much in my life, although I am finally (touch wood) settled, it has meant I don’t have the same support network that many of my peers seem to enjoy. It is nice to know that I can still keep in touch with people I have met and shared my life with. One thing that I have realised – Social Media can be a fantastic support tool. I really wish I had had this support network in my early twenties. Since a lot of us move around, and don’t have the friends and family close enough to lean on, I have realised what a great help it can be. Being in groups of people who may have similar interests but not necessarily same life experiences, or opinions. That can help, advise, offer opinions, or even just understand what you are going through. And often, being able to type out something in its entirely without interruption, worry that you are boring someone, and getting opinions of several people and not just one person. It can be great because you will not always just get the answer you are looking for.

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 It is odd, I am actually more likely to have you as a FB contact than your phone number. Asking for someone’s number to me, feels very intrusive but FB … it is all there. You have a degree of control over what people see. And it requires as little or as much investment as you want. How many people do you add and never hear a peep from? And what about when you don’t hear back from people – it is that strange situation – ‘ghosting’ is the term I believe – where people are there … but not there. With people you see, or don’t see, it is easier to reconcile the situation, you grew apart, life got in the way, it wasn’t really a strong bond. When it is on line, the amount of investment, certainly in time and effort, is much less so to be ‘dumped’ by someone online… it feels worse? I mean what does the occasional like hurt? Just check in with a comment once in awhile?

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I love my on line community – I have had so many opportunities, and learnt so much – for example, if it wasn’t for the amazing RoxyLee (ROxyLee’s FB page) I would not have been so inspired by Special FX makeup. She took the time to not only share her amazing work, but talked me through a number of techniques, and was just so happy to help. But I do view facebook as a tool, as an opportunity to network. And it is important to remember it is nothing more than a tool and not a replacement for human contact.

RoxyLee as Harley shot by SuperHero Creations by Adam Jay

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But as much as I adore my on line friendships and community, it is important to stay connected in real terms – in a recent magazine article it looked at how social loneliness is one of the biggest issue facing society- so a couple of points to remember. It isn’t important how many people you have on your friends list if you never go and see them. Make sure you are making dates to go meet people, shopping, having a coffee etc. When you are alone, utilise it, pamper yourself, read that book you have been meaning to for ages, do some exercise, craft. Remember that if you feel lonely, it is because you need a social connection. Even if your friends are available (real life can be a complete bitch like that) maybe find something new to do. Local councils offer a wide range of short courses, you could sign up to a gym, join a class, pop into your local book shop and ask for advice on new reads, go to events organised by local businesses. Try old interests and new. And at this time of year, there are lots of opportunity to volunteer and help people, shelters, soup kitchens etc. So you will be helping people and meeting new people. Win/win situation 🙂

Thank you for reading, I hope this has made sense!

If you want to hear our previous shows, links are on our page, and we welcome comments, suggestions and music requests 🙂

Lifestyle:MK facebook page

Revenge on thou wig!

Okay, so you have your wig. You have even worn it around the place a few times. It feels okay but you’re still not entirely sure what you are doing. That is fine, that is why I am here!

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What you might feel, is that it just looks a little unnatural, no roots, a little shiney… so there are a couple of things you can do to help you feel more confident when wearing your wig!

How about adding some roots to your wig – you can do this to both natural and colourful wigs. It makes them feel more natural and can even help hide a lighter coloured wig cap. If you are unsure, I would start with eye shadow to practise. This will give you an idea of the finished result. You can then upgrade to mascara and even using sharpie pens to help make things more permanent. The first 2 can easily wash out.

Another thing that might help give you a little confidence is using hairbands, and hats. Like I said in my earlier post, it is fairly unlikely that your wig will come off. But some nervousness around this is understandable! The colder months certainly lend themselves to practising – using hair bands, bandanas and beanies among others to hold your hair in place.

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But what happens when you take your wig off… how do you store it? Well I used to keep all my wigs on wig stands, but my collections has outgrown my ability to do this, so I split it between storing them in the bags that they came in, and wig stands. Wigs that I know I will be wearing a lot tend to stay on the stands, and the rest got in a wig bin. No matter where they are being stored, they are treated the same. I make sure that I brush through the wig once I have taken them off. It is important to start at the bottom of the wig and work back up to the roots. This will minimise any pulling and extend the life of the wig (the hair doesn’t grow back). Now if you find your wig is getting tangles and are struggling to brush through, don’t force it. There are a couple of things you can do to help.

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Firstly, you can use a spray, and there are a couple of different methods – one is using a mix of a cap of fabric softener in spray bottle of water. Alternatively you can use hair detangling spray or even a specialise wig spray. I like to make sure that I am storing my wig in the best possible condition so it is ready to wear next time.

Sometimes a simple brush won’t do, or you just realise you have worn it a few too many times and want to refresh the wig. Well then it needs a little wash. Please don’t be scared of washing your wig, it is simple and painless!

Now for this, you will need a sink/washing up bowl, towel, mild shampoo/wig shampoo. You need to fill your chosen container with lukewarm water – it is important to remember that the wig is effectively made up of plastic fibres and using hot water will alter its structure. All you need to do is gentle swirl the wig in the water and let is rest – I usually leave it for around 30 mins. Once I am happy it has soaked enough, I drain the water, then rinse any soap with cold water and wrap the wig in a towel – again about 30 mins because I don’t want to press, just get any excess water from it. And after this time, it gets popped on a wig stand and left hanging over the side of the bath overnight to dry.

And I promise, your wig will hold its shape/curl/wave when being washed!

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Now lastly, something people have mentioned with wigs, is that they can look really shiny, and this makes them look and feel more unnatural. Washing them can sometimes help take the shine off but if you want to do something a little quicker, and with immediate results, try a dry shampoo. All you are doing is spraying it on and finger combing it through. I would personally recommend trying out a couple of different travel size before committing as they are all different so they will vary. You are looking for a dry shampoo that has a fine spray and won’t leave a white residue. Really the same thing you would be looking for when picking it for your own hair!

I really hope that this has helped you gain a little more confidence when wearing wigs, if you have any questions or comments please drop me a line!

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http://revengewigs.co.uk/ – and remember to use Gill15 for a 15% discount on your order!

Wigs, wig, EVERYWHERE

    So, as you all know, I am a wig addict and have a healthy collection. Currently Revenge Wigs are helping feed my addiction but more on that later.

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Recently I have spoken to a few people who are new, and maybe nervous about wigs, so I thought I would do a quick intro which I will follow up at a later date!

Firstly, wearing your wig. Now, I do have fairly short hair, and just pop a wig cap (net) over my hair before putting my wig on. Now if you have longer hair, there are a few ways to tidy your hair up before putting on your wig, it will depend on your hair type, and how much you have. You might be able to simply put it into a low pony tail and cap. But if you have thicker hair, you might want to braid your hair first. I would use a cap over any of these as it will help keep strays under control.

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However, if you have very thick hair and are worried, or want to make sure your hair will look good after wearing a wig, you might want to consider pin curls to keep your hair in place, which will also leave your hair in cute waves once you take them all out. If you have a shaved head, you won’t need a wig cap, but if you are worried about your wig moving, you can use the top of a ‘hold up’ stocking turned inside out to help secure your wig.

When you are first putting your wig on, it is important to make sure that you make any adjustments to the wig :

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Depending on how big your head is, you can adjust the elastic fastening/straps at the back into the slots along the bottom of the cap. This will help adjust the wig to help it stay put. Don’t worry if you don’t get it right first time – just keep tweaking. I wouldn’t make it too tight as this can become uncomfortable when wearing for long periods of time.

Another thing to keep in mind when adjusting your wig is that there are ear flaps on either side of the wig, just where the clips are to the side. These needs to be positioned just in front of the ear for comfort. Might need a little moving around, but it is rare to get your wig cap in the right position first time.

Now the picture above shows a cap with clips – this isn’t standard nor does there seem to be a particular reason to have these inside. Some people do swear by them, and find they help secure the wig. Personally I don’t utilise them as I have a high hairline so I wear my wigs a little lower. If you do like them, you can easily buy them on Ebay and sew them into your wig (using the above picture for a reference).

Once the wig is on, you can secure it with pins, I have cut down, but it will depend on the wig, the heavier the wig, the more likely it is that pinning will help it feel more secure.

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When you first get a wig, it is certainly worth wearing it for short periods of time to get used to it – I would pop mine on to go shopping etc while still getting used them, or wear them around the house. Once you get used to wearing wigs, the world is your oyster.

One thing to remember when wearing your wig out – it is unlikely to slip, it is unlikely to fly off your head. People are really unlikely to notice it is a wig, and 9/10 will compliment you rather than make a negative comment. Enjoy it. If people are looking at you, strut – give them a reason to look!

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Now once you are used to wearing your wig, you can have a play with it – I tend to treat mine like real hair, I put them into buns, put on hair bands, plaits etc. There is nothing you can’t, in theory do with a wig. But I would recommend making sure you are covering the edges of the wig cap all the way around when styling your wig. And when styling changes the weight distribution, make sure to account for this. When I recently re styled a wig with plaits pinned to the back of my head, I made sure I added extra pins to the top of the wig to help it stay up.

Now this is just a little intro, I will go into more detail in my next post, and discuss storage and washing your wigs 🙂

Also, if you are looking to buy a new wig – head over to http://revengewigs.co.uk/ and use the discount code gill15 for a sweet 15% off your order 🙂

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I am a little in love with the above wig. It needs to be mine!

Halloween Makeup #2

Okay this is a really quick walkthrough, basically because I forgot to actually take photos as I went along! Sorry but it is an easy one, I promise!

A couple of weeks ago, I was playing around with makeup, which I do. A lot – and I decided to refresh a Pin Up Frankie (Frankenstein’s Bride) which I had done a couple of years ago.

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This evening while I was putting together the 5 min zombie look – I thought I could review Frankie as the only thing that wouldn’t necessarily be in everyone’s makeup box, is the body paint used for the green skin.

So for this experiment, I used a green mineral eyeshadow and a blusher brush to apply onto my face, and blended it in. I then picked a slightly darker green and used it on my cheekbones, nose, and temple.

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I then applied a deep purple eyeshadow over the eye socket, following my eyelid around and underneath. I used another loose powder for this and the loose powder falling was blended in under the eye, so being slightly messy certainly works in this instance!

I actually set the green with a translucent powder because it was just a tiny bit glittery – which is fine if that is what you are going for 🙂

I then applied lashings of mascara and a little liner to finish my eyes off before moving onto the stitches.

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For this, I just used a pen eyeliner – now I haven’t given much thought to placement of the stitches – I usually try and make sure that they won’t be covered by a wig, so I keep them more central but you may want to look at some more authentic autopsy scars for your own makeup!

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And one where I remembered to put on some lipstick 🙂

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This makeup look really won’t take long to do – both this and the zombie makeup are designed to be 5 min makeup looks that can achieved without spending much money of time. I would love to see what you come up with!