Saturday, September 30, 2017

Lolita 52 Challenge: Not really

Hello everyone~! So today's Lolita 52 Challenge topic is Lolitafying things in my everyday life, buuuuuut I generally am more into Fairy Kei than Lolita in general anymore (though I still do love Sweet Lolita and have several OPs and JSKs), so instead I'll be talking about how I cutify things in my everyday life to fit my very specific pastel aesthetic~

#1: Spray Paint
 Soooo, I'm kinda lazy when it comes to painting furniture, but I like to thrift or otherwise rescue unwanted furniture while still having furniture that matches. So to fix that, I spray paint all of my furniture. I did paint a few pieces with regular furniture paint, but I had no idea what I was doing and ran out of paint extremely quickly compared to what I was lead to believe I would need and the particular paint I chose ended up scraping off waaaay too easily (Having a kitty using them as leaping pads didn't help either). So, rather than waste my time and money on painting things that weren't going to stay painted, I decided to just buy a ton of spray paint in various pastel colors and do that instead. And I do have to say, I think all of my shelves and other furniture that I painted this way turned out super cute and way more durable than the ones I tried to paint properly. Plus it's a lot easier for me to decide to change the colors on furniture or frames if all I have to do is lay some newspaper on my porch, put on a mask, and give it several coats over the course of an anime episode or some YouTube videos than all the work that goes into proper painting. (I literally bought and painted a cute little corner cupboard and shelf thing in a few hours one afternoon along with a couple other items earlier in the day. The only time I can't finish a project in an evening or a day is if I run out of the color of paint I need and am too lazy or broke at the moment to get more.)

#2: Stickers!
 So, I have a handful of stickers laying around that I'd never really found a use for, then I realized I could use them to make plain looking, single color items look waaaay cuter and more intricate! Plus it's less expensive than trying to get and attach wooden shapes to make it look like the piece has intricate craftsmanship rather than being rectangles of presswood nailed together. I especially like puffy stickers since they can give an item even more depth than just flat stickers.

#3: Cute and colorful thumbtacks
 So, like many people, I like to get prints and other art and apply them to my walls, so I use cute heart shaped thumbtacks as well as typical ones with colorful plastic heads to pin my artwork up. In addition to the pictures on my walls, I also have a cork board that I keep cute packaging, business cards, tags, and the like on using a fun mix of the thumbtacks I have!

#4: Collages~
 Like with my cork board, I like to turn things into little framed collages to put into spray painted frames. I posted a few pictures of meh ones I'd made previously in another post, but I have one with Pusheen blind box pieces (and another one planned), several with business cards and cute notes from sellers, and some other ones with cute packaging I didn't want to throw away.

#5: Lotsa lil' trinkets
 So one of the the main ways I cutify my apartment is with lots and lots of cute little things (and some bigger cuties). I have plushies invading every room (minus my bathroom because I don't have a place to put them) displayed on shelves, in my display cabinet and TV center, and on my couch. I have anime figures displayed in my living room and bedroom as well as some very nice quality weapon replicas of Sora's keyblade and Link's Hylian shield and Master Sword that a friend gave me. (I also have a little shine to my best girl from Love Live!, Eli Ayase, in my living room.) I have re-ment figures and some little outfits, that fit my Licca doll perfectly and also look super cute on my drawing mannequin, displayed in my kitchen and display cabinet. And I have a pretty phone styled to look like an antique rotary phone that I recently repainted to be pastel along with lots of other miscellaneous trinkets displayed around my apartment on any flat shelf-like surface that is relatively safe from my little kitty cat (who thinks everything is a toy).

#6: Display that merch!
 In a previous post where I talked about how I decorated my room at the time, I mentioned that I like to display my hair accessories on the wall. My collection has since grown a good deal, so instead of the one ribbon hanger thing I now have several, two of which I've made rather recently to hold all of the cute hair accessories and pins that'll fit on them. In addition to those, I have several decorative wall pegs meant for holding clothing or hats that I display my headbows and hair poms and such on so they're all easy to see and add to a coordinate. All of those are in my bedroom, and in addition to those I have a little coat rack and shelf with pegs on it that I display my favorite purses and my BTSSB parasol on for easy access and bragging rights along with some of my Pusheen items.

How do you like to decorate your room or apartment/house to fit with a Lolita aesthetic or your personal aesthetic? Let me know in the comments~

Check out my Insta: @animelolitacouture

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Lolita 52 Challenge: Bloomers or No Bloomers?

 Hello everyone! I'm here again with another Lolita 52 Challenge: Bloomers or no bloomers? Let me know your opinion on this in the comments below!

So I personally enjoy wearing bloomers under my Lolita coords for the most part, but it can be a bit frustrating at times too, so let me list some of the pros and cons I've found for wearing bloomers.

Pro Bloomers
 So one of the biggest pros of bloomers for me personally is chafing prevention. They're cute and go with the Lolita aesthetic and make it so I don't get a rash on my thighs just from walking, presuming they're longer. Even with shorter bloomers, it adds a feeling of cuteness to the look, just like wearing cute or matching undergarments can make you feel better about an outfit even though no one can see them. Plus, if you live somewhere windy or are prone to tripping or twirling a lot, bloomers help protect you from flashing your underwear unintentionally. Bloomers are also good to wear should you end up in a fashion show so you aren't giving everyone in the front rows an uncomfortable view up your skirt and instead a cute, ruffly view of bloomers and petticoats!

Bloomer Cons
 One of the biggest cons for bloomers can be their price point and sizing, especially for people with wider hips or that are plus sized. While it's possible to make one's own bloomers, having a good fabric, lace, and pattern to use can add up (especially lace) costing as much or more than a pre-made pair of bloomers. Also, even on nicer bloomers the lace can be somewhat irritating if no tights are worn under the bloomers. Bloomers also add an extra elastic waistband and layers to what can already be a somewhat uncomfortable fashion and make it even warmer too. Since a simple pair of pajama shorts or spandex can easily work the same as bloomers for modesty and chaffing reasons, many may opt to skip the pricier bloomers. Thanks to anti-chaffing products and lack of thigh rubbing in the first place, many people can get away with wearing only underpants with their Lolita and may want to, especially on hot days.

 So all in all, while I do enjoy the aesthetic of bloomers, for me personally they can be annoying or uncomfortable if I plan on wearing a Lolita outfit all day. In these cases I'll usually wear pajama shorts and anti-chaffing cream instead for better comfort without the worry of accidentally flashing someone. Do you like to wear bloomers? Let me know in the comments!

Check out my Insta: @animelolitacouture

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Throwback: Cosplay Tips 1

Hello everyone! Today I'll be going back to one of my very early posts Cosplay Tips 1 and basically rewriting it since I've had a lot more experience with cosplay since then (I might have cosplayed twice at that point?) and since the availability and pricing on many cosplay items have since changed. I hope you all enjoy my more current advice as well as cringing slightly at my old post along with me. ;)

#1: Wigs and Hair
   As many of us may notice when looking for anime characters to cosplay, many of them have unnatural colors and gravity defying hair, or just a color or style that's not easily achievable for you (like going pink when you have to have a natural color for your job or magically growing your fade into flowing, manly locks in a week). While closet cosplays or simple cosplays based off of your current hair color and style (or lack of hair) can be fun for a low budget or last minute cosplay, trying to do more advanced cosplays with natural hair can be costly and difficult. For example, several years ago I read a post by a lady who used her natural hair for a Sailor Mercury cosplay (if memory serves me correctly). One of the biggest cons she noted was that any time she wanted to do that cosplay, she had to get a haircut so that her hair would be accurate. If you're getting a haircut for a cosplay every two to three weeks when you normally would get your hair cut maybe twice a year, that becomes really expensive. Even if you cut your hair yourself, it can be frustrating and time consuming. While this can be less of a problem if you have longer hair that easily works for the character, you may still want to consider the fact that that cosplay will need a wig should you decide to change your hair in the future.

 Wigs nowadays are generally easy to find at reasonable prices and in good quality, so I highly recommend getting a wig if possible. Not only are wigs generally easier to maintain than natural hair, it gives a cosplay that extra something to make you more recognizable. (Granted if you cosplay horribly obscure characters like I tend to do, it won't help much outside of the accuracy department.) I've gotten several wigs off of sites like Amazon and Storenvy that are very nice quality that I use for J-fashion and my cosplays. However, when ordering wigs online, be cautious of wigs without reviews or ones that look like party wigs and thoroughly check reviews to make sure there's no complaints of the wig being poorly made or thin. Unless you know the seller is a reputable wig seller, I wouldn't recommend buying any wigs that don't have reviews unless you're willing to take a chance. There are also many reputable wig sellers aimed at cosplayers, such as Epic Cosplay and Arda Wigs, that have a variety of wig colors and styles available.

 One of the main disadvantages of getting a wig is that you have to style it for your character and while in my old post I had recommended World of Wigcraft, it seemed to have disappeared completely, but it seems to be available again: World of Wigcraft. Unfortunately it is rather expensive, but if you plan on doing more advanced techniques or complicated wigs, I'd advise getting it. Fortunately, there's a wide array of character specific wigs available as well as pre-styled ones, so many times trimming the bangs to the right shape is all that's necessary. For bang cutting tutorials, I highly recommend looking up tutorials on Youtube or ask a hairstylist friend to show you how (or do it for you) if you can. Remember, it's always better to cut less off than you think you need to and always use nice, sharp scissors so you don't maul your wig.

 Wigs also require different maintenance than natural hair since the fibers don't grow back when they're pulled out of the wig cap. Usually a brand new wig will have some shedding when it's first combed through, but normally you shouldn't be getting a lot of fibers with every comb-through. For typical wig maintenance, I recommend getting a styrofoam wig head and a pin or pins to hold the wig on it, some sort of stand for said head (I've been using my camera tripod recently), a wide tooth shower comb, and Motions At Home Oil Sheen Spray. (You can easily get the spray from Amazon or Sally's Beauty Supply.) After putting the wig on the styrofoam head and a stand, pin it in place so that it won't slide around while you comb it. I usually just put an obvious pin in the center top so I can easily find the pin again. You can also secure at the back and the temples of the wig if you so choose. Spray the entire wig with a coat or two of the oil sheen spray, both outside and inside of the wig and let it sit for a minute. Comb it gently in sections, working from the ends of the wig upwards and starting a new section if a tangle goes across a larger area than yous section. If the wig has curls, you may want to comb them separately to avoid them frizzing out or otherwise losing their shape or you can wash the wig after in cold water to help the curls resettle. Work on the top and bottom sides of the wig to make sure you get as many tangles out as possible. If you find that two of the fibers have tied themselves into a knot, take a sharp pair of scissors to cut as close to the knot as you can. I highly recommend gently combing your wigs out using this method after every wear, but be careful not to overdo it as you don't want to damage your wig by over combing it as it could damage the fibers.

What do you guys do about your hair when you cosplay? Let me know in the comments!

Check out my Insta: @animelolitacouture