Lilith and Mordecai – MCM May 2016

Heyya everyone!

Sorry once again for the silence,  I get so distracted working on my costumes, caring for my Nan, wedding planning and updating my Instagram, that I keep forgetting to update my blog!
That changes now, for reals!

Since my last post was about the lead up to MCM in May, I’ll start there. My Lilith cosplay was updated for the event, and I finished my Mordecai commission for my client.
MCM was great fun as usual, and I got a brilliant shot of our two costumes together, taken my by Fiancee.

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

The highlight of our day was when Jason Liebrecht stopped us for pictures, and said that Karl was the best Mordecai he had ever seen! I was beyond proud!

I hope to organise a photoshoot with these costumes at the beginning of next year some time, and will keep you all updated when the images will be posted!

Much Love,

Sabrina
xXx

Mordecai Costume Commission – Update 2

Heyya Everyone!

In my last update, I showed you all how I created Mordecai’s shoulder armour, leather vest and red body straps. Since then, I have got all of the cell shading done on the red straps and on the armour piece – and they look so great!

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For Mordecai’s trousers I created a pair of combat trousers, cell shaded along all the seams and added highlights to make them look creased and crumpled – just like how Mordecai’s look. To keep them as comfortable as possible, I decided to create the knee brace on his left leg using just fabric paint. I used various tones and shades of brown, white and black, to make trick the eye into seeing it as a raised, 3D piece.

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My next big job within this commission was Bloodwing. I adore Bloodwing and think she looks incredible – I was so excited to recreate her! I used thick wire to make an armature and fleshed it out with newspaper, to ensure it remained as light as possible. Once fully fleshed out, I covered her in multiple layers of paper mache to ensure she was strong and could withstand a blow (I’ve found that people at conventions don’t tend to value personal space, or the hard work that goes into costumes and props). To create the beak I used polymer clay and carved the holes and grooves into it to make it the perfect shape – this was then attached to the head and the seams covered with paper mache. All the details were added on with foam, and canvas fabric was used to make the wing membrane. Once fully dry, the bird was primed, sanded and then painted using acrylic paint. When dry, the cell shading was dry brushed onto the wings and body. As I wanted Bloodwing to stand up on her own, and not need to be held all day by my client, I decided to create a bracer and attached her feet onto it – once this was laced up, it would hold Bloodwing in place on his forearm. I used acrylic paint to paint her and add the cell shading, using in game screenshots to ensure I had her the exact right colours. Once the body was painted, I glued her feet to the bracer, then painted the legs. The bracer was then given a layer of brown spray paint, and cell shaded to fit the borderlands look.

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The final part was to attach the red cell shaded strips onto the dreadlocks I created. This would complete Mordecai’s look, tying everything together. I used acrylic paint to add cell shading onto the dreadlocks, and the costume was complete!

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If any of you are heading to MCM London on the Saturday, keep an eye out for Karl in this Mordecai costume!

Much Love,

Sabrina
xXx

 

 

 

Scholl Gel Activ Insoles – Extreme Heels

Heyya Everyone!

As I have mentioned before in previous posts, I am a product tester for BzzAgent, and love every second of it. I have been sent some amazing products absolutely free, to test, try and review for all you lovely people out there!

This time I was sent a pair of Scholl Gel Activ Insoles to test – I chose the ‘Extreme Heels’ variety to try, as they are the style of shoes I wear the most.

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This was the perfect product for me to be sent to test out, as I don’t own a pair of heels lower than 4 inches, and I wear them on a very regular basis – whether it’s out shopping with friends, or going out for lunch with the family. I have tried out various types of insoles in the past, and have never been able to find one that agreed with me.

The packaging of these insoles is really great; it has a cut out on both sides of the plastic, allowing you to feel the insoles, which I think is a great feature as it allows you to judge their thickness and flexibility. It has all the necessary information on the back, including how to attach them to your shoe in the optimum place for comfort, and the packaging itself is plastic around the insoles to protect them from bumps and knocks before buying, with the outer piece being cardboard, meaning you can easily get the insoles out without scissors – we’ve all bought something in the past that has been completely encased in thick plastic and you have to wait till you get home then dig around for scissors, and have to hack away just to get it out!

As I stated earlier, I chose the Extreme Heels option. They have very small bobbles all over the front end, and a thin ridge of gel which I assume is meant to go near the ball of your foot, just before where the toes start. It also has a large oval shaped cushion of gel which will sit in the arch of your foot to give extra support. When taking them out I was immediately surprised that they are so small, they look like insoles for toddlers! It hit me then that they would only be for the ball of your feet within the shoe, which seemed a bit odd as your heel also takes a lot of stress and pressure whilst wearing heels. One feature I really liked was that they are self-adhesive, I’ve always found that my insoles slip around in my shoe, and when I take my foot out the insoles doubles back on itself and comes out too – but this should mean that’s no longer an issue.

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I chose to stick these into the heels I wear the most, my sand coloured suede Fiore shoes with the wooden heel. As these insoles are extremely flexible, it was a bit tricky sticking them into my shoe, they wobbled about like a wet fish! I got the left one in first time but had to redo the right one twice to get it to sit in the perfect place. I recommend lining the wider part up half way down the toe area of the shoe, and slowly smoothing down the back to avoid air bubbles and to make sure it’s straight.

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I wore these shoes out in the morning to go out for lunch and then shopping with a friend, and as I was wearing a skirt, I wore them with hold-up stockings. My foot slipped in beautifully and I didn’t notice a difference in the size of the shoe, they didn’t feel tight or uncomfortable, so the insole had no effect on the shoe’s sizing which is a big plus! I could feel the bobbles of the insole and it was an odd sensation at first, but as soon as I got used to it I found it quite relaxing.

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Later that evening I went out to town for drinks with close friends, and as I was wearing the shoes with slim fit trousers, I wore them with just bare feet. There was an immediate difference, the shoes immediately felt tighter, and my feet didn’t slip into them as smoothly as they did when I wore my stockings. I couldn’t feel the bumps on them as much with bare feet, they just felt like plain gel insoles to me, still cushioning, but without the added massaging feeling. My foot felt like it was stuck to the insole, it didn’t move about as freely as it usually does, or like how it did earlier with stockings on, there was no freedom of movement, and it wasn’t comfortable at all. After about half an hour I noticed that my feet felt really hot and uncomfortable, nothing like when I had worn them earlier. About an hour into the evening I had to take my shoes off, and only put them back on to hobble to a taxi, no way I would be able to do my usual walk home in them!

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When I got home I took off my shoes and saw that I had a nasty blister on the edge of my right little toe, no doubt caused by the insole not giving my foot anywhere to move about, causing it to rub against the side of the shoe. Never in the 4 years I have owned these shoes have they ever given me a blister, so I think it’s fair to say the insoles contributed to this nasty surprise.

My next test was whether or not they could be transferred from one pair of shoes to another. I gently lifted up the thinner end of the insole and peeled it back from the shoes sole – and disaster. It was pulling the shoes lining out with it, causing it to loosen from the shoe and flap about. This made me absolutely furious as I take amazing care of my shoes, yet these simple pair of insoles have almost wrecked a pair I love. After very gingerly lifting the rest of the insole out, they were free – meanwhile my shoes were put aside to be mended at a later date. The insoles were still sticky and easily attached to a new pair of heels with no worries – and they will now stay in these shoes forever as I don’t want to risk another pair getting damaged by there powerful pulling power!

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One other complaint I had was after reading the back of the packaging in depth, I noticed it stated it was suitable for shoe sizes UK 3-7.5. This seems ridiculous to me as most high street shoe shops sell up to a size UK 9, so the insoles should reflect that, otherwise it leaves a considerable amount of people unable to use them to there full potential. I also find that they are quite narrow across the ball of your foot, I have quite wide feet so I found that my foot went over the edges of the insoles, which wasn’t exactly painful as the edges of the insoles are tapered and thin, but it was a bit uncomfortable at times, especially when I was wearing the shoes without any stockings or tights as I could feel where it stopped.
It would be wise for them to make a wide fit option and go up to a larger shoe size, as not all of us have small, thin feet.

Overall I think that these insoles are good quality, providing you don’t remove them from the pair of shoes they are attached to. I also think they work a lot better, and are most comfortable if used when wearing tights/stockings. I think the pricing is average for a pair of insoles, especially since they cannot be moved from one pair of shoes to another.

Let me know what you guys think about the various insoles on the market, have you used a pair that was brilliant? Do you find them useful, or a waste of money? Would love to hear from you all!

Much Love,

Sabrina
xXx

Mordecai Cosplay Comission – Update 1

Heyya Everyone!

Thought I would post a quick update on how my Mordecai cosplay commission is coming along. I’m so excited to have been commissioned for another Borderlands costume, as I love the art style of the games, and creating real life versions of the costumes are a lot of fun. Creating the cell shading on clothing, whilst being incredibly time consuming and at some times tedious, is always worth it as the end effect is striking and eye catching. I thoroughly enjoyed creating the costumes of Lilith from Borderlands 2 for myself, and Maya as a commission for a close friend; plus they had a fantastic reception at MCM London October 2014, especially at the 2K booth where we were mistaken for staff and asked for numerous pictures. And as a thank you for helping them promote Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and our characters at their booth, albeit unintentionally, we were given a lot of free Borderlands merchandise which was amazing, and the team were so enthusiastic and friendly.


My Lilith cosplay – MCM London October 2014

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As I had been using a lot of Worbla recently on other costumes, I decided to start by making the shoulder armour piece Mordecai wears. After measuring my client to get every measurement required, I made a base from foam, covering it in Worbla for strength. After priming and sanding, I spray painted it with a matte grey spray paint – and attached the added details.

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 In the next few days I will be finishing off the cell shading on the armour piece, and give it a coat of sealant to complete it.

After creating the shoulder piece,  I moved onto the top, vest and straps that Mordecai wears. I used a grey T-shirt as the base for the top, everything would be stitched onto this. I’ve used a brown faux leather for the the vest, adding all the cell shading onto it with fabric paints.
The straps were made from red cotton fabric, cut into 2 inch wide strips. The cell shading was done using the same fabric paints used on the leather for the vest.

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I still have to add cell shading highlights to both the vest and the straps, then they will be complete.

Hope this has been useful to some of you, if you would like any more information regarding the costume, message me 🙂 I’m happy to help! I will be uploading a full walkthrough/tutorial page for this costume once it is completed.

Much Love,

Sabrina
xXx

Scholl Velvet Smooth Wet & Dry review

Heyya Everyone!

As I have mentioned before in previous posts, I am a product tester for BzzAgent, and love every second of it. I have been sent some amazing products absolutely free, to test, try and review for all you lovely people out there!

This time I was sent the Scholl Velvet Smooth Wet & Dry foot file, retailing at £59.99.

I was looking forward to testing this out as I have always had hard skin due to constantly being on my feet – plus I’m often wearing heels which doesn’t help!
I had heard quite a bit about this product, and seen quite a few adverts on the TV and online, so I knew about it, but never had a chance to try it until I got the e-Mail from Jono saying I had been selected to try it! It arrived about a week later and I was eager to give it a go!

Please note I have included before and after pictures in this review, so those of you who suffer from podophobia, or just don’t like feet – you have been warned!

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My package contained a congratulations leaflet, my free Scholl Velvet Smooth Wet & Dry foot file, and a voucher book offering £15.00 off the Scholl Velvet Smooth Wet & Dry in Boots for friends and family who want to give it a go!

I liked the packaging and the way the product was displayed inside, when you folded out the cardboard insert it contained all the information on the product;how to change the rollers and set up the charger – however I found the device itself a bit tricky to remove from the package, as it has plastic grips holding the file roller into the box. You had to pull quite hard to get this off and I was worried about breaking the product before I even got a chance to try it!

Once out of the packaging I gave the product a quick once over to familiarise myself with the buttons and how it worked. I was surprised to see that it arrived with a full charge which I thought was awesome, so it was ready to use straight out of the box.
The file has a simple on/off button on its handle, and 2 speed settings, both of which are easily reachable by your thumb whilst it’s in use, making it a great handheld device. It’s not too heavy and fit’s nicely into my hand (although I do have a large handspan) – and while the design is rather basic, it does what it needs to. The device has 2 small metal charging points on the back, which it rests on in the cradle to charge – the charging cradle is compact and doesn’t take up much space, it also means the device isn’t just left on the floor whilst charging, which I feel is much safer.
The outer packaging doesn’t have much information on the product itself, other than that it is waterproof, gives you “beautifully soft feet whenever, wherever” due to it being cordless, and that it is not suitable for use by those suffering from diabetes or those with poor blood circulation.

I decided to first test how waterproof the device was, and how well it worked in the shower. I tend to have most of my hard skin around the balls of my feet, so this is where I focused most of my attention. It held up well under the spray of the shower, but it did seem to be taking a while to sand down the hard skin, even on the highest speed setting – as though it was just smoothing out the rough skin, not actually removing it. It didn’t hurt at all to use, and it was very easy to use as it glided over the skin, easily reaching all the areas, even the pad of the foot near the toes. As I was using it in the shower, I didn’t have an issue with the dust it produces, as it was immediately washed away.
I used the file during my morning shower everyday for a week, and after all that I noticed it has smoothed over skin around the balls of my feet so it looked much better, it was also very smooth to the touch, however you could still feel where the hard skin was when you ran your fingers over the area. I believe that with constant use of this device I can wear that down and have my feet back to being baby smooth.

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My Fiancée Luke works in a bank and so is on his feet for almost 10 hours a day, and because of this he suffers from terrible hard, cracked skin on his heels. I thought that he would be the perfect person to test this file on whilst using it dry – to really put it through it’s paces! I started out with it on the low speed setting, however this didn’t do too much with his heels, but that’s more to do with Luke’s heels being as tough as stone, rather than the quality of the device. I turned it up onto the high speed setting and it worked a lot better, slowly grating away at the hard skin on the ends of his heels and smoothing it out. He kept up using this for the week alongside me, to compare results. After the week was up, his heels looked much better – this device really seems to work better dry than wet. The skin still feels tough but it is now smooth, it doesn’t catch on his socks or scratch me if his feet rub against mine – I think using the Scholl Velvet Smooth Wet & Dry daily along with a good, rich moisturiser should get his feet back in check.

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After us both using it for 10 minutes each, everyday for a week, the battery has started to run low, so we put it into the charging station and left it to charge. It was very quick to recharge, being back to full power in just over an hour – the green light on the charging dock blinks green whilst it is charging, and stays a solid green once it has reached full charge and is ready to go again. I love that it shows when it is fully charged, takes out the guessing of when to take it off, or leaving it too long and damaging the battery by overcharging it.
I would have liked for it to have come with a small drawstring bag to keep the device in when travelling, or whilst it is not in use. Fortunately I have a draw I keep all of my electronic devices and chargers in whilst they are not in use, but not everyone does and this would help to protect the device from dust and dirt whilst it is being stored. Also, as it creates a lot of dust when using it dry, it would have been nice if it contained a small brush in the box, to brush off the dust and filings from the device after each use. I had an old powder brush which I used for this purpose, as I wanted to ensure it was always kept clean and working at it’s best.

My biggest issues with this device were that it didn’t have anywhere for the shavings to go. When you ran the file over hard skin, it shaved it away into a fine powder – this was rather messy as there was nowhere in the device for this to go, so I had to use it whilst leaving over a bin, otherwise it would have gotten all over the carpet and that’s not nice at all. My other issue was that when I was using it on Luke’s heels, I had to use a bit of pressure for it to do anything worthwhile on his tough skin, however when I applied pressure to the device, the roller seemed to slow down or stop altogether. I know the device is designed to stop if pressure is applied, but without a coarser roller head option, it would take forever to fully remove hard skin that has been left to build up for a long period of time. I think it would benefit from having a choice of rollers with different grades to deal with tougher skin.
Luke also noticed that the device was quite loud, I didn’t notice this so much as it was hard to hear it over the shower spray – I don’t think it is loud enough to disturb anyone whilst it is in use, unless they were asleep in the same room.

Overall I think this is a great device, and would recommend it for those with light to medium rough skin on their feet. If you have very hard skin be warned that you will need to persist with this for the effects to show, otherwise I would suggest waiting to see if they release a coarse roller head to use with it.
I would recommend using it dry first of all, to shave down as much of the dry skin as possible, then use it in the shower for maintenance and keeping feet smooth.

A massive thank you to both BzzAgent and Scholl for allowing me to test this product!

Much Love,

Sabrina
xXx

Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice review

Heyya Everyone!

Yesterday evening myself a group of friends finally got round to seeing Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. This post may contain spoilers for those of you who haven’t yet seen it, so please be warned!

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It’s worth noting that I went into this film with very low expectations, with my biggest gripe being that so much was shown in the trailer; we knew that Doomsday would be the main villain fight, we saw how Wonder Woman came into it, and we saw that Lex Luthor already knew the identity of both heroes.
It’s a common thing nowadays for an upcoming movie to have numerous trailers, however I really dislike this – take Avengers: Age of Ultron as an example, if all the trailers they released were watched one after the other, you easily had about half of the films scenes shown. I miss the days where one trailer was made, and you could go into the film excited and speculating about what may happen plot-wise; not see the build up and think “oh, this is where so-and-so comes in”. I prefer to be surprised, however with social media being as dominant as it is, it is virtually impossible to not have things spoilt. I avoided watching any of the Civil War trailers after the first one, however I went on Instagram one day to post up a new picture, and bam, a big old picture of Spiderman from the new trailer. I wanted to launch my phone across the room, why did that need to be shown in the trailer? How much more amazing would it have been to go in and watch it, and then to see  Spiderman’s entrance, the whole cinema would have gasped and cheered.  Alas, no.

Anyway,  I digress. Personally I found the whole storyline of Dawn of Justice to be rather dull, for a considerable amount of the film, nothing substantial happens. For a superhero action movie, there were only 3 fight scenes, all of which felt incredibly drawn out and strained. I have never been a fan of Superman but I enjoyed Man of Steel, however in this film, Superman felt like such a wooden character with very little emotion, even during his scenes with Lois, there was no real connection, their love and bond felt fake. Also during the Doomsday fight, there was no drive, no anger from Superman – this creature had the capability to destroy the world and everyone on it, a world he chose to protect, and yet he just seemed to be going through the motions with very little feeling. This is in no way an attack on Henry Cavill or Amy Adams, as I think they are both terrific actors, but as an actor you can only so much when the script and directing is so poor.

From the initial released cast information, I will admit my biggest worry of the film was Ben Affleck as Batman – I just didn’t feel he was the right choice. However in my personal opinion, he was the best part of the film. He had the mannerisms and attitude of Bruce Wayne perfect, and as Batman he looked the part, I liked the voice and he had that strength and drive, the willingness to go to any length to one-up Superman. He was a very believable Batman, and it was great to see him flourish in this role.
I also thought that Jeremy Irons did a brilliant job as Alfred, he had just the right mix of humour and attitude, whilst still remaining caring and protective of Bruce. He also has one of the most amazing voices, and a voice I recognise the second I hear it.
Another excellent casting choice was Jesse Eisenberg as Alexander Luthor, Lex Luthor’s son – his acting in this role was amazing. Granted he was the only character who was really fleshed out and the  one given the biggest range of emotion – all of his lines were brilliant, especially the speech in the dinner party, he gave it his all and you could really feel the desperation and obsession with taking out Superman, and how he would do anything to destroy the false God once and for all.
Although I really loved watching him, I couldn’t help but feel that at times, he started to verge almost into a Joker-like persona, mainly during his big speeches where his mannerisms and tone changed, he reminded me of Heath Ledger’s Joker in the Dark Knight, and especially in the final scene in the prison. That maniacal laughter as it faded out would have been perfect for the Joker, it didn’t work so much with Alexander.

I enjoyed watching Wonder Woman, for the brief moments she was in the film; I feel she could have been in the film for a bit longer, her fighting in the last fight scene was very convincing, even if every time she moved she grunted and screamed like a tennis player. Gal Gadot was a good casting choice for Wonder Woman, although I still believe that she should have been more muscular – let’s not forget that Diana Prince was an Amazonian princess and is known for her strength and Demigod status, I feel more powerful thighs wouldn’t have gone amiss!

Overall I think it was a tolerable film, with an average plot and poor scripting. The actors did a good job with what they were given to work with. I won’t be buying this on Blu-Ray when it comes out as I don’t think I fancy sitting through it again.

Let me know what you guys thought of the film, it will be interesting to get your take on how it was.

Much Love,

Sabrina
xXx

 

 

 

 

Sorry For The Radio Silence!

Heyya Everyone!

Firstly, I must apologise for the lack of posting recently, I’ve been ridiculously busy in the recent weeks. I’ve had to put my costume making on hold for a little while, as I’ve been swamped with doctor’s appointments, blood tests, and the most important thing; wedding planning.

We’ve decided to get a head start on organising our wedding; we currently think that 2018/2019 would be a good year to choose, as it gives us plenty of time to get everything planned and booked, without any need to rush or panic. We have viewed one venue which was truly beautiful, and the head of the events teams there was so helpful and friendly, this place will definitely be a contender! However we still have 3 more venues to view, so were not setting anything in stone until we have viewed all possible places.

I have had my eye on 2 absolutely stunning wedding dresses, and knowing myself as I do, I am sure that whilst trying them on, about 4 more will probably catch my eye! However, I am trying to keep just a few in mind, as too many and I will feel overwhelmed, and the last thing I need is for my anxiety to kick up during one of the biggest decisions in my life.

Also, I’m super looking forward to visiting my first wedding fair next month, myself and my best friend are heading down to London to hopefully get some inspiration and ideas for the big day, and hopefully find the perfect cake maker to create the wedding cake I have designed. It will be a fantastic experience, and I can’t wait to see all that there is.

I will continue to update on my costume creating as and when I am able, but for the next few weeks they will be few and far between. I thank you all for continually supporting me in all my work!

Much Love,

Sabrina
xXx

Workroom Completion

Heyya Everyone!

I am thrilled to let you all know that I finally have my new workroom up and running! Previous to this, all my costumes and props were built in my living room, which meant that I had to work in a confined space, and was forever digging around in cupboards and boxes for fabric and tools – nothing was ever close to hand. This meant that not only my costumes, but my commissioned pieces took a long time to complete; thankfully now that I have a fully kitted out workroom, I can complete all my pieces a lot quicker, and therefore take on more commissions than I could before.

Now that all the furniture is assembled and in place, all I have left to do is unbox all of my materials and tools from the boxes at the back and place them in my new storage draws. Finally I have all my things organised to continue my work.

On that note, I would like to quickly say that I am not currently taking on any more commissions, as all available slots have been filled. Keep checking back for when the commission slots are available again, I will update both this blog and my Facebook page when commissions are re-open.

Hope you are all well, and thank you for your continued support,

Much Love,

Sabrina
xXx

L’Oreal Studio Pro LOCK IT Hairspray Review

Heyya Everyone!

Being part of a campaign for BzzAgent is wonderful as I get to try out the latest products for free and give my honest opinion on them, be it positive or negative.

This time I got to try out the Studio Pro LOCK IT Hairspray by L’Oreal, and I am super excited!

I’m a girl who loves her hairspray, it’s a necessity for me as I have just had my hair cut back to a short asymmetrical bob – now when I go outside the wind blows my short layers all over the place and instantly ruins my style, so I always need a good, strong hold hairspray to lock it all into place. For this campaign I chose the ‘Ultra Strong’ hold hairspray, which is the strongest of the range at hold number 5.

This hairspray boasts a double-hold formula, with instant hold and up to 48 hour endurance – and unlimited styling possibilities. The can recommends spraying at a distance of 30cm and in an S-motion on dry hair. I really liked the look of this product from the moment I unboxed it, the bright yellow and black can looks very edgy and stylish, and really stands out among my other styling products, so I can easily identify it when in a hurry. Then came time for testing, I washed and blow dried my hair as usual, gave the top layers a quick backcomb at the roots to get some volume, then sprayed the LOCK IT hairspray all over my head, at arms length and in the S-motion suggested. First thing I noticed was that this hairspray smelled fainty sweet, almost fruity which was a nice touch – also that it set fairly quickly and left hair hair still feeling soft, not hard and rough like some hairsprays do.

Next came the first challenge, how would it hold up on my trip to town during typical British weather? I walked the 15 minute route into my local town to do the weekly food shopping, all the while the wind was blowing a gale and it was lightly spitting with rain. The hairspray seemed to hold up well overall, but it wasn’t holding so well on my fringe which was constantly being blown to the other side due to the fierce winds – no fault of the hairspray, more the fault of the gales which are intent on ruining all nice hairstyles. So I get to town, do what I need to do, then head home – soon as I step in the door I take a look at my hair to see how it has coped – and it pretty much still looked the same as when I styled it in the morning, with the exception of a few strands of the top layers being a bit windswept. Overall I was very pleased with how the hairspray held up, especially considering how violent the weather was; I ran my fingers through it and there were no knots or tangles, which is rare as normally when hair finished with hairspray gets wet, it goes hard and clumps together – making it very painful to brush out.

A little windswept but it held up pretty well given the weather!

This also leads me to my next point, I was able to brush through my hair and restyle it midway through the day without any issues at all; usually I can never restyle my hair after I have given it a blast of hairspray, which is a pain as if I am going out in the evening or just want another style, I would either have to wash my hair and start again or not style it until I was about to go out – I shouldn’t have to compromise! Luckily, when I got home I could give it a quick brush through and then heated a wave through the longer side, so I was ready for when my client came over that afternoon for a costume fitting. Not to mention that as I heated the waves into my hair using my usual 3-barrel waver, the hairspray didn’t go all rigid and awful, it remained flexible and held the wave beautifully, meaning I didn’t need to spray it over again – Perfect!

The sun finally poked through to see my lovely wavy hair.

I couldn’t resist showing this product to my client when she was over, partly because I adored it and partly because I was curious to see how it would hold up on her hair. Emma’s hair is incredibly thick and shoulder length, so how would this hairspray cope on a different hair type? I have known Emma for many years and know that she never uses hairspray as her hair is so thick and heavy that it’s very difficult to control, so she leaves it to do it’s own thing. When she arrived her hair was straight, as it usually is due to curls never lasting in her hair due to it’s weight – so after I finished the fitting, I sat her down and curled her hair all over, then gave it a good blast with the Pro LOCK IT hairspray.

        

After this I sent her on her way, and asked her to send me a selfie later to show how her hair held up, and to text me what she thought of the product. This is what she sent me later that evening:-

 

The back of the can also advertises L’Oreals ‘Studio Pro’ app, which it says will allow you to virtually test drive different hairstyles by uploading a selfie, and show step-by-step tutorials on how to create each style – I downloaded this app on my iPhone to give it a go and see how it worked.  First time I opened the app I tried to upload a selfie for the virtual hairstyle , and the app crashed before it could even take the picture, not a good start. I reloaded the app and went into the tutorial section, first off this has almost no short hairstyles, there all for mid or long length hair – which sucks for short haired girls like me! Second of all, the tutorials were very short, 15 second clips of models having their hair done in the styles, with 2 or more people creating them, meaning it is of no use for anyone trying to replicate it – if it takes them 2-3 people to create a style, what hope do we have of doing it at home in front of a mirror with one hand on a styling tool and the other on a can of hairspray?

Overall I really enjoyed using this hairspray and thought it was great quality, I would definitely recommend this and will certainly be going out to buy another can once this one is finished!

If any of you have tried this hairspray let me know what you thought of it in the comments,  I’d love to know how it worked for all of you!

Much Love,

Sabrina
xXx

Best Black Lipsticks? Swatches and Reviews!

Heyya Everyone!

I love a good lipstick, whether it’s for cosplay or just out and about everyday. And I really love a bold coloured lipstick, especially blues, purples and reds – but I’ve always wanted to try a black lipstick. Sadly my experience with them doesn’t go much further than those terrible ones you get in kits around Halloween. You know the ones, those cheap things that need about 10 layers to get anywhere near opaque coverage, and that go all over your teeth as soon as you try and speak – not a good look!

Going to Comic Conventions, events or even just doing a days hard shopping, I want a lipstick that has a nice opaque coverage, and that has long lasting wear, something I don’t need to keep reapplying after I eat, drink, kiss or talk. Not too much to ask is it? 😉

After having a look through my current favourite brands of lipsticks and lip liquids, I found that some of them did indeed sell a form of black lipstick! I ordered all the ones I could that were in stock and this is how they faired!

The ones I ordered were, ‘Pristine’ by Illamasqua, ‘Wierdo’ by Jeffree Star, ‘Venom’ by LaSplash Cosmetics, ‘Raven’ by LA Girl Cosmetics, and ‘Borneo’ by Gerard Cosmetics.

I had a few shipped over from the USA as they were out of stock here in the UK, so after an age of waiting for delivery I finally had them all and couldn’t wait to get on to test them!

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After stripping them all out there packing this is what they looked like:-

L-R: Pristine, Wierdo, Venom, Raven, Borneo.

Already I love the style of the Jeffree Star and LASplash lip liquids, the containers are quite heavy and sturdy and feel really high quality. I first swatched them on my forearm to get a feel for there consistency and to see how opaque they really were. The top image is using indoor light, the bottom image is outside in natural daylight.

1) Pristine, 2) Wierdo, 3) Venom, 4) Raven, 5) Borneo

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‘Pristine’ by Illamasqua:-

RRP: £19.50

I’ve always been a big fan of Illamasqua’s lipsticks as they have such a wide range of colours, both generic and alternative, with such a creamy texture which makes them glide on beautifully. This lipstick is no different, it applies beautifully, with a lovely semi-matte finish. However I would describe the colour as semi-opaque, if applied in just one layer it can still be seen through, however it can be built up to a deep black. In indoor light it looks very nice and even, however when photographed with a flash or in natural light it can look a bit patchy. With the shape of the lipstick itself I found it tricky to apply straight from the stick, it was hard to get a crisp line – I would definitely recommend using a lip brush.
The top left picture was taken indoors under artificial lighting and it looks very opaque and even, however the others were taken outside in natural light, and you can see how it’s a bit patchy in places, and had already started wearing away at the sides. I think this lipstick should definitely be used with a lipstick sealant like LipKote, as it does smudge very quickly, due it’s creamy texture. Overall I think this lipstick is okay, although I would be careful where I wear it, to be sure I don’t wear it in situations where I would have to be eating! Due to it’s price however I would recommend either waiting for their sales, or signing up to an account with them, as you will get a 15% discount code e-mailed to you on your birthday.

 

“Wierdo” by Jeffree Star:-

 RRP:£15.99

This was one of my favourites from the second it arrived! I love the packaging it arrived in, it was packed in a pink box with gold stars, with the container itself being a heavy glass vial, candy pink lid with a thick doe foot applicator inside. I’ve always been sceptical of doe foot applicators as I find they pick up way too much product which becomes hard to apply evenly, however the little suction cup thingy on the inside of the vial stops a lot of the product from clinging to the wand, meaning just the right amount is dispensed to do the whole of your lips. The instructions say to shake the vial well for 5 seconds before applying, and to wait for 3-5 minutes after applying for it to dry fully. It applies smoothly, the wand is brilliant and gives a perfectly crisp line no matter what angle you hold it at, and dries to a matte finish which I LOVE! Also, it doesn’t  After I applied it I went shopping for the day with Emma to Bluewater, and it lasted through the whole day of talking, laughing and drinking- it only started to fade a little on the inner corners of my mouth after we had a TGI’s, as the mozzarella sticks were a bit oily, and the instructions state to avoid oily foods as it can remove the lipstick. Overall it has fantastic coverage from the first swipe, has a beautiful finishes and lasts all day depending on what you eat! Well worth the money, and I will be buying the rest of the collection soon!!

“Venom” by LASplash Cosmetics:-

RRP: £9.95

LASplash is a company I have grown to love over the years, there great value for money and extremely high quality. This product is no different, it’s very opaque and has a beautiful matte finish, and is extremely long lasting – after a whole day of talking, eating and drinking it had only just started to fade on my inner corners and the inside middle of my bottom lip. The doe foot wand for this liquid lipstick is very long and thin, and covers the whole lip beautifully in one swipe, it even makes a beautifully sharp line on the cupids bow, no brushes needed! I’ve had a few LASplash liquid lipsticks in the past and thankfully have perfected the art of applying them, you need to scrape a lot of the product off the wand as it does pick up a lot, and then apply it neatly but quickly, as it sets very fast; and after giving it a few minutes to set, it is almost completely water and smudgeproof. This is one I would highly recommend!!

“Raven” by LA Girl Cometics:- 

RRP: £5.50

This was one of the cheapest ones I tested and you could definitely tell. The packaging was very basic and light, and the lipstick itself was quite dry and hard to apply. The product itself is not pointed like a normal lipstick, it’s a round shape which makes it impossible to get a nice sharp line around the lips without using a brush or a lip liner. In the picture I had applied 2 light layers of the lipstick, and you can see that it is still semi-opaque in some areas. It’s not a bad lipstick for the price, but it doesn’t last long so you would definitely need a lipstick sealer to stand any chance when wearing it.

“Borneo” by Gerard Cosmetics:-

RRP: £12.95

As soon as this arrived I realised I had made a mistake with this product – it was a lipgloss and not a lipstick. It’s a heavily pigmented gloss, with a gold chrome lid and glass vial with a very thin doe foot wand inside; it also has a light inside the cap that turns on when the lid is unscrewed and a mirror on the side. Soon as I started applying this I took a dislike to it, it’s very sticky and very thick which meant it didn’t go on very well and looked very patchy. It also went on my teeth as soon as I opened my mouth, not a good look! It shifted and slid all over the place, and looked terrible after an hour or so. Personally I would never wear this on it’s own, however I would consider wearing it over one of the longer lasting matte ones to give it a nice shine.

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Overall the best black lipsticks were the liquid lipsticks from LASplash and Jeffree Star – both apply very smooth and opaque, highly pigmented but non staining, dry with a beautiful matte finish, and are smudgeproof.

Please note these reviews are my own opinion and products were all bought by me, I am not paid to test them (sadly!).

Hope this is useful for some of you, let me know if there are any brands you have tried and are good!

Much Love,

Sabrina xXx