Shots From MCM London Oct 2016

Heyya Everyone!

Whilst at MCM last month, I met up with the other page models for ItsTheNerdyLife [here is the Instagram and Facebook links for the page]. And whilst we were all together, the page owner, Danny, took some shots of us in our cosplays.
I received mine yesterday and I absolutely adore them!! He has done such a fantastic job, and I am thrilled with how they have turned out. I cannot wait to get more photos taken by him in the future, as not only is he very talented, he is lovely to chat to, and makes you feel really comfortable an at ease.

Here are the shots he took of my Black Widow cosplay. If you wish to use any of them please message me first, and ensure that we both get credited for the images:-

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Danny’s photography pages are linked below, go and show him some love and tell him Brii sent you!

ItsTheNerdyPhotographer Instagram Page

Much Love,

Sabrina
xXx

MCM London Comic Con October 2016

Heyya Everyone!

So the MCM weekend has passed, and I’ve had such a fantastic time! On the Saturday I was Blind Mag from the movie Repo! A Gentic Opera. This costume was a lot of fun to make, and I loved the overall look, however the boots I had which were screen accurate, were absolute agony to walk in after about 2 hours. I brought a pair of thigh high flat boots with me to change into, but by then the damage was done. We only stayed till about 1:30pm, so unfortunately I missed meeting up with a lot of people, even though I kept an eye out for them. The only person I was able to locate was Ash from AMG Piper Props, we had been Snapchatting our builds to each other in the lead up to MCM, and I was desperate to see his Charizard armour! It was incredible up close, the shading and texture on it was so detailed, I was in awe!

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I was there with my friend Emma, who was wearing the Melisandre dress she had commissioned me to make, and she looked amazing in it!! We will be organising a photoshoot together once I finish off my Daenerys dress for May 2017.

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On the Sunday,  I went as Black Widow from Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I absolutely ADORE this costume, I am so so proud of how it turned out! Not only is it incredibly accurate, it is immensely comfortable for all day wear, and I can see myself bringing her to many future cons!

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I managed to find a lot more people this time round, and managed to attend a meet up of the other page models in ItsTheNerdyLife. We have all become so close, like a family unit, and it was amazing to meet them all in person. We have a few cosplay plans together for next year, and I am so excited to see how they all turn out!

Danny, the founder of ItsTheNerdyLife, took some amazing photos of our group, and of my costume – and I absolutely adore how they have turned out!! He is a great photographer, and such a lovely person, we had an awesome chat whilst shooting, and I cannot wait to work with him again!

One of my highlights was the Iron Throne Experience, who were at MCM. I sat on the Throne with my Black Widow cosplay, and the pictures were awesome! I really hope they come back for the May MCM, as I will be wearing my Daenerys cosplay, complete with Drogon, and it would make for one hell of a picture!

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Overall it was another successful MCM, and I am looking forward to May and October next year! I will soon be starting my builds for 2017, So be sure to follow my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, to follow them as I work!

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

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

Upcoming Costumes for 2016!

Heyya Everyone!

Now that Brighton Film and Comic Con 2015 is over, I’m starting to plan what costumes I’ll be creating for upcoming conventions and events. Aaaaand I can announce that they will be; GoGo Tomago from Big Hero 6, Daenerys Targaryen’s blue dress from season 3 of Game of Thrones, and regime Wonder Woman from Injustice.

                          

Alongside these beauties,  I will also be working my socks off on the 3 commissions I currently have on the go aswell. Those are; Honey Lemon from Big Hero 6, Melisandre from Game of Thrones, and Mordecai from Borderlands 2.

                     

This will be one of my biggest challenges, as it will be pushing every skill I have to the max, from sewing to armour making. Plus I will have to overcome my biggest issue, one that I have with every costume I have ever made; managing my time so that everything is finished more than a day before the event. All my previous costumes have been finished in the late hours the night before the con they were being worn to, and it makes me panic and causes so much stress. From my Lilith costume, the wig from which I was still cell shading the morning of the con, to my Katniss dress, which was still being stitched until 10pm the night before expo! So now I’m trying a new way to work. I’m writing to-do lists for every costume, and working through them all, in order, so that as one is drying/setting/curing, I can be doing things on one of the other costumes. Fingers crossed, that will mean I have steady progress on them all, and will have them finished well before the scheduled dates. Wish me luck!

Much  Love,

Sabrina xXx

Heyya Everyone!

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Hello all!

I’ve been thinking about starting a Blog for a little while now; using it to keep everyone updated on how my cosplays are coming along, what my future plans are, and posting about general bits and pieces I think may help people. I’ll be keeping this updated alongside my Instagram page, however this Blog will go into more detail on how things are made, conventions I’ll be attending and the sort of products I use to help everything all come together!

I hope you all enjoy this Blog, as much as I enjoy writing it,

Much Love,

Sabrina xXx