Monday, November 27, 2017

3 Larme Ribbon Hairstyles~ Tutorial

 I've been seeing so many drop dead gorgeous hairstyles on my instagram feed this season and I couldn't get them out of my head! The main accounts I've been obsessing over in regards to hair are Swankiss_official and okumura.yusuke

Ever since I figured out how to do the heart hair arrangement I wanted to learn how to replicate my favourite Larme hairstyles. So, I recruited my friend, self titled, 'Braidcognito', who is absolutely amazing at duplicating hairstyles from photos, to help teach me how to do so! 

Most of the styles I like do incorporate braids (mostly French braids) so, learning the basics of that would be recommended for the following hair arrangements.

Basic breakdown of a French braid  is it's an overhand braid that incorporates hair from either side into the main braid structure. I don't think I'm equipped to properly and cohesively explain how to French braid... In all honesty I'm still quite a novice at braiding. So, I HIGHLY recommend watching french braid tutorials online if it is something new to be attempted!!!

The first look is one of the more easier, beginner friendly, styles and quicker in terms of completing, but definitely looks quite striking. 

Items needed: 
1 hair tie
Ribbons (I have clip on ribbons which make the styling quite quick and easy)

1.Part hair into a deep part.

2. Start braid at the part, on the side with the largest mass of hair.

3. Continue with a regular French braid going straight down.

4. Once hitting brow level, stop pulling in hair into the braid and continue as a normal braid.

5. Tie off braid.

6. Gently pull strands of the braid, evenly, to create more volume and a beautiful thick plait.

7. Clip, pin, or tie bows into the braid to add more personality!

This style is one I have been able to successfully recreate without much stress even with my beginner skills at French braiding and definitely recommend attempting for any skill level! It's also very flattering because it doesn't take away volume or height to the hair and makes the face look small.

The next style is an easier take on the above hairstyle, but that showcases how to make the heart arrangement~

Items needed:
5 hair ties
Ribbons (again, I use clip on bows for quick and easy placement)

Above, I created an easy break down on hair hearts~

The first step is to tie off the section of hair you are using. Once tied, separate the ends into two pieces.

Secondly, using another hair elastic, tie up the end hair so it is forced upward. It is the best time to fix and neaten up the pieces. Optionally, you can use a hair straightener to guide the hair and even give it more of an arch to aid the heart shape.  

The last step is to tie off the ends and finish the heart!

It does take a bit of practice, but with a bit of fine tuning it is definitely do-able.

1. Like the previous look, part hair into a deep side part~

2. Start braid at top of head and start a normal French braid on the side of the head with the most hair.
Finish and tie the braid after 3-4 inches.

3. With the tied off hair, create a hair heart (previously diagrammed)

4. Repeat and make a second heart with remaining hair.

5. Finish by clipping, pinning or tying ribbons on the middle nubs of the hearts.

Heart hair arrange is hands down the cutest hair style to come out this year! Since it can be adjusted for almost every hair length and can be added anywhere on the head, it's just so versatile~

The last look I wanted to feature or at least attempt to break down is one of Okumura's signature arrangements because it's just so whimsical and over the top! 

Items needed:
7 hair ties
LOTS of ribbon!

Specifically for me:
4 ribbons each measuring 10 inches
3 ribbons all measuring 6 inches

1. Part hair where preferred, I parted mine down the middle~

2. Start one braid on one side towards the middle of the head.
3. Use a Dutch braid (similar to French brain but bringing the hair under rather than over) with only pulling in hair from one side, specifically, the side towards the top of the head. 

4. Continue the braid diagonally and secure with a hair tie.

5. Repeat on other side of the head and secure both braids together with a tie when finished.

6. Start another Dutch braid towards the front of the head, again only pulling hair from one side, like the previous braid, pulling hair from the area above the braid.

7. Continue braid diagonally down and secure with a hair tie.

8. Repeat on other side; secure braid with a hair tie. Both braids are to remain separate.
9. Using same method as previously mentioned to make hair heart arrangement, create a heart with the connected braids.
10. Use the 10 inch ribbons to thread through the two braids on each side like shoelaces. Each side braid set used 2 of the long ribbons, each ribbon starting at opposite ends and meeting to tie into a ribbon in the middle.

11. To finish, tie, clip or pin ribbons at the end of each outer braid and at the bottom of the heart

PHEW! It's definitely a process to create, but the end product is so intricate and amazing! I could definitely justify using more ribbons to amp up the 'WOW' factor. Also, with all the skills used to make the each step could be used and applied separately or in different ways to make infinite amounts of unique hair arrangements~ 

This season I've definitely been inspired to step out of my comfort zone and attempt to style my hair more often! Which makes me so grateful to my friend, 'Braidcognito', for taking the time to figure out how to remake these hairstyles and guiding me in how to do it myself. Also, for agreeing to let me borrow her talents to share on my blog.

Hopefully we were able to decently break down the steps to be easy to follow and that they will be attempted and enjoyed!


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Succubus horns~ DIY

Halloween may be over but demon horns are never out of season~ ho ho ho!

Due to popular demand, a tutorial on my quick/easy Succubus horns is here, just in time for Christmas.

Items I used:
Aluminum foil
Packing tape
Paper mache, (I had a tub of paper mache powder from a few years ago on hand.)
Hot glue gun
Acrylic Paint

Hair Dryer (to speed the process up)
Paint sealer
Santa Hat

Step one~ Probably the most time consuming step in the process, is to make the base shape of the horns. I may have kindly taken my horn design from a mobile game that I play [Lineplay] Make sure you pay attention to the fine details on this step, since it will be your foundation, like; making sure they look even, and that they are angled to sit on your head in the way you prefer.

Second step is to cover your horns in masking tape, I like to rip them into smaller pieces so its easier to cover the contours of the horns and that they lay flat. It will also lessen the work to do in the next step~ If  one's on a time crunch and doesn't mind the texture, the horns could be painted at this step and be good to go! 

Third step is to cover the horns in an extremely thin layer of paper mache, which will cover up any extra texture and also give a but more support to strengthen the horns. To speed up the drying process I blasted it with my hair dryer and I easily had the both horns dry in my hands in under 15 minutes. 

Then, when dry, paint the horns~  The paint could also be sealed after to make the horns more durable, but it is just a personal preference.

Optional: I took the trim off Christmas decor and hot glued it to the bottom of my horns to make them cute and fluffy.

The last step is to use a hot glue gun and glue the horns onto a headband (I couldn't find a plain headband so I took apart some reindeer antlers for this project.). It really don't need to be neat, just as long as it's secure.

Mine definitely was a mess inside but it works just as well~

Then when it's all done you can do any finalizing touches if need be. For me, that was adding some ribbon!

My finished horns are a success, and look super cute. My first initial pair only took me 3 hours on Halloween day. This pair probably took me 5 hours since I wanted them to look super clean on camera. 

The horn construction is pretty cheap, quite sturdy and most items could be found at home or acquired in a pinch. 

I seriously love this look and how the horns looks while worn, and I definitely got many compliments when I wore them on Halloween. In all honesty, given the items used for construction, I could also use them for a holiday look without a huge stretch in reasoning!

I hope this tutorial was helpful and, as a fellow procrastinator, that it might help those in need of a last minute costume!


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow, Cushion Foundation~ Review

 SO, if you haven't heard, Urban Decay released a cushion foundation!
(or at least in select countries in Asia as of right now, 2017) 

Those who may be familiar with my blog, I love my Urban Decay Naked foundation and have used it in most of my makeup tutorials~ So of course, I was absolutely thrilled when I read that Urban Decay was releasing this cushion option into their line! Especially, since as of recently, I've been quite a fan of cushion foundations.

The line comes equipped with a pretty sizable amount of shades (at least for an Asian cushion line). I believe there are 6 options in total for light to medium skin tones but all with varied undertones; olive, neutral, and ruddy~ I quite enjoy that they have the multiple options since most cushions tend to be more on the neutral side and sometimes cast as grey on me. The shade I chose was 2.75 which is a golden undertone light/medium shade in the line, which, for comparison, I am a 3.0 in Urban Decay's Naked Skin line. The undertone match is pretty close to mine and just a hair lighter in shade than my skin which isn't even noticeable since it does match my neck and chest.

According to the packaging, the product boasts that it will deliver a flawless and luminous 'naked glow' that is buildable and will keep skin hydrated for 18++ hours with the addition of a SPF 50+ PA+++.  It also contains added skin benefits like most other cushion foundations including; Rose centifolia extract, for toning and firming, Gentian root extract, the provides skin soothing, and peppermint extract, which conditions the skin. 

I do have a slight grievance, in that one must purchase the compact and the refill, separately, in order to make a complete set, which is a bit frustrating since the cost does add up. I paid roughly $20 for the compact and $40 for the foundation itself not adding shipping/shopping service fee. I do own more expensive cushions but I guess I feel less taken advantage of since those come as a complete set with refills usually available for purchase direct from the brands.

The packaging  on the compact is a beautiful iridescent cover which looks amazing on my vanity and a metallic lavender case. The pouf is decent... Nothing special about it, I don't find it amazing and I could easily interchange it with say my Etude House pouf and I wouldn't be able to tell a difference with application. I do like the closure of the cushion since I can feel it lock into place and I'm not just applying a ton of pressure onto my cover to ensure I have a solid seal on my foundation so it wont dry out.

Taking a look at the cushion, it's actually my first air/mesh style in my collection which is a change. In all honesty, I don't quite get the mesh style cushion but from what I do understand, it helps control the amount of product used and apparently is more sanitary? Regardless, it seems to work just the same as my normal cushions. The constancy of the foundation isn't that runny, if anything I'd almost describe it as a gel or jelly texture and when applied feels a bit tacky. The formula has no strong scent which is nice, but I do tend to enjoy when cushion foundations smell medicinal or herbal but the lack of a scent isn't a make or break issue with me.

Application of the formula is where the problems become quite apparent. Above, is a photo of just the foundation itself. 

So the foundation starts off okay on the first pounce, but once I started blending it into my skin, it would stick to any uneven surfaces which I have quite a few such as excema spots and I was having a couple breakouts this time of month too. Also, a bit of an overshare, but I did pick at a spot ( or 2) and the application of foundation on the scab was HORRENDOUS, the foundation caked into my fine lines and any small crevices on my face and just sunk into my pores and made them look even more noticeable.

Besides the textured skin issue, I found that it could barely cover my hyperpigmentation spots nor give any semblance of an even skin tone. I tend to have sallow skin near the corners of my lips and under my eyes and all my foundations have been able to even them out but not with this one!

The foundation says buildable but I found that it 'built up' and accentuated the patchiness, and even started to look a bit chalky. By the time I decided to just let it rest, the ending result left my skin in a state of disarray! Even the dry down texture was so sticky and made my skin feel so oily, which is quite odd because I have normal/combo skin that doesn't ever tend to feel immediately greasy upon initial foundation application. Moreso, the end result was quite matte which belied the sensation on my skin.

To salvage the look of my skin, it became a test on how much work my concealer could do. Then to make my skin feel less gummy I set my makeup with translucent powder which I don't usually tend to do with cushion foundations because the main point of them, or at least the reason why I prefer them, is to retain a natural dewy sheen to my skin. So, the point to even wearing this foundation was moot.

If I were to say a positive, it did even out the colour of my skin, if anything. Any redness I had was covered, so if anyone has super clear and smooth skin and only had issues of red spots of slight discolourations, maybe it could work for them..

I  really do have to share this photo immediately after the initial application photo. This was taken 4 hours after I finished my makeup and all I did was shoot this review, put away my lighting, and do some laundry. So, nothing too strenuous nor anything that would make me sweat excessively. Again, I'm not even excessively oily, but the foundation separated so extremely and so quickly! I've never ever had a foundation do that and I've put many of my foundations though the test though spin classes, hot yoga, going swimming and I've had a few patches but never such a noticeable break down of the formula on my skin. Even with setting powder and even my Ben Nye setting spray which I've used on stage/musical performances, though gym sessions and even to waterproof my makeup it couldn't even hold this together, which is maybe even a bit amazing. Really though, my skin looked and felt so oily and caked that I couldn't stand it.

I actually gave this foundation a chance! I used it for a whole week, and just barely pushed it by only wearing it for maybe an hour or two while out each time. So, shooting this tutorial was the longest I have warn it during a day. First day I used it was for dinner on my birthday and even just approaching my mum in low natural light she remarked on how bad my foundation looked, 'You're trying a new foundation aren't you, it looks horrible!' was pretty much an exact quote from her. Even my friend said it looked a bit patchy when I asked her opinion.

I mean, even with my lightly edited shots and from afar in the above pictures, you can see texture a pretty uneven finish with dark sallow patches!

Never have I given such a scathing review on my blog, but it's hard to give even a neutral opinion when I absolutely loathed a product as much as this, which is a shame because of all the makeup products that debuted this year this was the one I was so excited about and one I bullheadedly went out of my way to obtain as soon as I could after it's launch. So, it was quite disheartening that it failed in all aspects for me.

Would I recommend the foundation? Not unless one had almost perfect skin, or if someone wants to blow their money to just add it to their makeup collection. Otherwise, I'd say to stay clear of it.

Hopefully if it does release state-side, here in the US, they will fix the formula, but as it stands, two thumbs WAY down on this foundation.