Sunday, 5 February 2017

Beauty trends that I'm already over

Trends that need to end, like now, please.

Last year I described some trends that I was either sick to death of or hated from the very beginning. A few of those things are still occurring today, for example, Killstar has continued with its famed prints. Worse yet, it's been copied by brands like Banned Apparel and Jawbreaker! So much for originality. Occult prints have shown no sign of stopping but the fad has definitely slowed down. I can safely say the same for profanity slogan tees and bodysuits. Perhaps practicality might have effected those sales and put an end to most of it. 

This year my thoughts have settled less on garment style and more on hair and makeup. Since all that's popular in mainstream media is "street fashion" (which isn't even an actual fashion movement, it's just a mashup of everyone's different tastes), there's not much to critique this spring in Goth and Alt catalogs. It's all very boring in fact lol. There's very run of the mill products this year, lots of knits, tees, and jogging pants. I can't complain about pants, we need pants. No, instead my focus has been drawn to the things that won't stop popping up in my Pinterest feed...

Pastel Hair

It looks good on almost nobody, unless you happen to be sixteen and still have radiance to your skin. I recall when it was cool to dye your hair an unusual colour but now it's terribly mainstream and you'd be daring if you dyed your hair a normal colour! What is it that bothers me so much about smoky pink, smoky lavender and smoky turquoise? Well, for starters, why does it have to be smoky anything? Why can't it be vibrant? But more importantly, why does everyone seem to assume it'll work with their skin and hair type? I have seen this shit on eleven year old girls right up to women in their sixties. It's been popularized by many celebrities. Too many celebrities. Too many people have jumped on this trend, and isn't that indicative that it's not cool any more? When you're all doing it?

But it really doesn't work for everybody. In order to achieve these shades you ought to see a professional and not attempt it with box dye kits (I'm looking at you Féria) and Manic Panic with a bit of bleach. Truly successful candidates will already have light ash blonde hair. Those who have dark hair who attempt to bleach themselves will have to deal with the dye becoming patchy but more importantly brassy. I have read through a handful of reviews of brunettes trying this with absolute failure and it is because they're brunettes. You've probably seen the differences between a brunette who bleaches their hair and a blonde, a blonde will go platinum and the brunette will turn coppery. Now imagine putting any other hair colour over copper successfully, you can't, it comes out looking muddy and orange. And that's my biggest issue with pastel hair, people don't understand the science behind it, they don't realize that it's not fool proof and it can be fucked up very easily. That's why there are so many pictures of girls on Instagram and the like with drab, muddy pastel dye jobs. A professional hair dresser knows how to bleach your hair and prep it for such colours, it's expensive but if you want this crap it's worth paying for it.

5% of People
I just think the whole thing needs to end though. We were at a supermarket recently and my man turned to me and whispered, "Jesus, did you see that girl's hair? It looks like shit." He never comments on anything fashion related so I instantly took notice. That's when I spotted her, a girl in the distance with gray hair. Like grandma gray. The poor thing must've only been 24 or so but it made her look older, worn out and shitty. Pastel and smoky hair colours aren't complimentary for most skin types. They can age you rapidly, even more so if you're already pushing into senior citizen status. These shades are too dull and will have the opposite effect for most; instead of highlighting the rosiness in your cheeks, it brings out the veins, age spots and dark circles under your eyes. It makes you look tired and busted. It's not pretty. Unless you happen to occupy the like 5% of people who can get away with it. The same 5% that can get away with wearing leggings on their own and g-string bikinis.

I just personally hate this trend with a passion because it looks trashy on a lot of girls. I felt the same way about the ombre fad. Ombre hair made it look like women hadn't touched up their roots in three years, it looked sloppy. This pastel fad isn't much different. It looks like someone dyed their hair pink once and it didn't wash out completely, leaving a patchy, fried over bleached mess. Honestly, I saw "homeless" punk kids downtown with hair like this when I was sixteen, it wasn't flattering then and I don't think it's flattering now.

Overdrawing lips and Eyebrows

The big lip thing. Ugh! I hate it. The 1" thick eyebrow! Gahh! Everyone looks like a drag queen or a living Bratz doll these days. Drag queens overdraw their lips to parody women, now we have women embracing the trend?! How the hell does that even work? But it's out there. Thanks to Kylie Jenner we have people desperate to pump their lips up to an unimaginable, icky, inflatable degree. It's sad really. I've been perusing RealSelf for advice on aging. My skin is starting to show the telltale signs of getting older and I want to nip it in the bud while I'm still young. I've been reading up about all sorts of crap like fat sculpting, laser reduction, implants and derma fillers. As you can imagine, 90% of the derma filler reviewers have pumped their lips. Some aren't even happy with their already gigantic filled lips. Let's be fair, RealSelf is loaded to the gills with body dismorphic surgery fanatics. I would say in a way this is beneficial because they try every surgery known to man, you get a lot of reviews from them...yet their expectations are severely unrealistic. There are so many poor sons of bitches who just want the fakest, most unachievable lips imaginable. I pity them.

I must give props to those who have chosen to not mutilate their bodies through excess surgery (or by sucking their lips into a bottle until they tear and bleed) and have opted to overdraw their lips instead. I'm not against overdrawing in general. I have to do it myself because my top lip has been disfigured by a scar revision surgery. If handled delicately overdrawing can be quite successful. It's not new either...despite what some incredibly unaware makeup bloggers may claim. This trend has been around since the dawn of lipstick. Women have under and overdrawn their lips in a variety of different ways, these techniques were popularized in the early 20th century and can be seen by the likes of Theda Bara, Joan Crawford and Marilyn Monroe. In order to overdraw properly you have to have a good hold on your technique and you must use the appropriate tools. There are only certain lip shades that make overdrawing successful. Firstly, you must use a bright or dark shade and depending on the natural shape of your lips you should do this in matte lipstick. If you have a prominent upper ridge on your lip then glossy lipstick will highlight this and it'll be glaringly obvious that you've overdrawn your lip. Shades that have been most successful on me are bright pink, red and maroon or plum. I start by applying concealer above my lip because it for some reason acts as a really good foundation for my lipstick. I use a lip pencil to establish the shape, and then fill with lipstick. You only extend it beyond your lip by maybe a millimeter, you have to keep it subtle to be believable. Anything beyond that and you're risking stares.

People have also gone into excess with their eyebrows. I've seen some big ass eyebrows lately. They're not terribly flattering and they're filled to an unnatural degree. I talked to a makeup artist at Sephora and she seemed to feel brow pomade should only be reserved for those that require filler. It's been abused by many girls who clearly have eyebrows to begin with but for whatever reason want them to look so precise and on point that they're bordering on being cartoony. In a fit of rebellion, I have plucked my once natural angular eyebrows into rounded and thin 30's style brows because I am just that fucking sick and tired of seeing these big, ugly, eerily precise brows (not even Joan Crawford could make this shit look good!).

As much as I love drag queens, I don't think we should be doing our makeup like them...

What are your thoughts on these trends? What would you love to see go for good this year?


Wednesday, 1 February 2017

January 2017

A monthly update

I've been bad at keeping up with my monthly updates. This month was sort of an exception because I had a good excuse; last Friday I received a call concerning some recent tests I had performed and I was notified that my doctor wanted to see me asap to review tissue biopsies. It's a little concerning to hear the words "biopsy" and "asap" thrown together, the sense of urgency made me rather uncomfortable. The tissue samples are from my large bowel. Although I was told that I had no obvious signs of inflammation or anything else in there, they still required tissue samples to rule out anything else. What that "anything else" could be was left up to my imagination. My family has a history of digestive disorders, my father has Crohn's and has had precancerous cells present in his biopsies. It's a little nerve wracking but my fears were put to rest - at least temporarily - when the gastroenterologist explained that all they found was the possibility of lymphocytic colitis. They say it's a disorder that causes inflammation in the bowel that is only detectable under a microscope. Woo. He also says it's "merely a nuisance" and encourages me to take over the counter medicines to keep my stomach in check. This was a disappointing diagnosis (if we can even call it a diagnosis because he's not certain whether the inflammation was caused by that or if I may have accidentally taken ibuprofen at the time of testing); it doesn't account for my fevers, body aches or weakness. It doesn't account for any of the symptoms that have held me back from work! It merely addresses what we thought was IBS. It's disappointing but he's determined to conduct other tests to rule out the possibility of Crohn's disease (which would account for all of my symptoms, including the hair loss), or other digestive issues involving the stomach and small intestine. 

We almost bumped up the upcoming CT scan to the 8th but had to reschedule for March when I told him his resident had advised that I go off of gluten. I've been on a gluten free diet for months, indulging in a cookie or pastry only on occasion. In order for me to successfully be tested I have to go back on gluten consistently, which is something I'm dreading. I know when I eat gluten I get a host of digestive upset symptoms. My stomach feels like razor blades are in there, I might get runny stool, I might puke, or feel like I drank a 40 of vodka the day before. I don't think I need to be tested for Celiac disease, I clearly don't get along with gluten and my life has been better without it, but the gastroenterologist is thorough and he wants me to eat bread for SIX WEEKS. I have finally gotten back to my original weight that I haven't been in YEARS! Now he's telling me to put this dreadful, fatty fucking bread shit in my body?! It's so full of carbs and sugars, it's so refined and processed, it make me so bloated that I look like a marshmallow. I've tried to cap it at only two pieces of bread in the morning and at night, of the most organically healthy bread we could get our hands on (thank god my guy drove me to a health grocery store and didn't just assume I wanted Wonderbread). Making bread a healthy diet staple sounds like a joke to me. Of course I've been living off of fresh fruit and vegetables with ground turkey and mussels for almost a year, so anything outside of my diet seems unhealthy to me! I'm going to try to make it work, but you bet your ass I'll be dropping gluten out of my diet the moment the tests are over.

I can already see problems from going back on gluten, even if it's only been a short time. I had upset stomach immediately after consuming a day's worth of breads. It was doing flips all night. Today I'm having similar issues. I have shakes and stummy aches and feel way worse than I already have been. I kind of question why we care so much about Celiac when all of these other symptoms are already a problem for me. Like I'd really love to get rid of the fevers and body aches first and then save investigating food allergies of foods that I'm not even eating for another day, ya know? 


As you can tell blogging has been slow. I've sewn part of a dress but abandoned it to work on my art. I bought a new art program for my pc. It's called Clip Studio and I highly recommend it for any of you who like to draw on your computer. It's a thousand times better for a digitizer tablet than Photoshop, although the user interface is fucking hideous and they've made some features more complicated than they need to be (like how it doesn't use right click for anything unless you map it to your stylus). I've been forcing myself to draw comic pages with detailed establishing shots and things I had neglected in my art before. I'm hoping to get a small web comic posted online at some point. It's mostly just for fun, considering comics don't actually make people real money. Instead I'm hoping it'll be a segue into another creative career, possibly allowing me to make connections with other artists or people interested in my work.

I want to sew more soon, when my hands have the strength again. I'll have time this weekend so I might finish the dress. I need to prioritize making things that I can wear regularly. I bought some cute separates for my wardrobe secondhand so I would like to focus on building off of those pieces. I think I'll post about wardrobe planning sometime soon. I really would like to sew a 1940's summer dress for when I hopefully go on vacation, but I must prioritize the things I need first and indulge in the more creative, fancy projects later on. I also want to focus on chipping away at my fabric stash, it's getting too big to be contained!

What have you been up to, lovelies?


Thursday, 26 January 2017

Cosplay by McCall's Ribbon Candy & Victor

More Patterns! Ribbon Candy and Victor

Two more cosplay patterns for your spring "to-sew" list! Victor, a men's floor length, lined, period coat, and Ribbon Candy, a ladies' bodice, tutu, detached puff sleeves and sash! Let's take a look at them. :)

Ribbon Candy
Top, Skirt, Sash and Detached Sleeves

This is apparently cosplayer Becka Noel's trademark tutu design, with puff sleeve arm bands and bodice. I've always been curious to see how these tutus are made, they're pretty crazy looking and remind me of Elizabethan collars (and I want to wear a high Elizabethan collar like you wouldn't believe lol). It's cute, not my scene, but followers of hers I'm sure will be excited to give this a try. My only beef is that the waist sash looks busted. It just doesn't sit well with me at all and it's a design flaw for sure. If you look at other dress sashes you'll notice they're typically gathered or pleated, this helps conceal figure flaws and allows it to conform to the body better. A plain sash would work well if it were a smaller width, but at this width it's terribly unflattering. If you're going to do it, slash the piece horizontally, spread it (width x 1.5 or 2) and gather it instead. I noticed that they used shantung, which works well for creating the leafy structure of the cross body sash, but it fails miserably in the waist sash, gathering the material might have softened the look of it.


Now as much as I proclaim to be interested in historical fashion, I draw a blank when it comes to historical men's fashion! I'm assuming this is a medieval coat. It looks well constructed. I like the frog closures down the front and the t-shape across the back is visually pleasing. It has nice construction lines. It's also fully lined and I imagine it's an intense project (rated intermediate) but it'd be a labor of love, I'm sure! 


These are pretty neat looking designs, and it's nice to see a new cosplay designer added to the mix! I would be hard-pressed to name any cosplayers and their work, I don't follow this stuff personally, but it's always cool to see what people are up to. What do you think?


Sunday, 15 January 2017

Mad world.

When is it time to speak up?

The news of Katelyn Nicole Davies' live-streamed suicide has spread across the world like wildfire (and sadly that includes the video in question). I'm sure many of you have heard the story by now and it's gut-wrenching to say the least. But it's not the suicide alone that has me upset, it's the fact that people are continuously circling her video in some deranged mission to "educate about suicide and abuse." It's not surprising that the majority of individuals doing so happen to be struggling with severe degrees of mental illness themselves, so they're clearly not in the right state of mind to see how fucking dangerous and exploitative this piece of film is.

Now I blog, but truth be told, I fucking hate social media and what it's done to our youth. I protest being tied in with the "millennials" because I view our generations as being entirely different. While my gen (Gen Y) has had to deal with rising un- and underemployment rates, and the perils of inflation, I can honestly say I have never worried once about cyber bullying, sexting, having my nude photos circulated as revenge porn, or feeling compelled to start a youtube channel just to feel accepted by someone; these kids have a shit load of problems. Social media is the bane of their existence and yet it's their whole world. And just think of how entirely isolating it is when a child living in this time has to deal with these social pressures on top of physical and sexual abuse! 

People defend her video as a means of education and that she wanted people to see it. I have no doubt that she did want people to watch it but not in the way that everyone else thinks... I think she did it to hurt other people. It's not unlike a suicidal individual who picks up a gun and shoots everyone else before himself. It's a destructive, hateful act. She was twelve, crippled with depression and wasn't thinking clearly, but the impact of her actions has been devastating on more than just the home front. Psychologists fear the video will end up in the wrong hands and encourage suicidal youth to do the same. Anyone anywhere can search for the video, find it, and learn how to do it for themselves! It's a sick sad world.

To any asshat who ends up here defending the message of this video, take a moment to really think about how this works: by acknowledging this video as her way of speaking out and finally garnering attention, you're sending the message to other youth that the only way they'll be acknowledged is if they do the same, by committing suicide or self harming on video. The appropriate measure is to instead remove the video and generate conversation as to why suicide is WRONG. It's really that fucking simple. We need to take more active roles in preventing suicide in all ages and improving mental health. Conversation is easy, it shouldn't require the loss of a young girl to start it.

Suicide is not the answer. I'm saying this as someone who thinks about killing herself fairly often. I'm writing a screenplay/script with a suicidal protagonist, and coincidentally (in the worst possible way) I am adapting a short story into a wordless short graphic novel about a depressed teen whose been sexually abused by her step dad. No shit. Only my adaptation has a happy ending. I just wish I could have told this little girl the truth: that there's life after abuse.

Talk to me in person and I'm not overly shy about being honest with my past traumas. I've neglected to write about it here but it seems an appropriate time. I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, sexual assault and date rape. It does not define me. I don't let it. I used to, once upon a time. I used to have nightmares. I used to cut. I used to hate myself. And then one day I realized it's not my fault. It's not my fucking problem. Even after seeing psychologists, psychiatrists, and attending support groups, it was age and wisdom that allowed me to overcome the sadness, the anxiety and the depression that had held me down for years. I still struggle with depression but not for those reasons, and I combat an eating disorder daily, another lovely side effect of sexual abuse. But that's how I look at it. Objectively, like it was a car accident that happened so long ago. It damaged my soul but not beyond repair, never beyond repair, because I'm still here. I might have the odd nightmare once in a blue moon. I might get nervous around men at parties and watch my drink like it was my first born child. I might be suspicious and untrusting of new friends. It's just a day in the life of me. 
It doesn't have to be sad anymore because I own this life and this world is my bitch.

I don't want to preach that I'm a survivor, I'm a victim, let's not take the emphasis off of blaming my attackers. We're all surviving. I'm living because I choose to live. I have surrounded myself with better people. I've adapted. If you think that there won't ever be a day where you can say the same, you're wrong. It'll take time, there's no band aid solution, but it'll happen. Like all problems, you have to stay committed to overcoming it, you have to want to change and work towards a better life. Maybe you might need medication, counselling, group therapy, or just a good friend who will listen to your problems; seek help. It's worth it. It's worth it like ice cream, or seeing a spring thunderstorm, or having someone tell you in earnest that they love you.

Stick around awhile.

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