Thursday, August 29, 2013

NärCon 2013 ☆

Fellow comrades,
I would like to start this post by apologizing for it's somewhat questionable contents. To sum up what I mean by that: I apologize in advance for sounding like a grumpy old hag. Scroll down to the pictures to read the nicer stuff. Because:

I've decided to stop being sickly positive when I don't want to be sickly positive.

Not all of the time (I'm already quite bitter) but I mean, what is wrong with me? I read through things I've written and just go "no, that's not how I remember it" because I've been all smiles and sunshine about it on paper, when in reality, I was a grumpy old mess of a raincloud that just wanted to spread hate and thunder over the world. Kind of.

No maybe not that bad. I don't hate everything I'm just very bitter about most things.
Metaphor wouldn't make sense otherwise, so let's leave it like that.

Anyway, what is there to not be sickly positive about this time, then?


Video from this year, actually made me a little sentimental watching it, haha. Despite the bitter warning coming with this post, there were a lot of good moments. And I'm especially proud of my cosplaying friends so seeing them makes me all hopped up on feels.

So. NärCon is currently Sweden's biggest convention. This year there were around 5 000 visitors and a ton of activities that I didn't really explore, but they were there, so they're worth a mention. Fashion show, cosplay competitions, meet ups, host clubs and maid cafés, you name it.

I did have fun, I did. I met a people I had been looking forward to meeting, like Sofia (@Milktune / Neonkan), and Norwegian sweetheart Josephine (@Frillypinkdreams), Emma (@Loversrock), and a few very nice people who have talked to me a little bit online. Who I probably disappointed massively because moody, hormonal raincloud. I had my reasons. One of them being that the entire convention was a sweaty black hole filled with people I wanted to avoid, and another reason being that there was a ive year-old running around with "free hugs" written on his bare chest and "shota uke" on his back, followed by his seemingly drunk, fat and hairy father - at least I hope it was his father. I really, really hope it was. We called security like three times but they didn't seem to care.

I'm sorry to say that on this convention, my fourth, I realized that I am already getting too old for this shit.

 That is the ugly truth, I'm afraid. I really needed to get this off my chest. Ah, relief.  Feels so nice to not pretend like everything was fine and that I puked rainbows for four days straight, when I certainly didn't. I puked rainbows for like one day, if you count the good hours from all four days and squeeze them together. The rest was just a big "help" to be perfectly honest. Okay, this might not be such an exciting read for you guys. I'll get to the positive things, I promise. Let me break down NärCon 2013 for you:

1. Things I hated about NärCon:

- A lot of things. Except for some things.

2. "Some things"

- People, humans, friends, etc.

Good thing about conventions: people from all over gather in one place.

That's both a good and a bad thing (in Sweden there is a certain kind of "konventare" who never shower and won't stop talking, and they will hug you, with their sweaty arms, oh, they will. When you least expect it), but I'll stick to the good things.

Patootie Nellie (@Nerikodono) spent one night with us at the hotel, but Sofia and Alex (@Mosaiquealienz) are probably the people I spent most time with at NärCon. Sofia is my knight in shining armor, because she's the one who asked if I wanted to share a hotelroom with her this year. Last year I slept under a table, no mattress, in a room full of people I didn't really want to be around (+ they snored, all of them), so I can't even say how much I still want to drown her in love. She's just as bitter as me and Alex too, which is always nice. And her hair is fantastic.

Alex and I are pretty much attached to each other, but I normally never get to see Sofia, since we don't live in the same city. We had a movie night recently but before that it's been what, like a year? Terrible. Sadly - for me, that is - most of my other friends are pro cosplayers, so they were busy with performances and being AKB0048 idols most of the con. And when I say busy, by the way, I mean busy as in: 

"Jözz got so worn out she ended up puking and laughing at the same time while crying and telling everyone loudly how happy she was" ← I am so happy I'm not a pro cosplayer.

Me and that Jözz (@Thecarebearfag) got to cosplay Mawaru Penguindrum one of the days though, and that was another highlight ♪ My first cosplay, moe boy Shoma, with my penguinbro Kanba.

Gorgeous face there in the background, yum. Hey there, sexy.
Should post a serious one too, shouldn't I? Okay, if you insist.

We didn't get a lot of pictures, this was pretty much the only good one, but we'll take more when our Himari / Princess Crystal Emilia (@Pastelbat) isn't dying in the Sakura Garden maid café. It's probably for the best though, Jözz's sister Johanna (@Grandmotherbarbiie) told me I looked like I was dying at one point, Jözz was pretty much the same, and she could also not stop worrying about her makeup. We weren't 100% there, more like 80%. Mostly because of the heat and because we were stalked for a while. I mean, can you imagine being alive and walking around in jeans, properly buttoned shirts, knitted wests, wigs and black, thick suit-jackets for hours when it's above 30°C + sunny outside? But I love Jözz and it was fun anyways so I shall stop and move on!

- Maid café.

NärCon is at Linköping University = a school. So every classroom was turned into either "kawaii" or "otaku" shops, or cosplay workshops, or gamerooms, there was a hostclub, and the outside parts of campus there was the big stage, the juicebar, pool, etc. And other things I've failed to mention because I've forgotten what they were.

That would be some titans invading the café up there, then cat-butler Simon (@Bakasoseji) and some AKBabes taking care of customers on the day they took over as maids. 

That would be Sofia and her hair and her monster dessert at the titan-invaded maid café. 

Sakura Garden maid café is a must when going to a Swedish convention, 1. because miss Pastelbutt, and 2. because dessert monsters. So go visit them! If they're at the convention, of course, they're kind of a traveling maid café that pop up here and there. As I mentioned my bitter twin Emilia, Momo-chan, works at Sakura Garden. Which is pretty hilarious because she's one of the bitterest creatures I know but as Momo-chan, she has to be as supah kawaii kyuuto kyah as she possibly can and I just sit there laughing internally. 

- A little bit of everything:

- AKBabes cosplay group performing Aitakatta and Heavy Rotation in their AKB0048 cosplays on the big stage. I've been watching Clara (Nanako from Jar of clouds) and Jözz obsessively practicing their damn dances in various different places, quite often in Emilia's kitchen to name one, since November or December. So it was great seeing the result. They were awesome. 

- Fashionable people. Lots of people from all over Sweden gather in one place → a lot of Swedes are interested in streetfashion → you get it. I missed the actual fashion show, but there were still obviously people all over the place to run into. Always nice to sponge inspiration. And to see people I stalk online, of course. 

- Shopping. A yeah, but no, kind of thing. Most things are overpriced, crappy and of terrible quality, but there are some treasures among the crap! I found a gorgeous innocent world umbrella, and an even more gorgeous black crown necklade all covered in black gems and ah, also from innocent world. 

- And there is something about living on convenience food and running around in a town that isn't your town. Like a mini vacation.

That's about it!
See how I ended quite positively?

I know I have a secret reason for ConFusion this fall, and I have to watch Emilia in Cosplay SM, so it's legit for me to go to those conventions, but without a reason you'll have to carry me kicking and screaming back through that wall of sweaty air that greets you at Swedish conventions. I am negative, hear me roar.

Going to end this post now because it is by far the most negative thing I've written on here, and I don't want to scare you off, whoever you are (remember that I love you).

Goodnight and may luck come in your way (again I still love you okay).

()ノ *:⃛ ♡

Thursday, August 22, 2013

H a i r ♡ c a r e - Tips and tricks on how to dye and keep your dyed hair healthy!

I don't know about the title here, my brain somehow thought it kind of rhymed. Let's forget about it.
Hello, this is a surprise post I did not plan to write, but I felt like it, so I'm squeezing it in here.

Haircare! Hair colors! Dye! 
Stop it, Saga.

If your hair is already dyed and you have no interest in what I have to say about how to get a good result, if you just want to know how to keep your color and hair vibrant and what to do to keep it strong and healthy, scroll down past the images to point 6. (I won't judge you, just a little bit).

There are a lot of things to think about with dyed hair. How to make it last and not wash out straight away, how to keep it strong, fighting damage and other horrors, etc. Especially with "extreme" colors - i.e. unnatural colors, such as pink and blue. Being a hairfreak I've faced every horror there is to face, believe me. 

First time I dyed my hair in an "extreme" color I was tiny and obsessed with An Cafe. I also didn't know what a straightening iron was, nor did I know what eyeliner was, and I used to draw the Nyappy-thing on my cheek, so I don't think I need to even say how not pretty it looked. The hair was the worst part though. Standard emo-haircut, short in the back and long in the front, straight bangs, ear-like sideparts. Dirty blonde in the back, red bangs, pink side-hair-ear-thingies. 

I still feel the need to run and scream "NO" just thinking about it. 

Luckily I moved out of that phase, and from that first glorious hairstyle it escalated way too quickly. To sum it up; ice blonde, white, white with red and black bangs, dirty blonde with brown parts, dark brown with red parts, all black, black with orange bangs, black with a purple part by the neck and purple bangs, after that I don't even know, blonde again, blue for like an hour, black again, red and black, light brown, lighter brown, blonde, blonde with brown and blue parts, baby pink, white, grey, grey with black bangs and pigtails (actually my favorite hairstyle ever), white, dark brown, orange, brown and pink, and bam, seaweed hair. It's been green once before but that was an accident and it was horrible and people gave me disgusted looks.

My hair has been close to death so, so many times. 
But you know with experience comes some sort of wisdom, and I do know quite a bit about taking care of hair - dyed hair in particular - by now. My hair is not dead, after all. 

Time to share what I know with y'all! 
(Hey, that did rhyme)

Along with grey x black, probably my two favorite colors (so far).

1. Products for dyeing (vibrant, clear colors, like my white hair, or the bottom part of my seaweed hair):

- I usually bleach my hair with Schwarzkopf's strongest bleach, L101. 
- Any other bleach from any other brand, works just as well, just know that the stronger the better. 
- Look for the number of shades the bleach will lighten your hair. As many as possible, I think there are dyes that lightens up to 11 shades.

There aren't a lot of permanent extreme colors out there, except for maybe red. So going with a creamy dye, that works almost as conditioner, is the best thing to do. It's also less damaging on the hair (actually, from what I've experienced, it actually feels like my hair gets stronger when I use my beloved Directions hairdye). It's not very toxic in any way either, I usually don't even wear gloves when dyeing my hair. I live with the weird colored hands instead.

- Directions is the brand I use most of the time. There's also Stargazer, Manic Panic, and probably some other brands as well. I do think these three are the biggest, however. 
- You can usually find these in more "alternative" clothing stores. 
- If you don't have any nearby you, use Google, or just search on eBay. 
- "Directions hairdye purple" ← it's that easy. 

1:2. Products for dyeing (a more washed out tone, like the top half of my seaweed hair):

I actually went straight from light-dark brown with dirty pink ends to seaweed without bleaching in between. Keep in mind though that my hair have been bleached many times in the past, so it was and is pretty damaged. That's why the color still stuck to the hair so well. 

The hair must always be a little bit damaged if you want a good result. So;

- Simply use a weaker bleach.
- The hair must still be a lighter shade of brown. Extreme colors will not have any effect on black hair, or really dark hair. 

2. Basic things to think about before bleaching and/or applying an extreme color: 

Which result you want;
- I repeat: in most cases, your hair must be bleached for the dye to have any effect at all. Like I said, extreme colors will not work on black hair. Your scalp will suck up the color though, just for the record.
- I repeat x 2: if your hair isn't too dark and has been damaged or been bleached before, you might not need to bleach your hair again. That is, if you're going for a more "dirty" shade (unless of course your hair is close to white).
- Think of it as applying a transparent layer of color onto your hair. Darker hair, darker shade.

Hair quality (please don't kill your hair);
- Simple thing you can do to check if your hair is fit for fight, pull on the ends when it's wet. If it's kind of elastic and rubbery, don't do anything to that poor sucker. Hair treatment (scroll down a little dear friend), now. 

3. Bleaching:

- Depending on how dark your hair is, you might need to bleach it more than once. Bleaching is probably one of the most damaging things you can do to your hair. 
- If you have to bleach it more than once, wait at least two weeks between each attack. Because of reasons I will write right down below. 

Let me quickly explain what the bleach actually does to your hair. It will "open up" the texture of the hair, and suck out as much color as it can during that "opening" (here's where the number of shades plays a part). Once the bleach has done it's job and you've washed it out, the hair will still be "open" for a while. Which means, that it will be a little tired an unwilling to let go of more color. So even though you might get rid of some more dark tones if you bleach it for the second time on the same day as the first time, the result will be so much better if you wait until the hair is "closed" again. And, it will be less damaging. 

When you get roots;
- Just bleach the roots, then apply the dye over the bleached part to "fill in the gap", so to speak. Simple as that.

4. Dyeing and how to create colors:

I've already mentioned hairdye sticks better to damaged hair. This is why it'll be most effective on hair that has been bleached recently, preferably on the same day. It'll suck the dye right up. Unless, again, you're going for a darker shade. Remember what I said about that transparent layer of color that you apply over your current shade? Good. 

There's also some other things to know about the colors and shades;
- If you want a color that doesn't exist, you can mix already existing dyes to create new colors. Blue and red becomes purple, that kind of thing. That way you can pretty much control every little detail about the color. 
- If you want  a lighter shade than the colors that exist, simply mix a dark shade of the color with white dye. Or, if you don't want to buy white dye (that might give it a more purplish shade), mix it with some conditioner before applying it. 
- According to Mashyumaro, it's perfectly safe to mix colors from different brands. Like mixing a purple shade of Directions with a pink shade of Manic Panic, for example.

How do you do it Saga-senpai?
- I cannot believe I just wrote that, I am sincerely sorry. 
- The easiest way is of course to simply follow the instructions that comes with the hairdye you choose. 
- That said, given that dyes don't do much damage to the hair, you can leave it in for as long as you want. The longer the better, I'd say. I usually make a whole day of it and leave it in for like 5 hours.

If you choose to do what I do and just leave the dye in for as long as you feel like; there is no exact number to go after. So don't worry about it! 

5. Two-tones:

If you look at my seaweed hair, the top half is darker;
- The top half was light brown, the bottom half was dirty baby pink. 
- The top half was dyed with a Directions Atlantic blue and Turquoise-mashup, not mixed with conditioner. 
- The bottom half was dyed with Turquoise and a little bit of conditioner.

If you're going for an half and half-style, like this one (ruthlessly directing you to the already mentioned Mashyumaro, because she is a hair goddess), then I'm afraid practice makes perfect. But it's all about dividing your hair into parts and applying the different dyes carefully where they're supposed to be. Be careful if you have a dark part in an otherwise light lump of hair; when you wash it out it might bleed onto the light part.

Try to wash out separately, one part at a time. Same when you refill the color, which is what I will talk about on the next step.

6. Keeping the color vibrant:

Now here's the fun part. Keeping extreme colors vibrant can be a real bitch, pardon my French. 

- The more damaged your hair is, the slower the color will fade, I'm afraid. 
- Some colors fade more quickly, while other colors - such as red, for example - is a nightmare to wash or bleach away. 

Heads up: I had to bleach my hair five times to get rid of my red Stargazer experiment. It was still very, very light pink. 

What you can do;
- To start off simple, re-dye as soon as you don't like what you see. This might not have to be so often, if you...
- Each time you wash your hair, grab a cup or a bowl and mix some hairdye into your conditioner. Use it like you would use conditioner normally, but maybe leave it in for an extra minute or so. This will keep the color fresh between each "bigger" refill. 

White and grey hair; 
White and grey are the trickiest colors to maintain. Silver shampoo, white and grey dyes, bleaching and bleaching, you have to work it. Writing this separately to just put emphasis on the fact that these two are bitches, sometimes. 

7. Health, dammit, don't forget to keep your hair healthy:

The hair is, to keep it simple, a mess of nutrients and other things that is left over when your body has taken what it needs. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that's what I've learned, both by experience and from working briefly at a salon and going to school. 

This is why you lose hair when you don't eat properly - your body will give all the good things to the rest of the body, and will refuse to waste nutrients on the hair. I know this from experience and it is not fun in any way. 

Keep yourself healthy; 
- Eat food rich in vitamins. We're talking veggies and fruit, people. 
- Eat food rich in protein. Like eggs. And avocado (I'm allergic so I'm going to leave that one for you).
- Drink plenty of water. And by that I mean p l e n t y. 
- Don't drink too much tea and coffee (I'm afraid I'm not doing this, but it's a tip).
- Learn what's good and bad, which I will talk about right away.

Enemies / things to be careful with:
Silicone - If there is silicone in a bottle of shampoo, no. Bad shampoo.

Shampoo - Don't wash your hair so often. Wait as long as you can, wait until it really needs it. Every time you wash your hair, the shampoo does damage to it. So obviously this is a simple way to keep your hair a little happier. 

Styling - Teasing, for example. Something that the hair doesn't like. I'm not saying you shouldn't, I'm just saying maybe you shouldn't do it if your hair is falling off.

Styling products - Hairspray in particular, makes the hair dry and sad. When you go out to stock up on supplies, go somewhere where there's staff that can help you pick out products that are better for the hair than other products. 

Styling tools - Straightening irons, curling irons, blow-dryers, etc, you may use them, but keep in mind that they are not your friends. Heat dries out the hair. If possible, at least avoid to blow-dry your hair. And when you do use these things, you might want to consider using some sort of heat protecting product. There are sprays and mousses, for example. 

Keratine - Look for products with keratine. Like shampoo and conditioner. The hair is part keratine and therefore loves keratine, so giving it some extra to munch on is always a good idea. 

Simple things - Oils, conditioners, good food, nutrients I've mentioned, hair masks, etc. You can buy hair masks where you can get shampoo, or if you want the real deal, at your hairdresser.

8. Some do-it-yourself hair remedies

In general, just rubbing oil into your hair, wrapping it up in plastic or just a towel, leaving it in for as long as you want and washing it out with water, is a good thing to do. 

If you know what's good for the hair, you can pretty much whip up simple hair masks with what you have at home. Oils, mayonnaise, eggs, even beer, soy, avocado, and so on. There are tons and tons of recipes online that you can try out. Me and Alex tried one out though, so I'll use it as an example. 

I don't have the exact measurements, but it's not that important either. So here goes:

Olive oil
Soy sauce 

Measure and mix the ingredients so the result is not too thin and not too thick. Divide it evenly and rub it in all over your head (not the face, just the hair, but you get that). Use a good amount, don't be shy. Wrap it in plastic foil and wrap a towel around it - the heat will help it absorb the goodies. Leave it in for at least 15 minutes, or longer if you want to. Maybe don't sleep with it, but otherwise there's no set time when you need to take it out unless you want to die. 


9. Summary

1. Bleach and dye until you're happy with the result
2. Keep the color fresh with the tricks I mentioned
3. Bleach roots and / or re-dye completely when you feel like it's needed
4. Eat properly, dammit
5. Don't wash your hair so often
6. Avoid enemies, welcome friends
7. Use hair-remedies and masks once a week or every other week, as often as you want
(maybe not every day, though)

10. END

This was meant to be a short post, but I suppose I had more to say than I thought. I'm sorry. Or not sorry, depending on how helpful or not-helpful you found this long rant. 

Of course I do really hope someone found this helpful in some way! 

And as usual I hope someone made it to the end of this mountain of text. If so, thank you very much for reading and thank you for not throwing your computer out the window with a loud roar of frustration. I love you very much dear person who I can't possibly see through my screen. 

Have a great life until next time, 
Chu chu (  ᵕ̤ɜ)ᵕ̤ᴗᵕ̤ )

Monday, August 12, 2013

Dear my future

I've been in a Mawaru Penguindrum-mode lately, hence the title (ending song).
That said, hello. Just thought I would do this real quick since I tend to be rather quiet between posts:

❀ Upcoming posts ❀

- NärCon 2013
I was very bitter when writing this draft. But the pictures are nice. 

- Faded dipdye / ombre hair tutorial

- Triple circle lens review

- Recent "please let me look like this" fashionistas

Those are the drafts I've been playing with so far! I will probably think of more random things and throw them in here. I at least have the ambition to become more active with tutorials and things, even if I am getting back to studying soon (I'm sorry for being so terribly inactive when you've made the choice to follow this crap I write). 

Now I've had the worst of days so I will get back to watching Quack Pack and dying slowly. Here's an outfit from today though, just because it looks like a post has more of a documenting-diary-blog-purpose when it has a picture: 

I stole Nanako's vest and even made the effort to put my hair up. 
I was quite happy with my makeup too actually ♪ Then I ended up crying everything away, sigh. 
Everything except for the hairclips and necklace (Kreepsville) is offbrand.

I hope your day was much, much better than mine, and that your tomorrow will be as well.
Much love and positive thoughts from me to you ♡