Tuesday, July 29, 2014

[Review] Portland Black Lipstick [part 1]

Hi all!

Seems we'll be doing more reviews off and on when I can get my hands on interesting things to talk about!

Recently I was introduced to the world of indie lipstick. Especially that of weird colours that you'll never find on the shelf of any drugstore or regular makeup brand.

I'm talking about Portland Black Lipstick Co. an indie brand famous for their long-lasting lipsticks that come in hues both strange and wonderful that are cruelty free!

The review will come in batches, simply because I don't like making super-long posts and it's a better idea to break up the contents because it's easier to post. We will be trying out more Portland products (we've already reviewed their Corpse Paint) as we get them so stay tuned for more :)

Today we'll be looking at Cthonique, Indigo Bridge, Undead Red, The Coral is Coming from Inside the House and Abominable. We got Abominable, Coral samples and Cthonique free from Portland as they love to give out extra samples in your order and the full-sized Cthonique was an extra due to an order slip up ^^;(Thanks Kim! :D)

A quick overview of the colours as per their website:

Undead Red: A dark, dark red that wants to be called 'plum' or something

Indigo Bridge: This is a dark, metallic blue that verges on black

Cthonique, Abominable and The Coral is Coming from Inside the House have yet to be listed on their website and I recall seeing somewhere that Cthonique is a limited edition colour so you may or may not be able to purchase these online as of yet.
I think the Abominable and Undead Red melted in the mail. Curse our hot weather >.>
Before we start, I have to say that any smudging and uneven application is basically my own fail on part of being very clumsy with a lip brush. The vast majority of product here isn't smudgey at all!

Onwards to lip swatches!

The coral is coming from inside the house

Looks a lot like a deeper, pinkier shade of Lux et voluptas minus the gold sheen. It has tiny, tiny multicoloured sparkle bits in it and it looks well, coral. Appears to be a pretty useable daily shade, but dang it's a cute colour. Freaking goreguous shade of metallic coral. It's creamy like abominable, but notably thicker.

The full size is not for sale yet on portland's site, free sample. If they ever update the site with the full sized one, I'm getting it on my next order!

Indigo Bridge
Probably my fave of all time. I love how deep the blue is and how metallic-shimmery it is without being a glitter bomb. A popular fan favourite, Indigo Bridge is a very rich, deep blue that can function even for daily use, for the days when you don't feel like wearing your black ;)

Undead red

This is a staple among the PBL users I know. It's a delicious dark red, the kind that you wear when you want to scream 'I mean business!' at people. Without the actual screaming of course. It's a bit cooler and darker in colour than most reds I've had and very pigmented, needing little to get it opaque.


A very metallic dark green. It's quite subtle in colour but it certainly will make heads turn as green lipstick still is nowhere near the norm but it's not 'in your face' enough to knock people's eyes out. Like the rest it's got a nice minty feel and it's wonderfully thick. Blends very well with Indigo Bridge for a rich blue-green.


Very creamy and it went on easy, but being pure matte white I have no idea what kind of applications you could use it for, aside from giving yourself spiky teethy lips on halloween. Might have potential for certain cosplay characters, I don't see how it's possible for daily use.

It looks like the lipstick version of corpse paint. It's very moisturising and buttery, but doesn't seem to have as much staying power as the other lippies I tried (own opinion)  but takes a LOT to get it opaque.

Rating 5/5

Very pigmented
Thick & smooth

Lip balm format makes it rather clumsy to apply
Some colours are hard to remove

Monday, July 21, 2014

[Tutorial] Simple cyberhand base

This tutorial is inspired heavily by the work of HellWolve on deviantart. He's a master costumer/larper so do check out his work ;)
As it seems to be my fashion to do things at the last possible moment, I decided to karate myself a quick cyberhand for Halloween last year in order to go participate in a Halloween event that uh, required a costume for entry.

I decided to go as a futuristicky cyberpunk dude (in an extremely loose sense) so a cyberhand is a must (at least it is to me, never leave home without your augmented bits! there are critters out there!)

I can't really give a costing this time because I used materials that I already had lying around in the first place. Daiso driving gloves were RM 5.

These are the stuff you need:


1-2 black cotton gloves (length and amount is totally up to you) I got it from Daiso.
Thin craft foam (1mm should do it)
Paper (for drafting)


Sewing chalk (mine is pencil shaped)
Sharp scissors
Contact glue (any brand that's tacky and doesn't seep will do)
Needle and thread


Detailing paint brush
White paint
Computer case screw

First thing I did was draw a template of my hand on a piece of paper while I had the glove on so I could get a rough estimate of what plate went where. This is also a good time to decide how many plates you want to use. They can be longer or shorter depending on your hand size and how 'robotic' or 'armorlike' you want.
The finger plates can also wrap around your finger 3/4 of the way for a blockier feel.
I also cut the glove down to size because only a bit of it was poking out of my sleeve and it didn't need to be that long (the cotton glove I used stretched up till almost at shoulder level)

After you're happy with the amount you need, cut all your templates out. Label for good measure because if you're anything like me, you'll forget which plate goes where.

Now grab your foam and draw out as many shapes as you need using the templates, then chop them up with your scissors.
I prefer to use Selleys contact adhesive because it's easy to apply, but Dunlop glue or any similar adhesive works fine too.
Not an advertisement.
Always check your foam plates against your fingers before gluing them down so you can make any last fitting adjustments to the plates. Once you're happy glue down the plates drawn side down so you can hide the chalk. Alternatively you can wash the plates beforehand but personally I feel it's too much work :P
After that you're pretty much done! Here's a few alternative things you can do to spiff up your glove before you glue/sew your plates down:

Paint your plates before attaching.

Make 'futuristic' impressions by heating up the computer screw with the lighter and pressing down in strategic locations.

Glue down decals (can be stickers, small flat trinkets, what have you)

Here's my result. It's slightly bunched up because I was using a very loose cotton glove but depending on how tight your base glove is, the end result will look better.

Simple yet effective!

Monday, July 7, 2014

[Tutorial] Super-quick Harley Quinn Mallet

Some time ago I volunteered to join in a costume appearance for fundraising Typhoon Haiyan funds  for charity. I had somehow agreed to costume as Harley Quinn (don't ask, I'm still embarrassed ><) and decided to build her iconic mallet up quick just in case they didn't have any props or other costumey stuff available as it was an extremely short notice thing.

Didn't help that I was busy with other things and ridiculously broke, but it's good to have stock of random supplies in the house...you never know when they'll come in handy!

All in total, the project cost me maybe RM15.

At any rate, this is what I used:

1 pc 1mm leftoever pvc foam board (something like sintra, but not as expensive)
1 recycled plastic pipe from an older project
4 sets of nuts and bolts
2 appropriately shaped bukkits
Duct tape
Tons of wide masking tape (you'll need a minimum of 2-3 rolls)
Red and black acrylic paint
Matte transparent spraypaint for sealing


Soldering iron (because I prefer to melt holes rather than drill them)
Hot glue gun
Cutter knife (or an x-acto if you have one)
Pliers (optional)

I started out by using one of the buckets to trace out two circles about as wide as the mouths of the buckets so form the 'lid' of the bucket. I used this bit of extra pvc foam board I had lying around but if you want something cheaper or lighter you could use mounting board or cardboard even. Cut out the two shapes and put them aside.

Next, I cut the edges off the buckets' mouth using a knife and a pair of pliers to help me yank off the more stubborn bits of plastic. I made sure to leave a little bit behind so it's easier to stick the cut shapes to the buckets later down the road. You can omit this step if your buckets don't have a wide 'lip'.Sandpaper it down for safety.
Do the back too!
Careful with the amount of force you use, it's better to twist the plastic off or cut it rather than yank, that can crack the plastic
After that I took the old pipe from an older project (it was a staff) and cut about a foot off to make it short enough for Harley's Mallet. Depending on your construction a PVC pipe might be too soft for use in the long run so I suggest that for longevity you use a wooden stick instead if you can.
I also had to peel off the epoxy clay from the top
I lined up both buckets together and marked where I would put down holes for bolts to hold them together. Note I accidentally broke one of the buckets trying to nail holes with a hammer =\ so I resorted to using a soldering iron for better effect.
accidents happen :(
I also used it to cut out some space to insert the PVC pipe to complete construction. Just do it in a ventilated area if you're melting plastic!
Don't forget to cut some space for your stick
When you're happy with the placement of things, screw in your bolts and pop out your hot glue gun, glue in the pipe with liberal amounts of hot glue as well as around the base of the buckets on the outside for good measure.

Don't worry too much if it's messy, it's likely to be covered by tape in one of the next steps. Duct tape down the stick from the inside for some extra durability.

At this stage you can glue on your bucket 'lids' or do it after you finish your tape. It makes no real difference.
This is roughly what it would look like at this point
Don't forget to cut off any access so the lids are flush with the bucket
Take your tape and tape down your buckets lengthwise. You will have to keep doing this until the entire bucket is coated and it's shape becomes more like that of a mallet, not two buckets glued together hodgepodge.

You can put as many layers as you like, though more is better. The paper tape also helps make it possible to be painted later. Don't forget to press it down till it's snug.

When you're happy with how thick it is, you can then get to painting. I had to do mine indoors so I laid a load of newspaper on the floor and used some plastic bags to protect the chair I was using to prop up the mallet.

The design I used isn't 100% in line with any particular Harley Quinn mallet I've seen (also because I was short of time anyway) but feel free to use any design you see fit. Woman's had a lot of different mallets.

I painted I think maybe 4 layers of red and black. The masking tape will suck up a fair bit of paint on it's own as well, so use liberal amounts but be sure to let each layer of paint dry before smacking on the next. Clumpy paint takes ages to dry.

After it dries completely (it will take awhile, trust me) I hit it with a coat of matte transparent spray paint to seal it up and we were done!
I'm fairly proud of the results considering it was done in a very short amount of time for a ghetto Harley. Hope this tutorial was useful!