Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

[Review] Portland Black Lipstick [part 2]

This time, we're taking a look at Portland's titular Black lipstick, Metallurgy, Artificial Amethyst and Chaiborg.

A quick overview of the colours as per their website:

Black: The best ever! A perfect blend of black iron oxide and mice in a moisturizing base, this colour is opaque and long lasting.

Metallurgy: This unique lipstick is forged from black, green and gold colours to produce a truly unusual metallic experience. The results are surprisingly sophisticated - but with the primitive boldness you have come to expect from Portland Black Lipstick Company products.

Artificial Amethyst: We introduced this dark purple lipstick at this year’s wonderfully fun Portland Hallowe’en Bazaar. In true modernist fashion, we celebrate the fact that it is not made from real gemstones, but from FDA approved mineral pigments. After all, have you ever *tried* to stick amethysts on your lips? They fall off and bounce around on the floor…

Chaiborg: This futuristic lipstick is a cross between the metallic silver gray of industrial robotics and the warm light brown of milk tea. Neither too warm nor too cold, Chaiborg is a cosmetic life form all its own!

Time for swatches!

Artificial Amethyst

Looks like a rich metallic dark purple like it's namesake The colour goes on beautifully, producing a very deep purple colour with a faint metallic shimmer. I would call it within the same family as Indigo Bridge in terms of looks. 

Of all the colours tested I like this about as much as Indigo Bridge. Photo doesn't entirely do it justice.Very pigmented as well, it took very little to get it this opaque. If you want it slightly lighter, a blotting would bring out more of the purple hue.

Ahh yes, the colour that Portland Black Lipstick is most famous for. It's a very rich black that goes on opaque with minimal amount. It stays on pretty well too and is one of the darkest blacks I know on the market. The caveat: it's a bit hard to get off and might stain lips a little bit. Time to break out the makeup remover! it's rich and pigmented but it really isn't a huge favourite  for me though I can see why lots of people love it.

Is a  metallic silver grey with a warm brown tone, like it's namesake chai. It's very similar to the other metallic lippies but being one of the more neutral shades, it's pretty wearable. Makes you look kinda like you have iron -robot lips, and it straddles the line between being a warm and cold shade too. Photo sadly doesn't really do it much justice either. 

It's nice but it's not one of my favorites because it looks a little odd against my crazy pale yellowish skintone.


Is a deep greenish gold, metallic colour. I'd say it's somewhere between black and pewter cauldron with a hint of gold sprinkled in. A nice shiny metallic colour for those who don't want to hit full on black. It goes on great and it's crazy pigmented. In terms of metallics I still like chaiborg more in terms of the cooler metal colour options.

I think I was a little unlucky with this sample that it had gone off a little. It smelled and tasted weird so after the review I got rid of it. I've tried it before with another friend who introduced me to the brand and I didn't experience this. We HAVE very hot weather and I hadn't stored the sample properly so that's likely the cause of it. According to Portland Black Lipstick Co. each lip stick colour has a different shelf life and if it smells sharp and a little like crayon or has dried out, it's probably reached the end of it's lifespan.

Rating: 5/5

Pros: Creamy, tastes nice, has staying power.

All these colours save for Artifical Amethyst were very hard to remove without any form of makeup remover. Artificial Amethyst has natural carmine and might prove to be an allergen to some people.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

[Tutorial] Repainting an MLP Blind Bag pony

Hi everybody! Hope the Halloween weekend was fun ;)

About a week ago or so I decided to take one of my spare MLP Blind bag ponies to modify into a present for a friend's birthday. I thought it would be nice to customise him his OC and I pretty much like to paint too so it was a win-win decision on my part.

I do enjoy painting miniature stuff, believe me. But I never got into the Wargaming scene simply because well, I don't enjoy Wargaming and it is a rather expensive hobby (says the cosplayer, lol). I'm more of a pen and paper kind of person at heart.
Anyway, here's the things you're likely to need to repaint your own blind bag pony.


Nail polish remover or acetone or dettol disinfectant (the yellow one)
Acrylic paint (as many colours as you need)
Tissue paper, cotton buds or cotton balls
Matte paint varnish of some kind (I used Pledge Future Floor Polish)

Optional materials:
Ultra-fine black permanant marker
Spray primer coat (white or black)


Brushes. Preferably a few different sizes ranging from medium to fine because blind bag ponies are small and they tend to have lots of tiny nooks and crannies that your brush needs to fit into.


A few small Tupperware or storage containers (like the kind you use for storing condiments)

A jar or a cup to wash your brush in

Optional Tools:

Piece of old cloth for wiping brushes on

Ugh, so sparkly.
To start off, I used a Glitter Mosely Orange as my base. For the most part he was shedding glitter like nuts and has a transparent base with a solid mane and tail. As far as I can tell you this method would work for a large majority of blind bag ponies though I'm not sure what the Breezie variants are like yet because I haven't had a chance to see them in person.

Removing the paint and glitter

There are multiple ways to tackle this, but first you will want to determine how much paint you want to remove. Removing the glitter is a bit difficult and it tends to leave behind a rough surface thanks to the glue that Hasbro uses on their ponies. This may not be necessary if the pony you're using isn't one of the glitterbombs I got.


This is if you have a lot of time to spare and/or you don't want to harm the pony base or yourself by using harmful chemicals.

Prepare a mixture of dettol in a 1:1 ratio with water and pour it into a jar or container that you can afford to get dirty. Submerge the entire pony and leave it be for 1-2 days. The dettol will cause the paint to flake off, so get your toothbrush, dip it in the dettol and soap and scrub off the paint. It should come off quite easily, just don't use water till the paint is all off because plain water will cause the paint to coagulate on your brush and everywhere else. Repeat this till there's absolutely no paint left. Can take anywhere from 1 to 3 days if the paint is stubborn.

Moderately fast

Put your pony on a surface that won't be damaged by nail polish remover or acetone (like not on a varnished table for example) and soak a cotton pad in your choice of remover. Place the soaked pad on the pony and leave it there for a minute or so then rub. Repeat this process with more cotton pads and cotton buds to remove the paint. You will need to repeat this a few times till all the glitter and paint comes off. Glitter is particularly hard to remove and tends to leave behind a lot of glue so this is actually better for the solid coloured blind bag ponies.

Very fast

For the impatient and those who really know what they're doing, this method works as well. You will also need protective gloves for this because repeated exposure to acetone and other similar spirits/thinners can have an adverse reaction in the long term.

Pour out just enough acetone to cover the pony into a small plastic or glass container. Drop the pony inside and swish it around. You might have to rub and scrub it a bit by hand or alternate with an old toothbrush and soap till the pony is completely clean. This will take just a few minutes at best, but is smelly and potentially harmful to your skin.

Partial removal

This is good if you just want to change the mane colour or a few small details on the pony in question. Simply dip a cotton bud into some nail polish remover and rub on the section you want to get the paint off. Note this will remove cutie marks and eyes at the slightest touch so you need to be careful still.

Regardless, unless you're only aiming for partial removal, you should completely strip it of all it's original paint before moving on to the next step.
Squeaky clean!

Before you start, you want to prime the pony. Normally I would suggest sanding it first, but this might destroy any finer details on the pony (because it's pretty shitty plastic) so we're skipping that step. The method I'm using basically uses acrylic paint the whole way but you can also do this step with spray paint primer.

Base coat 

Mix some white acrylic paint with some water so it's slightly runny and paint it over the whole pony. Nevermind if it drips, this would make it a smoother application. Let it dry completely and repeat this step two to three times for good measure, or until the pony's plastic colour is no longer visible.
First coat will look roughly like this.
2nd coat!
To make life easier, you can make use of the little hole in the pony's foot to prop it up. I used an old paintbrush stuffed in a bunch of foam in a cup to hold mine up as you can see here.

Adding colour

Next is the part where the Tupperware will come in handy. If your pony is a color that has to be hand mixed, these will help out a lot. Mix your colours directly in them and add just enough water for it to be runny, these containers will prevent your colours from drying out over the few hours/days you need to paint your pony, especially if you're using custom colour mixes. Prepare as many of these as you need.

Once your base is properly dry, paint the pony's coat colour and main hair colour. The pony I was working on only had flat colours so it was fairly easy, it might be slightly trickier if your pony had colours like Rainbow Dash for example.
You can go either mane first or coat first, it doesn't really matter.

Paint the coat and mane as needed and let it try. Again do it until the base coat is no longer visible under your colours. Don't worry if you miss, you can always use a cotton bud dipped in a bit of water to wipe off mistakes and access. It's important that you allow each coat time to dry because too thick coats that aren't allowed to dry can run or bubble leaving your pony with warty surface.

Keep repeating with coats till you're satisfied with the result.

Cutie mark and eyes.

Now here's the hard part. You will need your finest brushes here.

Prep the area that you want to paint on your cutie mark and eyes with white paint. You will need between 2-3 coats of white till the area becomes solid. This is to make the colours stand out when you paint them on later. Also bear in mind that the paint needs to be smooth because if it's lumpy it will show in the final product.

This is also a good time to do details like hooves/crowns/wingtips if your pony has those features.
Almost done!
For the eyes, first do the black outline for the eyelashes with black paint. You can also do this with a thin black marker as well. Paint the colour of the iris first and let it dry. A couple of coats might be needed before you paint on the pupils. Allow each section to dry. don't worry if it's not perfect. You can always retouch later. Add the 'eye sparkle' and let it dry thoroughly for at least 4 hours.

As for the cutie mark, paint individual colours one at a time till you're done. The paint here need not be as runny as the base coats because it's quite small and you're likely to need a ton of dexterity to handle it.
Once you're satisfied, use your sealer, let it dry properly and you're pretty much done.

And remember, if it doesn't turn out out well, you can always dump it back in acetone and try again.

Hope you found the tutorial helpful!