Saturday, 21 January 2017

Global Game Jam 2017

It's Game Jam time again! I haven't participated in a couple of years, but this time my colleagues and I decided to have our own jam site at the office. It's a weird feeling to spend the weekend at the office just drawing, painting and having fun. The idea of a game jam is that games are created within a limited time from scratch.

The team I'm in is working on a god-game where the player controls rain clouds over an island and tries to get water where it is needed and not flood places while doing so. We are working with Unity, so most of the work falls on the programmers, so I've been painting user interface stuff, promo pictures, a logo and basically anything that comes to mind. I'm a trained graphic artist but haven't worked with art in years, so it's always nice to whip out the drawing tablet and do something creative. I also did little whiny sounds for the Rain God's followers, there might not be time to implement those, but it was fun, so why not. Who wouldn't want to whimper in a microphone in the meeting room? ;D

Did I mention I love water colour brushes in Photoshop? Well I do!

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

My Hair Routine

I just got my hair dyed by a friend who is studying to be a hairdresser (thanks Anniina, you did an awesome job!), so hair has been on my mind a lot. I have very long, thick hair, so people often ask what kind of products I use. I think the length and thickness are mainly due to genetics, but I do try to take good care of my locks and have gone through a lot of products to find the ones that works for me.

I would describe my hair as straight, thick and mildly coarse and dry. The single hairs are quite thick and there much of them. My scalp tends to be dry. My hair is naturally wavy in some spots, but it's so inconsistent that it just looks messy if it dries naturally.

Four Reasons Deep Cleanse Shampoo, Goldwell Dualsenses Ultra volume Boost Shampoo and a cheap-o
de-tangling brush.
My hairs needs a very cleansing shampoo and lots of rinsing to get all of the shampoo out when it's washed. I used to go for conditioning shampoos, as my hair tends to be dry, but a friend studying to be a hairdresser did my hair and suggested that a cleansing type shampoo would be better. She was very right, my hair felt much heavier and I had to wash it more often with the conditioning shampoos. Goldwell Ultra Volume is what I use for regular washes about twice a week, and the Deep Cleanse Shampoo by Four Reasons is what I use if I have lots of products in my hair, or just every couple of weeks to be sure the hair really is clean.

I noticed my nails tend to break often when I'm washing my hair, so after some online investigation, I found that using a de-tangling brush or something similar could help. The brush gets the shampoo to the scalp and roots easily and does a very good job. It's sometimes hard to get fingers through the thick hair all the way to the scalp and that's what the brush is great for. And since my nails don't snag on my hair when washing it, they grow longer.

Conditioning. Joico Color Endure Conditioner, Sebastian Potion 9, Kevin Murphy Un.Tangled leave-in conditioner and Joico K-Pak Deep-Penerating Reconstructor.
My hair type needs a lot of moisture. Silicones also work very well on it, smoothing the hair. I've tried silicone free shampoos but they made my hair feel coarse. The main thing fot my hair is that I have a keratin conditioner (the Joico K-Pak) for the ends and use very moisturizing leave-in conditioners. Sebastian Potion 9 is a very nice, it makes hair smooth and soft. I use it after washing my hair, when hair is still moist. The Kevin Murphy leave-in conditioner is what I use almost daily, when ever my hair feels dry or if I keep it loose, if it's frizzy. Joico Color Endure has been very good for a basic conditioner in the shower. I haven't found a perfect one yet, but most are fine.

Tangle Teezer.
Tangle Teezer type brushes are what I like to use. They penetrate the hair to get to the deeper layers and still don't snag or pull. I used to have bristle brushes, but they only brushed the top layers, and I found them hard to clean. The Tangle Teezer I just toss in the dishwashers when it starts looking dirty.

I use a lot of hairspray and often use flatirons and curling wands. The favourite products for hair do's are heat protecting sprays that give medium hold and hair spray. A weak hairspray for teasing hair and a strong one for finishing a do.

Generally my coarse, thick hair can stand a lot, but it needs lots of moisture and silicone, which is a challenge.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Black Deer

Another set done with TiinaMoi! This outfit I created around the silk dress. It used to be a wedding dress that I dug up from a thrift store back room with only my phone to light my way. They had gotten a ton of wedding dresses, mostly very -ahem- interesting ones from the eighties, but I was hoping to find something that I could dye. In the darkest corner at the back of the room I found the dress and it fit me perfectly! I dyed it with purple and blue to get a nice, deep color. The dress is very well made, it has a built-in petticoat and is fully lined. It came with a weird lace bolero top thingie, which is still sitting in my closet waiting for any ideas on what to do with it.

The antlers are from ReStyle and jewellery is once again by Lumissa's Purple Octopus.

Model, styling and outfit: Me
Photographer: TiinaMoi
Assistant: Agony von Grim

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Favourite Skincare Products at the Moment

My skin has been oily for a long time, but started turning towards dry about a year ago. This meant creating a new skincare routine and researching new products more suitable for a dry skin. I think the change has been brought just by aging, I haven't changed my diet or done anything else that I could affect my skin. During winter the dryness is more noticeable, as staying indoors in heated buildings tends to dry me out. These are the products I have found work well for me. My skin is oily in the T-zone and flaking dry on my cheeks, so if yours is anything like it, you might want to give some of these a try!

Number one rule for very dry skin: avoid water! Lotion cleansers and anything that you don't need to wash off is good. Water dries the skin.

Rule number two: find out what are the ingredients of products that work for you and seek similar ones. For me witch hazel is very efficient in calming breakouts and toning down redness.

Cleansing: makeup removal with Lumene Eye Makeup Remover and Weleda 2 in 1 Cleanser and Toner, finishing with Pixi Glow Tonic.

Lumene Eye Makeup Remover is what I use to remove eye makeup and lipstick, and clean my brows. It works for water resistant makeup, so it's perfect for those liquid to matte lipsticks that don't budge with regular removers.

Weleda's 2 in 1 Cleanser (mine has the label in German because I always hoard a bottle or two when in Germany, it's almost half the price compared to Finland). The product is a cleansing milk with properties of a toner also. I like to use it to remove foundation, blush, anything on the face that's not on my lips or eyes.

Pixi Glow Tonic is my newest addition, I've been using it for a month now. It's an exfoliating toner that I use in the evening after removing makeup. It seems to have helped me to get rid of the flaking on my cheeks.

The main thing in all of these products is that they don't have to be washed off, so I can save my skin from the drying effect of water. The Weleda cleanser and Pixi tonic have some ingredients that I've found work especially well on me: aloe vera (in Pixi) soothes my skin and witch hazel (in both products) prevents breakouts and also soothes.

I also exfoliate in the shower every two weeks or if my skin feels very flaky. I haven't found the perfect product for that yet, so I'm using some random exfoliating wash meant for sensitive skin.

Moisturizing: Mia Höytö Valo and Unelma, Lumene Glow Boost serum and Weleda Skin Food for heavy duty moisture.
Moisturizing! It's been tough to find products that give enough moisture especially in the winter. Valo is an eye cream, and it's quite light, because to make things more complicated my eye areas don't need much moisture. This is my second tube of Valo and I really like it. The product comes in a pump tube that is very hygienic and the cream is not too heavy for the sensitive eye area. Unelma is from the same company. It's an intensive Moisturizing Cream, but I think it's a tiny bit too light for my skin in the winter. I use it mostly and then one or two nights per week add Weleda Skin Food. Skin Food is super thick and moisturizing, it's meant for cracked, dry heels or other extremely dry areas, but my cheeks seem to qualify occasionally ;P The serum is nice, but I think I won't buy another bottle, as the effect isn't very visible. It's meant to go in before the moisturizer, but I can't tell much difference if I use it or not. It does smell nice and is easy and comfortable to apply on skin.

Spot remedy: Boots Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Blemish Stick
Last but not the least, my fave remedy for spots! This was an impulse buy from Boots on the Dublin airport, but turned out to be a very good product. It has witch hazel, as do my cleansers, and my skin loves it. Tea tree oil also works very well on me if my skin gets irritated, but using the pure oil can be messy and the smell is overpowering. In stick format I can apply this on evenings before or after moisturizing and wear it during the day under foundation. It applies matte from the stick and is very fast and easy to use. I also like that while it does have a faint tea tree oil smell, it's not nearly as strong as with the tea tree oil.

I'm a sucker for new things so I occasionally try out new products. It's taken me time to learn that even if some product comes highly recommended, if it doesn't suit my skin type, I'll probably be disappointed. I love foaming cleasers and face brushes, but my face just does not like water. What I think my routine is missing is a very moisturizing serum. Any suggestions?

Monday, 9 January 2017

Now Playing Look with Glitter Bows

I seem to have found the background that is closest to my hair colour, so that I can perfectly blend in ;D Anyway, on Friday a friend asked me to come and see a burlesque show with her, and it was the perfect excuse to log out of World of Warcraft for a while. It was cold as eff outside, but that didn't stop me from putting on some fancy make-up.

The look is done with ColourPop shadows from the Now Playing set I reviewed. The lipstick is by Black Moon Cosmetics.

For some reason I look chubbier than usual in this pic. But it was still the best one of the set,
so you get a chubby me today.

I found these super cute glitter bows in the children's section at H&M. Couldn't resist! My fringe growing project is in a state that I usually need to pin back some hair to keep it from falling on my face constantly.

Metallic green lippie by Black Moon Cosmetics, this shade is called Myth.
Myth looks more teal is the shop pictures, and a bit more blue in natural light than my picture taken inside with just artificial light. I'm a big fan of Black Moon Cosmetics lipsticks and Myth is no exception, the formula is wonderful. Easy to apply, stays on well and doesn't need touching up.

ColourPop Patchwork on the lid, Babykins on the inside of the lid and Peekaboo as a tear duct highlight.

My brows are done with Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics lip liner in Black Dahlia, and the eyeliner Kat von D tattoo liner is black. The Kat von D liner is hands down the best I've ever had. Crips, clear lines, no smudging, doesn't transfer on my oily lids = perfection.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Colourpop Now Playing Eyeshadow Set

Before Christmas I pampered myself by making an order to ColourPop. Their holiday sets looked really nice and the prices are very good. I have some of their eyeshadows and lipsticks and like both. This time I went for eyeshadows, more specifically the "Now Playing" set.

The package itself is impressive. The eyeshadows are in a round cardboard box that is in a sleeve, both very sturdy. My only problem is that the padding is glued in so tight that I can't remove it, so I can't re-use the pretty box.

The set consists of six shadows with different finishes.

Desert Super Shock eyeshadow

Babykins Super Shock eyshadow

Peekaboo Super Shock eyeshadow

Thirsty Girl Super Shock eyeshadow

Patchwork Super Shock eyeshadow

Fairfax Super Shock eyeshadow
What originally drew me to choose this set was the combination of Babykins, a deep pink, Patchwork, teal with multicoloured glitter and Fairfax, as it looks like a very easy to wear neutral shade. The other three seemed like they could work quite well. Light shades are usually quite easy to wear, and they are a bit tricky to choose based on pictures online, as different screens show the tiny differences in shades poorly. So my way is to hoard a pile of light neutrals, try them, keep the ones that suit me and sell or donate the rest.

Fairfax is a matte dark brown. When I went through my stash I noticed that I actually own this one already ;D It's just my type, dark, red based browns work very well with my light green-grey eyes.

Babykins is a new shade. It's a metallic dark pink, a very "me" shade.

Desert is a satin beige-y with pink undertones. It's a bit too orange on my skin tone, but a lovely shade otherwise.

Patchwork looks gorgeous. It's a teal shade with multicoloured glitter and a neat shift effect. The base is dark, so depending on the light, the shadow on skin shows the glitter or the dark base shade, which leans towards plum.

Thirsty Girl is a very glittery, warm medium brown. Many of the ColourPop shades tend to be warm and look a bit too orange on my skin. I'd think that many of these would work better on a few shades dark skin tones and especially on tanned skin. Thirsty Girl is just on the border of too orange for me, but it can work.

Peekaboo was, like it's name implies, a surprise! In the shop pictures it didn't look like much, but it's actually pretty close to my skin tone, giving the illusion of perfect glowing skin. It hides tiny imperfections and works very well as a highlight on the tear duct and brow bone. So this is the one that works on us pale ass ladies!

Babykins, Fairfax and Desert

Thirsty Girl, Peekaboo, Patchwork and Babykins again.
The only shade that definitely does not work on me is Desert. All the other are usable, nice to apply and blend well. I was expecting Patchwork to be a bit darker, but I might try a dark base with it to solve the problem. Being lighter is good, as it can be used for lighter looks too. Babykins is just great, it's quite a unique shade in my collection. It goes very well with Patchwork. Thirsty Girl has gorgeous glitter and shimmer, and Peekaboo is a lovely highlighter shade. Fairfax is just as good as it used to be, I recommend it to everyone with green eyes!

ColourPop offers affordable international shipping nowadays, so finally their lippies and eyeshadows are available to use nordics without fiddling with shipping services! I have another order coming is, as I really wanted to try their rose gold eyeshadow Weenie. The holiday sets are now discounted, so you might do great finds. Some have already sold out, but all of the eyeshadows reviewed here are still available as singles.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Snow Crystals

Back when there was snow on the ground (black Christmas is quite goth) I did a quick shoot with TiinaMoi Photography. It was our first time working together, but she's simply awesome! We got very nice shots in a very short time, which is a blessing when it's cold and you have bear arms ;P

The tiara, necklace and earrings are by Lumissa's Purple Octopus, the earrings and necklace are actually part of a set she made me for my wedding <3 I just love crystals, the unique shapes and how they catch the light is very pretty!

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