Alcon 2015

Alcon 2015

This year I visited my very first Alcon!

Firstly let me just say – Alcon was one of the most fun conventions I have ever been to, I had an absolute great time and met so many awesome people!

The convention offered so many activities and varied entertainment that it is physically impossible to do everything. I simply cannot express the vast options of things to do, there is everything from panels and talks about everything (writing, model building and cosplay), evening parties, board games area and even a Zombie vs Humans Nerf Gun war that ran on for the entire duration of the event.

Those who prefer non-physically exhausting ways of entertaining yourself could go to a huge variety of panels, workshops and talks that where hosted at the event. Simply take a stroll through the shop area were tons of cool, geeky stuff was on sale or sit down in the gaming room and play retro videogames and join one of the many tournaments.

Throughout the event ran clan wars which are mini games and challenges you could attend to win points for your clan. The clans consist of Pirates, Ninjas and Vampires. You could win points by winning competitions of taking part in events. This year the Pirates won – which based on what I’ve heard is the top clan!

We attended all the evening parties and I was positively surprised by the great music and skilled DJ`s who were playing for us! We even got a good dose of hardstyle and chiptune to rave the night away to. During the day a number of live bands played and although I only listened to one for a few minutes whilst in between activities – they sounded fantastic.

As I mentioned before there are lots of competitions at the event and a big highlight for myself was that I was able to win first place in the Anime Music Video (AMV) competition.

Wanna see my video? Click below!

Since I am very obsessed with The Legend of Korra lately I made a last minute Korra Cosplay and had a shooting with Shades on Productions where we went all out and did anything to get the shot right. He even taught me how to earth bend in real life! You can watch the video of that here:

http://www.facebook.com/LuziverCosplay/videos/738367246268366/

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It was great to meet other Korra fans! It was a lucky coincidence that all of us where cosplaying from season 4 of the show so we could take some epic pictures. Of course I went straight to Photoshop after the convention and edited some of the shots.

Season4-1Season4-2-3

Another great part of Alcon was the Laser Tag! (Yes, there is a Laser Tag hall near the convention centre!!) I used this great opportunity to try out some UV makeup on my boyfriend and I and we also we put glowing outfits on witch made us easy targets, but very fabulous looking players!

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At the cosplay ball on Saturday, EvilBaldGenius stole everyone`s show in his Hunter Rose cosplay. He looked like he stepped right out the comic book!

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At the ball everyone had the chance to dress up really classy and show of their waltz skills. Not only the music, but the mood was great! Everyone was dancing, having fun and getting their picture taken by the photo booth by a professional photographer provided by Alcon. You could pick up a printed version of your picture the next day for free.

Even before I attendet Alcon I heard people referencing to it as Al(cohol)con. I`m still very excited and impressed that at UK conventions you can drink and party at a convention all night long (Alcon is a 18+ event) without if getting out of hand or people starting to misbehave. Speaking of drinking, the cocktails had cool names like “Exsodia the Flavorsome” or “Team Rocket Fuel”. On top of the cool names they were also very affordable. They weren`t quite quality of what I would expect from a proper cocktail, but they tasted nice and after all it’s a student bar we are talking about ;).

All in all it was an absolute great Event! Much fun has been had and new friends have been made. It`s a convention I can happily recommend to everyone. It`s not as big as a Comic Con but also not as stressful. Alcon is a unique and awesome convention that`s definitely worth a visit.

At some point tickets for next year will be available here: http://www.alcon.org.uk/

 

(edited by Simon Long)

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An Intruduction to Makeup – From a Cosplay Perspective

An Intruduction to Makeup – From a Cosplay Perspective

Makeup for Cosplay

I find that when cosplaying, the faces and looks of anime characters we try to achieve is not exactly the stuff that gets covered in your average makeup tutorial since those are more targeted for “normal” occasions and looks. So I thought it would be a neat Idea to cover the subject from a cosplay perspective.

This article is aimed at those cosplayers of you who are unsure about makeup, have no experience with it, or wonder if they should use it anyway.

Now you might be asking yourself ‘Does makeup really make that much of a difference?’ well read on and let me know your thoughts in the comments.

What can makeup do to make your cosplay stand out more and look even better?

Apart from making your skin look smooth, you can actually play surgeon and change your entire face shape with the power of makeup. Just like in Skyrim when you get to spend an hour on editing the face of your hero, you can do that in real life! How cool is that?! 😀

A lot of us cosplay because we try to look exactly like that character we love so much, so we go through a lot of effort to replicate his or her outfit. We then spend hours to find the right wig and do our very best to get all the details right to do that character justice!

But why stop there? You and your face are part of this costume. Apart from their clothing, hair and their weapons, the face is one of the most significant characteristics that define a character. Why slip just into their outfit when you can slip into their skin? …but not literally please!!! Also, most of the time in the photos and videos that will be taken of your cosplay, apart from the costume of course, your face will most likely be the main focus of the picture. Use your makeup to make your costume look even better! Why not put the same effort and love into your makeup as in the rest of your costume.

(I put some example photosof me without vs with makeup below the article)

But, I have no clue about makeup, I don`t know where to start, I’m not talented and the entire idea is intimidating and most of all expensive? I hear you say… Well worry not!

You can turn foam into metal armour, turn fabrics into works of art and make anything out of anything! Don`t let makeup intimidate you now. Everything can be learned – not even talent required 😉 Just motivation and an iron will.

Makeup is not free of course, but when you`re starting your journey into the world of makeup, cheap drugstore makeup is just fine. You`ll want to figure out with what kind of foundation (cream, liquid …) or eyeliner (gel, liquid…) for example you are comfortable with before you go out and spend tons of money on expensive brands.

Also simple done right looks way better than a very complex eyeliner design that`s gone all wrong and eyeshadow that isn`t blended properly. Even a simple look you can pick up on without much training can look stunning when done right!

What products should I get, how do I know what to buy?

The key word here is cheap. If you are like me and cosplay is already expensive enough on its own, you probably won`t have the money to buy all the high end products at once. It`s a better Idea to start with cheap stuff and then slowly replace and add the better but most likely more expensive products.

To have a good base to start from and already have enough to start doing your different cosplay looks get these:

  • Foundation – There are different kind of foundations like, cream, liquid or minerals but for now I would recommend you get liquid foundation.
  • Eyeliner – Just like foundation eyeliner comes in different forms and shapes, there is gel eyeliner and liquid eyeliner. They also have different tips like a brush, a pen or a tiny stick. Just get whatever you think you`re most comfortable with. You also need pencil eyeliner in black and white.
  • Mascara – For beginning and practice almost any one will do. If you are unsure check out some reviews of drugstore ones and find one you like.
  • Cheap blusher pallet – In case you need makeup for a very male character or any other character that does not need blusher what so ever you obviously won`t need this right now. Otherwise get a cheap one with preferably a few different shades if possible.
  • Bronzer – For beginning and practice almost any one will do. If you are unsure check out some reviews of drugstore ones and find one you like.
  • Brushes – Try to find a cheap set of brushes. You can later replace them one by one with really good ones.

Something like this for example: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lychee-Beautiful-Professional-Cosmetic-Foundation/dp/B00JEXYXXO/ref=sr_1_19?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1442312713&sr=1-19&keywords=Brush+Set+leather

  • Eyeshadows – Get a cheap pallet with lots of colours. They won`t be the best quality or super pigmented, but it will do the job and you have something to practice and play around with. You can always layer it and build up colour slowly.

This is the one I own: http://www.amazon.co.uk/120-Color-Eyeshadow-Palette-1st/dp/B002TPO0W8/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1442312535&sr=8-12&keywords=120+eyeshadow+palette

But I even found a cheaper one here (I have no Idea how good it is though): http://www.amazon.co.uk/LaRoc-Colours-Eyeshadow-Palette-Professional/dp/B00HZSF744/ref=sr_1_3?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1442312479&sr=1-3&keywords=eyeshadow+palette

  • Setting powder/Se­tting Spray – This is not absolutely necessary for day one, but helps your makeup to stay on longer. I use Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder by MAC and I love it!

With those products you will be able to do everything for your basic cosplay makeup no matter the character! (Characters that require special effect makeup are obviously excluded) Have fun applying foundation, changing your eye shape and do different eyeshadow looks.

If you`re planning on doing something very specific look up a tutorial online. You might not find a tutorial for exactly that characters makeup but maybe a tutorial that creates a similar look like what you`re aiming for. See what products and techniques are used in the tutorial and ad those to your shopping list.

In my next article I’ll write a tutorial and record a video with some basic but very effective methods on how to easily use those tools for an even closer portrayal of different eye and face shapes. It will show you how to change your eye shape, how to apply foundation and how to quickly and easily give dimension to your face.

For example this is me without makeup:

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And here are a few pictures of me with with different makeup:

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Hyper Japan 2015 review

Hyper Japan 2015 review

This year EvilBaldGenius and I went to our first Hyper Japan. It`s a Convention all about everything Japanese. Everything about its culture, food and of course anime, manga and cosplay. It`s a bit like Japan Day in Germany, just less crowded and inside a hall. There was also a gaming area with games to play and loads of stuff to buy! So all the gaming enthusiasts at that con where sorted.

First let`s talk about the good things at Hyper Japan!

The Convention centre could be reached with the cable car which is only 2 minutes away from the entrance. Because of that, both days every morning and every evening we got to enjoy a beautiful view of London high above the Thames!

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(behind us you can see the o2 center where the convention was taking place)

I really couldn`t complain about the food. Apart from the usual Sushi there was some really delicious food you don`t get to see at every convention. A big highlight for me was the sparkling Sake. It looks a bit like Champagne but it`s Sake! And oh my god is that stuff tasty! We ended up having it with every meal while at the convention.

mega tasty

There were a lot of cool acts and groups performing like martial arts, dancing, singing and more. You could try on and/or buy Kimonos and other Japanese clothing. We got to play Go and afterwards we were taught how to spell our names in Kanji.

Saturday we spend a lot of time filming a music video with a videographer friend.

This is where I come to the part of things that were not as pleasing at this Hyper Japan.

Someone apparently complained about our videographer friend claiming that he had a fake press badge. Soon security confronted us. He immediately presented his press badge and the confirmation email from Hyper Japan. The security was nice but insisted that they were just following orders and would have to escort us of the premise regardless. Of course we asked to speak to the person in charge giving those orders, who unfortunately seemed to be in a meeting… which continued for the full two days of the event since he was never available. We got some very vague information what we could do, but in the end no one could tell us who to talk to resolve the issue.

The hall the convention was taking place in was pretty big. But they cramped all of the stalls in only 3 quarters it witch made the entire thing look a bit more like the hey market version of what I expected. The con wasn`t as well organized as it could have been, but I have seen far worse. It wasn`t really bad but there is definitely room to improve.

The last thing I would that was a bit annoying isn`t exactly about the convention itself. The location is simply located a bit unfortunate. You really can ONLY reach it with mentioned cable car or from the other side with the tube. But that is a long detoured way when you are coming from the other side of the river since the only way that that can be crossed in that area is the cable car.

That is why after the event, closed masses of people streamed towards the cable car. Whoever the idiot was that thought it was a good idea to hold a bicycle race on the Saturday of the fair that circled exactly around the cable car entrance must have at least now realized that it was a dick move to say the least. I guess it would have been to easy to just turn at the corner a few meters ahead. Because of that anyway a massive line of people was created who were allowed to cross the street every 15 minutes. Through the pure number of people trying to cross the street who had assembled in those 15 minutes was so huge even the guys riding their bikes had to stop since it took so long to let people through.

But all in all Hyper Japan was a very pleasant experience and we had a lot of fun. Ga Chun Yau Photography made a great gallery of the stalls and people of the con: Hyper Japan Gallery

We ended the Weekend late on Sunday with totally un-Japanese but tasty burgers.

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