Apr 3, 2017

The Beauty Blender Matter

Some months ago, if you followed beauty tutorial videos or make up review videos on youtube, or beauty blogs and so on, you would hear about the wonders of the Beauty Blender. This beauty blender is basically a makeup sponge people use to put on different products on, such as foundation, BB creams, CC creams, primer and even applying and difusing correctors. Many of these products are often applied directly with fingers, brushes, makeup sponges such as those well known little triangles, or those sets that come in the shape of flowers from which you pluck out a petal and use until it crumbles away or looks too disgusting to be used again. These triangles are also called "sponge wedges".

Source: http://www.tattooedtealady.com/
Though a true makeup artist, or a person used to put on makeup everyday can apply makeup to themselves and achieve that flawless porcelain doll complexion the rest of us can only dream of and bitterly envy, most of us often struggle with some of the products. I am one, for instance, that hardly EVER put on make up. And when I do, my usual makeup look doing my eyebrows with my KIKO Milano eyebrow kit, some eyeliner, and maybe a lipgloss. If I feel very generous, I do some eyeshadowing (currently LOVING Oriflame's eyeshadow pencils) and that will be that. So, when someone with less skills or less practice decides or needs to put on some makeup (say, you got into a fight on Black Friday for the perfect shoes and ended up with a black eye... and the shoes, or you went partying all night and your face hasn't woken up yet), things like brushes and sponge wedges can make the plaster foundation or BB Cream you put on look like... well, plaster. Basically, with these tools a less skilled person will end up with brush stroke marks all over their face. The makeup will look fake instead of achieving it's intended purpose of making you look your best.

The makeup industry constantly strives to offer products that make donning makeup a much easier, better experience. One such product is the beauty blender, which is basically an improved makeup sponge. It differs from other sponges in its form, but also in the sponge material itself. Beauty blenders tend to be more dense - in my experience - and are used slightly differently. When you buy the beauty blender, it's this really small little drop shaped sponge, much the size of a wedge. This you have to wet and squeeze several times until it gets bigger. With a wet and squeezed beauty blender you can apply your beauty products by gently tapping on your skin. This movement allows you to apply the products quite evently and without leaving marks, and helping you get that complexion you are looking for.

Stormberry's property
A while ago I decided to get more skilled with makeup, and decided to start trying on BB Creams and CC creams, emboldened by some videos I watched. I first applied them with sponge wedges or my fingers, and then got a beauty blender from KIKO Milano in one of my trips to Vienna. This sponge doesn't have the original beauty blender's shape, but it is a wonder to work with! No, I don't put on make up daily now, but when I do, I always used my little spongey :-). I believe I have this sponge since December 2015 and have been using it quite a couple of times. I never leave it with product residues on, since I use it so seldom, so I normally use it and clean it with handsoap. And it has lasted me wonderfully, I must say.

Stormberry's property
This year, on my trip to Vienna, I found at the DM stores a lovely turquoise beauty blender with drop shape, marketed under the EBELIN brand. Yay!! DM is a rather good store, and I have bought a gozillian things from them, so I packed in one of these beautiful beauty blenders. Did I needed it? Not really, but it was cheap (I think it was around €5,00) and it was turquoise! I've got to use it the first time when I was back at home. From the first time I used it, as I was cleaning it (the same way I have dozens of times cleaned my KIKO Milano beauty blender) the material close to the tip started to rip. If I were a more intensive user of these sponges this one would have crumbled apart AGES ago! Clearly, I'm quite disappointed about this. :-(
I'm happy with my KIKO Milano beauty blender, truth to be told, but I did wanted the experience of using a drop shaped on, like the original, since these do accomodated better in the hand, unlike KIKO Milano's hourglass shaped one. I had seen some beauty blenders - original ones - at Sephora, in Wroclaw, when a friend of mine and I were there, and also have seen them in Paris. I did notice that the original beauty blenders sold in Wroclaw look different than the ones in Paris, as those have a sort of band around... you know, like smoothed sponge. The ones in Paris don't have it. The time in Wroclaw I refrained from buying the beauty blender because of the weird band it had, and the time in Paris I didn't buy it because it would have set me €19 back, and with the amount of makeup I do, that's not an investment, but a crazy expense.

Stormberry's property

I might end up getting one now, though - the next time I'm in Paris, I guess - just to compare the qualities - but one thing I can tell you all for sure is that you will never, ever again catch me buying a DM beauty blender... and I will be wary about EBELIN branded products.

Apr 2, 2017

Movie Review: Ghost in the Shell

Source: google.com
It has been over 13 years since the last time I was pretty much consumed by Japan animation or animé and manga art. That year (around 2004) was the end of almost seven years of being immersed in the otaku culture. During that time (that's from 1997 to 2004) I watched pretty much every single series and OVA I could get my hands on. One of those OVAS was Ghost in the Shell, a futuristic, dystopian story based on cyborgs and political moves.

Many of the movies I watched in those days had an impact on me, due to the quality of their art, but also the dark line of their stories. Akira, Perfect Blue and Ghost in the Shell are a few among them, though of these three, Ghost in the Shell struck me the most for the quality of the art.

Source: google.com
When the movie theatres started promoting Ghost in the Shell in live action format, I knew I had to go and see it. No, normally I don't like live action movies, and I have seen a few. Aeon Flux with Charlize Theron wasn't appealing to me, for instance, but an amateur attempt at Dragon Ball Z Mirai Trunks, or alternate universe future was so breath taking, that I decided to give it a shot.

I must say that the movie disappointed me. From the very selection of the intro music, and all the re-naming of Mokoto Kusanagi and then giving her all that past... (was that somewhere in the manga and I missed it or forgot about it?) Why make a perfectly good story into some emotional, hollywoodian motion picture? Ms. Johansson didn't look like a cyborg, but rather looked like a butch female, and Major's (Major? Really? Did something happened in the series I didn't watch that escaped from the OVA I saw?) sensualization and attempt to catch the essence of humanity was quite a slap for those of us who paid for the movie ticket in hopes to revive one of our old favorites.

Source: http://thescreen.hu/ ghost-shell-osszehasonlitas-az-alapkent-szolgalo-animevel/
The whole movie was like watching some AU fanfic, produced by Americans and Chinese, based on a beloved, cult-movie of otakus of old, which lifted the idea of the movie, some characters, some costume designed and then copied here and there some scenes. Even in the scenes lifted from the original OVA, the movie felt fake. I felt cheated, truth to be told.

From what I gather from other websites and blogs about the movie, the sentiment is quite generalized. It was a big gamble, I would say, and it didn't paid up well. Then again, I guess that in today's world knowing isn't really all that important when enterprises embark into an investment. Knowing your market is really inconsecuential, when one thinks that one knows things better than all the others. Well, enterprises and enterpreneurs would do well remembring that they ought to know their market if they want to reach into their pockets.