Saturday, August 30, 2014

My Style: Vintage Compacts

There's something alluring about vintage compacts. Not everyone gets it.

These compacts were used to keep powders in and that was precisely what I intended to do with it. If I was purely in it for the sake of collecting, I'd probably buy them in mint condition, with box and original sifter and puff.

I'd imagine someone like Dita Von Teese would carry her powder around in one of these ornate compacts. She probably does. I think it really does add that touch of glamour that makes touching up on powder a little more enjoyable. Particularly when some cheaper high-street makeup doesn't come in sturdy packaging.

Of course, compacts aren't limited to Stratton. Kigu and Estee Lauder are just some other brands. There are various guides online that help you date the compact and how to reuse a compact. There are websites out there that offer replacement puffs and sifters too, if using another brand of puff doesn't feel authentic enough.

The two compacts I have store different things. The black enamour one was designed to hold loose powder but since it's quite old (early 1950s), it did not have the original sifter. It does have a self-opening inner lid to prevent spillage of powder. Perhaps a smaller pan of pressed powder could fit in but I haven't tried. I bought this compact because of the mechanism of the inner lid and the design of the enamour. Not because I wanted to use it for myself. The golden one is relatively newer (1980s-1990s) and had the original sifter and puff, all unused, but I threw away the old puff because it was degrading. It was a convertible compact, meaning it could store both loose powder and pressed. I removed the sifter for the pressed powder.

I decided to depot my Rimmel Stay Matte powder but because it was my first time, it was a very messy endeavour. I ended up breaking quite a bit of the powder while I was prying into the container.


Remnants of powder on the table underneath pan.
I placed the pan in to make sure it actually fit into the compact, which it did. I was slightly insecure about the pan falling out so I taped a magnet to the compact and the pan just clicked right in. The compact is not made of a magnetic metal, so tape was necessary.

Pan in compact.
I was quite happy with the result in the end. Although I wish I hadn't broken so much of the powder.
The good thing about these compacts is that majority of them are not expensive to collect. Unless you're going for the more sought-after ones (which might start at around $300... or maybe in GBP), you can get a compact for less than $20. You might even hunt down one cheap at a garage sale. 

That's not to say that you can't find these compacts new. It's just that the vintage ones - especially the used ones - have so much history behind them. At the same time, I feel like I can't use the used ones because of that same reason. I feel the need to preserve them. So I opted to use the gold one (which was unused... someone probably received it and never used it).

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Event: SMASH! 2014

Yesterday, I attended SMASH - Sydney Manga and Anime Show. The last time I attend SMASH, it was in 2012 and it was held in the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre. Since it has closed for renovations, this year it was held in Rosehill Gardens. I think SMASH has grown larger with more events spanning two days but in terms of the number that had showed up, I didn't notice a huge difference compared to 2012 but that might be because everyone was sprawled out instead of being cramped into one building. I was only able to attend Saturday's convention and everything was last minute so I ended up having to pay more for a ticket. For the full prices, it was $35 for Saturday, $30 for Sunday and $55 for both days.

Sailor Moon plushes!

Arpakasso! (I didn't buy any but I had my eyes on the one with the pink and blue scarf)
Can you spot No-Face?
I was left to explore the convention alone as soon as I entered the gates. My sister had organised to meet up with her tumblr friends and I had brought no one along with me, so I spent about an hour or so (maybe two) in the arts and crafts area doing origami and making Teru Teru Bozu dolls (which I realised I'm terrible at).
A crane and a failed attempt at a cherry blossom.

Gameboy cube craft
Shuriken
I made a couple of them
The grandfather was my first attempt. When I showed these to my sister, she bluntly stated they were "so bad" and "What the hell? They're not cute at all."
I attended the Kawamoto Toshihiro panel and watched him do a quick sketch in nine minutes. He is an animator and worked on Cowboy Bepop, Wolf's Rain and Fullmetal Alchemist. I also attended the Kotono Mitsuishi mini panel (voice actress; some of her works include Usagi Tsukino in Sailor Moon and Misato Katsuragi in Neon Genesis Evangelion) because I wasn't able to make it to the larger panel in the morning. There was a panel for Reika, a prominent cosplayer, held at the same time as the Kawamoto Toshihiro panel. Of course, I have no photos of those panels I attended because there were strict rules of no video or photography at those events but people still manage to sneak in some photos. I obviously watched the Madman Cosplay Competition - it's the major event at SMASH.

These were some of my favourite cosplays on the competition (except the Attack on Titan fan). Another one of my favourites was a Goddess of the Sun (Amaterasu) from Cardfight!! Vanguard but I couldn't find her for a close-up picture. Her costume was beautiful and that headdress would've been hard to have on all day because of the fragility of it. Getting into bathroom stalls would've been difficult or walking through cramped areas.
Lady Thor and someone in a Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) uniform after the competition
King and queen in Studio Ghibli's Whisper of the Heart. The queen had wings with some sort of colourless plastic material and fake flowers all over the cape. So happy I got the photo as I was heading towards the exit because I was trying to find them.
Here's a slideshow with most of the cosplayers in the competition except everything was drowned by daylight peaking through the curtains and blurry because of an old phone camera (my phone ran out of battery in the morning).

The competition ended with a Fairy Tail skit, which I think was everyone's favourite. I don't watch Fairy Tail but I know my sister and one of my friends are fans of it. I thought it was well-written and everyone was entertained and cheered or laughed whenever they should. Apparently the balloon was not supposed to burst and leave a cloud of dust but it looked like everything was planned including the balloon burst.


Nevertheless, all the cosplayers worked hard to get theirs done and all people with skits clearly practiced thoroughly, despite mishaps with music and projector screens (displaying the wrong character).

I didn't bring much money with me, so I couldn't buy a lot of merchandise or various products that the artists were selling. My sister ended up buying a couple of posters and prints, badges and bookmarks though. So this was what I ended up getting:


You can buy the 'Goat and Boy' bookmark online here.

I didn't dress up or cosplayed for the event, so I was in usual getup for uni.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Random: Mid-year Break

Sometimes, you just need a break from things. I'm back for the second semester now but this was how I spent my break:

I visited a friend at her place and she curled my hair. I also got to try one of her corsets. It was quite flattering but I don't have a picture because it was ridiculous to wear a corset over a jumper/sweater. She introduced me to the Lego Movie (we never finished it).
The curls have loosened up by that time.
I happened to pick up a Maybelline BB cream... and that was my half-finished painting behind it. It's finished now. I haven't painted in a while and wanted to get in touch with my artistic side (sarcasm)... I just felt like painting. This is not an original work. I was never good at painting so I followed a tutorial here. Nevermind that, I never honed my skills so my artistic skill is the same as my 12-year-old self.


However, I did sketch this (for fun) while I was supposed to be studying for my finals. I started drawing a person and it ended up being a... purple-haired magician/fairy thing (sorry for not being articulate enough to describe this creation).

On second thought, I may have been channeling Emilie Autumn (Enchanted era) unconsciously.

I read books and comics and drank lots of tea. I knitted.

I'm also working my way to being a recluse.