Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lolita Laundry

So you need to wash your lolita finery? Huh, who'd have thought you'd need to wash clothes, am I right? But it isn't really hard at all. I'll start off with the general rules:

1) Aim to wash your clothing as infrequently as possible. This is easier in winter by the way. But the fewer times you wash it the less things are going to be beat up by being washed. And if it isn't touching your skin and you aren't glistening like a star then you can normally get at least a few wears out of something like a skirt or jsk. I haven't actually washed my very favorite Victorian Maiden skirt yet. I got it in 2009, so that's about 3 years and I'd estimate about 30-40 wears. But it doesn't smell or feel weird or have any other noticeable sign of wear (I've cursed myself to spill something on it now you realize). So it hangs in my closet, happy as a clam. I don't quite follow the maxim of waiting til your pants stand up and walk themselves to the washing machine but I'm no longer a one wear kind of gal (except on certain things like socks and blouses in the summer).

2) You either are or aren't a fan of spot cleaning and I, actually, am not. I know the difference in fade is minute and people can't see it but every time you clean something you are damaging it. I'm a curator, I've had to deal with a historic wardrobe (and other textiles) and let me tell you every time you clean something you damage it. But even with historic objects you still have to clean them because there is greater damage done by not doing so every so often. And if we're talking something really delicate or finicky then yes spot treating is the way to go. But I tend to not like to wear such delicate things as then I'm more worried about my clothes than having fun.

3) If you can smell it or know there is a sweat stain then clean it soon. That blouse you wore out in 100 degree heat and 100% humidity so you were glistening like a diamond? You're going to want to wash that. Soon. Sweat is very hard on clothing, you don't want it chilling on there for like a month. The longer it is on there the more likely it is to stain or cause more serious damage. Ideally you want to wash the sweat out before it even dries but obviously that isn't necessarily possible every time. Just make sure that whatever it is like that makes it into your weekly/bi-weekly/monthly wash.

When it comes to detergent, use sparingly. As my momma said, it is always better to not quite have enough detergent than to not be able to rinse all the detergent out. I always make sure I fill the cap under the line I'm shooting for or just default to the medium load line. Everything comes out fresh as a daisy and not overly sudsed.

Now as for what garments need what kind of care...

Toss it in the wash (delicate bag would be awesome but not required):
Skirts/JSKs/OPs with few details or that otherwise seem hardy and hale

Delicate Bag/Pillow Case required:
Skirts/JSKs/OPs that you are kind of worried about, so lots of delicate trim or a delicate fabric. Or that you're just paranoid about. It is okay to be paranoid about them, better paranoid than with a destroyed dress.

Check the internet:
Prints. Check the web to see if someone else has washed it before and if so how they did it and how that went.

Alright, with that said, let's begin!

I normally just toss my bloomers, blouses, petticoats and Bodyline into whatever color wash they match. So white eyelet bloomers and cream AatP socks with pink/green floral design go in the light/white load. and my navy petticoat and black Antique Clock skirt go in the dark/black load. I don't own a brand blouse but I own plenty with lots of delicate lace and pin tucks and god the ruffles. And they all do well just tossed in (though two are a very delicate material and they get a pillow case together). Turn everything inside out by the way. It helps to protect the outer of the fabric so your clothes will last longer (and the inner which is closer to your skin will get a more thorough washing).

Now for things which you're worried about, here is a super simple way to make sure they survive the wash. Please note if something is particularly dirty then this isn't tops. You may want to hand wash in a sink to get most/all of the grime off. You can toss it in a pillow case without rinsing and toss it into the regular wash if you don't feel like spending an hour rinsing, this is what I do.
First turn everything inside out, make sure zippers are zipped (don't want a zip slashing the fabric like a serrated knife, ya?) and buttons are unbuttoned (don't want a button pulled off).

Pop those suckers into a pillow case. If you're worried about one item bleeding then give it it's own pillow case and make sure it is a pillow case you won't be heartbroken if it is stained.

Now tie the pillow case closed and safety pin it shut. If you don't safety pin it then the pillow case will most likely come untied in the wash and expel its contents. Which makes the pillow case pointless then.

Now you can put that in the wash with everything else. In the case of my Siren dress it got tossed in with the darks because with the heat bonded reflective deco I wanted it in the cold wash. I do my my whites/lights in warm water and darks/blacks in cold. You could do both in cold though I suppose, but warm water seems to keep lighter colors brighter.

I do use bleach about once a year, I have white towels so I can just bleach the heck out of them to make them sparkling and almost new. I toss in pure white blouses and dresses that are no longer quite that pure white with that load. The easiest way to bleach a load of laundry without killing anything is to let the washer fill up with water, pour in the bleach and give it a stir (I use one of the towels to do that) then pop in the towels/clothes and treat it like a normal wash. If you go heavy on the bleach be prepared to wash the load a second time to remove the chlorine smell.

Once the washer is done you'll want to pull out your lolita garments from the rest of the wash/whatever you're going to toss in the dryer. A dryer beats up your clothes more and we're trying to do as little of that as possible. If all the deco is sewn down and the jsk/OP/skirt isn't the least bit stretchy then I pop it on a hanger to dry, there is more airflow so it will dry quicker and my horizontal space for laying flat to dry is at quite a premium. Bloomers can easily just be tossed on a hanger if you don't put them in the dryer.

If it has any lace or pin tucks or other fiddly bits then lay it out and flatten the lace/pin tucks/fiddly bits how you want them to lay. Keep any lace/pin tucks/fiddly bits on the back nice and flat too! Once the front is good and dry you'll want to flip each item over to let the back dry or if it isn't stretchy material then put it on a hanger then.

If it is stretchy, like a cut sew then you'll want to lay that flat to dry too. If I have the space on my air dryer then I lay those across the top but normally my leggings get that realty.

Socks should be flattened out then carefully laid between rungs of an air dryer if you have one or just laid flat (and flipped after half a day) like cutsews/sweaters.

And that is how you do lolita laundry at home. Happy washing!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Make-Up Monday: Morgana Cryptoria Gloss Stash

I really love her formula for glosses, it is long wearing and moisturizing and not very sticky and can be used like a liquid lipstick honestly. This is pretty much my whole collection barring Fallen Leaf and Pimped Out Pumpkin.

I wasn't sure which I would like better, Alloy or Copper Pipe Dream. So I got both. Alloy is a very brassy gold color, a lot like Nyx Meteor honestly. I kinda like Alloy better but I got it with a Chocolate Mint scent and man that is strong and tingly. Plus side? The cabinet that smells like cigarette smoke from my smoking upstairs neighbors now smells like mint instead. And I just put the closed tube in there.
I bought this expecting to fall in love since coppery colors are my fav-y fav of favs. Sadly it really isn't my style. Not bad just didn't mesh with this shade.

I didn't expect to like this color since it looks like a not saturated tomato red. But that name. That name is so VERY Draculaura and I'm a total Draculaura fan. This one actually worked out in that if I apply it very lightly, kind of like a stain, it really isn't a bad color on me. Also if you want a more matte, lipstick version of this tomato red with gold sparkle then Evil Shades's Jenaveve Deviant Lipstick is what you are seeking. I've applied it thick here like what I do with all of her glosses. And yes I broke out the fangs. I am so a Draculaura fan. Also this is lemon sherbet scented and it is quite lovely.

This is a very bright blue gloss but it has a reddish gold sparkle to it (haha guess that's where the name comes from). It's alright. Not my fav but cool to have in my collection. Also the watermelon scent is sooo strong!

It looked kind of like Evil Shades's Lost Kiss but amped up and it is so that and also in this amazing formula. I love this gloss so very much. So. Very. Much. It was between this and Nyx Hestia for my Driver's License photo (Hestia won since I was worried the DoPS lady would have a fit over lavender pink lips). Love love love. And the red licorice scent rocks.

I love the lipstick shade of this so much that I HAD to get the gloss. The gloss falls very flat compared to the now discontinued lipstick. More brown than purple and not a hint of the blue shift which made the lipstick so rad. Sad.

Azalea Skies
A more direct relation to Lost Kiss. It is an okay color but nothing I'm gaga over. I prefer Galaxy over it but from the swatches on the website I couldn't figure out which I would like better. So. Here's a side by side comparison. Azalea Skies is faaar more towards a light to mid tone pink with a blue glow. Galaxy is very much a lavender pink with a blue shift.

The name of this is actually Starburst I think. I kind of wore the writing off the label. But more importantly this gloss is BADASS. You'll want to apply it thick like the bottom lip so you get the full, very dimensional sparkles in spaaace look. I love this one so much, I just wish I could wear it to work!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Outfits of the Fortnight: Vol 3

Guess who remembered what a two week span of time is called? Yep, now this feature has a proper name, Outfits of the Fortnight. :D I will slightly miss the link to Bifrost though.

Okay, so Jane wouldn't wear her hair down like that or probably wear so much/such gaudy accessories. And I wasn't wearing mitts. But I finally wore this out and about and someone guessed its historical origins! :D I also wore grey socks half the day but I have some mosquito bites on my legs so they were too itchy.

Headband: Claire's
OP: Handmade
Shoes: Target

"Season, who actually dresses for the season?"
This is very much I just threw it together from my go to pile right before work. And I so need to iron the bottom ruffle so my petti stops peeking out.

Headband: Claire's
Necklace: F21
Blazer: Offbrand
JSK: Handmade by Pomelosplace
Socks: Putomayo
Shoes: Liz Claiborne

"Om nom nom Corvettes"
Again, not too inspired, just some basics. my legs have been covered in calamine for the past week so no socks or anything else on them because calamine gets on everything and never comes out.

Headband: Claire's
Blazer: Offbrand
Blouse: Converse
JSK: Handmade
Shoes: Offbrand

"Loli zombie"
When I just roll out of bed because I have to open the library I tend to grab the same, easy to coord things over and over again. I wanted to wear my AatP socks but my legs are still calamine-y so boo.

Headband: Claire's
Blazer: Offbrand
Blouse: Bebe
JSK: Handmade by Pomelosplace
Shoes: Liz Claiborne

Monday, June 18, 2012

Make-Up Monday: Shiro Cosmetics White Out, Sweet Honey, Bicycle Voucher, Daycare, Victory Road and Not Very Effective Eye Shadows

Shiro Cosmetics is a nerdy themed make-up brand. There are Pokemon eye shadows. And a 40 cakes meme lip balm (that is my absolute fav). Also the shadows are really nice to use, super soft and easy to apply. The Super Effective Collection (aka the Pokemon ones) recently went through a name change, so I'll be listing both the old and the new names next to swatches. Mainly because the old names were better but y'know. I also got one from the Science Collection but it is the dicontinued version of Emancipation grid.

White Out (Meowth) is a pale cream that goes kinda metallic when foiled.
Sweet Honey (S.S. Anne) is a beige-y nude color.
Bicycle Voucher (Vulpix) is a coppery color with gold sparkles.
Daycare (Brock the Rock) is a mid tone brown with silver sparkles.

These four together make a great look actually.

Victory Road (Steelix) is this mucky grey with kind of a green-ness to it and silver sparkles. Despite such an appetizing description it really is a pretty color.
Not Very Effective (Gengar) is the most unique of the bunch, it is a solid purple with RED sparkles. I've never seen that combo before and it is loooovely.

Eye Contact (Porygon) is a briiiight pink. It is radical. That is the best way to put it. Radical.

The rest of these are discontinued. You can currently find them in the clearance section but I'm not sure for how much longer.

Emancipation Grid (discontinued) is a frosty blue and I've been needing one badly. It almost goes into teal territory with a hint of green but not quite.
Mewtwo is a dusty midtone purple. I bought it mainly because it was clearance and I always liked Mewtwo.
Clefairy is a pale pink with white shimmer. It is quite a bit like Aromaleigh Altair actually. And now I'm going "Clefairy, clefairy, CLEFAIRY."
Mew is a peachy pink. It matches a top I have very well but I fully admit I just bought it because it is named Mew. And I love me some Mew.

Price: $1/sample, $3.50/1g mini, $5/2g full size
Quality: 5/5
It applies like butter, lasts and the colors are saturated and gorgeous. Everything you want in a shadow.
Packaging: 4/5
The jars are the same as pretty much every Indie brand but she puts in sifters. I hate sifters sooo much.
Value: 4/5
$5 for 2g is average to a little below average in the loose jar of shadow biz. But it being a great shadow pushes it from a 3 to a 4.
Overall: 4.33/5

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tutorial: Fixing Elastic That Has Come Loose From One End (bloomer leg edition)

So with ALL of my bloomers being out of commission for one reason or another and my complete inability to sleep recently I did repairs. The torn off button and ripped seam were easy enough fixes but here's a way to fix elastic in a casing should it rip out of one end.

What you'll need:
Seam ripper
Looong tweezers
Sewing materials (ie machine and thread)
So here's the bloomers, my fav summer bloomers and we are most certainly in summer so I need them.
First use a seam ripper to undo about an inch or two of the casing's stitching right by where the elastic should be anchored. I'm using the tweezers to show the opening I made.
Next shove your tweezers into the casing and scrunch up the fabric on the tweezers 'til you come the where the elastic actually is. If you can't tweeze with the tweezers then rip up more of the seam until you can.
Grab onto the elastic and gently pull it through the casing, bunching up the casing on the elastic away from where you will need to sew.
Pin down the elastic where you want it in the casing and sew over the end. You may want to try two rows of anchoring stitches to make it doubly secure. I have it pulled open here to show you about how much seam I had to rip up to get to the elastic.

Then redo the casing seam (in my case a top stitching) and voila! Fixed bloomers!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Make-Up Monday: Face Shop 365 Herb Day Lemon Cleansing Foam

This was another thing I got during my nerdy trip into Dallas. It is lemony and delightful. Also while I'm happy to at least have Face Shop I was hoping to find a store that stocks many different brands of Asian beauty products and cosmetics. If anyone knows of any in Texas then let me know! Austin or Dallas are preferable but I end up in Houston, SA and El Paso every so often. Also if anyone knows of any in San Diego that'd be rockin' since Comic Con is coming up. But on to this lovely face wash!

It is a generous size tube and the little tiny hole means I don't use too much all that often.
It foams up very easily and feels soft on the skin. And it is lemony wonderful.
After rinsing it off my face feels literally squeaky clean. Like, I can't run my finger across my cheek since there is so little oil clean. That happens to be in my favor with summer coming up where I want a more heavy duty face wash due to the humidity and heat. This would not be advisable for dry skin.

But I really liked it!

Cost: $6 for 170ml
Packaging: 4.5/5
The tube is cleanly designed and the tiny hole works well for doling out the wash. It'd get a 5 if it was cuter. I'm a loli, I want it a little cuter since it sits next to my sink.
Quality: 4.5/5
It works wonderfully well and it hasn't made me break out! I wish it didn't strip ALL the oil from my face but it hasn't wrecked it after a month either so apparently it isn't taking too much.
Value: 5/5
$6 for a tube that will easily last six months and for a product that works and smells so nice? That's a freakin' deal!
Overall: 4.66/5

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Outfits of the BiWeek vol. 2

Since it is for every two weeks and reminds me of the Bifrost.

Themed off Reeve Tuesti. Cause I'm that dork. Also I am wearing a petti this pose just makes it look like I'm not.
Crown clip: Handmade
Jacket: F21
Blouse: F21
Skirt: Sears
Leggings: Target
Shoes: Target

Unnamed Kodona
Not quite happy with it, especially since apparently my shoes disappear against my pale pale skin.
Crown clip: Handmade
Blouse: Target
Vest: Walmart
Pants: Walmart
Belt: Aldo
Shoes: Target

"Sassy like Cliff"
I got a late birthday present in the mail, another FE Cliffjumper! This time the Canadian one. So I thought I'd go red like my new little buddy. Also yeah, indoor night shot since I was too busy making my new French Canadian toy tweet in French to do a shot before work.
Star clips: Handmade
Jacket: Kohl's
Blouse: Kohl's
Vest: Walmart
Skirt: Bodyline
Shoes: Limelight

"Evening Pyre"

Shoulda worn my new Putomayo socks with this, wouldn't been lovely. And my hair was a bit 90's terrible that day but I'm having to get used to what super humidity does again. This is named for what my eye shadow made me think after I finished it. Looking at it now, makes me think of the sun setting on the ocean. *Wants to go to the beach so bad now.*

"International Lolita Day: Cait Sith"
Next big trend in loli? Giant brimmed hats. I'm starting it now. We had our tiny miniature hats, it is time for fabulous giant affairs now. Also we are entering the time of year where I start doing bloomers and no petti. It's just too freakin' humid here in podunk in summer. But I wanted to do a Cait Sith themed outfit for the longest time and now I think I have one. Chose to do my crimson flats over either pair of my brown boots just cause boots would have covered up my awesome socks. I think I've also come to terms with the fact I'm very much a Gothic Lolita haha.
Crown hairclip: Handmade
Hat: Nine West, altered and decorated by me.
Jacket: Handmade
Blouse: Target
Skirt: Old Navy
Socks: Putomayo
Shoes: Liz Claiborne

Monday, June 4, 2012

Make-Up Monday: Evil Shades Bane, Corruption and Jenaveve Deviant Lipsticks

I kinda was weirded out by the feel of Deviant Lipsticks when I first started using them. But my god are the matte ones amazing. Just took some getting used to. So I ordered a few more with my last order from Evil Shades. :3
Directly after applying.

It is the lipstick shade of the Lost Kiss gloss. And it is fun. If you want a subtle blue shift this is great for that (if you want in your face blue shift then check out Morgana Cryptoria's Galaxy gloss). I enjoy this bubblegum pink with a blue shift a lot. Also when it wears done the blue becomes more prominent but eludes my camera as with most shifts.

Directly After applying.
After breakfast and coffee.
This is a dark grape purple. I bought it solely for the name and the fact that it is Shockwave purple. It can be a little more tricky than the others to apply since it is SUCH a dark unnatural color but once you get it warmed up it really isn't much of a bother. I haven't had the courage to wear it out of the house yet but one day!

Directly after applying.
After lunch.
After wiping off and reapplying.
Once I realized how much I liked Evil Shades matte shades I figured I go all Pokemon on them and collect them all. Wasn't sure how the color would work on me since it is tomato red but the matte and the gold glitter sold me. What is cool is when this wears down the gold really comes out. (Also, if you like this and want it in a gloss Morgana Cryptoria's Fangtastic gloss is just that.)