Costume and Graphic Design

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Princess Serenity – Hair

The idea of finally making a Princess Serenity costume started with a chance sighting of a Sailor Moon wig at Value Village. I snatched it up, because I had only ever seen these available online, and was still reluctant to order one of the many I had seen on ebay and other sites.

The Value Village wig. It is ok, but I think I over paid for it… Meh. It started something, and I think that if I hadn’t been researching for the costume in the first place, I never would have come across The Five Wits.
Their site is full of great looking wigs, and the fact that the odango and tails are detachable made me happy. It allows me to place them where I think they should be (which is higher on the head, and toward the back…) and they are made with hyperlon, which is heat resistant and washable. And the prices are quite reasonable. It was a a relief to find a North American based company with good quality wigs that don’t force you to choose between rent and the wig. They are still “out of country” for me, but their shipping rates to Canada are good, so I’m ok with that!
I tossed the idea back and forth in my head, and finally decided that if I was going to do this costume, I was going to do it right. I ordered the wig.
It came very quickly! It was sent regular mail, so I wasn’t sure how long it would take. And because it wasn’t registered or being delivered by a courier, there was no way to track it. It could be held up in customs for weeks, if they decided to be sticky about it. It arrived in 1.5 weeks! I was so happy when I walked up to my house after work, and saw this large yellow envelope on my front step!
I was too excited to document the opening of the package… So, here is the wig all opened up.
The fit is great! I have a fairly small head, and I find that wigs are often too big and slide around too much, even if I try and use my bun underneath as a kind of anchor. I found this wig to be very comfortable, and because it has adjustable straps in the back, I can snug it up to my head!

Just the base wig, no odango.
And the pretty odango! 
Those strings can be trimmed and tucked in, they leave them on 
so you can make adjustments to your liking before trimming them off.
Yes, it is heavy… those tails weigh more than you think they would! But, it isn’t anything outrageous. If you have ever had long hair and then cut it all off in one shot (I did that about 10 years ago) the removal of this wig felt like that. The light bouncy feeling of having a lot of hair lopped off. So, when they say on their FAQ what they recommend for “floor length hair” wigs, they have a very good point. The longer the hair, the heavier it is, and the harder to wear. And the more tangled. And hair to the knee will give a good enough “floor length” effect. I am so glad that these tails don’t touch the floor!

These puppies are quite long!
I did find that with the dry climate we have here, the tails built up static very quickly, as you can see in the last photo. I contacted the Five Wits, and they suggested rubbing dryer sheets on them to keep the static down. They also said that some wig/hair places will sell anti static stuff, but it can be quite pricey. I will be giving these a test run and will try the dryer sheets. I plan to have this costume ready to wear by August, when I am attending When Words Collide, a literary convention in Calgary.
Stay tuned, and I will share the design and construction of the dress as I work on it this summer!

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Wraith Queen Visits Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo 2013

We bought our tickets. We prepped our costumes. Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo was just a few days away.

I have decided to revive my Wraith Queen. I wore that outfit once, and the biggest reason I haven’t worn her again is the make up. With almost no prep, and using what I had on hand, my make up was horrible. This time, I have decided to plan ahead (ok, I picked up the make up two weeks ago, and am finally doing test trials on it three days before we leave…).

I hated the eyebrows last time. Wraith don’t really have much hair on their faces. A handful of males sport moustaches or beards, but the females have hair only on their heads. My attempts to cover my eyebrows with make up last year didn’t work. At all.

At the store, they suggested I use wax to cover the hair, and apply make up over the wax. I picked some up, since I was there. A woman I met recently suggested spirit gum, if I don’t have really bushy eyebrows. I decided to test both.

This is my first attempt at hiding my eyebrows with spirit gum under the make up:

It didn’t really hide the hair at all. 
I tried the wax on the other eyebrow:
Where I had decent wax coverage, the make up went smoothly over top. There is a spot where the hair is thicker, and that didn’t cover as well. The over all success on this one was better.
Cleaning the wax out of my eyebrow hair was hard. Standing in the shower soaping my face and scraping wax out of my hair was tedious, and I still had to go over it with adhesive remover to get rid of the spirit gum underneath. 
The spirit gum only side was actually harder to clean, surprisingly! The next morning, I am still finding little bits of adhesive and make up tucked away in the hair. 
It turns out I am allergic to spirit gum, and had very itchy skin. So, the wax would be the best option, as I can use as little spirit gum as possible to minimize any reaction. 
My slits were much more successful! I built one on the back of my hand so I could see what I was doing. These will be going on my face on Saturday.
To the left, that is the wax sculpt. I rolled out a little snake and stuck it to my skin, pressing the sides out and smoothing it out so it was a bump. I then pressed a sculpting tool into the middle to create the hole. 
After shaping it, I applied a layer of the white make up I had used on my face. 
To the right is the finished product. I used eye shadow to create the shadows. I was a little heavy handed with the green shading around the outside, and attempted to soften it with some white eye shadow I had. Unfortunately, the white had sparkles in it. I won’t be doing THAT again. Note to Self: use the sparkle-free white to lighten…  The edges of the wax could be smoothed out a little more, but all in all, it turned out quite well. I hope it goes well when I try to do this on my cheeks!
After putting so much into the outfit, it was a real shame to have the make up ruin the whole thing. Not this time! Mwah ha ha!! 
So, I went to the con, I had a great time, saw lots, bought little. Took no photos. Not even of my own outfit. So once again, I am missing the crucial final photos of the outfit I worked so hard on! Next time, my friends. And there will be a next time. 
I received some fantastic advice from a make up artist at the con, and have decided to try making those cheek slits out of latex. I have been documenting that, and will share the results of that, good or bad, at a later date. It is slow going, and with several time sensitive projects on the go right now, my blog is suffering from lack of attention!
Until next time, happy costuming!