Confessions in cosplay..

Support your favourite artists!

Right off the bat, let’s be real with one-another and admit that it’s hard to put yourself out there.

Especially, when it comes to your creative work. The stuff you put your heart and soul into.

There is nothing more daunting than sharing something you created and then waiting for feedback and reactions. You never know what’s going to land and what is going to “fail”.

However, we do know this, that it takes a lot of balls to do it. If you’ve ever shared your vision with anyone, you know this feeling all too well.

It’s both exhilarating and terrifying, simultaneously.

I think it is important to let someone know when we enjoy what they do. This is something I feel is very important, to acknowledge someone’s effort and work. As someone who has been creating content for over eight years now, I can verify that positive feedback is not only wonderful, it’s greatly appreciated. It’s easy to just scroll through our feeds and “like” things without commenting, we don’t even think much about it. Believe me, I get it. Social media is passive at the best of times. However, I do think it is detrimental to leave feedback if you like someone’s work.

Believe me, it means a lot to people. It encourages creators to keep going, to keep creating. It’s hard to stay afloat online these days. Particularly, with the constant YouTube glitches, demonetization’s and advertisers leaving the platform, etc. Feedback means more to creators than ever before. It keeps our channels showing up in your subscription feeds and lets us know someone is still watching.

I’m using YouTube as a example because that is the platform I post the most content on, but this goes for almost any platform people share content. The bottom line is that your feedback is incredibly important. It’s the driving force for the growth and recognition of some of your favourite creators and artists.

Basically, if you like someone’s work tell them. Support it and share it!

Here are some artists and creators I think deserve more love:

Cosplay Tips for Beginners!

4 simple ways to have more meaningful interactions.

PUT. YOUR. PHONE. AWAY.

In the modern world, we use our phones a lot. Some might say, too much. Whenever we think about leaving our phones behind or putting them away for a set period of time, we get anxiety or we convince ourselves we need them just-in-case. We act like our phones help us to be more present and stay in touch with people. In fact, they do the exact opposite. The truth is, we’ve become so used to being connected to social media, we forget how to interact with people in the real world. When interacting face-to-face it is so important to have manners and engage.

There is nothing more insulting to me than someone texting or tweeting from their phone when in conversation with me. It’s disrespectful and makes you feel like you aren’t interesting enough for that person to devote their attention to in that moment.

The first and most common mistake we make, is putting our phones on the table when we sit down. Leave your phone in your bag, it won’t kill you to put your phone away for a short period of time. Believe me, you’ll be thankful you dedicated time to your friend or loved one. Spending time with genuine people and having good conversations, is worth putting your phone away.

You won’t regret it.

Make the effort, offline.

Like I mentioned previously, a lot of us are dependent on social media and our phones for our daily interactions. It is important that we make the effort to connect in other ways, like an old fashioned phone call, text or (bare with me) a postcard. Let’s be honest, “liking” someone’s photo on Instagram is not interacting with them, it passive and quite frankly, if that is your way of interacting, it’s down right lazy. Sorry to be harsh, but it’s true.

We often trick our brains into thinking we know everything going on in someones life, because we are up to date with their social media feeds but it’s important to make the effort. By calling someone, sending a text or a postcard, we are directly reaching out and showing that person that we wanted to see how they are doing. People appreciate the effort, it’s a small kindness but it means a lot to people. Plus, everyone loves getting cute, unexpected letters or cards!

While I’m on this topic, if they are still in your life, call your grandparents.

You have no idea how precious their time is and how a phone call can make their day.

Compliment people.

But only if it’s genuine. It can be something as small as complimenting someones outfit, positive changes they’ve made to their life or praise on a job well-done. A simple compliment can go a long way and can really make someones day. Giving compliments is also a very beneficial social skill, it creates a good atmosphere and is encouraging.

Make eye contact.

Eye contact is incredibly important when it comes to making a connection with someone. It shows that you are listening and attentive. Making direct eye contact with someone can also help you read situations better, which in turn, will lead to a more positive interaction. If you are not great at making eye contact, just remember that practice makes perfect. By making an effort to look someone in the eye, you will appear more confident and engaging.

Be present and allow yourself to enjoy the time that you spend with loved ones.

Moments become memories and memories are priceless.

Answering your questions!

DIY Jessica Jones Cosplay

Today I put together an impromptu Jessica Jones cosplay, using some items I had lying around the house. People always ask me if it is hard to put together a cosplay from scratch, and the answer is yes & no. It depends on the character you want to portray. Jessica Jones is a great example of a character that is simple enough to create, just using make up and clothes you may already have.

I am a big fan of the Jessica Jones Netflix series and love her no-apologies sense of humor and bad ass attitude. Her style is quite similar to mine, which is why I had a lot of the clothing items already. The good news is, a lot of the clothes she wears are simple and easy to find in thrift shops or in affordable clothing stores, such as Pennys/Primark. Alternatively, for an even cheaper (not to mention, minimalist) option, consider borrowing some items from friends or family, if possible.

For a DIY Jessica Jones cosplay, you will need:

  • Dark hair or wig (my wig is from ebay!)
  • A grey scarf
  • A leather jacket
  • Black fingerless gloves
  • Light blue jeans (not pictured)
  • Black boots (not pictured)
  • A fake or real camera (to be used as a prop)
  • Optional: Fake wounds or cuts (for added effect!)

Oh, and having resting bitch face also helps a lot! Jessica Jones takes no shit from anyone.

And there you have it my friends, a easy and affordable Jessica Jones cosplay.

You’ll be the baddest bitch in Hells Kitchen in no time!

YouTube Censorship.

Catastrophe Cosmetic Review

Since my journey towards a minimalist lifestyle began, I have slowly but surely been getting through a lot of my beauty products. Recently, I eventually used up a few of my Lush products and realised that I could recycle the pots in-store and receive a free face mask in the process. Huzzah!

I had heard great things about the Catastrophe Cosmetic fresh face mask and was excited to try it out. The first thing I noticed about it was the sweet smell. It smells wonderful. So fresh & fruity! Blueberries are one of the main ingredients in this face mask and they give it a really nice scent, as well as a light blue colour. The main ingredients are talc, Irish moss, blueberries, glycerine and almond oil. This face mask is used to calm and soothe the skin when disaster/breakouts strike!

The blueberries act as a natural antioxidant and the face mask also contains a mixture of vitamins and minerals that soothe any inflammation, as well as acting as a mild antiseptic to help heal the skin. It is important to remember to keep your Lush face mask in the fridge, as this will help to preserve the natural ingredients and also creates a cooling effect when applied on to the skin.

Bliss! 

The fresh face masks only last a short period of time (approx 3-4 weeks) but you’ll get at least three uses out of each tub. A fun way to use it up, is to invite a friend around and have a pamper session! Make sure to apply the product generously to your face and neck, then sit back and relax.

Size & Price of Product:

This tub is 75g and retails at approx €8 or more, I believe.

Pro’s of the Catastrophe Cosmetic Face Mask:

  • It smells like heaven!
  • It feels lovely when applied on to the skin.
  • Reduces redness and soothes irritation.
  • Leaves me skin feeling fresh, clean & calm.

Con’s of the Catastrophe Cosmetic Face Mask:

  • The fresh face masks only last for a short period of time.

Are Lush products cruelty free?

Yes, they are 100% cruelty free!

Where can I buy this product?

At Lush stores nationwide!

How meditation is helping me overcome my anxiety.

If you’ve been a long time reader/viewer of mine, you know of my struggles with anxiety. To be honest, I can’t remember when my issues with anxiety arose. It may have developed in my teen years or maybe, it was always there? Lingering in the background like Pennywise the clown, waiting to scare the shit out of me at any given moment! As funny as it may sound, that’s actually quite an accurate description of what anxiety has felt like for me over the past few years. A scary, threatening entity that is always waiting to pounce.

I have read countless self-help books in order to learn the magical cure to ridding myself of this looming feeling. Nothing has worked for me, no matter how practical the advice. Not because the advice wasn’t helpful, but because I wasn’t open to receiving the information. That’s what anxiety does to us, it doesn’t let us see past our own fear.

Recently, I have discovered minimalism. Minimalism is a lifestyle that allows us to focus on the important aspects of our lives by ridding ourselves of the excess and zoning in on what is important to us. By using minimalism as a tool to de-clutter both my outer and inner space, I have been able to prioritise what my needs are. In doing this, I realised that I never gave my thinking mind a rest. It was constantly running like an engine getting ready to finally burn out. Instead of listening to my inner thoughts, I hid from them. I kept pushing them down further and further until they were muffled cries beneath the surface. But you know what happens to suppressed emotions? They take physical form, they infiltrate our bodies and kick us when we’re down, making us sick and run-down.

I noticed that by not dealing with my stress, I was making myself physically unwell. My immune system was shot,  I caught every bug and flu going, not to mention the fact that I was constantly tired and irritable. I was always snapping at my loved ones for no reason at all. The most ironic thing of all, was that I was completely blind to the fact that I was the one causing this anguish within myself. I blamed it on the bad weather, a shift in temperature or not using hand sanitizer at ever opportunity. I had became so used to feeling anxious, I had made it apart of my physical make up.

I decided to begin a journey to self discovery a long time ago, but only this year have I really taken it seriously. A part of that journey was to give meditation a try. I have used guided meditations in the past to help me sleep, but I had never used them purely to calm my mind during the day-time. It might not sound like there is much of a difference between those two instances but I can assure you, there is.

Since January of this year, I’ve been using the Calm meditation app (not sponsored, just FYI!) and it has allowed me to stay accountable and consistent with my practice. It tracks each meditation on a calendar and helps you to focus on specific areas of your life that need healing. There are guided meditations for all sorts of things, such as stress, anxiety, gratitude and self-love, to name but a few. I have discovered that sitting with my thoughts isn’t this big scary thing I’ve made it out to be, it’s actually very interesting. Meditation is teaching me to hear what my thinking-mind has to say and what it worries about. However, the most important part of my meditation practice comes in the form of what is known as, noting. In layman’s terms, noting is essentially the practice of simply acknowledging a thought and letting it pass by without judgement.

The simple act of recognising our thoughts and not getting wrapped up in them, is quite transformative. In fact, it’s the opposite of anxious thought! Anxiety makes us over-think and over-analyse our thoughts to the point of exhaustion. Taking in to consideration that humans think up to 50,000 – 70,000 thoughts per day, that’s a heck of a lot of worrying to get through on a daily basis. By implementing mindfulness into our lives, we are giving ourselves a break from this chaotic way of thinking. Believe me, it isn’t always easy to do this but as the famous saying goes, practice makes perfect.

Meditation is something I would recommend to everyone. It is not something that only the most enlightened individuals can do, it is something everyone can practice and benefit from. Living in the modern world is not always easy, it can be overwhelming to say the least. Meditation gives us space to de-clutter our minds from what is going on in the physical world and helps us to regenerate feelings of calm, compassion and stillness. If we can begin to use meditation as a tool, it can be life-changing. If you think meditation is just some wishy-washey bull-crap, you’re not alone. However, science is on meditation’s side!

According to studies, research shows that after eight-weeks, it is possible to shrink the brain’s “flight or fight” response. If you would like more information on the benefits of mediation, Forbes recently posted a great article about 7 Ways Meditation Can Actually Change the Brain.

In order to avail of the benefits of mediation, you don’t need to do anything fancy. Just start off small, even five minutes of meditation a day can do wonders for a person. I would suggest using an app to track your progress and help you ease yourself into a regular practice. Alternatively, there are thousands of wonderful guided and un-guided meditations on YouTube. My favourite meditation channel is The Honest Guys youtube channel, it’s full of beautiful, free meditations. There is something for everyone on their channel, I highly recommend it.

Meditation is helping me to understand my myself, listen to by body and not judge every single though that goes through my mind. Meditation is a rest period and a time heal. Honestly, I feel like I have discovered something that is so helpful, in some many ways, that I want to shout it from the rooftops so everyone else can know about it. Meditation is a practice, it takes time and time is our most precious gift. I think it is important to make time for ourselves no matter how busy our lives may be. Meditation is a way to give back to ourselves and to get to know ourselves as human beings. Like any new venture, the hardest part is getting started.

Once you open your mind to the prospect of mediation, it can be truly wonderful.

Warhol’s, Banksy’s & Robots!

This Tuesday, both my boyfriend & I traveled to Dublin, to feast our eyes on the Andy Warhol & Banky collections that were being displayed at Gormley’s Fine Art, on South Fredrick Street. I have actually witnessed a Banksy original when I was in Brighton a few years ago (It was the famous image of the police men kissing). His work is eye-opening and has really influenced me and many people I know. Warhol is also someone who’s work I admire. I love the bright colours he uses in his imagery and how he both mocks and enjoys pop culture in a humorous way.

The exhibition is completely free and is worth a look if you are a fan of  Banksy and/or Warhol. It also hosts artwork from other contemporary artists such as Bambi, Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst.

Afterwards, we walked over to the Science Gallery at Trinity College. I love popping in to see what cool and interesting exhibitions they have on. The most recent exhibition is called Humans Need Not Apply and speaks about the immense possibility of machine ruling man, in the future.

In the modern day world, our smart phones have almost become apart of our person and some of us even suffer from withdrawal when we are away from our phones for too long.

It begs the question, do we control technology or does technology control us?

One of my favourite aspects of the exhibition, was the Doppelgänger robot. Once you stood in front of the robot, it was able to mimic your actions and follow your bodily movements. It creates a strange connection between human and robot, much like the rest of the exhibits at the gallery. The most eerie aspect of the exhibition for me, was the talking typewriters.

The reason I found it so unnerving was because the typewriters were having a conversation all by themselves, without the need for a human controlling the situation. It makes you wonder, does our technology really need us tell it what to do? Or, does it already know what it wants to do/say?

The Science Gallery is a fantastic place to visit and is perfect for a family day out or as a way to broaden your thinking. A lot of the exhibits are interactive and allow you to get involved in the science behind the message they are designed to deliver. Check out Science Gallery for more info.