Thursday, 17 November 2011

Why I don't upload more frequently

Pepper has an uncanny ability to sense the webcam switching on and, 8 out of 10 times, will try and steal the show.

For the record, this is NOT what The Sisters sound like.

As if the death of Ms. Lancaster wasn't enough

Tram thugs stamped on head of woman, 22, at Bury Metrolink stop 'because she was dressed as a Goth' | Prestwich Advertiser -

This is horrifying. Both people had some serious blows to the head, it's amazing they're alive and conscious.

Living up in Glasgow which has a fairly large goth population alongside the infamous 'ned' culture, the worst I've ever received was the indignity of being likened to a Linkin Park fan - attacks do happen but I don't feel particularly threatened 'as a goth' and regularly go out and about in full regalia without a single worry. That attacks like this are a serious concern for many still, particularly (it seems, I'm not certain) south of the border is just chilling.

Friday, 11 November 2011

This goth does not glorify death.

Today is Armistice Day; on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Europe stopped beating itself into a bloody pulp for 21 years.  Tomorrow, across the continent and here in the UK, wreath will be laid cenotaphs, monuments and graveyards to commemorate the sacrifice of countless young men, men who went into the war believing it'd all be over soon and no-one would get too badly hurt.

Today I mourn the fact that, 93 years on from The War To End All Wars, when almost all who were alive to witness these events are resting beneath the soil, we still have wars, still wear poppies to support the injured and their families, still make excuses for killing innocents and wasting the lives of soldiers. Every war since 1918 is another insult to those who fought in the hopes that we would never again have to go through such horrors.  Let us not forget, also, those conscientious objectors of their day. It takes braveness beyond measure to stand up for what's right in the face of a firing squad, and looking back, knowing (as they believed) how senseless and brutal WWI was, they deserve their place in history too.  There is no day to commemorate them.

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots 
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud 
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Wilfred Owen
8 October 1917 - March, 1918

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Goths to hug

I fully recommend hugging Voltaire.  The coat makes it even better.

Beware the wandering hands, though. ;)

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

But what about the MUSIC, man?

Background music: Road of Bones by the March Violets (Love Will Kill You EP). Yes, I recommend these people and all their music, old and new.
Wearing a t-shirt for rising Dundonian-Scottish stars Surgyn, who may appeal to the electronic-industrio-EBM-something fans - particularly if they enjoy stylised, macabre medical imagery.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

What did I do for Hallowe'en?

On the 29th, I attended a flat party in celebration of my friend's birthday.  Due to its proximity to the 31st it naturally had a costumed and spooky theme, so I decided to go as one of my favourite crazy old ladies - Miss Havisham from Great Expectations.  For those who don't know of her, she was abandoned at the altar by her dishonest fiancĂ©e and vowed, from that moment, never to forgive or forget.  She raised her adopted daughter to break hearts and remained herself in a time warp, stopping the clocks at twenty-to nine (when she discovered her betrayal), leaving her wedding cake to decay on the table and wearing nothing but her wedding dress and single shoe (having been half-way ready for the wedding when told) for the rest of her days.  In the book, she is in her mid-fifties, pale and waxy from her seclusion within her manor.

I got the wedding dress from a friend, who bought it from a vintage shop and never used it.  Interestingly, it's exactly the same as one modelled by Lady Amaranth in this set; naturally I was very excited to have at least this small thing in common with my modelling idol!

Model: Lady Amaranth
Photography: Kestrel
Photograph from model's LJ here
Last night was Bedlam, our monthly Goth night here in Glasgow, and as always the one that lands closest to Hallowe'en is appropriately themed.  I decided at the last minute that, much as I loved it, dragging a long white train around a busy nightclub might not be entirely practical and I had (of course) lent out my facepaints to a friend and didn't have time to get them back, meaning most of my 'quick and easy' costume ideas were out.  Looking through my wardrobe, I grabbed out an old shirt and jeans, crimped, backcombed and sprayed my hair into next week and applied my makeup as if I were looking into a mirror covered in Vaseline.  I don't generally approve of going as 'a goth' for Hallowe'en, but I make exceptions for those dressing as particular goth icons, not least ones whom I greatly admire.  (I have previously dressed as Rose McDowall of Strawberry Switchblade.)  Going as Robert Smith to a goth night also has the benefit of having large amount of people actually 'get' what you're dressed as.

Obligatory bathroom-mirror picture.

 Robert Smith has no need for phone shots.

Only one Edward Scissorhands query all night.  For those interested, the way to remove this level of hair-messing is to gently detangle as much as your scalp can bear slowly, carefully and methodically, then dunk your head in a bucket of intense conditioner whilst begging your hair for forgiveness.

Hope everyone else had a good time!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

White Foundation

Right, the video was of dreadful quality such that editing was nigh-impossible.  I was supposed to receive the new webcam today (Logitech this time, model which promises full compatibility with my system) and... didn't, so in the mean time here is a step-by-step guide for applying the most troublesome, oft-abused makeup in the scene.  Like many other goths on a budget, I'm using Stargazer white pressed powder and liquid foundation - you may be using Manic Panic across the pond but I doubt they're much different.  Though cheap, this can be used well provided care is taken.

Put.  The trowel.  Down.

YOU WILL NEED: oil-absorbing papers/papier poudre, white powder, white liquid foundation, translucent powder, foundation/concealer brush, powder brush, concealer (if you're a spotty mess like me), time and patience.
OPTIONAL: primer, liquid foundation in your own skin shade or a shade or two lighter, makeup setting spray

  1. Wash your face.  Exfoliate if possible.  If you're using facewash then rinse well, if you use cleanser then remember to tone to get rid of all the last smears.  If you're using the Oil Cleansing Method (I'll get to that later - it's magic), remember to wipe your whole face multiple times with a hot face-cloth, rinsing each time.  In other words, don't leave anything behind.  DO IT PROPERLY.  Do final rinse with cold water to close your pores.
  2. Got oily skin?  Let it sit for a few minutes.  Have a cup of tea.  Washing often triggers a release of oil, so you want to mop that up before you apply the makeup.  This has helped me a lot.
  3. Moisturise according to skin type.  Again, give it a few minutes afterwards to absorb.
  4. Blot your face with some oil absorbing papers. You can get these from E.L.F., Superdrug, Boots etc.  If you don't have any to hand, grab a tissue or kitchen towel.
  5. If you have it, apply primer and conceal any blemishes.  If you have oily skin, a LIGHT dusting of translucent powder afterwards might help here.
  6. Now for the scary part!  Put a little blob of white foundation on the back of your hand or a small lid - anything to hold it so you don't have to keep tapping it out of that damned glass bottle.  Using your fingertips, apply small dots of it all over your face and then blend, starting from the centre - I use circular motions as if rubbing in moisturiser.  You're looking to create a nice even base to build from.  If you're looking to have a mask-like effect then that's fine, if you want a more 'natural' pallour (as far as 'completely white' is natural) then you'll want to blend out to your ears and down to your neck - anywhere that's exposed.
  7. That looks rubbish, doesn't it?!  Don't worry, it's just the base.  You want to leave this to dry.
  8. Grab your foundation brush, pick up a little more liquid foundation and start blending carefully over your face, starting from the centre and working outwards.  Blend out streaks and pay attention to any areas particularly prone to redness.  Use small amounts of foundation each time.
  9. Continue like this until you reach your desired level of whiteness, then set with a dusting of white powder and some setting spray (if you have it).
  10. For a 'pale but not dead' look, you can do step 8 with a mixture of white foundations and your natural tone - I keep some of this mixed up in a little pot for those occasions when 'sheet' may not be an acceptable look.
You're done!  Yes, that took a bit longer than your average foundation application, but if you rush it will look dreadful. If you are using a cheap brand then remember to check it every so often for signs of smudging and creasing, but this should have been minimised.

[UPDATE: Here's a video tutorial showing the most popular way to add paleness as in step 10.]