Events; MiniCon 2014

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MiniCon was held in Lahore on the 7th of September as an independent venture by the members of a Pakistani anime lover’s social media based guild called Otakus Creed. Originally the event was supposed to be held at the 6th of September but the date had to be moved forward because of unfavorable weather conditions. As implied by the name, MiniCon was a relatively small event but so far it seems by the pictures and the feedback of the attendees that it was a smashing hit with the fans. Here are some highlights from the event which featured Cosplay competitions, Gaming, Duel Masters tournaments and Bey Blading competitions. The event also served the purpose of Pakistan’s first anime and manga related magazine, Animaxia to make its debut and free copies were given to competition winners. For more information and to access more pictures from the event, like MiniCon’s facebook page here.

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Dread

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Waking up at four in the morning like you felt something grab your soul and drag it off the bed on to the cold hard floor. But you find yourself upright on the same murky old mattress that’s been there to absorb your tears and offer you comfort in its chest for as long as you can remember. The beads of sweat roll over your head when you try to calm your heart, threatening to free itself from the confines of your ribs. Small rays of the day’s first light shine over you as you glance at the emerging red sun, blushing as though its ashamed to see the affairs of the earth. You look around the room, searching for the cause of your discomfort. Finding no one relieves you but not as much as it unsettles you. There’s a distinct, coppery taste in your mouth and you find that you’ve been biting down on a scream you didn’t know you were about to set free. Blood trails down your chin and drops find themselves staining the once pure white, faded linens you adored at a time. Several moments pass. You keep trying to locate the cause of the menacing sensation that makes it hard for you to swallow your own spit. You find yourself sinking deeper and deeper with every tick tock of the grandfather clock standing tall at the side of the room.. a keepsake of people long gone beyond the realm in which you remain restricted. Pain travels in waves all over your body and an unknown gap opens itself in your heart, the cause of which remains unknown.

Unknown.. is it, really? Or do you just try to hide it from yourself? Are you scared of clarity? Is your thick wall of denial about to break? How will you protect the house of cards that is your perception of the world, the perception of truth and everything you’ve ever known? Your last line of defense is breaking, isn’t it? With it, do you fear to break as well? Perhaps. Who is to say. Perhaps not so much of an ending as much of a transformation it is. Perhaps not so much of dread as much of waking up it is. Perhaps not so much of a storm as much of a silver lining it is. Perhaps not so much of a poison as much of an antidote it is. An antidote of truth. Truth that shall take away the comforts your mind rests itself in and set the wolves on you. Truth that shall break you down piece by piece and reshape you, mold you, evolve you from your sheltered, pathetic state of dream. May it be the medicine that tastes bitter as opposed to a venom that rivals honey in its sweetness. May it be the pain that turns your stones to gems. May it be the liberty you desired so much knowing little of what it was or what it brings.

Goodbye, comforts of my old mattress. Thank you for hiding me within yourself when I dreamt of monsters that were nothing when compared to monsters that exist around me. Goodbye dear grand father clock. I shall miss you for the nostalgic peace of mind you provided me with when I foolishly wished to travel back in time, yearning for the touch of hands that held me as I learned to walk. Thank you, dear stained glass window for.. for breaking apart and allowing me to see what mayhem exists outside my being. Thank you, dear unseen monster, for waking me up. This is not a nightmare. This is enlightenment. This is reality. This is freedom. And I shall embrace it with all the scars on its face.

Valentia’s Special Discount

Promotion 

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Valentia is offering all of my dear readers a whopping 20% OFF of their Even Glow Serum for all first time purchases! This offer will last until end of November. To claim your bottle, please follow the instructions exactly as listed below.

1) Go to Amazon.com
2) Search for “organic vitamin c serum”
3) Locate the product on the first page
4) Look for and click on this listing (screenshot here)
5) When you get to the listing, please add it to your wish list first.
6) Then add to cart and use the coupon code QN4NQT4X

Lastly, enjoy the healthy, beautiful skin that follows your use of this magic in a bottle.
Toodley Woo!

 

Autographed Make-up by One Direction Giveaway

Promotion 

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The Wait is Over! Makeup by One Direction is now available at Macy’s!
As a special gift for my readers, im hosting a giveaway for an autographed set from one of The Looks Collection. Enter the details on the form through the link provided below in order to participate. Open for US and Canada only. Find out more about The Looks Collection here.

For the online form, click here.
Best of luck!

Brand + Product Review; Valentia EvenGlow Antioxidant Serum

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Our skin is damaged each day due to environmental pollutants, oxidative stress, and chemical laden cosmetic products. The amount of free radicals waging war on the skin quickly depletes our natural protective resources. The premier formulation of this product is backed by scientific research into the efficacy of each of the natural ingredients that have been carefully selected. This proprietary blend of skin super oils compliment the 20% Vitamin C base, leading to a powerful antioxidant treatment. Each natural ingredient was chosen to support and enhance Vitamin C’s efficacy on the skin, leading to more well-rounded serum to add to your daily skin care ritual. Even Glow Serum claims to repair, refresh, and renew your skin; restoring evenness to your complexion, giving you an extra boost of confidence each time you look in the mirror.

Vitamin C: With a 20% concentration does more than boost the body’s immune system; it also provides many benefits to keep the skin tight, smooth and looking ageless. Vitamin C has been scientifically proven to reduces the effects of sun exposure on the skin, including sunburn, sun spots, redness and wrinkles. In addition to helping reduce the signs of aging, Vitamin C is essential for everyday maintenance to strengthen and smooth out the skin, as well as neutralizing free radicals before they can damage the skin.

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The additional Key Ingredients below were all selected for their ability to enhance and support Vitamin C’s effect on the skin.

Organic rosehip seed oil and and Organic sea buckthorn oils which promote skin hydration and lock in moisture to protect your skin from signs of aging and improve its beauty and youthfulness. Rosehip Oil specifically has been used in medical communities around the world for those with serious skin ailments and only recently has North America learned to embrace natural solutions. These two organic oils are full of antioxidants and therefore act as the perfect supporting cast for our best friend -Vitamin C
Resistem (Plant Stem Cells) provide the perfect mix of protection from stress-related aging and promotes skin detoxification. Resistem will help your skin regenerate faster while protecting it from environmental stressors.
Hyaluronic acid (Botanical) – Holding up to 1000 times its weight in water and drawing moisture out of the environment and onto the surface of your skin ,there is not a more effective moisturizing agent on the market today. Penetrates deeply, and actives collagen production for a fresher, younger, firmer, and brighter complexion.
Green tea extract – The catechins in green tea are a potent antioxidant which also contribute to the overall anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant benefits of this ancient health and beauty secret.

This product claims to vanquish dark spots and skin discoloration, quickly refresh uneven and ill-textured skin with one that is smooth and wrinkle-free,  and revitalize your skin with essential fatty acids that leaves it smooth and visibly brighter. It moisturizes really well due to the capacity of the hyaluronic acid to absorb water, thereby increasing fluid between cells, giving your skin a smoother and younger appearance. This intense water absorption means no more dry, peeling or cracked skin, even in extreme weather. The presence of Organic Rosehip Seed oil to support Vitamin C increases collagen production so your skin retains the elasticity responsible for a youthful appearance and prevents skin sagging associated with aging. Reduces the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles with the help of the  foundation 20 % Vitamin C. Special ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid and Organic Sea Buckthorn oil work to plump up the skin, which reduces fine lines and wrinkles in the skin so it is smoother, clearer and younger.

Now for my review. My experience with this product has been exceptional. I used it twice as a day as directed, everyday for about a month and now that the bottle is almost empty, i can say that the results have been satisfactory, however not as great as the manufacturer had claimed. The first time i used this product i fell in love with its smell. Its like smelling freshly shaved orange peel… very raw and organic. You can tell this product is all natural. The consistency is that of a lotion and it absorbs pretty quickly into the skin leaving it a tad bit shiny and tightened. I had to apply more moisturizer than i usually do in order to make my skin ready for make up. Make sure to keep lots of powder ready because even though this serum absorbs quickly, it leaves a sheen on top of your skin and if you sweat it can ruin your base. Keep blotting papers handy in case you run into a situation like that. Moving on, i started seeing a decrease in breakouts surprisingly early. Id say from about the third day of using it. The existing acne started drying up fast and eventually shed off during exfoliation. My pores seemed smaller and for a while after i started using the serum, i couldnt have been happier with it. But.. soon my skin started to get really dry especially around my T-zone and became rough. I had to reduce my use of and started only to apply it every other day which seemed to fix the problem. I saw no improvement in wrinkle reduction however, and though my skin is fairly clearer and better in texture, i definitely would be wary of using it every day or under makeup.
All in all a good product. I give it a 7 out of 10, mainly for solving my acne problems.

Valentia EvenGlow Serum is available for $35 at Amazon or at the Valentia website.

To feature your product or brand in my blog, please contact me at marium_shaikh@ymail.com

 

Brand + Product Review; Markwins International Introduces Makeup by ONE DIRECTION

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The irreverent attitude and colorful style of a new generation takes on a glamorous form in Makeup by One Direction. The world’s biggest pop band debuts a limited-edition cosmetics collection by Markwins International, launching mid-August 2014 at Macy’s and select other major retailers worldwide. Much like the One Direction band members themselves, this prestige makeup line is fun, bold and a tad mischievous, featuring vivid shades, premium formulas and chic, collectible packaging and components. The line will be available worldwide starting in the U.S.

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The Looks Collection comprises three keepsake tins inspired by One Direction’s globe-conquering albums, Up All Night, Take Me Home and the latest chart topper, Midnight Memories. Each tin comes complete with everything you need to show off your personality. Are you a rock n roll girl, a fun party girl or the girl next door? There is just the right collection for you and illustrations to help show you just how to get your perfect look. All your beauty essentials are housed in a LIMITED EDITION collectable keepsake tin with removable sleeve, complete with ONE DIRECTION doodle stencils to decorate your keepsake tin and make it uniquely your own!

Its a range of makeup and cosmetic products celebrating youth, style, and the uninhibited lifestyle of a new generation. Celebrating life with bold shades, unique formulae and infused with limited edition collectable packaging, Makeup from One Direction is fun, bold, often irreverent, with a touch of cheeky mischievousness. Offered at prices that every girl and woman can afford.

US Release Dates
Macy’s  August 11th
Stage Stores August 25th
Dillards  August 25th
Beauty Brands  August 25th
Lord and Taylor  August 25th

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For my review, i was given a chance to sample the Up All Night collection which included ‘Na na na’ an aqua blue metallic chrome nail varnish, ‘Little black dress’ volumizing mascara in perfectly black, ‘Taken liquilights glow gloss’ a powerhouse glitter pink lipgloss that glows to neon orange under UV light, ‘Stand up’ dark denim eye and body crayon, ‘I should have kissed you’ bubblegum pink creme lipstick and 4+1 eye shadow palette in playful blues and versatile neutrals: ‘More than this’ soft blushing pink, ‘Gotta be you’ silvered taupe shimmer, ‘Save you tonight’ shimmering turquoise blue, ‘Another world’ royal blue shimmer and ‘Up all night’ sapphire glitter creme along with a 5 piece decorator stencil set all pictured below.

Now for my review. When i first got this package in the mail i was disappointed to find that the item i looked forward to the most, i.e the bubblegum lipstick, was broken. However, i googled some tricks and was able to fix it in a way that it could be used. The lipstick is a very rich, pigmented, vibrant shade and though i wouldnt use it much in real life it could be good for a cosplay should i decide to dress up as Barbie. It has some trouble gliding on to the lips but has a long lasting color. The mascara works great. Enough to give the illusion of falsies should you use it after a lash curler, albeit its a bit clumpy which can be solved if you leave it in a cup of arm water for about 3 minutes.

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The eye shades are ordinary at best and you might need to use an eye primer to make them pop with the exception of ‘Save you tonight’ the turquoise shimmer which is absolutely beautiful. The products that really manage to stand out here would be the dark denim eye crayon, the liquilights lip gloss and the nail varnish. I have been using the denim crayon every day since i got it for an instant wake up look under my lower lash line and its been great so far. The lipgloss is non sticky and pigmented nicely despite being shimmery and though i havent had a chance to see it turn neon orange under UV lights its been doing a great job under regular lighting. I gave away the stencils to the younglings to play with for its not really something i had much use for.
All in all i give this product a 7 out of 10.

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For more information about this product and tips and tutorials about creating new looks, like this page on Facebook.

To feature your product or brand in my blog, please contact me at marium_shaikh@ymail.com

3rd Liebster Award Nomination!!!

Hello everyone!
This post is about my third nomination for the Liebster award by the lovely Rikzah, a fresh new Pakistani beauty blogger and fellow K-pop lover. *cheers* Check out her blog here.

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The Rules..

1,  Each blogger should answer the questions the tagger has set for you.
2,  Choose 10 new bloggers to pass the award on to and link them in your post.
3,  Create 10 new questions for the chosen bloggers.
4,  Go back to their page and tell them about the award.
5,  Each blogger should post 10 random facts about themselves.
6,  No tag-backs!

10 Random Facts About Me…

Gee, this one’s gonna be kinda hard since i’ve already mentioned as many non-embarrassing facts as i could the last two times so im probably gonna end up mentioning weird stuff or just expand a bit on the previous things i’ve mentioned. Oh well, here goes.

1, I gave up learning to play the piano and now im procrastinating on self learning the acoustic guitar.
2, I have not watched TV since December.
3, Since my last Liebster, i’ve developed a great interest in Jungian psychology.
4, After an year of constantly second guessing my understanding of the cognitive functions as well as dealing with my doubts regarding to my psychological personality type, i’ve finally diagnosed myself as an INFP.
5, My anime binge sessions have been significantly reduced to two series a week ever since i got my old habit of reading back.
6, I’ve come to realize that the most logical decision is usually achieved by reducing a problem to its core.
7, I have also realized that most of our problems are usually quite nonsensical and petty in the grand scheme of things.
8, That realization however, has not altered me from trying to make an impact with my life. Only now i recognize the desire to do so as a very selfish, personal desire.
9, I got myself a pet Betta fish, named her Jasmine and mourned her death all in a two months’ time frame.
10, I have sworn not to become emotionally attached to pets if their biological life limit doesnt exceed that of an year at minimum.

Questions For Me…

1. If you had three wishes from a non-tricky genie, what would you wish for?
I would wish for peace in the world, tolerance between people with different ideologies, and for humans to be more humane.

2. What’s the absolute best vacation you can imagine?
My idea of an absolute best vacation is a road trip around the world with a loved one.

3. What would your DJ name be?
DJ Snoozefest… yes, it would be a mistake to assign me as a dj.

4. What’s your earliest memory?
Red marble floor, blue ceiling fan and a white dress.

5 . Name your favorite makeup/skincare brand ?
I prefer drugstore brands to name brands. Covergirl and Revlon are pretty good though.

6 . If you won a large amount of money, where would you like to spend it ?
Invest some, donate some, save some.

7 . If you had to pick a new first name, what would it be?
I would not change my first name if i dont absolutely have to. 

8 . Who’s your fantasy celebrity boyfriend?
I do not have a fantasy boy friend. I have a husband better than any fantasy. I do have a Senpai though, Levi from Attack on Titan.

9 . Disney or Warner brothers?
I love Disney but Warner bros.’ Anastasia is a masterpiece. (Or was that by 21st century fox?)

10 . Name the best skincare product you have at the moment ?
Biore Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser.

 

Questions For My Nominees…

1, Name of the last show you watched?
2, Where do you find inspiration?
3, Whats the one thing you excel at?
4, Whats your biggest fear?
5, If your hair could be one color for the rest of your life, what color would it be?
6, If you could meet someone from the past, who would it be?
7, What was the most enlightening moment in your life?
8, What do you love about yourself?
9, When was the last time you cried? Why?
10, What would you be if you could be anything?

Nominees…

Chemi

The sisters

Wajiha Shakeel

Bedside Dreams

That Girl

Cutibubbli (serious skills)

Komi

Nail Mania

Happy Therapy

Naseem Attar

Toodley Woo!

Events; Anime Con 2014

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After the huge success of  Twin Con, Dekho Japan and GHQ Game Con, the next feature worthy cosplay event in Pakistan’s bustling new wave of Otaku culture just so happened to be Anime Con. Anime Con was held in the country’s capital Islamabad on the 22nd of June at Dream Land Motel courtesy of WG Productions, Comsats Islamabad, and Radio FM 91.  The event included several different activities and competitions for the attendees to enjoy.

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Now for the cosplayers…  No words are needed to see what an effort was made. My favorite cosplays include the Kill La Kill Ryuko cosplay by Arwa Nawal and the Naruto Rikoudo cosplay by Zaeem Ahmer according to whom this is the first Naruto Rikoudo cosplay in the world. Pretty awesome, aint it? Please know that the pictures provided are the work of independent photographers and thus, the quality is a bit fuzzy. Do bear with me. All photos shown ahead belong to their respective owners. I own nothing! To find more photos and know more about Anime Con, join their facebook page here.

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Spidey Senses

Spider-Web

It begins innocently enough. You’re chilling at home goofing around on the internet when suddenly from the corner of your eye you spot a harmless little spider climbing up the wall. Being the sadistic, lazy little nincompoop you are, instead of ignoring the damn thing or getting up you decide to throw one of your slippers at the wall which barely hits the target as you are a total failure when it comes to marksmanship. Thus, it merely manages to swat the spider off the wall. The poor thing lands on the carpet and you pay no heed to it as you’re currently preoccupied with fantasies of one day producing a super hit sports anime series centered around throwing darts featuring a miserable, anti social, female protagonist with excellent marksmanship whose life is suspiciously somewhat similar to your own.

Fast forward a few days and you find yourself struggling to open a jar of Nutella in the kitchen when BAM! You find a spider hanging mere inches away from your face, dripping with vengeance and ready to attack you when you squeal like one of those girly girls and fall flat on your posterior in shock. The spider, as if amused by your incredible display of wuss, retreats back towards the ceiling leaving you to ponder exactly what you did to deserve this. That’s when it hits you. Why? It was the same spider as that day… The one you tried to kill.

And it is from that moment on, that your life changes significantly. You are now scared of leaning on to walls. You become unable to walk into a room without turning on the light. Your bed, which you used to clean only upon waking up now goes through a thorough inspection every time you want to lie down for a minute. You stop trusting the walls around the head board of your bed as if they would betray you any time. Sitting on the carpet becomes an exercise in caution. So much as a stray thread to a strand of hair on your own head makes you jump in fear upon contact and you slowly start doubting what’s real. You become paranoid.. unable to function as you once could. You dread the day you first laid your eyes, and your slipper, on that wretched spider. Your purpose in life is reduced to finding that spider and killing it before it inevitably causes your own demise…

Then one day, you wake up in the middle of the night to use the restroom. Half asleep, you do your business and when you turn to wash your hands, you witness the bane of your existence, your mortal enemy, the harbinger of doom, namely the spider lying dead in the sink. At first your mind goes numb, your head is blank, your jaw almost hits the floor and you have no idea what to think until a few seconds later it finally hits you… You’re free. Free of the spider’s reign that brought terror upon your heart for what seemed like an eternity. Now you can lean on walls, procrastinate cleaning your bed for weeks on end and stop giving your ceilings dirty looks every time you walk into your own house. Your breathing shall no longer hitch in your throat when your skin unexpectedly brushes against something stringy and you can save a few bucks on your electricity bill as the darkness holds no monsters any more.

With that last thought you throw a smug grin at your now dead arch nemesis as you turn on the water which takes the spider down the drain along with your weekly nightmares consisting of various forms of creepy crawlies over you.

Toodley woo!

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