raisingaheronotavillain is now InPlainSight.style!

We have made a big change to the site, in case you haven’t noticed already!

We didn’t come to the decision to change the name lightly, but because it was so long, Benji is being raised pretty well so far and we wanted to change our focus a bit, we decided to make the leap.  We really wanted to focus on everyday living as a nerd.

How to integrate your fandoms into your everyday life.  Not with just everyday cosplay, which is fun to wear for sure, but also more subtle ways, bounding, dapper looks, pin-up style and the like.

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We hope you like the update!  Please share your thoughts with us.  We love to hear from you!

Love, Kim and Benji

Wonderful photos by Justin Davidson Photography!  Click on the link to book him today!

How-To: Amazon Shopping Tips

The last two posts were about wardrobe solutions.  Now, where do you go find these solutions for a good price?  You can comb the stores at the mall for what you are looking for, but I’ve found that Amazon has pretty much anything and everything you need for a good price.  Also, with Prime you get them in two days!

But, with Amazon shopping, there is a bit of a risk involved.  How is the quality?  Does it look like the picture?  Most importantly, how is the fit?  Obviously, with in-person shopping, you can try things on and see for yourself about quality.  This situation is where my plus-size status actually puts me at an advantage.

You see, most plus-size items are exclusively online.  Even stores like Old Navy and Target, who sell plus sizes, only offer them online for the most part.  Again, if you are going to have to order something, why not get it in two days?

OK, so let’s say you need to find a dress.  I am going to show you three different t-shirt dresses I got on Amazon and include tips for finding what you want and need without the disappointment.

Step One: The Search

OK, so you go on Amazon and do a general search and a gazillion items show up.  My first tip is to narrow your search as much as possible.  Definitely limit things to Prime only to start.  Now, if you don’t find what you want, then unclick that Prime box, but for now, keep it clicked to keep you wait time and shipping costs to zero.

Tip for Plus-Size, put in an extra big size, like 4xl.  Even if you aren’t looking for something in that larger size, you will tend to get more items that come in actual plus sizes that way.

Step Two: The Quality

Next up, you want to check the quality as best as you can.  Scroll to the information about the product.  This information is below the different color choices for the product.  What is it made of?  Does it have any stretch?  Find out by checking for spandex content.  If no spandex is listed, then you can be sure that it does not have any stretch.  If the fabric is a cotton t-shirt material, then this isn’t as important, but for something more formal like a pin-up dress, then some give in the fabric is crucial.  As you can see from the picture below, there is some spandex in this dress, which was great news!  Buy your own here.

Dress PicAlso, check out the photos of the product, lined up on the left side of the main picture.  If there is a short video, like there is for the dress above, even better.  Look at them, zoom in as much as possible.  Watch the video.  It is an extra 10 seconds and will show you how the dress moves.

Tip for Plus-Size, look at the model if there is one.  Is she a plus-size like the model below?  Buy this dress here.  If so, then you are on the right track.  If not, then take extra care with the next step, which is…

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Step Three: The Fit

How on Earth are you going to know if you are getting the right size?  Well, first off, see if the actual numerical sizes are listed, like the dress above.  Probably not, the sizing is usually XS, S, M, L, XL, 2X and so on.  Then you want to take a quick look at the left side and see if this vendor has a size chart posted, like the picture below.

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This is crucial.  Do not go by the Amazon size guide!  It is almost never accurate.  I am not sure why they even have it posted, to be honest.  Go by the vendor’s size guide or the numerical size listed, if applicable.  Here is a close-up of the vendor’s size chart for the dress above.  Buy your own here.

Size Chart

If not, then last option is to look at reviews at the bottom of the page about accuracy of sizing.  Almost everything on Amazon runs very, very small.  Do not be surprised if you end up ordering 3 sizes bigger than usual.  This is pretty normal.  If the item you want just does not have the size you need, then look at the bottom of the page for some similar items.  I do recommend you start down that rabbit hole.  You can almost always find what you are looking for in the size and color you need.

One last note about sizing, take a look at these three dresses, all from Amazon and their pages are in this post.

Dress on top left is a size 22WThe one under it is a 4xlThe one on the right is a 2xl.  They all fit me perfectly.  These pictures were taken in the same month, so my size did not change.  I wear these dresses all the time.  So, you cannot get held-up on the size on the tag.  You’ll miss out on some great finds.

Links for each dress are in the post, so Happy Shopping!

Love, Kim and Benji

 

Building a cosplay

If you have never actually cosplayed or bounded, getting started can be daunting.  However, I’m here to help!  I have come up with a method of creating your cosplays (for the sake of simplicity, I am going to call everything in this article “cosplay”, whether it is a cosplay, a bound or a mash-up.  I call it the “Team Build”.

To say you are constructing or building a cosplay is remarkably accurate.  Even if you aren’t getting out a glue gun or blow torch, you are still constructing.  Every cosplay has building blocks that, when put together, make a complete look.  The Team Build is organized so that when you put together each piece, or “member” or your team, you’ll have a completed cosplay.  So, let’s get building!

I’m going to actually construct a dapper Star Lord as an example.  I will break it down into team members and then at the end, you will have a complete super-hero team in one cosplay.

Team Member 1: The Leader

Every super character has that one thing that makes it, it.  Examples are Captain America’s shield, Iron Man’s arc reactor, Batman’s cowl, you get the picture.  What is that one thing you need to let everyone know who you are cosplaying?

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For my dapper Star Lord bound, I began with his jacket.  When building a screen accurate cosplay, I would begin with his Walkman.  Now, because this is a bound and a dapper one at that, I took the burgundy leather jacket piece and made it a burgundy shrug instead.  Get your own on Amazon by clicking this link.

Team Member 2: The Brick

This team member provides the muscle, the foundation.  This is your main piece of clothing in the cosplay.  This is the bat suit.  This piece will be doing your heavy lifting.  For my cosplay, I needed something dapper, so a dress.  A 50s style dress to be exact.  Now, think of your character, what color/style do you need?  For me, a blue pin-up style dress was key.  Get your own on Amazon with this link.  Blue to mimick his blue shirt.  It will go with the burgundy shrug nicely to give me a Star Lordesque look.

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Team Member 3: The Scientist

This team member is all about being smart about your cosplay, specifically self-care.  Let’s start with shoes.  What footwear does your hero wear?  How can you adapt that to a being-on-your-feet-all-day scenario?  Since I was dapper bounding, I went with a sneaker.  I adapted them to look like saddle shoes (I will give you all the details in a later post so you can make your own.).  Does your cosplay present any other physical challenges?  How can you adapt them to make it workable? Do you require any safety equipment?  Make sure you adapt that into the cosplay!

Team Member 4: The Exotic

Literally where the magic will happen.  Your exotic pieces will bring the cosplay to life.  These are your accessories and props.  Besides you Team Leader, are there other accessories that your character is known for?  How can you incorporate them into your cosplay?  If you are Iron Man bounding, instead of a full-size arc reactor, what about an arc reactor necklace?  Doctor Strange bound, a burgundy long cardigan instead of a cloak.  For my Star Lord bound, this was getting orange stud earrings for his head phones and a cassette tape necklace.  I also added in a couple of Star Lord bracelets.  All are available on Amazon.  The shades are also available on Amazon.  Just click the links above.

 

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Team Member 5: The Blaster

This is your hair and make-up.  Do you need a wig?  If not, how can you color/style your hair to emulate your hero?  How about make-up?  Is there something that your character is known for here, such as a certain color lip or certain color eye shadow?  For dapper and pin-up, best to go with a red lip, which is what I did.  I wear Revlon’s “Love Is On”, which is available on Amazon here.

So, that’s it in five steps!  You’ve built your superhero team, your cosplay!  Congratulations!  Attached is a checklist you can print and make notes on for your own team ups!  Click below to download and print to your heart’s content!

Click here for your own Checklist!

Happy Building!

Love, Kim and Scout

Make-Up Post: Everyday Eyes

A lot of people ask me how I do my make-up, specifically, my eye make-up.  I decided to do a quick tutorial for you all.  It is pretty simple and will take you about 5 minutes to apply.

Here is a picture of the products I use:

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  • White eye pencil by NYX
  • Black glitter eye liner pencil by NYX
  • Double Stacked mascara by NYX

Get NYX products here.

  • Elf brow pencil
  • Elf brushes

Get Elf products here.

  • Maybelline City Mini Palette
  • Revlon Photoready Palette
  • Cosmetic cotton swab

Get those products at Ulta.

Here is a picture of me with only my tinted moisturizer/sunscreen on:

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First step is to apply the base eye shadow.  I use a ballet pink color over the whole lid:

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Then I apply the white pencil on the water line and fill in my brows with brow pencil.  Then I look like this:

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Next, I apply a blue shadow from the lash line to the crease, which looks like this:

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Then I apply a silver shadow over the blue.  Then I use the liner on the top and bottom lids.  Followed by mascara, which looks like this.

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I follow that with a smudge clean-up with the cotton swab and then I’m done!

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Leave any questions you have in the comments.  Also, post pictures of your favorite go-to everyday make-up look.  We love to hear from you!

Love, Kim and Scout

Make-up Road Test: Eyeliner Stencils

Whenever I’ve tried a cat-eye eyeliner, it always ends in disaster or hilarity, one or the other.  So, when I saw that Beth Bender Beauty had eyeliner stencils, I had to give them a try.

Basically, you stick on the stencil on your eye like this:

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Then color in the eyeliner like this:

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Let the eyeliner dry and gently lift off the stencil:

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And….it looks great!

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Here are the products that I used:

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The Beth Bender Beauty stencils are available here.

The NYX eyeliner is available here.

And the LORAC glitter eyeliner is available here.

These are a great goof-proof way to apply a nice cat eye!  Have fun with them and send us some pictures!

Love, Kim and Scout

 

 

Raising a Geek: Introduction to Make-Up

I know that make-up is hardly a geeks only thing, but I am raising a geek and this is our experience.

One of the responsibilites and quite frankly, fun, parts of raising a kid, is hearing the question, “Mommy, can I start wearing make-up?”  I know if you have a little geeky boy, this might not apply to you, but it just might.  Make-up is not a girls-only thing anymore.  So, when I speak of raising a girl, I am speaking of my own personal experience of raising a daughter.  I don’t mean to make any assumptions of gender in any way.

My answer to that question was an enthusiasic, “YASSSS!”  I love make-up.  I have way too much make-up, and I absolutely do not care.  Dark lipstick, sure, more glitter, yes please.  I use make-up for fun.

However, there are times and places for all types of make-up.  Gothy for the club, more conservative for the workplace, that kind of thing.  So, when teaching my kiddo how to use make-up, I needed to teach her about all the aspects of make-up use.

Just like with putting on a face of make-up, teaching about make-up requires a foundation.  Where to begin?  Well, I started with proper skincare, which we will go into on a later post, and how to apply a “basic face”, which I learned many years ago from a fantastic book called, “Cindy Crawford’s Basic Face”.  I still have my copy to this day, and I was happy to pass it down to my kid.  I was pleased to learn that this book is still available on Amazon.  Get it here.  I recommend the spiral bound version for ease of use.

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Photo: Amazon.com

Ms. Crawford found herself sick in bed after a photo shoot, and to not go nuts with boredom, her friends encouraged her to write a book.  Being who she is, she did just that.  She didn’t just write any book; what she did was create a manual to make-up with all the basics.  Things like picking a good foundation, using concealer, brushes and how to keep them clean, and how to put on your “basic face”.  Your basic face should take you about five minutes to apply and be appropriate for work, school, whatever.  Her philosophy is that make-up is an option, not a requirement, and if you want to wear it, then make sure you do it in such a way that is occasion and location appropriate.

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Photo: “Cindy Crawford’s Basic Face”

After you apply your basic face, then if you are headed to a party or a club, then you can build on this basic face by adding a smoky eye, glitter, anything goes.

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Photo: “Cindy Crawford’s Basic Face”

After you perfect your basic face, then go nuts!  I know we do.  We recently bought a ton of glitter, cause…glitter!

Next time, we’ll talk more about skincare and fun make-up to try.

Until next time…

Love, Kim and Scout

Cosplay How-To: Rocket’s Jetpack

Before we get into the rest of our trip to WonderCon, we wanted to give you a step-by-step tutorial for making a super easy cosplay jetpack.  We made ours for Scout’s Rocket cosplay, but the instructions would work for any jetpack.

Here’s what you will need:

  • Posture Corrector Brace- Available at Amazon here
  • Metallic spraypaint for the tanks of the pack.  We used this one and this one
  • Hot glue gun
  • Water or soda bottles for the tanks
  • Two colors of net fabric for the “flames”.  We used these in yellow and orange

Step-By-Step Instructions:

  • Order your posture brace
  • Get the appropriate bottle or bottles for your tanks.  We used two square medium sized bottles for Rocket’s tanks.  Pick bottles that are simply shaped.  For example, if you use the classic Coke bottle, it won’t look like a jet pack tank at all.  Also, choose the appropriate size for the cosplayer.  Discard the tops
  •  Spraypaint the bottles

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  • Take your brace and put it on.  Have someone hold the tanks up to the back and mark for placement
  • Hot glue the tanks together (if you have two tanks) and then hot glue them onto the brace

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  • Take your two fabrics and cut them in half.  Roll the two different colors together in two bundles.  Put the two rolls into your tanks and adjust for length (For example, we didn’t want to burn Rocket’s tail off, so we made the flames a little shorter)

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  • Hot glue the fabric to the inside of the bottles

Then you have a super-easy, super-awesome cosplay jetpack!

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Make sure you send us pictures of your creations.

Next up, more on our trip to WonderCon.

Love, Kim and Scout

*Professional Photos by Justin Davidson Photography.  Book him here.