and other brands

4

My first Yu-gi-oh fanart and its this…I expected nothing less of myself

based on this!

also dedicated to @sergle @yaboybokuto and @officialgrandpa for dragging my little sister and me back into Yu-gi-oh hell after 10 years

4

no question about it i’m ready to get hurt by harry again.

It Takes A Long Time To Get Over Yourself


Oh, man. This letter has taken me an embarrassingly long time to write. Probably because I haven’t written anything but e-mails and Tweets for 12 years.

If the last year has taught me anything, it’s this: it takes a long time to get over yourself.

Last March, after 7 years on the road, I decided to take a break. I was excited about this. I’d imagined myself watching tv all day, being a “chill person”, eating doughnuts because I didn’t have to wear latex catsuits anymore. The reality was not quite the joy ride I’d been expecting.

I’ve been an artist for over a decade but up until this year, I hadn’t realised how much my sense of self had been defined by my role as an artist. I’d never thought of “Marina and the Diamonds” as a persona or a construct, and I didn’t think the stage-me was very different to the sofa-me. MATD was an exciting vehicle that helped me express ideas and thoughts to people. But just as people construct online personas, artist construct visual ones, and over time, the lines between art and reality can drift apart. 

I can’t remember when I first became conscious of it but I started to feel like there were two parts of me, artist self and private self, and there was nothing in between to link the two anymore. I was one or the other, and neither part of my personality could be present in the same environment. Perhaps because I’d spent most of the past 8 years devoted to being an artist and this hadn’t presented many opportunities for other parts of my personality to grow. When one part of a personality dominates, other parts shrink and life can take on an unreal, two-dimensional quality. I felt confused as to why I no longer felt like I fit into the world I’d built. I don’t think my feelings are exceptional (particularly in entertainment) but I wonder if you are someone who has experienced this in a different context.

I’ve always been interested in identity. In my twenties, I felt frustrated by how regularly my identity seemed to shift and change until I began to consider the idea that a fixed self may not exist. I explored this in “Electra Heart” by deconstructing aspects of female identity in a portrayal of female archetypes. However, the past year has made me re-examine this idea. Not being able to equate my identity to a job, project or visible entity has created a lot of discomfort and uncertainty in me. Which has been a surprise, as I thought I felt secure in myself. How can I be so sure of who I am if I am so susceptible to change? A lot of what contributes to our idea of identity is down to pure chance - ethnicity, social class, upbringing, religion, job, relationships - who are we without those influences?

Everything in western culture feels so geared towards self-definition, but I wonder if having a looser idea of yourself could make life richer. The past year hasn’t been full of rainbows - I feel like my brain has been brutally rewired - but letting go of a perceived idea of myself has resulted in a new kind of personal freedom. My image is no longer a main source of identity, nor are previous signifiers like clothing (more on this in a future post), designer brands + other things I subconsciously used to define myself.

Lasting change rarely happens over night. This past year has been painful and slow. But I’m in a more genuine space than I was a year ago and I would never want to go back to that stunted way of being again. In fact, the only solace I had in this period was being able to read the books and blogs of other people experiencing significant life transitions, so I hope this might be of help to anyone who is going through a similar stage.

Truth is, I’m not planning ahead much right now. I am indeed going through my “what should I do with the rest of my life” phase that most people go through at 21. Which is… cool. But I’m grateful to have the opportunity to explore different interests, and starting marinabook is a part of that. I’m starting a Psychology course soon, which I am SO excited about, and I’m ready for a brand new chapter. I hope you’ll be a part of it.

Some people have been asking about new music and I’m always flattered to be asked. I know one year is like an aeon in digital time! The honest answer is I don’t know when that will be, but the connection I have with music has always flowered from an honest connection with myself, and I trust my instincts. Whenever I get back on stage again, I would love to feel like I am the sum of my parts, not the sum of a persona or an image. That’s the goal. A lot of reality with a little bit of fantasy. So, marinabook is a way for us to stay connected while I work that out.

I miss you all!

Ask a question or share thoughts here.

Love from,
Marina

Further Reading

Brilliant explanation of personas here. 5 minute read.

Podcast on how our views about the Self affect our views on death.  By “Philosophy Bites”.  15 minutes.

Illustration by Lan Truong

How to make custom lace appliques – the “Frankenlace” method

A lot of people asked for more info on how I made the appliques that decorate the bottom of Zelda’s gown. Here’s my tutorial for the whole process! This method can be used to make all kinds of applique shapes and designs if you get creative with it.

  1. These lace appliques are made out of other lace – hence the nickname. To get started, you’ll need to collect a few lace trims to use as raw material. Look for styles that are similar or complement each other, because you’ll be combining them. This is some, but not all, of the trims I used. I bought these in the LA fabric district, but most are available at trimexpoonline.com.
  2. Cut your lace down into smaller pieces that are more modular. Don’t cut up ALL your lace – this is just an experimentation stage, to practice rearranging the design.
  3. Using a template of your desired shape (I made mine digitally, but you can hand draw one too) practice arranging your pieces until you find a design that suits your needs. This is not my final design in the picture – I went through several versions before I was totally happy with how it looked. You might discover that you need more lace, which is why planning and experimentation are so important. When you’re satisfied with how it looks, it’s time to start putting it all together.
  4. You’ll need an embroidery hoop large enough to cover your whole template, plus some netting that is as close to transparent as you can find. Most generic tulle is NOT fine enough to do well with this technique – the holes are too large and the tulle stretches too much when handled. Look for netting that does not stretch or fray, if possible. Put some netting in your embroidery hoop, tightening the surface like a drum. I taped my template to a small sheet of masonite to give myself a portable work surface. I also ended up using clamps to hold the embroidery hoop to the masonite, but forgot to get a picture. This is optional, but really helps the design from shifting too much as you work.
  5. Tools for the next step: fabric glue (other brands work too), a small paintbrush, and a water cup. I watered my glue down a little to make it easier to spread with the paintbrush. Be careful not to add TOO much water, or your glue will be too thin, not grip well, and take a long time to dry.
  6. Working in small sections, begin gluing your lace pieces onto the netting. Start at the center and work outward, if possible. Continue until all your lace pieces are glued onto the netting.
  7. Here’s what mine looked like with all the lace attached! At this point, I flipped the embroidery hoop over and applied a second coat of glue over the entire back of the work. The netting is so thin that you can continue to apply more glue from the backside to get a more secure grip.
  8. Optional: add rhinestones to taste. I used E6000 for this step. Not every applique requires rhinestones, but in this case I wanted Zelda to sparkle as much as possible.
  9. Repeat to create as many appliques as you need! Zelda has 8 along the bottom of her dress. Here’s part of my assembly line.
  10. When you’re ready to attach the applique to your fashion fabric, trim away some of the netting along the outside, but leave any “interior” portions that help stabilize the design. I simply glued my appliques onto the silk, but I later went back and hand-stitched them down for a more secure hold. After they are properly attached to your fabric, you can VERY CAREFULLY trim away the “interior” pockets of plain netting using small scissors.
  11. The final look of my gown, after all the appliques and trim were attached.

This method is very time consuming and requires a lot of patience and concentration – but I just love the results! I wanted to achieve the look of professionally-made applique, but without access to industrial equipment, this was the next best thing I could come up with. 

The white-on-white effect is subtle, but matches the look I was going for. Photo by Vontography.

I hope this is helpful to some of you in your own costume projects. Let me know if you have any questions, and good luck!

Skincare and Beauty Recommendations

For all you babes, I made a list of my must have stuff to look the best you can go scam an SD

 Body- Lush Ro Argan. This stuff is the bomb. It’s a body conditioner that smells like roses and honey. Smear that good stuff all over you and let it sit for five minutes. Wash it off and your body will be soft and smooth, no other products needed. I’ve used this stuff for five years and every person that gets a whiff of it compliments me. Guys go crazy for this scent, especially in the bed room downtown haha.JUST GET IT! You get a shower and body cream in one! 

Face Cream- Laneige Water Bank Cream. This shit makes my face look like it’s been kissed by an angel. So dewy and soft! I feel like I look much younger when I apply this because it hydrates so well. Perfect to use if you want something that traps the moisture in your face and is lightweight. I’ve noticed the dehydration wrinkles I had around my eyes and mouth have diminished. My makeup goes on like a dream after I apply this. 

 Face- Kojic acid soap. I use this soap for my uneven skin tone and acne spots. I barely wear foundation because it cleared up my clogged pores and hyperpigmenation. Dirt cheap off Amazon. Haven’t had a major breakout since I used this the past 3 years. 

 Perfume- Tom Ford private Collection comes in 12 scents. With mainstream brands, I feel like ALL WOMEN’s FRAGRANCES smell the same and give me a headache. Too sweet, floral, romantic, too much alcohol, etc.Now, this collection ain’t cheap, so, get a sample from your local department store. They give it to you in a cute vial and box and the sales associates are super knowledgeable about scents. THIS STUFF LASTS A LONG TIME! I wear the Tobacco Vanille all year round. Literally, this scent is my confident booster, I smell unique and luxurious! And the scent projects like a beast, so a 4 ML sample will last you cause all thats needed is a small dab for the day!  I used to buy decants off eBay to save £££ until I got me a SD to buy me the 100 ML hehe.

 Sunscreen- Elta SPF 40. This stuff is the best sunscreen on the market and all the dermatologists I’ve seen recommended it. No white cast and absorbs into skin fast, it’s also super moisturizing! 

 Hair- Bumble Bee Invisible Oil. If you have frizzy, dry, damaged, natural, thick hair, this SHIT IS THE BOMB. This is the only product that works on my hair when I wear it curly and straighten it. It does the job, smells great, and my hair looks so glossy and healthy….best of all it doesn’t weight my hair down or feel greasy. 

 Mascara- Lacome Hypnose is the only thing I use on my lashes in the past six years. I will NEVER STRAY from Lacome’s mascara products. It makes my eyes look amazing and it’s easy to take off at night. Don’t like the other brands like Benefit or Too Faced which are hard to remove at night.

 Makeup Remover- Clinique Take Off the Day Balm. Your makeup literally will melt off when you wash your face with this! I used so many different brands from wipes to oil to alcohol and none of them worked as well as this. 

 Lipstick- Nars Velvet Lip Pencil in Bahama is the best nude/rosy color out there for all girls IMO. I use the Train Bleu colour (quite vampy) when going out at night and always got compliments! Because it’s a jumbo pencil lippy, you can line your lips easily and fill it in! Lasts all night! Taylor Swift uses their Dragon Girl  shade as her signature red colour according to the makeup artist that showed me.! Best secret lippies around!

 Foundation- Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk is a game changer. My skin looks radiant, dewy, and natural which no other foundation has given me. Everyone raves about it and I wish I listened earlier and quit wasting my money at MAC and Estee Lauder.

Concealer- Nars Creamy Radiant Concealer- If you don’t like wearing foundation, this concealer is all you need then. It hides my dark eye circles and any redness on my face like a PRO. Comes with a wand so you don’t need to use anything else when applying it!

Buy Fenty Beauty.

Three things I absolutely do not give a fuck about:

1) Rihanna
2) Makeup
3) Rihanna again

But like, I wanna go buy some of her foundation just so she can make more money than Kylie Jenner. Clearly, this is the celebrity beauty brand that needs to be marching toward $1 billion in sales, not another 98% plastic, Black dick-snatching, appropriating-ass Jendashian making bags of money based on name recognition and selfie-lighting.

Rihanna worked on this line for two whole years and came out with 40 shades of foundation on her first try y'all. As one of the white girls in one beauty video said: What were the other makeup brands doing for all this time?

Oh, I know. Ignoring the dark-skinned girls. Putting out 2 shades to go from cinnamon to ebony but 10 shades to go from alabaster to ecru. That’s what they were doing, and now everybody from Loreal to Marc Jacobs to Kylie herself is on Instagram this week pimping out brown skin pretending to care about women darker than a paper bag because Rihanna came in and captured the eye of a market share that is woefully under-served.

Major win for Rihanna. I ain’t gon’ say nothing bad about her dancing or her voice til at least Thanksgiving. She’s earned a reprieve.

Details about D.Va to Consider

So I realize that there are some things about Korean culture that people might not think of readily, so I wanted to offer a few fun thoughts and tidbits:

  • To recap, Hana Song aka D.Va is a teen World Starcraft Champion from the port city of Busan, famous for its beaches and Buddhist temples
  • At 19 years old, she is old enough drive, but the legal age is 18, so she wouldn’t have had a license for long. Oh, and personal anecdote: The Korean system makes it so that you can attain your driver’s license in three days if you really wanted to. So, I have a license, but I haven’t touched a car since I got the license… which I got in three days…
    • Also, within Korea, Busan is known for its aggressive taxi drivers / drivers in general, aha. I did a day trip with some friends the other day and it was gorgeous, the beach was stunning, but the bus ride was… a little nervewracking…
  • Being from Busan, D.Va should actually have the Busan dialect, which sounds very different from Seoul dialect. Even if she can switch comfortably between the two, if she was raised with the Busan one, it’s probably going to be her default. Here’s an example of the dialect, and here’s an example of D.Va’s Korean voice actress, who is from Busan herself, doing the inflection.
  • Korea has mandatory military service for its men for about two years, which you can fulfill between the ages of 18 and 25. So, unless Overwatch plans to change the system in their world, D.Va is working in a military with this in place.
  • Dunno what Overwatch is going to do with futuristic Busan, but in Korea, if you’re super famous, you’re going to end up on a lot of pizza, fried chicken, cosmetics, and or air conditioner commercials. Each of those are links, but if you want an example of how excessive Korea can get about one person, look at this Kim Yuna compilation. That’s not even all of them - just some of the ones from the year 2016. If D.Va is recognized as a national hero and an idol simultaneously, I wouldn’t be surprised by this kind of treatment.
    • Further, Korean idols are held to a high standard of moral character, as they are expected to be hardworking, positive role models for children and other youths.
    • But seriously, I could write an essay on how celebrity culture / marketing in Korea differs. Heck, I have, for school.

More under the cut since this is getting long:

Keep reading

Everything old is new again

“Love cosmetics were anti-cosmetics, makeup for a time—and a generation—at war with the pretense and falseness of makeup.”

“It was a strange, even paradoxical claim for a brand of cosmetics to be making, but it seemed to work: while older brands were said to mask and conceal the user’s selfhood, Love enhanced her individuality, allowed her real nature to come to the surface: "You’ve got a complexion worth seeing. You don’t need make-ups that blank you out. Ours won’t. Ours can’t.”

“The products themselves came in radically simplified packages, basic cylinders rather than the elaborate faux-crystal decanters of other brands. They bore whimsical instructions printed on the bottles in earnest, sans-serif typefaces.”

(Thomas Frank, The Conquest of Cool)


A Sugar Baby’s Guide to a Luxury Wardrobe and Brands

FOLLOW ME ON MY SB INSTA ~ I have like no followers because I just started the account & would love to connect with more sugar sisters on another platform! I will be posting shopping hauls and inspiration photos. There will also be restaurant, bar and club recommendations and travel pics! SISTERS ONLY!!! @citysugarbabe


Disclaimer: This is my own opinion, and you are free to disagree! I am not being sponsored or gifted items by any of these brands (I wish!). I am simply just trying to share some of my style tips based off of my own wardrobe :) xo

Will continue to update as I think of more things! This was just off the top of my head. Feel free to send in suggestions, if I use it I will give you credit when I edit the post! Questions also welcome. 

Although I am relatively new to the sugar bowl, dressing stylishly and well is something I have done all of my life. I hope my advice can help others! A top, big fish SD is going to dress well, and he’s going to want his SB to do the same. You must exude confidence and style for him to want to pursue you. 

If you are a sugar baby looking to build an ultimate, timeless luxury wardrobe look no further - check out my guide below!

Basics:
T-shirts & Tank Tops - ATM (wonderfully flattering, especially for bigger busts), T by Alexander Wang, Helmut Lang, James Perse
Jeans - rag&bone/JEAN, J Brand, Citizens of Humanity, 7 for all Mankind, J Brand, Current/Elliott, AG Adriano Goldschmidt. Yes I love my denim :)
Anything with a blatant logo on it like True Religion is a NONO.
Shirts - Equipment
Sweatpants - I used to absolutely detest sweatpants but after seeing photos of Rihanna and Gigi rock them, I’m kind of into it. Have my eye on a pair from Fenty X Puma now!

Lingerie:
Agent Provocateur (DUH) has the most sexy pieces, they make you feel wonderful about yourself, however I would only wear their stuff to show off for my man. Their bras, corsets, bustiers etc. don’t give much support so if you’re just wearing them trying to run errands your boob may pop out of its cup lol! Very annoying to constantly keep having to tuck it back in under your shirt.

I have quite a large bust, so I shop at Journelle, Stella McCartney, Elle Macpherson, Nancymeyer.com and Chantelle because a lot of other nice brands don’t make my size as much (32DD/E) - these are for sexier but still functional pieces.

Calvin Klein and Victoria’s Secret for the most functional underwear.
Hanky Panky has great one size fits most thongs, and Commando for underwear for a tight dress or something that gives NO VPL (visible panty lines!)

Shoes:
Sneakers (for fashion, not the gym) - Golden Goose, Common Projects
Sneakers (for the gym) - Nike
Gianvito Rossi - The new Manolo in my opinion. Not as overdone and not flashy like Louboutins. Wonderfully classic. Something I’d wear to a dream job interview or meeting a boyfriend’s parents.
Louboutins - even though they’re a bit trashy now I still love the sex appeal of a red bottom.. who can resist?
Rochas does beautifully embellished flats that you can wear with a cocktail dress if you aren’t feeling heels!
K. Jacques for flat sandals. Made in St. Tropez but they sell it on Shopbop etc.
Chanel and Lanvin for ballet flats
Love Stuart Weitzman’s highland and lowland boots, even though it seems like everyone and their mother owns a pair. They’re just so flattering and I love that they have them in so many neutral colors.
I like Saint Laurent’s basic flat Chelsea ankle boots. Go with everything in the fall.

Dresses:
Dolce & Gabbana - I LOVE Dolce & Gabbana!! As I said I am quite curvy, and their dresses are absolutely made for my body type.
Cushnie et Ochs - Also sexy AF
Giambattista Valli - When you want to look like an elegant, high fashion flower child
Saint Laurent - SO expensive, more for the extremely thin Kate Moss types, but I just like to look anyways :)
Less expensive but still great: Zimmermann (love Aussie clothing brands), Wheels&Dollbaby, Nicholas, L’Agent, Reformation, For Love & Lemons, Maje

Sweaters:
Ralph Lauren, Loro Piana, Brunello Cucinelli
J Crew, Joie, Vince and Everlane (cheaper)

Coats/Jackets:
Maxmara for the elegant, most classic pieces EDIT 10/9/2016: Maxmara carries very well-cut and stylishly professional coats. Think Olivia Pope-esque. This is also where Kim K got her iconic camel wrap coat and yes, they still carry it. I have one!
AllSaints for a great rocker chic leather biker jacket - try a mens one to increase the cool factor
Rick Owens - Also great for leather jackets, but more elegant and definitely more expensive 
Chanel: Their tweed jackets and coats are ultimate and so timeless- wear one with a simple white t shirt, jeans and booties to achieve that Parisian je ne sais quoi.
Yves Salomon does a great fur coat, EDIT 10/9/2016: that isn’t AS expensive as other top fur designers… think $5000-$10,000 which is still mega expensive but still far cheaper than J Mendel whose furs can fetch up to 60k (or even more)! and the quality is still great. I used to get Elizabeth and James furs for like a $1000 but tbh they looked cheap. I think if you can’t afford good fur, it’s best to spend on other areas, because cheap fur just makes you look, well, cheap!

Bags:
Chanel. Duh.
Never used to like Gucci but their new horsebit Dionysus bags (in plain suede without the Gucci logo) are to die for
Valentino Rockstud (a little bit passé but I still like mine)
Mansur Gavriel for something timeless and not too flashy
Saint Laurent for a tote bag. If you’re young, in my opinion this is a much better alternative than an Hermes Birkin or Kelly. I think for a young girl to be carrying a Birkin is a little bit… much. Although if you have found an SD who will buy you a Birkin then I say the more power to you, you’re clearly doing much better than me and feel free to ignore my advice - if fact can I have your advice?? lol

EDIT OCT. 9, 2016:

Where do I shop?
Great question - so. many. places.

Online (just google the names, I’m too lazy to hyperlink haha. Maybe another day):

Net-a-porter: love, and they do same-day courier delivery in NYC, London and Hong Kong
Moda Operandi: swoon-worthy site. You can pre-order next season’s clothes custom made for you straight off the runway, and they show up at your door just in time for the season! You put a 50% deposit down when you place the order at first, and pay the rest a few months later when the clothing piece is completed. I trick myself into believing that it’s budgeting, lol.
Farfetch
Shopbop
Revolve Clothing
TheRealReal (You can get some GREAT designer pre-owned and vintage on the cheap here, AND sell your old designer stuff you don’t want anymore! Note they only accept from a preselected list of designers, check that your item’s brand is on the list before sending anything in to sell)
Vestiaire Collective (same as theRealReal)
Forward by Elyse Walker
SSENSE
TheOutNet (Net-a-porter’s sale site. I’ve found some fantastic deals here. But be sure to check everyday because they definitely sell out fast)
Barneys, Saks, Selfridges, Bergdorfs etc. - I know these are department stores, but their websites are surprisingly well-maintained and carry a really good stock of stuff from top designers.

anonymous asked:

Question: I loved the shots of Pangur with the skeleton cat. Where did you get the skeleton? Is it some kind of anatomical artist's model? (If it's something that's readily available, I might get it for someone's birthday present.) Thanks!

picked up this little dude from a Loblaw grocery store a week before Halloween! it’s definitely not anatomical (see: bone ears)