Monday, June 30, 2014

Lime Crime Salem Velvetine Review

I have been hearing about Lime Crime's Velvetine's for a while now and have heard nothing but good reviews, so I decided to try one out for myself. I decided on "Salem", a chocolate brown with just a touch of red and I can already say I am madly in love with the color, wear and application. I have worn it three times now, the first two days I ate multiple times and was kissing my boyfriend throughout the night, it lasted a couple hours without budging at all. The third day I only had dinner with it on and it lasted the entire night, I'm very impressed to say the least. Since I've only had it for about a week, I asked a few people who have also tried them how long their tube lasted, and the most common answer I was told was up to six months, with only one application every 3 days or so. I was a little bit put off by the price, $20 for a small velvetine seemed like quite a bit of money, but the price is more than worth it.
 There is a bit of controversy regarding whether or not Lime Crime is actually a cruelty free company, despite the fact that they claim to be, so if you only use cruelty free makeup, it's best to look into Lime Crime and decide for yourself whether or not you should buy from them

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Ethics of Wearing Fur

In high school I had a fluffy pair of leg warmers that were faux fur and just about every time I wore them I was called a murderer by classmates, despite the fact that it was pretty obvious they weren't real. People like to see animal rights and the idea of wearing fur in particular to be a black and white subject, when in reality fur production is a massive gray area. Throughout my years online, people have asked my opinion on wearing fur and bones with open ears, and others have pointed fingers at me saying I'm not a good vegetarian or animal rights activist because I like and wear these things, I personally only wear cruelty free or second hand vintage furs. I decided to write a comprehensive guide, answering common questions and comments I get as well as stating my opinion and varying points of view on this subject.

Buying New Fur
Buying new fur contributes directly to animal cruelty and fur production. There's no way to buy a fur coat from a department store and not be paying directly into fur manufacturing, it's as simple as that. All stores that sell brand new fur contributes to these practices, second hand stores sell used fur, which doesn't pay into animal cruelty or fur production, but that becomes a matter of personal moral and opinion.

Buying Fur Second Hand
Buying fur from second hand stores such as vintage shops, thrift stores, etc. does not at all contribute to fur manufacturing, and there are many people who only condone wearing fur when it is second hand or cruelty free. The fact of the matter is, someone else already paid for it, they already paid into the fur industry and there's absolutely nothing you can do, not buying the item isn't going to turn back time and make it so that it didn't happen. The only thing buying fur from a second hand store will do is make sure the store stays open another day. Buying vintage or second hand fur also puts fur that has already been created to good use, which is better than throwing it away, making the animals death entirely pointless and in vain. All throwing second hand fur away does, is wastes it. If you still do not believe in wearing the fur, then that's your own personal choice and are welcome to it, just please keep this in mind when seeing other people who wear fur.

Buying Faux Fur
Buying faux fur is a great alternative to real fur, however it is not always cruelty free and not at all biodegradable. If you're conscious about the environment, it is actually much better to buy and wear vintage fur (for the above reasons) that IS biodegradable, than buy faux fur that will be in a land fill for thousands of years.  Also, even if the fur is faux, quite a few clothing companies still do animal testing, sell real fur, use child labor or extremely harsh labor of adults in countries like Taiwan and China. Yes, there are STILL clothing companies that do all of these things. If these are also issues for you, it's a good idea to do some research on the stores you like to shop at. If you have no issues with these practices, or the store you are shopping at does not perform them, than faux fur is definitely a good alternative to real fur. I just feel that it is important to mention that just because a company has faux fur, it doesn't mean it is entirely cruelty free.

Buying Cruelty Free Fur 
It is entirely possible to buy fur that was humanely acquired. I have actually come by quite a few vendors who acquire their animals from animal sanctuaries, from natural deaths in environments like the ocean or the forest, or found them as a result of road kill, which is more often than not an accident. If you are curious about how a vendor acquires their animals, you can contact them and they can give you their information and they may even be able to show documents and proof their practices are humane. Still, if you feel suspicious, feel free not to purchase from that vendor and find one that makes you feel better. If you want anymore information regarding this, I wrote an article on

Is It Wrong Morally?
That's entirely based on personal opinion and personal morals, I once wrote an article on my personal blog, above mentioned, answering questions and discussing the morals behind taxidermy collecting, and one of the points I raised is that it's cultural norm to bury the dead or cremate them, so much so that people think any other way is wrong and disrespectful. I know many people believe that when something dies, it should be buried to be rejoined with the earth, however please keep in mind that's one person's personal opinion. Some people/cultures believe that all dead things, including humans should be laid out to be consumed by other animals. Some people/cultures believe that death is a spiritual, sacred event and keep momentos, taxidermy and other preservations of their dead loved ones and pets.

Here is my own personal opinion on the subject, to quote my article directly:
"If it's dead, you should just bury it, that's much more respectful!" I personally find burial in particular (I like cremation a bit better, but still not so much) to not be very respectful at all, but that's just my opinion. More often than not, humans bury their loved ones, visit a few times and forget about them, being in the funerary business this is very bothersome for me because I see this quite often. Something I love about taxidermy is that the dead are preserved and are able to be kept in a home, where you can visit and admire every day. I can sit down and tell them all how pretty and wonderful they are, as creepy as that sounds, and pay my respects regularly. I personally look at my collection often, and enjoy wearing bone and taxidermy jewelry, I would much rather wear or look at animals daily than just bury them in the ground and forget about them. 

Remember you are all entitled to have entirely different opinions.

But Fur Belongs to Animals

It's true, but here are a few points I would like to raise:

1. You are entirely entitled to believe that, and if you do, more power to you, but again, please keep in mind people have their own reasons for the things they do in their own lives. You never know if the fur coat someone is wearing is from their deceased grandmother who was very special to them, or if it has some other sentimental value. You probably wouldn't want someone screaming at you because of what you're wearing, because in reality they don't know you or your life enough to judge you, so my best advice is to live and let live.

2. Now, I have met huge animal rights activists who cannot be entirely vegan due to a health reasons, still they do everything in their power to be cruelty free, or vise versa. The point of being for animal rights is doing as much as you possibly can, as long as you're doing your absolute best, that's all that matters. however more often that not, the people I see harassing others based on the fact they collect taxidermy, wear fur, wear leather, eat meat, etc., DO other things that directly contribute to animal cruelty all the time, without any good reason. For example: "I can't stop eating certain meats/fish because I have a vitamin deficiency and I could get really sick and die" or "The medicine I take is tested on animals, but its extremely necessary and I can't avoid it" are very good reasons, your health matters the most. But "I don't want to stop eating meat because it tastes good" or "I don't feel like buying different products" are not good reasons at all. Now this isn't AT ALL about animal rights, I am not pushing personal beliefs on anyone, I am just trying to be as detailed as humanly possible in my explanation. I am only a vegetarian who would one day like to be vegan, and who is still desperately trying to transition from makeup brands that test on animals to brands that don't, I'm not innocent. The point I am making here is in reality there are very few people in the world who are not contributing to animal cruelty in some shape or form whatsoever, and that's just something to keep in mind when judging and harassing others for their choices. 

3. Killing an animal for any reason is definitely wrong, however, if it is dead it is dead. If a fox laid down and died and a taxidermist found it and stuffed it, I personally don't think the fox would have been very offended by that because it's dead. This does go along with one's personal beliefs on the after life, but again, that's my personal opinion on the matter, feel free to believe other wise. It's important to remember that just because humans have certain beliefs and systems at which we handle things, does not mean animals think the same way, or are even capable of so. I doubt an animal has any understanding of the idea of wearing fur, taxidermy, etc., let alone have any kind of opinion on it. Who knows, they very well could, but I really don't think so.

But second hand/cruelty free fur perpetuates the idea that fur is okay and leads to people who are uneducated topic to buy fur

In terms of this, here are your options:

1. Don't wear the fur. If this possibility is stressful for you, you are in no way obligated to believe or follow anyone else's beliefs or reasonings.

2. Educate people. Talk about this topic on your social networking sites, to your friends, family, etc. If you post any photos of your vintage or cruelty free fur, make sure you state that its vintage or cruelty free, some people simply don't know cruelty free fur is even possible. If someone on the street asks you where you got your fur, what kind of animal it is, etc., give them information on the stores you shop at, and strongly encourage them to buy cruelty free or vintage, don't be mean or pushy, but a simple "I encourage you to buy vintage/cruelty free, it's cheaper and much more ethical than buying new fur" is sufficient. After that there is nothing else you can do, you tried your best, people will do whatever they want at that point.

3. Live your life. No matter what people are going to disagree with everything and anything you do, there's just no way to please everyone. If you feel you are doing your best for animals, you are comfortable with your actions and you have well thought out set of morals that agree with you personally, then just live your life and continue to be you.
Remember that everyone is entitled to live their life however they choose to, you do not know everything about someone or their choices, especially based on their physical representation. I really hope that this article was helpful, if anyone has any questions, comments or further information you would like, you can comment down below and I can make another post about this in the future. However, if the comments you post are hateful, or state things that have already been answered or thoroughly discussed in this article, I will remove them to avoid any confusion. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

2014 Swimwear Guide

It's finally Summer time and I know it can be really hard to find the perfect bathing suit, especially when many places don't cater to darker fashion. The past few months I've scoured the internet for the perfect bathing suit and finally found the one I'm wearing in the picture above, a sample sale bathing suit from Lip Service. While it is no longer available, I have found multiple other sites that have quite a few alternative bathing suits, Dollskill is one of my favorite websites to shop, they have pages and pages of awesome bathing suits and they're definitely more than worth checking out, but shop soon because they're currently having website wide sales. Nastygal and Karmaloop also have a wide variety of bathing suits, but not as good of a selection as Dollskill, still they're worth browsing. 

If you're looking to shop locally I suggest checking in every store you pass, the store you would least expect could have exactly what you're looking for. When binge shopping I've found myself very grateful for popping in to that random little boutique down the road, or taking the time to go into as many stores as possible at the mall. Another great place to look is thrift stores and vintage shops, vintage shops can be expensive but you can find rare, one of a kind items that are made of much better quality materials than swimwear now. I really hope this is helpful!

Why I Stopped Making "Goth" Youtube Videos

I haven't made "Goth" related youtube videos in about a year and a half now, I barely even use the words "Goth" or "Deathrock" on anything I post anymore and I am finally ready to talk about my journey with youtube and why it has led me to creating a blog. Thank you in advance for everyone who gets through this.

I started making youtube videos when I was 16 years old. In high school I was the only goth in the entire area and so people were very curious about my interests, why I looked the way I do and so forth, however kids at school were often too nervous to ask me their questions in person and so they asked via facebook. I got the idea that instead of retyping the same answers and explanations over and over again, I could make a couple youtube videos I could just link them too and bam, it's done. At the time I wasn't trying to "teach" people how to be goth, I say "teach" because that's what people have always said that I was trying to do, even though that was never the situation.

All of a sudden people were actually watching the videos, they were commenting, asking questions and looking for advice. I was amazed, but I figured hey, people actually care what I have to say! they want to see more! Why don't I just make more videos and make this a hobby? and that's exactly what I did. The most common problem people came to me with was the back lash they received from their parents, because their parents thought goth was some satanic cult, which I sympathized with because that's what my parents thought it was for a long time. I thought I could socialize people with goth, I could make people who weren't a part of it realize it wasn't evil, it wasn't a satanic cult, it wasn't a fetish thing, it was a subculture. By making these videos I felt happy because I thought I was doing good, and some would say I was, while others would say I'm a joke who did more harm than good.

I will admit, when I first started making youtube videos I thought I was well rounded in terms of the scene, I thought I knew everything you could know about it when in reality I didn't know much at all. I started youtube as a dumb kid, I will admit that until I'm blue in the face but I definitely believe I've come a long way. Of course because of this there were haters, mocking videos, there were even people who relentlessly bullied me and planned on doing anything they could to ruin my life. People are always trying to say "just ignore the haters", but everyone needs to realize it's not that simple, really, it's not. On multiple occassions I even had people claim I was a part of incidents and crimes that happened in states I had never been to with people I had never met, just to get me into trouble with the law and to pin people against me. My fun summer time hobby had become my largest source of stress, it was utterly exhausting. Everyone wants to believe that they're right, and whenever you voice your opinion or ideals they want to make sure you regret it, that's just the way the internet works.

Eventually I started losing inspiration, I had made so many videos about the same stuff over and over again, only to be asked to make the same videos over and over again and I got bored. I felt like I had expanded all I could in terms of goth and for a while chose to venture outside of that. I had turned my hobby into a job, after a year or two I finally enabled monetizing and started getting paid. Initially it was something I was against, I wasn't doing youtube because I wanted money, I was doing it because I really did want to help people, I wanted to share my own experiences in hope that it meant something to someone else, but eventually I didn't have a choice, I was beyond broke and needed money, so I set up ads.

Over the past couple years youtube has been an up hill battle in many ways, every year youtubers get paid less and less. A few years ago my boyfriend was a part of a channel with a couple other people, with about 50,000 subscribers and averaging 7,000 views a week, they were making between one to four thousand dollars a month, where as I'll get maybe a hundred dollars a month now if I'm lucky, three or four years later. With my exhaustion and stress with making goth related videos increasing, I began to try and expand myself and my interests for the better. I wanted to do product reviews, giveaways, talk about makeup and fashion I'm into in general not just goth, but by that point I had already been doing youtube nearly three years and I had lost my novelty. Google was forcing Google+ onto people, they were making it harder to comment or do anything on youtube, you even have to pay to advertize now, which you didn't have to do just a couple years ago. Facebook also started making changes to "Pages" and now only 1/4 or so of my likers see my post and if I want more people to see them I have to pay to boost the post. You have to put so much into it just to get anything out, it's expensive and exhausting and to be honest, not so worth it anymore. I lost my way after a while, I got into a slump that I'm still in, after months of trying to break it.

After taking a break from being a goth youtuber, and even the scene in real life for a couple months due to some serious personal problems regarding my last relationship, some drama I was dealing with and even having a bit of an identity crisis, I missed this. The scene has always meant the world to me, all I ever wanted to do was bring positivity into it, to share it with people who were interested in learning, to just being a part of it and enjoying every minute of it. But it got hard being vilified, it got hard being harassed, it got hard being told I'm a joke and that I'm what's wrong with the scene, it felt like something I had loved so much had turned it's back on me, and I needed time to myself. But now I won't be going back into this blindly, I know now what I will be facing, I know now the drama, the hate and I have much more strength and under standing. Above all I'm more mature, I'm not a dumb kid blasting on youtube like my words have no meaning anymore, to some extent I am grateful for the hate I got, because it made me grow up. It made me see I was an immature little brat who thought more than they really did, and now I have a much better understanding of the scene, and of myself.

I'm starting this blog because I want a place to focus my interest in Goth and Deathrock, I wanted to have this as a resource for people, and give it the same reason for existing as my channel once had, to share my experience and to be there for people who share my interests. I know that no matter what the hate will not stop, it's the internet, there's no running from it, after nearly two years, I just needed time to collect myself again, and rise from the ashes. This is important to me, and something I take a lot of pride and interest in, but I don't want to make videos about it anymore. I know for a lot of people listening to me talk is a lot easier than reading what I have to say, but while having a job and three majors in college, a blog is definitely the better way to go. Here I will be posting as frequent as possible, typing my thoughts as I go along, in between classes or on my breaks at work, not having to worry about getting dressed up and sitting in front of a camera after a long and exhausting day. I will continue to make videos, but right now I am figuring out what youtube has in store for me, and will need to fill you guys in on that in the future.

All I have to say is thank you for everyone who has stayed by my side, who continue to see me as a source of value and who give me your love and support. I have come a long way in so many ways, and I am so very grateful. I hope that you guys love this blog and that it helps you in any way, if you have any questions, comments, or topics you would like me to make blog posts about, contact me anywhere and I will do my best to make it happen. Please keep in mind this is my blog, with my personal opinions, interests and thoughts. You are more than welcome to disagree with what I have to say, and if I say anything that is not FACTUALLY correct, all you have to do is kindly inform me and I will have no problem fixing it. All I ask is please do not be negative here, we are all on a journey in our own lives and in the subculture, there is no need to be rude or hateful. Thank you <3