March 19, 2013

Review: Camera Stand

This big tripod is from << click >>. I actually bought it last summer and made these pictures but totally forgot to blog about it... But since I've got it for such a long time, I can give you an honest review on it.

I bought it because I need to film a lot of our dancing, not only on stage but also during rehearsals. Otherwise we won't ever be in sync... It's also great to take pictures. Now, we don't have to ask anyone anymore.


Characteristics of the Cullmann Alpha 1000

  • The camera stand was pretty inexpensive, only 14.05€. I didn't even have to pay for shipping.
  • It's light, only 480g by itself, and it can carry cameras up to 1kg. So it's nothing for DSLRs but it works fine for smaller cameras like mine.
  • The full size is 1.06m but can be folded into 37cm. The folding and unfolding is pretty easy. There are some clips to hold the legs.
  • It also comes with a bag which you can see below.
  • It is pretty stable. It doesn't change positions or angles by itself. (I mostly use it indoors. So I can't say how it behaves when you take it outdoors a lot where there is wind and what not...)
  • The water level isn't too accurate... I always need to check the camera before making videos or pictures.



I'm so glad I bought the camera stand for my little Casio Exilim camera. It does a fabulous job to hold it. I can choose the height and angle of my shots. It's exactly what I wanted and I didn't have to pay a ridiculous amount of money.

I don't only use it for videos but also for a lot of pictures... Since it's not heavy, I take it for traveling and a couple other events.


March 17, 2013

Taiwanese Snacks

Lays is my favorite Chips brand. Whenever I find some new sorts, I need to try it out. In Taiwan, they have Lays Kyushu Seaweed, which is quite delicious. Can't compete with my favorite Barbeque (US) or Thai Sweet Chili (Germany) but it's still pretty great.

That noodle snack next to it isn't my favorite. It doesn't have enough spices to keep me interested. I wouldn't repurchase it. Actually, eating instant noodles before cooking is quite a great snack. Probably isn't healthy though.


Talking about healthy, seaweed is a great substitute for chips! It has only few calories (3kcal per g) and it weighs like nothing. That's like one of these little plastic packages which contain about 5 seaweed papers. There's also no fat. Of course, there's a lot of iodine salt so it's not healthy to eat the whole box but a couple of these little packages are great...


Dried fish or dried meat is also a very famous snack in Taiwan. There are lots of different styles and spices around them... It's typical for Asian food to be both salty, a little sweet and spicy.

If you find a Carrefour in Taiwan, you can go to the snack bar and try out each of them. There are little cups in front or next to the stuff, so don't be shy... Unless you're vegetarian ;-)


The next snack is sweet and sour... These are dried plums, Suanmei. There are also quite a lot of types... They vary in their intensity of sourness or saltiness, depending on their purpose: eating or cooking...

You can also pour hot water on top of them to get Suanmei Tea. It's popular as well but I'm not a big fan of the beverage but the plums themselves I love...

My mom said, they're also great for pregnant women because of their weird cravings for sour and sweet food.


The next snack is made of peanuts and roasted black sesame. It's coated in sugar like almonds at the Christmas market... I love these nutty snacks.


Another sweet but somehow salty snack is this little cake. They taste a little like moon cakes because they also contain egg yolk in the middle. This isn't a light snack though... I think one of these little cakes has about 300kcal. It's quite filling. I wouldn't be able to eat more than one at once...


At last, I found Hello Kitty chewing gum with strawberry flavor from Wrigleys. I'm not a big fan of the gum because it's too artificial and sweet but I love the packaging... Isn't it cute ^.^



So what do you say? Would you try out some snacks?


March 16, 2013

Stage Make-up

I play the main character in a play which has some kind of typical dirty dancing plot. At first my character can't dance at all. She is terribly ashamed of it. To win back her big love, she needs to become the queen of salsa dancing...

Thus I've got two different looks. Look 1 is innocent and cute, while Look 2 is a vampy style.

Look 1 - innocent and cute


Look 2 - vamp


Between Look 1 (innocent and cute) and Look 2 (vamp) I only changed the blush and lipstick color. Sorry for the bad image quality in the second picture. I was already backstage between different performances and it was dark, thus the flash gave me some unnatural skin color...

Make-up on stage needs to be a lot stronger than in real life. Thus there's a ton of products in the following pictures. At least for me, there is but I know some people use that as daily routines... If I did, I would have to become a lot more time-efficient. My make-up takes about an hour before I go on stage.





So I start with my fake beauty blender (A) and my Maybelline foundation Matti Teint in Natural Beige (1), followed by the Maybelline pure.cover mineral concealer #01 nude beige (2) for under-eye circles and redness around the nose, using (A) as well. I applied my Manhattan clear compact powder #75 beige (3) with the Ebelin professional powder brush (B) all over my face and using the Ebelin professional concealer brush (E) below the eye, continued by the P2 bronzer sunshine powder #030 Bali heat (4) using the Ebelin professional blush brush (C).


For Look 1 I chose Manhattan Oktoberfest limited edition Wiesn Fever (5a) as blush, using Ebelin professional blush brush (D), bought in 2012 - I think, that's why it looks so different from brush (C).

For Look 2 I chose both Mac's Love Joy blush (5c) and Sleek's Scandalous blush (5b) as highlight, using the same brush (D).

Eye Priming

Now, using my fingers I primed my eyelids with Essence I <3 Stage base (6), followed by Essence Ballerina Backstage LE - Eye Soufflé #01 (7) dance the swan lake all over the lid and under the brow bow. Then, I put Maybelline Color Tattoo #40 Permanent Taupe or #35 Tough as Taupe in the US (8) on the small lid and in the outer corner of the eyes and blended everything out. After that, I continued with Essence Ballerina Backstage LE - Eye Soufflé #03 Grand-Plié in Black (9) on the small lid, followed by Milani's Liquif'eye metallic eye liner pencil #01 black (10) to tightline the upper and lower lash line as well as to amplify the outer corner of my eyes. Again, my ring finger had to do the blending.

After each color, I need to wash my hands because it is so messy...


Then, I set everything with eyeshadow. Using my black Sigma tapered blending brush E40 (F), I applied P2 matte dream eyeshadow #050 rose charm (11) all over the inner eye lid and up to the eyebrows. Using the Ebelin professional eye shadow brush (H), I applied Essence matte dream Eyeshadow #010 black attitude (13) on the small lid as well as Manhattan Mat Effect Eyeshadow in #1010N Mat Black (14) in the outer corner. For blending purposes I applied P2 matte dream eyeshadow #070 grey pleasure (12) with Sigma's slightly smaller tapered blending brush E35 (G) to avoid any harsh lines.


For my eyebrows I used Catrice eyebrow set with Essence eyeliner brush (K). I always start off with the lighter color and continue with the darker color, if my make-up is more dramatic. Otherwise the lighter color is enough.


I've got a new favorite black gel eye liner. It's the Maybelline Eyestudio lasting drama 24h in #01 intense black (16). So much better than Essence or Catrice because it doesn't smudge! I always apply it with Sigma's eyeliner brush E05 (I). After that, Sigma tightliner E16 (J) helps me to set it with the Manhattan black eyeshadow (14).

Fake lashes

My Japanese Canmake fake lashes #10 (17) are solidly glued to my eyelids with the Artdeko lash glue (18). They haven't fallen off yet, even though I was dancing on stage for quite some time...

I can tell you, it's quite some work to put these fake lashes into the famous Shu Uemara lash curler (19), blending in my natural lashes. Because these lashes are so freaking dramatic already, I don't use any mascara. I'm also quite lazy, I wouldn't want to get it off again...


To highlight my inner corners of my eyes as well as the brow bone, I use Catrice made to stay highlighter pen #010 eye like (20) and the eyeshadow MNY 600A (21).


For Look 1 I chose Revlon's Super Lucious - Wink for Pink (22a), while I needed a little more drama for Look 2, using Essence lip liner #08 red blush (22b) and Mac's famous Russian Red (22c).


March 9, 2013

Larimar Jewelry Collection

Larimar is a turquoise gemstone from the Dominican Republic.
My collection started with a pair of earrings which you have seen in several of my Maid of Honor outfit posts (<< click 1 >>, << click 2 >>). I got them as a give-away, when I bought a painting...

That's how I fell in love with these gemstones... My boyfriend gave me the ring and the necklace as a present. The Larimar and Amber necklace was my own gift to myself ^.^
I love my little collection of Larimar. It's a great gift for other people as well and really not that expensive, either. Earrings as above can be found for 100-350 Pesos (2-7€), depending on the quality and where you buy. It is cheaper at the Zona Colonial but the workmanship isn't as great as in the touristic mall. It also depends, if you want to have silver or some cheaper material. Necklaces are more expensive (starting from 5€). Rings start at around 8€.


These are my German glasses by the way. They look just like the other ones from Taiwan but in black instead of brown... Anyway, I love matching jewelry, especially if it has such a pretty color.


March 8, 2013

Glasses from Taiwan

Glasses from the optician are THE shopping tip for those traveling to Taiwan with bad eyesight.


My eyes aren't the best, either. I'm shortsighted with -1.75 in my left and -2.5 on my right eye. With contact lenses it's even -0.25 worse.

As glasses are freaking expensive in Germany, my last pair was like 250€, I went to an optician in Taiwan. After retesting my eyes (still same old shortsighted), I decided to buy one extra pair of glasses and another pair of sunglasses. For both, I only payed 95€ (3800 NTD), including frames and glasses. Of course, if you buy frames from some fancy label, it will be more but the glasses themselves aren't expensive at all.

The other great thing about my new glasses - they fit my Asian nose perfectly. Normally, glasses really hurt my nose after awhile.


I especially love the sunglasses because I don't like to wear contact lenses when going swimming... Also, it's better for the eyes to give them a break from the contact lenses and let them "breath" ;-)

To my outfit:

I'm wearing a black coat from Primark (Fall 2012), black leggings, black suede boots from Deichmann (Fall 2011), beige dress from Forever18, coral belt from the Dominican Republic (3€), a black bag from Taiwan (15€), of course also the new glasses as well as a dusky pink and gold necklace (5€) from the Shilin Nightmarket in Taiwan.


March 7, 2013

Ballerina Love

While I was in Taiwan, there was an incredible shoe sale. Almost every pair was only 5€ (200 NTD). Of course I had to buy these cute ballerinas... Unlike the cheap shoes that one can buy in these cheap stores in Germany, they are quite well made, very comfortable, and don't stink like glue and plastic. Normal prices would be 380 NTD, a little less than 10€.


If you go to Taiwan, you find these kind of shoes at the mall of the Taipei Main Station and at Shilin Nightmarket. You can try to bargain, if you buy several pairs of shoes which are not on sale. If they are on sale, I'm already happy ;-)


March 6, 2013

Freestyle Salsa

Who would have thought that a phd in physics would ever earn money while dancing? Hehe... just kidding. It's not permanent. But as long as I don't have a real job, it payed my rent.

We started this project last month and everything is still new. A couple days before this performance, we got to know that we are supposed to dance to this song. Since it wasn't enough time to plan and choreograph everything, this is freestyle.



The song is called "Chan Chan" from Buena Vista Social Club.

March 5, 2013

Japanese Nail Art

I barely ever do anything fancy with my nails but since I've had a couple salsa events recently, I thought, I'll try out something new.

I bought some Japanese 3D nail art stickers a couple years ago and I didn't use them. I don't actually know why. It's some inner voice that tells me not to waste anything that pretty. I love these Hawaiian hibiscus flowers.

I'm actually quite surprised that the stickers last that long. It's my 4th day of wearing them and they haven't vanished yet. The petals aren't as white as before but they still look okay.

The only issue I have is that the stickers are 3D... The petals are made of some kind of jelly or silicon, giving my nails structure which I really don't quite appreciate because I like to have smooth nails... So I guess I won't be a big fan of these new fancy sand materials in nail polish.

The red nail polish is "fever" from P2 with a glossy top coat from P2 as well. After everything dried, I applied the silver stickers which are flat. It should be quite easy to recreate... Followed by the hibiscus flowers.

Edit: Here are some close-ups.