Friday, August 24, 2012

Anatomy of a Mermaid Tail
Dont let the title fool you, this is not a post about biology! ;D
Today I thought I would do a quick run-down on the basic anatomy of a swimmable mermaid tail!

Mermaid tails come in all shapes, sizes and colours- just like the merfolk who wear them! Often the tail is what defines the mer as 'themselves', just like your favourite outfit may express who you are! This doesn't mean mermaids have to stick to one colour or one style of tail, though ;D

Tails can be made from a variety of materials:
Spandex- Photo from The Mertailor
starting at the cheepest is spandex or other 'swim wear' materials. These are great for the casual mer, or for mers just 'testing the waters', and also great for training! They do not last very long- the materials have a habit of stretching too much and wearing thin, but at a price range of $50-$200 they are affordable!
Neoprene- Photo from Hannah Mermaid
Then we move onto neoprene- which is a rubber material used to make wetsuits. This will probably set you back around $200-$600 on average. Stronger and durable, these tails can last you a few years if taken care of properly (rinsed after use in salt/chlorinated water and dried thoroughly) and are great for a mer who wants a serious tail without breaking the bank. The only issue with neoprene is it buoyant, which makes diving difficult without a weight belt.
Neoprene/latex- Photo from Fish Butts
Next is a mixture between neoprene and latex. These tails use neoprene as a lining against the skin, with a realistic latex scale-pattern on top! Price is really different depending on the quality, however you can get a neoprene/latex tail from anywhere between $200 to $1000! More realistic than the first options, but with similar buoyancy to normal neoprene, these tails are beautiful and can last years. The only issue is that latex can get damaged over time- especially in areas like ankles and knees where it can bunch- but on the plus side it can also be repaired easily too!
Neoprene/silicone- Photo from Merbellas
Now we have the mixture of neoprene and silicone. Silicone is weightless in the water, much harder to paint (paint must be pigmented into the silicone during the curing process) and also rather expensive, so the price of neoprene/silicone tails varies between $1000 to $3000. The bonus is, however, you are left with a very realistic, light-on-land, swimmable mermaid tail that is extremely durable (granted you follow the care procedures). There is a slight buoyancy due to the neoprene, but I have heard the silicone balances this out somewhat.
Silicone- Photo from Merbellas
Finally, the highest of the market: pure silicone. Boasting all the benefits of above, but completely weightless in water. Perfect for professional mermaids who need all their strength to preform rather than forcing themselves to stay under the surface! Pure silicone tails range between $3000 up to $10,000- and are molded to fit you perfectly (normally full-body casting is needed). The only issue I've heard from these is that they are rather hot- the silicone suctions to your skin- and that on land they are HEAVY; but to a professional mermaid these are just plankton in comparison to the benefits they get when performing in them.

And these are the basic materials used in mermaid tails! ^_^
I have forgotten one very important thing, however. Monofin!
Monofins are essentially 'one fin', it is the propulsion behind the mermaid tail! Often built into the fluke of the tail, or for spandex and neoprene tails, just sewn in! Without the monofin the mermaid tail would not be as effective. Common users of monofins are free divers and professional swimmers, they are great for strengthening the core muscles and getting propulsion without using ALL your strength. Monofins range from $70-$200 in price depending on the size and professionalism of its design- however many mers have made their own to suit their own needs! Materials for monofins are harder to source than mermaid tails, as often a mix between resin/plastic is needed so the fin wont get pressure points and break during use. To get the fluke shape, often purchased monofins are cut to the right shape.

I hope this has been insightful to you all! :D
 In other news, I did the interview with the TV program yesterday- its being aired tonight! Its only local tv, but its certainly more coverage than I've ever had in my life! I hope it looks ok! They filmed A LOT of underwater footage, so that was pretty cool!

And also, I paid for my professional mermaid tail yesterday too!! XD See the beautiful creations by Merbella Studios above? Well, I am getting one made by them! How exciting! Check out more of their STUNNING tails and accessories here:

Happy Swimming! <3

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Adelaide 2012 Beauty Conference

Quick little update!
I got some amazing news last week! ^_^

I got into the Adelaide Beauty Bloggers Conference!! I am so excited!! XD
There is so much I want to learn, and being able to meet all these wonderful bloggers who all have different styles will be incredible! I know I'm not a great blogger- what with working full time, trying to keep a social life AND write about things! haha! But I know I can learn so much from everyone!
Its on September 1st, so I need to think of a nice outfit to wear before then! XD

And also, I was contacted by a local TV station this week asking to do a small interview about a mermaid event this weekend we are holding. They've got me and two other local mermaids to answer some questions and film us swimming around in our tails this Thursday! I'm a little apprehensive to be honest, as shows in the past often put a "lol how strange are these people" spin on things ><;; (its happened to a mermaid I know, and a few in the USA) I really hope they wont- I'm actually taking a HUGE leap of faith in even doing this interview!

Wish me luck!

Monday, August 13, 2012

EOS BlythEye Blue!

Such bright, pretty lenses!

Full face, without make up! :D

I wore these to AVCon this year... as one of my all time favourite characters! :D
 Princess Serenity! :D

Comfort: 10/10
Size: 9/10
Colour/Design: 8/10

These lenses are the smallest I've reviewed so far- at a mere 14mm! hehe! But, they are now one of my favourites!! I never thought that 14mm lenses would look good in my eyes (in the past I had some unlucky experiences with 14mm- they were too small for my eyes so I couldn't see through the middle properly and it gave me headaches! lol!) but I can now take back my skepticism. These were- by far- the comfiest lenses I have ever worn. Seriously. I wore them for two days straight without so much as an itch!! I put them in, and promptly forgot about them. They were incredibly comfortable. Sizing wize, they are small enough to wear everyday without causing too much of a stir. I can see myself buying more in different colours and just wearing them at work... they give a lovely enlarging effect without looking alien-like when not wearing make up! The colour is a lovely bright blue- which is what I was after, as I purchased these for cosplay purposes. I wish the subtle colour change was more obvious in my eyes, however, but I dont really mind because its such a pretty colour. I can now honestly eat my words- 14mm does suit me- I am a convert! XD

Check them out for yourself at

Thanks for reading! :D

i.Fairy Kimchi Mermaid in Violet!

 Next in the adorable series, Violet! :D

 Sorry for no photos without flash ><; 

Comfort: 8/10
Size: 8/10
Colour/Design: 9/10

Another in the Mermaid series! :D Although these are the exact same lenses as the Blue version, just in Purple, I had some trouble with them in my eyes the first time I wore them... They were very noticeable as soon as I put them in, and my eyes had a bit of a freakout. I flushed my eyes with eye drops and it calmed them down- which was super strange, because the second time I wore them I had no trouble! It could've just been my eyes being sensitive (they're like a child, I swear). I've given them a higher mark in comfort than the blue pair, however, because the second time I put them in I didn't even feel them! XD So strange... Other than this, they are just as big and cute as the Blue pair! Purple is not a colour that is very bright in my eyes, but this was just enough so that I liked the subtle hint it gave them. In photos with flash they looked really cool!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

*Mermaiding Post* ~Breath holding~

*Before I begin, I would like to point out that I am a) not an expert, this is just my research and knowledge, and b) anything you do regarding breath-holding is at your own risk.*
Being a water baby, holding my breath underwater has never been an issue for me. It feels quite natural and I can do it for a relatively long time. However, there are many techniques to improve the length of time one can hold their breath! I am still practising them to this day, and will continue to do so.
The great thing about improving your breath-holding is that it is not just for swimming. In general it increases the strength in your lungs and your fitness will improve because of this- I guarantee it!

First off, let me get through some basics. Never ever just go "OH I'M GOING TO SEE HOW LONG I CAN HOLD MY BREATH!" dive into a pool, and go for it- especially if you are by yourself. Has anyone ever seen the bride or groom faint at a wedding? It's because they FORGET to breathe from nerves- not even kidding- so imagine fainting underwater. Lack of oxygen= slowing of the heartbeat and decreasing the tone in the thin muscle layer of the small arterioles, resulting in a sudden lowering of blood pressure and decreased blood supply to the brain, causing one to faint. When first developing your breath holding skills, do it on dry land, with someone around you.

On that note, developing your breath holding skills DOES NOT start with holding ones breath. You need to train your diaphragm. Lets get all in depth with your anatomy now! :D Your thoracic diaphragm is a sheet of muscle that separates the thoracic cavity from the abdominal cavity (the heart, lungs and ribs from the stomach, liver and lower goodness) and controls the breathing! The diaphragm contracts, enlarging the thoracic cavity, which in turn reduces the pressure and creates suction which draws in the air. This is a function which is involuntary- even if you have the ability to hold your breath for a long time, your diaphragm with begin to spasm to force you to breathe.  On that same note: it is not physically possible to  hold your breath until you are unconscious. You may faint, but you will awaken only a second later because you're body would have regained control of your breathing moments before you black out. (This is why you will drown if you hold your breath for too long underwater).

Although your diaphragm is out to 'make' you breathe, you CAN train it to be under control! Some great examples of this come from singers- they learn to control their breathing to hold amazing notes for lengths of time- I can bet you there is not one professional singer who hasn't got lungs like an Olympic swimmer!
I personally contribute my breath holding ability to singing training!

So lets get into an exercise to help you develop an understanding of your diaphragm!! :D
Simply lie flat on your back on the ground, put your hands on your ribs below your chest and concentrate on lifting them up every time you breathe. Don't force it, do it nice and slow, and don't lift your shoulders up!  Try your best to concentrate on using your diaphragm. This might take some time to start feeling the difference, but the slower and deeper you breathe you will begin to actually FEEL the diaphragm at work. A good way to test this is to put a heavy book or something on your tummy and see how high it moves when you take in nice slow breaths!
You will find this exercise very relaxing ^_^ And it is! It slows your heart beat and puts you in a state of sleepiness- that is because you are inhaling oxygen at a deep, consistent rate. This is a great exercise to do in bed while falling asleep. HOWEVER I DO NOT recommend getting up in a hurry- slowly sit up and stay seated for a while before standing, as you're blood pressure will have dropped significantly.
Here's the awesome catch: continually doing this simple exercise has its benefits, as after a while you will find you can expand your chest further as you've actually been building the muscles strength all the time! Plus, you will start to be a killer at karaoke. ;D
I guarantee that doing this diaphragm exercise will increase your lung capacity. 100% positive and proven. Hell, if there is nobody else in the room I say try taking a big slow breath and singing a note for as long as you can! You will be surprised at the control you have of your breath and at the length you can hold the note (however singing requires a lot of other muscles in the throat and chest, so don't expect to be Adele or Michael Buble overnight! haha!).

One more thing before I finish this quick introduction into breath-holding. If you have ever seen free-divers in action, you will notice that they move slowly and deliberately- this is because they keep their body as relaxed as possible to conserve oxygen. When lying down, breathing slowly, you will find you can hold your breath longer and breathe 'stronger'. Its all about controlling the diaphragm, people! :D Free-divers are only human too, they suffer from the involuntary contraction of their diaphragm every swim, however they have the muscle strength to avoid sucking in a lung-full of water!

I hope that this has been helpful or at least interesting to you!
Next time I will talk more about free-diving and the way it affects your body and lung capacity.

Happy swimming! <3

Please 'Like' my Mermaid Page for further updates!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Twinkle Twinkle

My write-up on the AVCon weekend is almost done. In the mean time, here are some pictures.

 Sushi Cola.
Sounds dodgy.
But it tastes AMAZING. Its actually green tea cola. If you're in Australia and have a Sushi Train nearby, I really recommend trying it.
Photo taken Sunday night with my Princess Serenity makeup still on <3

Also, Mikey and I did a bit of room arranging. He was sick of using the wardrobe, so we swapped, and now the WHOLE WARDROBE IS MINE!!
The left side is full of my cosplays and my 'nice' clothes folded up, the middle (pictured) is now stuffed with my lolita- there isn't much room to spare- and the right side has my jackets/evening dresses hanging with my casual/work clothes folded.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

i.Fairy Kimchi Mermaid in Blue!

I was lucky enough to be able to try out the SUPER cute and colourful series of i.Fairy Mermaid!
I started out with my favourite lens colour, Blue! :D

 The design is super pretty, and the diametre is 16mm! Great for big dolly eyes!
 Look how BIG they are in my eyes!!
 I decided to go with the theme- Mermaid! :D

 Sitting in the bath. In my tail. Wishing it was Summer!!

Comfort: 7/10
Size: 8/10
Colour/Design: 9/10

These lenses are BIG! They are 16mm, so not for the faint of heart (or eye... whichever). I found these really cool to wear! XD The comfort is ok, obviously it is a bigger lens so it can be felt easier when blinking, however I just pumped my eyes with contact-safe eye drops until they got used to it and then they were fine! I wouldn't recommend wearing these for any more than 3 hours without eye drops, though, as they do get dry after a while! Other than the comfort, the size is obviously not for every day wear- they are so BIG! But thats what I like about them!! XD They are great for cosplay or photoshoots! The colour and design is really cute too, I thought it was very lovely in my grey eyes. These were my first experience with ''iFairy'' lens, and so far I am loving them! They are so cute!!

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