Hello all! I’m sorry for my absence as of late, I’ve been CRAZY busy! So, since my mind is just filled with pre-convention procedures, I figured that would be the topic of my Cosplay Corner today!

A lot of people don’t know just how much time, money, and effort is put into conventions from cosplayers. Sure, if they stop and think about it, they realize that costumes take a while to pull together, but for the most part all the non-costume stuff is probably over-looked. Here’s a breakdown of everything that gets done between hearing about a convention and walking through the lobby for the first time.

Well, of course there is an announcement of when/where the convention will be held. The next big one coming up that I’ll be going to is San Diego Comic Con. After the convention was announced, there was a mad dash for tickets. Just like every other year, tickets sold like hotcakes and were gone quicker than they were here. I tried to get my hands on some tickets a few different ways (all legal, of course), I finally gave in to the biggest ticket-bearing force fo them all: Craigslist.

Now, this year San Diego’s made it clear that they’re going to be a lot tougher on ticket-holders than normal. They’re saying they’re going to cross-check names on badges with IDs (preventing someone from selling/renting/lending out their tickets to others) and they’re really cracking down on fakes. So, you’re not gonna want to look for tickets on Craigslist. What you CAN do, however, is look for gigs that will hire you (they are in need of booth babes, security guards, I even saw some posts from people looking to pay people to wait in line or buy raffle tickets for them).

Being a model, this was a treasure trove of opportunity. Lots of businesses that have booths post on Craigslist to search for models/booth babes. This is the route I’ve taken. Right now the details are under wraps, but stay tuned on my page or my twitter and I’ll spill the beans after I get the go-ahead from the guys in charge. ;D I found one job and possibly a second one.

Now, transportation to the convention. This can be a little tricky depending on where in the country/world you’re located and where the convention is located. Lucky for me, San Diego is only a 6 hour drive from my place in Phoenix, so driving is the easy answer. Luckily, also, I’m going with two model friends (Lady Thor herself, Toni Darling, as well as the gorgeous Katy Mor) and my photographer Bill Nash. Carpool!

And since Bill is awesome (there’s a reason he’s my go-to photographer), we’re all gonna split a room. A friend of Bills reserved a room ages ago before the con was announced and locked us into a great deal. Split 4 ways and we’re golden! All that’s left now is the individual stuff.

For me, I always try to stock up on makeup before conventions. I’ve gone to too many conventions after having forgotten my one stick of eyeliner, I’ve learned my lesson! So I pack doubles of lots of basic modeling needs: spray tan, eyelashes, makeup, bra fluff, undies, hair stuff (bring 5x the amount of bobby pins you think you’ll need… trust me), etc. I also try to make sure my room is stocked so I don’t have to venture into an expensive town just to buy a bottle of water. We always pack snacks (like protein bars and fruit), bottled water, and some booze. You know, in case we want to celebrate how awesome it is being at THE convention everyone wants to be at!

A few weeks in advance I go through my daily beauty/hygiene routine. Face washing, teeth brushing, hair styling, all of it gets checked for anything that can/should be changed and I try to get everything perfect before trip. Don’t make any changes to these things too late before the convention though. You don’t want to break out the day before because you tried a new face wash that doesn’t agree with you. I personally use Pond’s Cold Cream and Olay’s Wrinkle Smoothing Cream every night, then Neutrogena’s Anti-Wrinkle Anti-Blemish cleanser and Olay’s Complete Ageless lotion with UV protection every morning. These products have worked GREAT for me, but everybody’s skin is different, so don’t invest too heavily in products until you know how they interact with your skin.

After making sure my skin is as good as I can get it (diet and exercise help with that a lot too, especially getting enough water every day), I move on to hair. All of it. Now, I’m an Italian broad. We’re known far and wide for our big eyes, big boobs, and big hair. Before every convention, I make sure I redye my hair and try to treat it special. Sometimes this means a deep-conditioning mask. Sometimes it means an extra trim before the convention to get rid of split ends. All of the time it means I try to skip heat-styling during the week or two leading up. No curling, straightening, blow-drying for me! I want to make sure my hair doesn’t take any extra damage it doesn’t need. Conventions are stressful enough on my poor follicles: dying, washing, drying, styling, folding up under a wig, styling again. And that can all just be within one day! So I try to give my hair an extra little break leading up to the con.

I also make sure I get everything I can waxed. legs, arms, underarms, you name it! I hate razors. I always forget them or get razor burn, so waxing just eliminates all that stress. Plus, it’s nice having the extra 5-15 minutes in the morning to get everything else done while I’m getting ready and not need to worry about running a bath to shave my legs. ;D

In addition to making sure all the costume pieces are all together, I also make sure that my workouts are together. I try to workout at LEAST every other day, but working out every morning is so nice, especially when I need to make sure my energy is kick-started and my body looks its best. So I make sure I have some workout videos lined up for me to watch before I put my face on.

And that’s about it. WHEW! And this isn’t just me. A lot of the other girls in the cosplay community have the same or a similar type of procedure for getting ready for conventions. It’s part of the fun, even though it can be so stressful.

Luckily, since we all know it’s going to be stressful, the other girls and I have planned some stress-relieving activities. Mostly beach-bumming it up, and a few photo shoots! Also, we’ll be updating out pages, twitters, and YouTube accounts religiously to make sure everyone knows what we’re up to and can find us if they’re in the area. So stay tuned for photos and videos from your favorite cosplay coquettes! <3

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