All posts by Courtney Rose

A look that defies gravity | Neville

I was lucky enough to be in the crowd the night Adrian Neville, or Neville as he is known now, debuted on the main WWE roster, and I quickly became a huge fan of his new look. I love capes in wrestling, something about the over the top nature of wearing a cape appeals to me (shocking, I know). Thus it seemed only appropriate to try and formulate a look based off the purple gear Neville has been sporting lately, and keeping it dramatic while also somewhat wearable.

neville progress

For this look I started with the eyes because I knew I would get a lot of fallout from the shadows. I started by priming my eyes with the Urban Decay eyeshadow primer, and then began applying the different shades of purple. The palettes I used for this look were both by Sleek because I am a huge fan of their pigmentation. I started with the light purple shimmer color from the Snapshot palette and placed that at the inner corner of my eye. I then went in with the purple shade from the Ultra Mattes V.1 palette and blended the two. Finally, I took the darkest purple from the Snapshot palette and applied that to the outer corner of my eyes, using a blending brush to blend it inward and distribute the product leftover on the brush into the crease to create some definition. I then wiped that blending brush off and took a bit of the shimmery off white color from the Snapshot palette and blending that in under the eyebrow and into the inner tear duct.

At this point, I took an eyeliner brush and black cream eyeliner from ELF and lined my upper lash line. While that was setting I took a smaller eyeshadow brush and ran some of the darkest purple color under my bottom lashes. I then applied mascara to both the top and bottom lashes. The one I used was Lights, Camera, Lashes by Tarte, but any mascara will do. I then applied false eyelashes. The ones I am wearing here are the Oh, Honey! Lashes from the Katy Perry/Eylure line. After the lashes were applied and dried, I ran some of the same black eyeliner over them to cover any white glue left from application. I finally finished the eyes with some purple glitter liner. The one I used here was the Revlon Photoready Eye Art in Lilac Luster. I personally feel like the eyeshadow portion of this product is weak, which is why I don’t use it often, but the glitter half is great and there’s a wide range of colors to choose from in the line.

I kept my face and lips simple because the eyes were already so busy. I first used the Smashbox Color Corrector because I have a lot of natural redness and it really helps to control that. Then I applied foundation and concealer. I’m trying out a new foundation which is the Mary Kay CC Cream in Very Light, and the concealer used was NW20 by Mac. I set those with a plain powder (HD Powder by City Color) using a large face brush. For my lips I used the Kate Moss for Rimmel London lipstick in 03, which is a very neutral taupe color.

You never forget your first time: a trip to the fun, fantastical world of Chikara.

Chikara has always been a promotion that’s interested, but eluded me. I’m not sure exactly why I held off getting into it for so long. Perhaps I was intimidated by its history, the longevity of it, and the incredible span of characters/performers to follow.  I honestly never knew where to start with Chikara, especially with it being so different from other promotions. Like anything else, so many people sung it’s praises to me that I started to feel guilty for not getting it. Thus, when I read that Chikara was returning to Chicago I immediately realized this was my chance to finally understand what so many of my friends have told me about, and see why it was so popular, yet in a way, still unknown to so many.

Had I heard of Chikara before buying my ticket to the show? Absolutely. Many of my favorite wrestlers had stints in Chikara years ago, so I had seen clips and matches here and there. A few others (Chuck Taylor, Drew Gulak, etc.) are currently on the roster, so when something involving them would pop up, I’d take a look. I think many of us have stumbled upon ‘funny Chikara moment’ videos in our related list on Youtube. For the most part however I knew of Chikara, not about Chikara.

Where do I begin? I received almost instantaneous answers. People who weren’t even following me were stepping forward with suggestions. Chikara fans were retweeting me, sending me matches to check out, specific people, and entire playlists of things on YouTube. It has to be said that the Chikara fanbase is one of the kindest I’ve come across, and also the one that wants so much to help new fans. I started watching what I could when I had the time, letting my friends fill in the blanks on the history as I go along. The internet is such a phenomenal resource in terms of wrestling history, and a quick poke around brought me to the backstories of those I was most interested in. It’s hard for me to sit and enjoy a show without knowing the basics first. Who’s the top guy around here? Why does this group hate that one? What do we cheer for certain people? What’s the payoff to this person winning? Having that small basis helps to understand the current situation, and really helps build the excitement for any event. After watched a few shows and things here and there, I finally felt that I was at least well versed enough to navigate myself through a live show.

Continue reading You never forget your first time: a trip to the fun, fantastical world of Chikara.

Painted for beyond the grave

When you think of important figures in the history of pro-wrestling, it would be impossible to build a list without the Undertaker. The man has had an almost untouchable streak in sports history, and let’s face it, everyone who has seen an Undertaker entrance has quivered at one point or another. I’ve been lucky enough to watch the Undertaker perform at two Wrestlemania’s, and there are few feelings in the world that compare with the awe and spine-tingling joy one feels when the gong echoes through an arena.

the_undertaker4

The Undertaker is also one of the most interesting characters in wrestling history, fashion wise. His look stays familiar while still changing and evolving with the times. His black and purple motif is a signifier for him, and that’s what I decided to play with here.
I wanted this to be something fun, dramatic and dark, without being too ‘costume’ looking. I wanted to use the colors and drama of the Undertaker without it seeming too gothic or undead looking, and I think it worked pretty well!

To start this look, as always, moisturize your face and find the foundation you want to use. I knew I wanted to look pale for this and lucky for me, I’m super pale already. I used Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse in Porcelain Ivory as my foundation and applied it with my fingers, as I feel like with this product it applies much more smoothly this way. Once I had done that, I moved onto the eye since that is the focal point of this look. I started with using the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk across my lids as a base, blending it out with my ring finger. I gave it a few seconds to set and began applying the eyeshadow.

Before applying the shadow, I first filled in my eyebrows. This is a pretty simple step. I used the ELF cream liner in black and an angled liner brush and follow the curve of my eyebrows, drawing in the outline. Then I used what was left on the brush to fill them in a bit before using a flat eyeshadow brush to collect some of the black shadow in the Sleek Ultra Mattes V2 palate and filling in the spaces I missed.

undertaker makeup palette with noFor the colours you’ll need both the palate I mentioned before as well as Sleek’s i Divine palette in Snapshot. In terms of style, I started this as a cut-crease eyeshadow look. This is a little harder to explain, but YouTube has tons of great tutorials on how to do this. I also extended the look and because I was making it a lot darker heavier than one would normally use for a cut crease look, it sort of morphed into a smoky eye toward the ends.
I started out with the darkest purple here [1] and drew in a line following the crease of my eye with a firm dome brush. I blended that out just a bit and then worked on building up the other colors around it. I then blended in some other purple shades, [2] & [3], starting right above where I had placed the first color. The point here was to create an effect where the lightest part of the eye ends up being the lid and just under the eyebrow, the darkest part in the shadows of the crease and then blending the richer colors upward. I used a soft blending brush to apply and blend these colors upward until I thought they were dramatic enough.

Finally I went in with the last color, the lightest purple shade [4] and packed that onto the lid. Wiping off the same blending brush, I blended it into the crease just a bit so the line between the two wasn’t obnoxious. The last step was to take some of the white shadow [5] and place it just underneath the brow bone and blend downwards. This brightens everything up and adds even more to the drama of the look.

Once I was happy with the general eyeshadow look, I applied eyeliner. For this I used the ELF cream liner and angled liner brush again, first lining the top as close to the lash line as possible. Then I ran this under my eyes across the waterline as well, also picking up a little of the second purple shade just to add a pop of color. For the dramatic lines for my inner eye, I continued using the same product and brush. The easiest way to do this is to draw a line from where your top liner ends to the point you want. You can go as far in or out as you choose. Then you draw another line from that point to the water line of your bottom lashes and fill it in. This takes a steady hand and a lot of practice, so don’t feel bad if you don’t get it right the first time!

After the liner is complete, the last thing I did was take a large fluffy brush and run it under my eyes, wiping away any eyeshadow that may have dropped down. I then took a concealer brush and my concealer, the MAC NW20 and ran some under my eyes and also across my lips to make them look as colorless as possible.
That’s it! Feel free to let me know if you have any questions about the look or the products, and send me photos (@ChicagosCRose) if you try to recreate this or put your own spin on it!

Hands up for NXT

NXT has been a force to be reckoned with for quite a while in the WWE, and nothing truly displays its staying power than a block of shows outside of Florida. Last week, the WWE began its first round of touring NXT to cities other than its usual home at Full Sail University, and it was a rousing success. Three shows were planned for the initial tour, two taking place in Philadelphia and the third in Albany, New York. I flew into Philadelphia for the Ring of Honor/New Japan Pro Wrestling show, and thus stayed an extra day in order to catch the first NXT show. Initially there was only one show planned, but the original Thursday date sold out so quickly another show was added for the next evening.

Never having been to Philadelphia or an NXT show before, I was unaware of what to expect, and what I ended up experiencing completely shattered my expectations. We arrived approximately a half hour before the show was scheduled to begin, and the line to the entrance was roughly 3 blocks long at this point. That’s when I first realized this was going to be far more intense than I thought. The show was held in an old theatre and there was exponentially more seating than there looks to be at the weekly shows at Full Sail. I believe the show ended up being sold out, or very close to that, and according to the theatre’s website, it seats roughly 3,000 people.

Our seats were quite good, not close to the ring but in a great spot to see the action, and the NXT crowd is very different from many crowds I’m usually a part. The general age range seemed to be mid-twenties and there were far fewer children and families than one normally sees at a WWE show. My group were also the only women seated in our area, and from discussions with those around us, we collectively had been fans and had seen more shows than the rest. The man sitting directly in front of me confessed he had only been watching wrestling for a little over a year but he is now hooked, and the NXT show was his first live event.

I knew early on I was going to enjoy the evening because the crowd was brought to its feet immediately but the lovely, sinister chords of William Regal’s theme. Regal has been one of my favorite wrestlers since I was a child, so to stand up and bow to the man was a dream. He spoke favorably of NXT and the talent, as well as thanking the crowd for attending. Immediately following Regal was the introduction of Enzo Amore and Big Cass. Honestly, I believe the duo got the loudest pop of the night. In the other matches that followed there were some heavy cheering for favorites (Finn Balor and Sasha Banks being the loudest), but it seemed as though no one in the room sat through Enzo and Cass’s entrance. They of course faced Blake and Murphy and put on a very entertaining match, with tons of “SAWFT” and “HOW YOU DOIN?” chants throughout.

Following that was a fun women’s tag match that pitted the team of Alexa Bliss and Bayley vs Becky Lynch and Dana Brooke. Bayley was a hit with the crowd and everyone was on their feet for her entrance. The match was good and really showed off how great Bayley is at interacting with the crowd and keeping them invested in the match.

The next match was one I had been hoping to see, a triple threat for the title between Kevin Owens, Tyler Breeze and Finn Balor. The three are so incredibly well liked by the NXT Universe, and it was less of a “cheer for your favorite” match as it was a “cheer for absolutely everything” type of match. I particularly enjoyed the entire crowd participating in Balor’s entrance and throwing their hands in the air with him with every crescendo of his music. Owens began the match by leaving the ring and taking a seat ringside, which prompted “SIT OWENS SIT” and “CHILL OWENS CHILL” chants. The three of them worked very well together and most of us were surprised it was not the main event (at least until we realized what the main event would be).

After the conclusion of the triple threat, there was a solid intermission. The show started back up with a bang bang (see what I did there?!) and Mick Foley surprised everyone by arriving and giving a small speech about the amazing amount of talent at NXT. Baron Corbin vs Rhyno was next, and naturally, Rhyno received immense “ECW” chants. Corbin was absolutely playing heel in this match and the crowd was steadily against him, going so far as to alter the “New Day Sucks” chant and clap to a “Cor-Bin Sucks” one. People quickly became bored of the match and it devolved into obnoxious chants for a while, including a chant for The Young Bucks and other Ring of Honor stars, which was predictable seeing as half the crowd attended the Ring of Honor/NJPW shows the nights previous. He seemed to perform well in the heel role though, and after successfully pinning Rhyno follow the End of Days, called out Joey Styles at ringside and ordered him to bring more ECW alums to the show the following day for him to take care of.

One of my personal highlights of the night came next, when NXT papa himself, Triple H, made an appearance. The crowd collectively lost its mind, and even I, who have seen Triple H in person many, many times now, found myself jumping up and down and rocking out. The entire crowd joined in singing his theme, which was one of the weird, but oddly beautiful wrestling moments I’ve experienced. There’s something strangely heartwarming about looking at the person next to you and belting out “IT’S ALL ABOUT THE GAME AND HOW YOU PLAY IT” as you jump up and down together like 10 year olds. Triple H walked around the ring and took video and selfies with nearly everyone at ringside, including Mick Foley and Joey Styles. He proceeded to enter the ring and say some words about his passion for NXT and for the talent. He then began to announce the main event, Sasha Banks vs Charlotte, which most of us assumed would headline after the triple threat being pre-intermission.

The crowd for the most part was impressive all night with a few snafu’s, the main one being someone trying to start a “No more divas” chant at this point. Thankfully, not only did the crowd boo and shut the person up, Triple H said something along the lines of ‘sorry man, these women are badass and they’re your main event.’ Unfortunately my camera died during this segment of the show so I have no amazing photos of these two phenomenal women, but it was really a blessing in disguise as I was able to concentrate all my attention on the absolute clinic these two women displayed. Both came out to equally loud cheers, and I’m happy to report that the minute the gross and stale “Sasha’s ratchet!” chants began, they were shot down with the loudest “NO SHE’S NOT” chant I’ve ever heard.

The match between Charlotte and Sasha was brilliant, full of great submission and chain wrestling and a few fun bits thrown in. Charlotte at one point broke out her father’s patented face plant and Sasha responded by Ric Flair strutting over her prone body. There were tons of near falls, outside of the ring attacks, and the final submission to give Sasha the win was beautiful. Both women left the theatre to a standing ovation and plenty of “This is Awesome” chants.

Other matches that took place involved Bull Dempsey vs Jason Jordan and Solomon Crowe vs Tye Dillinger. The only things to really note in those matches were the push they seem to be giving Dillinger, as he now has a ‘perfect 10’ gimmick, complete with a 10 scorecard he carries to the ring and raises when he’s done something relatively impressive. I’m not sold on him yet, but he quickly turned the fans on his side and let’s face it, wrestling fans love an easy thing to get hooked on chanting so “10” is a perfect fit.

All in all, the show was a brilliant success and an incredibly fun time. Even leaving the show was pleasant, and I was stopped twice between the exit doors and my train platform by people who wanted to discuss my Chuck Taylor shirt. Our ride back involved an entire train car of people talking about the show we had just seen, and it seemed as though at least half of the attendees of NXT had also gone to Ring of Honor/NJPW shows earlier in the week. It was a great experience and I would gladly throw down money to go again and again, especially if there’s another women’s match on the card that would even come close to the performance Sasha and Charlotte bestowed on we peasants.