Shopping: Having Product Knowledge Is A Helpful Thing!

Hello to my beuaitful nerds traveling the vast universe! I know I was going to do this post on N Reach but I think this should be brought up and that is knowing about your products especially with beauty.

Product Knowledge & Why It’s Important!

Today, I did my second video on the Urban Decay Pallet Series and told a story about a recent experience in WalMart which I will tell here.

As you know everyone has been releasing Zodiac Collections and Wet N Wild has been one of them and they did it more on the lements that go with the twelve signs and I noticed that one of the items in this collection was the highlight bars coming back. In my opinion those should also be permanent. Anyways, I wanted one in my sign’s element, Fire, which I am a Leo. When I heard WalMart was going to sell them in stores rather than Walgreens and decided to see af I can find it in my WalMart store. After gathering my face wash and a few other toiletrie type items, I decided to see about the Zociac Collection. After trying to find it with the regular items, I knew they usually separate it and decided to ask someone and a guy was walking around doing inventory and re-stocking and asked and tried to point me to the Wet N Wild section which I was there to get more of my setting spray and tried explaining that it’s a Limited Edition product and there is a separate section for it. He didn’t know what I was talking about at first and decided to see where it would be and then wra into a woman and asked her and she was confused at first and then looked it up and it gave her, “Limited Stock” and then took me back to their Wet N Wild section and explained the same thing and they said, “It would be here if we had it.” It had me giving up and we circled around after they left and then pointed it out and said, “It’s over here on an end cap!” I thanked them for it which always frustrates me that at other stores know what I’m looking for and point me to it, even ulta employees up front. Heck, still remembering two other instances that I did mention in my video that I was looking for the Garnier Hair Masks and guy didn’t know what a hair mask was and another time a customer had to help me find the CoverGirl Super Sizer Mascara.I bet you’re wondering, where am I going with this?

Product Knowledge Is Important!

Having the product knowledge is a helpful tool while working, especially when it comes to retail. I remembered with my own experience applying for a lot of Marketing and Customer Service jobs it does ask you to have product knowledge and even look at the website before you come in since some questions may be related to that. Heck, I was even asked if I knew about AT&T at some interviews when I have them as my phone carrier. One major thing about having product knowledge is that not only it makes you look good to the person who hired you but also to the audience that comes in to look at a product which a person who knows can be trusted in giving them the best info like experiences with the product themselves or even how it would benefit the person like a new phone or even a new concealer. This does build the trust between customer and employee which to tell you the truth I trust the Target employees a lot because they have helped me a lot due to knowing what they have gotten even Limited Edition. One good story as an example is that years ago EOS released a limited edition Alice in Wonderland lip balm trio and I was a fan of the original Disney film and wanted to look for it and found out it’s available at Super Target and went and asked one girl which turned into five girls searching and then a sixth appeared and had it! Which that does take dedication and there are times I’d rather go to Target, which can also bring up my next point.

Hiring More People for a Department That Has Knowledge and Pass It On!

I have noticed where in WalMart, sorry if I’m bullying them, or other stores sometimes, they have one person working with them and knows the item and the person goes, “Oh! I didn’t know that!” For instance, one time I was looking for a keyboard case for my Galaxy Tablet and the guy gave me the, “Sorry, we only carry Apple ones.” Which does help me with that information because it had me searching elsewhere. And another part is that there is only one person there and they don’t always have the info about items. So, to me, hiring extra people who may have more knowledge about things can help I mean I still find it interesting that I know the products a little more than the people due to watching YouTube, don’t worry that’s next, having that extra person that may know the department can help out or even cross training employees can give them more knowledge if they need to go to different departments like in Target they are cross trained between beauty, cleaning supplies, and grocery to name a few. It makes the job a little easier and faster. Even Lowe’s probably does it because they sometimes have to have extra help on hand in different departments even in heavy lifting. Again having that knowledge with that extra person can even teach the other employees what customers might look for and what products are being carried because passing on that information can help other employees that are there without that person who might go off and work in another department that day or left the location for another one can say, “Oh! I know this item! Let’s see if it’s in stock or come with me!” It can help a lot.

Having Your Employees Doing Research on New Product, Especially Limited Edition Items!

Oh boy! After that day, trust me hoping I would go to Walgreens for Limited Edition but this point kind of drives home and that is having your employees both old and new, watch YouTube, look at magazines on break or even subscribe to Allure or beauty and fashion blogs, can give information about the different inventory coming in even Limited Edition products. When I asked that woman that day, even though I can’t see facial expressions, I knew she had an empty expression and she was quiet for a bit. A sign of not having a clue. Watching the videos about new beauty products, hair items, even vitamins can help knowing what is coming out and what a customer may need or if it’s a Holiday Item then brushing up on your homework on what that item is can give you a big leverage in working on full time if you’re seasonal.

Learn From the Customers! Learning from your customers can also be a good thing whether it’s physical or by looking at feedback on the website. I should’ve said something on WalMart’s page but if you’re reading this you would know my story. I remembered how some of the employees not just at WalMart but also Ulta, Sephora, Walgreens, and other places are surprised when I ask about a new product and they ask me, “How do you know?” Well, this was around 2009 through 2012 when YouTube was not as big but nowadays it is because everyone would be asking for what they see on YouTube and for any new employees they would learn about the product. Remember Mr. Hair Mask? I told him the basics of a hair mask and what they do to the hair and how conditioning it is, etc. because I had experiences with them and that caused him to go, “I should look into this.” Plus, it does give them the idea that the product exists and where it is it can easily guide not onlyt he costumer but also the employee to it.

Well, that’s it for my post about Product Knowledge. I know it’s long but it would have helped that day. Now, best to put it in practice because without practice it won’t be as perfect since a lot of customers do come through any store’s doors everyday even from different parts of the globe and having that knowledge does help gain trust in the customer able to learn from each other such as what is the best shampoo for oily hair. After realizing it, your customers are pretty much your teaching tool and able to learn from them or just learning about the trends on your own can help even for a holiday shopping season since that’s going to start in…three months! Better get working!

So, next post will be on N Reach and in order to see when that’s up, follow us on Twitter @ Nerdy Shique!

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Hauls + Accessibility: Hot Cash April 2018 Haul and Microsoft Soundscape Review!

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Well, here is a mash up I never thought I would do! You know I love shopping even at Hot Topic and tech and this is a mash of tech and a haul since I got my Hot Cash Haul for 2018 and tested out a new app while I’m at it! Let’s start with the haul shall we?

Hot Cash Haul April 2018!

So, Hot Cash has come and gone at Hot Topic and this time all thanks to some purchases in February I did get two of them and it was a hard thing to choose when knowing what to get in order to meet that amount you have to get a discount! I had #30 off this time around let’s see what I got!

Sailor Moon Sailor Guardian Symbols Earring Set! You all know that I have been a Sailor Moon fan for the longest time and and had a major nostalgia bomb when I watched the re-dub. When I saw these on the website, I knew I had to have them. They are earrings of the original five guardian symbols that you see in the series when they reveal themselves as Sailor Guardians. I was really happy about it due to the Jupiter symbol in there since Jupiter is my all-time fave scout or guardian! Sorry! I wished they made the earrings Sailor Moon and Mars wore, I always wanted those!
Spike Gem Earrings! I know it sounds crazy but these earrings are almost like icicles in a way but they’re plastic spikes. I kind of feel like Hot Topic is coming back with the spike items since I saw a choker with spikes with a ring in it like in the past which I almost got but decided not to. These earrings were interesting and never seen before. I have gotten the spiked hoops which were heavy but looked great and even worn them with my Digimon character but these are cool! I feel like I had my ears pierced with these but they are more of a stud style. Hot Topic! Make more earrings like these!
Loki Septor Necklace! You all know who know me, I love Tom Hiddleston’s Loki from the Marvel movies! I can’t help it because he does it so well! While looking for items for this haul, I was looking for items related to the Avengers due to Infinity War coming out today and found Loki’s septor as a necklace. I added it to my bag right away and was surprised that when I got it it was a horizontal charm necklace like my Panic! At the Disco one. I’m wearing this with my Fairy Tail emblem and Panic! Necklaces and it gives an interesting layer when you look at it. Oh yeah, next author pic, I’m wearing these three necklaces!
New Doctor Who Logo Shirt! I did get two t-shirts since there are times where my large tees don’t fit as well as they used to due to my shoulders and I’m pretty much plus sized at the moment. This shirt was something I’ve been wanting for a while and that is my new Doctor Who logo shirt. As we all know is that the new season is coming out this fall and with it there is a new logo and Hot Topic happened to have a shirt with it and released it around February but decided to wait a bit before I got it since I was getting Hot Cash. The wait was worth it since I got the $30 off my entire order. I’m happy that I finally got it and can’t wait for the newest season in the fall!
Avengers Infinity War Collage Tee! So, Infinity War is out and I thought it would be perfect to get a shirt for the newest movie and the good thing that Hot Topic had a ton of t-shirts to choose from based on Marvel. I got the one where all the characters are in a collage since in this movie we will be seeing a ton of characters appearing and can’t wait! In case anyone is wondering, yes I caught Sebastian Stand, Bucky Barnes, on The Talk yesterday and it was great watching him talk a little bit of the movie and the pics they took as one big cast. I can’t wait to see this movie and will be wearing my Thor Thunderbolts and Loki Septor!

Additional Items:

Exchanged Sailor Moon Cat Cup for Pushin Cat Bottle! Well, after this order, I did notice Hot Topic was doing a discount code but couldn’t use it with Hot Cash so I went for the Sailor Moon cats travel cup. I didn’t know it was going to be one of those cups you tend to get for a kid when I saw it in person or felt it. I thought it was going to be a sealed tumbler because when you hear “travel cups” you think to that or the mug version and was wrong. I had to exchange it for something better and it’s a water bottle with pushin cats! It may not be a tumbler but it also has cats! I love this thing even if it has the straw inside. The reason why I prefer sealed bottles or tumblers is because I tend to knock over my drinks and with it being sealed tight there would be no spills. I am glad that this one is the same way where you have tightly sealed and the straw comes up easily.

Avengers Infinity War Makeup Pallet and Too Many Dead Pools Shirt! Gondras brought me a coupon that Hot Topic had sent him and he knew I would put it to good use and I did! What got me to use it is that they advertised an eye shadow pallet based on the Infinity Stones from the Marvel movies and other shades in it. I was hoping they would have it in store but they sold out and had to go online. What else I picked up was a Dad Pool shirt since the last Dead Pool shirt I got for I was many years ago and it was of him with the cake and the portal behind him as a Portal joke. I got the one with Too Many Dead Pools. I almost got the one with him and Domino but this one was funnier and I prefer the funnier shirts with him, I mean Gondras has the one of him punching a shark that Nerdy Shirts got him. Now my shopping spree is over.

Soundscape!

Besides picking up my order, I did have a bit of a mobility test with myself and it’s with an app I’ve been using lately and it’s called Soundscape which is made by Microsoft and only available in the App Store on IOS devices. What got me to get this app is because of one situation with paratransit during my customer service training at the local Lighthouse. There are times where I get home early and other times I get home so late it’s unacceptable and this time it was really unacceptable because I live nearby the Lighthouse which is around thirty minutes or less but nope! They didn’t get me home until close to 8 at night! Even Gondras was on the phone with me when it happened and that is why he picked me up during the last weeks of training because it made him mad and concerned that they are doing this time to time. I understand that too since there are times where some people need priority drop offs.

What is this app? Well, it’s basically a location app that uses your Location Tracking to tell you were you are with the “My Location” button which tells you the direction you’re heading or what place you’re at, what’s around you with the “Around Me” button which tells you the businesses and intersections and streets around you if you’re walking or on the bus, what’s ahead of you with “Ahead of Me” which tells you what road and intersection or business is ahead. This app tells me what’s in the park next to my neighborhood in miles! Good thing is that I use it to see if I am heading home or not on the paratransit to see where the driver drove to. Gives you a better perspective. So, I decided to test this app out at Altamonte Mall which is where I was picking up my package and wanted to test it out in a semi-crowded mall. When I went today, I decided to have the transit system drop me off at Barnes & Noble to make it easier than picking a random department store. I decided why not use the Beacon Setting which now it added a feature where I can mute and unmute the beacon noise in order to hear the announcements and if I’m ready to come back. I did use the Beacons on Tuesday when I went to Walgreens with the paratransit after an appointment with Blind Services to look at my new Braille device that’s being purchased and happy about and set the Beacon Setting with Walgreens and went to lunch at the nearby pizza place and enjoyed two slices of pizza and walked back to Walgreens to wait for my ride. This time I used it with Barnes & Noble since that was going to be my pick up point at the end of the day and muted the noise because it can be a little distracting. I turned on the announcements and when I walk by places, which I walked around the top floor first to get a better feel and for Soundscape to catch everything so if I were to come back to a place I would know where to get back to. I did use my sensory training from Daytona Beach as well to hear any key sounds, notice some lights that are particularly bright, and any unique music coming from a particular store.

Even Life after Sight Loss did talk about this on their YouTube, which I also thank them for this app in the first place, and using that sensory recognition to know where is what can tell you a lot. One thing that tells Hot Topic apart is the metal that is usually played on the speakers, Bath & Body Works and now White Barn Candle have their usual scents wafting outside in the corridor, which you can smell a mile away, there’s a popcorn stand where you smell the butter and at least it’s a lot lighter than it used to be. All-in-all this app is really good but I wish not only Soundscape give the unit of measurement, either in yards or meters depending on the setting, but tells you if it’s on the left or right of you because when I walk I tend to not know if a certain store or aisle is on my left or right and without that it can be a little confusing. Microsoft if you read this, which I will be tagging them on Twitter, add that to the settings or have it automatic because it can help some people that need that added information.

Rating On The App: 4.5 Star Paw prints Out of 5! This app is a really good app and so far Microsoft has been hitting it on the ball with helping in the Accessibility department. They have added more support with JAWS even with Edge which I still need a new license key in order to play around with Edge. Their mobile apps are really good which I love using Seeing A. I. for doing product identification, color help, and even short text reading. While Soundscape, it does give you the locations and it did that for me in Altamonte very well. I want to try this app at Florida Mall since that mall is huge and crowded due to how big of a tourist spot it is and of course I heard that there’s an Inglot store which I never knew and just seeing their cosmetics with just number labels don’t help me at all so I need to explore more with this app and I will give you another review in how much it works at the Florida Mall. If you think I should try it out at other malls or places Like Disney Springs for example, I would love to do that! If you’re visually impaired and need an app like this, I would say try it out since not all apps are for everyone, I did have my teacher in the training course download it and she did suggest it at the Lighthouse Reunion since it did give her the location updates. And a head’s up, any Android users, it’s not available for Android. Hoping there will be a version for those users along with Soundscape.

Well, that’s it for this post! I know it was pretty lengthy but it was something I wanted to share and add something to the Accessibility part of this blog. I will see how it works anywhere else and hoping more things get added. Stay tuned later on today for a new book review! Make sure you follow us on Twitter for the latest updates @ Nerdy Shique!

Convention Impossible: Holiday Matsuri 2017!

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! I am back and sorry for the wait because I was ill for the past couple of days. When I came home from Holiday Matsuri on Sunday I was fine and when Monday rolled around I got sick with an infection and was in the hospital. I took a few days off to get myself better even yesterday watching NetFlix. I am back and it is time for the Convention Impossible post. This year’s Matsuri was a very fast convention and man I have a huge list of Needs of Improvement and that even includes some points people have been talking about in the Facebook Group which I will touch upon here and from my own obeservations. Let’s get it on!

Disclaimer: This review is based on thoughts and opinions from the lead writer’s observations. Please respect her thoughts on this convention because everyone is entitled to their opinion as always. Thank you!

This year’s event was last weekend and man it was full of attendees in all shapes, ages, and sizes! Heck, even in all kinds of cosplay besides my Pokemon Ranger Link cosplay which people have commented on Ageslash in his Master Sword colors. We didn’t get many pics except for the Cosplay Runway which you will see later on in the posts when we get the pics off my phone since Gondras loves how fast the SE camera takes, now hoping the 8 camera does the same thing when I upgrade next fall.

Hotel: Like last year, it was at the World Center Marriot and still the same hotel and this year was a first which Gondras and I stayed with Nerdy Shirts and two of our other buddies and one of their buddies who was volunteering this year. Our room was in the North Tower overlooking a good portion of Disney Springs and you can see the balloon landing and the fireworks going off at Hollywood Studios which was amazing! Good thing was that we did have a mini fridge and good thing for my cream cheese and travel creamers since I need my coffee and did bring bagels this time around which everyone loved the Everything ones. Good to know for next time! We hardly went to the pantry, except I did get some soft serve ice cream which was really delicious, but we did have sandwiches all thanks to Gondras. Another good thing about the room was that not only we had lamps but we also had lamps with powerstrips which we can charge our multiple devices since you know being press does have its many perks of tech and I did have to recharge my Braille Sense U2 for an entire evening. Good thing on that because we live in the age of rechargeable devices including a PS4 which one of our buddies did bring. Yes, we did have WiFi but it was a sneaky thing where when booking it is included in the rate which that wasn’t mentioned but at least that will be fixed if we do decide to stay there for 2018’s convention if they are there again which I have a feeling they will be with how much it has grown. I do have an Need for Improvement which deals with the room arrangements for people to be placed so that will be towards the end!

Panels: Oh man! This year we had many events to cover since we did have the press pass. The ones we did cover were the panels with Christina V. and Nate Wants to Battle, the “It Gets Better” panel with J. Michael Tatum and Brandon McInnis, the Cosplay Runway Contest again this year since we did enjoy it last year but our pics turned out blurry due to how fast the contestants went on and off stage, the Idol Festival since the Press Crew asked for people to cover that, and the Voice Actors Panel Saturday. Reason for so many events well the two voice actors panels is that we didn’t get to interview anyone which was a sad thing for us but at least we did make it up for panels even with J. Michael Tatum’s stuff since he was one of the people we wanted to have an interview with. I also wanted to interview Christina since I did get to interview Katie Griffin through email and because of getting to talk to the original Sailor Mars, why not the new? I did ask my question during her panel with Nate from my list of questions which I had on me just in case something happened and we can interview and you will see her response in that video.

With the Idol Fest, it was a new thing we have not seen before since this year was the first time for Holiday Matsuri to do the event. For those of you who don’t know what is an Idol Fest, I took a bit of a lookie look and I found something that gets held in Tokyo, Japan every year and has started back in 2010. It is basically a concert where female solo idol artists or idol groups perform in front of people and if you guys know Vokyloid then you may know that is basically what it is. With the performances here, we have the groups lip syncing to the music and play instruments and play the roles as the idols. One of them was even a dancer idol which made it even more interesting. We did get video but there were people in the way of the camera and well…don’t want to be claimed for the performance. All in all it was a pretty good event. I have a feeling it will return next year.

We did go to one 18+ panel this year and it was Mr. Tatum’s Saturday one and can’t really say what happened but if you guys have him as a guest at your local convention and OF AGE then go! Also, if you’re bringing grandma, this is something she may enjoy or not. (I am not kidding someone did bring their grandma!) And also, you may die laughing which Gondras did say I had done a higher pitched “Nyu” than I usually do during this panel. Again, go to it if he is a guest and doing it too. But the other voice actors events I can talk about were the ones on Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon, first the Saturday one had Charlotte Chung, Fred Tatasciore, J., and Brandon while Sunday felt like it rotated Charlotte and had Nate and Christina in that one. During Saturday’s, I was able to ask my “Favorite Holiday Memory” question because you are at Holiday Matsuri and actors do have stories to tell especially J. this year and they are very entertaining by the way! While Sunday, Gondras did ask one question about roles that they wished they have gotten but Brandon did re-phrase it and that made it better in a way.

When Gondras originally asked the question which was “Were there any roles they wanted but didn’t get it?” Christina and J. did answer the question Christina did run into that situation while J. says when he doesn’t get it that he lets it go and not let it bother him. Then Brandon chimes in to change it to “What were roles you wished for?” Which was a better question to ask since it was easier for everyone to answer. Thank you Brandon, this one will bein our interviews for now on, especially starting next year when we sign up again for Omni Expo! First Brandon said he would like to be a witch in Into the Woods, J. said he wants something like that too but doing a female voice himself that would be a good challenge for him especially if they made Orlando by. Virginia Wolfe into an anime so he could do both parts of him in male and in female. Nate would do manly men in their early years. Fred would like to go for the Joker and Christina said she would wish she had Stitch or Crush but if she had it in the 90’s, read either Jasmine or Ariel. I could go on with panels but to me the main and special events were the most entertaining since we didn’t go to many fan panels, we did try going to the Kingdom Hearts 15th Anniversary one on Saturday but that didn’t go as well since they were just doing a video type of presentation. I know video is nice but panels can’t just be all video. Plus, we didn’t know what panels were going on in the fan area since the app that was used this year called Cosmunnity was not working right for some reason and there were not many printed schedules. I will touch on that later.

Guests: Even though we didn’t get to interview anyone this year we did get to mostly talk to J. and Brandon at their tables during their weekend. Gondras had to do his Jelly Baby bit since he was the Doctor during the weekend and I did have a few myself since he fed me a few. Lol He did help a girl in the line for the Saturday Voice Actors panel who was going through some nerves and gave her a few to calm them down which he did good on that. I know that feeling when meeting a guest you REALLY wanted to meet and you have a lot of nerves underneath. I do become a little shy around them I admit…but I do go with the flow since they are like us. What was awesome though was having a bit of a tech talk with Brandon McInnis since he noticed my Braille Sense U2 and he gave me a post idea for the Access Tech category on here since it is my handy dandy press device for notetaking and editing now for writing too.

Dealer Room: This year’s Dealer Room felt like it grew a bit bigger this year with more vendors and we saw a lot more people in it this time as in attendees. The layout did change a bit with some artist people more in the front and a few a little spread out. I did get a few things this year and that included a new messenger bag of Roy Mustang from FullMetal Alchemist which I was meaning to get one of Ouran High School Host Club but when I tried looking for the person who had the bag they weren’t there anymore. Apparently, this year there were a few booths that were selling bootlegged stuff and they were kicking anyone who was selling it out and I think the Ouran bag seller might have been one of them. I did get a new pair of cat ears and tail from the fave cat ear seller I always love to buy from. She had a new set of ears and a tail in a new pattern of fur she picked up and called it Latte. It was sooo soft and yes I bought the ears and tail set since I have not gotten a chance to get a tail from her. I did have to buy a tail from someone else to go with the blue ears she made me in the past that I did meet at AFO since I hadn’t found her since 2014ish? I was glad to find her again and I still have her contact. And yes, I ran into my buddy who sold the Japanese Snacks which he was down a few tables from another guy doing the same thing and almost got chocolate mint flavored ramune but it was a bit pricey. This year was a change for my Snacks Buddy since he did mystery bags and I got one for a nice change and I haven’t gotten anything out of it yet due to being ill recently. Not only that, he did get the fave mint Kit Kats but I have been a bit chocolate out due to getting leftover bags of Halloween Mars and Hershey’s mixes even though I have been doing it moderately in consumption. Gondras did get a bag and he did eat some of them that night with me. Another item was something I never thought I would find at a con but on Hot Topic and that is a Pikachu wallet. It is in a clasp format and I do love the clutch like wallets like my Luna and Artemis one from my birthday this year and this one has Pikachu’s face on the front and lightning patterns on the back. I guess I did a pretty good haul this year despite how massive last year’s was due to having a work experience but next year will be better. Gondras did get his copy of Tales of Xillia 2 signed by Mr. Tatum and yeah it did cost a little but it was worth the wait for the entire weekend.

Rating: CONVENTION COMPLETE! I know this seems to be more of an Accomplished but I feel like it is a Complete. This convention went by fast for the three of us and we did get to enjoy the room for two days. I do find it very convenient that we had the room at the World Center and get to the events a lot faster than driving from one part of Orlando to the Disney area. Now onto the last part…

Needs for Improvement: Oh man! There was one HUGE feedback post after this con and I do have my own needs to suggest….

1. For Hotel: World Center if you are reading this why put everyone in the North and West towers of the hotel when the event was ccloser to the East and South towers? Before the convention, the hotel was reserved almost to full capacity and well most of the reservations were kept in North and West which we have to walk a good distance to get to the southern part of the main floor. Not only that, the first day of the convention, we had to park in the southern parking garage and you can imagine how far the boys had to walk to get all of our stuff. I was waiting for the camera to charge before the J. and Brandon panel. Plus, during the night, the North and West parking lots were full due to how many people were staying and we had to park on a side street which is pretty dangerous and wishing that the parking was better and even people talked about that on the group and yes, they are listening well the convention is and they said that the hotel will do better next year. I am hoping and with the amount of attendees staying at the hotel all four towers should have equal access to have reserved rooms. As in if both South and East get filled up then use the North and West towers not the other way around because it does save on time, yeah it would be a long walk to the pantry and restaurants but they are pretty much in the middle of the atrium connecting to the North and West towers, the lobby, and the pool area. (Man, I should be working for the Marriot, lol)
2. Having Volunteers Guide Blind People: Oh man, another thing I wished that was there was not only more volunteers on the floor which they should have been all over and that are ones that can help the blind. Maybe I should suggest to the admins about this and that is able to help any blind attendee that may be going to convention because reading a map is not always accessible. Trust me, I was lost getting to Main Events on Saturday. As the only blind press person, it is not easy walking sometimes if you don’t know where to go and I did have a hard time asking people since they point. I can’t see pointed fingers so I finally asked if anyone will help guiding me and someone did. Glad that helped but would be nice to have volunteers to give that sighted guide too which I remembered year one of Omni Expo where I had a volunteer do that for me and a lot of cons should have that too. There are times when people do have disabilities including wheelchair alongside other things whether it being hearing impaired or sight impaired, having that volunteer to be the sighted guide or being there to help push a wheelchair can kind of help. I should write to Holiday Matsuri to have volunteers to be sight guides once I finish and post this.
3. Guest Relations: I know I mentioned this in reviews on this con in the past but they are back again and it deals with interviews. Last year, I was told to contact the Guest Relations ahead of time even though we got the interviews last year. This year, I just did that and was told to send the interview questions and I did and this was months before the convention and then didn’t get any contact as the week led up to the event and got the response “Sorry! Slots are full!” This did upset me and yes I understood that there was no guarantee of getting one but when the event came, I was not the only one who went through the same thing. A guy I met at the Cosplay Runway had the same thing happen to him when he had known two of the guests and they wouldn’t let them do an interviews he wanted either. I am not sure who got the interviews but Gondras wondered if it was favorites or something because we have done interviews in the past at Holiday Matsuri and I have met some of the press teams and they are like us. But when I mentioned to Mr. Tatum about what had happened and he explained that it was due to their schedules being full. I am now wondering by “Slots are full” are they talking about their event schedules as in doing the panels, events, saying “Hello” to the V. I. P. pass holders, etc.? Or did they get interviews so that is why they are “full?” I am kind of confused on that especially now that the event has passed. I did see open opportunities at the signing area, even though the dealer room is loud like crazy, where interviews can be done with them. I am not sure what is going on with how it is treated. I am hoping next year this gets fixed because I felt like we went through the same thing like with Mega but at least we weren’t pushed to other people that I can’t see their work.
4. Cosmunity App: This one was the biggest of them all with complaints and thank goodness I heard it all over even in our hotel room with the complaints. The Cosmunity App is pretty much like Event Bright where you look at the convention schedule that way and pick where you want to go and apparently that is how you get the map for the entire floor. Apparently, people had major problems with this app! Not only you had a lot of attendees trying to access the Hotel WiFi but also getting onto the app at the same time causing it to go either slow or crashing it and that does happen with apps. Even when Gondras plays Brave Exvius there were times when it does crash due to some bugs. I am glad I am hearing about this since I didn’t have the app nor know that Holiday Matsuri was doing this and with the amount of attendees at this event, especially when you have J. Micahel Tatum at this thing, you draw a huge crowd and technology can’t keep up with that connection demand. Even Brandon McInnis, who works on software himself, was surprised knowing about the app from us. The HM staff did say they are working with the developers of the app to make it better for next year. Another part since this app was bad…
5. Having Printed Schedules and Books Again: Even though there was a con guide this year but there were some print outs according to some people that didn’t have the full schedule. If you don’t have an app that works, having a print out does help and I was glad for press that the Press Staff did give us the panel schedule for the ones that can be covered and a nice tip for anyone who does look at the schedule beforehand since they do post it on the convention website is to use either Google Sheets if you have an Android device or Numbers if you have an Apple Device. With these apps, you can create the schedule by putting in the panels or events you want to go to and what days they are on, what panel you are hosting, even what day and time you’re checking into your room and place what day and time you check out. I used Google Sheets and memorized the events pretty easily but if you need to check the schedule you made, you just take out your phone or tablet and access Sheets or Numbers since they can run offline and check that way. Also, make sure your device is fully charged and if you can’t see then make sure the voiceover is also on. Lol Still, having those print outs can also help in case if the location of the event or time gets changed which you can compare with what you typed out.
6. Panel Form: Yes, I have to mention this as my last point because I feel like it is a huge thing to mention and that is the panel form is not as accessible as it was back in 2013; I did bring Blind Experience back then and the form was very accessible with JAWS on my PC and had no problem submitting it but this year since I want to bring Nerdy Shirts’ idea to life I had a hard time filling out the form. Now to see through my blind eyes and that is I had a hard time navigating through the edit fields, when I tab around it goes to the very bottom, I had to use my arrow keys to navigate and some of the areas weren’t even read out by JAWS and then when I clicked “Submit,” I thought it did until a month before the convention where it was not in. I even tried redoing my password and well the panel staff took a bit to get back to me and the newer passwords they gave me didn’t work. I did let it go but I did need to mention the Accessible Problems. I don’t have problems with the Press Form for the past three years already and it does work like a charm and even getting our Press Passes through the Event Bright app was even more accessible but the Panel Form was not and this should be fixed for next year. I am not sure if the staff were expecting someone to fill out the form with Zoom Text but with JAWS it is not working someone should make something to help work with JAWS or Narrator since all Windows PCs come with that.
Well, that is it for this review. I know the Needs for Improvement were a bit harsh but I did say this was based on my observation of the con and I did take some notes to heart and mind because not all conventions are perfect. I am hoping some of these issues do get fixed and knowing with the huge feedback post on the group did catch the staff’s attention. Next will be my event posts with videos and pics we do have for and can show them to you guys! I will updating on the Twitter account as usual so you guys would be in the know. Oh right…Gondras is also ill so hoping we can get some of the other videos up in time for 2018. Apparently, there has been a bug going around and hoping you guys don’t get it and if you did, get better soon because it is not fun having it since I have gone through it in the past. So, until next time catch you on the universe side!

Shopping: Holiday Gift Guide 2017!

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! It is November and we are getting closer to Christmas and you know what that means! It is time for a gift guide here. I have done gift giving advice here and back on Myspace when it was a thing and now it is time for a gift guide in case if you need some ideas!

MakeUp Sets: First is makeup sets! We all know the beauty lovers in our lives and getting that perfect makeup gift would help. We do have the beginners and experts that we know when it comes to makeup and Holiday time is when the brands come out with their own makeup set. I have gotten some in the past and even purchased a few for myself this year and they are worth it. Some of the makeup sets that are big this year include Tarte’s Holiday sets which you can find at Ulta and Sephora depending on who has what, Kat Von D’s Saint & Sinner pallet which would be a big one to ask on any list, but if you want to go for drugstore E. L. F. has released a lot of sets from brushes to highlighters and even stocking stuffer gifts. If you want a better list of sets, I would suggest watching Kat and Hayleigh (sorry if I butchered the spelling) on Beauty News since they talk a lot about new releases even for holiday and Jen Luv’s Reviews for new holiday releases every week on What’s Up In MakeUp and I suggest joining the Facebook group since everyone helps in suggesting products so asking for what gift to ask for or get for someone special they are willing to help. Heck, they helped me with selfie advice.

When it comes to some sets I would suggest, I would suggest the Ulta sets in Be Gorgeous, Beauty Treasures, and Love MakeUp because not only you get a lot of makeup but it does come in nice cases that you can keep. If you have someone that loves jewelry boxes, I would suggest the Beauty Treasures because you can remove the face and eye pallets for convenience since they are not in the signature plastic casing like the Be Gorgeous one. Plus you can go through the drawers very easily for what you need for instance, one drawer is for the concealers and eye primers, another one is for the brow powders, gel liners, cream shadows, and eye topcoats, and the last drawer has the lip items, the brow mascara, and a blush brush and dual ended eye brush. You would pay a bit more for this and good thing is the eye pallet has a lot of warm and cool shades to play with. If you have someone that loves train cases more for convention travel or vacations, then the Be Gorgeous and Love MakeUp sets are for them. I just got the Love MakeUp on sale and these two sets do have your usual eye shadow pallet which the Be Gorgeous comes with 42 shades while Love Makeup comes with 36 and you can create a lot of looks with these and you do have your essentials like your bronzers, gel liners, brow powders, but interesting thing is that the Love MakeUp does not come with the primers. I would suggest using your usual eye primers with the Be Gorgeous and Beauty Treasures sets because I find the Ulta primers in these sets too drying. Also, with Love MakeUp you do get lip liners. I would say for either of these sets to see which one would be worth more to give and again to see if the person loves train cases or jewelry boxes. These sets do retail for $29 which is Beauty Treasures and $24 for the other two but they do have specials on the train case sets.

Nerd Memorabilia: Here at Nerdy Shique Universe, we do include nerds when it comes to giving gifts and many stores do carry a lot of merch based on Doctor Who, Harry Potter, even Dungeons & Dragons. Your best places to find these things are Barnes & Noble, especially the ones with music and movies being sold, Best Buy where they sell Marvel themed thumb drives and other pop culture related things mixed with tech, F. Y. E. for a lot of your merch and tees, Hot Topic being the biggest, and two more stores to mention that we do have here in Orlando and they are Pop Cult where there are way more pop culture items like Hello Kitty, Pokemon, and more, and Box Lunch which has more of the classic pop culture stuff like Miyazaki films and 90’s themed stuff. Gondras did get me a Gigi from Kiki’s Delivery Service as a coin bank last year for Christmas from Box Lunch by the way. Nice thing about that place, they do put your purchases in a lunchbox like carton since it does match the name. I know I will be hitting the Hot Topic website for Gondras this year! Lol

Bath & Body Sets: I know a lot of us love to pamper ourselves after a stressful week at work, heck even a stressful weekend at a convention, so having a a set of bath or skin care or body products to help soothe that aching foot or to calm the skin from stress is a way to go. Many brands have been coming out with sheet masks to help with the skin, even on a plane which I hear people use sheet masks to help with the dry air on a plane, and you know the holidays are HUGE for travel! You can get some of these sets from Sephora where they have skin care sets from Glam Glow, Tachia, Boshia, and much more. Emily Noelle even talked about some masks she got with holiday scents recently like pumpkin spice and sugar cookie and I think those are Ulta and you do have other brands at Ulta like Tony Moley, their in house brand of bath sets that you can get Buy One Get One 50% Off at the moment. I do hear the scents from Ulta do smell good. And of course, Bath & Body Works, my kryptonite with their Christmas scents! And of course, can’t forget Lush because they do have awesome gift sets with bath bombs, bubble bars, and they do come with mini shower gels in there too and good thing about getting these sets from Ulta, or Bath & Body Works, and Lush is that if the person never tried them before this is how you can try them. That is how I got into Lush by the way, Mommy Gondras did work for them seasonally back in 2007 and I got a gift box from their Christmas line and I was addicted, even to Snow Fairy. So, every year is Snow Fairy right after Christmas! So yes, sets are a good way to go!

Luxury Brand Sets: I can’t forget about this because there are times where we know someone that loves that luxury skin care brand or makeup brand and there are times where the singles are a bit pricey. A lot of the luxury brands do come out with their own holiday sets and if you have saved up a lot over time then getting a set like this would give the luxury lover a ton to try. One good set definitely to recommend are the mud mask sets from Glam Glow because you get to sample some of their more popular masks in one single set rather than trying to buy it for $50 (just guessing) and around this time there is the Sephora sale depending on your membership level you get 15% as a Bauty Insider and 20% for VIB and VIB Rouge which does help even when it comes to early gift shopping.

Train Cases: I feel like bringing these up as a possible gift item especially when I mentioned the Ulta sets before and that is train cases. If you don’t want to get the Ulta sets, there are the usual train cases that we love to travel with, heck I am going to be using my pink caboodle for Holiday Matsuri since that is what I use for my convention makeup stuff. These last you for a long time and they do come in many sizes and price ranges. I have a six tray one and it was $24 if I remembered and I got it from WalMart two years ago. Trust me, I have a lot of stuff to put in, lol! Anyways, besides WalMart selling these, you can find at Target, Ulta, and I believe Sephora too and of course Amazon and EBay does carry some of the older ones you may not be able to find in store anymore.

MakeUp Bags: Besides train cases, you can also get a loved one a makeup bag because a lot of us do travel and having that makeup bag is very handy! They come in all shapes and sizes and even in nerd memorabilia, heck I have a Pikachu and an Artemis one from Hot Topic since you know me, plus they do come as sets depending on the brand. For instance, Too Faced has a set where you get three mini shadow pallets, their Better Than Sex Mascara, and other items in a makeup bag. Even MAC has some such as their mini lip glass trio, which you can use the little makeup bag afterwards for lip stuff, bobby pins, and other things when you are on the go. Also, Sephora has really big ones every holiday and they come oujt with new designs for every holiday so you can get what you like. And in case if you are at a department store browsing makeup counters, some of the brands do include makeup bags as gifts with purchase, I do admit I take my mom’s Lancome ones due to how spatious they are. Lol! Speaking of gift sets…

Perfume and Cologne Sets: Besides beauty and clothing, there are the loved ones that love to smell good! I usually ask for perfume but due to how many bottles I have I have slowed down incredibly! Anyways, sets are a good thing to go with because there are times when a brand wants to treat the customer or their loved ones by selling the set together and they do come with pretty sweet stuff like a shower gel and lotion and sometimes even a bag to go with. For instance, my Nicole Richey perfume set came with a carrying bag. A good set that people suggest is the one from Sephora because they include a coupon to get the full-size perfume or cologne that is included in the set of minis of your choice.

Gift Cards: If you have a hard time choosing what you want to get someone, gift cards are a way to go! In my gift advice, I say pay attention to where your loved ones shop or ask where they like to go. If you can’t get an answer, you can get them a Visa gift card so they can spend it anywhere. Another good idea is if the person loves to play games on their devices or game systems, you can get them either a Google Play card, an ITunes card, or even the systems’ cards to use in their stores such as the PSN card in case if they want to get a classic game or pay for their membership at the end of the month.

Food Sets: Finally, there are times when we want to give a person a little something extra especially in their stocking and that is either something sweet like candy or a box of cocoa packets. Heck, my mom gave me a can of blueberry tea bags one year as her stocking stuffer gift because I love blueberries especially as a tea. Not only that, if you have a party to go to or your friend loves savory foods, Hickory Farms always, always, ALWAYS have stands every year! If you have not tried Hickory Farms, I suggest trying their turkey summer sausage. Anyways, this place is a good idea for any party platter or as a gift even the day after Christmas has a good sale with them which is buy one get one 50% off and that includes their food sets that come with pretty good mustard spreads to tell you the truth.

Etsy: Finally! Finally! If Didn’t mention this earlier, Etsy is also a good place for gifts! This has a lot of craft items made by people, think of it a craft version of EBay. Not only that, this is where most of the people I meet at Artists Alley sell here as well such as Black Flame Creations, Aunt Matilda’s, and a bunch more. You can find a lot of great jewelry, some people even sell kitchen items, even candles if you can’t walk into a Yankee Candle. Plus, a lot of stuff is really well priced and they do ship as soon as possible even in time for holiday time! For instance, I got Vivi a wolf necklace for her since I was her Secret Santa last year and I did remember how she loved wolves and found it when looking for steam punk jewelry and it did arrive on time. So, I would say look around Etsy and also sign up for their newsletters because they will give you some items as ideas and some of the stuff does get discounted depending on the seller.

That is it for this post! Hoping you got some inspiration from this post! Christmas is my fave time of year not only just for gifts and sales but also Holiday Matsuri and the Doctor Who special that comes around every year. So, good luck on your gift hunt! What is next? A new cosmetic controversy that may want you to think carefully of swatching a tester on yourself! Until next time!