Favorites: November & December 2017!

Hello SHiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! It’s that time again and that is the Faves and this time it’s November and December! Where has the year gone by? Well, new faves and let’s hop to it!

Convention Faves:

Fave Purchase: The Cat Ears and Tail in Latte! First is a fave purchase at Holiday Matsuri and that is the cat ears and tail that I got from the maker I always go to known as Micki LA Course. I started buying my cat ears from her in 2013 when I found her stand at Florida Anime Experience when it was in Orlando, apparently it will be in Vero Beach now, and I went for a day to get a signature from Mahle Flannigan since no one else wanted to help out with that. At least I went for a day and went around in the dealer room which was kind of small and found her stand on the outer perimeter of the room and the first ears were in vanilla fudge calico pattern and still have to this day! I forgot to get the tail from her for the longest time even when I found her again at Holiday Matsuri! She had a new fur and it is the color of lattes when they have their cream and you know me and coffee and couldn’t resist and got the tail too! I highly recommend her ears and now tails because they are very fluffy, they clip on, and you don’t always have to use for just cats, a girl came to her stand to ask for wolf ears for her wolf fondness cosplay for a RWBY thing that evening and she handed her the ears. I remembered that you could use her red ears for Flareon too. If you see her stand I recommend her ears s and she does have other things too.

Fave Panel: The J. Michael Tatum 18+ Panel! Do I need to say more? That’s it! Highly recommend if you are at a con with him as a guest and if you are 18 and over. I also did love his panel with Brandon McInnis which is also the “It Gets Better” panel which we will get the videos up soon of that and know how he feels because I was picked on too as a younger person and I did have a speech impediment which you do not hear as much today but if you knew me in high school that was back when it was really bad. I know how you feel <r. Tatum, if you are reading this, I had problems sounding my S’s and Sh’s when I was younger.

Fave Cosplay Moment: The InuYasha During the Holiday Cosplay Runway! Even though my Ageslash was complimented on Friday but this moment goes to the InuYasha cosplayer during the Cosplay Runway and hoping they are okay after being told to “Sit!” Which that takes a lot of dedication. I think nowadays if you try to tell any InuYasha cosplayer to “Sit!” They probably won’t do it due to how much it hurts and you have to face plant for it. Hope they are okay!

Fave Food to Eat: The Bourbon Burger at Denny’! After the con, we headed for Denny’s because we needed a meal after eating sandwiches and snacks all weekend! I had the Bourbon Burger and OMG it was delicious! Even the onion rings were delicious! If we have another Denny’s After Con thing I am ordering it again.

Makeup Stuff:

Fave Ulta Set: The Be Gorgeous Set! This year Ulta was killing it with their sets! I remembered having three of them when they started doing their own makeup brand but the only one I really still have is one that is in a Caboodle style train case and I did try de-potting things and didn’t go well. Not a good idea guys! So, this year they released a lot of sets but the ones I got were the Love MakeUp, the Beauty Treasures, and the Be Gorgeous which is my all-time fave out of the three! I do love jewelry boxes but the Be Gorgeous has my heart at the moment because I have been using it like crazy for November and December even if I got it in October. This comes with a 42 eye shadow pallet at very bottom, face items such as concealers, blushes, bronzers, and two powder highlights with one cream one, and you also get the gel liners, brow powders, and glitter top coats. I would say the eye shadow primers in this set weren’t the greatest because it was hard to get out of the little plastic part where they were in and not as creamy, very stiff mind you but everything else was amazing! I did use this set when I did my RWBY main cast looks with Nora, Ruby, and Cinder which they came out really great. I did use this set to re-create Kathleen Lights; teal smoky eye despite the teal being shimmery along with the other shades but I did have fun re-creating it. You can find the pics over on my Instagram at Mari Blue Cat! I am hoping Ulta keeps up with these sets because they are a major step up and it’s been a while since I have gotten anything Ulta brand.

Lip Oil: Ulta Brand Lip Oil! All thanks to the Love MakeUp set I got two lip oils and I like one more than the other. The set came with the Soft Rose and the Coconut one which they are a part of a line that Ulta sells and I never tried any out since Too Faced was the only real brand that did them and they are tinted. These don’t have tint which is great because with lip oils you really don’t need it since you need the extra nourishment after wearing lip colors all day, especially liquid lipsticks which can be very drying. I prefer the rose one over the coconut one because I feel like when putting on the coconut one is too sticky and I feel like not enough product goes on my lips and have to dip in twice. I think this happens due to how tiny of a size they give you in the Love MakeUp set but I do want to try the Black Raspberry one since they do have other flavors in the line. I can’t wait to go to Ulta!

Brow Powders: Ulta Brand! I know it’s weird to mention Ulta again but I have been loving the brow powders in their sets since I decided why not try it out. These powders do have a bit of fall out but they do go on the brows very well and you don’t know you have anything. I did use the taupe ones for Yang and Weiss’ looks to match the white and blonde hair they have, I did mention I did de-pot the powders from their older set I still have but a good portion of the powder came out but the taupe one was handy during my Link cosplay and the dark brown during my Itachi cosplay. I am going to explore more in the brow powder department!

Bronzer: The Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer! I know I said I would probably won’t use bronzer but I started using it now for contouring and started doing it when I tried out the Morphe Vegan Set to see how I feel about it and it is great. The bronzer I do like at the moment is the Butter Bronzer from Physician’s Formula and I can see why so many people love this thing! Even though the smell is the biggest love but this one is not heavy, it is just light and easy to blend and build up too. I had this with me for Holiday Matsuri to contour my cheeks for Link and my chin and under the lip for Itachi and that is really my contouring. I do do the nose time to time but I really stick to the cheeks, the jaw, and the chin and lip areas. I may have to try other bronzers but this one is a fave!

Liquid Lip: NYX’s Lip Lingerie! Next is my fave liquid lipstick and I give it to the Lip Lingerie’s from NYX Cosmetics. Not sure if I mentioned them but they are way better than the Liquid Suede ones in my opinion. I like how the lipstick stays on my lips even on top of the E. L. F. lip primer and they feel light even throughout the day. I took French Maid with me which is a purple color to Holiday Matsuri and it did not vanish at all since it stayed all day even while talking! These are also inexpensive and around holiday time they do have sets which I got two of them when Ulta did a $10 off $25 NYX purchases during the end of November and I think it ended on Christmas Eve. I got the sets with French Maid, Lace Detail, and something else and the other with Teddy, Push Up, which is one I wanted the longest time ever since Jessica Braun, and there was one more but they are worth it for the set but you can get them individually if you don’t want the colors in the set itself. I am thinking of getting Beauty Mark and Baby Doll because the other set came with Embellishment which I already have and they have a great color range to choose from!

Fave Eye/Face Pallet: Ofra Holiday Glow Pallet! Next is the Ofra Holiday Glow Pallet which was an Ulta only thing for the holidays since you can only get on their website for anything Ofra. Ofra is a very good brand and I remembered getting items from them in my Ipsy and Boxy Charm when I used to get them both and still have the pallet I got on the Ipsy Offers page years back but this pallet is a mix of face and eye stuff where you get eight shadows which one of them is an Ulta exclusive shade while the rest are regular Ofra shades, a bronzer, a highlight, and four blushes. Most awesome thing is that you can take the pans out to customize a pallet with them or if you run out of an item you can get the refill except Winter Berry which I think that is a Christmas shade only. These things are very pigmented, especially the bronzer! I would say with the Americano bronzer is to go in light handed since this can go out of hand and should blend it in with a brush afterwards because I had major blending issues once and did give it an air brushed look with a powder brush since I was using my oval contour brush from Ulta and wanted to try it on the hollows of my cheeks and didn’t work out that way. I also like how you can use two of the shadows as liners but I use them as eye shadow shades like the others. The good thing was that this was half off when I got it and hoping you guys got your paws on it like I had.

Fave Eye Base: NYX White Eye Base! I have been testing out the white eye base from NYX for the past couple of months and I would say it is a fave despite how crazily creamy it is! This does make your shadows pop and does give a nice base to it but there are some shadows you need to build up since there are times where people do have trouble with certain shadows, one good example happened to be the Maybelline Rock Nudes pallet which those shadows need to be built up while with other shadows when I clean them off you do see them on the cotton round later. I did admit I had a hard time removing my makeup on Christmas when I did a red, green, and gold eye look where I used Ruby Red from Maybelline, Golden Sage from L’Oréal, and Treasure from Pacifica which was an Ipsy sample before I got the full pallet and then used the NYX Jumbo Pencil in Rust and the Wet N Wild Midnight Mermaid Liner in Sea Symmetry and knew that the Maybelline shadow stuck like glue with this base! I think I like this eye base as much as the MAC Paint Pot in Painterly since it works very well and does go on very smoothly and I do prefer a potted eye base over a tube because I can control the amount I put on and I can be more sanitary with a brush. Plus, it has lasted me this long too when most eye primers last me a month which were the Maybelline one, the E. L. F. one which was less than a month every time, and better than using a B. B. Cream and foundation in my book. Plus, this does work better than using a pencil which I keep hearing the Milk pencil from the Jumbo Pencil line is the best for shadows but this is just as good.

Fave Christmas Special: Doctor Who 2017 Special! This year’s Christmas Special of Doctor Who was pretty good but last year’s was better than this one but with this year’s special it does show what had happened after the Doctor yelling out, “I don’t want to re-generate! I want to stay!” That was when the First Doctor appears and they got someone that is like William Hartnel for this special and did the same when they re-told the re-generation scene for Hartnel into the Second Doctor. This was basically showing the Doctor kind of going through a crisis since in Season 9 it shown that too where he even had his last moments with Clara but this kind of did that better since Season 9 was a bit of a weak season when 10 was the stronger of the three with Capaldi. I am going to miss him but now with the Thirteenth Doctor coming in and this time being a woman, I can’t wait what is in store for her and her adventures in time and space since the new season will be starting in spring which works out well for me! What I did like the best about this special though is where they show the Brigadier’s Father in World War 1 with the Christmas Truce which is an important part of history and it is a good way of doing that and showing this where the guy who headed Unit for the longest time came from and of course led down to his daughter in Season 8. Sorry for spoilers but Phathom Events did do a theater showing of this yesterday if I remembered and if you wanted to see it in the theater it was another good way of seeing it too but it is in select cities. I can’t wait for April when the new season of Doctor Who starts with the new Doctor!

Fave Books: The Cavannah Legends Series! Next is the Cavannah Legends series which I have read leading up to the book Chasing A Legend which was the one book I got on NetGalley to review from and was told I can read as a standalone but I did read the first three to get the idea of what I got into. I did love the books and how Sarah Robinson created the family of brothers who are into Mixed Martial Arts and their dad used to be a Mafioso before they were born and that is how he met their mother and she is so cute because she really wants grand babies! The book I loved the most was Saving a Legend with Kieron meeting Fiona because it shows how much Fiona sacrificed her own adult life to take care of her autistic sister Shea ever since their parents died. I am hoping this series continues since the youngest brother ended up with someone and I want to see how that relationship started since Robinson did spark that relationship in Chasing a Legend.

Songs: Can’t be a faves without my favorite five songs!

1. “Fire” by the Crazy World of Arthur Brown: I know what you’re thinking, “What!?” Okay, I blame this on Todd in the Shadows’ Halloween episode and it was talking about this guy by the name of Arthur Brown who had a music career in the 1960’s and he came out with this song called “Fire” and it was a hit and it was even #2 in 1968 after “Hey Jude” by the Beatles. Yeah, this guy had a very trippy song and it was even trippier with the song. Back then, he couldn’t tour because the costume he had on had a flaming torch on his head and clubs back then had a lot of cloth walls, rugs, and even paint that can catch fire very fast. He has been touring right now from what I have seen on YouTube since venues have changed over time. I did find it interesting that Alice Cooper did perform this song and I think with Arthur Brown once since the title said Arthur Brown and Alice Cooper doing it together. Great, now it’s in my head because the song’s keyboards and beat are catchy, very catchy that is!
2. “Out Loud” by. The Gabby Show: I know it’s not her actual name but she not only does videos on YouTube but she does music as well. I love this song the most because it not only has a great beat but the lyrics even with the chorus deals with saying things you actually mean out loud. I do struggle with this because I tend to bottle things up and it’s not healthy. I also sometimes get this song stuck in my head.
3. “Team Rocket” Metal Cover by. Jonathan Young: Another metal cover by Jonathan Young and apparently he did a metal cover album for the “2Ba Master” Album which I have to take a look at since that has been my fave Pokémon soundtrack. This version of the song “Team Rocket” is way too awesome since they did get someone in to be Jessie but wishing they got someone else do Meowth’s parts and actually sound like Meowth. I can’t wait to see what other metal covers Jonathan did with his crew for this album!
4. “Bang Bang” by. Ariana Grande, Jessie J. and Nicky Minage: I know mentioning Nicki Minage is a first here but I do like this song since it is catchy and of course I do love Ariana and her vocals match up with Jessie J.’s! Nicki does a pretty good rap solo for this one too. I couldn’t help listening to this song after getting Nicki’s MAC lipstick in Pink Print and enjoy the color a lot since it is like Cream Cup after all.
5. “Chandelier” by Sia: Not sure if this was on a list but I kept on hearing this song after finding out that Sia will be the new face in the Viva Glam series at MAC or shall I say “face” since she doesn’t show it in pics and will go the same with the posters and advertisements and the tube for the lipstick she will be releasing next year. I may have to get this one since I do love this song and it is something different to listen to besides all the metal I tend to listen to and I have a softness for any song that has an operatic or symphonic sound and her voice in this song is “Damn!” I can imagine karaoke with this song will be a challenge even though someone did sing it on The Voice.
Well guys, that is it for this bi-monthly favorites! 2017 introduced me to a lot of new music and a lot of new makeup products. I am hoping 2018 will do the same thing because I have new convention experiences, new products I catch on my local shelves at the drugstore or at Ulta, and so much more! Let’s see how it goes!

Next will be the Voice Actor’s Panel from Holiday Matsuri which we have up on YouTube! Stay tuned guys!

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Conventions: Holiday Cosplay Runway Contest from Holiday Matsuri 2017!

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Time to get back to the Holiday Matsuri 2017 coverage and starting with the Cosplay Runway Contest!

Saturday, December 16, 2017 Cosplay Runway!

This year we covered the Holiday Cosplay Runway Contest that is a big event for cosplayers. This is where people do holiday versions of their costumes to enter and well we did have some interesting entries and some entries that weren’t holiday even. Normally with non-holiday cosplays that is for the Cosplay Super Show on Sunday which we didn’t get to cover this year but if you guys want to see that for next year’s coverage then request!

One of the most interesting entries happened to be a group doing the Three Amigos and they sang “Feliz Navidad” by Jose Feliciano (Sorry if I misspelled that! My Spanish is very rusty!) And did fit since that gets played everywhere during the holidays. The good news is that Gondras did get a lot of photos of the entries and winners which I will announce down below since my camera on my phone caught them better this year. Thank you Apple!

Who won this year? Here the6y are:

Best Junior: Happily Ever Cosplay
Best Prop: Monster Hunter which all thanks to characters from this series having such huge weapons, they will always win Best Prop. (Need to see this series at some point!)
Most Festive: Krystal Andrews for the Christmas Miku
Best Creative: Jesse Golden for Gilgamesh from Final Fantasy which was awesome for having all the weapons!
Flashiest: Cosplay Unlimited who did Queen Beryl
Best Group: Love Bug (Which I must see since Christina plays a role in it!)
Most Detailed: Sakizo Cosplay
Judge’s Award: Peppermint Sombra from Over Watch!
Best in Show: Sierra as the Disney Story Reader who actually had light up pages when you open the book! (I bet that took a lot of work!)

There were other entries including the White Queen from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, an InuYasha which when the hosts said, “Sit boy!” They really sat! Yes, as in face down! The female host did have to get back at the guy and they did it together with the “Sit!” I hope the person was okay afterwards. Some of the non-holiday contestants was a Happy I believe and a Blake from RWBY. If I did Blake, I would probably do some holiday thing.

I hope you guys enjoy the pics since this year they turned out great and hoping next year we will change it up and bring you the Sunday contest! What is next in coverage? One of the voice actor events! Next will also be the Faves of November & December 2017!

Access Tech: Accessibility in Gaming

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe and I am back and will be taking a bit of a break from the Holiday Matsuri coverage, which I will get back to since we have to figure out what videos go up first since we have them recorded on Nerdy Shirts’ phone and camera and my phone with pics from the Runway Contest. Don’t worry, it will be up! Right now I am doing a post that my best friend Stellar Nan thought it would be interesting for me to do with my own take and that is…

Accessibility in Gaming

Disclaimer: This post is based on observations and opinions of the lead writer. Please respect her thoughts and thank you!

I am glad to talk about this topic since it has been a hot one all year especially since MegaCon Orlando this year when Troy Baker announced that he wants to see more accessibility in gaming and I did thank him for it which he did mention to me that he has seen articles of blind people popping up in the gaming world which is true.

The first article I had read before the con was done on a Japanese boy who is blind and beat a rhythm game series on the DS and he wrote to Nintendo to thank them for the series which the company did write back to him in a Braille letter and a printed one for his dad and said “Thank you for playing!” This was amazing to me because the kid did go onto playing the Taiko drums all thanks to playing these games which if you haven’t seen a Taiko show I highly recommend to go to one in your area or find videos on YouTube. Even before this article, Gondras did turn me onto one blind gamer that lives in Canada by the name of Steve Sailor who plays games despite having low vision. He has played many games such as Bio shock, Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Super Mario Odyssey and it is very entertaining to see how he roams around and plays the games and reacts to them. I will put a video link in here so you can see what he does.

When it comes to accessibility, it is where different things to be added in order to make playing games more fun for people with disabilities, especially ones with visual disabilities. It’s not easy to play a game for me since I can’t see the screen nor the buttons but I have been sighted before and remembered playing Sonic 2 the most and almost beating the game a couple of times. I even remembered playing Super Mario All Stars on the Super Nintendo and moved onto the Nintendo 64 and the Gameboy Color. Nowadays with my limited sight, I can only really play Pokémon even though I did help unlock people on Super Smash Brothers but it’s mostly Pokémon and I know how it feels to play it since another blind gamer by the name of James Rath goes through the audio cues like I do but sometimes the Pokémon can sound the same in my ears and do need the sighted help time to time. Plus, walking around can also be difficult since I do run into things a lot and need some directional guide. Trust me, playing Y with Lumios City was not an easy feat with how that city is a rotating 3D model when I look at it. Even navigating Mauville in Alpha Sapphire was confusing too with the different doors you go through. I bet you are wondering where I am getting at.

Screen Reader Tech! That’s right, screen reading tech should be developed for the Nintendo system since Sony has developed it to be on their PlayStation 4 for people with visual impairments to be able to play. I am hoping Gondras does get one soon because I want to see this for myself since I have co-opped with him a couple of times in Tales of Xilia 2!

For many years, I have been emailing Nintendo about this since it is not easy being able to see the text and the story is in that text based telling. Trust me, I try to ask Gondras to read the stuff out even during Pokémon Black and besides the story parts, also reading out signs on buildings since I was able to locate things on the maps in the strategy guides and can’t read them anymore. So, the screen reader would help in reading the maps, reading the tutorials too and even read the different menus on the home screen area when selecting the games you want to play, to putting in the text like with how Siri would do on the onscreen keyboard, and many other things, heck even see items ahead of you.

I did get an email from Nintendo once I read the article about the Japanese boy to reach out to them again and they did say they started including the ability to change the colors on the Nintendo Switch which James Rath talked about in a video I will also include about how a blind person would play the Switch. These settings pretty much change the gray scale and reverse the colors on the screen which sounds like something Zoom Text and Magic does where you can make the background different colors and your cursor a different color to help see while typing as an example. That is a really good start for Nintendo because it is now showing they are joining in on the Accessibility Arena due to how many people that are visually impaired want to enjoy their games. James mentioned how he and another blind friend were able to play together especially with Splatoon where they were able to switch the color blind settings to help with that.

It would be nice for Nintendo to expand on the settings to add the screen reader tech since we do live in the era of voiceover on Apple and Samsung’s tablets and phones, heck even Zoom Text has added speech to be like Magic in its own way. I did bring the question about this to Jennifer Hale and Ally Hillis during the Mass Effect panel during Mega since it would be interesting for their take and they said, “Of course! Since we live in the time of inclusion in tech that would be something that should be added.” You can watch those videos in our MegaCon Orlando coverage on here or go to our YouTube Channel for that. I do agree with their points because we do have the audio description and closed captions for the sight and hearing impaired audiences who love to come and see a movie with their family and friends so should have a talk with the companies that develop these devices or talk to Freedom Scientific, the creators of NVDA in Australia, or even Apple and Samsung for help in how to make something like this to work on the Switch and their DS systems since we do have the New DS too to think about. Plus, it will help Nintendo to keep up with Sony since they are getting into the Accessibility game a little more to include more gamers in their market and it would be the same with Nintendo if they keep going forward.

Well, that is my take on the accessibility in gaming since I am a JAWS user, it would be nice to play Pokémon with screen reading support. I did bring it up to someone I used to know and he thought this was a bad idea but now with more blind gamers and now voice actors wanting to see it more, I guess he will be thinking it more differently if he has been to the latest conventions where the actors have talked about it and plus more blind gamers are popping up in the mainstream media even on YouTube. I haven’t mentioned the points that Extra Credits mentioned in one video they did all thanks to someone who told her story but I will also include their video on Accessibility in gaming too. Now I will be crossing my fingers on all my paws to see if more accessible settings go forward. And I also want to thank Steve Sailor for letting me use one of his videos to show what he does and in a recent video he is starting to be a consultant to help game developers so hoping an expansion does happen. So, enjoy the videos and until next time! I will be doing a post that Mr. Brandon McInnis inspired me to do during Holiday Mature. Until next time!

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!

Books: Chasing A Legend by. Sarah Robinson

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! I just finished a book and now it is time for a review! I know it has been a while since I have done another Net Galley review but I will explain in the review.

Title: Chasing a Legend: A Cavannah Men Novel #4
Author: Sarah Robinson

Disclaimer: This review is based on thoughts and opinions of the lead writer. Please respect her thoughts and opinions! Thank you!

Synopsis: Sarah Robinson is back with a new addition in the Cavannah Legends series with one of the younger brothers, Quinton, getting injured really badly in a motorcycle accident and had a vision of a long-time lover telling him to hold on. After months of surgeries and recovery, he reunites with his old love, Kira Finley, who becomes his physical therapist and as not gotten over the pain of her leaving him when they were younger and she returns from school to be in his life again. While re-kindling the love and finding out their truth, Kira finds out that her tattooed and pierced bad boy with new scars is artistic and can create things out of metal but when she gets a letter that would help her finish her training to be a doctor, they wonder if it will cause them to lose each other again.

Thoughts: I took a bit to read this book because I had to go back and read the books before this one and was glad that Book share had them in their collection along with this one since I did have a lot of books to read before this one. I got to know what the other brothers were like since I was wondering who they were as I read. As in, how did Rowdy and Claire meet, who are Fiona and Sheaf and then Cain with Nora? I was glad to go back and read these books because it got me to know the characters especially with the twins Kieron and Cain and how they got their girls. With this one, like the others, it does how someone can change for the better even if it means they have to go through a life-threatening accident to do it. Quinton was known for a bad boy and was pierced and tattooed but when he went through his accident he had to change for the better. I think what helped that change was being with Kira. Yeah, they were in love for a long time from when they were kids but she did help that change since he did not know what he would become if he had not changed and he did help Kira to keep going with her training to be a doctor. I liked how the characters interacted and able to get along through book and even throughout the series as a whole. This series has been a great one and I have enjoyed it so far and hoping to see if Sarah Robinson will do another since the book ended with the youngest, Jimmy, starting to date a woman finally since I have wondered that throughout each book and of course Casey, the one member they have treated as a sister probably falling someone who was left at the altar.

Rating: 5 Star Paw prints Out of 5! This was a really good read and it was very cute. It does say you can read each book as a standalone since I did not get to read the first three first but in my reading philosophy I have to read the entire series in order to get the whole thing and glad I did. If you love books like these then you will enjoy what Sarah Robinson has in store for you. I know she has other books but need to hunt them down. I am hoping she continues this series with Jimmy or Casey.

Well, that is it! I was glad to get another book review out before the New Year and before the Holiday Matsuri coverage. Do not worry that will come right round the corner. Stay tuned!

Beauty: The Best Brushes At the Cheaper Price!

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! I am back and this time with a beauty post! I think this would be appropriate to do this post before all the press coverage I will be doing in the next week or so and then will do the Accessibility in Gaming post too but now it is time for the Best Brushes for the Lowqest Price!

The Top Best Brushes for the Cheapest Price: The reason for this post is that in case if you all haven’t heard the newest news and drama lately in the beauty world is that Kiley Jenner is releasing new brushes in her makeup line and that will include a set for $360! Oh yeah, I am hearing everyone’s wallets exploding, even Gondras’ new wallet I got him for his early birthday gift, sorry! Anyways, people have been tweeting like crazy, including Jeffree Starr, about how this price is outrageous! Even people on What’s Up In Makeup’s Facebook Group talked about it the other day and I did get into the conversation since I do love brushes and have bought sets in the past and you can get way cheaper sets and even cheaper single brushes since Kiley is planning to charge between $25 to $50 for each single. I know that seems like MAC’s prices but you can get good deals on brushes. So, that iswhen my kitty on the hamster wheel started running and decided to do this post!

Disclaimer: This post is based on thoughts and opinions of the lead writer! She also uses ideas from other people’s posts and experiences to create this list! So please respect her thoughts! Thank you!

1. Amazon: First I am mentioning my most fave place to buy brushes of all time and that is Amazon! I started shopping for my brushes from Amazon a year and a half ago and you can get a lot of brushes for cheap! I have gotten 30 brushes for under $30 even and the cheapest I have spent on a set was around $7 and that is not bad for what you get. You do get your basic face brushes, your brow brushes, and even all the eye brushes too. I notice they do carry some of the usual brands such as Crown, Coastal Scents, and many others. I also notice there are even have oval brush sets! I would say is search around and pick out from a lot of sets and you can get them in two days on Prime.
2. EBay: I never bought on EBay, well yet, but you can get brush sets for cheap too. I have heard people get brush sets on EBay for around $15 or so and I even saw unicorn brush sets for $10 and up. I may have to look into Sailor Moon ones since Rich Lux has gotten some and you know me with Sailor Moon!
3. Morphe: I know I was not big on Morphe but a lot of people have bought brush sets from them for cheap, heck I even got the vegan set for $39, I know that doesn’t sound cheap but it is lower than what Kiley asks for. A lot of people do love this brand and the good thing is that it is carried in Ulta now which you don’t have to spend the amount of shipping that Morphe does for standard shipping prices. Instead of $10 on Morphe to ship, it is $5 plus the taxes on Ulta. If you don’t want to spring for a set, there are the single brushes too which are around $4 to $5 and at least $15 depending on what you want to get.
4. Real Techniques: Everyone even their mom probably have one or two brushes from this brand. I admit I have a brow brush and one set from Real Techniques. This brand is runned by two sisters and I have seen them do a live chat on Sirine Wau on YouTube and they make awesome brushes for affordable prices. The more expensive are the Bold Metals but you spend around the teen range prices depending on what you get. If you want to experience Real Techniques, I recommend the the Starter Set that comes with four brushes and they are the dome brush for foundation, the highlight brush, the concealer brush which I suggest for your under eye concealer, and the multi-[urpose brush and I tend to use this one for powder. I do hear good things about the eye brushes and the sponges but I do love the bace brushes that I have used so far. You can find them all over but Ulta does do good deals time to time even discounts on sets so I would keep an eye out for that.
5. Wet N Wild: This brand has been knocking it out of the park and growing still! I remembered starting with Wet N Wild when I was starting with lip gloss and over the years they have grown and expanding their products, then they started doing brushes! I do have a few brushes from them and I love them! The brushes are very well priced and very well made, also they do wash very well too! I suggest the foundation brush because it does keep its shape over washes and does spread the product very well. I do have the limited edition unicorn highlighting brush from the Unicorn Glow Collection and the Kabuki brush from the Spring Collection and they are soft as well. You may be able to find these two on EBay.
6. NYX: I hear some good things about these brushes and will have to try them out at some point. I know Ulta sells them and you can find a big range of them at their physical store too! I may have to get one or two to try and see how they are. I did see some of the prices and they are reasonably spiced from $5 to around $15 or so.
7. Coastal Scents: Another brand that I do love with brushes is Coastal Scents! I started getting into their brushes through Ipsy along with the next brand and I got one or two sets from Ipsy and man are they soft! I even used the one set in the leather case, the pearl set, and man I loved using it! I really want the Brush Vanity Affair set. Anyways, if you go to the Coastal Scents site, I also have an affiliate link you can use on the Affiliates Tab here, you have a lot of sets to choose from in many ranges. If you are an Ipsy member, they do have deals with sets to sell around $20. Coastal Scents also does a lot of sales even around this time of year. In for a new brush or set, head over there!
8. Crown: Another brand from my days of Ipsy and that is Crown Brush. I remembered getting their brushes in my Ipsy bag time to time and they are the softest brushes you will ever feel! I even have one set from them and it feels so amazing! You not only can get the sets but also single brushes for affordable prices! Great thing is they do offer the price listing for you on the website and to print it out if you need a point of reference and to see what you want to buy and its price.
9. E. L. F.: Next is another very affordable brand with a lot of brushes and that is E. L. F.! I didn’t really get into E. L. F. until I started using their brushes. I did get a few here and there and a few sets. This brand’s brushes was what I used to point out an example in Rich Lux’s video on the first announcement that Kiley was going to release brushes and talked about how you can get more affordable brushes. I did point out how the 19 brush set from this brand for holiday is $50 and that is way less than what Kiley is asking for and I did see Kathleen talk about this set. I did talk about the other full on Pro Brush set which is $30. Again, you get more affordable brushes with these guys!
10. Zoeva: I have seen this brand on the net and YouTube and people said they can get brushes at very affordable prices and same with the makeup. I tried to access the website but it is not as accessible but I will take a look again in the future.
11. MAC: I know it is weird to talk about mention MAC since their prices can be a bit up there but I do hear good things about their brushes and yes they might be from $20 to around in the mid $40s but you can get good deals when they do sales or even when Ulta has some of the products during their 21 Days of Beauty sale. I did hear there are times where TJ Max and even Marshalls do carry some of the sets for a good deal and the holiday sets are pretty good in the brush department since they are travel size. I may have to look at the brushes in the future.
12. Royal & Langnickle Moda: Finally is one brand that has been showing up in WalMart and that is Royal and Langnickle! These guys started as a paint brush brand and still are today and now they have makeup brushes which they are some of the softest brushes you will ever use. I got an eye brush in Ipsy as a start from them and then got a small brush set of six if I remembered and then Boxy had three brushes in one box for subscribers. If you are someone on a budget, they are very affordable for what they bring. I suggest checking them out and their sets are pretty affordable, the set I got on Ipsy was $15 and can’t beat that!
Well, that is it for this post! I know that it was a long one but it felt good to do this as Kiley’s brushes are about to come out. I did hear some of the big influencers did get the set in PR and not sure if they want to review them which I wonder why not in case people want to get the single brushes over the set. What got some of these influencers is that she compares herself to Kevin Aquan and Artieste but to me she is not up there when her audience are more of the higherend lovers as in the luxury loving makeup collectors. And she did say that she prefers starting this way because it is better than synthetic brushes when a lot of people do like synthetic brushes since there are times they can hold the product better than most luxury brushes. She will go to synthetic at some point but it will be a while if you want to spend that $360 on the sixteen brush set when I can get a similar set of the same amount on Amazon for $14!

Okay, enough of the brush drama because right around the corner is Holiday Matsuri 2017! Can’t believe it’s here and stay tuned for all of our coverage from this year’s convention! Until next time! Catch you on the universe side!

Access Tech: Android Training for All Part 2

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe and today I will be doing a part 2 on the Android Training for All post from this week because something has come up!

Android Tech Used on Braille Devices!

So, I have been listening to one episode of the Tech Doctors Podcast hosted by Robert and Alison who look into blind tech on their show and what is out there and what they have experienced within their own tech bubble and this episode dealt with Braille Notetakers.

I know what you are wondering along with some people and that isn’t Braille a “dead language?” It may be “dead” to some since we do use technology and this system of dots was developed over 200 years ago but a lot of blind people still use it, even me! I use Braille on a daily basis to label the items I use and read textbooks, even take notes on my own note taker known as the HIMS Braille Sense U2 which I also use when I do press jobs at conventions to develop my reviews. What is great like with the phone and computer, Braille has been catching up in the tech department and a lot of people do use Braille devices in order to take notes, read books, and even use it in Pages on their phone like I had during the last NFB meeting. Since I have mentioned the Android training for All post, apparently with the new note takers being made they are being built to include Android tech to run with them and the most two recent devices are the Braille Note Touch by Human ware and the Braille Sense Polaris by HIMS which is the same company who developed my Braille Sense U2.

What Are They Exactly? Well, the Braille Note Touch is a tablet and a note taker put together where you use touch Braille to type and it shows up on the tablet underneath along with a Braille display like with a lot of note takers. The tablet runs on Android systems and you can use the many Google apps like with the Galaxy tablets and you can also separate the tablet to use on its own from what I remembered listening to the podcast. There are some difficulties such as having a hard time correcting what you have typed and pairing with other Bluetooth devices like the Apple ear pods for example but it is pretty interesting that Human ware has developed this kind of device since a lot of blind users do use tablets to get around when it comes to tech stuff. While the Braille Sense Polaris, on the other hand, it is more of a sleek version of the U2 and it has capabilities where people can use the Google Play store to get apps to use that you find on the Galaxy Tab and there is even a touch area that you can use finger gestures like on an Android platform based tablet or phone and you can still take notes with it too. What I did hear is that it is buggy despite the steps HIMS has taken to go the next tech mile but they are looking into fixing those which hearing about these features makes me want to get one but I have to figure out Android first and that brings me to the next idea…

Bringing the Android Training to All: Like in the last post, a lot of blind people are stepping up their tech game and I did mention what if someone I meet if I were teaching wants to learn Android instead of Apple and this is a perfect example of that Android training to anyone who is in V. R. too (Vocational Rehab.) Since Braille note takers have helped the blind for many years, especially with new developments in tech and how much companies are competing and keeping up, taking that extra step into the Android platform makes it even more of a demand to know how to use it.

For instance, I have gone through training in knowing how to use my Braille Sense QWERTY model which is basically if you take your computer’s keyboard and add a Braille display to it and type on it like if you were in Word and I also had training with my U2 to get used to the chords and shortcuts on the Perkins Brailler Style keyboard you see me use today. If I were to get the Polaris, I would still need that training in getting around the Android interface part of the tech to be able to transfer to my tablet since it would run the same software. So, I would say that would be a major win with that training, right? Plus, with the Human ware device, you would also go through that same kind of training due to the tablet portion. The good thing is that Perkins does offer the videos to learn the Human ware Braille Note Touch to get around the Android Touch and how to use the many apps as well. I did look for the Braille Sense Polaris but all I can find at the moment is the User Manual which does offer how to use the device but it is good to have someone there to train you and by the way the manual is offered by HIMS even as a PDF. And I did see if Perkins E-Learning offers any videos for what I am going through on my Galaxy Tab, only thing I have found so far is just a video about how to set it up for people with low vision and how to modify the colors on the screen’s wallpaper and the keyboard. Hey, what about navigation? Oh well, I did post a comment to see if they have something or may make something because that can be handy.

Still, I am also thinking that a lot of people do learn differently and having one on one training can help not only the user but also any new A. T. Specialists that may run into a device like this too and knowing Android beforehand would prepare them for it.

Not only that, I did hear in the podcast that the reason why the Polaris is going up in tech is that the U2 is going to be at its end in tech compatibility soon which will be sad since I had this thing for two years and looking at the Polaris I may switch at one point to keep my tech studies up and of course another thing is that with the Android tech being in these devices school work and any projects from work can be accessed through Drop Box which can be a very handy thing with how we use Google Drive, ICloud and even other outlets to save work on. I am thinking of upgrading but waiting when this device has gotten out of the bug stage since that can happen and I did hear that one bug that needs a major fix is editing documents where the document can be corrupted if you go back and do the usual and fancy editing work. I will have to wait and see but in the meantime will be using my u2.

New Conclusion: So, since we have talked about the various points with the Android training in that last post and now expanding it here, Braille Note takers are also becoming more advanced and using the Android platform to make Braille even more accessible and “alive” as you will since most people think it is “dead.” Looking at these two new devices shows that being trained in Android even if you are going to school and planning to get a job can be beneficial and shows that Android wants to step up its game to be part of Braille even more. I want to see Apple get in on this too since you can use Braille devices with Apple products, since I did say I use my U2 with Pages and navigating with shortcuts, it can be an interesting thought to put IOS tech into these devices too but having Android for now is a good start and gives Braille a new look. And of course with the training, it does expand the A. T. Specialist’s toolbox to learn these kinds of devices if they run into someone who has one and can give advice or training to help them navigate the product more. Depending on what kind of company user if it is Human ware or HIMS, I would say take a look into these devices and it may take a lot of saving because the prices are pretty steep but it is a good investment since I have used the Braille Sense QWWWETY and U2 for the longest time and does save you time and pain in the classroom, trust me it was not easy carrying and using a Perkins Brailler in class.

Well, that is it for this post. I know I was going to talk about the gaming bit but this came up and wanted to expand this point because hearing about how Braille tech expands is even more awesome! So, I would stay tuned for the gaming post because it is coming!

Access Tech: Is Discord Accessible?

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Today I will bringing you an app review!

Is Discord Accessible? Today I am going to be reviewing an app for chatting even when you are a gamer and that is Discord. This month AIM is going away forever and found out from someone I used to be buddies with on AIM about Discord and took a look into it and decide to test it out and both on my Galaxy Tab and my IPad. All I have to say is that this this was the most frustrating app ever which….

Disclaimer: This review is an honest one based on thoughts and opinions from the lead writer of this blog! Please respect her thoughts on what she says in this review. Thank you!

I noticed how the download speed is different for both tablets and that is it was very fast on the Google Play Store while it took a bit for the IPS App Store because of the 11 updates to the store and my Mini 2 is slightly old and had to wait a little after it loaded to be installed on my app. With my phone, on the other hand which I had to get it there, did download a lot faster due to the Re-Download button. I think with apps or anything my phone is faster due to it being more of the 5 series and knowing it will be faster when I do upgrade to the 8. With the PC, since I use Windows 10, it did take a bit to go through a security scan since we don’t know what can be out there and I think with apps on Windows it takes a bit to run and install because of the install prompts you have to go through like with most software and programs. At east with an app download it does not need the restart like JAWS and ITunes does.

Navigation and Logging In: I did make myself an account and was able to login easily on both platforms with a keyboard and did have to reset my password on my phone and computer due to forgetting it. The navigation…oh…man…it sucks with voiceover. On my Galaxy Tab, I have to swipe around to get to other parts of the app and some buttons don’t get read out by Text to Speech and goes the same with on my PC and IOS on both the phone and IPad. I wonder why some buttons are “Unlabeled” according to the screen readers? I am not sure if this app is not built to be able to be accessible with any voiceover software which can be handy, I am now wondering if anything with magnification can work with this app since it can be used on devices and with programs from Freedom Scientific too.

With searching for friends, it gets very tedious since it looks different on both platforms. With Android, the search field asks for the tag number, which is a four digit number you get with your username when you register and this field also asks for an email if you don’t have that number. While IOS, you type in both the username and the tag number because if you just put in the number it gives you the message, “We are more than just numbers.” So, I tried that with someone over and over again and had problems with it. I even tried telling this same friend to find me and he couldn’t either. It did take us a few days and well my best buddy Tobi was able to find me very easily while this one dude, Kilt Man, we came up with that I should create a server and I had to create it through the PC version because I couldn’t find the “Create Server” on the very left. I did research into it and I tried looking on the left and of course I hear the “Button Unlabeled” every time and even tried tapping on random buttons which gives me the “Add a Friend” area, “Start a Conversation,” etc. Speaking of that, there is a field where you can search for a conversation and I was able to access it easily on the Android version but won’t on the IOS version where I hear the plunk sound if I tried to do anything. Did the server thing work? Yes it did and he was added to my friends list when he sent me a request.

What about the chat features you may ask? Apparently, like with Skype, you can do a video chat or at least a regular chatting and I was able to test it with Tobi and it worked very well on my Android. I think it will also work with group chat if I do have some friends that want to do it since I remembered doing group chats back in the days of AIM.

Verdict: Is it accessible? It can be but it is not accessible to the point of screen readers. While I had the problems I did, I did reach out to the Discord Twitter page and talked about the issues with it and they responded that they are planning to make it accessible to people who are color blind and for screen readers. I am hoping soon because I went through a lot of frustrations and patience to get around these issues especially getting people to find me. What I would also like to see is an easier person search as in having one place for the tag number and another field for just the username like in the days of AIM where you can search through just username or just do it with tag number. Also, should explain the formatting of how to type both a lot better since I am a beginner with this I didn’t know I had to capitalize letters in the names nor include the number sign or not include it. It is like with explaining how to create a password by saying, “Hey, you need this and make sure you do this.” And finally, for screen reading purposes, make the labels to be seen for screen reading even on devices because I don’t know what “Button 67 Unlabeled” is just put the word for it to read so it would be easier to know what it is and know that it is there for the person who is using it that may be blind or not.

Rating: 2.5 Star Paw prints Out of 5because of some of the things that do need to be improved. It is a good app and it is a good substitute for AIM but it needs to be fixed for better accessibility and easier navigation too because if I am using a keyboard with my Galaxy and IPad I want to be able to go with the arrows to get to the field or swipe very easily to where I need to be.

That is it for this review on Discord. Is there any other apps you want me to take a look at and review, I am open to it because as a blind user and listening to all these podcasts that suggest different apps, I want to be able to put them to the test and see what people are talking about and say, “Hey! It is good! Check it out!” Next post in my Access Tech category is my take on accessibility in gaming, oh yes I am doing my thoughts! Until next time!

Access Tech: Android Training for All!

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Today I am starting the new category here and it deals with Access Technology which is my career goal at the moment. I am planning on becoming an Assistive Tech Specialist since I have been using JAWS, IOS, and even cross platforming into Android at the moment but I am having issues with Android with my Galaxy Tab E and that wanted me to go into training for it but the problem is that there is no training for anyone in Vocational Rehab except if you have a job here in Orlando. I am not sure what is like everywhere else in the states especially where you guys live but this first post will be talking about why everyone should get the equal access and training with this platform.

Disclaimer: This post is based on thoughts and opinions of the lead writer of this blog so please respect her thoughts and opinions on this subject. Thank you!

Nowadays technology has been advancing a very fast rate and have been not only keeping up but also competing against each other with how consumers have been buying their products. We have Microsoft, Android, IOS, and now Google coming in with their tech with Google Home and now the new Pixel phone and not only that new IPhones with the 8, the 8+ and the X and of course the new Galaxy S 8 and 8 Note. And recently Microsoft now discontinuing their Surface Pro line at the moment which they are planning on bringing something known as the Andromeda. (Knowing we will hear more about that later on.)

Equally, we do see a lot of people picking up either an IPad or a Galaxy Tablet but the visually impaired like me do wonder which one they want to get. Most of the time we are told that IOS with their devices are the best and I agree since I have been using my IPhone 4S from 2013 until I upgraded to the SE last year and will be going to an 8 next year with my upgrade and I do have an IPad Mini 2. But there are people that do not always want the IOS devices and that is going to Android since they have been advancing in the Accessibility game for a while now with using the Text to Speech features that are available like Siri even with Google Talk Back. Like with JAWS and Siri, there is something we do have to use and that are gestures, Bluetooth keyboards for the tablets and phones, and well even training for the new platform.

What do I mean by “training?” Well, like any new program, not everyone is well equipped in using it once that item comes out of the box and learning how to use it does become a major help. For instance, I had to go through training with JAWS when I got into UCF and once knowing the basics of navigating the net, using email with JAWS, and Word and some Excel I was able to get around and later did get more training while in Daytona Beach to expand what I have learned during my college days. Even when I got my new IPhone 4S back in 2013, I had trouble using Siri for my first time and didn’t know how to answer calls either so I had to get training for it to learn the basics and that also got expanded in Daytona and now I am able to navigate it and pass my skills onto my IPad and using my Braille Sense on my phone and a keyboard on my IPad. With Android training on the other hand, that is what I need with my Galaxy Tab E which was given to me by my phone carrier as an oops with my bill. Yeah, I pay extra and do have a keyboard and stylus but I do need extra help and training needs to be one thing to help but unfortunately since I don’t work or not a student at the moment V. R. can’t support it which is a sad thing.

Why Should It Be Equal to Have Everyone Get the Training? Because not only a student who would get their first Android phone or tablet for studying or even work if they are going into the Work Force, having this training will help gain the skills and knowledge of a newer platform and also having this knowledge can help grow new A. T. Specialists, like me, be able to help anyone who has gone into the training itself. I mean what if someone says while at a Lighthouse or a Rehab Center and says, “I can’t handle Apple’s operating system, can I take on Android?” The person probably working there may say, “We only teach Apple.” Or “I don’t know how to use Android.” This would be a bit of a pickle and that is why having these kinds of classes can help everyone as a whole even if they don’t have a job and want to gain extra tech experience before they get that job. Plus, learning at this stage can prepare for any tech jobs that may require someone to know both Apple and Android for instance what if they worked for Best Buy or CompUSA and need to explain both platforms for the devices and having that knowledge can help what the person is looking for or help with tech support when issues do arise.

Also, another thing I should add, a lot of companies have been making their apps to be accessible on both IOS and Android for the blind. For instance, I love using the app known as Be My Eyes where people around the world volunteer to help people see through their cameras on their devices what is in front of them whether it being a toy or pack of mints, heck I even used it to count out money once, this is a handy app and it was only available on IOS for a while until they developed an Android version and it’s out now. I even demonstrated this app in my Access Tech panel at Omni this past year to show how it worked on IOS and I can imagine being as good on Android.
What about Online Resources? Yes, online resources are out there to help but there are times where it doesn’t always work. My example is when I was learning the different types of gestures with my Galaxy Tablet. I am familiar with the ones for Apple but with Android it is not easy. There are the single finger gestures like for double tapping and swiping like on Apple and there are two finger ones which I have tried and don’t seem to work, I even tried out angular gestures and they don’t work except viewing notifications. I’d rather have someone explain it to me in person because that is how I usually learn the best and that is another thing and that is not everyone can learn from just reading a web page and with how much of a complex system Android can be it would be easier if someone does have a class.

Another thing is that the web pages with some of the items work for some and not work for others as in different keyboard commands for instance when I first got my keyboard for my Tablet some of them don’t work except causes the Tablet to move without making that command in the right sequence. I think some of the commands may work for other models but maybe not for this one so training may help there with someone who may be able to help with what might be happening. And another thing is having that person one on one with you can help bounce ideas to see about working on the problems that are in front of them with how complex Android can be.

Conclusion: Training in Android should be for anyone who is visually impaired that may want to explore a new platform that would probably fit their needs especially if they go into a job position that deals with using different kinds of technology and it would help any rising A. T. Specialists that may have students that want to learn it to have the skills and knowledge in teaching it to who wants to know this platform and its accessibility apps that are being developed for it. Like with the sighted world, we want to be able to be included in that world and competitiveness in the job world by showing that we can work in new tech fields and bring it to our professors and bosses when we get there.

So, that is it for this post! Next I am hoping to bring my Discord review since AIM is going bye bye next week and want to give someone an option that may be visually impaired a new app to try out. Among this category, I will also be doing a post on my take about accessibility in gaming since that is becoming a hot topic this year going on into 2018! So, until next time especially after Holiday Matsuri 2017 where we will have our coverage from that! Catch you on the universe side!

Beauty: Brands Not Getting Mentioned As Much On YouTube!

Hello SHiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! I know it’s been a while since I posted and want to say is sorry about that. Life has coming and getting me and keeping me busy. I do have a post for you guys and that is something I was inspired by Jessica Braun on YouTube and that is makeup brands hardly mentioned on YouTube as much anymore. As in, I rarely her them as much as I used to when I started watching YouTube around 2009 or 2010 when I started wearing makeup. Here are the brands that I have noticed that rarely get mentioned as much.

Revlon: First is a drugstore brand that was well known but not as much anymore and that is Revlon. I remembered getting tons of stuff from this brand all thanks to videos and even commercials on tv and YouTub. I wonder what happened to Revlon!? I hardly have seen them on YouTube and the last thing I got from them was the So Lengthy mascara and loving it! I think someone did a haul video and forgot who did it and they said the newer items aren’t as great as they used to and I can see why. I remembered how people didn’t like the Primer +Shadew pallets that came around 2011 to 2012 and some people had pigmentation issues while me I was able to work with them but they are so powdery and you can hit pan easily. I do have one left in my Project Pan bag since there aren’t as many as they had when they first launched, I remembered Ulta’s site only had four of them and I guess those are the only popular ones? Still, this brand is hardly mentioned as much even in my subscription feed. I do still have my lip butters, one of the liquid lipsticks, and two of the Super Lustrous lipsticks which I want to get more of but keep forgetting to hit the section since my essentials are from other brands and the Revlon section is also not as big as I remembered in the Target near me. I may have to go in there again.
Sigma: Another brand I remembered being mentioned ALL OVER is Sigma! I don’t always have the cash to buy from Sigma but always heard great things about their brushes the most and well the problem is that Morphe pretty much stole that spotlight! I do have a Morphe set and I think…it’s…okay…not the best brushes but just okay. I think the last time I heard Sigma nowadays are some brushes in tutorials and in Beauty News since they do still make their makeup pallets.
E. L. F.: I know it is a bit of a surprise but around two people on subscriptions mention E. L. F. and I do admit it is a hit or miss with some of their items. I do use some of their products time to time even the Bronzer Pallet nowadays since I have started contouring myself. I know GASP! I also do love my brushes which are soft and amazing even when you travel. I need to get more E. L. F. products at some point since some of my essential items are from there.
Smashbox: I have been noticing that Smashbox is not getting much love except in news videos. I have the Full Exposure pallet which I do love and need to give more of it, the Full Exposure mascara, and one of the trios which got discontinued due to poor sales. I did hear they did make new ones and being released soon. Anyways, this is one brand that doesn’t get much love from what I have seen and hoping it does since they are coming out with new shadow trios at the moment. I did hear the liquid lipsticks are nice and they have a sapphire blue one. I may have to get my paws on it. Still, not mentioned as much as I have seen.
MakeUp Geek: Another brand I noticed that is not being mentioned as it had been when they were featured in BoxyCharm and so many people fell in love with is MakeUp Geek. It used to be YouTube famous but Oorphe did come around and a lot of people dropped them. I think Jen Luv’s Revies does reviews on their products nowadays but I have noticed they aren’t mentioned as much as last year.
Ulta’s Own Brand: I noticed this is another brand that doesn’t get mentioned as much and that is Ulta’s own brand. I do admit when they first had their shadow sets that they were very powdery especially a set that I got that was like a binder and I did de-clutter them. I saw Jessica oo a video recently and agree there are some hits and some misses and that goes very every brand too even high end. I have gotten three nof heir newest sets for this holiday season and man they have changed! Yes, there are times when someone’s stuff is bad at the start but do get better over time and these sets do it, heck I gave so and have been giving so much love to my Be Goregeous set which now the teal has a lot of dents to it.
J. Cat Beauty: Not sure if this brand still gets reviewed but J. Cat Beauty is another brand that is not getting a lot of love and they are pretty affordable for what you get. I do notice the ratings aren’t as great on Ulta since you can only find them now since they haven’t sold much in the stores themselves. I did get some of the lip products from Ipsy since I did try some of the items from my bag, I think I only got one product a long time ago but I know I got on the Ipsy deals. I know they are known for bold colors but I hardly hear about them on YouTube.
City Color Cosmetics: Final brand I have noticed that is not as mentioned as it had on YouTube is City Color Cosmetics. I have been introduced to these guys via Ipsy since I did get some items from them in my bags when I was subscribed to them in the past. I even have the huge pallet set that has around 50+ shadows and four blushes and do have some of the lip items and like them. I even still have the Magical Leaves trio I got from Ipsy and still like the brand even though I have many other pallets in my collection. I need to give their set a little more love.
Coastal Scents: Now final brand, I have noticed that Coastal Scents hasn’t been mentioned as much as it has especially when they have been coming out with new items even the newest Revealed pallet which I still need to get due to having the other four Revealed pallets all thanks to BoxyCharm but since I am no longer getting Boxy I will get this pallet at some point. Anyways, Coastal Scents is not getting mentioned as much but my best buddy Vivi did mention their Ultra pallet on her top five fave pallets which was awesome! Hoping that this brand does get brought up a little more since their brushes are even awesome as much as their makeup. I am not just saying it due to an affiliate link I have with them but their products are just awesome and willg et the Revealed Matte pallet in some point in time.

Well, that is about it for this post! So, Holiday Matsuri is almost here and same with the rest of the year about to end so I will be doing the press coverage from Holiday Matsuri 2017, my November and December Faves, and the Bests & Worsts of 2017 since that is always a tradition here! So, make sure you not only stay tuned here but also follow me on Instagram for snippets from the con and packing for it. Also follow us on Twitter @ Nerdy Shique where I will keep that up to date! Until next time! In case if anyone is wondering about book reviews, I am reading the series to lead up to the next book review because I couldn’t understand what was going on so best to read the previous books first. So, stay tuned for that too. Catch you on the universe side!