BITE Horror Make-up Tutorial

After usually doing the make-up tutorials I’ve normally shared here, I figured I’d go for a more horror-based look with this one from Pinkstylist! It’s not super hard to follow, but will definitely recreate a very memorable look!

Hope this helps! 😀

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Interview with YensidCosplays

It’s time for another interview, this time with YensidCosplays! He’s a very creative cosplayer from Colorado, who likes to put his own spin on costumes, either in the details or in performance!

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YensidCosplays out of costume

What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
My cosplay alias is YensidCosplays. I chose that alias as a majority of my cosplays are Disney characters reimagined as male versions of female characters and Yensid is Disney spelled backwards so I found it fitting that my alias would be something backwards as I reverse the gender of most of the characters I cosplay.

How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
I fully dived into cosplay in 2015 so I have been cosplaying for a little over 5 years now. What got me started was my cousins inviting me to my first comic con in 2014 for my birthday and told me about what cosplay was and well the rest is definitely history!

What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
I enjoy many aspects of creating my costumes but sewing all my pieces of fabric to make a garment is always satisfying that all the work of patterning, cutting fabric pieces comes together to make a piece of a costume. Working with materials I normally wouldn’t have even known about except from cosplay is also fun to learn and create new things with. I never knew what EVA foam or Worbla was until I started making props and pieces for my cosplays.

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YensidCosplays as Mrs. Doubtfire, photo by Cameko Cosplay

What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
At this very moment I am working on a Male Bo Peep from Toy Story 4 for one of the Halloween parties at Disneyland later this month, and I’m super excited to bring this one to life. I have a few more ideas in my head for future cosplays as well, I just have to finalize those ideas and bring them to life soon, I hope.

What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
I like to see cosplayers challenge themselves when creating their cosplays, dive into new materials and ways of creating new things. I also like to see unique takes or versions of beloved characters. Gender Bent cosplays have a special place in my list of favorite traits of cosplays and cosplayers, because you are essentially making your own version of a character that many may know so well. I also think being in character and humorous characters are also something I gravitate to. A cosplayer can have an amazing looking cosplay but if the personality of that character isn’t there, for me the awesomeness of the cosplay can fall a little flat. I’m still discovering fabulous cosplayers all over the world so I haven’t really pinpointed anyone just yet of who embodies all the traits I look for, but I’m sure there are many out there I just haven’t found yet.

What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
I do think that the scene can definitely use some work. Don’t get me wrong, there have been some improvements within the community, but I feel there is still more work to be done. Inclusion and just letting people cosplay what they want however they want needs to be out there more, and more widely accepted.

What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
I would like to see a change in what is expected of cosplayers. Most of the time when I see requests for cosplayers it’s always the same expectations that female cosplayers should be princesses and male cosplayers should be super heroes. I don’t fit into the norm of a male cosplayers; I’ve not done superheroes or typical ‘male’ cosplays. I like to push boundaries of cosplays and I think there should be more of that in the community. The other thing I would like to see some change with is in regards to cosplay contests. Clumping both sewing and armor building in the same competing categories is like apple and oranges. I feel most contests need to separate the two and have separate categories for sewing and armor building. I think people see armor builds and are amazed by their construction but may not realize all the time and effort and technique it also takes to sew an entire cosplay. I don’t think they should have to compete against each other as its such different techniques that they shouldn’t be classified in the same categories.

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YensidCosplays as Flight Attendant Genie from Aladdin, photo by Generally Nerdy

What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
My best advice is to never give up. Just go for it and make the cosplay that you want to make. I’m pretty much self taught on a lot of what I have created and techniques I’ve used. You can’t be afraid to make mistakes, it will happen and I’ve made my share of them, but learn from them and continue to practice and you can literally do anything you set your mind to.

What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
I’ve only been to a couple but Denver Comic Con is my yearly con I go to and holds a special place in my heart as it was my first convention I ever attended. I also went to my first Colorado Springs Comic Con last month and I feel it will be one I continue to attend as well, they have cosplay guests and really respect the art of cosplayers by both inviting them as featured guests or an option to purchase a booth and share their cosplays with others attending the con.

Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you’re proud of!
My huge sombrero for my Gender Bent La Muerte from The Book of Life was 4 feet wide and around and was covered by several yards of fabric, a hundred or so fake flowers and 2 dozen LED candles.

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YensidCosplays as La Muerte from The Book of Life, photo by Denver Comic Con

Thanks for the interview, YensidCosplays! You can check out his Facebook page here and his Instagram here!

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Colorado Springs Comic Con 2019 Review

I decided to attend Colorado Springs Comic Con this year upon the announcement of Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger) being in attendance. After discussing it with the husband, we decided to attend a single day as we didn’t really want to splurge and get a hotel room until we had attended and knew how it would be… Wise decision.

I chose to not go in costume due to the fact I knew we’d be driving all over the place and that just didn’t sound appealing. The convention is held in the space that Sears used to occupy in the Chapel Hills Mall down in Colorado Springs. The price for Saturday admission is equivalent to the same admission price for a day at Denver Pop Culture Con, and you go through security at any entrance and honestly, that was a little more thorough than at DPCC, but not by much.

Upon getting into the con, we immediately noticed it was overcrowded for such a small space and laid out confusingly. Volunteers we asked for directions were kind and knew where to direct us, but a lot of them seemed unsure on times of signings and panels. We made it to Robert Englund’s autograph line, and while it was small, it was chaos. There were patterns on the floor for line ups, but no one directing or giving any information on what to do. I actually ended up getting everyone going in the proper line before a volunteer showed up and vaguely gave us ideas on times Englund would be returning to sign.

Everyone in line was chill and we all just chatted amongst ourselves as we waited, occasionally helping control the line when new people joined. I had a negative interaction with a cosplay guest during this time, who didn’t have a badge on explaining who they were while I was trying to help with the line and they proceeded to get increasingly rude towards me. At least they must have said something, because we finally got volunteers doing line control after that encounter.

After that bit, it was smooth sailing. Englund came over, did his signings and chatted with everyone a little bit and just was an overall, kind and awesome celebrity guest. After we were done there, my husband and I decided to walk around and actually check everything out to feel like we actually got time in the con for the money we spent to get in.

Again, the overall layout was confusing, but there was a decent variety of vendors selling at the con. We picked up an art print for a friend and checked things out in general. They had a curtained off area to be panels/main stage, which was odd, but made sense for the space the convention occupied. There was an off-shoot corner area that was for the cosplay guests, but it was kind of hard to find. Most of the guests were local, which was neat to see! The celebrity guest line-up was fairly impressive, with most of the guests signing all weekend. They had a little food truck area and if that wasn’t enough, you could easily access the food court in the mall itself.

Overall, however, I found Colorado Springs Comic Con lacking. I would definitely attend for guests, but the area is overcrowded, poorly laid out, and overall rather disorganized. I think with more time and bigger space, the con could actually turn into something worthy of the price of admission, but for now, I’ll just step back and watch it hopefully grow.

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Dark Fairy/Spooky Avant Garde Make-up Tutorial

This tutorial is perfect for Halloween! It was created by Kayla Hagey and is a dark fairy/spooky avant garde make-up look!

Hope this helps! 😀

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Interview with Wingedlight

It’s time for another interview, this time with Wingedlight! She’s a detail-oriented cosplayer from Colorado, who likes to remind everyone that cosplay is about having fun!

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Wingedlight out of costume

What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
My cosplay alias is Wingedlight, which has been my online handle since I stole it from my friend in 6th grade to use for Neopets…. >.>;

How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
I have been cosplaying since 2007; I got started because some of my friends were anime nerds and I wanted to join them!

What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
I really like doing hand embroidery because I can lay down while I work on it (lol). I also like working with interesting looking/feeling fabrics, because it’s a lot more enticing to sew when I want to spend time with them. My other favorites are beads and rhinestones, as I’m really attached to shiny things, and I have a long history of working with beads and jewelry (I spent all of my college years working in a bead store).

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Wingedlight as Gaku Yaotome from Idolish 7, photo by Chiseled Light Photography

What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
My next big project is a rendition of Cinderella, and it’s going to have a lot of the things I love aesthetically: gradient fabric, tons of beads and shinies, interesting appliqués, etc. One bit that was stumping me when I was looking for supplies for her is that she has some fabric bits that appear to be completely see-through (like a clear plastic), but drape like regular fabric. I couldn’t figure out what to use until I discovered a completely sheer gauze that’s woven with metallic threads! I’m excited to play with it for this costume!

What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
Two things that I really love to see in cosplay are impressive detailing and overall clean work. There are lots of cosplayers who manage to do both (I’m better at the first than the second, lol)! Some examples who I admire and who I also am lucky enough to count as friends are Alchemical Cosplay, Sarcasm-Hime, and Helen Alice Cosplay. The list could go on for pages though…

What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
I think the cosplay scene right now is really exciting and fast-paced, but because of that it can also be stressful. It’s exciting to see incredibly high quality cosplays popping up everywhere, and the access to new and innovative materials/techniques/tutorials is awesome! However it can also be stressful to feel like you’re falling behind others in terms of knowledge or output. Being a cosplayer can feel like being a one-man movie crew at times, and you can feel bad if you’re not doing every piece well (even though realistically it’s impossible to be a specialist in everything). It’s hard to remember to just go with the flow and do what you enjoy!

What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
I think the majority of the changes I would like to see are with cons’ handling of the cosplay community. Some cons are very respectful of cosplayers and the work that goes in to cosplay, which shows in the guests they invite, their cosplay contests, and the programming they put on. Cosplay’s popularity has blown up in recent years, so I think if cons want to continue to attract attendees they need to make sure cosplay is a part of their plans.

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Wingedlight as Queen of White from Sakizo, photo by Nigel Wang Photography

What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
Don’t worry too much about keeping up with social media, booking expensive photoshoots, or comparing your self to popular cosplayers. Those things can all become super draining, which sort of ruins the point of cosplay (making friends, making art, enjoying and paying tribute to the series and characters you’re cosplaying). Ultimately most of those things are up to luck, so you might as well focus on the fun parts so you can actually enjoy the hobby eating all your free time.

What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
All of the cons I’ve been to have their pros and cons, including the international ones. Anime Expo has tons of great guests and artists attending, but is expensive and has problems with line control. Comiket (in Japan) is a ton of fun if you have an interest in doujin, but it’s very crowded. Japan Expo (in France) has the European Cosplay Gathering which is one of the best contests in the world to watch, but it’s in the middle of nowhere and you aren’t allowed to reenter con once you’ve left each day. I think my two favorite cons I’ve been to are Costume Con (which had incredible programming, but is focused on general costume craftsmanship not anime), and Anime Los Angeles (which has a great relaxed environment and a very popular costume contest).

Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you’re proud of!
I made my Takarazuka Sakizo costume to match my friend Yukine Costumes in France. She mailed me swatches of her fabric, and I picked mine to match. In my opinion, our costumes go incredibly well together for being made by two people on two different continents who had never met before!

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Wingedlight as Takarazuka Gentleman from Sakizo, photo by SongRiku

Thanks for the interview, Wingedlight! You can check out her Facebook page here, her Instagram here, and her Twitter page here!

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Cosplay Budgeting: How I Made Marishka from Van Helsing Cheaper

This year, my friends at Starlit Creations and I decided to finally make Dracula’s Brides from the Van Helsing movie and we tried to all help each other out as we could with doing it cheaper. I figured I’d share some of the things I figured out along the way to help cut costs and save a little bit of money on my cosplay and potentially theirs.

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Yunie as Marishka, with Starlit Creations as Aleera and Verona, from Van Helsing

First and foremost, the blonde lace front wig I’m wearing was one my friends already had. They gave it to me and I sent them links to cheaper wigs I figured could work for them. The exchange saved me at least $30!

All the belt fabric, shoulder pieces, and the main fabric for the top were given to me by the girls with the linings of all being fabric I already owned in my own hoard. I shopped around on Etsy and found the sheer silver-lined fabric for the pants and bought enough to give to Starlit Creations to help them not have to buy more fabric on their own. I then shopped around to buy the sheer for the capes at a lower cost and bigger volume after finding screen-accurate fabric at $50 a yard… which wasn’t going to work. So I bought extra of the sheer and iron-on vinyl to make my own fabric, which cost me $50 all-around instead; basically over $200 saved!

We all shopped around and used coupons to get the trims that were as close as we could find to what was used in the film. I also shopped around and would find pricing and buy what I needed for cheaper by comparing various sites. Admittedly, Etsy, Amazon, and Mood Fabrics ended up being my go-to for all the trims.

As for the shoes, we all just shopped around for the cheapest sandals we could find that would match. With the jewelry, we shared items and made our own pieces from things we already had. The girls created their own embroidery and hand-stitched all the beadwork, which turned out beautifully.

All-around, Marishka from Van Helsing should’ve been almost a $400 endeavor and I spent about $150 over all after working with my friends to source items and materials. I’m unsure on how much they spent/saved from what they estimated the costumes would have cost them, but I’m sure taking the time to shop around helped out.

 

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Polly Plastics Review Part I: Thermal Beads

Right after Denver Pop Culture Con, I was approached about obtaining thermoplastics from Polly Plastics to work with and review. Me, being me, I had to get a variety pack from their site here to test out the different forms of thermoplastics that Polly Plastics offers! To properly do this review, however, I decided to do this in two parts, as I’m still deciding what to make with the other bits of the variety pack that I haven’t worked with.

I started working with the thermal beads, which came in clear or a huge variety of colors, like gold, silver, red, green, etc. They also sent a card to help with mixing colors if you’re attempting to a get specific hue. The beads are put into hot water until they become clear and can then be worked with and sculpted. If something isn’t hardening in the shape you desire, you can just drop it right back in and work with the plastic again until you get the desired result. They’re super easy to work with and are just kind of fun to play around and figure out.

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Resin gems from Starlit Creations wrapped and set in moldable thermoplastic beads from Polly Plastics

I ended up taking some resin gems that the girls at Starlit Creations had sent me and making the gold and silver edging around them to see if plastics would work instead of extra resin for the setting. I think with a mold or more practice, I could get it to look fairly nice and smooth without odd lumps and fingerprints. The gold was my first attempt at playing with the beads to do what I wanted, with the silver being my second attempt, which I felt came out better. I plan on messing with the thermal beads more in the future to get it looking smoother, but it’s really easy to work with.

After doing that, I moved on and mixed some of the clear and red beads to create individual rose petals to sculpt a miniature rose for part of a scepter I plan to make. It worked super well for what I planned to sculpt and shape, and any time I didn’t like how it was working out, I tossed it back into the hot water and reworked the petal piece. Now, once it hardened, some of the areas on the petals didn’t mix fully with the red and clear thermal beads. It’s not super noticeable unless you’re up close, but the plastic can be easily painted to match. I want to add a little bit more to the bottom of the rose, but I overall really like how it turned out and I had fun working with the beads.

Clean-up is stupid easy. I worked on wax paper to make sure nothing stuck to my surface I was working on, and I just reheated a mug full of water that I dumped out after I was done. I do think wearing latex gloves would have been a good idea to get smoother surfaces, as my fingerprints are visible in the plastic. But it was a learning experience that I did figure out silly things like that for next time!

Next time I will be working with the thermal plastic sheets and strips from Polly Plastics! I’m hoping to come up with something neat and be able to do another full review of their products! I have a few ideas, so hopefully I can get those going and photographed for the next half of this tutorial!

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