Another post from the wonderful gals over at Starnigh Industries from their Basic 101 series!! 😀
So, you’ve spent a ton of time (and money) on getting together the perfect costume. You are at the con, or getting ready for a photoshoot, and it’s time to put the final touches on before going out. And those final touches should always, always include makeup. Male or female, cosplay or crossplay, well done makeup really helps bring the whole look together.
Before you even get in the costume, before you even get to the convention (or wherever it is you are showing your costume at), you need to decide on your makeup – and depending on how detailed it is, maybe even do a trial run. Think about the character, and then do some research on what makeup would look best with that character. Dressing as a man? Go with something light and earthy. Dressing as a young, innocent girl? Again, light makeup, but with pastels and maybe lip gloss. Sultry siren? Jewel tones and maybe some fake eyelashes. Just make sure your palette matches the overall look you are going for.
Now it’s time to put the makeup on. The very first thing you need to do is wash your face. I know, it sounds odd, but it’s true. Scrub all the excess dirt and oil off your face and neck, then moisturize. By putting on some sort of skin creme under your makeup, it will help keep it from fading. You can use any sort of moisturizer, just so long as you wait 5 minutes to let it soak in before going to the next step.
This is the point I recommend shaping your eyebrows. Some people are lucky and can simply brush them out and be good. Others, like myself, have to attack them with a hedge clipper to get them into shape. But before you get too far into it, look at your eyebrows and pluck a bit to get them some definition.
From there, you’ll want to wear a primer, especially if you plan on being in a photoshoot or on stage. Most quality makeup companies make them. And primer is different from foundation, so just keep that in mind. We recommend Pure Focus by Lancome or Virtual Illusion by Arbonne. Spread it evenly all over your face, under your chin and on your neck.
Next up is foundation. You’ll hear all sorts of arguments on which makeup is best. Is cheap makeup crap? Is expensive makeup better? As with all makeup, brand is up to you. I won’t get into the debate of which is better; we have various makeup items from all sorts of companies, from Cover Girl to Sephora. I will say that we tend to use MAC and Sephora the most, but that’s just our personal preference. In any event, apply your foundation evenly. We recommend using a foundation brush, though sponges are just fine. Brush all the way to your scalp, around to your ears, under your chin, and blend into your neck to keep an even tone.
OK, now you have the basics on. From here, it’s just a matter of customization. If you are wearing eye makeup, do that next. Start with your eyeliner, then move on to your eyeshadow, then finish with your mascara. I won’t get into eye makeup application in this post; I’ll be doing another with examples, tips and tricks. Since you’ve already picked your color palette, just apply and blend.
Next would be blush if you are wearing any. Even if you don’t want to have a ton of color on your face, you can pick a fairly neutral shade one or two shades darker than your own skin tone and put it under your cheekbones to add definition. You don’t have to apply blush like a punk rocker. Just be subtle.
This is the point I like to put finishing product on. It’s generally a loose powder that helps set the makeup. A nice, translucent powder works, though if you are doing a “girly” costume, you may want to consider product with some sparkle in it. (If you are cosplaying as a man, you’ll want to use a very light, matte product. This will help keep your tone even, and give you less of a “made up” look.) Once you’ve applied the powder, bust out your eyebrow brush and give them the once over to get the makeup out. If you have unique colored eyebrows (like pink, blue, or purple), something you can do is use colored mascara and carefully apply it to your eyebrows. Make sure it isn’t too thick; you want to color your eyebrows, not make them stand out like clown makeup.
Now finish things up by applying your lipstick. When I cosplay men, I tend to just put on some chapstick and call it good. If you are doing something more sultry, you can use lipliner then color your lips in with a lip brush. Colored lipgloss works great for lolitas or school girls. Then just blot and – voila! You are done!