Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Forged faces and features- Cosplay make-up

For us, make-up is a necessity. Even Yoki, who never wears any make-up is willing to powder, fade and blush if it's for the sake of cosplay. Once I even got her wear mascara, which she really, really hates. I'm not in any way professional make-up artist, but through try and error I have found ways that work well for us. There are lot of make-up tutorials in Youtube from basics to professionals. But because we get a lot of questions about our make-ups and body paints I thought that I'd make a post about it.

I think it's best to go with the products you already know.
For cosplay purposes I use almost all the same stuff I have in my make-up purse crazy body paints not included. I have found a good foundation, which I use daily. For conventions and photoshoot I usually pair it with powder in hopes of making it last the whole day. Good foundation reduces shine. It also perfects your skin in photos reflecting light and making small errors less noticable. Powder should be used with care, even if it sounds great not having to worry about the foundation wearing off. Powder tends to react to flashlights harshly, eating away facial features and natural shadows. It's wise to test make-up at home with different lightings to see the results and to choose which products works out the best. Bronzers and blushes are helpful faking shapes on your face, but also defining them for photos if powder is used.

Eyes are dominant feature when anime or manga characters are under discussion. A lot of expressions starts from the eyes. They also give an unique look for the character and gives information about characters aligment and personality. It's natural to pick the focus from the eyes to cosplay through make-up. But I don't see why you couldn't alter distinctive eye make-up of the character to suit you. Seriously, I once tried on similar heavy eye-lining that Gaara from Naruto has and it looked plain horrible. I have seen many Gaara cosplayers, who can pull off the type of thick eye-lining he has, but it didn't honesly suit be the slightest. I don't know is it the shape of my eye and eyelids, but I couldn't see myself wearing that type of make-up without looking stupid. For me I think eye-liner with black eye-shadow would do the trick. To achieve the goal I think it's acceptable to cheat a little with the original design, because we are real people, not drawn to perfection.

Mascara is essential if you cosplay girls with flashy eyes, but not necessary with male characters. Deidara is an exception for me. Because he has heavy lining on his eyes it's rather normal to presume that he has dark lashes or he uses mascara. Personally I always use some type of mascara, because I have the lightest lashes. Brown one, if the character happens to be "natural" looking male. Akon is an exception from the other end. For him I tried to fade away all the hair sticking around my eye area. Instead I used a lot of faded eye-shadow to make the eyes pop in a different way.

Eye-shadow suits both men and female. It gives some depth to eyes, so photos generally look much better. Also slight alterations to shape of the eye is achievable. The best palette for natural and not too noticable result is one with browns, greys and possibly black for heavier shadows. Eye-liners work well with almost any type of eyes. Depending on the character, you need to choose do you go with liquid or pen type. Liquid eye-liner gives a sharp look, when pen type is a lot softer and it's easy to fade and blend.

Pairing with the eyes are the eyebrows. They usually are same colour as the characters hair. Eye-shadows and pens can be used to change the shade of your natural brow colour, but if it's drasticly different like burning red, I would use a lip liner. Of course you could purchase a liner specially created for eyebrows, but the range of colours might not be as wide as in lip liners. Lip liners are moister than eye-liners and have rich tone, so it should cover up your original brow colour easily. I recommend using powder to fix the lip liner on place. Otherwise you could accidentally smudge it all over your forehead.

Basic products can carry great lenghts.

Next to basic make-up we have a history with more masking body paints. We trust in Grimas products, which can be purchased in water- or oil-based. Usually you would think that the oil-based paints are better, but we can't make the difference between the two. Both have ups and downs. Luckily we haven’t done cosplays that require full body paint, because next to awkwardness while wearing full body paint, when you can’t regularly touch anything without messing up yourself and others, it takes time to apply it. Make sure you have a buddy with patient nature to help you out. And read the instructions. Even oil-based body paints need to be applied with moist sponge, thus speeding up the whole process.

Before wearing any type of body paints I recommend you care your skin with moisturiser well before, if it’s not a daily habit. Applying paint is easier and your skin can bear little better few days heavily concealed. It’s also wise to purchase body paints in two consistent. We have cake types next to few liquid ones. Liquid ones come in handy when there are sharp lines or patterning in the design you are aiming for. For applying body paints we use make-up sponges and normal paintbrushes. They have proved to be lot long lasting and in all ways better than make-up brushes in the same price group.

Body paints should always be fixed with transparent powder! It lasts way better and smoothes up some minor tone differences. And always have good products to wash away make-up despite the type of it.

Grimas has a website where you can find different types of make-up from theatrical to basic beauty. You can search for retailers near you after moving to your country's section, if you don't like to order through the online shop.

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