Cosplay 101: Doing Your Makeup

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In order to make you look more like your character, makeup is extremely important to getting good photos of your costume! You generally have to apply a lot more makeup than you’d think for it to come across on camera, even for a “natural” look.


Makeup, like any art form, starts best with a blank canvas to work from. Replicating fictional characters, who often have simplified (and therefore flawless) skin, is a lot more realistic with a more even skin tone.Remember: this is just a starting place! If you character has a beauty mark, freckles, or another distinguishing feature, you can always add that on top of your blank face. The idea is to create as smooth and neutral of a canvas as possible.

The Basics

The basics are fairly simple and thankfully easy to apply! Start with a primer, which smooths out any fine lines and bumps and makes your makeup last longer (very important for conventions). Next, apply foundation – with a brush or sponge, not your fingers! This ensures a lighter, more even application. Then, conceal any areas that need it.
Using blush helps bring color into your face and helps you avoid looking washed out. Be sure to apply it to the apples of your cheeks (the raised areas of your cheeks when you smile) and apply more than you think you need or else it won’t show up on camera. Highlighting and contouring is something that can totally change your face shape if you master it. Finally, a setting spray is optional, but may help your look stay even longer.


Ever notice how anime and cartoon characters have massive eyes? In these mediums, eyes are enlarged to convey emotion. If you’re going for a character like that, you’ll need to draw a lot of attention to your eyes.

The Basics

You should start with eyeshadow. Even if the character you chose has a very natural look, it’s best to still use natural shades of eyeshadow. It’s important to make your eyes pop. It’ll look much better on photos.After that, eyeliner is the next step. Eyeliner can be used to change your eye shape to match your character. For most characters, a small wing will work. It’ll looks like your eyelashes are longer. Top it off with your favorite mascara or fals lashes.Bonus Step

Before you apply eyeshadow, you could use a Eyeshadow primer, it’s useful if you find your eyeshadow creasing throughout the day. It also helps the shadows stick to your eye and go on brighter and smoother. Filling in your eyebrows can take a little bit of practice, but can help you look more like your character. Eyebrows that aren’t filled in can also look patchy or faint in photos. Circle lenses definitely take practice to apply properly, but are one of the best ways to change your look for cosplay. Another would be to wear a wig, but we’ll make a different post for that.

We hope this guide helps you in getting the makeup for your cosplay just right. If you have other tips, feel free to let us know in the comments below.

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