Con Prep: How to ‘Makeup’ Your Favorite Character
Con Prep is a new series of blog pieces providing tips, suggestions and other ideas as to help you prepare for convention season.
The third installment of Con Prep was written by Guest Contributor Nathalie Marsh.
Comic Con is getting back to San Diego again this July and, as always, it’s going to be an exhibition full of creative displays. It’s only fair to say that almost everyone gathering there is going to participate, as in all previous years, in the mesmerizing art of cosplay. Be it fans, professionals or future makeup artists and fashion designers, this mix is going to take the stage with their amazing creations.
The work involved in re-creating your favorite character is quite something and usually comes down to the last detail. For this purpose, make-up is your go-to friend when trying to represent or even add a fine touch to your persona.
We’ve gathered a list with what we believe to be the most popular female character impersonations this year, based on the sister conventions (Eastern European Comic Con and WonderCon) and we’ll be sure to point out what makeup product is a must for each of them.
Wonder Woman: Up Your Makeup Game With Eyeshadow Primer
Setting numerous box-office records, the movie was a total hit, bringing to the stage the wondrous character of Diana, the immortal Amazonian princess.
All around the world, superhero fans are marveling Wonder Woman and her fierce appearance. And because we just can’t take our eyes off this beauty and strength icon, we believe that she’s going to be one of the most popular faces at this year’s Comic Con.
With a half au naturelle, half femme fatale look, fair skin and red lipstick are a total must, but the focal point in Wonder Woman’s appearance is the eyes.
There are several eyeshadow combinations you can choose from and you are free to get very creative within the classic color palette (red, gold, blue), but the key thing in trying to achieve each of these looks is choosing the best eyeshadow primer to help hold your makeup freshly in place for the whole day.
Gamora (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2): Alien Skin Perfection & Primer
When it comes to alien skin, first thing you need when recreating a character like Gamora is not foundation as many will tell you, but primer, especially when you’re going full face.
There are all sorts of primers out there, some for filling in pores, some that create a matte look, some that have anti-wrinkle properties, or that hide fine lines well, but the main purpose of primer is to prep your face for makeup, acting like a glue, to make it last longer, preventing fallout, smudging or slipping – so basically it’s the perfect choice for a convention-type event.
To prevent all the headaches having to choose, when buying a primer for your cosplay makeup, just keep in mind this rule of thumb: for photoshoots, always go for a mattifying primer; no one ever looked flawless in pics with oily skin.
Belle (Beauty and the Beast): Foundation for the Fair Skinned Lady
Makeup can make a decent costume look great, complementing the outfit, erasing all the flaws that 2D characters generally lack, and overall helping us enhance or hide facial features to get a better resemblance. To get an innocent, youthful, and charming complexion such as Belle’s, the key makeup product you’ll need is foundation; it’s great for evening out the skin, covering imperfections such as red patches, freckles, acne scars, sun spots, leaving your face fair and perfect.
When it comes to choosing the best foundation there are a few things you should be aware of:
Always choose foundation for your skin type
You should always consider buying the foundation that works best for your skin type. If you have a dry complexion, go for liquid cream products that help moisturize your skin better, this way preventing any build-up or flaky feel. While from a coverage perspective, powder foundation is not as great as the cream version, if you have a mixed complexion or if you have oily skin, this type of product is what you’ll want to get, to help reduce any unwanted shine.
Focus on full coverage
Foundation come with 3 degrees of coverage: sheer (light, usually great for summertime), medium (for daily makeup routines), and full. Full coverage foundation is generally preferred when it comes to cosplay makeup, especially if you’re aiming to recreate a 2D character, with no flaw on their skin.
Test for color
Getting the right color, now that’s a tricky business. Lots of cosplayers tend to get foundations that are much lighter than their actual skin tone in order to achieve a more camera-ready look. That’s totally fine, especially since it’s cosplay of course, but just be aware that you won’t be getting to use these products in any other context successfully.
Before buying any type of foundation, make sure to test the pigment on your face, especially on the jaw line, not on your neck or hand. The skin tones on your hand is always different than the one on your face. At the end of the day, it all boils down to your personal needs.
Application is everything
When it comes to applying foundation, start from the center of your face and expand outwards. If you need to cover any imperfections, you can always go back and insist on those areas with extra layers, or better yet, with concealer.
D.Va (Overwatch): War Whiskers and Killer Gaze
As simple as D.Va’s appearance might seem, it’s a tricky look to create? Why? Well, first off, because she doesn’t seem to wear too much makeup. You have the trademark whiskers, the tomboyish charm, and the innocent, yet determined gaze.
If you use powder blush to recreate the whiskers, they’ll fade away too fast; if you use a liquid blush, it can easily smudge. One safe way to have them last throughout the day is to create the shape on your face with paper tape (doesn’t hurt the skin when you take it off) and use a tinted peel-off lipstick instead. This way you can ensure that the design will be long-lasting and brightly colored.
As for the eyes, there are so many types of eyeliner out there (liquid, gel, pencil) and just as many techniques for applying them. For D.Va’s sharp-winged look, liquid eyeliner is the best choice, as it allows a very precise application, perfect definition, and a reduced chance to smudge or become flaky. To enhance the look to its maximum potential, try adding some feathered fake lashes and top them off with black mascara. Waterproof mascara is a cosplayer’s best friend after all; there will be no streaking if you get hot, and no smudging if you get overly excited and cry at the convention.
All in all, whatever character you want to recreate for this year’s Comic Con, keep in mind one thing: everyone’s skin is different, so what works for some, won’t necessarily work for you too.
So if you want to have a blast, get creative, try out different makeup brands, techniques, and looks, until you’ve found the one that fits your cosplay preferences, complexion and free time.
Nathalie is a makeup enthusiast and editor @stonefoxstyle.com who spends most of her time doing research around the trendiest, natural, and safe cosmetic products out there. Passionate about art under any form, with an eclectic perspective on beauty and lifestyle.