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View Full Version : [ Tutorial ] Human Makeup for Cosplay (In Progress)


Blasphemy Blue
10-12-2007, 08:09 PM
This tutorial is a work in progress.

Please post any questions relevant to this topic in this thread, and I'll do my best to answer them when I have the time.

I have been noticing a lot of questions about general makeup for human characters, so I have decided to make my own contribution to this forum by writing up a basic tutorial for doing your own cosmetics for costuming. The brand of makeup I will use for this tutorial is MAC (http://www.maccosmetics.com/). Other brands will be noted specifically, but these specific brands are by no means necessary for a good appearance. I only recommend these for the quality and good experience I have had using them.

A Basic Skincare Regimen
Tools of the Trade
The basis to any work of art is a clean canvas. No matter what variety of makeup you plan to do, a skincare regimen is the first way you can look your best. Skincare is a continual process. You will not be able to clean up acne and dry skin with only a few weeks of washing. Once you start, and stick to it, the improvement will only continue if you keep maintaining the health of your skin. One of the most effective (and cheaper) lines you can get for skincare is Clean & Clear (http://www.cleanandclear.com/), which can be found at any Target or Wal-mart near you.

Cleansing
The first part of any skincare regimen is washing your face. Yes, I know, it may be a trial for anyone who dislikes bathing, but I can assure you that your skin will not melt off. Only the nasty dirt and grease that has taken up residence in your pores will disappear. There are many different kinds of face wash you can use, but generally scrubs and deep cleansing treatments are the best. While washing your face, be certain to stay away from you eyes and lips, but get deep in those cracks where your cheeks and nose connect. That's the worst place for grease to build up, and you can often see acne of the worst kind show up here. Be certain to clean your cheeks, forehead, and chin (and neck, if necessary). Follow the directions on the package, but the majority of cleansers are meant to be used on a daily basis. Be sure to rinse and dry thoroughly when you've finished this part of your routine.

Purify
Astringent is the simplest part of the process, really. You soak a portion of a cotton ball with it and apply it to your nose, cheeks, forehead, and other places that have acne problems. It cleans out the impurities in your blackheads, and definitely works with the cleansing process.

Moisturize
Once you've worked on cleaning out all the dirt from your pores, it's time to make sure your skin doesn't get dried out and crack from all the extra attention you're giving it! Using facial lotion can give you a healthier appearance, and definitely helps when you're putting makeup on for everyday use and for costuming. Only put moisturizer on your cheeks and neck, however- Put it anywhere else and your sweat will combine with it to clog up your pores more than they were in the first place.

Be certain to perform a basic cleaning regimen before applying makeup for costuming! It will clean your face off and make the application that much easier and long-lasting!

~+~

The Foundations of Applying Cosmetics
There are several ways you can go about the first step of applying your makeup. My personal preference is to use MAC's Strobe Cream before applying my foundation; it moisturizes your face (yet again) while giving your skin a dewy look that is very effective for stage lighting and photography. They have a variation for use on only eyelids, as well, which feels refreshing while moisturizing and helps you wake up that extra bit if you're applying your makeup in the morning at a convention. Either way, the concealer will go on next. Apply your concealer beneath your eyes to hide dark circles or shadowing that can make you seem sallow or tired, and also cover zits, irritated areas, or acne spots that you don't want to show up.
The foundation will go on next. For cosplay, liquid foundation is almost a necessity. It evens out your skin tone but it doesn't take away from the highlights your flesh naturally provides. You can also variate on the color of your foundation to match the skin tone of the character you are trying to look like. A foundation brush, like this one from Mac (http://www.maccosmetics.com/templates/products/sp.tmpl?CATEGORY_ID=CATEGORY15084&PRODUCT_ID=PROD1414), is the best bet you have for applying liquid foundation. Foundation is meant to cover everything, so paint it on evenly and thinly. Look in the mirror while you are doing this to be sure it doesn't go on streaky or too thick. You should still be able to see the natural blush of your cheeks, if you have that natural blush; if you are so fair that your cheeks are pale, as is my situation, any small imperfections (like beauty marks) should still be visible, though tinted to the shade of your foundation.
When you have finished applying your foundation, you are ready to start working on your eyes.


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I will be adding more to this tutorial throughout the next few days.

makingmooz
10-13-2007, 01:53 AM
i wanted to add that for the cleansing process, not every brand is suited for every skin type. it's best to consult a professional first.

Blasphemy Blue
10-13-2007, 02:21 AM
i wanted to add that for the cleansing process, not every brand is suited for every skin type. it's best to consult a professional first.

Thank you for the advice~! I'll add that as soon as possible! ^_^

Mangochutney
10-13-2007, 02:39 AM
Moisturize only your cheeks and neck? O_o Where'd that come from? My forehead and nose and chin get dry too, why on earth not moisturize them?

Blasphemy Blue
10-13-2007, 12:07 PM
Moisturize only your cheeks and neck? O_o Where'd that come from? My forehead and nose and chin get dry too, why on earth not moisturize them?

Most moisturizers are not good to use on your T-zone (forehead, nose, chin), mainly because sweating there tends to make it easier for the moisturizer to get into your pores, clogging it up and making for a big acne hotspot later. The T-zone is also the area of your face that produces the most grease and sweat, which takes away much of the need to moisturize it. Even if it doesn't get into your pores, it makes it much more obvious when you sweat at a photo session or on a set; the lights reflect the extra shine from the moisturizer as it's being mixed into the sweat, giving you a greasy appearance. There are some lotions that are meant to be used in your T-zone, I'm sure, but personal experience has definitely taught me that lotions in these areas can make the best photoshoot turn out poorly. Whenever I have issues with a dry nose (generally after a cold) I use neosporine to help the cracked skin.

Honey Usagi-chi
10-13-2007, 12:21 PM
I don't think liquid foundation's a good idea.

This is what we do in Theatre, which works pretty well since we're under LOTS of big incandescent (The hot stage lights) and we have to be very active:

We use liquid concealers for scars, acne, etc. Then we use a brush like this: http://amphigory.com/b-jumbo-powder-dome.jpg to put loose mineral powder on for an even skintone. It's really good since it doesn't flake or crack, it forms to your skin & stays on.

And I don't sweat on my T-zone, that's the part that's always cracking, so I say it's best to put lotion on your face on the most dry trouble parts.

agent_airline
10-13-2007, 12:43 PM
In place of astringent (which has given my sensitive skin burns), benzoyl peroxide (2.5%) is much better for taking care of acne.

Mangochutney
10-13-2007, 12:44 PM
A LOT of what you're saying falls into the "your mileage may vary" category--what products to use, how to use them, etc will vary widely based on individual skin. So widely, in fact, that I kinda question the value of a tutorial this broad in scope.

While I don't mean to be rude, I don't know you, don't know what if any qualifications you have, and even if you were my close bosom companion and a licensed cosmetologist you would still be unable to tell me the One Right Way to do skincare and makeup. There isn't one.

Blasphemy Blue
10-13-2007, 12:56 PM
I don't think liquid foundation's a good idea.

This is what we do in Theatre, which works pretty well since we're under LOTS of big incandescent (The hot stage lights) and we have to be very active:

We use liquid concealers for scars, acne, etc. Then we use a brush like this: http://amphigory.com/b-jumbo-powder-dome.jpg to put loose mineral powder on for an even skintone. It's really good since it doesn't flake or crack, it forms to your skin & stays on.

And I don't sweat on my T-zone, that's the part that's always cracking, so I say it's best to put lotion on your face on the most dry trouble parts.

Liquid generally works best for everyday 'walking around' makeup and for light photography; I haven't quite written up to the point where I discuss powder over the foundation, but that gives skin a more natural matte look in photos and such.

Blasphemy Blue
10-13-2007, 01:09 PM
A LOT of what you're saying falls into the "your mileage may vary" category--what products to use, how to use them, etc will vary widely based on individual skin. So widely, in fact, that I kinda question the value of a tutorial this broad in scope.

While I don't mean to be rude, I don't know you, don't know what if any qualifications you have, and even if you were my close bosom companion and a licensed cosmetologist you would still be unable to tell me the One Right Way to do skincare and makeup. There isn't one.

I'm not attempting to do a 'this is the way of the lord' tutorial; this is generalization, as almost any tutorial is going to be when it comes to makeup. I'm not attempting to say I'm a professional, either. I'm simply trying to help people with questions they have on an everyday basis in this forum. I've been modeling for several years on a photographic basis, and I'm just trying to address some broad areas, like how to do certain things with basic storebought cosmetics. I'm barely started at this point, and I'm not exactly pulling this out of thin air. As rude as you are being, no matter how you mean it to come across, I don't know what qualifications you have, and you have no idea what qualifications any of the others posting in this forum have. However, I don't see you questioning the advice they give to people when they post repetitive topics asking the same questions days in a row.

Mangochutney
10-13-2007, 01:23 PM
My other posts really have nothing to do with this thread. So:

Your basics are good. Wash, moisturize, makeup. But we've barely even gotten our collective skin clean so far and there are already a number of "hey wait"s and "that doesn't work for me"s. Advising on particular details is where this sort of tutorial loses its usefulness.

Blasphemy Blue
10-13-2007, 01:45 PM
I'm going to be addressing more of the concerns in this thread when I return from work/the tailor's this evening. Just so ya'll know I'm not just disappearing.

metamagenta
10-13-2007, 04:23 PM
A couple points I'd like to add-

1) It may be considerate to note that this seems to be a makeup tutorial for biological females. I've had to beat the idea of using liquid foundation out of the minds of too many drag princesses/new crossplayers...

2) It is current wisdom among the skin-care folks I know that astringent will further desssicate dry skin, leading to either the overproduction of oil, which will lead more blackheads and zits, or to flakiness. It might be something to consider. :D