Cosplay tips for cosplayers!

The cosplay world can be so intimidating. Where do you start? How do you get better? Or what are some of the coolest tricks for cosplay to help you look better in cosplay and save money?

If you’re looking for some good old cosplay advice, then this post is for you. These little tips and tricks will definitely help you with cosplaying in general.

So in this post, I’ll give you 30 essential cosplay tips for you that you’ll for sure find useful. These tips range from saving money on costumes and materials, sewing and crafting, to making yourself look better overall.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

Cosplay crafting tips

Sewing can get complicated! Image by jacqueline macou from Pixabay.

Some useful cosplay crafting tips to make your cosplay look nicer and better!

1. Instead of being spontaneous with your cosplay plans, try doing a little planning to keep things organized and your budget under control!

You can use cosplay planners online to outline your cosplay crafting schedule, set budgets for specific cosplay parts and map out which materials you’ll need for the character. If you rather keep it offline, you can create a binder full of reference photos and sketches before you make your costume!

2. Use video clips from a video game or Anime to get a more accurate reference photos for your cosplay.

Sometimes Google won’t give you the best photos for your character, so it helps to watch an episode or play the game to get a better reference. For example, when I was commissioning my Marth cosplay, I took in-game screenshots in Super Smash Bros Melee to show them the emblem on Marth’s cape. Sometimes going out of your way to do this will product amazing costume results.

3. It’s the little details that make a cosplay truly great.

Whether it’s the small engravings on your armor or sword, or the extra detailing on your cosplay boots…these little things really stand out in cosplay photos. So if it’s in your budget, pay attention to detail the small things in the cosplay design that make huge differences when you wear it.

4. Bring over some cosplay friends over during Con Crunch!

Not only can they help you out with the costume, but also provide some socialization and much-needed stress relief.

5. As the saying goes, “No person is an island.”

If you’re stuck on a cosplay- crafting challenge, don’t be afraid to ask for help! There are tons of cosplay groups on Facebook and Internet forums where you can get quality advice for whatever cosplay problems you have along the journey.

Cosplay photography tips

You don’t need a photography studio like this to look good in cosplay! Image by Pexels from Pixabay.

Note these tips are meant for cosplayers when it comes to photography.

6. More than likely, you own a smartphone.

So one easy and cheap way to get better at cosplay modeling is by taking more selfies! It’s a simple way to practice your posing and facial expressions. You’ll know your most flattering angles and poses by just taking more selfies!

7. Be sure to download bring reference photos before your photoshoot.

You don’t want to head into a photoshoot and hope you can “wing it.” So think of at least 3 different poses you can do for your cosplay photographer.

8. Once in a while, ask your photographer to let you see the photos.

Sometimes the photographer may feel they’re taking good photos, but YOU may not be happy with them. So it’s good to check and let your photographer know if you’re unhappy. That way, you guys can adjust and retake the photos.

9. Ask your photographer if anything about your costume looks off.

Before I start taking photos with my photographers, I always ask, “How do I look? Is my costume alright?” That way, my photographer can see if something is not in place, such as a necklace facing the wrong way, real hair sticking out of the wig, etc. This is especially helpful if you’re shooting outside; the wind can easily mess up your costume. So it helps to have your photographer find anything off on your costume.

10 It’s okay to say “No” to photos you’re not comfortable with.

If at any point the photographer asks you to do a pose you don’t want or feel comfortable with, then let them know (E.g. taking your shoes off or climbing up a wall). Most photographers have good intentions and want to get the best photos out of you. So they may not know you’re not comfortable shooting with. So all you have to speak up and let them know.

Cosplay budget tips

Tips to save you $$$$! Image by Nattanan Kanchanaprat from Pixabay.

These tips will help you save money on cosplay!

11. If you don’t care about doing popular or new cosplays, then consider doing cosplays from older series.

Not only will they be easier to find, but they’ll likely be on clearance in many cosplay stores. So you’ll be adding more cosplays to your roster while saving money!

12. There’s a whole category of cosplay that’s dedicated to being budget-friendly. It’s called closet cosplay!

So what you do is go through your closet one day; you’ll be surprised to see how much of your clothing can be used for a new cosplay! That leotard that’s been sitting in your clothing basket for months could be used for a magical girl cosplay. That white dress shirt would work for a lot of fancy cosplays.

If you want some closet cosplay ideas, click here to check out my article about it.

13. Buying a bunch of wigs can get pricey, but you can always reuse wigs if you know how to style them.

For example, my friend used her purple Lucina wig for her Hinata cosplay). Reusing wigs will not only save you quite a bit of money, but also some closet and room space without needing extra wigs!

14. Secondhand buy/sell/trade groups are a great tool if you’re on a cosplay budget!

Not only can you purchase used cosplays for cheap, you can also “flip” your own cosplays in a BST group once you’re done with them.

15. If you don’t care about doing popular or new cosplays, then consider doing cosplays from older series.

 Not only will they be easier to find, but they’ll likely be on clearance in many cosplay stores. So you’ll be adding more cosplays to your roster while saving money!

Cosplay wearing tips

Lola Bunny cosplay
Even though her Lola Bunny cosplay is fairly simple, there’s a lot of little things in why this photo is awesome (e.g. posing, makeup, facial expression, basketball prop, wig). Learning from other cosplayers will help you as well! Cosplayer: gaby_cosplay. Photo taken by edgarddaherphoto.

Putting on a cosplay is an art in itself. Check out these useful tips:

16. I always emphasize how important a cosplay fits on you.

Getting the right size for your costume will make a huge difference in how you look. If your cosplay is too big, it’ll look bad on you and if it’s too small, it simply won’t fit. So what you can do is get someone to measure your body parts and record the numbers (e.g. waist, chest, arm length). That way, you know your measurements when creating or buying a cosplay, so it fits perfectly on you!

17. Put the whole costume on at least once before a convention or a big photoshoot.

It can be annoying to put on an entire outfit but trust me, you’ll be thankful to work out any kinks or problems before a convention takes place.

18. If you cosplay someone with tattoos or skin markings, instead of drawing the tattoo you can buy tattoo paper!

You can design what you need on a computer and print it off. That way, you’ll have the perfect tattoo for your cosplay character!

19. I have no experience with this. But apparently wearing tights under your cosplay is very effective!

It makes your legs look nicer and helps your socks stay up. Try wearing tights under your cosplay one day. 🙂

20. We all hate sweat line on our tops.

Especially at summer conventions with the hot heat. Not to fear; use a pantyliner under your armpit to absorb the sweat and you’re good to go!

Cosplay convention tips

Conventions are the heart and soul of cosplay culture!

A huge part of being a cosplayer is attending conventions. So of course, I decided to include convention tips:

21. After a long night of convention-going and party going, be sure to wash your makeup off before you go to bed.

You do not want to go to sleep with makeup on! Makeup while sleeping has negative effects, such as aging your skin and aggravating your pores. Not to mention you’ll probably get the pillows dirty. So if you can’t take a shower cause all your roommates are asleep, then hit up a washroom in the convention lobby and wash all that makeup off! Makeup wipes (or Micellar Water with a reusable cloth) is also very handy at removing that stuff off your face.

22. Shave and groom the night before the convention, so your skin will be fresh and ready for the con.

 I don’t know about you, but Senpai’s facial hair grows fast! So if I shave too soon, by the time the con rolls around, my facial hair grows back and with some cosplay characters, you don’t want facial hair.

So I suggest shaving the night before so you don’t have to do so during the convention.

23. Bring a small cosplay bag with you with all your essential supplies.

That way, you don’t have to run up the hotel room in case you need or forgot something. Here are some items to include in your cosplay bag:

  • Water bottle (to stay hydrated when no water stations are available)
  • Bobby pins (to fix any cosplay malfunctions)
  • Cosplay/photographer business cards
  • Small sewing kit (threads, needles)
  • Electronic chargers
  • Portable systems like Nintendo Switch or 3DS (so you don’t get bored
  • while waiting in line)

24. Be careful with props.

Make sure you have an eye on them at all times, especially when walking around the convention. In the hotel room, be sure to store in a spot where no one can accidentally step on it (e.g. in a closet). My Marth sword was partially broken because someone stepped on it in my hotel room. Treat your props with special care!

25. Bring a reusable bottle of water and carry it with you around the convention.

This way, you will stay hydrated throughout the convention, no matter where you are. For example, bottled water is very useful when you’re doing a photoshoot or inside a panel/activity, where water is not immediately accessible.

Cosplay makeup tips

Makeup is a big part of cosplaying. These tips will help you look even more FABULOUS!

26. Test out your makeup before the convention day.

You don’t want to try new makeup products or techniques during the convention. Some makeup items will make you look flattering. Others not so much. Take out the guesswork by experimenting outside of the con. Also patch-test new makeup before doing a makeup test for the cosplay. Especially if you have never used the same type of makeup/brand before; some makeup can cause breakouts or allergic reactions!

27. Cleanse your skin and moisturize at least 20 minutes before putting on your makeup.

This allows ample time for your skin to absorb the moisturizer fully. To prep your base, use a primer. My favorite is the Poreless Primer from ELF to create a smooth surface whenever I am applying my makeup.

28. Clean your makeup brushes regularly, before/after use!

Old makeup can clog pores and cause infections due to bacteria being left on the brushes from using it from beforehand.

29. Concealing is also an important skill to have.

Have a pimple? Conceal it. Have dark circles? CONCEAL IT. IT IS MAGIC. You can also use it to erase eyebrows and draw new ones that look like the character you’re cosplay. Concealer is also handy for reshaping lips by making your mouth appear longer for certain characters.

30. Most large cosplay conventions happen in the summer.

If you plan on wearing a more revealing costume, be sure to apply sunscreen on your skin to avoid sunburn. Sunscreen usually goes on first before the makeup, so apply the sunscreen then switch to your usual makeup routine.

And there you have it; 30 essential cosplay tips for you! There are many many more tips I can give you. But I feel these are some of the most helpful cosplay tips.

Of course, if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below.

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