Cosplay makeup techniques!

(This is a guest post that was sent to me by one of my readers. Thank you for sharing your helpful information regarding special cosplay makeup techniques!)

Using special effects makeup techniques when doing cosplay will make you feel and look good. They’re sure to win you a lot of compliments too! More than 25% of people who take part in cosplay say it gives them the chance to be creative and express themselves artistically. These reasons show just how important it is to get your special effects makeup just right.

In this post, we’ll be giving you 3 special effect cosplay makeup techniques that will make you fabulous. Whether it’s creating scars on your face or protuding cheekbones, these are some methods you’ll definitely want to learn. So, if you want to look as realistic as possible at an upcoming cosplay event, here’s how.

Creating small and large scars

Chibi Usagi
Scars always make you look more realistic and cool! Cosplayer: chibiusagimx_.

Some of the most popular cosplay characters have scars on their faces and bodies. These include The Joker, Jon Snow, Wolverine, and Kratos. Scars might look tricky to replicate, but they’re actually fairly easy to do. You’ll need rigid collodion for small, simple scars or liquid latex to create a realistic large or intricate scar. Here’s how to get the look you’re after:

  1. Start by cleansing your face.
  1. Apply rigid collodion to make the indent of the scar.
  1. When it has dried, use red, purple, white, or pink makeup to ‘age’ the scar. You can add further layers of rigid collodion, as required.
  1. Apply translucent setting powder over the scar to remove shininess and to make it look more authentic. 

If you need to create a deeper or larger scar using liquid latex, follow these tips:

  1. Remove all hair from the area, unless the scar is going on or near the eyebrows. In this case, cover them with petroleum jelly.
  1. Cut or tear small pieces of tissue paper or cotton balls. These will be used to create texture for the scar. Apply a thin layer of liquid latex to your face or body and press the tissue paper or cotton balls onto it. Keep adding more until you get the right shape and size.
  1. When the top layer of latex is dry, apply cream makeup in red, black, brown, and purple. 
  1. Dab a little highlighter on to it to make it look more realistic.
  1. If you want the wound to look fresh, don’t forget to add fake blood around the edges.

Protruding cheekbones

Protuding cheekbones is a great technique to use for cosplay makeup!

For example, Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty is one of the most popular cosplay characters and her protruding cheekbones are a major part of her look. In the movie, Maleficent’s ultra-protruding cheekbones were created with a combination of CGI and prosthetics. But you haven’t got to go that far to achieve a similar look as it can be done using makeup and contouring techniques.

This does involve using a lot of makeup, though, so make sure your skin is in top condition so that it doesn’t clog up your pores or sit in facial creases. Premature aging, often caused by sun exposure, bad diet, dehydration, and lack of sleep, can cause wrinkles and open pores. But you can keep your skin looking fresh and smooth by eating well, exercising regularly, and enhancing your skincare regime. 

Now, let’s take a look at how to create protuding cheekbones like Maleficent’s:

  1. Start by priming your face and applying a layer of foundation all over. 
  1. Use a foundation that’s two shades lighter than your natural skin tone to contour your cheekbones, chin, and bridge of your nose (another of Maleficent’s striking traits is a slim nose). 
  1. Then use a foundation that’s two shades darker than your natural skin tone to add shadows to your jawline and outer walls of your nose.

Scratched up

Whether it’s Red Riding Hood, Mad Max, Captain Jack Sparrow, Lara Croft, or Black Widow that you intend on dressing up as at your next cosplay event, you’re going to need to ace creating scratches with makeup. One way to do this is with nail polish, eyeshadow, and eyeliner:

  1. First of all, prime the area where you want the scratches to be.
  1. Then, use red eyeshadow to draw scratch lines on the desired area. Rub the eyeshadow in with your finger to make it look like the skin is inflamed and sore.
  1. Using red/brown eyeliner, draw a line across the middle of the skin that’s been covered in eyeshadow.
  1. Add red nail polish on the top. It should be thick and messy to make it look like a recent wound.

If you don’t fancy using nail polish on your face, you can use just makeup. Start by following steps one and two as above. Then:

  1. Apply brown makeup around the edge of the red to make the scratch look deeper.
  1. Blend a small amount of black makeup around the brown edging to form a shadow.
  1. Use a little highlighter on the scratch to make it look like skin.
  1. Add texture to the scratch by using a makeup brush.
  1. Finally, set the scratch with a small amount of setting powder.

And there you have it; 3 special cosplay makeup techniques to help you stand out!

There are so many ways to use makeup to create your favorite cosplay characters’ unique looks. Whether it’s aging, painful scars, pointy cheekbones, or fresh battle scratches, these makeup tips will ensure they look as realistic as possible.