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Cosplay Makeup

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Makeup is an important part of my cosplaying. Since I had scheduled numerous photoshoot for Anime Boston, I wanted to make a good effort to appear polished on camera and in photos that would be of better quality than normal convention photos. I always wear makeup when I cosplay, and it is usually much heavier than what I usually wear. I take a similar view with those that perform on a stage: your makeup must always be more powerful so that it will show up on camera. I also like makeup, and enjoy playing around with it since I definitely do not wear “cosplay makeup” in real life!

I never really intended to have this as a post, but when I was at Anime Boston I was really surprised at how well my makeup was staying on my face! Here’s a photo taken by Mintrala: This photo was taken at about 6PM on Friday, and I had arrived at the convention at 10AM. From there I got inspired to do a write-up of the makeup routine I did that weekend. Everything here is stuff that I had in the house – I was intending to go out and get new makeup (excuse to by new things? Yes please!) before the convention, but I ran over on the amount I had budgeted for my costume and wasn’t able to. Everything on this list except for one thing comes from a drugstore, so it really is not a big investment! I had an extremely good experience with what I used, and I know that it is always hard to find makeup that is good, cheap, and long lasting. Hopefully I can help out other cosplayers with this post if they are curious!

All of the prices listed are from CVS, my drugstore of choice. They are available everywhere, and watch out for sales!

Foundation: Revlon Colorstay, $13.49
This stuff is awesome. It is a bit heavy, which isn’t usually my thing, but it provided better coverage than my everyday foundation. I have a lot of freckles and this covered them, but did not hide them, which is fine. I also had a red spot on my jaw from where I had popped a zit earlier in the week (I know, I’m an awful person) and it covered the redness on my face very well.  It also stayed on all day pretty well – in the photo you can see it’s sort of faded a bit, but it was negligible. I am also very pale and most foundations look orange on me, but I find this brand  to be the best drugstore match I’ve found.

Concealer:  Benefit Boi-ing, $19
This is the highest purchase out of everything I used, but I have to say that it is insanely worth the price. I bought my Boi-ing in October of 2010  and I used it every day for about a year, and still use it probably three times a week. I am on the same jar. I know it looks like a very small amount for the price, but you get your wear out of it, definitely. I’m still not done with my jar! It lasts a long time and is very full coverage, and is all around a great product for covering anything, including dark circles (I didn’t use it on mine and I wish I had!). This is also the only non-drugstore item on the list, but you can get it at a Benefit makeup counter, or in a place like Sephora.

Powder: Revlon PhotoReady Pressed Powder, $13.99
I”ve talked about this brand previously, when comparing it to the extremely pricely MakeUp Forever brand. I like this powder; I was using it every day for a while, and I only stopped because I like to try new things and don’t have the self control to wait until I actually need something! It’s a very good powder, and I find that it has better coverage than the MakeUp Forever loose powder that I have, although that could be a loose vs. pressed issue. Don’t be fazed by the sparkles – they’re there to make you look better on camera. I definitely notice a difference in how smooth and even my skin looks when I use this in comparison to just foundation and concealer.

Eyeliner: L’Oreal Telescopic Precision Liquid Eyeliner, $9.49
My stand by since I began wearing eyeliner. This stuff has NO comparison. It comes with a marker-like felt tip, and the bottle is very small. I prefer the felt tip to the brush tip because I find it easier to get straight lines. I love this stuff and although I rarely wear eyeliner anymore, I always have bottles of this around. For the convention I used the “extreme carbon black” version of it, although I didn’t think it made much of a difference. It stayed on all day! It was a bit tricky to remove – I woke up with rings under my eyes from where I hadn’t gotten all of it off, despite having used a makeup remover before bed.

As for mascara, I find that most drugstore brands are created equal. I used a Maybelline Greatlash brand on mine, but anything I’ve ever tried practically looks, feels, and wears the same.

Like I said before, there’s such a wide variety of makeup in stores that it can be intimidating (and frustrating) to find something that works well. I was pleasantly surprised with the products I use, and I hope that anyone who takes my suggestions are as pleased as I was.


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