Disclosure: We are NOT makeup artists. Not even close. The following article documents a series of experimentations that have occasionally led to successes (and a few “Sorry, did I accidentally blind you? My bad” moments.)

Cosplay, for us, is all about the details. The closer you get, the more we want you to discover. Whether that is in the form of hand-brushed paint work, embroidered hems, or hidden foam bits, the goal is to make the costume an adventure for the eyes.

With that, the adventure continues into makeup, prosthetics, wigs, and hair. Like so many cosplay-related skills, we entered this realm with a limited skill set but a lot of excitement and ambition. Oh, and a ton of beauty makeup accumulated over the years, with a sprinkle of Halloween stuff. So, one could say we had enough on hand to make a mess and accidentally make something cool.

Flashback to that time when “doing makeup” involved drawing random stuff on your face
… or making yourself super-duper pale
… or using blush to make yourself look “evil”

Since then, we’ve talked to experts who recommended products and techniques. We’ve watched a LOT of YouTube videos. We’ve tried and failed. Then tried again and got a little better. When we couldn’t find a “pro” option, we looked around the workshop and tried stuff that DEFINITELY was not meant to be used on skin. And lived (?) to tell the tale.

“Hey, let’s paint on your face using acrylic paint and see what happens!”
“Want to paint on your face with acrylics again? You only had a rash for a day or two”
“How about we AIRBRUSH acrylic paint on your face this time? That should be fine, right?”

Fast forward a bit and now we’re playing around with “prosthetics”. And yes, that word is in quotations for a reason. In no rational world would anyone use that word for what we were doing. We glued EVERYTHING to our face — foam, plastic, actual glue — and hoped for the best.

That time you mixed liquid latex with toilet paper, shaped it on a piece of glass, pressed a hex pattern in with a Bic pen and fancied yourself a makeup artist.
Technically not on the face, but that gem was DEFINITELY glued on using Super Glue. (We’ll talk about that WIG on Fred in another post.)
Those gems? Also superglued on.

Then, we spent a little time with actual makeup experts who told us about Pros-aide adhesive, rigid collodion, 3rd Degree Silicone modeling compound, and other crazy cool materials that helped us jump to the next level.

Foam prosthetic pieces attached using Pros-aide, covered with 3rd Degree Silicone modeling compound and finished using beauty makeup.
Rigid collodion used to create scars.
A selection of products we used to accomplish those looks.

It’s a work in progress, to be sure. And we are continuing to challenge ourselves and learn new techniques. And isn’t that what this crazy cosplay world is all about?

OK, old habits die hard. Still using pink blush to look “EVIL” 🙂
… and still using acrylic paint to create the face tattoo. Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
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