Cosplay Make up Tips

^Finally got around to posting actual make up tips. hahahahah
Been meaning to for a long time, just been... lazy, really lazy hahahahaha

Anyway, I just thought, what use is this knowledge if I don't share, right?

First off, the usual niceties.
I don't know how you look like, what I am sharing are tips, this is NOT a tutorial, what I share may or may not work for you, the only way to find out is to give it a try.
What I will share are stuff I learned from friends, what I learned thru experience, what I found on the net and hours and hours of looking at photos of wonderfully beautiful people/cosplayers.
really, staring at beautiful people and visualizing their make up on your face works hehehehe

The cosplayers who have contributed immensely to my make up style, require acknowledgement.
I will take this opportunity to give thanks to Kaname-san, Zhel Guiral, Pino, Lunaru and Jesuke.
Learned heaps from Michelle Phan, too.

The base of my make up, is a combination of Kaname-san's style and stuff I picked up as well as Kyo's and Jeyel's.
Watch the video below to see how Kaname-san does his make up.
Video courtesy of animefestivalasia

To see my smooth skin tutorial, click here.

I highly recommend watching zWinnieYap's videos so you can learn how to make anime eyes properly. Subscribe to zWinnieYap, click here to see her videos.

school rumble cosplay
tsukamoto tenma cosplay by me, harima kenji cosplay by happy hario

Now to my tips! YaY!

*The main thing about cosplay make up is that the skin must be flawless and the eyes are emphasized.

*Have foundation in different shades.
I'd recommend that you get 1 that is in the actual shade of your skin, 1 that is about 2 shades lighter and one that is 2 to 3 shades darker.
Believe me, it will come in handy, the shade I use typically depends on the skin of the character I will be cosplaying.
I have white foundation for very pale characters, a darker shade for when friends ask me help with their make up, a lighter one for characters with a bit pale skin and one in my skin tone.

*Invest in photo-ready / high definition / media make up.
Whether in a shoot or convention, when you are in cosplay, photos will be taken. It is best to always look ready.
Photo ready, high definition and media make up are especially made with light reflectors infused in them, meaning your skin will look more flawless and will magically look younger in photos and videos.
They are costly, but I swear, it is worth it.
I really like the Revlon photo-ready line as well as Kryolan.
Mac's and Bobbi Brown's, too.

*For female characters, especially, use false eyelashes.
More on false eyelashes here

*As much as possible, use contact lenses in the right color.
They do wonders and can make your eyes look bigger.

*Remember this color guide : Reds are for fierce/mature characters, pinks and peaches for cute/moe.

cosplay sample:
eager love revenge megurine luka cosplay
that's red eyeliner XD the light just washed it out so it looks pink, but its red! I swear! hahahah

hold, release, rakshasa and carcasses miku cosplay
another example of red under the eyes

love is war miku cosplay by my sister, minami
see the pink under her eyes?
it makes her look eyes look mapungay or tantalizing in english XD 
yep, I googled that hahahah but, see the effect?
although barely visible because of the wig, the pink under her eyes add a nice touch

*Use lip concealer or nude lipstick if you will be cosplaying male characters, pink lips make for a more girly appearance.

*Unless the character calls for it, lipstick isn't necessary. 
Light pink lipstick is ok for characters dressed in casual or has a natural no make up face or if you want to look cute, lip gloss will also suffice. But red lipstick and other bright shades will seem off.
This is one of my pet peeves... school girls with red lipstick?! no...

*If you have trouble searching for a particular shade of lipstick, what you can do is:
1. put lip balm on your lips
2. color lips with eye shadow
2. gloss over with clear lip gloss
Yumi Komagata cosplay
I needed green lipstick so I used the lip balm + eye shadow + lip gloss method

*Angles for fierce, curves for cutesy.
This applies to both how you draw your eyeliner and contouring.
the blue represents the eyeliner
samples of how eyes will look depending on how you draw your eyeliner.
angles, or pointed ends make for a fiercer look
curves make for a moe look

again, blue represents the eyeliner
extra tips for looking fierce, mature or manly
hahahaha I lol at my spelling of illusion XD
forgive me, it's late, I need sleep hahahahah

*White or silver eye shadow on the inner corners of your eyes will brighten the eyes up.
This will make you look cuter / younger.

cosplay sample:
kagamine len cosplay by sakurazaki tsukasa

*Do not neglect your eyebrows!
How to color or conceal eyebrows tutorial here.

*Depending on the character, change the shape of your face by contouring.
Tips on contouring here.

*Frame your face. More about face framing here.

*Do not stick to one style of make up, play it up once in a while, change it according to the character you will be cosplaying.
Like people, characters are not made all the same.

*I was never a fan of blush on.
I do use blush if the characters demands it, like for example, Hyuuga Hinata of Naruto, who is always blushing.
What I do use is the eye shadow + blush circle.
I combine the eye shadow and blush.
I place the circle on the lower outer corner of the eye.
Pinks and peaches work best for this method, the bigger the circle, the cuter / younger it looks.
This method tends to be nearly invisible in photos but the effects are really nice.

cosplay sample:
konata izumi cosplay
I placed small circles for konata, it is barely seen in the photo but if you look closely, you will notice the effect of this method

princess emeraude cosplay
used big circles for this cosplay
see the effect?

*When you put on eyeliner, don't just draw on the upper part but on the lower part as well.

*If you have double eyelids, lucky you pffft /pouts emphasize them, if you don't, draw them on.
They add effect and will make your eyes more anime-ish.

*I have what they call a tapered eyelid.
The thing about my eyelids is... I need an excessive amount of eyeliner or eye shadow for it to be visible when my eyes are open, because they disappear inside the fold. It looks great when my eyes are closed but it's another story when they are open. oTL
What type of eyelids do you have? To find out, click here and here
If you have the same dilemma as me, I feel you brother/sister, so here is what I do to make my eyes look deeper / bigger.
for this, have a nude eye shadow palette ready
1. with the lightest color in the palette (white can work) cover the entire eye area, from under the eye brows to the outer corners of the eye, this is indicated by the color yellow in number one.
this will serve as the base color, what ever color you put over it will be more visible because of the light base, this also acts as the highlighter 

2. with a color that is of medium darkness, about 2 shades darker than your skin, cover as indicated by the color blue. 

3. with the color that is after your number 2, cover as indicated by the color green.
this is where blending is crucial, start on the outer upper end of the eye, cover only about 3/4 of your eye, do not go past the middle, then sweep inwards towards your nose as seen in the arrows right next to drawing number 3

4. number four is optional, use the darkest shade of brown in the palette for this, or you may use brown eye liner. draw a crease over your eye, by this I mean just draw a curved line over your eye.
make sure your eyes are open as you draw this, or else it would look weird.
this crease is represented by the color red in the drawing.

5. this is optional but you may also choose to add white to the inner corners of your eyes then use the eye shadow + blush circle method

when you are done, it should look something like this:
p.s. please dont mind the crappy editing of my eyes
focus on the eye shadow XDD

To learn more about make up, read my blog about it, Make up Guide for Dummies by a Dummy

My last bits of advice, utilize the internet, sign up in cosplay sites, study or at least look closely at how your favorite cosplayers do their make up, you will learn lots.
Practice and do cosplay trials.
And as much as you love mommy or tita, do not, I repeat, do NOT let them do your make up for cosplay. Blue eye shadow, very pink blush and red lipstick is not ideal for cosplay.
Unless your mom is make up savvy, then ok, but really, it is better to learn on your own.

I hope this helps.
I wanna see how my tips work on you!
Don't be shy! Put your links in the comments section or post on my FB page. :3

Also, thank you for bearing with my drawings XDD
I know, their kinda lame XDD

applied curves and pinks for cute
angles and reds for fierce

thanks for reading!
 jaa! visit me again, ne!
     arigatou! (*^3^)/~


  1. Your tips are amazing! Thank you! =D

  2. Onee-sama! I super love reading your tutorials. Gyaah! it was sooo awesome and very inspiring as well. I hope you won't get 'sawa' giving tips to newbies like me. Daisuki, Yuu-onee-sama!

  3. Thank you very much for the awesome tips >w<

  4. how I wish I can use the eyeliner properly... >.>

    but anyways, your tutorials are really helpful!