Ever wanted to give your cosplay makeup a lil extra something, or make it so dramatic that people will instantly assume upon seeing you that you belong to every local drama club and star in all of their productions? Well I have the answer you have been looking for. GLITTER. Glitter will instantly add that extra sparkle to your cosplay…. let’s just hope my tutorials are better than my puns…
Ashe is a Frost Archer from the MMORPG game League of Legends. She is the character I will be doing this makeup tutorial for, and she’s perfect for it because I can justify using glitter under the pretense of ‘snow’ and ‘ice’ and all that jazz. Now you can’t add glitter to every character, some of them just won’t make any sense or the character won’t suit it. But it’s my personal mission to put glitter in the makeup of as many cosplays as I can, so here’s hoping you take upon the same mission as me and craft herpes (glitter) infects every and all of the cosplays that you do from now on.
Before you apply any makeup please apply a generous amount of moisturiser. Not only will your skin thank you for it, but there are other benefits to it as well. Moisturiser will help you in achieving a flawless finish when you go to apply your foundation, also aiding in extending your wear of makeup. It also helps put a barrier between your skin and your makeup, aiding in preventing breakouts and clogged pores.
If you have dry skin (like me) then you no know how flaky and awful makeup looks on your dry skin. To help combat this, apply a crap-tonne (about 3x as much as you regularly do) of moisturiser using a makeup sponge, really pressing the moisturiser into the skin. Let it sit for a minute or two to ensure maximum absorption, then blot off any excess oils. This is your best bet to avoiding that flaky makeup look, so I hope it helps out a bit.
To add an extra barrier between you and your makeup, apply face primer. Face primer gives your makeup something to really grab on to and extends the wear of your makeup like you wouldn’t believe, helping to stop your makeup from shifting or melting. And you don’t need to spend a fortune on it either. I personally use Elf’s face primer, costing under NZ$15, and have gotten great results from it. Not to mention the stuff lasts forever.
I’m going to say now that there’s no “one way” to apply makeup. Makeup is incredible in it’s versatility. So how I apply is isn’t the only way to apply it. Everybody is different, everybody’s skin is different, and everybody’s preferences are different. I’ll show you how I apply my entire face, and you can take away from it what you will. But this isn’t the only way and you don’t have to copy what I do to the ‘T’.
I personally apply two types of foundation. A creme-based foundation and then a liquid on top. I use two types of foundation because my skin is dry like the Sahara and I break-out often AND I can get quite red in a few places. So using two types gives me that extra coverage I’m looking for.
I start by using two shades of Elf’s Cover Sticks, dotting them around my face. You don’t want to COMPLETELY cover your face. I mean, you could, but I personally find that it applies way too thick and looks very cakey. I place a line of a shade a few shades darker up the lines of my cheekbones and on my temples. Then with a damp makeup sponge I blend everything together.
Now I’m going to get real mean for a second and have a mini-rant about contouring. YOU AIN’T A DRAG QUEEN SO DON’T F**KN CONTOUR LIKE ONE! Simple, right? Now there’s Drag Queen contouring and there’s character contouring. Character contouring is where you use the power of makeup to change your bone structure and face shape to better suit the character you are cosplaying. For example, you could contour your jaw to be more sharp like that bishie-bae you’re cosplaying, or thin your nose with contour to get that anime-look sharpness, or contour a horizontal line just above the tip of your nose to make it look more button like, or contour your brow bone and eye sockets to look more deep like a mans, or contour around the entire outside of your face to drastically change the shape of it to be more round or long or square. Do these to your hearts content, you talented wee thing you.
Now I don’t need to explain to you what Drag Queen contouring is. You know what it looks like. Drag Queen’s go heavy on the contour so they can mystically change their masculine features into feminine features and Drag Queen’s will forever be magical unicorns in my eyes with how PERFECT they look and how extravagant and dramatic the change is. I worship Drag Queens. William in particular. But I already have a feminine face thanks to my XX chromosomes. I don’t need to do all that Drag Queen’s do to achieve a feminine looking face because I already have one. Now let that sink in for a bit. Digest. And reduce the amount of contour you apply in your quest to look Drag Queen perfect. You don’t need it ya gorgeous gal.
And then I apply my liquid foundation on with a damp makeup sponge. I use Covergirl’s Clean Sensitive Skin liquid foundation. Once this layer goes on it covers nearly all of that contouring I did before. Which I like, cause it makes the contour look more “natural” and I can bring it back later on with contour pressed-powder. It should go without saying, but I hope you are blending everything in to your neck…
Apply concealer where you may need it. On blemishes, dark circles, wherever. Don’t apply the lightest shade on your dark circles. Apply an ever so slightly warmer tone. Lighter shades highlight areas, bring them to the foreground, make them stand out more. You just want to take the purple away from under your eyes, more orange tones do that better than lighter tones. In this photo I show you the colour of the concelaer I use, which is just a smidge darker than the rest of my face, and then on the other eye I’ve blended it out. Topographically that part of your face doesn’t “stick out” so don’t treat it like the high point of your cheek bone or your forehead.
Setting powder time!! I use Maybelline’s Matte Maker Mattifying Powder. To apply this I use two brushes. The smaller one I use to press the powder on my face then I use the flat buffing brush to buff the powder into my skin in circular motions. This gets rid of any excess powder and gives a flawless finish. But be careful, it’s incredibly easy to apply to much powder in the first place and then you look cakey. If you are worried about getting the balance right then just use the flat buffing brush to gradually build up the powder in circular motions until you are happy with it.
Now for the fun part, the eyes! Before applying any eyeshadow, use an eyeshadow primer, this will not only help the eyeshadow last longer and stay in place but will also help bring out the intensity of the colour you are using. Using a vibrant blue you want to take that in your crease from the inside edge of your iris to a gently curved point. The angle of the outer part of this should follow the natural curve of your bottom eyelid.. Now resist the urge to take this colour up too high. You want to maintain some space between your eyeshadow and your eyebrows. You’ll also want to leave the inner corner of your eye bare as I have done for the next steps
Using a slightly darker blue, run that over the top on the outer corner of the previous blue. You just want to get the edge, so be careful not to cover too much of the previous blue. Doing this will add depth and intensity to your eyes. Carefully blend the top of this out, so it’ll soften it up and look less harsh. I say carefully cause you’re working with blue eyeshadow, so every time you blend it out you are picking up more product on your blending brush and you increase the risk of f**king everything up. So take your time in slowly blending and removing the built up product from your brush by swirling in around on a paper towel.
Add some white shimmer crap. The more shimmery the better. You’re a Frost Archer, you live in the snow, you can use AS MUCH white shimmery crap as your heart desires and you will be totally justified. Add the shimmer magic to the inner corners of your eyes, blending it out into the blue. This stuff is more or less a guideline and a base for the glitter, so get that blend real good. Also add it along your bottom lash line, taking it out to the outer edge of your iris and then blending it the rest of the way.
IT’S GLITTER TIME!!! This is legit my favourite part of this entire makeup. I love glitter. I love all types of glitter. Holographic glitter is my favourite though because I’m a holosexual, so it’s a given. To keep your glitter on all day stick it down with eyelash glue. It won’t move, budge, or even think about falling off. Apply the eyelash glue overtop that white shimmery stuff, applying in small sections so you can actually get the glitter on there before it dries. Taking a damp paint brush, dip it in your glitter then gently press the glitter onto the eyelash glue. Keep repeating this until you have covered the areas you want with glitter. I added glitter down under my eye and also on my bottom lashes for that wonderful frozen-snow-ice look.
When it comes to removing the glitter you are going to want to wipe the rest of your face off with a makeup wipe to get rid of all the other makeup first. Then take a warm face cloth and press it to the glitter, letting the water really get in there and down to the eyelash glue. After that gently wipe away the glitter with the face cloth.
Apply your favourite mascara and then eyeliner. I use a gel liner for this because gel liner won’t crack and crumble throughout the day like some liquid liners can. And you’ll quickly discover that applying eyeliner over glitter is a b*tch of a job, so just be slow and careful with your application. Wing that eyeliner out to however far you want, just follow along the edge of the blue eyeshadow. A good trick for getting your eyeliner even on both eyes is by starting on the eye you suck at. Do that one first then do your good eye second as you’ll have more control and be able to match them up easier. I tell you this but know that I always forget my own advice and start with my good eye then swear at myself when I go to do my bad eye second.
My second great love after glitter is false lashes. Nothing makes your eyes look more dramatic than falsies. So apply your favourite pair and just marvel at the difference that wearing false lashes gives you. Now I’m actually wearing two pairs of lashes here. I just felt like the one pair wasn’t dramatic enough so I took a page out of the Drag Queen Handbook and applied a second pair and now one pair of falsies is just not enough for more. I’m doing my best to resist the call of applying three pairs of lashes. The struggle is real.
Using a white eyeliner pencil, draw your eyebrows on. Now if you don’t have barely there eyebrows like I do then SHAME!! LOL!! HAHAHAHA!!!! Your thick luscious brows aren’t so cool now, are they?! If you have darker brows then just try out the pencil first, see if it works enough for you. if it doesn’t then I suggest trying out white face paint, that should work for you.
Now fill over top your white brows with a grey eyeshadow. No matter what colour eyebrow I’m doing I like to do a pencil first then put powder over the top of it. I find that if I just use one then my brows will melt or shift throughout the day. But applying a powder over a pencil will really lock them in there and will last the entire day as long as you don’t scratch them off.
Time for a little bit more contour! Pop those cheekbones out by lightly brushing some contour directly below your cheek bone, just enough to be noticeable and not super heavy. Apply even less than you just did to your temples, only the tiniest bit. And then with whatever is leftover on your brush sweep it under and along your jaw bone. Because my nose is quite wide at the tip I also add just the smallest bit of contour either side at the tip to slim it a bit without being obvious about it. Remember, you’re not a Drag Queen so you don’t need to contour like one. Just use glitter and lashes like a Drag Queen, nothing else…
Now I don’t use any highlight for this makeup look. If you want to add highlight then do it along the highest point of your cheekbones, just below the outer edge of your brows and on your cupids bow. You don’t need to highlight your forehead or under your eyes of your chin or down the length of your nose. Not every part of your face needs to be split between contour and highlight, you want to leave some places untouched by either to emphasise the places you do highlight and give depth to the places you contoured.
Apply either a nude or neutral pink lipstick. Something that isn’t too stand-outish. There’s a rule in makeup that goes “Either eyes or lips”. You only want one of these things to stand out, otherwise aspects of your face will be fighting for dominance and attention. Now this rule can be broken, I’ve seen it done many times where both the eyes and lips are vibrant and exciting but aren’t fighting for the centre stage. But it’s a really hard balance to get the hang of, so whilst you are starting out doing intense makeups either do an exciting eye or a bold lip, don’t do both.
And that’s it. All you’ve got to do now is put your wig and costume on and you’re Ashe!! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that you now have ideas to incorporating glitter into your cosplay makeups!!