I cosplayed as comic book Mystique just this last April for the C2E2 convention (Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo), and as I have mentioned before, I have only recently entered the cosplaying world.
I thought that I would not have the skill needed to pull off a costume worthy of the characters I wished to emulate, but I proved otherwise to myself. The only thing that held me back from pursuing my dream was me, and the same holds true for you. It does not matter if you can sew, paint, or apply make-up, you can still participate in cosplay and have a great time!
There were plenty of things I learned while doing this cosplay, especially since it was based heavily on make-up, and I want to share my experience with you. Hopefully, with some tips and tricks regarding body make-up, you will decide to join me in the cosplaying world!
Picking Body Paint
My first thought was heading to Party City and using their face and body paint. Now, for my boyfriend, who was playing Azazel, the paint worked perfectly in red; however, the blue paint I needed was not the best consistency; it was runny and would leave patches of skin showing when I tried to apply more.
I did some research and I found Mehron Paradise Face Paint in Dark Blue. I highly recommend this makeup. It was a perfect consistency, and, as a beginner, it was very easy to work with the make-up. The coverage was excellent, and it did not appear cakey. I had smooth, blue skin just like Mystique!
Painting the Body
To paint my face, ears, and complete upper body, it took close to five hours the first day. By the second day of the convention, we got it down to four hours. By the third day, we had mastered the painting to under three hours!
What made the two-hour difference? Baby Powder. Though the paint did layer well, areas such as the forearm crease, neck, and armpit were difficult to paint without cracking. This is where the baby powder came in to save the day. I thought I needed many layers of paint before “setting” the make-up (applying power to keep the make-up from fading). What I learned is that it is actually best to alternate between make-up and powder. It allows the make-up to build much more easily, and the powder gives the make-up something to hold on to. Let’s just say that with this method, my make-up still looked fresh, even after six hours of wear!
Adding Depth to the Make-Up
I knew that I wanted more than just blue paint, and I had to do something more for Mystique’s sake, because let’s face it; Mystique is gorgeous and some blue body paint would not be doing her justice. I had to glam up the look. I needed some sparkle.
Yes, it sounds silly, but a sparkle element would catch light and add some depth to the flat, dark blue paint. A sparkle element could easy help me highlight areas of my face and give the make-up a more realistic feel.
So how did I get my sparkle? Eye shadow was the answer. I found NYC Color Sparkle Eye Dust in Brilliant Sapphire. The shadow was more of a thick powder (hence the “dust” term in its name), and it did just the trick. Not only was I ensuring the makeup was safe to place around my eyes, but it also helped conceal any areas where the paint job was less than par and contained brush strokes.
Finishing the Look
There was one aspect of the Mystique costume that did concern me and that was her skull headpiece.I had created my own out of foam, and then I painted the piece, but I had no idea how I was going to attach it.
All I could think of was glue, glue, glue. What could be my glue? I then had the best realization: False eyelash glue. I happened to have some because of a Halloween costume I did the previous year and it worked like a charm, even with the face paint and eye dust! The best finishing touch were my yellow contacts, completing the whole make-up.
I hope this has helped you realize that cosplaying is something anyone can do, and I hope even more so that I see you at future conventions!