Monday, June 17, 2013

Simple Cosplay makeup (Nanami Haruka's Makeup)

 A couple of people have asked how do I do my makeup for cosplay, it's not really rocket science but I do have to admit it takes plenty of trials and experiementing. My first few cosplays had pretty lousy makeup but I learnt from there. Okay less talk and more getting into it! I'll be demonstrating my cosplay makeup for the character Nanami Haruka from the Uta Prince series, she's rather plain so I'd thought it'll be a good first introduction.
Firstly, research the character, watch the show or read the manga to find out more about their personality. Are they sweet, genlte and mild-mannered? Or fiesty with a penchant for shouting and hurling things around? These information will actually help you in your makeup to a certain extent. It's also good to save pictures of different views of the character especially if they have unique quirks such as scars or unusual eyebrows.

One of the most important part of cosplay makeup, the base. You need to create porcelain perfect skin for both guys and girls, and very few of us have it so here's my cheat. I use a Base to even out everything (mine is Morning Kiss from Guardian), then I apply Makeup Forever HD Liquid foundation (review coming soon), Concealer to cover imperfections (Covermark Japan) and then powder foundation over everything (Cezanne) to make sure everything is set and doesn't budge. You don't have to use the same products that I do but personally, I find a liquid and powder combo works best for my oily combination skin in my humid country. Don't worry about the base looking thick and mask-like, the camera washes away most of it so you need to apply with a heavier hand.

Nanami has orange hair but plain brows that look like just 2 lines, so I'm sticking to natural brown shades. Some people prefer to match their brows to their wig colour, that is up to you. For me, as long as the brows aren't obvious, or undefined, I will just use normal brown colours. My makeup of choice here are: Dollywink brow powder, Dollywink brow pencil and Kate eyebrow mascara. The eyebrow mascara helps to cover most of the natural black eyebrows that I have, the rest are just to define the shape. Also note the character's eyebrow shape and personality, gentle characters have mildly curved brows but fiercer characters have sharper brows to emphasise their personality

Here is a picture of me with my base and eyebrows done, unfortunately my brows can't really be seen. I know I look rather pale and sickly, but that's because everything else has been washed out. 

Next step is eye makeup, to achieve that wide-eyed anime girl look, contouring using eyeshadows is a must. You won't get the same results by simply drawing an inch of eyeliner, it'll just make you look like a panda. Even guy makeup looks better with some form of eye contouring with shadow though eyeliner does most of the emphasising. With most characters, I stick to a neutral ivory, gold and brown palette unless the character has a defined colour for their makeup such as Blue Rose from Tiger & Bunny. I use eyelid tape (from Daiso) to emphasis my double eyelids as mine are hidden so from afar, they look like single eyelids. Eyeshadow is also from Daiso and liquid liner from Heroine Make. Liquid liner helps to create those sharp, defined flicks at the end, gel and pencil can't create the same effect 

After eyelid tape, eyeshadow and liquid liner, my eyes are are more defined now. Don't forget to use the liquid liner to line the inner corners of your eyes to define them further, it also makes your eyes look bigger. Use a fast drying liquid liner for it, and with alittle practise, you'll get the hang of it.

Next is more eyeliners and lashes. Use the liquid liner (Heroine make) to define any tips such as inner eye corners and flicks at the outer eyes. Use black pencil liner (Sana Super Quick Slanted liner)to line the top waterline of your eyelid, it takes some getting used to but at least you won't have a "space" between your eye and lashes, it also helps make your eyes appear larger. Brown pencil (Dollywink) is for defining the crease on my eyelid, just follow the crease with your eyes opened and extend it alittle bit further in front and at the back, this will give the illusion of deeper set eyes. White pencil (Splash!) lines the waterline of my lower lid, to look fresher and enlarge it just by that tiny bit. I personally detest the look where girls draw a whole patch of white below their natural eyes to give the illusion of larger anime eyes, it doesn't work and I personally find it horrifying to look at.

After everything, the lashes used on my upper lids are simple neutral ones from Daiso and Dollywink no. 5 for my lower lids. Lashes were chosen based on the plainness of Nanami's character, for more glam characters, I go full-on out with drag queen style heavy lashes sometimes, even stacking lashes to create the desired look.

After my eyes are done, I countour my face. I do this last as I do not want the colours of my face clashing with my eyes, but it's not necessary to follow my style. Bronzer (Bahama Mama) is used to sharpern my cheekbones, pink cream blush (Canmake) and pink powder blush (Candydoll) were used as the character is innocent and cute, for mature characters, I use a deeper more mature wine blush. For small boys and guys I use a hint of peach just for definition. Purple highlighter (Candydoll) to highlight cheekbones, nose and chin.

After application, I know it looks heavy but trust me, in cameras, pictures and even after putting on your wig, everything gets washed out.

Last parts of my makeup, contour kit (Daiso) and highlighter (Sephora) for my nose to sharpern it, lipbalm (Korres) to moisturise my lips as flaky lips don't look good. If you really want to be accurate, most anime characters have nude lip colours, but for girls, I gravitate towards a pink lip, just to emphasis their femininity and it works especially well for cute girls. Fiercer girls tend to get a more reddish-hue or a nude lip, but guys are just plain nude with the tiniest hint of gloss. I used a lip stain (Anna Sui) and applied copious amounts of gloss (Elf) for this event. I finally set everything with some losse powder (Palgantong) and also used a makeup setting spray that I forgot to show here.

After contouring my nose and applying the lip products, my look is complete!

here is a picture of me during the event, as you can see, the result is quite natural despite looking heavy in the initial pictures.

The most basic advise I can give is to experiment with styles, different people have different face shapes and eye shapes, so they require different methods of contouring, drawing eyeliner etc. Also remember to apply heavier then you normally would, if you think its too heavy in real life, it's probably just nice in front of cameras. Stage and performance makeup follow the same logic as the glaring lights wash out almost everything in the end.

Most of all, just have fun, no one does anything perfectly the first few tries, so give yourself a break if you don't do well intially.


  1. What kind of circle lenses are you wearing?

    1. It's IFairy's Dolly+ lens in brown if I recall correctly

  2. Hi! I want to make Haruka cosplay but i'm having an issue about finding the right wig >.<
    I like the color of your wig so i was wondering... where did you purchase your wig?