This blog is about the behind-the-scenes aspect of the hobby. The process that makes it happen, tips, tutorials, memorable quotes, and the little moments that make it all worthwhile. Brought to you by mods (Xaynie & ElfGrove) and our cosplaying cohorts.
OH! This is a fun question.
ElfGrove: I discovered cosplay when I joined an anime club at my university, AUSAM (Auburn University Society of Anime and Manga). Back then, the club made annual trips as a group up to Anime Weekend Atlanta. The club president at the time, in preparation for the trip, told us about cosplay and other things we could expect to see at the con. I ended up doing my first costumes that year, a female Ranma (with no wig, and my hair was not red) and Wizard from Angelic Layer (with a cheap party store wig and painters tape creating the arm stripes). Looking back now, they were pretty terrible costumes, but they were my first attempts, so I’m still fond of them. Everyone starts somewhere, and I find that endearing and encouraging rather than something to be embarrassed of. I’ve only really started amassing a wider array cosplay skills in the last 5 or 6 years. I could not be prouder of the improvements I’ve made to my skill set. I revisited Ranma 1/2 as a Ryoga cosplayer in 2012, and I’d like to do something from Angelic Layer again one day in memoriam of that first costume.
Xaynie: I have always wanted to cosplay ever since I started watching Sailor Moon on t.v. in 1992. I made poor attempts in high school to cosplay Mercury. I wish I had the pictures to show it but I dyed my real hair blue and cut / styled it the way Mercury’s hair was. I no-sewed / hot glued all her pieces of clothing and made a really crappy version of her but I was proud of it because I was able to cosplay one of my favorite characters. Then high school and college took over and I never attempted again. It wasn’t until after college where I had time and money to invest in cosplay. In 2006 I went to my first AX and cosplayed Yoruichi from Bleach. From then on, I just never stopped perfecting my craft and hobby.
Everyone’s first cosplay will be crappy. There are a few of us who are blessed with the skill and talent to get it right the first time. I’m not one of those. Over the years, I’ve gotten better. So if it’s your first time cosplaying, don’t be intimidated! You have to start somewhere like the rest of us!
Thank you! We’re happy to be of help where we can!
I presume since you specifically mention “black around the eyes” you’re referring mostly to using eyeliner.
Tip #1: Well, the first thing to know is not all eye make up is created equal. Different brands are different quality and have better or worse staying power and smudge-resistance on your skin. Cost isn’t always a guarantee of quality either, because some brands will behave differently for you due to your skin type and application methods. So, try some different brands. It may make all the difference.
Tip #2: I, personally, have a major tendency to rub around my eyes when tired, frustrated, or just as a form of fidgeting. I realized this only when I started doing heavier eye make up for cosplay, and realized I was smudging my own make up. When wearing heavier make up it is important to be conscious of breaking these sort of physical ticks because even really good make up can only hold up to so much abuse, it is intended to be able come off at some point.
Tip #3: Using a Primer before make up application is a really worthwhile step. Primer helps moisturize skin and prevent it from getting oily; this allows make up to go on smoother and stay longer. There are primers designed for general face application and some specially designed for going under eye shadow if you need extra help.
Tip #4: Set the eyeliner with powder. An eye shadow applied with a detail brush in the same color as your eyeliner will add vibrancy and act as a setting powder.
Tip #5: A clear make up sealer can be applied as a final line of defense.
Between all of these, one or more should solve your problem. Good luck!