Here is also another article I stumbled upon online; Basic Information about cosplay makeup by Sado
But not a lot of these articles or even most makeup gurus don't really go into much lengths on what each product does - or can do. This most is mostly going to be dedicated to all my male cosplaying friends and those who are just getting into cosplay and whatnot. There are hundreds of other videos and tutorials about this on youtube that you can simply do a quick search on but I guess this can be you quick 'guide' or 'glossory' as to what each product does - can do, and etc.
I won't go into lengths on application - again, youtube videos will be your best friend :D
And just 'coz your starting to wear makeup or cosplay does not mean you need to break your bank by getting super expensive high-end products, but again. You would know your skin better than anyone and I would suggest maybe trying these products out a few weeks prior to know what can break you out and what doesn't /: no one wants to spend a whole weekend at a con only to find out the makeup they wore for day 1 cosplay ended up breaking them out! There are quite a few drug store products and brands out there that are practically on par with most High-End brands, its just finding the right one that works for you!
Lets get started....
Primer: Putting your makeup on is like painting your face, your face is your canvas and like with any canvas you have to PRIME the canvas to make sure the paint lasts and looks as good as it can be. And for this, Primer is your best friend. Make up primers are usually contain max, polymers, and silicones - you have to read the back label to see exactly what each one contains. Primers help smooth your face out and helps fill in ridges with deep scarring to help make applying the foundation over the face smoother and helps last it longer and helps keep your oily face at bay!
Primer comes in different colors - most to help cancel out undertones or in clear complexions. Concealers also comes in different color tones meant to help even out skin tones as well, but if your looking for an all over cover. You can get yourself a primer that comes in a color tone meant to cancel your skin undertones.
Some are even advertised as 'moisturizing' and are 3-in-1's...there are so many out there.
Finding the right primer for you: Do your research ): is all I can say....
I personally have oily skin and have terrible red undertones so I like to use a green based primer to even out my redness, if you have yellow undertones you might want to use a lavender based primer. Or if you just have dull skin you can try using a swallow colored peachy one to help brighten your skin up (this works if your primarily fair skinned)
Concealer: Your best friend when it comes to hiding all those dark circles from late night sewing parties! Also amazing at covering up imperfections that foundation just can't cut!
Concealer works by targeting all those super pigmented areas that you want to cover up. Comes in creams, sticks and powder formulas much like foundation. But it gives a medium to heavy coverage as its purpose is to CONCEAL. And much like primer, it also comes in several shades. From skin tones to swallow peach, yellow and purple as well as green tones specifically to target really stubborn areas that needs some good coverage. Also the good thing about concealers are, a lot of them can come medicated to help heal and cover up acne flare ups.
Foundation: Consider this the next step to your 'paint' project.. And probably one of the most important things when it comes to cosplay photography and cosplaying in general - is to come out looking your best and to make your face as flawless as possible. But lets face it (no pun intended) we're not perfect but this helps give us that effect (the rest is up to Photoshop LOL)
Foundation helps even out your skin tone, covers up imperfection, and also helps make you 2-3 shades lighter (depending on what shade you wear)~
Foundation comes in different types and forms - application is more or less the same.
The most basic form foundation comes in are the following 3; powder (loose or pressed), liquid or cream/mouse.
And recently theres new airfoam foundations that have hit the market - I would not recommend these as when they oxidize, they tend to turn a different color and just does not give as even of a coverage.
Powder: Powder foundation comes in 2 forms - loose and pressed. Loose meaning their not compressed in a pressed powder form (as shown above). Most comes in a small container like the one above and has a sifter inbetween to keep the product from going all over the place and making a HUGE mess. And for the LOVE OF GOD PLEASE DO NOT PRY OFF THAT PLASTIC SIFTER THING D8 ITS THERE FOR A REASON!!
(I had a friend pry that shit off coz they didn't now it was part of the packaging and needless to say it was terrible). If you get yourself one of these loose powers, just simply tip it up side down and TAP some of the product loose onto the lid it came in, and use a brush or sponge to transfer the product onto your face.
powder foundation is best to use if you have oily skin and aren't looking for something with heavy coverage. Loose powder gives a light finish and does not cover as much imperfection nor does it do much if you're trying to go a few shades lighter than your actual skin tone. I prefer to use loose powder or powder in general to help set my liquid/cream foundations.
If you have DRY skin and prefer the lighter feels of powder - just put moisturizer before applying your foundation and you should be good and helps avoid that cakey effect.
Liquid: As the name suggest lol liquid foundation is probably the most popular form of foundation used and provides the most coverage. Easily medium to heavy coverage depending on the formula and I'd like to say the best to use when it comes to cosplay - especially if your looking to look a few shades lighter and is the easiest to work with. But also melts off the fastest lol, so, prime and set!
Cream / Mouse: Cream foundations are amazing and provides a medium to heavy coverage and very build able. It can be applied with your fingers, a wet sponge, or just a spunge or a brush. I usually find the best ways to apply these (also depending on its thickness) are with foundation brushes and wet sponges especially if it comes in a very hard pressed packaging.
Its mouse counterpart - popularized by most drug store brands boast a light weight airbrush finish. Best applied by hand, and I suggest exfoliating and moisturizing before application as it can settle into the fine lines of your face and really pronounce dry areas x_X which you most definitely want to avoid especially in photos.
I personally avoid using this for cosplay photography - unless you have perfect awesome skin LOL
since this gives such a light to medium coverage. Some BB creams are buildable but are designed for super light skin people, if you have yellow undertones, you might want to avoid BB creams unless you can swatch test them yourself and this mostly comes in 2 shades - light and SUPER light. /:
Only Misha is the only one to my knowledge that carries 3 shades and is what I personally use on my days off - or when I'm at work LOL coz I don't need to necessarily cake my face on.
BB cream also gives you a very dewy finish - which works for some and might not look TOO flattering on others. Always best to do a makeup test with this stuff. Sometimes the dewy finish can work to your benefit as you can skin the highlighter lol but I always suggest powdering this down to set and keep it from giving a overly dewy look.
Also one thing to note - BB cream tends to oxidize after wear and can cast a ashey overtone to your face. So if you are using BB cream as your foundation of choice, do a photo test. With flash, without flash, indoors and outdoors but be sure to give it a few mins to let it set and oxidize before attempting your face test just to make sure you don't look like a ghost in your photos.
(for more info on BB creams, click on the image above to be directed to a blog that breaks down all the different BB creams on the market right now if you're looking to try it out :D)
What is contouring? What is shading? Highlighting? What the hell are you talking about woman?!
Contouring or shading is basically adding a darker color or pigment to certain areas in your face using a darker color as if creating a shadow to help /contour/ your face to look slimmer, make your cheeks more pronounced. Same as with HIGHLIGHTING. Highlighting is directing more light and focus to certain key points in your face.
You can search youtube for several tutorials on proper contouring and shading.
Bronzers: (also known as contouring powder) When people think of Bronzers, they think 'ugly sun burned skin' lol, thats probably because most people go over board with bronzers. No honey, you don't want to look like a bronzed up greek statue.( Chances are, you are no Adonis to begin with, lol, but lets be real)
Bronzers are easy ways to help fake a tan, a lot of the time you can get this in MATTE finish or a shimmer finish. For cosplay, I always suggest staying away from anything that shimmers. Especially if your using it for contouring and shading. Matte is always your best friend especially if you're going to be using highlighting shades....
**Tip: you can use matte eyeshadow to double as a contouring shade or use a darker shade of foundation as well, you DON'T need to buy a whole set of powders if you don't need to***
Highlight: This is the shimmer part of your palette. This is mostly used to highlight parts of your face where the light hits it just right, it helps bring attention to the right parts of your face.
Mostly comes in powder form like the bronzer. Comes in light colors such as white, cream and are mostly pretty translucent not too pigmented since you want to blend it.
Blush: There isnt much to talk about blush, it goes on the apples of your cheeks to give you some color, a nice peachy glow or rosey cheeks. It also gives a more feminine look to your cosplay if your looking at crossplaying as a girl XD (if your a guy, I mention this since I wrote this article with the intent to educate most of my guy friends lol)
The fun thing about blush is, it comes in so many forms and shapes as well! It comes in cream/mouse, LIQUID (its very runny and watery not like foundation), sticks and of course powder.
***Tip: you can use lipsticks as blush too! Best applied with your fingers as the heat from your hands will make it more pliable***