March 14, 2012

A little about cosplay make up! [Eyes]


So lately I've been on this cosplay craze which means that I'm planning for many many cosplays, buying wigs and experimenting on cosplay make up. For beginners in cosplays, from what I observed so far, many would just put on their costumes and a wig (which sometimes isn't the character's wig or unstyled) and call it so.

However, cosplay photography is one of the important elements in cosplaying. I mean, you're all dressed up like that, I'm sure you would want a nice photo of yours right? As most of the costumes and wigs are very eye catching, the contrast would usually result in a plain and boring face. So, to spice things up a little bit, make up is the key!

No matter how little eyeliner or mascara you apply, these are going to make some differences in your photo. In cosplay make up, your make up should be photo ready. You don't know when you're going to be asked for a photo do you? (^^)

This post is to show you some examples and tips I have for cosplay make up. It might not suite everyone since I'm covering on almond eye shape plus these are just my opinion to share. (^^)

Basically, it is advisable to refer to your character's eye shape to determine how your eye make up should be. Let's say the character has eyes which has pointy corners (Hiiragi Kagami) so your eye make up should be angled up at the corners too. If they have slighty droopy eyes (Hirasawa Yui) then your eye make up should be slightly droopy too. However, if your original eye shape is already cornered up at the ends or are droopy, it is unnecessary to change your eye shape with make up.

Round eyes

For characters with round eyes like Hatsune Miku or Kinomoto Sakura, draw your eyeliner thicker in the middle and the ends. In anime eye make up, usually what you do after drawing the upper eyeliner is to continue with the lower eyeliner until it reaches about half of the bottom of your eye. Another tip for those who think that their eye still look a bit sharp in the inner corners is to draw about 1/3 of your inner corner bottom waterline. It makes it look rounder. :)

As for top lashes, lashes which have more volume in the middle are recommended. It helps giving the illusion of rounder eyes. For bottom lashes, emphasize below your iris to create a rounder illusion.

Droopy eyes

For characters with droopy eyes such as Kotobuki Tsumugi or Hiiragi Tsukasa, draw you eyeliner thicker in the middle (optional) and extend your eyeliner downwards! For bottom eyeliner, leave some space between the bottom of your eye on the outer corner then connect the line back to where your original bottom eyeline is below your iris.

For top lashes, go for something which has more volume from the middle to the outer corner. Half lashes are recommended too! For bottom lashes, stick them on the line which you drew on. Having more volume on the outer corners helps creating a droopier eye illusion too!

Tsundere eyes/ Cat eyes

Most characters which are more to the Tsundere side has got eyes with pointy ends at the corners. This type of eye make up took me some time to figure out (^^;) Thin eyebrows which looks 'angry' help creating this look. However, you also want that pointy ends too :D To achieve this, draw your eyeliner really thick at the ends. You want them to look like how the character has it too. My tip is to build it up gradually while checking whether you've achieve the pointy ends you want. For bottom eyeliner, connect it with the upper liner first. Then, 'leave' your original eye line by drawing it away from your original eye line. (This is so had to explain in words but I hope you understand (^^;)) In case it's not sharp enough, you can always taper your eyeliner at the inner corners.

For top lashes, choose those with more volume on the outer corner and make sure to stick them so that they flare upwards. For bottom lashes, any lashes that are equally lined up are alright as they just helps completing the look.

Bright eyes

So you want a cheerful, sporty and generally happy look for your character. Bright eyes are your goal then! Just draw your eyeliner as usual and wing a little bit at the ends. Connect your bottom eyeliner till it reaches the middle.

For lashes, choose those that looks voluminous yet natural.

Visual kei style

Often we see cosplayers with exaggerated eye make up. Usually make up as such are used for characters such as Sebastian Michaelis or Kamui Gakupo. However, many cosplayers in Malaysia are now switching to this type of eye make up. zWinnieYap a Malaysian cosplayer has got many useful tutorial on this. Please check out her channel. (^^)

Gentle eyes

Characters such as Yuzuriha Inori or Chii has a gentle element to their character. For this eye make up, wing your eyeliner at the ends. Instead of drawing the bottom eyeliner, fill it in with darker eyeshadow to soften the eye make up.

For top lashes, choose eyelashes which looks natural. As for bottom lashes, choose those with a little more volume towards the outer corner.

Konata eyes

Konata's eyes are like a rectangular. I did this make up for my cosplay at Animax Carnival. For top eyeliner, draw the ends really thick. This is somewhat similar to the Tsundere eyes. However, you don't want it pointy, but you want it parallel looking. Then, draw your 'bottom' eyeliner downwards to create Konata's rectangular eye effect. The outer corners are about 90 degrees (^^;)

As for top lashes, again, choose those with more volume on the outer corner and make sure to stick them so that they flare upwards. For bottom lashes, any lashes that are equally lined up are alright as they just helps completing the look. Basically it's nearly the same as Tsundere eyes except the difference with the 'bottom' eyeliner...

Blue Rose eye make up

Sometimes, there are some exceptions for certain anime characters such as Blue Rose from Tiger and Bunny who's portrayed as a celebrity heroine. She has blue eyeshadow in the anime already if you noticed. I came up with this eye make up as I want to portray her gorgeousness in her character.

First, apply blue eyeshadow all the way up to your crease. Then, using a black eyeshadow, concentrate on the outer corner then bring the eyeshadow in. Next, apply black eyeshadow from the outer corner into the inner corner at the crease area. It has a little Burlesque feel to it. (^^) For top eyeliner, wing is slightly at the outer corners. As for bottom eyeliner, line half of your bottom eye line along with the waterline.

Lashes for this look would be thick and voluminous for top eyelash and for bottom eyelash, go for those which had more volume at the outer corner.

Sexy, Gorgeous, Diva eyes

Characters such as Panty or Sheryl has a sexy, gorgeus and diva personality. To bring out that feel in their characters, apply a light brown eyeshadow up to your crease then blend it out. Next, apply a darker brown eyeshadow onto your eyelids and blend it well. Finally, apply a grey eyeshadow at your eye line and blend it well. You're actually creating a smoky effect. For the bottom, using the dark brown eyeshadow, apply it till the half of your bottom eye area. Apply a pearly white to your browbone and inner corner.

Line your upper eye line and wing it out at the ends with a slight flick upwards. Creating a long and sexy eye effect.

For top lashes, choose voluminous lashes which looks natural. As for bottom lashes, go for something which has a little bit more volume at the outer corners.

Stocking's eyes

Stocking from Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt has a unique eye make up. In the anime, she has got three pointy 'arrows' at the bottom of her eyes when she's drawn with the American style. However, during her transformation, she hasn't got them drawn underneath her eyes. I'm going to be talking about the one drawn with the American style.

I've seen many cosplayers portraying that effect with three pointy lashes at the outer ends. It's an alternative, but I think that drawing them on would bring out the goth and emo effect better.

First, apply a pink eyeshadow all around the outer corner of your eye. Do blend it out well to create the gradient! Next, using a darker pink colour, apply it up your crease and on the bottom eye area and blend it well too. You're trying to create the pink gradient here~ Then, using a black eyeshadow, apply it onto your eyelids and across your bottom eye area then blend it well. Now you should have a gradient of black to pink. Be careful not to blend the black out too much though!

Next, line your upper eyeline and bottom eyeline. Tightline your upper eyeline and line the bottom waterline too. Now, to create the three pointy 'arrows' start with the middle one right below your iris. Be careful not to draw it too thick or else the others would have no space to be drawn on. Continue drawing the bottom pointy 'arrows'.

As for lashes, you will only apply top lash. Go for one which is very voluminous but not too long. It just completes the look as the main point here are the three 'arrows'. I would recommend you to use eyelid tape too if your eyelid crease it not high enough.

So much to read, so much to type for me....... D:

Anyways, for normal cosplay make up, usually here's what I do...

Apply a cream colour eyeshadow around your eyes to brighten them up. Then, using a brown eyeshadow, apply it all the way up to the crease. Using a highlight colour, apply it to the inner corners and you're done! For extra attention to your eyes, apply a coloured eyeshadow such as orange, red, pink etc. to the outer corners or the bottom outer corner. :)

As for bottom eyeliner, there two alternatives...

A pencil eyeliner or black eyeshadow. Pencil eyeliner creates a sharper effect while black eyeshadow gives a softer effect. Alternatvely, you can always use a dark brown eyeliner instead of black for a softer look too. But I still think black eyeliner looks softer. (^^)

For higher eyelid crease...

You can either shade your desired eyelid with eyeshadow (as demonstrated by zWinnieYap) or apply eyelid tape. Personally I prefer using eyelid tape unless I'm going for the visual kei style as it doesn't look as harsh on most characters. Why is there a need for higher eyelid crease? For asian eyelids, our eyelid crease it low compared to Caucasians. Hence, when we apply thick eyeliner, it actually 'swallows' up our eyelids making it look monolid. With the usage of eyelid tape, you can create a higher eyelid crease and make your eyes look bigger.

And that's just about some tips and opinions I would like to share. If there are any characters which you would like to know on their eye make up or if you have any tips, do leave them in the comments section!

I'll be doing one or two of the eyemakes above when I have some time to show you how it looks like in real. I had to draw them for this tutorial since I can't possibly apply my eye make up so many times and snap so many pictures... (^^;)

Also, I'll be covering on other cosplay make up soon! Do look forward to it! :D



  1. You really write a lot haha XD
    I'll read em' one-by-one .__.

  2. Woow~ thanks! This is really informative, the eye drawings are so pretty :D Hope to see some of your cosplay pictures soon ^^

  3. ケイデンスーaka優希姫です- Aww!! Thank you!! *virtual hug*

    Bella- Thank you! Glad I could help as a cosplayer myself (^^) I hope to be more active with my cosplay this year too, hehe (^^)

  4. Hello, I'm a random blog stalker. :) Thanks so much for posting this! My make-up skills suck and I can never get the effect I'm after, so I'm pretty sure this will help me a lot.

    Random question: Does eyeliner on the bottom lid make much differences? I find that they look a bit harsh on me and kind of makes me look a bit dead, so I try to avoid it. I usually only put mascara and some very natural bottom lashes. :x

    Thanks again!

  5. Can't wait to see your cosplays :3 I want to too, one day I will ^^ One day... Haha
    And seeing this posts makes me remember how much I like drawing eyes and makeup effects on them too!

  6. xAoiSora- They do make differences! If you find that they are too harsh you can always substitute them with eyeshadow! Maybe you can try not lining it too thick if your upper eyeline is not very thick? Usually lining the whole of the bottom lid creates a pretty strong look. Or you can try lining half of your bottom eye line? I hope it's helpful since I can't really tell you the problem without a picture...

    THT Christina- Cosplay is fun! :D I enjoy doodling eyemake when I'm bored too.

    Christopher C- No problem! :)

  7. I think this is really good! Thank you, I am going to apply this not only for cosplaying!

  8. I love the round eyes eyemake, actually my favorite would be the droppy eyemake. buuut, my eyes are small, hence it won't suit me. >.<~~~

  9. Nana- You're welcome! :D

    Rindodo ♥- I see... Finding the eye make you like and suits you is not easy eh... (^^;)

  10. This tutorial is very helpful! Thanks!

    by the way, I just followed your site. Im a cosplayer too. Hope you could follow me back. thanks!

  11. Amakura Reika- You're Welcome! Glad to know that you're a cosplayer too! :D

  12. Hmm I have thought of that, using eyeshadow instead, but never really tried it. Thanks so much! I'll definitely give it a go :)

  13. xAoiSora- Oh! Do tell me what you think after you try it! I would love to know!! :D

  14. I love your drawings and your explanation is very detailed, but I'm seriously hopeless at make up. I just do the same simple basic eye make up for all occasions. I can't even tell what eye shape I have fml

  15. Joey- It takes lots of practice and experiment for make up! :D

  16. wow...i actually like your drawinggg lol

  17. Wow nice one! Wana see your cosplay pictures!