I’ve mentioned in a couple previous posts, my work on a costume for some upcoming cons.
I am still waiting on a job and, hence, waiting on the money to finish certain parts of the costume… like the wig, which will be expensive and possibly very time consuming… and, at this rate, I will have limited money and maybe a month to finish it. But of course, just because I don’t have the money to work on the wig, doesn’t mean I didn’t spend money I don’t have to work on the costume, because… well, would I be me if I didn’t? (my husband has perfected the simultaneous sigh/laugh/eye roll at this point).
Because I felt like I was not moving ahead with the project quickly enough (I really would have liked to have made at least one attempt on the wig about a month and a half prior to now), and I was itching to work on it in some way, I spent some more time looking at the descriptions of my chosen character in the book, looking at artists renditions of her, looking at the movie pictures and looking at prior cosplays of her. While doing so, I found two seemingly minor things that seemed to significantly change the believability of the cosplay. They weren’t huge huge…like they aren’t the difference between “oh you’re ___” and “who are you? Oh, yeah, I guess I could see that.”, but they’re definitely the difference between “oh, you’re dressed like ___, right?” and “omg, you’re ___!”
If you haven’t figured this out yet: I never do anything halfway… In fact, I infrequently do less than %125 and when I do, I generally consider anything below 90% to be a dismal failure. So I said, “I have to do those things right”. One of them is a seemingly minor detail that has to do with the wig, so you’ll hear about it later when I finally get to work on my wig. The other one has to do with skin tone and makeup. Yes, I said that the skin tone of the character makes a noticeable difference in her believability. Which is actually kind of funny because her skin tone is not described in the book and not emphasized in any of the art/media, but I promise you, based on her hair/eyes/clothes that there is an answer that looks more believable. The fun part: I don’t have that skin tone.
I already knew makeup for her was going to be a challenge because I want her to look glowy but not glitzy. The fun/hard part of the type of characters I like to portray is that they are often something that exists in a natural universe very much like ours and have mostly qualities of normal women, but are somehow naturally larger than life… It’s what made Susan so difficult to portray correctly and it’s what’s making this costume a beast… How DO you portray a human that glows with natural light? She’s a girl that doesn’t look like a superhero or an alien or an anime character or a glitter princess, but she has a glow about her… AND apparently, it is not a glow the color of my skin.
So, I did a ton of research on how to adjust skin tone using makeup, asked friends on facebook and watched videos on your tube. I found two that were especially helpful, a Snow White tutorial where she talks about using sunscreen to help white out your face and to help reflect light among a few other helpful techniques, and a Fairy/Angel tutorial where she uses a lot of “luminescent” “glow” and “shimmer” products without a lot of glitter or glitz. After that I looked up the products they liked/used and eventually came to the conclusion “OMG this is going to cost more than the rest of the costume put together.” So I did some more research and was able to find some products I thought could do the job for a little over a third of the number I was originally looking at.
So of course, instead of exercising restraint and waiting until I had a little extra pocket change, I went to the store immediately because A. I was bored and B. when I get an idea, I can’t sit still until I can try it out… So, try it out, I did. Here are the results:
I don’t think the “generic house lighting” and the “mediocre webcam” quite captured exactly what it looks like, but it gives you a general idea. I have my arm shoved next to my face to show you the difference in skin tone. I was definitely able to get to a lighter, cooler, more rosy skin tone than my usual light sallow with “so yellow I almost look jaundiced” undertones. I think it looks pretty good, but I definitely need to practice some more to get used to it. As much fun as costuming is, I have no desire to spend 90% of the con in my room doing makeup… which means I get to spend time at home obsessively doing makeup for no audience… except you guys. 😉
That’s it for this weeks obsession; hopefully I’ll be into “being employed” soon so I can be into “finishing the rest of the costume” soon (and losing weight so I can fit into the dress my mom is making for it). See you soon!