So You Wanna Be A Cosplayer? (Part Two)

Salutations, fair readers!  I'm doing a couple of cosplay-related posts as a lead-up to my Wizard World Pittsburgh cover...

Salutations, fair readers! 

I'm doing a couple of cosplay-related posts as a lead-up to my Wizard World Pittsburgh coverage in September. Last time, I gave you half of my preparation tips for new cosplayers. This time around, I'm giving the second half so you guys can maximize the fun from cosplaying and kill it at whatever events you might decide to go to in the future!

So, without futhur ado, let's get back to the guide!

4.) Get Started! Don't Procrastinate
If I could leave you all with just one piece of advice it would be this: actually stick to your timetable

You don't want the world to miss out on an awesome cosplay like this just because you procrastinated*!

It's really no fun running around trying to replace or make something at the last minute that should've arrived well before your convention week. Take it from me, when I did my Koujaku cosplay my chest binder didn't show up on my doorstep until a month after my convention, so I was forced to make one myself a few days beforehand. My point is don't let procrastination ruin a perfectly fun opportunity to cosplay!

On another note: If you happen to be making your cosplay yourself and you're a newbie to sewing, don't stress yourself out is you get stuck. Call your friends and relatives who can sew and use the Internet. When it comes to making cosplays, DeviantArt and Pinterest are your best friends. Lots of people put really useful guides and tutorials up their for specific costumes and accessories. 

5.) Do Some Makeup Tests
Now's also a good time to start working on nailing the non-costume parts of the cosplay. Specifically, you should try to practice doing your character's makeup a few weeks before your event so you can absolutely kill it when it counts.

But Dash, you might be saying, how hard can it be to apply a bit of foundation and eyeliner? Well, it depends on the character you're portraying.

 It takes practice to look this fabulous*.

To start off, pull a couple of images from the internet of the character your cosplay and study how their face is made up. Do they have facial scars, tattoos, or moles? Do they often sport winged eyeliner? Are their lips painted an odd color? If the answer is yes, you're probably going to have to get a little clever with your makeup.

I'm in no way saying that you necessarily have to invest in body paint (NOTE: please do not paint yourself with anything that's not designed to go on skin) for your cosplay if you can reasonably mimic their look with makeup. However if you're doing a more complicated cosplay, don't let the idea of body paint discourage you. There's a ton of great tutorials online for beginners and, honestly, experimenting with what works and doesn't work is what makes doing prep work fun. But, if it seems daunting having to paint anything other than your face, look into colored leotards and tights to mimic the skin look. Lots of dance stores and online retailers might have the color you're looking for.

You don't have to go mad to look like this***.

If you don't have to use paint, some light makeup goes a long way to elevating your cosplay. In my experience, your best tools are going to be a good foundation that matches your skin tone, eye-shadow (especially blacks and browns if your doing smudges or dirt spots), concealer, blush (which is really awesome when layered with eye-shadow to make fake scars), lipstick, a good eyeliner pencil or crayon (they're great for drawing tattoos or stitches), and a good makeup sealer to prevent smudging. 

Once again, I recommend you play around with what you have and see what works and what doesn't work. And, if you get stumped, look up some tutorials on YouTube and practice along with them.

6.) Nail the Hairdo
If you're doing your own hair and not wearing a wig, make sure you've mastered the style it needs to be in before the event. Trust me, struggling with a curling iron a few hours before a convention is seriously not fun.

 However, most of the time (especially if you're cosplaying an anime character) you're going to have to wear a wig. The online selection for a certain character's wig is surprisingly extensive (but once again, PLEASE buy in advance, since most anime wigs are found overseas and shipping takes forever) and relatively affordable.

Trust me, wearing a wig is  a lot easier than trying to do something like this****.

They're also pretty versatile if you know how to style them properly. I know lots of people who cut and recycle their wigs to play different characters to save a few bucks.  If you're like me and you have a ton of thick hair, I advise practicing getting your hair pinned up and under the wig cap a few times just so you get the hang of it.

7.) Dress Rehearse
Time for the simple stuff.

Basically, what you're going to want to do is put on your whole costume, and do your hair and makeup so you know how it all looks and fits on you. You should also make sure that your accessories are sturdy enough (for example, if you've attached a lot of faux jewels to a sword, make sure they're all glued down tight enough). It's also a good idea to take some photos of yourself and see how everything photographs. As you do this, practice a couple poses in character. The best cosplay pictures are the ones with a good pose!

By this point, you probably think you're done right? Wrong! Now it's time for the the most important step of all! Which is, drumroll please...

8.) Make Sure You're Having Fun!
Honestly, after all is said and done, there's no point in doing it if it's not fun for you! Don't be afraid to be subdued or ambitious or do whatever strikes your fancy where cosplay is concerned. As long as you're having fun, that's what really matters!

And, if possible, get the convention goers to kneel before you when you enter a room! That's always fun!*****

Now that you're all ready, go out and take a crack at cosplaying!
It's such a thrill getting to be someone else for a little while.

Seasoned or new cosplayer? Show off your cosplay in the comments!
Have further questions or comments? Let us know!

* Unknown cosplayer as Princess Peach
** Unknown cosplayer as The Corpse Bride
*** Unknown cosplayer as a genderbent Joker
**** Unknown cosplayer as Jessie from Pokémon
***** Unknown cosplayer as Loki

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