Star Wars Costuming Comlinks: Finishing Details

June 28, 2016

When creating a costume, it's important to know what finishing details will be needed in order to completely embody the character you are cosplaying. These subtle details tend to get overlooked when making a costume, but they could really make or break how accurate you look. Makeup, hair, and contacts will work wonders in making you look like a specific character. Fitness and shapewear can help sculpt your body to look like someone from a movie or television show.


Makeup
Even if you're a guy who has no idea how to wear makeup or a girl who tends to be fresh-faced on a regular day, makeup is a key element in finishing your costume. For example, if you're cosplaying as Asajj Ventress from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, you may have already purchased white body paint to cover your face since she obviously has an unusual skin tone. However, characters who look natural like Rey are often overlooked or overdone when it comes to makeup. Rey has a very simple look. Heavy contours, foundation, and eye shadow are not good choices when doing your makeup to resemble Rey. If you have small breakouts or imperfections, cover them with a concealer that matches your skin tone. Use sheer, tinted moisturizer to even your skin tone rather than using a full coverage foundation. Stay away from thick eyeliner or shimmery eye shadows and stick to a simple black mascara. For lips, avoid bright lipsticks and opt for a natural tinted lip balm. Other characters may wear a lot of makeup with bold designs or colors, so be aware of choosing the right products and techniques when doing your makeup. Also be aware that when people take photos of your costume with a flash, it could wash out your makeup. You'll have to decide if you want to apply your makeup a little more than usual if you'll be taking a lot of photos.


Hair
Hair styles and color can be tricky to get right when finishing your costume. If you don't want to cut or color your hair to look exactly like a character's style, try a wearing a wig. Some wigs that are made from synthetic fibers tend to look fake or have a weird sheen to them. Wigs made from human hair look more natural and you can style them better. If you're wanting to temporarily color your hair, I highly recommend using liquid hair chalk. This product comes in a bottle and you brush it directly onto your hair, then blow dry it and brush it. I've used several brands of this product, but my favorite is the L'Oreal Hair Chalk because it evenly coats hair and gives bright pigments, even on dark hair. This brand doesn't give a ton of color choices, but other brands may have better options for the color you need.


Contacts
Some characters have crazy, neon colored eyes and others have more natural colors like blue, brown, and hazel. Whatever color their eyes may be, it's a good idea to get contacts if you don't have the same exact eye color. There are tons of places that sell colored contacts, but if you already wear prescription contacts or glasses, talk to your eye doctor about getting colored ones.


Fitness & Shapewear
Let's face it, actors in movies have personal trainers who can make their bodies look ripped and nipped in all the right places. Animated characters have unrealistic proportions with long, lanky limbs and torsos. Fitness and diet can help you look like a certain characters in a lot of ways. If you want to dress up as a shirtless character, it might be time to start doing some crunches and cardio if you want that character's washboard abs. Some costumes like C-3PO require you to stay lean just so you can fit into the outfit. Shapewear like Spanx or corsets can help give the illusion of a thinner waist or more curves. It's important to embrace your body type and feel comfortable in your own skin, but fitness and shapewear can give your costume a little extra "wow" factor.


If you have questions about anything covered in this article, feel free to send me an email at savannaakiefer@gmail.com or tweet me @Savanna_Kiefer

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