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Group cosplay, forever alone style! Yeah, that's all me.
In this post, I'll get into how I did each one!

Intro, and some bad old pictures

For those of you who have the patience to read for some extra info!

When I started cosplaying, I didn't think makeup was such a major part of it. I was so hesitant to even put eyeliner because I'd think, "This character is a guy, I shouldn't look like I'm wearing makeup!" And I guess I was silly enough to think I looked enough like the characters I chose without doing anything to my face? :lol:

I can't find more pictures of my really old cosplays (which is just as well, hahah) from the time I didn't want to use makeup apart from these:

I cosplayed as Haku from Naruto. I don't remember wearing any makeup for this. It doesn't show too well on these pictures but I saw some others where the natural redness of my lips made it look like I was wearing lipstick even if I wasn't. I felt it made me look more feminine than I should. Haku is still a guy after all, but it wasn't too bad because he's supposed to look like a trap. Still, I made a mental note then to do something about it when cosplaying manlier characters.

When I did Light Yagami from Death Note, I learned to use concealer and foundation powder to even out my skintone. I also used a skin-colored lipstick to neutralize the reddish color of my lips. I didn't really want to use eyeliner around this time. :laughing:

Death Note: Sunday Morning by behindinfinity

I think it was cosplaying Naruto that really got me to take makeup more seriously because he looks really different from how I naturally look. I had to wear a blond wig for the first time, so I didn't feel right with my black eyebrows. He has big eyes with a very pronounced shape so I had to try simulating that with eyeliner. And of course, the characteristic whisker markings on his face.

It depends on the character too, I think. I generally use more eyeliner and try to go for a really even complexion for anime characters to emulate the look of the 2D art without taking it too literally. But for movie/book cosplay, I take a different approach.

Take my Harry Potter cosplay, for instance. I kind of mixed the book descriptions for Harry with Daniel Radcliffe's depiction of him in the movies:

I skipped using concealer because Dan has pronounced eyebags, which works for Harry's character (being constantly troubled and tormented and trying to save the world and all). I also gave special attention to the eyebrows and tried to shape mine like Dan's. I often get asked about how I do my eyebrows.

I use a brush with stiff, angled bristles. I take whatever pigment I have on hand, such as eyebrow pencils or powdered eyeshadows in different colors, then use this to draw on my over my real eyebrows. This kind of brush makes it easy to control the shape and apply the pigment in a way that the edges aren't sharp so it looks more natural.

So that's probably a long enough intro for this post! Hahah! Bottom line: Makeup is cool because it helps you change the way you look. And that's part of what's fun about cosplay Being able to transform yourself from the way you usually look.

I'm realizing now that I don't have a lot of "normal" photos but here's one of me with no makeup and no contact lenses, for the sake of comparison. (I'm nearsighted so those are my prescription glasses)

Free! Cosplay Challenge

One day I thought it'd be a fun exercise on flexibility to cosplay different characters from the same series, all by myself. It would be an amusing way to illustrate how angles, expressions and makeup can help one person depict different characters. Using only the wigs and clothes I have at home, I decided to try cosplaying the main characters of the anime, Free!

Haruka Nanase

His eyes are narrower and angle upwards more than the other characters.
His face is usually indifferent.

Here is myself as Haru

This is how I did the eye makeup, which is a little different from my usual style. Eyeliner makes such a big impact on giving your eyes a different shape.

I also chose a vibrant blue lens because Haruka has bright blue eyes that contrast with his dark hair. The lenses I used are the Ocean Blue Cosplay Lenses from Alice and Rabbit's Shop, where I get most of my lenses. :)

Here's a clearer shot of the lenses, and also a look at my eyes when they're lined differently.

I based the clothes I wore on one of Haruka's casual outfits. I'll be basing my Makoto look (coming up next) on this outfit here too.

Makoto Tachibana

Although his height is intimidating, he always has a kind look on his face. He has the classic "tareme" / droopy puppy dog eyes that indicate a gentle person.

Here's my take on Makoto. I didn't have a kitten like the one he's seen with but I do have a puppy.

I usually downplay my eye creases for cosplay, but this time I added some shading on top to emphasize them. I also drew my eyeliner downwards to mimic Makoto's eye shape.

The eyebrows were kind of an extra challenge for me since Makoto has really kind-looking eyebrows that curve upwards towards the center, while mine naturally angle downwards (which usually lead people to think I look mean). I kind of imagined Mako to have thick eyebrows so I rolled with that. I draw them extra thick on the top part near the center to fight against the downward curve of my real eyebrows. Then for the photos, I raised them up (like the way you would when you're surprised, hahah) to give a kinder facial expression. This also helped make my eye crease more visible.

The lenses I used are Emerald Green Cosplay Lenses. It's a nice leaf green shade that fits with Makoto's eyes.

Most other lenses that are opaque enough to show on my dark eyes are in a blue-green shade, like this one:

The pattern of this also looks like it would be better suited for a more intense and aggressive character. I don't know if most people would think I'm crazy for taking that into account, but I do like to consider the pattern when choosing contact lenses for a character.

I was looking for blue-green lenses for Eren Jaeger (from Attack on Titan) and this one had a good color but I don't think the flower pattern suits him all that much. Don't you agree? :lol:

Nagisa Hazuki

Resident shota, LOL. He's the smallest and youngest-looking of the bunch. Energetic sparkly personality.

This was very difficult for me. It's hard to be shota, bro. I struggled. And I kind of want to punch myself for making these faces. Doing this hurt me a little. Ahahahah! The way Nagisa acts is just really a stretch from how I actually am.

I made my cheeks look rounder with the way I smiled. I describe it as pushing my face meats up by giving a tight smile. This also made my upper lip look thinner, which I guess kind of works for Nagisa. I don't know if this will work for everyone, but the point is to observe how certain facial expressions affect the shape of your face, and use them to your advantage when you can. :D

I made the eyeliner rounder and softer at the outer edges. I used a pencil liner for the outer corners so I smudged it a bit for that softer look. I also put some highlighting pigments around the eyes for extra sparkly wide-eyed youthful uguu shota join-the-swim-club-or-I'll-cry feels. My descriptions are so technical and pro.

But okay, to elaborate properly (sort of) I think the highlights around the eyes helped a lot because it downplays the shadows on my face. If shadows make features look more sunken, then theoretically, highlights should do the opposite.

Nagisa's eyes are in a complicated sort of magenta shade. I compromised by using my Crystal Max Red Lenses. Although they are technically red, the shade is dark and the larger-than-usual size of these lenses gives the glowing crescent effect on the bottom of my irises. The halo effect comes out pink, so they worked okay for Nagisa. 

To explain the halo effect:

The coloring on the Crystal Max Red is semi-transparent, so it lets the white part show through a bit at the bottom. This is also why the lens diameter is important. I think the average diameter for irises are about 14mm. The lenses I used for Haruka and Makoto are 14.2mm, so they're only slightly enlarging. These ones are 14.8mm in diameter.

Rei Ryugazaki

He has somewhat rectangular-shaped eyes and is easily disgruntled, hahah. He normally has a serious look about him (which doesn't reflect what he's actually like).

Apart from the eyeliner style, I didn't have to change much for Rei, so this section will be relatively short.

Here's an outline of the eyeliner shape. I extended it past the normal length of my eyes. It feels a little weird at first but it looks fine from a moderate distance.

It's kind of like what I did on the upper left photo:
(And here are other examples as well of how I line my eyes for different cosplays)

The lenses I used are Crystal Max Violet. They have a nice lavender shade that fits with Rei's eye color. Again, my eyes are very dark brown (which looks black when not in direct sunlight) and they show up well on me.

Lastly, Rin Matsuoka

I usually end up cosplaying the protagonist, so I was excited and anxious to attempt Rin, who is completely different from characters I'm used to portraying.

Jin as Rin. Hahah! It looks like I have Rin's school uniform, but that's actually the top I used for my Ulquiorra cosplay!

If you're wondering about the teeth: Those are my natural teeth. They're pretty strangely shaped (but I like them) and I'm just not used to smiling with them, but I decided to show them off this time because it's character-appropriate!

See? They are pointier along the sides so I angled my face so they'd be more visible.

Look at all those scribbles! I did some crazy things to change the look of my eyes. I drew my eyeliner extra thick to cover up my natural crease, then I drew on a fake crease which to me looked more like Rin's. I also added some shading between the crease and my eyebrows to make it appear more realistic. You have to pay special attention to how they look at certain angles and expressions though, especially if you are posing for photos. Notice how in the left photo on the two pictures of me as Rin, the eye creases look a lot smaller than on the right where I raised my eyebrows a bit and shot from a lower angle.

Half my eyebrows here are drawn on, because I wanted them to angle upwards to look extra mean. I used Kryolan eyebrow wax to flatten half my eyebrows then piled concealer on top to hide them. Then I drew on the other half with a cream pigment from my Ben Nye wheel, using an angular eyebrow brush.

The lenses I used for Rin were the limited edition red prescription lenses from A&R. I chose these instead of the red ones I used for Nagisa because it's a brighter red, which is like Rin's eye color. The diameter is also smaller, so it gives my eyes more of a mean look compared to Nagisa's big sparkly eyes.

Closing notes

Now, I've never been properly trained in makeup or anything like that, so this is all just coming from someone who learned to use makeup by thinking of them as drawing materials. (Eyeliners are like ink brushes or colored pencils, eyeshadow is like chalk pastel, lip pigments are paints, etc.) It is questionable if my methods are correct, but I just wanted to share how I go about things and I thought it could serve as a guideline for you guys to think of how to manage it for yourselves. :)

These techniques will also work differently for people with different eye or face shapes so it's best for you to experiment on your own face or with your friends. It's fun!

The amount of makeup you use, and how you want to interpret features on anime characters is entirely up to you. Everyone's got different preferences. Like some people find drawing the eye crease weird, but it works for some people. But it's all really up to you! :D You just have to try things and find a look that you feel comfortable with. And don't judge yourself until you've got your wig and everything on and have finished the entire look, because I certainly felt like a fool in the middle of doing some of these. By that I mean Rin

It was a fun challenge to take on, and I hope to try it with other series!

Other places to follow my updates
I don't often get to post here lately because I use my gallery here mainly for proper shoot photos and we'll be doing that later in the year so it's pretty quiet here right now. My friends and I are still working on our new costumes! If you want to follow our progress, cosplay previews, or random shenanigans, I suggest you follow me on Facebook where my snapshots usually end up! It's a lot easier to update there from my phone too so I get to update regularly. :D

On Wednesdays I do live tweets of my reactions when a new Naruto manga chapter is released
On Thursdays I do live tweets of new episodes of Free!

:bulletblue: Art blog! :pointr:
:bulletblue: Tumblr :pointr:
:bulletblue: Instagram: @jinjoson



Add a Comment:
MsPastel Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2015  Hobbyist Interface Designer
this is actually so amazing
CeryneianHind Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
What handy tricks! Very clever, thanks a bunch!!
LpsAnimeIsLife Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
omg thank you
karkatkayla Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
omg I love your teeth (sorry about how weird it sounds)
nekobreadtin Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2015
Omg thank you this is really helpful and awesome 
THEchachamanga Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2015
Wow... What you do is amazing...  *____*
Thanks for your "sort-of-tutorial", it's really usefull!
gfdcswa Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2015  Professional Filmographer
how old are you?
Le-Shota-Kun Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2015
Thanks! I'll be cosplaying as Rei soon and this helped a LOT because I'm terrible when it comes to cosplay eye makeup xP
Neh, thanks! This helped a crapola ton. If I would try without your help it would be a disaster. I like your knowledge on cosplay, and I'll be sure to check out what else you have.
Oliver-Prime Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2014
Hi! I was wondering where you got your Rin wig from. I really need one and I haven't had much luck finding one I like.
IlaEternalFlame Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, this tutorial is fantastic! and very helpfull^^ Now I can cosplay Haru and Rin and help my little sister to cosplay Nagisa :D arigatou! ^^^
Suno-Chann Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2014  Hobbyist
This helped me a lot arigato Jake hula  btw can you tell me a good place to get the full Rin cosplay? ;-; 
goopdra Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
ahh if you don't mind me asking, where'd you order/buy your nagisa wig from?? 
DuckieShoes Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't know where she got hers but I found a great one here…
Neko-Kurushimi Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2014  Hobbyist
Great tutorial I really needed this Happy Clap
I like yours teeth. I have teeth that resemble vampire fangs xD
jjangjelly Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
This is amazing, THANK YOU SO MUCH!
XxHarpierxX Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2014
Just thought I'd say, I finally had a good reason to purchase a pair of contacts from A&R back in February for a convention in March, and let me just say...
I'd used the prescription red ones for a Black Swan cosplay. They were perfect.  :]
Harusameiro Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
That fake crease is so legit. I wish I actually had space between my eye and eyebrow to do this sort of thing, but mine are kind of bunched up togther compared to a lot of people's so I always envy those makeup gurus on YouTube that have a huge working canvas for eyeshadow.
This whole tutorial is genius.
Picario Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2013
"pushing my face meats up"

Anyway, thanks so much for doing this tutorial, you are probably the most detailed cosplayer I've ever seen and you pretty much pay attention to everything you could possibly pay attention to. I was thinking "am I the only one who thinks of makeup as drawing materials?" since I've only recently started getting really into cosplay and used to only draw because I am constantly broke, but I'm glad there's someone else who thinks the same.
ZSBrigade Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2013  Student General Artist
Are the contact lenses you used for your Makoto cosplay (the emerald ones) the same as the ones in the photo that you thought would be good for Eren? I'm thinking they're different?
mysteryAphrodite Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is great!!!! <3
Supernaturalforce Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Asdfghjkl <3 thank you so so much! Now I have one less thing to worry about
sherlymate Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2013
Awesome! XD I was wondering how I'd make Makoto's eyes D: Thank you so much XD
origami10 Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2013
This is definitely my new favorite thing on DeviantArt!  Awesome!
AikazawaRyuu Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much for the tutorial >w<
Ladykitsuka Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh god this is so perfect <3 At first I wasn't even aware that it was all you in that Free picture!! It's just so well done!!!!
And it's just what I needed. I'm considering of crossplaying Haruka myself, but since I've never cosplayed as girls before I'm not exactly sure how it needs to be done. So this is very helpful, thank you so much!! C:
DaisyPhantom Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013
hi!! i just wanted 2 kno where you got the blue-green lenses that you were going 2 use for your eren jaeger copslay?
elpheal Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013
i love what u did here ^^ and u look awesome as each of them xD
chaos-shadow Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2013
Eyebrowsssss! These are my current bane of cosplay! Eyebrows and using fake eyelashes / eyeliner for different eye shapes are what I really want to learn. Ha ha. This was really inspiring, although I wish my face shape was a little bit thinner for more universality. xD

Pssstttt -- if all goes well with us getting passports, I think we might even make it out to Manila for Christmas! @ o @ Yan just got his US citizenship so now we gotta get running for passports and planning! I hope we can find some time to meet up!
SilentCherubim Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you very much for the tutorial, and I hope I get to do a guy someday. xD 
Senpai, do you have any recommendation for Matsuoka G--Kou's contact lenses? She has the same shade as he brother but they're only bigger and I'm afraid Crystal Max Lens red will make her eyes look pink like Nagisa's!
koyomiNightray Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
woah!! awesome >w< i wanna cosplay Mako and his little puppy eyes shape was a problem for me XDD thanks a lot!!!!
Blaisie Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
this is really helpful!! ive been wondering about eye makeup for awhile now, and this answered a lot of my questions~ thanks!
brynnaidan Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
great tutorial, but... could you never ever use the word "trap" please? it's really, really offensive. 
Nandeena Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow that's really cool!! :D
Skyzhema Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is excellent! Any recommendations for makeup brands for those of us who have allergies to makeups? I'm kinda at the "wanna do it but can't because of allergies" stage.
cosplay-violin Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
First of all: Awesome tutorial! Really helpful xD
Second: I was wondering... For Nagisa you changed the color of your eyebrows as well. Do you have any tips for changing your eyebrow color to something lighter, like pink or yellow or white? I have really dark eyebrows so the methods I've tried haven't worked out ^^;
BloodyCoffee Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013  Student Artisan Crafter
This was really helpful! Thanks! 

Yknow I read all of your journal tutorials before I Cosplayed for the first time. Reading them always makes me happy :, ) I always take all your advice into consideration : P

I have the same problem with lip color that you have but I can never find a lipstick or concealer that covers without drying my lips out horribly. And most of the time it just makes my lips like a gross chalky.... Purplish color? (Idk if that's ever happened to you, pfft)
What do you use? I always thought you just had pale lips until you said something about it recently @_@ so whatever you do to cover your lips looks really natural lol
behindinfinity Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2013   General Artist
That made me feel all warm and fuzzy! You are too sweet, thank you :thanks:

Ah, you have the same problem as a bunch of my guy friends! I've recently gone with them to look for solutions so I may have some answers for you, hahah! The chalky purplish color is due to the lipstick/concealer maybe being the wrong shade for you. I find that it's good to look for a brown/flesh tone with more of an orange undertone. Often, those colors look kind of dark on the tube, but better as you put them on your lips. When my friend Dom and I went exploring for cosplay lipstick last time, we found this one from Maybelline which worked for him -… It's pretty moisturizing so it's comfortable to wear and shouldn't chap your lips, and the color (Totally Toffee) was a good orangey-brown as I described before. Perhaps you could give it a shot, and hopefully it works for you too!
BloodyCoffee Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2013  Student Artisan Crafter
Waaah~ thank you : D I'll try it out : )
silly-redpanda Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow that was impressive! Years before I even considered cosplaying myself, you were one of my inspirations, since you had these amazing sort of tutorials with how you went about portraying different characters. There are people that don't pay that much attention to how to enhance your features the right way for each case, and others (like myself as a noob cosplayer) don't know how. So, thanks for this ^^
behindinfinity Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2013   General Artist
Aw, I'm happy to help! My way of doing things isn't universally correct or anything, but I'm glad there are those like you who pick up a few things from the stuff I share!
silly-redpanda Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Of course, it's your own way, and I've seen others. But regardless of it being universally accepted, it is A way and it's one I've seen work! So cheers for that ^^
PyRoAj Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
May I ask when you got your Rin wig from? I've been looking for one for so long but I can't find any nice ones. I would style one but my hands shake due to a medical condition >.<
behindinfinity Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2013   General Artist
Here, where I get some of my wigs :pointr:… (This store ships internationally) I'm not sure if you'd find it too dark, though!
PyRoAj Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much. I'm tired of shelling out for money on wigs that end up looking crap and no way to style them 
LUNARU Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks Jin.

he he he~
AsukaKawashima Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much for posting this!!!

I got a few questions... Based on your "normal" photo, do you really have short hair? And it okay to cosplay with long hair, like really thick long hair? o.o
sunamikei Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013
I a youtube video Jin san shows us really long hair :)
AsukaKawashima Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ooo, thanks! :)
iluvlink12 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
I've beem cosplaying for around two years, and I've only used concealer, and i found allot of makeup tutorials and i was all like psshhh I dont need makeup, and then i realized how wrong i was, me being kinda a tomboy I still dont own any makeup besides concealer, and in recent cosplay shoots I still haven't used makeup ehehehe, and really need to invest into it for cosplay :P 

But this helped me realize that I wasn't the only person who didn't wear makeup in the begining either, I want t ostep up my game and begin to cosplay more seriously so that people will like it better and so I can better represent the characters I cosplay. (also so I don't look stupid :P and ridiculous compared to amazing cosplayers)

Thank you SOOO much for posting this, this was so helpful! 
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Submitted on
August 22, 2013


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