Level Up your Cosplay Makeup

While at Ottawa ComicCon this year, I ran a panel with Peekaboo Cosplay. The topic was one we share a mutual love of: makeup.

During that panel, we covered a lot, including making your makeup last all day, contouring, and colourful looks that can (but don't have to) involve body-painting.  We promised more content to cover what we couldn't in the panel, such as our favourite brands, products, and skincare routines. She'll be posting hers soon, and I'll link to it once it is online. Here are mine!

makeup products

Items I love

Photo Finish Colour Correcting Primer by Smashbox ($50) I use this all the time. It doesn't have the intense coverage of my Pantone Universe concealers (see lower down), so it is really easy to use and for those with a lot of redness it works great as a full face primer. 

Amazonian clay 12-hour full coverage foundation by Tarte * ($51) This stuff has a lovely silky texture. It could range from a very thin application for lighter days to very heavy, and just wanted to blend with whatever I was using, particularly my concealer.

Lock-it Tattoo Foundation by Kat Von D ($42) Damn, this stuff is intense. It's not called "Lock-it" for nothing. It completely covered my concealer the first time I tried to use it. Also, whatever powder touches it afterwards STICKS. I really like this, but it is not for the beginner. If you really need it (such as to cover beards or tattoos) make sure to set it with baby powder or translucent setting powder before trying to put any other powders (such as powder contour) on it.

They’re Real! Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara by Benefit ($31) I like this stuff because it comes out smooth, not clumpy, but gives you a thick coat. It is ultra-black, which is what I need since my eyelashes are already so dark. It can be hard to get off without the right makeup remover. 

Everlasting Liquid Lipstick by Kat Von D * ($24) This stuff is also intense - that's Kat Von D for you. Once it is on, it stays on, and you can dust it with eyeshadow for ombre looks, but this one can smell your fear - so not for the weak-hearted applicators. ALSO: moisturize well the day before and the day after, or you will lose a layer of your lips to peeling. This stuff is drying.

Brush-on on Cream Liner by Clinique ($22) This is the only one I can use without issue, so I can't compare it with a lot of others. Some say that the cream liners are more difficult to put on, others prefer them. I recommend trying a cream liner and a liquid and then making the choice yourself. I use this for a lot of my more "decorative" looks because it starts cream and then dries, meaning that it is easier to manage throughout the day. I do not use the SHITTY brush it comes with, throw that thing out - I use an art store paintbrush, size 000. (I also use these paintbrushes for a lot of other details in my more artistic looks.)

Pro Airbrush Foundation Brush #55 by Sephora ($42) I swear by this brush. It gets me the closest I have gotten to an airbrush look while still using a brush. 

Sephora + PANTONE UNIVERSE Correct + Conceal Palette ($60) I use the light palette. This is certainly not something that everyone needs to buy. I purchased it because I work with a variety of people's faces and needed the range of correcting colours. It is a better investment to buy the two or three shades that you will need regularly. That said, I am very impressed with the opaqueness and texture of this product particularly - you need hardly any. For those who prefer more liquid concealers - it is very sticky like my cream liner.

* Vegan

Items I am not brand-specific about:

Cooling/soothing primers. Because these go on first, find one your face really likes.

Eyelid primer. I don't care what you use, just use one. No, foundation doesn't count. 

Makeup setting spray. See Eyelid primer.

Matte liquid lipsticks. These all stick good, I haven't found one that didn't. Kat Von D sticks the best, but the others also work. Use it if you like it.

Non-talc baby powder. I've tried finishing powders but honestly this stuff works just as good. BUT DON'T BUY THE TALC ONE THAT STUFF IS BAD FOR YOU IF YOU BREATHE IT.

Unscented baby wipes. I buy a big jug of makeup remover and put it on baby wipes because it is cheaper than buying makeup remover wipes.

Eyeshadow. If you've got a good primer, it can make even poor quality eyeshadow good. 

Favourite brands

* Vegan

Least favourite brands

So many brands have fragrances therefore I can't use them, because they irritate my skin. The list is too long to bother writing here. I always test a sample first of a new product, to save heartache. 

I also don't like any other Clinique products except for their eyeliner cream. 


Skincare routine

I had very bad acne growing up, so my skin has always been a bit rougher than average, and way more sensitive than average. Because I just finished (hopefully for the last time) sandblasting my face with Acutane, my face is also very photo-sensitive. It is also sensitive in general (the Clinique gel eyeliner is the only one I know of right now that doesn't burn...). Because of this, I don't wear makeup every day. In fact, I don't wear makeup most days, and tend to save it for special occasions/cosplaying. In fact, as I write this, I'm not wearing an ounce of makeup, as I let my face recover from the ridiculously fun weekend. Here are my skincare products:


I always wear this when I'm going outside in the sun, and will put it on before or after moisturizing but before makeup if I'm doing makeup:

Cliniderm Gentle protective lotion SPF 45 ($30) 


Absolutely every time I put makeup on I put both of these on. Absolutely every time I wash my face I put these on. Other than that, it is on an as-needed basis.

Hydrabio Light - Moisturising Gel-Cream by Bioderma ($30)

Hydrabio Moisturizing Serum by Bioderma ($35)

Face cleanser

I have a makeup remover and face cleanser. I no longer wash my face with cleanser every day (too harsh on my skin) I wash with water and then whenever anything goes on my face, it gets washed off at the end of the day with makeup remover if needed, then cleanser. Every few days I'll do a cleanser wash. 

Makeup Cleansing Solution 500mL by Bioderama ($20)
I put this on fragrance-free or sensitive skin baby wipes (I am not brand-specific)

 Toleriane Purifying Foaming Cream by La Roche Posay ($24)

Did I miss anything you want to know about?

Please comment! I'll happily add to this list with more explanations/details as needed to help your makeup game!