Haku started cosplaying about eight years ago. She has an avid love for all things cosmetics and half-jokingly admits that she has a problem when shifting through her arsenal of makeup. She cosplays men and women, models for fashion brands, and dabbles in many different techniques. But, unlike many makeup influencers, cosplay is what ignited her passion. Check out all of her different looks on her Instagram below.
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Conventions can last all day, and you don’t want your makeup to slip even once during that time. That’s why many cosplayers will layer their makeup, using different foundations to fulfill different purposes.
When choosing a liquid foundation, look out for consistency. More watery formulas spread out easily; therefore, they blend more smoothly into the skin, minimizing damage. However, they fall short when it comes to coverage.
Thicker formulas, including creams, will hide your blemishes, which is what you want for your cosplay. Just remember that they might not be as breathable and can aggravate oily skin.
For consistency, I tend to go middle-of-the-line, because things that are too watery blend out more sheer, or they don't sit well on my skin. Foundations that are too thick tend to be too cakey for me, so I like that consistency that’s right in the middle.
Conventions can stretch on for hours—and if you're sweating or if you have oily skin, then chances are, your makeup’s going to start sliding off in the middle of it. For this reason, many cosplayers carry around powder foundation to fix up their face throughout the day.
Powder foundation is compact, not as messy as liquid, and will absorb the grease off your face—that's why they’re especially suited for oily skin. Just remember that you can’t set cream products on top of powder products.
You could also try cushion foundation. It’s basically a pillow soaked in liquid foundation housed in a compact. Cushions are popular because they’re convenient; you just pull it out, dab on some foundation with the included puff, and slip it back into your bag.
I really like sandwiching products. So, when I start putting on makeup, I’ll put on a primer, which will set up a base. Then after that, I’ll put down a cream foundation, then concealer, and then set that with powder. That’s what will make your makeup last the longest—it’s kind of like a lamination process.
Sometimes, if I use cream products—like cream blushes or highlighters—I’ll put that on and then I’ll set my face with powder. The rule of thumb is that you don’t put cream products on top of powder products. Or else, it tends to ball up and break apart. In any case, that sandwiching effect is really important in my book.
How much you should focus on hydration when you purchase a foundation depends on your skin type and the weather at the convention where you plan to debut your cosplay. Dry skin needs hydration, but so may other skin types—especially if the weather calls for it. For example, if you are scheduled for an outdoor photoshoot in the winter, when the air is stripped of moisture, then you will need a hydrating foundation.
There used to be a rule of thumb where liquid foundation was good for dry skin and powder was good for oily—but there are now different formulas that adapt to your skin type. Haku mentioned J.Cat Beauty’s Aquasurance as an example. It's a powder foundation that’s been infused with water, making it suitable even for the dry days of winter.
So when looking for a moisturizing foundation, keep an eye out for ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, often touted as a must-have for people with dry skin. Other than that, you can also look for popular plant and seed oils, such as almond, rose hip, maracuja, and jojoba.
Because I feel like skin can be kind of temperamental—so depending on how you treat it and depending on the weather that you’re in, you really have to know how your skin is doing in order to choose the kind of foundation that you want to wear for that day. I have slightly normal skin, and it fluctuates. Sometimes, I’ll need something that’s more moisturizing, or I’ll need something that’s more drying.
Before purchasing a foundation, you'll want to test it to see if it matches your color. Thanks to the sun and the forces of nature, your skin doesn't look like just one shade, so think about where you want to swatch. The neck is generally a good place. You want the color of your face to match the color of your neck, as it's a body part that isn’t overly exposed to the dyeing effects of the sun.
If you have dry to normal skin, choose the shade that’s the closest to your natural color. If you have oily skin, you might want to go a shade lighter. This is because foundation will mix with the oils on your skin and undergo a process called oxidation—which, among other things, deepens its color and makes you look an odd shade of orange.
It’s better to choose a foundation that matches your skin and not your character’s. As Haku pointed out, foundation doesn’t last all day. And if your skin does, by any chance, peek through, you want to make sure you still look as natural as possible.
Then, there’s still the problem of online shopping. How are you supposed to choose a shade if you don’t even have a sample to swatch? Haku talks a bit about her process below.
If you’re shopping online, you should look at the undertones a brand has, and then look at the shade range. To find your undertone, a lot of people say that if your veins are more green, then you have warm undertones; if your veins are more blue, then you have cool undertones. Neutral is in between. But choosing which to go with is also a preference, depending on how you edit your photos afterwards.
First, know that at the hands of an inexperienced photographer, dewy foundation can make you look oily. This may be a problem if you often go to cons where passersby take your pictures.
Second, it’s common knowledge that the sun is the skin’s arch-nemesis. If you are going to be taking photos at blazing noon, then go ahead and wear foundation that includes UV protection. But if you are going to be somewhere darker, then SPF can give you a white cast in photos, especially in the presence of flash.
I feel like if the photographer knows what they’re doing, a dewy foundation shouldn’t be a problem. But SPF just gives you flashback—during night shoots especially because of the flash. If I know I’m going to do a shoot at night, then I won’t wear foundation with SPF.
But also, most foundations don’t have SPF. It’s usually the BB creams and the CC creams that act like foundation—but also have other skincare properties in them—that include SPF. One of my favorite skin products is this one BB cream that has SPF in it. So if I’m going to do a night shoot, then I won’t wear that one, specifically.
Click to purchase
Shu Uemura Petal Skin Fluid Foundation
Leaves Your Skin Natural, Radiant, and Soft as Petals–Even Without a Setting Powder
J.Cat Beauty Aquasurance Compact Foundation
Moisturizing Powder That Doesn’t Look Powdery or Cakey
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
Comes in 40 Natural Shades That Stay on Oily Skin All Day Long
Revlon ColorStay Liquid Makeup for Combination/Oily Skin
Medium to Full Coverage, Long-Wearing Product for Oily Skin
Revlon ColorStay Whipped Crème Makeup
Good, Opaque Foundation that Lasts Over 8 Hours, Even on Oily Skin
Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup
Full Coverage Foundation That Locks in for the Entire Day
Fiona Stiles Luminous Finish Foundation Concentrate
Dewy Finish, Silky Feel, and Good Medium Coverage for Dry to Combo Skin
MAKE UP FOR EVER
MAKE UP FOR EVER Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation
Made to Look Good in Photos With 40 Shades, Leaving You with Flawless, Radiant Skin
Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup
Lightweight, Velvety Foundation You Can Build Up to Full Coverage
Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Le Teint Radiance Awakening Foundation
Radiant to the Eye and Satin-Like to the Touch–Beautiful Finish for Dry Skin
Even if you have dry skin, it won’t cling to your dry patches. It covers your pores, but it doesn’t look like your face is caked in powder–especially if you use a good setting spray. It also just feels really soft.
It’ll stay on for a good 8 to 10 hours if you have oily skin, hardly transferring or smudging at all. It’s opaque and has just a bit of a dewy finish, without being greasy.
※This product has been discontinued by the manufacturer but is still in stock in multiple stores.
You end up with flawless, yet natural-looking skin. And it helps that there are around 40 shades to choose from—you can go from alabaster to dark coffee, from beige to salmon pink to golden undertones easily.
※This product has been discontinued by the manufacturer but is still in stock in multiple stores.
It looks a bit runny when you first pour it out of the bottle, but it spreads like butter onto the skin. Overall, it’s a pretty high coverage foundation, smoothing over scars, acne, and redness.
Cosplayers are craftsmen, makeup artists, and actors all in one. They bring to life the most amazing characters. We interviewed two other talented women on different aspects of cosplay. Give them a visit below!
No. 1: Shu Uemura｜Shu Uemura Petal Skin Fluid Foundation
No. 2: J.Cat Beauty｜J.Cat Beauty Aquasurance Compact Foundation
No. 3: Fenty Beauty by Rihanna｜Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
No. 4: Revlon｜Revlon ColorStay Liquid Makeup for Combination/Oily Skin
No. 5: Revlon｜Revlon ColorStay Whipped Crème Makeup
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