Cosplay Toolbox: Must-have Make-up!

Dragon Con is almost upon us! But what can you do to give your make-up that extra-special touch when you’re a novice? I got you covered from basic brands to special tips for con!

Note: these are in no special order as it’s like picking a favourite child.

  1. Subversion lash primer & Perversion mascara by Urban Decay $20 & $22; or grab the free subversion sample with perversion purchase like I did for $22!


This stuff is amazing or I would not be recommending you invest $42. It really fills out and pushes up your lashes for that princess-y look. Great alternative to false eyelashes.

2. Cease Crease Eyeshadow Primer by Pur Cosmetics– $18


This $18 investment can save you tons of money on eyeshadow. It grabs powdered colour giving even cheap shadows a much more intense look.


I applied cease crease to the bottom part of my arm, leaving above it untreated. You can see the difference cease crease makes in all four of these eyeshadows. The shocker: colour one is MAC ($16 each), the middle two are from a Beauty Gems palette I paid $10 for during Ulta’s Christmas sale, and the last is Urban Decay ($19 each). You can see cease crease gives them all a great intense colour. In summary, pay the $18 for the cease crease and stock up on those cosplay colours you’re never going to use again as cheap as you can find them!

Note: Urban Decay has several eyeshadow primers that work pretty much the same

3. Boi-ing Concealer by Benefit: $20


Boi-ing is a staple in most every cosplayer’s cosmetic stash. It comes in a variety of shades….pick the closest, it will be covered with your foundation and powder anyway. It is simply the best at covering a variety of issues from under-eye circles to blemishes. It is quite thick but a good creamy consistency that doesn’t make you feel like you’re wearing a ton of make-up.

4. All Nighter Make-Up Setting Spray by Urban Decay, $30


When in doubt, just go with Urban Decay with practically any cosmetic product. They have several setting sprays: this is the first one I pretty much eeny-meeny-miny-moed and stuck with it ever since.


True story: Crafterniece (the Honey Lemon to my Gogo Tomago) went to Dragon Con as Amethyst from Steven Universe last year. The first day she wore it her delightful purpleness was coming off everywhere from sweat and humidity, even with plenty of talc to cure the body paint. The second time I forced her to try the all-nighter spray over the talc although she was skeptical. Although there was still some fading the improvement was amazing, so I sent her home with a bottle!

5, High Beam by Benefit: $26


I received this sample of High Beam last year & have been jealously guarding it ever since. I have no reservations about buying it once this runs out.

You can use this to subtly highlight cheek and brow bones. I personally use a touch of it on top of my cheekbone. I have a round face, and this truly adds structure without having to do a full contouring.

See that whitish area above my blush? That’s it! Notice in the full face photo that the highlighted area breaks up the “monotony” of huge cheeks.

I used to work for Victoria’s Secret Cosmetics back when VS Cosmetics was its own company. We had a similar product to this. Pretty much everyone added it to their purchase after playing with it at our counter.

6. Pop of Passion Blush Balm by Bare Minerals, $22


I don’t care for Bare Minerals products on a whole. This was another GWP so I tried it. Immediate love. There are several blush balm/blush or lipstick/highlighter products to choose from. I really liked the amount of colour I got from this and how well it blended on top of my foundation & powder. I find most of these products don’t have enough colour to use as a blush on their own. This gave more without going full-on drag queen.

7. Drugstore stay-put lipsticks & glosses, approx $8-$10 each


I wear nothing else for costumes. It dries out some people’s lips to the point that they can’t tolerate it, but I don’t wear it everyday. Put it on, it dries, it stays. I have several brands with no preference…they all work. They are usually labelled as “24 hour” or “all day”, etc and come in long tubes of liquid as opposed to a traditional push-up lipstick.

8. Maybelline Ultra Liner-$7.25


I recently did a GISHWHES item where I took a full blast from a water hose to the face*, and this stayed on after several takes. This is invaluable when you are sweating at con! It will crack eventually, but I find it does better over primer & shadow. I bring it with me, but usually don’y need a touch-up.

*let’s never talk of this again

What are some of your make-up must-haves for cosplay?

Leave a Reply