This tutorial is my attempt to break down how I usually do my makeup.
- Everyone does their makeup differently.
- There's no "real" or "wrong" way to wear makeup.
- I often substitute similar products (ex: switching between alcohol based, oil based, and water based body paints), or use some products outside their intended uses (ex: using a glue stick to mask my eyebrows)
My light gray lekku are silicone, and were purchased in that color. That meant I had to mix my bodypaint to match the lekku.
Tips for color matching:
- Mix your color near a window during the day time. Doing it under lamp light will skew the colors.
- While you're mixing, apply a test patch on your skin, let it dry, and check the color against your lekku. The bodypaint won't always look the same in the bottle vs dried on your skin.
I broke this tutorial down into 16 parts.
- Some parts can be combined together, broken apart, or switched around.
- It's not a hard science and what matters is that you are having fun in your costume!
- If you use alcohol based paint, have a fan running and work near an open window.
- Inhaling the alcohol based bodypaint is not a good idea, so you want as much moving air as possible.
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Step 1: Put on Costume
Put on your costume: all the items that will cover your skin.
EX: head wrap, shirt, outerwear, pants, skirt, gloves
It helps to put everything on that you're planning to wear, to get accustomed to how much skin will need to be exposed.
Whatever skin is exposed will need to be painted.
Step 2: Trace Exposed Areas of Skin
- Get a makeup pencil (eyebrow pencil, lip liner, eyeliner).
It doesn't matter what color you use, just a color that's easy to see.
- Run the pencil along all the edges (or "seams") of your costume.
- When doing the armhole of a vest, the neck of the shirt, or the cuff of a sleeve, make sure to bend that body part in all different directions and retrace, because your skin will stretch in different directions.
You want to make sure to fully paint your skin so it's still covered no matter how you pose for photos.
It's disappointing to spend time getting dressed and taking photos, only to later see that a portion of skin was unpainted, ruining the image.
Step 3: Apply Bodypaint Base Layer to Face and Body
- For my base layer, I brush on a mixture of Endura body paint and rubbing alcohol.
- Keep a fan aimed on you to help dry the paint. The alcohol will make your skin cold but the fan will help circulate the alcohol fumes which you want to avoid inhaling.
- This gets on an initial layer of paint that is streaked and uneven. That's ok. This step is to create something for the airbrush layer to stick to. Don't worry about getting it even, that's what the airbrush is for.
- Cover ALL the parts of your body that will be exposed.
- Paint an inch past the traced areas of your body to ensure you hide all your seams.
If you are wearing a long sleeve shirt, and you've traced your wrist where the cuff ends, paint and inch down your wrist underneath the cuff of the sleeve. That way, if you bend your wrist in a photo, you'll still be painted even when the skin stretches.
Step 4: Apply Body Paint Top Layer to Body and Most of Face
To even out the base layer of paint, I use an airbrush.
- Take your time doing the airbrush makeup.
- You're not going to get completely even coverage on the first go. I work in small sections little by little.
For more information about bodypaint and airbrushing, followed recommendations from Pam Simpson and Amber Brite on choosing paint and an airbrush.
- Pam's article about different types of bodypaint: http://chucrew.com/Twilek/bodypaint.html
- Pam's article about alcohol based bodypaint: http://chucrew.com/Twilek/alcoholbasedpaint.html
- Amber's guide to bodypaint brands: https://www.amberbrite.com/tutorials/top-5-best-airbrush-bodypaint-brands/
- Amber's guide to getting your first airbrush setup: https://www.amberbrite.com/tutorials/bodypaint-101-starter-airbrush-equipment/
Step 5: Apply Setting Powder or Spray
After you're done painting everything from the neck down, apply a setting powder or spray.
- Setting powders and sprays function the same: they help remove any excess moisture from your skin, whether by absorbing it (setting powder) or by evaporating it (setting spray).
- Using a setting product will reduce the chances of smudging your bodypaint off your skin and onto your clothes, while also reducing stickiness (especially between the fingers and on your neck).
Some people are lucky enough to not need any, but I do.
Step 6: Block Out Eyebrows
Here you can see I didn't paint my entire face.
I think in the future I'll block out my eyebrows as Step #1, to streamline the painting process.
But for this tutorial, I didn't block out my brows until Step #6.
- I use an Elmer's Glue Stick, the purple kind that dries clear.
- Brush in an upwards motion to flatten out your brows as much as possible.
- Let the first layer fully dry, then apply a second layer.
Step 7: Cover Eye Area With Eyeshadow
I don't like the alcohol based paint getting near my eyes, so I use an eyeshadow that matches the bodypaint.
Apply the eyeshadow around your entire eye area/eye socket.
Step 8: Apply Bodypaint to Eyebrows and Eye Area
Check to make sure the glue on your eyebrows is 100% dry.
Apply the bodypaint to the rest of your face, evening out the base layer you brushed on earlier.
Make sure to get your jawline, hairline, and underneath your nose.
Step 9: Highlight and Contour Face
For highlight and contour, I use oil based facepaint like Mehron Color Cups, mixed to match my alcohol based bodypaint and silicone lekku.
To prep, I mixed a batch of paint that matches the bodypaint.
- Then I split the batch in three, one for a base color, one for a high light color, and one for a contour color.
- To make the highlight color, mix a small amount of white paint in, enough to be two to three shades lighter than the base paint.
- To make the contour color, mix a small amount of black paint in, enough to be two to three shades darker than the base paint.
I use a spherical sponge to apply the highlight and contour.Highlight areas:
- center of forehead
- brow bones
- bridge of nose
- apples of the cheeks.
- sides of nose
- hollow of cheeks
- underneath the jaw.
Since I use an oil based facepaint for my highlight and contour, after highlighting and contouring, I then dust my face with the Kryolan Anti-Shine Powder to help set the makeup.
Step 10: Apply Mid Tone of Eyeshadow to Eyelids
To create depth in the eyes, I use eyeshadow in darker colors matching my alien skin color.
For my light gray twi'lek, this means using a medium gray eyeshadow and a black eyeshadow.
- I apply the medium gray eyeshadow (in this case, a color called Castle on the Hill, by Sugarpill Cosmetics) using a dome brush starting from the center of my eyelid and working outwards to the outer corner.
- I then apply some on my lower lid, concentrating on the outer corners.
Step 11: Apply Dark Tone of Eyeshadow to Outer Corners of Eyes
To increase the depth of the eyemakeup, I then use a black only on the outer corner of my eyes.
For my light gray twi'lek I use a discontinued color by Sugarpill Cosmetics called Soot and Stars.
Once I run out of that color, I'll switch to Bulletproof eyeshadow, also by Sugarpill.
Step 12: Apply Setting Powder or Spray to All Painted Areas
Another round of setting powder or spray to ALL painted areas, face, neck, and body!
This is helpful because by now your skin will have "settled" and you might find spots that are oilier or sweatier than other areas: inside of elbow, neck, cleavage, behind the ears.
Step 13: Apply Eyeliner Including Rim of Lower Eyelid
If I'm in a rush, I just do standard cat-eye eyeliner and leave it at that.
When I have more time, I'll do exaggerated lines or the "attached" eyebrows seen in this photo.
- I also draw eyeliner on my lower eyelid, in the same style as my upper eyelid.
- I have small eyes so applying a lot of eyeliner helps my eyes look bigger.
- For eyeliner, I use a brush that's barely a millimeter wide and pointed at the end.
- For designs like the "attached" eyebrows in this photo, or for my Sith look, I use flat brushes that are wider.
This will help hide my natural skin color and blend the dark eyeshadows better.
Step 14: Apply Mascara and False Lashes
False lashes are my friend!
I'm totally not a shill for Sugarpill but their lashes are AMAZING
Using the airbrush on your face will cause the paint to go onto your lashes, which for this twi'lek color meant they were painted light gray.
- I use black mascara recolor my eyelashes and also apply false lashes.
- I use Duo eyelash glue that dries clear, and I use tweezers to apply the lashes.
Step 15: Apply Lipstick
Step 16: Put on Costume and Check for Seams
Now that the makeup portion is done, put on your costume and check for seams:
- back of the neck
- armholes of the shirt
- cuffs of the sleeve/gloves
- neckline of your shirt
- shirt waistband
- cuff of pant leg
I hope this was helpful, please let me know if you have any questions or feedback!
Thanks for reading!