Cosplay Makeup Starter Kit

Here are the basic things you’ll need in your arsenal, if you want to start cosplaying. A good rule for cosplay makeup is to apply more than your “everyday natural” makeup since photos wash you out a bit.

Foundation: A good foundation is key to looking good in photos (and IRL, too). You’re going to look for a foundation that’s medium to heavy coverage. This usually means no BB creams or tinted moisturizers since those are very light. There’s liquid, powder and cream foundation, but your skin type will determine what kind to look for. I usually set my face with a translucent powder on top.

Concealer: Your foundation will even out your skin tone and overall color, but concealer is for covering up tiny spots. You can hide those dark circles or pimples. This is another step to make sure your canvas is flawless.

Bronzer: This is a must-have for beginners! Contouring will level up your cosplay game and make your face look more sculpted in photos. You can contour anything: nose, cheeks or even muscles. There a variety of tutorials online (for specific skin tones and face shapes), so go YouTube them! Pro tip: get matte bronzer!

Eyeliner: Without eyeliner, your eyes may look flat. Liquid liner will create that strong graphic line, while pencil liner is easily blended and good for your waterline. If black is too bold for your character, look into brown liner!

Eyeshadow palette: I would recommend getting a neutral eyeshadow palette with a mix of matte and shimmery shadows. If you’re drawn to masculine characters, I would recommend getting a purely matte palette. Magical girls need glitter and shimmer, so keep that in mind while looking for a palette!

Lip products: No one wants chapped lips. I apply chapstick about 15 minutes before I put on my lipstick/gloss. Thinking about your character’s personality will help you figure out what type of lip product to get. Young/flirty characters might wear lipgloss, while mature characters might rock a matte lip.

Fake lashes: I’m an active advocate for fake lashes because they make your eyes look so damn good. There are many types to choose from to match your character. Your eyes will look bigger instantly and finalize your eyeshadow look. Lashes take a while to get used to, but it’s worth it! If you’re going to be cosplaying male characters more often, get a good mascara instead.

Something for your brows: Use eyebrow mascara or the concealer trick to get cosplay ready eyebrows, especially if your wig is a crazy color. Even if your character doesn’t have colored eyebrows, filling them in with a brow pencil or powder will make a difference.


If you’re going to have a lot of prosthetic or things stuck to your face: Spirit gum (and remover) is going to be your best friend.


If your skin is oily: Blotting sheets are a great way to keep your oil in check, especially on long photoshoot days. They’re super lightweight and can be carried around easier than a powder compact and brush.

If you want a luminous face: Highlighter is what you’ll need to add shine (the good kind) to parts of your face. This is good for fantasy or magical girl cosplays.


For the end of the night: Makeup remover will take off everything better than regular soap and water. If you’re traveling, makeup remover wipes will save your life.

Let me know if you have any questions! Of course, there are so many more things to add to your cosplay makeup bag but these will get you started.


One thought on “Cosplay Makeup Starter Kit

  1. I give cosplayers so much credit for going the extra mile to make their characters come to life. If you make your own costume AND do your own makeup, you end up becoming a jack/jane of all trades. @_@



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