Updated: Aug 22, 2021
What is cosplay? Cosplay is a performance art in which participants called cosplayers wear costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific character.
If you are cosplaying for a convention or just for yourself it is fun and enjoyable hobby! Being able to cosplay as your favorite character in a fun and friendly environment can heighten your experience at a convention. It can be a little discouraging if it your first time and you see other cosplayers in their amazing cosplays. But they had to start somewhere!
Choose comfort over everything!
Once you have decided on who you will be cosplaying. You need to make sure you will be comfortable. If your character wears 9-inch heels then they dealt with foot pain from being at a convention for hours. You also want to make sure that your cosplay fits well, especially if you bought a cosplay. You don’t want to wait until day of to find out that your cosplay fits awkward or the accessories keep sliding off. So, wear it around the house to break it in. You also want to take the weather into account and the size of the convention. You do not want to pass out because of heat stroke or dehydration. I’ve seen a few people pass out because of their cosplay especially if it has a head piece/ mask. You will need to take the crowds into consideration. If your cosplay has large attachments such as wings or tails, you may bump into people or they may get damaged from crowed areas or just may have a hard time maneuvering with them on. You want to be comfortable to be able to enjoy the convention but also be able to represent the character.
Do your research
Once you have chosen who to cosplay, it is time to do some research. Put together a list of all the components that make up their look, including all garments, accessories, shoes, and any special hair or makeup. Once you’ve selected your character, you will need to look up photos of different designs of the character to how you will be cosplaying it. As well as, how other cosplayers brought it to life for ideas. Next, make an action plan for how you will obtain each item, whether it means purchasing or making it.
Set a Budget
If you decide to cosplay it is important to set a budget! Whether it be making it, buy it or thrifting it. If you decide to make a cosplay; materials are expensive, especially if you never made one before. You will need to buy extra fabric and materials for when you mess up. Not including the tools, you will need to craft your cosplay. No one makes a cosplay perfect on the first try so don’t worry.
If you decide to buy a cosplay, then make sure the seller is reliable. There are many shady sites that sell cosplays overly priced with shitty quality. *Will have links at the end of the blog for reliable sites. There have been a few times where I have bought a cosplay and it was either poor quality or it didn’t fit well. Having to return the cosplays was a struggle.
If you deiced to thrift a cosplay together you have to be careful because little things will add up. One of the cosplays I thrifted together was Audrey Rocio Ramirez from the Disney movie Atlantis: The Lost Empire. I was able to find some blue overalls for about $20 and I bought a white long sleeve for like $10, a blue hat for like $12. Luckily, I didn’t have to buy a wig or shoes because I had short hair at the time, and I had a similar pair of shoes. The budget for this cosplay was $50 because I was cosplaying 3 out of the 4 days. Although, I was thrifting it still came out to almost $45. Meaning that I had to be careful if I wanted to stay within budget.
Makeup is important
If you are a man or a woman makeup can make or break your cosplay. If your character doesn't wear makeup in the traditional sense such as face paint or a scare, it's still a good idea to do minimal natural look. You will want to make your face smooth and hide any blemishes for your cosplay. Regarding what makeup you should use, I recommend using waterproof mascara and eyeliner. Setting powder or spray on the facial makeup. All-day lipstick. You will be at the convention all day, and most likely sweating. The best makeup for cosplay is stage makeup since you will be taking picture or preforming or doing a panel. *Brand recommendations at the bottom
Bring a survival kit
Going to conventions is a fun and exciting but accidents do happen. Your cosplay may rip, or your accessories may break. Your makeup smudges and smears. You may spill on yourself and your cosplay may stain. It is important to bring a survival kit in case something happens. For example, a sewing kit, makeup bag, stain remover stick, safety pins, hair pins, tape, Advil and band-aids. By packing some essentials with you to the convention you can do a quick fix in case anything happens.
Practice Your Poses
You may think this sounds ridiculous. No one will as me for a picture. That is exactly what I thought until someone asked me to take a picture in my Earth-chan and Audrey cosplay. I was so flabbergasted I didn’t know what to do. Having a poses in your pocket just case isn’t a bad idea.
Don't Forget to have Fun!!
Last but not least, Be confident in your cosplay. Own it and do not be ashamed! You go to a convention to enjoy yourself. Do not be intimidated by the professional cosplayers. They had to start from the bottom to make it to the top. Cosplaying is fun and no one should tell you otherwise.
Cosplay Website Stage Makeup
EZ Cosplay Ben Nye
Light in the Box Mehron
Rubie’s Costume Company
Cosplay Buzz (Wigs)