Catching up- make up post

Catching up- make up post

It took a few days of forced sleep and a bit of support but today felt like a real day finally.

A proper wrap up later but for now just a few notes, tiny ones but that made  big difference.

Wigfashion on ebay. Recommended. Highly. Super highly. Small note though: definitely get the wigs with the tiny widow’s peak. Even if you don’t have one it balances the whole fake hairline better. In photos by others the hairline smooths out anyway.

Do clip as close as possible to the wig hairline (or if you ventilate the front a bit more to account for it.) I did about 5mm. Perfect when actually glued in place (I had time for Fauxriel, not for the others.) And mostly hidden when I was able to put securing pins in the front.

Also the hairline itself is quite deep. I had to fold the edges under to pin near my ears- so yes, these wigs are adaptable to high or low hairlines. I’ll need to cut my wigs to shape as the weight pushes my ears out (as per my Carlotta escapades!)

Circle lenses. OMG. OMG. I know there have been horror stories but as a veteran wearer of lenses they are no worse than the monthly lenses I had prescribed for years. Treat them as you should and with the right fitting and proper care and especially with regards to hydration (do not ever wear lenses straight from the bottle! Use lubricating drops not lens solution on your eyes!) and fit (these are larger so you must have the right base curve) and they are about the same risk.

I have had lenses tear on my eye. One tore right in half as I took my first blink. And they were purchased from my optician. So lenses are a risk to begin with.The lenses are thicker than the new generation of lenses- my eyes prefer them, but I am potentially in the group that benefit from bigger lenses (sclera lenses potentially.)

I won’t go as far as recommending them but I was wearing the Geo Mimi Princess in apple green all weekend (with appropriate care and using my eyedrops.) The base curve is superimportant. Super important.

Eyeliner. Note to self: The reason your liner was crap and was behaving like your very old liquid liner is because it was your very old liquid liner. Stop putting pens away at the same time as make up and this may not be an issue again. That goes for your liquid lip pen as well.

Argan oil is the shiznit. Okay so it is in a carrier of linseed and that is probably all you need but hey. Oil is finally your friend.

Silcon adhesive. Works for eyelashes and wig lines. Faster setting than PA and more flexible than.. the other stuff. Which I don’t use. Thingy. Spirit gum! And you can carefully pull the glue off the lashes. Yes the glue is solvent based but the speed of drying means that has evaporated off before you get to your eye. I used a cuticle tool (shortened bamboo skewer type) to dip in to the glue and sweep across the underside of the lashes. Seriously super fast. Only one issue where I tried gluing over a patch of skin that was still covered in moisturiser.

Skin prep is key. I did nearly nude make up for Fauxriel and Christine. It would have worked really well if I had my liquid lip base (as in lip stain) and proper eyeliner.

But I think we can call the “Photo Ready” line a success. I used the colour correcting primer and transluscent powder.

One thought on “Catching up- make up post”

Progress?

Today I wrote up a proposal for Armageddon cosplay events, kind of nervous even though I have been involved for such a long time. Really hoping we can do this, as it would help everyone. And I do mean everyone!
But I also managed to score some nice make up items:
three wide foundation brushes for all my paint! I love these. Not quite moppy like a round natural fbre and not really as hard edged as a flat. Perfect for loading paint to cover limbs.
One stipple brush for foundation because I really needed a back up. they are easy to clean but I do tend to forget between events. Funnily enough with all the stage work in my past and all the body painting currently i don’t tend to want to wear make up day to day 😉
Foundation in my colour! Pasty pinkish ginga white! I am cool toned so most make up is totally wrong on me. Also it appears to do what it says on the bottle. A bit perfumey for me but it does dissipate fairly quickly.
One liquid eyeliner. It’s a MAC!

Onehunga DressMart is actually pretty good 🙂 The “bling” shop no longer sells elf brushes though 🙁 So my foundation brushes are BYS and they are doing three for the price of two.

I set up and then ignored my scanner for Talon- but tidied the rest of the tatoos enough that I can use basic tools in photoshop to tidy and create white spaces between each piece. I also had antihistamines and then did not go a splashing with resin. But both those will happen this week at some stage. On course for slow turtle paced progress but I am also trying to get that balance of sleep and rest as well.

Progress?

Today I wrote up a proposal for Armageddon cosplay events, kind of nervous even though I have been involved for such a long time. Really hoping we can do this, as it would help everyone. And I do mean everyone!
But I also managed to score some nice make up…

View Post

Darth Talon updates!

DSC_1691 DSC_1690

DSC_1675

 

So.. it’s happening. Finally some good progress on my Lekku of Dooooooom!

Check ‘em out! They reach my knees! Some of the super curve I had in early stages fell out, but I know what I did and I don’t think I could have avoided it under current circumstances.

Also photo of my latest purchase! the perfect packable sized containers from the local Daisco (or $3.50 japan shops in Auckland- super excited one opened local to me XD). These are pill containers and I have filled the larger panel with the main body colour for (left to right) Rachi, Liara and Talon/Shaak Ti. The smaller panels I am filling with highlights, liners and colours for patches/markings.

So for Rachi I have (clockwise from top right) pink, white, dark purple and then the final panel will have black for line work.

For Liara (ditto) I have white then will mix similar shading and line work colours (dark blue and black).

For Talon/Shakk Ti I will have two for white and two for black as both require a fair amount of one or the other.

Then I can pack my small carry kit (seen in an earlier post, check the tags (make up) with all the brushes and shading powders in there along with mascara and regular make up..

As a balance of cost type of comparison, you need two NZ Airbrush Tattoos bottle to make about the same as one RC large colour pot. So if you are on a budget you can buy the local stuff and slowly build it up if you are not mixing colours. If you want to head straight into the colour pots then expect to pay about 2/3 extra for shipping. At least if you are buying say 4-6 pots.

Other Talon updates: The strapping has been fixed 🙂 I need to trim some extra bits but the greaves and bracers now have black velcro (don’t ask how I wound up with white as I don’t even know…) and the fixed strapping has been glued down.
I have cleaned the bikini and will need to take in the leggings and gloves. I left the top edge raw as the fabric is scuba stuff so it hard to hem, I am hoping like heck the bikini bottoms still fit as the legs have been hemmed and I don’t fancy unpicking so I can take them in.
The belt still needs to be taken in and I hope I have enough rivets to do so! I may not. I have the snaps but the leather is thick. I am pretty sure I had issues trying to get them to work last time.
Tattoos are being redrawn! I hope to get the line work able to fit fewer pages but if not, I’ll have to use two types of paper. I am flitting between files and artwork and think redrawing them is going to work out the best as I can then use unsharp mask to make sure the edges look hand painted. And the files I made last time were slightly oversized.

So.. it’s happening. Finally some good progress on my Lekku of Dooooooom!

Check ‘em out! They reach my knees! Some of the super curve I had in early stages fell out, but I know what I did and I don’t think I could have avoided it under current circumstances.

Also photo of my latest purchase! the perfect packable sized containers from the local Daisco (or $3.50 japan shops in Auckland- super excited one opened local to me XD). These are pill containers and I have filled the larger panel with the main body colour for (left to right) Rachi, Liara and Talon/Shaak Ti. The smaller panels I am filling with highlights, liners and colours for patches/markings. 

So for Rachi I have (clockwise from top right) pink, white, dark purple and then the final panel will have black for line work.

For Liara (ditto) I have white then will mix similar shading and line work colours (dark blue and black).

For Talon/Shakk Ti I will have two for white and two for black as both require a fair amount of one or the other.

Then I can pack my small carry kit (seen in an earlier post, check the tags (make up) with all the brushes and shading powders in there along with mascara and regular make up..

As a balance of cost type of comparison, you need two NZ Airbrush Tattoos bottle to make about the same as one RC large colour pot. So if you are on a budget you can buy the local stuff and slowly build it up if you are not mixing colours. If you want to head straight into the colour pots then expect to pay about 2/3 extra for shipping. At least if you are buying say 4-6 pots.

Other Talon updates: The strapping has been fixed 🙂 I need to trim some extra bits but the greaves and bracers now have black velcro (don’t ask how I wound up with white as I don’t even know…) and the fixed strapping has been glued down. 
I have cleaned the bikini and will need to take in the leggings and gloves. I left the top edge raw as the fabric is scuba stuff so it hard to hem, I am hoping like heck the bikini bottoms still fit as the legs have been hemmed and I don’t fancy unpicking so I can take them in.
The belt still needs to be taken in and I hope I have enough rivets to do so! I may not. I have the snaps but the leather is thick. I am pretty sure I had issues trying to get them to work last time. 
Tattoos are being redrawn! I hope to get the line work able to fit fewer pages but if not, I’ll have to use two types of paper. I am flitting between files and artwork and think redrawing them is going to work out the best as I can then use unsharp mask to make sure the edges look hand painted. And the files I made last time were slightly oversized.

I think I’m a a banana tree! Liara half pulled off but good view of the extreme use of paint shading.
You can see the seam line here, but I don’t shoop, never will unless it’s a camera issue (lighting, foreshortening etc).
Why is my chin so pointy! Lots of pink to shape the eyes and nose. pink over white for the eyes and a tiny bit of white down the nose, pink in the curves
how I keep my powders now. Much easier to find the right shade vs in regular eyeshadow palettes.
A travel kit for Liara. Latex, PA and paints to shade the appliance and face.

I do goof around a lot…

Alcohol Activated Paints

I kind of leapt right into here after playing with a little Aquacolour and Snazaroo. Both are fine, and in many ways are easier to apply and blend. However I wanted to paint my whole body red. Red in particular transfers badly in body paint. Really really really badly. No matter how well sealed and set. I found this even with PAX (might be because I did insist on added pure pigment powder and not mixing it fully…)

These have a bit of a reputation for being harder to use, but they aren’t 🙂 So long as you know a few tricks, as with everything 🙂

Prep:

First, they are solvent in alcohol (ethanol and Isopropyl Alcohol) but also in the industry standard cleaner Isopropyl Myristate. Which is super expensive in NZ. So it means once dry they are set. You would think this is all kinds of bad for tidy up but it’s not.

I set my work area up with my towels and plastic containers and plastic bags so I can just dump everything in my makup up kit at the end happy to wipe down the surfaces with rubbing alcohol and knowing it won’t keep transfering from cloth to surface to cloth like you get with a wet face cloth. or wastes paper towels. And knowing that the paint on the outside of my bottles/pots/pallets can be cleaned off later but won’t damage my kit.

Types:

There are several brands to use. The ones I use are:
NZ Airbrush Tatoos Mostly for my white based paints. So for Liara and Rachi. It’s a good product, with amazingly fast response from the owners and they pack the bottles nicely. And cost effectively. Also on TradeMe and I may use their auctions next time so I can leave feedback :)These are in liquid form, ready to airbrush. It’s fairly thin so you do need to evaporate off some of the liquid if you want to paint/sponge on.

Reel Creations  I live overseas so can’t buy their paints easily, but the liquid form is apparently already mixed to use in airbrushes as well. I buy their Large Color Pots as they are totally evaporated and so don’t pose a risk to shipping by air. Oh heck, I worked out how much they cost in NZ dollars. But it’s about $24 each including shipping? But one pot of red lasted multiple applications for Darth Talon including the lekku.

harder to remove than the above but still needs hot water and soap at least. IM is best and IA works. Just avoid the face.

Latonas which seems to have changed their bottles and maybe formulation? This is close to PAX as you can get without being PAX. It is/was half diluted, so you need to thin it for airbrush but works well as is to sponge on appliances. It is super durable. I did my underarms and butt/thighs as Talon and I looked like I had red boy shorts on the entire time at C6 and some way in to D*C. Even with IM to remove it.

Storage:

In all cases I prefer to pour them out into a flat container and evaporate them off so I can use them like a mix between cake make up and watercolour. But using alcohol vs water 😉

Colour mixing:

I like to buy the red as is as well as the black in all the above and use as is- my lekku are tinted vaguely transluscent within my own skin shades so it refracts light in a similar way to my skin. It’s not perfect but the red is slightly transluscent so is better than not.

I do however buy a lot of white and mix to make the Asari blues and pastel to mid tone shades where possible. This is because I can then be sure they are all equally opaque (some inks are opaque some are transluscent) and equally mixable in to each other.

To do this I have pure pigment from the art store. The skull and bones on the bottles is not because the product is toxic but is so finely milled you do not want to breathe it in! So I get my dust mask, and spriitz the top of the bottle with alcohol to keep stray particles from being breathed in and mix directly in my bottles/containers.

I use a col blue and warm blue, opaque yellow and a “red” that is actually pink and a true red. And also Titanium white as it is a base for cosmetics.

I check my mixes regularly and give a stir every so often after mixing and during the evaporation process as the colour pigments rise and the white/fillers sink. This is also why the paints can look darker once dry than in the bottle/pot.

I also mix street shadow with these pigments to intensify them as you need strong colours to shade with.

To use:

First prep the skin:

Shave/defoliate every hair from everywhere you can.I forget this as my hair is so fine and blonde but when I do it gives such a good result. So I will put my hair in a pony tail and use depilatory cream around my hairline and back of neck. These fly away hairs at the back are about 10cm long and can cause issues with gluing bald caps. But you might be suprised how fluffy you are near your hair line!

And then I use tweezers on my brows and upper lip and even my epilady if I am brave. I didn’t do my brows or lip for Rachi and in person you could tell, not so much in photos though! If you forget the hairs will get coated in paint and stick out like bristles.

Moisturise as usual but use a dry cloth after and wipe off any excess. Moisturiser and AA paint do not mix.

Application:

I have an airbrush but it is better for detail work and I rely on canned air so it’s not economically feasable atm. Also it’s toploaded so makes it hard to self paint faces! So I use a large filbert type brush. Starting on the cheeks and nose and working towards the jawline and neck then across the forehead and down to the brows, finally dabbing with the same brush with minimal paint and minimal alcohol towards the eyes. I do paint over my lids but it’s usually lighter than elsewhere and I avoid my brows as much as possible.

Shading:

For Talon this was pretty much it except some minor shading at the eyes and of course the painting of the tattoos… I only hand painted the face and lekku, my body tattoos were transfers. Very expensive, fiddly but if done right works really well. It’s about $50 an application atm. I hope I can get that down and also to get my tattoos a little more finetuned. I am not happy to share my graphics as I did use Jan’s work so much on this. However I will ask her permission once they are actually okay to convert to PDF as I know it would help a lot of Talons in the waiting.

 

For Liara and Rachi though I then got stippling with a sponge and the pallettes. Lots of white for Liara on the nose and jawline and cheeks and a little pink on the eyes.

I use a range of sponges. For liara I used the defolitaing side of the depilitory sponge as it is very open celled and very firm. This makes for a light freckly type of effect.

For Rachi I used a latex wedge for the cheeks as it lays down a lighter but more easily blended layer of colour.

For Rachi and Liara I also wear aggressive lashes! There is always a gap between lash line and lashes so once in place I use a very long pointed brush and use the very tip to fill in tat line. And then also top the lashes.

For the eyes I also use black to line under the eye and bend with a colour I use to shade. So for Liara this is a purple as well as pink. And use white abover the liner on my upper lashes before getting the pink/other pastel shader over it. And also a little white directly under the brow. Again i will over colour with another pastel if it is too stark.

I also paint in my brows with a fine brush and black paint usually. Twi’lek and Asari are reptilian essentially so their brows look painted in anyway.

The good news is you cannot go too far. Once you look painted you look painted. You may as well use every trick in the book to make your eyes look bigger, give definition to your jaw and cheeks as you can.

I basically use old theatre make up tricks in the alien colours to counter the flattening effect of opaque colour.

To remove:

I have used a few abbreviations so here they are all consolidated 🙂

Fill a basin with hot hot water. Put in your face cloth. Take out and wring then put on your face. This is like having a nice steam facial and helps by getting your face sweating. Do this a few times and be careful. You want that theraputic heat not scalding heat!

Next use same face cloth with a gentle soap. Gently use the cloth and soap on your cheeks and jaw and the less sensitive areas.

If this has been going well you won’t need to try the next but you may…

For my hands I spritz with IA (Isopropy Alcohol) or ethanol (“meths” in NZ though no methanol is involved any more thank goodness) and use a hot facecloth again and scrub. I kind of beat up my hands anyway.

I will also use IA/ethanol on my neck and arms etc. But I avoid my face and also any areas I have pulled PA from (edges of latex appliances). Well I do *now*. Lesson leart the hard way!

For the face I also use a good big dollop of Aveeno and work then in to the skin already cleaned and in to the edges of the paint to help lift it. The heat from the face cloth, the moisturiser and gentle buffing action will remove most. (I use this to remove street make up too).

But if you have some Isopropyl Myristate (IM) this is the ideal time to use it.

It is oily and mega effective so always keep it separate from your main kit and well sealed. IA/ethanol with dissolve the paint and then evaporate leaving the paint actually still usable (if you can get at it). IM does not. I suspect it joins to the binder like an emollient so one end is soluble in oil and the other in alcohol and even water. So a forever solution.

Baby oil helps but it is a mechanical action with massage and heat helping.

If you use IM or baby oil remember to also then clean your face with a gentle cleanser and use your moisturiser. They are oily so can clog pores.

 

Sorry for huuuuuuge wall of text! I could have broken this up as well 😉

 
Photo by Stewart McKenny at Armageddon Sydney 2011
Photo by JudasNZ at Wellington Armageddon 2011

PAX attempts

I knew PAX to be essentially tinted glue, tinted medical adhesive grade glue. It is used for skin not just appliances, I just spoke to a Hobbit actor who recalled his days of PAX on LotR so… we both sighed about IM and how we each had lovely care packages in which it was contained 😉

Anyway, I am not part of the regulation of make up artists in the US or anywhere for that matter so DO NOT DO THIS TO SOMEONE ELSE! Unless you have their permission and everyone is fully aware of what it actually is.

Prosthetic Aide and Liquitex was the original formulation and used on Latex appliances. Why? Aside from durablility and endless colour options the chemical composition does not degrade the latex. It offers a lot of protection in fact. Cake make up may contain petro chemicals which will break down latex pretty quick smart.

PA is an acrylic based glue used for medical prosthetics. So it is water mixable when uncured but water-resistant at least when cured.

Galadriel

My first foray was for Galadriel up there back in 2003. I hadn’t got the tone right because I didn’t realise how red my hair had turned (it was two years into methotrexate therapy which is notorious for making hair grow back differently after it all falls out). And it was too late. It was better when I wasn’t surrounded by so much greenery 😉 The stage had red curtain from memory so my hair toned down visually.

Anyway. This wasn’t PAX but a much easier to remove alternative. J&J Clean and Clear moisturiser (still available) with some acrylic paint. The moisturiser is about the only one you can do this with as it is meant to not deliver a deep dose of oils or anything to young skin. But it does carry the pigments and thins them out nicely.

Samara

For Samara I used a very similar mix with a little Liquiset added in. And a little PA as I used it to hold the appliance on my head.

Full PAX

For Shaak Ti and Darth Tykhi it was full on PAX. And I wanted to tear my skin off. Also that is the same colour paint in both cases. Convention lighting can do weird things to colour.

In all cases I used a filbert style brush, foundation brushes are a kind of this shape (rounded paddle shape) and lots of careful layering. PAX takes a while to dry and it goes very tacky when it is close to dry. You need to powder to set at just the right moment or you get powder patches.

You can go swimming in the stuff.

As for wanting to tear my skin off? It’s like wearing an extra full layer of skin, dermis, epidermis and subdermis. I felt very very claustrophobic. Especially the paint around my thighs. The paint flexes but not as much as skin.

So recommended? Only if you absolutely have to and if PAX is genuinely cheaper than the newer alternatives. Which it may be where you live. Here PA is exceedingly expensive.

Cons: difficult to remove once cured (really hot bath with lots of soap, you will be sweating) some rubbing alcohol and if you can Isopropyl Myristate. This makes the glue break down permanently and gums it up so you’ll need your own towel and facecloth etc. at an hotel.

It’s messy to work with and tidy as you go. The slow cure and water solubility while curing makes it easy to transfer to everything. Also it’s glue.

Pros: it stays put. Stays put. Unless you say lie on the carpet and lean on your elbows and then you might transfer some from essentially scrubbing it off.

If you are using latex appliances it’s a once stop no wories about matching shop! It’s fantastic for painting detail over AA paint as you can wipe it off with a damp cloth when you make a mistake but once cured grips like a limpet!

Fauna of the Jungle, for the NZBAA awards in 2008 I think. I got the Audience prize XD
Evil Queen at the Cosplay Ball 2010- ignore the setroid induced moonface

Base and Buff:

The first is great, really great to get “natural” looks that work well under camera. I’m now old enough that I have been worrying about foundation settling where I don’t want it to but was intoduced to the most fabulous tool ever. The “stipple” or airbrush brush. Can’t miss them they are usually synthetic and have dense black fibres and then longer finer white fibres that extent to form a flat top.

I have this one and looooove it 🙂 Going to get a second one. I have  Revlon Color Creations and pump that into my hand and literally stipple and sweep the liquid on lightly and wow. What a difference! Those stay put make ups tend to get really tacky really quickly so I now do this immediately after moisturising (Aveeno in this case, not for paint, I’ll get to that later!) and might even put a little in with the foundation.

 

For human tones (or in that range close to my own) I use the same brush (sweeping motion)  to set with powder  which helps keep the brush from clumping which makes it easier to clean after. Isopropyl Alcohol and a gentle cloth for this one.

For the greenifying above I took a densely coloured powder and a velour puff and just buff with it in to the foundation, lightly then more firmly to get a nice even colour. But your own skin underneath shows through a little and so you don’t need to shade and highlight quite as much as you do with paint.

Evil Queen photo by Sylvie

In both cases the green was by ChiChi and in a compressed compact. Lovely rich colour. And really reasonably priced.

I also used Liquiset and PAX (prosthetic Aide and acrylic paint) for line details where suitable. PAX for under neck and liquiset around eyes.

They are also mica rich so I avoided flash photography where possible. With a setting spray my hands stayed pretty green all evening but you can see some wear under the metal necklace and my hands in the Wvil Queen photo.

BTW, the fauna of the Juncle costume was my Witchblade costume with extra bits added. All caulk silicon mixed with pigments and powdered into metallic hyper shine. Like a beetle carapace.

Make up part one

I think I have to accept I am perma banned from my own site and hosts so Tumblr gets the blog posts I’d make over there. Sigh.

I like to either work with street make up as a base and buff subtle/not so subtle colour in with brushes and velour pads. This works well when you have the colour in a compact where you can do touch ups but does last a good evening.

Or I go hard core with the paint because at at conventions I have to keep moving or I crash. There are bugger all photos of me at cons because I’m not in place for long enough 😉 But it means I am always on the job always looking for people to enthuse at. It’s just part of my job as Cosplay Coordinator for the shows in NZ (and Melbourne) and member of the Rebel Legion and 501st (and occasionally for the SCA.) I’m never flitting away to look for purchases, it’s to do the one on one thing. Not sure how many people actually realise how much is involved (though I may need to set an alarm to make sure I have a proper break).

So it is rare that I have a chance to reset or fix anything once the main doors open at a convention! That habit has spilled over to my funtimes visits too.

Nest post will be about an easy but effective method and then the one after that will be all about AA 🙂

Yus! I knew it 🙂 face part pretty much over a direct face cast and the back part is one piece-fits-all.

The full thing:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OW7NtjSzaYk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ta-J1589ok

And another:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFuX6Uo1VlE

Hmmmm, face is silicon but the back is clearly foam backed. Might have to think about my options here..