Do you want to stand out in your next cosplay meet? Scars bring a cool and unique appeal to anime and comic book characters. From Squall Lionheart, Sagat to Two Face, these beloved characters symbolize resilience and strength amidst dangerous situations. It’s not surprising that many cosplay characters are drawn to dressing up as famous characters with scars.
But how can you make a scar using special effects makeup products? Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly used methods of crafting scars, so you know exactly how to do them the next time you participate in a comic-con or anime convention.
How To Make Realistic Scarring Makeup For Cosplay
Special effects makeup is an important discipline if you want to capture your character perfectly from head to toe. Using techniques such as body painting, casting, molding, and sculpting, you can get into character and showcase your skills in cosplaying. Whether you want to look like a fairy or a deformed zombie, learning basic special-effect makeup techniques will help you portray your chosen character more effectively.
Since makeup is a critical part of costume play, learning how to create fake scars, fresh wound, and fake blood will make it easy for you to try different types of characters over time. You won’t need expert help to get into character, since you can simply do it all by yourself.
Don’t know where to start? You have come to the right place. We’ll teach you how you can easily make your own scars using different products and application methods.
Making Cosplay Scars With Makeup Using 3 Different Techniques
Technique 1: Indented Cuts And Scars
The fastest way to make scars is by using rigid collodion, a clear liquid that you can apply onto areas of your skin where you want to create a cut, scar, or wound. Once completely dry, the solution gathers your skin together without causing any damage to it.
Layered with the right type of makeup for realistic effect, you can easily create scars in just a few minutes. Rigid collodion is generally safe to use and may be used by cosplayers with oily skin, dry skin, or even sensitive skin. All you need for this method is to prepare rigid collodion, eye and cheek palette, and translucent setting powder.
The type of makeup will depend on the type of scar you wish to make. For instance, bright red colors are ideal for fresh cuts and scars. For slightly older scars, find or combine shades that produce a red-purple color. Lastly, old scars should have a pinkish or white appearance.
- Draw a line in the area where you want your scar to appear. As mentioned earlier, a bright red color are meant for fresh scars, purple for older scars, and pink or white for old scars.
- Apply rigid collodion over the line where you plan on drawing the scar. Use the brush the comes with the rigid collodion to wipe a thin layer of clear liquid over the line you drew.
- If you want a fresh wound look, let the clear liquid dry first before applying a layer of makeup on top.
- Apply additional layers of collodion if you want the scar to appear deeper. By rule, the more rigid collodion you add, the deeper the indentation will appear on your skin. Small scars require at least three layers. Deep and intricate ones means the application of more layers.
Use translucent setting powder to remove any shine and make the wound look more realistic. Use liquid foundation to create a slightly healed look on a fake wound. For a scar that look fully healed or old, use regular foundation to cover the collodion and blend seamlessly into your skin tone.
Technique 2: Simple Makeup Scars
The use of whatever cosmetic products you have in your arsenal is perfect if you’re creating small-sized, uncomplicated scars, as well as those near or over the eye region. It is also ideal for making scars without indentations. Since this technique makes use of traditional cosmetics, you can draw the scar basically anywhere on the face.
To effectively remove the scar makeup from your face, simply peel it off. You don’t need a special remover to get rid of it.
For small scars or simple anime scars that don’t need to to be raised or indented on the skin, using traditional makeup alone will do the trick. But bear in mind that since this technique only uses simple cosmetic products, it can only be used in some areas of the face.
To make simple scars with the use of traditional makeup, you need to have foundation, concealer, and setting powder. Make sure to have at least three or four shades of foundation and concealer so that it’s easier to create the scar or wound effect you’re after. If you don’t have a translucent setting powder, a setting spray will do.
For scars or wounds, use a shade that is one shade darker and one that matches your complexion. For fresh wounds or scars, it’s also ideal if you have a foundation shade or makeup product that features pink undertones. Some experts say it’s easy to achieve a fresh wound or scar aesthetic with cream-based makeup. If you only have powder foundation, simply use multiple layers of foundation to get the same effect.
- To make a scar, draw a line or shape that is a shade lighter than your skin tone. To do this, draw a line that has a thicker middle portion and tapers towards the ends.
- Use a foundation that is a shade darker than your skin tone to surround the light colored scar. Draw a thin border around the light colored foundation using a darker shade of make up. The border shouldn’t be too thick to ensure easy blending.
- Apply foundation that matches your skin color around the scar you just drew. For the darker layer of the scar, apply a foundation shade nearest to your complexion.
- Lightly wiggle the three colors to blur out the edges but make sure that the colors don’t blend together completely. Make sure to leave the borders distinguishable for a more natural looking scar. If you’re going for a fresh wound look, you may apply a bit of pink makeup in the middle portion of the scar you drew.
- Blend the outer foundation into your skin tone for a more seamless transition between the fake scar and your skin.
- Use a translucent powder or setting spray to reduce shine and set the makeup nicely onto your skin. Once you are satisfied with the final look, it’s ideal to apply a thin layer of matte setting powder to finish it off. This step is important especially if you used cream or liquid-based foundation. Adding setting powder will also reduce smudging and ensure the fake scars you created will last longer.
Do not forget to carry your makeup with you if you are planning to wear the scar for longer periods. Touching up your makeup may be necessary, especially if you will be going to a crowded event or an outdoor event. While the setting powder aids in keeping your scar in place, you will need backup supplies to make sure it doesn’t fade too quickly.
To remove the scar makeup, simply add a few drops of makeup remover onto a wet tissue or towel and wipe gently.
Technique 3: Large Burn Fake Scars
Liquid latex is inarguably the most effective product to use if you’re creating a scar, cut, or wound on your face and other parts of the body. It’s also an excellent product to use for making large burn scars and creating magnificent zombie makeup.
Of all the three techniques, using liquid latex is the most complicated product to use for special effects. Make sure to practice caution when using latex, especially near sensitive areas such as the eye, nose, and mouth regions. Do not apply liquid latex too close to your eyes. If you really need to do so, make sure to give at least half an inch of gap to prevent the liquid latex entering the eye. The last thing that you want is to suffer from irritation before a cosplay convention.
Do not forget to prepare the skin before liquid latex application. An unprepped skin can result in the product sticking to your facial hairs or stray hairs, making removal both painful and tedious. Experts recommend applying a thin later of vaseline or petroleum jelly to the skin before liquid latex application. If you need to use liquid latex to create a scar near your brows, make sure to use a glue stick to protect the eyebrow hairs.
Make sure to use separate disposable sponges for latex application. Unlike the other products for special effects, liquid latex dries easily and will completely ruin your premium brushes if you use them for application.
Before you purchase liquid latex to create special effects makeup for your cosplay event, make sure you’re not allergic to it. What you’re going after are realistic scars, wounds, and cuts, not actual wounds that may result in an actual allergic reaction. To check if you have an allergy, apply a small amount of the latex on a small area of your arm. Wait for at least thirty minutes to ensure the product dries completely on your skin. If you notice rashes where you applied the product, this confirms that you have latex allergy.
How To Create Large Scars Using Liquid Latex
To make a burn scar using liquid latex, you will also need tissue, cream-based cosmetics that feature foundations and concealers in the red to brown spectrum, and translucent powder. It’s also ideal to have powdered makeup to layer on top of the cream base.
Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly on your skin. This is an important step to reduce stress and pain when removing the latex after your event. You may also use a thick moisturizer to protect the skin. You may also want to shave the area where the latex will be applied. A word of caution: do not use too much latex on the skin. Doing so will prevent the product from sticking to your skin altogether.
- Cut tissues into smaller pieces to create texture on the surface of the scar or wound.
- Apply a thin layer of liquid latex. If you need thicker scars or wounds, simply add more coats.
- Using latex, apply the small tissue pieces on top of the first layer of latex. The tissue will act as the shape of your scar, so be sure to take some time in styling to replicate your character’s scar.
- Continue layering with tissue and use latex to paste them on top of each other until you achieve the desired scar or wound shape.
- Give the liquid latex time to dry before applying cream-based or powdered makeup. You will know that the product is completely dry when it turns into a rubber material. Typically, multiple layers of latex will dry completely 30 minutes after application.
- If you want your fake scar to stay put and look real, use cream-based makeup. Powder makeup doesn’t stick all too well to the latex layer. If you are going for a burn scar, mix different burnt red, purple, or brown colors until you achieve the desired look.
- Blend the edges of the scar with cream foundation. Do not forget to blend the outline of your latex scar prosthetic to ensure it looks natural on your skin.
- Apply translucent setting powder to reduce the shine of your latex scar and ensure your special effects makeup stays in place for longer.
To remove your fake scar, simply peel off the latex prosthetic from your skin. Since you’ve taken the necessary measures to protect the skin, removal wouldn’t be that tedious after a long day of cosplay. At the most, you may feel like peeling a bandaid off and have slight redness and irritation if you fail to prep the skin before liquid latex application.