Are you at a loss as to how to capture the white skin of your character? Cosplayers take their costumes seriously – which is why very few stop by just wearing the right clothes of their favorite persona.
In your effort to be authentic to your favorite character, you may choose to change other aspects of your body like eyes, height, hair color, and yes – even your skin tone. While the first three are pretty easy fixes, skin tone needs a bit more work especially if you’re exposing a lot of skin.
However, cosplayers are nothing if not dedicated and over the years, many have developed methods and techniques to lighten their complexion for cosplaying. Here are some tips for you:
Do You Need Lighter Skin Tone To Cosplay?
Are you checking out a cosplay thread? Cosplaying is short for “costume play” which primarily focuses on the clothes and hairstyle of the character you’re trying to portray. However, some people like to go the extra mile and change their complexion as well in order to really get into the person you’re trying to portray.
There’s nothing wrong with staying true to the Anime persona you like. If it is something you really want to do, there are some things you have to understand before going lighter.
Your first concern would be your actual skin color and the lighter tone you want to achieve. How many shades lighter do you want to go for the cosplay? If your skin appearance isn’t that much different from the character you want to portray, then altering your skin tone too much is not advisable.
Just go with your natural skin shade and be as accurate as possible when it comes to what you’re wearing. Otherwise, you can try using a foundation or powder that’s a bit lighter. A more detailed discussion will be done later.
However, if you feel as though changing your skin tone would greatly improve your portrayal, then there are lots of things you can do. Let’s say the goal is to cosplay as Orochimaru from Naruto. You’re obviously going to need to create a stark white skin tone because this is a signature feature of the character you’re cosplaying. For this situation, you might need something heavier like white face paint or stark white makeup.
How To Make Your Skin A Few Shades Lighter
Now, let’s say you’ve made the decision to cosplay in perfect imitation of your ideal characters. This includes not just the costume but also the hair, the skin, the eyes, and perhaps even the personality. To make the skin color change convincing, here are some techniques you can try out.
1. Use Cream Foundation
Cream foundation is one of the most straightforward ways to whiten your face. There are several shades of cream foundation from stark white to a light brown color. The stark white cream foundation is something you can use for say, a Joker cosplay and it just gets a few shades lighter from there.
What’s great about these cream foundations is that they’re designed with ease of use in mind. Therefore, they can be very easy to put on and off, like makeup. Some of these cream foundations even come in stick format so you can slather it directly on the face and just blend it together with a beauty blender.
Like all makeup, cream foundations come with their own risks. Specifically, it could trigger allergies or irritation if you happen to have sensitive skin. To be safe, do a spot check first by leaving the foundation on the inside of your wrist for an hour or so. If no negative reaction occurs, then you can use it on your face.
The downside is that the foundation can be costly, especially if you want to cover a large part of your skin. However, it will be worth it if you’re lazy and want a product that you can apply directly on the surface.
2. Using A Concealer
A concealer won’t give you stark white skin but it will help you achieve the color that’s a few shades lighter. Unlike cream foundation, a concealer follows a more natural skin shade or something a little pale like L’s skin from Death Note.
Concealers are also perfect for creating a more even tone which many Anime characters seem to have. It’s one of the perks of being an anime character is you never seem to suffer from skin bumps, darker spots, or acne!
Concealers are also safe to use, provided you choose one that is friendly to your skin and body. Again, these products have to be tested first using a spot test before applying on a larger area of your body. Take full notice of the skin area and if you notice anything wrong, take it off.
The great thing about using concealers is that some brands are made to be sweat resistant. This will let you stay at the Cosplay Convention for a few hours without worrying about losing a part of your costume.
A good brand is Ben Nye and it can have several shades of dark coloring depending on your personal preference. Product prices can vary so try to stick to a budget when buying these products with your hard-earned money. If you have to stand in your cosplay costume for more than a few hours, you might want to invest in really good products.
3. Using White Powder
When we say white powder, we’re not talking about talcum. The white powder is the term used by Geishas to describe what they put on their face to create that stark white face paint that looks so perfect, it’s almost unnatural.
White powder also goes by the name “Oshiroi” and creates a smooth paste that’s applied directly to the skin. You have to be careful when using this product because it is heavily comedogenic. What does this mean? Well, basically, it means that the product can easily trigger blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples. If you have sensitive skin or tend to be allergic, then you’d want to skip this option.
The upside of using oshiroi is that you mix it yourself. You can make the mixture as heavy or as light as you want – depending on the shade of white you want to color. The downside is that there can be a big shift between each mix so if you run out in the middle of doing the face paint, you’ll need to make an exact form of the paint. Note also that this product can be hard to remove.
White Face Paint
Another great product you can use would be white face paint. You can spread it on your face and get a beautifully even surface. Since they’re made specifically for the skin, they shouldn’t hurt or cause any sort of damage or allergy, especially when removed as soon as possible.
When applying the face paint, use the flat tips of the brush to create even strokes without getting in contact with your hair. While the paint may be safe to use on the skin, the hair is another matter entirely. There’s also something called white spray paint that you can apply quickly with a simple spritz. You can increase the layer of the white with a few more spritz until you’re content with the results.
Of course, it’s also possible to change your skin’s shade through natural means. If the skin difference is just a few shades, you can try simply using cream products that will whiten the surface slowly but surely. For example, you can use skin whitening lotions or sunscreens. You can also try staying away from the sun to prevent your skin from darkening.
You can also try using glutathione products to help with skin whitening. Combined with less sun exposure, you should get great results. The downside is that you can’t make this happen in a moment. The process takes a long time and you might have to do this for weeks at a time before the actual convention.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it OK to lighten your skin for cosplay?
If you’re a cosplayer who takes your costume personally, then lightening your skin isn’t even a question. You’ll definitely do it to complete your cool costume and get that perfect photo at the con. As mentioned, the safety of lightening products depends primarily on the product itself. It can be concealers, white powders, or face paint – as long as you don’t leave it on your skin for too long. Always remove the stuff completely when you’re content.
How do cosplayers color their skin?
Cosplayers can capture that awesome look thanks to a variety of products. When it comes to the skin, they can make it look pale with the use of concealers, white powder, and so on. For best results, you’d want to test the product on your skin first to see if you can pull it off.
Does skin color matter in cosplay?
As a rule, no. You will find that in cosplay, the costume is really the most important aspect of the design. If you can nail the costume design, anyone from the cosplay floor can recognize who you are channeling.
In many cases, wearing the right wig, the right costume, and the right weapons are enough. However, some personas have their pale white skin as a signature – like Orochimaru or Hisoka. With these characteristics, applying skin whitening products may be crucial.
What should I do before applying white face paint?
Prep work is crucial before applying any kind of material on your face. You have to start with a clean base by using a cleanser to remove any dirt or oil on the surface. Use a primer instead of a moisturizer and allow it to dry up before placing on the face paint.
Apply the paint in short and light strokes to avoid making a mistake. Most female personas keep their eyebrows dark by putting some Vaseline on. This prevents the paint from sticking. You can do the same thing on your hairline. Wait for the paint settings before going out.
What’s the aftercare after I remove the white from my skin?
After removing makeup or any other product from your skin, the next step is to freshen it up so that it won’t get any damage. Failure to remove makeup at the end of the day can make your skin look like it has red and puffy worms all over it.
So how do you do aftercare? Never scrub makeup off! Use water and gently remove the material using baby shampoo. You can massage the makeup off slowly, making sure that all spots get the attention they need.
Once done, you can wash off the makeup and then pat your skin dry. From here, you can apply any moisturizing product or serum you want to replenish the skin and get a good night’s rest. Getting this done before sleeping will be much appreciated by your skin!
What if I want to create a dark shade?
Creating a dark skin shade is also possible using the same materials already mentioned here. All you have to do is find darker shades of concealers, face paints, foundations, and so on. Note though that a darker color is advisable only if it is critical to the authenticity. Otherwise, the best advice is to keep your natural skin color and own it!
To wrap it up, lightening your skin color is completely possible through the help of specific products. Note however that at the end of the day, your skin’s health is still the primary concern so listen to it! Watch for any sign of redness or itchiness that might indicate a need to change your whitening product. Once you find your perfect whitening product, you can use it repeatedly for either Cosplay and Halloween. Don’t forget to take photos and post them online!