My good friend Bliss, seamstress and cosplayer extraordinaire sat down with me (via phone) for an interview all about her cosplay, and makeup, and cosplay makeup. She has been cosplaying for about 4 years and has done over 15 different cosplays!
So, First of All, Tell Us a Little About Yourself and What is Cosplay?
My name is Bliss, I am a jack of all trades – master of none, I’m in my mid-20s and am based in Austin, Texas. I love to travel and have traveled quite a bit for Cons.
To me, cosplay is kind of an escape – it’s putting on a costume and pretending you’re that character – and not so much getting lost in the character but letting your real self show through that character.
So, How Long Have You Been Doing Cosplay?
The first con I went to and cosplayed at was A-Kon 23 in Dallas, Texas – with you, Kate.
What Got You Into Cosplay?
It started off as a fluke – I have lots of friends who cosplay so I came up with a Molly Hooper costume (from BBC Sherlock) out of things I already owned – which is called a Closet Cosplay. I received an insane amount of support for an outfit that wasn’t really all that screen accurate. I knew I could do better so I started working on my Ariel (Little Mermaid) Cosplay. I built that cosplay from the ground up. I didn’t feel like a ‘real’ cosplayer until I took on the Orion Girl (Star Trek) Cosplay.
What are Some of the Less Makeup Heavy Cosplays that You Have Done?
So I’ve already mentioned my Molly, and Ariel Cosplays, some of the other ones that I have done are Irene Adler (BBC Sherlock), a Female Bilbo (The Hobbit), Lydia Martin (Teen Wolf), and Donna Noble (Doctor Who).
Favorite Cosplay Makeup You’ve Done?
I’m very proud of my Orion girl. I know it doesn’t seem like a lot – but it was definitely a journey going green. A major learning experience – I tried 3 different brands and lots of different ways of applying the makeup before settling with the brand Ben Nye.
Which One Takes the Longest?
The Orion Girl takes the longest to put on, makeup wise. I use 2 different shades of green blended together so the application takes a while. My Lydia Martin takes a while too because it’s a full face of makeup, but it’s a full subtle face of makeup. Costume-wise, Bilbo takes the longest. It’s a lot of layers and I have to glue on silicone ears. And I have a half leg of tattoos, and a lot of the cosplays I do involve knee-length skirts, so covering them up took about 45 minutes when I was using concealer and cover up, but now I generally just wear tights. The most professional way to cover up is an alcohol based airbrush, but those are crazy expensive so I’ve never tried it.
Which One Is The Easiest?
Irene Adler was the easiest one – blue eyeliner and red lipstick. But the one I have the most fun doing is Lumpy Space Princess (Adventure Time). It’s a lot of different shades of purple, big BIG eyeliner and glitter out the wazoo. My motto is ‘the bigger the better’ when it comes to LSP.
Favorite Cosplay You’ve Done?
I wish I could do my Donna Noble Cosplays more often, but the absolute favorite cosplay I’ve ever done is Ariel. I feel like a princess. Plus, there’s something about it being one of the first cosplays I did, it’s really close to my heart.
Favorite Brands of Makeup for Cosplay?
Ben Nye is definitely worth it for the price – it’s not super expensive and is very easy to use. Otherwise, I really like Urban Decay eyeshadow and Maybelline lipstick Both have got a shade for basically anything I would need. I bought an elf palette on a whim, and have been using it quite frequently for my less heavy makeup cosplays. It’s very pigmented and bright – both are great for cosplays.
I tried Wet N Wild before, because they have lots of bright colors and are suuuper cheap – but there’s a reason it’s so cheap. You really get what you’re not paying for. I wouldn’t suggest anyone use it for cosplay. There are also a lot of YouTube tutorials out there recommending you use acrylic paints for body painting – but it is very dangerous. Do. Not. Do. It. You can get nerve damage – and the only reason they’re suggesting it is because it doesn’t rub or sweat off. I use makeup setting sprays to battle that: Ben Nye and Urban Decay are my favorites.
Any Tips or Tricks You Want To Share?
I’m a big fan of using stockings as arm sleeves – you don’t want to dump into anyone or anything and rub green paint all over them – it’s easy to do and it’s safer for other people.
Don’t be afraid to experiment! I test run all of my makeup before actually going to a con, making sure I like the look of it and making sure it lasts the way I want it to. The number 1 rule of cosplay is to Have Fun! So, as long as you’re having fun you’re doing it right!
Lastly, Do You Have Any Big Cons Coming Up, and Are You Working on Any New Cosplays? What Con Would You Really Like To Go To?
My next big con is DragonCon in August, in Atlanta. And have several big cosplays that I’m working on: Effie Trinket is the biggest one and the rest are secrets! I’d love to go to New York Comic Con, but sadly it is far away, so it’s not likely that I’ll go this year.
I’d like to thank Bliss for talking to me and answering my questions about cosplay and makeup and also generally being an awesome person. If you want to check out some more of Bliss’s cosplay awesomeness (and other cool things) go pounce on her Tumblr.