Wednesday 12 April 2023

How to Glow Up Your Cosplay!

Often, it only takes small tweaks and upgrades to take your cosplay to the next level. We all make mistakes when we are starting out with cosplay, and even when we have years of experience sometimes we can make little improvements to raise our cosplay game!

Here are some examples of improvements I’ve made to cosplays throughout the years!

Glow Up 1: Lara Croft

Lara was the first cosplay I ever did back in 2017! I couldn’t find the right colours for the vest and shorts, so I settled for something I thought would work. I had never worn a wig before, and I certainly didn’t understand lace front wigs! I picked a cheaper hard front wig with a fringe as it seemed like an easier option. I didn’t know how to cut or style a wig, so I just pinned the long fringe to one side. The wig was layered, so shorter bits of hair were poking out of the braid. In terms of make up, I just did my make up how I usually did. That meant big, heavy emo eyeliner and darker lips.

Overall, I felt like the cosplay worked really well at the time. However, once I gained some more experience in cosplay I revamped it. I made sure to get brown shorts instead of the khaki I was wearing previously. I was struggling to find the right colour top, so I got a bodysuit and dyed it to the correct colour I needed to match her classic look. I now had experience with lace front wigs, so I made sure to get a lace front with all one length of hair. I French braided it properly leaving strands at the front which Lara often has hanging out. I made my make up much softer and more natural looking with a nude lip to match Lara better.

These changes weren’t big or difficult changes, but they’ve made a HUGE difference to the cosplay!

Glow Up 2: Nurse Joy

I first wore this at a photo shoot. I had done a good job styling the wig, but the wig wasn’t very long so the hair loops weren’t very big; they didn’t stand out as much as I would have liked. Her loops are actually pretty big! Her fringe bump is actually pretty big too, and after looking at the first photos I felt like it needed to be bigger. I also forgot my nurse cap (dough!).

I bought a new wig of a much longer length; and made the hair loops much bigger! To make the loops, I got foam bendy rollers, glued two together to make an extra long one and bent it into a circle. I then glued that in place directly onto the wig base, and wrapped the hair around it, gluing it in place as I went. I made the fringe bump a lot more extreme too! I feel like this is a lot more accurate to her hairstyle! And of course, I made sure to remember the nurse cap!

Glow up 3: Harley Quinn

Harley had some subtle changes, and honestly looking at her I would make more changes if I cosplayed her again! The main change here was the wig. The wig came pre-styled, so I just wore it as is straight out of the bag. That doesn’t always work though! The curls were too smooth, it was all too neat which made it look fake – it looked like a wig. I also had the ties that came with the wig and not her actual ones. When I did it again, I took the ponytails out, brushed the curls out, and styled the ponytails in a way to look more natural. I also kept 2 pieces of hair out at the front and cut them shorter, ad she has strands which frame her face. The result is much closer to her hair, and looks more realistic!

If I were to revamp her again, I would also weather the shirt, add more holes like hers etc to make it look more authentic!

Glow up 4: Merida

Onto Merida – first; the wig. At the time I thought this wig would be great. Huge curly ginger wig, perfect! However, looking back it honestly gives me clown vibes. It’s not right, and it doesn’t look realistic. I replaced it with a different wig and boom; it was so much better! I also added some fake freckles with the make up!

Another improvement I made was to the bow. I had made the bow myself using foam and worbla, but I hadn’t smoothed the worbla seams out and removed the texture very well. So I went back to it, used polyfiller and sanding to smooth the whole thing out and repainted it! It looked a LOT better after making these tweaks!

These are just some examples of upgrades I have made; and you can see that sometimes it really only takes tiny little changes to make a big difference! It’s always a good idea to take a step back, look at your cosplay and try to spot anything that could elevate it to the next level!

Ley Ley Cosplay


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