# cosplay tutorial, # cosplay tips, # cosplay advice, # cosplay help, # cosplay,
sorry for the delay on this answer! I just got back from Katsucon last night.
- there is no ‘easy’ way to gray for troll cosplay. If you want the makeup to have good coverage/not show any skintone under it, it’s going to take time and patience to apply, especially your first couple of times trying it out.
- Gray makeup isn’t going to come in cheap initially. I recommend budgeting no less than 30USD for gray makeup/sealant/contouring makeup your first time around. The good news is, after spending that much on your initial set it will last you a good long while - making it a worthwhile investment.
I have only ever tried one type of makeup, and that is Wolf FX Hydrocolors Gray. Their gray comes out on the very dark end of things, but its coverage is quite thick with only two layers. It takes about an hour to apply to face + hands, and a little less if you use baby powder/Ben Nye Neutral Set between layers. One 45-gram cake has lasted two cosplayers about 7 rounds of ‘graying’ + graying a couple of friends on those occasions.
Other types of gray makeup I’ve seen used is:
- Ben Nye cream liner paint, mixed Gray and White
- Mehron Liquid makeup, light gray
- Mehron Airbrush makeup, light gray
- Mehron Starblend cream makeup, light gray
- Snazaroo cream makeup, light gray
- PAX alcohol-based makeup, mixed black and white
If you google these you can see the difference in the colors and the coverage each makeup applies, as well as the cost of their cakes. Most of them are very similar in cost, with the exception of PAX, which is more expensive.
The three major types of makeup are water-based, alcohol-based, and oil-based. All of them have their advantages and disadvantages.
- Water-based makeup comes in a cake that is ‘activated’ by water (or, if you want something to help it stick, Ben Nye Liquiset). Using a flat foundation brush, the liquid of choice is applied to the makeup cake, then brushed onto the skin. It cannot be easily rubbed off once sealed, but it comes off with water in the shower.
- Cream-based makeup comes in a cake ready to apply to the skin. Using a makeup sponge or a flat foundation brush, the makeup is rubbed onto the skin. Getting good coverage with cream-based makeup can be a little harder than with water-based, and it’s harder on the skin, but it’s the easiest to apply overall.
- Alcohol-based makeup is ‘activated’ by alcohol. It has very good staying power, and must generally be removed by a special removal soap. However, since it’s alcohol-based it’s hard on your skin and should not be applied to the face. I’ve never tried using it, so I don’t know much about its application. It is relatively expensive!
For all three of these makeups, you need to SEAL YOUR MAKEUP using either Ben Nye Final Seal - a spray bottle which, after 10 minutes or so, sets your makeup so it can’t rub off easily - or Ben Nye Neutral Set, a translucent powder that brushes over tacky makeup and dries it rapidly. (Baby powder works for this, too, but do you want to smell like baby powder all day?) I recommend using BOTH. With Wolf FX, I used the Neutral Set to dry each layer of makeup to speed up the graying process and to help keep my (sweaty) palms from losing makeup too quickly. Except for PAX, you will still need to be somewhat careful that you don’t accidentally scrape makeup off.
Last thing: for all 3 of these makeups, you will also need to buy makeup with which to contour your face. After you apply gray makeup, your face is going to look very flat, so using either a darker gray or a black eyeshadow, you can re-paint in the contours of your face to make yourself look more natural. You will also need to re-draw in your eyebrows and darken your lips.
In the end, I think the easiest way to gray is either to invest in an airbrush, which results in quick and even application to everywhere that is being grayed, or to use water-based makeup, which will go on very opaque so that your human skintones don’t show through the gray makeup.
The cheapest way to gray is probably cream-based makeup, which comes in larger cakes for less, but it is also the lightest and most see-through gray and can be hard to keep sealed when applied thickly.
Costs for all the above-mentioned items (cheapest I found on a quick Google Search):
- PAX Pros Aide: 4 oz - $16.00
- Mehron Starblend - $11.95 (cannot find cake size)
- Mehron Liquid Makeup - 4.5 oz: $10.95
- Mehron Airbrush Makeup - $21.95 (cannot find bottle size)
- Ben Nye Cream Colors - 7 grams - $6.00 each (both white and gray will be needed)
- Ben Nye Color Cake (water-based) - 7 grams - $12.00
- Wolf FX Hydrocolors - 30 grams - $8.00
- Ben Nye Neutral Set - 3 oz - $9.00
- Ben Nye LiquiSet - $6.00 (kit)
- Ben Nye Final Seal - 2 oz - $8.50
There are a ton of tutorials for applying different types of troll makeup all over the internet.
This was a really long answer to a relatively simple question. I am so sorry, dude, I hope this was somewhat helpful.
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