Cosplay resources for South Africans, Part 2

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Last week, our local Cosplay expert KomboKitten gave us a nifty look at assembling our very own costume, tools which could be used in order to bring any character to life. But that was part one. We’ve got part two right here, reprinted with her permission from her site, so while I carry on trimming the flash from my new bat-parts that arrived yesterday, you can take a look at some more cosplaying wisdom, after the jump.

From Kombo Kitten:

In this post I will cover cosplay wigs, contact lenses and make-up with the help of some input from local cosplayers. The point is to give some tips and to explain where South Africans can obtain items like cosplay wigs and lenses.

WIGS

Sasha and I as Effie (from Arrestotte’s Toy anime) and Yoruichi (from Bleach anime). Photo by MWEST.

How to obtain them?

Sasha (my Capetonian cosplay mentor) says:

"Ebay is a winner! Though you will have to wait a while for your wig to arrive. I’d also suggest ‘shopping around’ and not to buy the first thing you see. Make sure that the seller is reputable. Read feedback etc. If you need to know something, ask questions." (If you have Facebook you can post cosplay/costume related questions in our group at Cosplay South Africa)
"Also, I’ve noticed that local ethnic hair salons tend to sell wigs as well as extensions, usually natural colours.

The quality of the wigs are pretty good. There are also two places in the Golden Acre mall in Adderley street in Cape Town that also sell natural coloured wigs of decent quality. However the longest wig that you will find will only be shoulder length.

You can lengthen a wig by making wefts with hair extensions and sewing them into the wig, I’ve done this before and it works well. Again, colours are limited especially with extensions.
There are also a few places In China Town near Century City that also stock wigs as well as extensions.

Keep in mind that anything that is "human hair" will cost a fortune so go for synthetic hair. I’ve personally found synthetic hair to be easier to style than human hair, and it retains the style. When buying a wig look for either heat resistant or kanekalon as those will consist of a better quality fibre"

Sashi sporting another pink wig.

To connect with what Sasha mentions about synthetic hair, I fully agree. My favourite synthetic wigs are heat resistant ones because you can get away with using a straightener or hot curler on them. They also look great quality wise.

The following information is more ‘how to obtain’ wig knowledge from Sasha – "Also, when looking for wigs locally, look for what’s labelled "fashion wig". These have proper lace-mesh caps with a nape area (nape of the neck) with two little tags that go in front of the ears and sizing is usually adjustable.

Party wigs are a lot cheaper and it shows. These don’t have a proper shaped cap, usually just round with an elastic all around. They’re also quite thin (so the mesh shows) but the fibres are thick plastic.

I have also seen Frika (wig brand) wigs and extensions been sold at places like DisChem, Clicks and Pep stores."

PinkUnicorn wears her red wig cosplaying Shana. She obtained it via ebay.

Other local cosplayers have mentioned their satisfaction obtaining wigs via eBay. Elza says "I’ve bought wigs from ebay. They are very nice and affordable."

Elza rocking her Esther cosplay in a red wig.

I cannot exclude the lovely variety of wigs available from AnonaMiss Beauty Emporium from this post! Here is an album of what they have i stock right now, but they are also able to source many other shades and lengths.

These wigs are not heat resistant though and one is able to source some similar wigs that are heat resistant from other places for similar prices. It is definitely still worth sharing their wigs here, so have a look! They also supply bad ass make up!

Morgue Chan has the following helpful information for people in Johannesburg: "I buy some of my wigs (surprisingly good quality for really cheap) at china mall and china shopping centre in Joburg CBD". Neko Cosplay‘s Yamaki Chiya says: "www.cosplayfu.com 🙂 always get from them"

How to wear them?

There are some things that are not to be ignored when making use of a wig. Applying these crucial tips will help your wig to come across as more realistic when worn.
Sashi says: "Please please please, wear a wig cap when wearing a wig!

There really is no excuse not to wear one. When I sell wigs I usually include a free wig cap as well. They’re VERY cheap, only cost R5 per cap at China Town (Near Century City in Cape Town). I have seen some places sell them for R15 so they cost anything between R5-R15 depending on where you’re shopping.

Whether your hair is long or short, a wig cap keeps everything in place, stops strands of hair from poking out your wig as well as helps the wig stay to your head. Also invest in hair clips as well."

The hair clips are used to secure the wig onto your head. You do this by sticking the pins securely through the wig (hiding it under hair) right through the wig cap into your hair. I find that spraying your hair with hair spray before you put on the wig cap can help for security when it comes to pinning the wig on. I plan on making a video of how I put on a wig just to clear up this method for my readers/viewers.

If you can’t obtain a wig cap in time rather use the cut off tip of a stocking as a last resort instead of using nothing under the wig. This would at least help keep the hair ‘tamed’.

CONTACT LENSES

The yellow lenses I bought from Chaos R Us. (More info on them below)

Just a little nugget of knowledge – there are lenses that allow some of your natural eye colour to show through and then you get those that are called ‘block’ lenses for blocking out your natural eye colour completely such as the ones I am wearing in the image above.

Where to get them?

I know of 2 reliable local contact lens suppliers I will share links to below. Here goes!Morgue Chan is based in Gauteng. If you click on the link I put on her name you will be lead to her public Facebook page. This page has albums of lenses she can source, particularly the ‘Cos Lenses‘ album.

If she does not have the lenses you want in stock she will have to order them for you first. Take note that if she orders them for you they may take a maximum of 3 months to arrive in SA. If you are planning a costume with lenses and want to make use of Morgue Chan’s services, make sure you place your order well in advance!

Above is Morgue Chan rocking a Cooro cosplay. Photo by Chanel Rossouw Photography.

The thing I really like about Morgue Chan’s lenses is the fact that most of them (if not all) have an expiry date of roughly a year. (Yes, these colour lenses expire!) Her lenses generally cost around R150-R170 or a little more if you are going for a more detailed lens. She also provides lens storage units with each contact lens purchase.

We have another local cosplay lense source at Chaos R Us aka Chaos Distributors.Here is their public Facebook page. They have some really cool options! The only down side for me, considering they have similar pricing to Morgue Chan, is the fact that their lenses expire in only 3 months.

They do however have a faster import time (if they don’t have what you want in stock) from what I have found out.

How to use them?

Check out Morgue Chan’s Youtube channel. She has some videos that explain how to wear lenses, other handy tips and why not to share contact lenses!

When purchasing lenses it is very important that you also have contact lens solution to clean your lenses with and to store them in. If you don’t have this your lenses will expire far too soon!

Above is the Renu brand. Morgue Chan suggests this. I obtained the same brand for myself at a pharmacy and the bottle is quite big so it will last for a long time. The price wasn’t too bad at all (can’t recall it though sorry).

Another shot of Morgane’s Cooro. She wore black lenses for this one. Also taken byChanel Rossouw Photography.

MAKE-UP

Whether you have a vagina or a penis between your legs, make up when cosplaying is super important!

Let’s see what other local cosplayers have to say about this before I give my own input on the topic. Elza says: "I just wanna say that it is so important to wear make-up if you want to look professional. Even if your character ‘doesn’t wear makeup’.

At least wear concealer and mascara. A nice cosplay with no makeup is just disappointing. Even guys could use a touch, especially for photos." Sashi says: "A lot of cosplayers seem to neglect make up and hair.

Those two things are so important when cosplaying a character convincingly. I hardly wear make up in my day to day life, but pack it on for cosplay. It really does make a huge difference!"
Morgue Chan says: "

Always practice or try out your makeup before you do your cosplay. I always to a makeup test before cons. Also, put contact lenses in about a half hour before putting on makeup."

I obtained these red lenses from Morgue Chan especially for my Nyu/Lucy cosplay. They come in handy for many other costumes though so this was a great buy! ^_^ Photo by MWEST.

I fully agree with the opinions above. One my biggest ‘pet peeves’ is when a cosplayer neglects make up (especially with visible blemishes).I would strongly suggest you cover up any blemishes first with a ‘cover stick’ that can (for example) be bought at Clicks for roughly R30.

After you have done the necessary coverage you should cover your face (not too much or with the wrong shade) with a layer of concealer to give your skin a smooth finish. This way any other details you apply to your make up with be standing out far better on the ‘smooth canvas’ of your face.

When it comes to applying concealer to your face you can easily find tutorials for this on YouTube, among other cosplay make up tutorials.These tutorials may also cover eye brow colouring techniques so that you can make the eye brow the same colour as the characters if need be or if you want to.

One more tip from me WRT make-up. Don’t underestimate the amount of make-up you may need for your eyes, especially if you are going to be having photos or video taken (You too boys!).

In many cases I see so many cosplay faces neglected with eyes not defined at all. You need to use eye liner to properly define your eyes (Although it does depend on the character – eye liner is necessary in most cases).

It may feel a bit unnatural to you at first but it makes the world of difference in photos/video! In the image below I had make up AND fake eye lashes caked to my eyes!

Let’s see what other local cosplayers have to say about sourcing make up. Morgue Chan has some input regarding affordable concealer, foundation and powder and says she obtains it from DisChem. So if you need to obtain these items but can’t spent a lot DisChem is one of the places you can browse.

She also says "I like to use Yardley (the oatmeal range) and ESSANCE for foundation/concealer/powder because they’re cheap and decent quality. So I get various shades for lighter or darker skinned characters."

Baka Sakura says: "I’d say with some make up products, you can’t go too cheap. With foundation / powder / body pa
int I’d suggest getting good quality (pricey) products, since these things have to stay on perfectly for hours.

Inglot (Canal walk): Especially their waterproof/smudge-proof eyeliner gel (Mac (Edgars): smudge free matt lipstick / Manic panic (Anonimiss): Great colour range of eyeshadows (such as red, a rare find) as well as pure white foundation / powder."

This is the local gamer and cosplayer NaughtyNeko portraying a World of Warcraft Night Elf. Her sister, Kimberley in Cape Town, does professional make up (including prosthetic) and airbrushing! The night elf and blue dude (her take on Davy Jones from the Pirates of the Caribbean) below are showing off her work! You can view Kimberley’s public Facebook page here.


On a side note, we will be collaborating on my Drow Ranger cosplay body and face make up 😀

Airbrushing might be a little more expensive compared to other body painting techniques but it definitely looks the best and lasts better. You can wear a coloured body suit for a similar effect but that is not always the best option depending on the colours you are working with and matching it up with face make up

Make up can also include extras such as moulded ears (like elf ears) or fangs.

Wearing my fangs for my cat girl cosplay with choker and ears made by myself.

Fangs can be ordered via ebay. I strongly suggest the ‘ScareCrow’ brand. They give you hollow fangs which you fill with chemical molding material and then place onto your teeth for the chemical to dry.

Once it is dry (after 5min of pressing against the tooth) the fangs can be easily popped on or off and they are reusable. Sin Bin in Gauteng offer a variety of moulded ears and other cosplay items such as steampunk style goggles or some animal ear items.

I plan on making a separate post soon covering the affordable fake blood recipe I use. If you plan on using fake blood for a costume in the future you will not want to miss that post!

—————————————————————————————————-
That will be it for now. I may be missing a few things like more sources and info but I can always make up for that later. This should give aspiring cosplayers a lot to think about.
I hope you guys enjoyed the read! Thank you for your viewership!  ?

Reposted from KomboKitten Online.

Header image from Torremitsu

Last Updated: July 17, 2012

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia's M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

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