In my last two Beauty and the Geek posts, I focused on Stealth Cosplay. Specifically stealth cosplay modeled after Anya Corazon and Cassie Sandsmark. This time I wanted to try something different, inspired by my time spent at Collective Con, Jacksonville’s first big pop culture convention, where I dressed up in what I call “Casual Costuming.”


Unlike cosplay, costuming is typically based off a specific genre, like Steampunk, Pin-up, or the Renaissance. A lot of times cosplayers combine the two, cosplay and costuming, and create some truly inspiring looks. I love the idea of these genre/era inspired costumes, but they can be so much work! The elaborate beauty of steampunk costumes is amazing, as is the complexity that goes into Renaissance and Victorian costumes. Pin-up costumes are the simplest I’ve seen, but they’re still really intimidating to approach. So, I tried to approach costuming from a more casual perspective as I did with Stealth Cosplay. I grabbed my best friend and roomie to be my model and got to it! So lets begin.

1. Clothes

I prefer to pick and set out an outfit before I get to the more complex steps of hair and makeup. I can’t recommend using Polyvore enough to create a basic outfit design. When approaching a stealth cosplay piece, or in this case a casual costuming piece, I prefer using Polyvore to create a basis for the overall outfit.

Don’t worry about matching things up perfectly; instead look at Pinterest and other sites for inspiration, then take a scroll through your closet and see what you have on hand. Finally, go to Polyvore to build an outfit based off what’s in your closet. The easiest thing to do, I’ve found first time out, is to use one specific piece of costuming that you already have. A Victorian mask, a pair of ripped gloves, a corset, etc. In my models case, she had a pair of steampunk goggles.

Here’s the basis for the design we later came up with based on the clothes she already had in her closet:

2. Makeup

This is what takes the longest. Picking out a casual costuming outfit based around a singular piece of costume jewelry was pretty easy. Building up a makeup palette was harder. Everything you see on Pinterest is so beautiful, it’s more like art than anything I—a novice on a strict budget—could reproduce.

Step 2.1: Face

Always prime your face, can’t stress this enough. I wear it even when I’m just going out. It helps smooth out your skin, fix dark spots, or reduce redness depending on the primer. I use Maybelline’s Studio Secrets green face primer, but my model uses a Bare Minerals primer. I prefer cheaper options. Another great primer buy is Rimmel Fit and Perfect, I’ve tried ELF’s mineral green primer, but I felt it made my combination skin more oily. So far, I prefer the Studio Secrets primer to counteract my redness, though it does have trouble blending so make sure you’re blending well. Even primer can show up if you don’t blend it into your skin.

Once your face is primed and moisturized then we can move onto step 2.

Step 2.2: Eyes

Eyes always make any makeup look pop so that was my key focus here. I used a combination of two different eyeshadow palettes from Wet-n-Wild to achieve the look pictured below.


The Wet-n-Wild palettes I used.

First, I used Maybelline Color Tattoo in Barely Beige as her base coat. Then, I lightly dabbed on the black crease color in my Spoiled Brat palette. Lightly is the key here. After the topcoat is applied, I “carve” out the crease line. This is all without eyeliner, just use a small rounded eyeshadow brush carefully follow along the lower lid and curve up. Afterwards, curve over the lip. Keep tracing this pattern until you get a nice line as dark as you want it. Once you get the line you want, start carefully filling it in with the same eyeshadow. The filled part should be lighter, and blended together.

Now over the lid, fill in with gold. I used the second golden brown color in Wet-n-Wild’s Sweet as Candy palette. Once you get a good covering—I wish I actually added more—blend everything together with a blending brush. Once everything is nicely blended, we can move onto eyeliner.

I still prefer using Maybelline’s Gel Liner in black over liquid liner. Using a eyeliner angled brush, I drew a darker thin line along the bottom of my model’s lid following the line I already created with the eyeshadow.

Then we curled her eyelashes and used Covergirl’s Colossal Mascara.

Step 2.3: Lips, Cheeks & Eyebrows

Moisturize your lips, first and foremost, it’ll help keep your lipstick lasting longer. I used Revlon’s lipstick in Cherries in the Snow for her lips. Then, I brushed the upper of her cheekbones with a soft coral color by ELF. Finally for her eyebrows; I lined them with Rimmel Eyebrow Pencil in brown. Then, using Milani Eyebrow Kit 03, I filled her brows in with brow color number two as shown below:


Our makeup is officially done!

3. Hair & Photos

For hair we went really simple. A couple of braids and some fluffed hair to give her a messy textured look.

After that, we put together the whole look, found some lighting, and below are the results:


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