College Cosplay Starring Starfire and Nightwing!

Who out there is a college student? I recently just began college and realized that my wardrobe consists of mainly three things; jeans, long sleeved shirts, and superhero t-shirts.

I live in Florida.

I can’t wear my long sleeved shirts that were perfect for the colder climates of the Northern states I’m used to, I’m not quite comfortable wearing the high-waisted shorts I do own to college (they show a bit too much leg and I’m not confident enough), so superhero t-shirts and jeans it is.

This isn’t much of a problem, I love my many superhero t-shirts and will wear them with relish until I start building an “adult” wardrobe. But I thought recently, wouldn’t it be fun to create some sort of college cosplay? Specifically makeup looks based off my many superhero t-shirts?

That’s what inspired this weeks Beauty and the Geek. We’ve talked in detail about the various places you can get geek nail art or geek makeup. We’ve also talked about Hot Topic and We Love Fine’s line of geeky clothing — which, one day, I will have the money to own more of — so I know some readers out there also have their own superhero t-shirt in their closet.

Starfire #1, DC Comics, cover by Emanuela Lupacchino

For readers who may not know, I’m a huge Starfire fan, I’ve reviewed her first solo issue and will be reviewing the second eventually. I’m also a huge Nightwing fan. Two of my favorite shirts are my Nightwing t-shirt, and Starfire t-shirt. So I figured I should represent for one of my favorite comic couples of all time.

So unlike my other stealth cosplay or casual costuming articles, my college cosplay is mainly going to be based around makeup designs instead of full outfit design. If you’ve read the other Beauty and the Geek features, then you know that for makeup, we start with a clean and moisturized face. After moisturizer, comes primer.

I’ve been experimenting with different primers recently, and here’s what I’ve found. I like Maybelline’s Studio Secrets green face primer, and recently I bought  ELF’s mineral green primer, but like I said in my Casual Costuming article I really don’t like the consistency. It makes my combination skin really oily. I’ll keep experimenting with different primers and if you guys have any recommendations leave them in the comments!

Okay so face prep should always go:

  1. Clean/washed face
  2. Moisturizer
  3. Primer

There are other steps you can add to this. I know various beauty bloggers and vloggers who add more products to prep their face for that smooth, flawless finish, and they all look amazing, but I’m broke, so I’m sticking to my three step system.

Again, I always leave foundation optional. I typically only use foundation for more formal events, and college is not a formal event. But it all depends on the person. If you have combination skin like myself and want to use foundation I recommend using Revlon’s Colorstay for combination skin. It’s what I use, and I really love it.

Beauty and the Geek Tip 1: Always look up swatches before buying anything in color! One of my biggest mistakes was buying foundation that was either too dark or too light for my skin tone. Or lipstick that was too pink and washed out my face. So always check Google or Pinterest for the item you’re looking to buy because swatches are so helpful when buying makeup.

Okay so my face is all prepped and ready. Now, the fun stuff.

For my eyes — which are my favorite aspect of makeup — I’m going to do one in Starfire’s colors and the other in Nightwing’s. I’m looking at the colors of my shirt, but more importantly, trying to imitate the colors of Starfire herself. Starfire is mainly pinks, reds, purples, and oranges as far as her color palette goes. Luckily I have Wet ‘n Wild’s Floral Values which was a snag at three bucks at my local CVS.

Beauty and the Geek Tip 2: Always check your local pharmacy stores for which products they carry. I can tell you now that Wal-Mart will most likely not carry ELF, but Target does. Neither carry Wet ‘n Wild products, but Walgreens and CVS will. Always check for sales, through either the website, or ads in the paper. You save a lot of money by shopping around. Any of the main makeup suppliers like Relvon, Covergirl, etc. are sold pretty much everywhere. But smaller companies are usually sold at only certain stores. This is especially important for women of color looking for makeup because those kinds of beauty lines are typically very small so you have to learn what your stores are.

Wet n Wild’s Floral Values Eyeshadow Palette

Okay, so I’ve used Wet ‘n Wild’s eyeshadow palettes in my other articles because I love them so much. They’re really affordable, and they’re really pigmented. The Floral Values palette has additional colors from Wet ‘n Wild’s typically three tier palettes, coming with a base and defining color. I’d never used this palette before, so this was an experiment going in!

Since it’s my first time using this make-up, I’m going in safe and going to just follow what the palette tells me. First base color, which helps enhance your other shadow colors. The good thing about base colors is that they typically can be used underneath almost any eyeshadow look. You just need something light and matte to make it work. A common mistake I used to make was placing the eyelid color right after the base color; which isn’t wrong per say, but I decided to switch it up and place the browbone color on second instead this time. Next is the eyelid color, that beautiful bright pink that reminds me a lot of Starfire’s overall personality. After the eyelid is nicely covered, I go for the crease color, that in-your-face purple that is so much like Starfire’s traditional outfits. Lastly is the definer, which admittedly, was weird to use. I have never used a defining color before, and I’m not sure I had much use for it, but it helped blend things together.

Never forget to blend your colors together! I always use a translucent powder and sweep it over my eye makeup to help lock everything together. You can use an eyeshadow primer, but I get more use out of my translucent powder because I can use it to lock my eye makeup and all over my face, making it more cost effective.

Beauty and the Geek Tip 3: Shop smart, not shiny. No matter how much I want that really pretty matte red lip cream from NYX I don’t need it since I already have two red lipsticks. Even if I prefer lip creams, or I want that new primer, or that new eyeshadow palette. Do I need it? Probably not. Is it on sale? Nope, then I really don’t need it.

Once my actual eyeshadow is done, I apply eyeliner. Still using the same Maybelline gel liner because it’s amazing! I’ve been playing around with some tricks with eye liner, and I tried to make this look a little different from my others.

And done! My eyemakeup look for Starfire!


I finish with some blush high on my cheeks, just a light coral color since I’m not a big fan of blush in general. Then I actually go for red lipstick this time. Starfire is all about the big and bold, so I thought I’d go bold with the lipstick. I use NYX’s matte red lipstick, because NYX is amazing. They’re basically high end drugstore makeup which means some of their products can get a little pricey, but are a good splurge item every now and again.

Speaking of NYX, I recently bought their Wonder Pencil concealer. I typically use it to line my lips to help keep my lipstick from smudging and give my lips a bit of a pop.

For Nightwing the makeup is much simpler:


This time I’m focusing on the colors of black and blue. I prime my eye with the same neutral color from my Floral Values palette. Since this was an experiment, I very carefully used my NYX Jumbo Stick in Clash to cover the lid of my eye. Next, I line my eye with eyeliner. For this, I purposely wanted it pretty thick since one of the main focus colors was black.

After I get the line I want, I use a silver browbone color I have in another Wet ‘n Wild palette since it matches really well with the blue and black I have. Much simpler than my Starfire look as far as eyemakeup goes.

I didn’t really have any specific lipstick colors that went with the Nightwing look, plus the look is already pretty harsh as is, so I went with a fairly simple neutral lip color. First, I colored the middle of my mouth with a white crayon, then NYX’s lip cream and blended the two together. Using a tissue, I removed any excess lipstick and reapplied the lip cream color. Then to make things pop just a bit more, I added some clear lip gloss. What, that’s not totally 90s right?

And that’s it! My two makeup looks to go along with my Starfire and Nightwing shirts! I’m not sure I could wear the Nightwing look to class, maybe if I took away the silver browbone color, but I could rock the Starfire look in math.

nightwing & starfire

Desiree Rodriguez

Desiree Rodriguez

Desiree Rodriguez is currently majoring in Converged Communications. She's a writer, geek girl, and proud queer mestiza woman. Desiree is an entertainment writer for The Tempest, and contributor for Nerds of Color. Desiree has written for The Young Folks, The Feminist Wire, and Geeked Out Nation.

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