Cosplay Dos and Cosplay Don’ts: Accessories
Time for another Cosplay Dos and Dont’s lesson! This article is more focused on the ambitious cosplayers who like to make their cosplays as close to accurate by all means. Sometimes cosplay can be dangerous, so it’s time to talk about how to properly accessorize and make a great cosplay become a perfect cosplay, safely.
Cosplay Accessories: Colored Contacts
Did you know if you buy colored contacts from a company who doesn’t ask for permission from an eye examiner, they are selling contacts to you illegally. It would be much easier to buy some contacts without all that hassle, but it is also smart to take care of your eyes.
Don’t be foolish when it comes to your eyes. I can admit, I have bought colored contacts before I knew this was even a big thing. Already having sensitive eyes can make you very paranoid about what you are putting near them. So being afraid to put some unknown plastic material from sellers who don’t mind doing things illegally doesn’t seem illogical, now does it?
I know many people who continue to buy colored contacts, have had no health problems, and they love them. But sometimes, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Do go the extra step of getting permission from an eye examiner. Next time you have to get your eyes checked, run it by them. Don’t be afraid that they will deny you, unless your eyes are a special case and would make it too risky. The eye examiner will just inform you of the risks, make sure you’re aware, and give you paperwork giving you permission.
You’ll have to send a copy of the paper stating permission when purchasing the contacts. Where do I get legal contacts? Here’s a website that has custom made fx contacts that will go the distance to make sure everything is done right and safely.
Cosplay Accessories: Special FX Makeup and Body Paint
Youtube has an abundant amount of tutorials on zombie makeup, with liquid latex, spirit gum, fake blood, and some body paint that might have irritant chemicals, especially alcohol base paint. Some people do not realize they may be allergic to one of these things and will end up having a severe reaction that can be quite scary. I had a friend who had a severe allergic reaction at a con, and had to be carried out by stretcher.
Don’t buy makeup/body paint without researching and looking up the ingredients. If a product only shows reviews of majority people having terrible skin reactions to the products, it would be safe to stay away. Yes, you might not be aware that liquid latex will break you out in terrible hives. Which is where I say:
Do test out your products on a small patch of skin, your forearm or the back of your hand will do. If you have a reaction, do not use it. Simple enough.
Look for tutorials by people who also had to find alternatives. Some brands for body paint and makeup that are ideal are Ben Nye, Graftobian, and Mehron. When purchasing Ben Nye, do not purchase off of Amazon. Even though it’s cheaper that way, Ben Nye doesn’t like their products sold on Ebay or Amazon, so you probably aren’t truly buying a Ben Nye product if you buy it off of those sites.
Cosplay Accessories: Binding and Corsets
To contort and form your body in a desired body shape is a tradition far beyond cosplay. However, when cosplayers want to bind their chest to cosplay as a guy character, it can be a bit dangerous if not done right. The same goes for people who wear corsets with their cosplay. Each accessory can change the appearance in a matter of minutes, but there are some major safety tips that need to be followed.
Don’t bind your chest and wear tightly fitted corsets for long very long periods of time. You probably shouldering bind your chest for any longer than 8 hours a day. It can cause breathing problems and extreme discomfort if you bind for too long, and combining that with being in large crowd at con is already risking too much.
Corsets can also cause some breathing problems. Also do not use duct tape and ACE bandages to bind your chest. Bandages are already designed to constrict, and when you’re wrapping it tight enough to make an appearance change, you won’t realize how truly tight of a compression you have wrapped around your chest, until you start feeling pain and staggering in breathing. A corset essentially shifts around your insides and lifts up your natural alignment in your spin and rib cage. Of course it takes extensive wearing to truly cause any drastic possibly long term health issues, but anything causing a hinderance with breathing at a convention already seems risky.
Do try and find some high quality binders. A popular company that sells safe binder for all sizes, whether it’s a shirt or tank top, is GC2b. Underworks is another nice site that has good binders and other things that make your cosplay perfect and safe. The main thing to be sure of when buying corsets, is to find a corset that properly fits.
Most times, it’s best to go corset shopping in person than buying one online. Thinking a corset is supposed to fit tight is common, but when buying in person, they can assess professional, what is too tight or just snug enough for a corset. I did a corset fitting at the Renaissance fair once. It was extremely helpful, because a corset I thought fit me, actually was way too tight, and I needed to size up.
The important thing before buying cosplay accessories is to do your research. Make sure you’re getting the ideal product, make sure you’re doing it safely, and make sure you’re getting the quality you paid for. Who knew cosplay could be so dangerous?! If you have any tips to add as well or experience to share, please share over on our Facebook page. Also share articles with friends who need some cosplay advice, and I hope it helps!