A few months ago, I scheduled my first cosplay photoshoot that wasn’t at a convention! (I haven’t been to a convention since before the pandemic.) I actually booked it with the same photographer who did the sole convention shoot I did, Michael Largé, because I liked his work, knew it would be great for the character I wanted to do, and also I was too scared to look for other photographers too okay I can admit it.
While some folks may be unsurprised to hear that I — a certified nerd — watch The Boys, others may be wondering how or why I sit through the graphic violence that I’m typically very averse to. Honestly, I wasn’t too interested in the initial promotions of the show. Superhero fatigue had started setting in, and I didn’t need more superhero media to get into while the MCU still had such a hold on me. But then! I saw a cosplayer in Starlight’s costume and I kind of immediately fell in love with the costume. Stars! Her name is Starlight? Did someone design this character for me? (I would soon learn… not really no haha) But I loved this costume and wanted to watch the show to see if I’d love the character enough to buy this costume and wear it myself.
With many conventions getting cancelled this year, I have been thinking a lot about the cosplayers who I have been following and befriending, whose plans and potentially incomes have been affected by the convention circuit being derailed. However, they have been trying to stay positive and are sharing their cosplay plans for whenever they are able to start attending conventions again.
In that vein, I have been thinking a lot about new costumes I want to make a reality for myself, eventually!
From the original list, I still haven’t done Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite yet, actually! This game is pretty old now but I hope I get to do wear it soon, because it’s maybe the first game I’ve played all the way through, with my husband. Read More »
Happy Friday everybody! Can you believe this warm weather we’re having? Yesterday morning, I walked to the metro seeing my breath in the cold air, and I walked home in spring. I wish we could have crisp autumnal days but I’ll just take what I can get, I guess! Don’t forget Daylight Saving ends Sunday so get ready to fall back and get that hour back!
I hope you all had a fun Halloween! Halloween in the middle of the week always throws off the week a bit. At work, we all dressed up in costumes, and it was a fun and silly atmosphere in the office, but it was a Tuesday and there was work to be done. It felt weird to go back to work the next day… and the next day… and the next day…
Last year, my team at work did a group effort by showing up in adult onesies. This year, we split into 3 sub-teams, so we set out with the ambitious goal of having a large team-wide group costume with more specific sub-team costumes. (My original suggestion was we do a team-wide Harry Potter theme, with each sub-team choosing a different Hogwarts house or all being Death Eaters or Hogwarts professors, etc.)
Here’s the result:
And for each sub-team, we split by trilogy! I claimed the sequel trilogy for my team, despite only one movie from that trilogy having been released. (Also, yes, one of my teammates trolled us by dressing as Spock from Star Trek. Classic troll.) (And on the far right is an Angry Birds Vader. The troll force is strong with this team.)
I originally had different plans for Halloween, and compared to my crazy lofty 3-costume goals from last year, I was very derailed and very off-schedule this year. My Rey costume, while seemingly easy enough to make, was just a costume-in-a-bag option that was pretty inexpensive but turned out, in my opinion, better than I thought! (Minus the belt+bag thing that was just… drawn on? In the future, I’ll be replacing that first.)
It was a bit of a relief to just get a cheap big store costume from a bag, and people still thought I put a lot of time and effort into putting together my look! (Which I still did as my arms were so sore from attempting to get my hair to stay in Rey’s dumb triple hair loops with my hair being about twice as long as hers…)
Fun story: We went to dinner in costume on Tuesday night and found out the restaurant was actually hosting a costume contest about half an hour after we arrived. The manager stopped by to ask if we’d like to participate as one of the few parties in costume, but when the time came, we were – I believe – the only people who agreed to participate. So we won by default! I didn’t even have to get up and be judged by a restaurant full of strangers or stop watching the world series.
Did you dress up for Halloween? If so, what did you wear? What were your favorite costumes you saw this year? I think I’m a sucker for a good meme costume, despite how poorly they age, because they just transport me back, you know? I also love crossover pun costumes. (E.g. “Dumbledora the Explorer” or “Edgar Allen Poe Dameron”, those are my FAVORITES)
Also, do you get trick-or-treaters? I’ve seen the number of kids at my house take a sharp decline to zero over the past few years. I heard that parents now take kids to shopping malls and centers for trick-or-treating now, but when did that become a thing? And why do stores still sell candy to us civilians then?
If you’ve been following along with my AwesomeCon recaps (days 1, 2, and 3), or reading this blog for a little bit, you’ll know that I really relished my first convention cosplay experience. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for such a long time.
It was truly an experience and I wanted to detail and document what it was like to finally get to cosplay at a convention after years of hyping it up for myself.
Prepping the Costume
Let me just throw this out here now so there is no confusion later: I don’t sew. Outside of mending clothing when the need arises, I don’t currently possess the skills necessary create clothing out of fabric.
I’m also not particularly crafty. DIY is usually not my forte, and I still marvel at people who own a ~hot glue gun~, as that seems to be a hallmark crafty-type thing to have.
What does all that mean? I bought everything. One day, I’d like to be able to make my own accessories, at least, or DIY things so that they are more accurate to the character I am portraying, but at this beginning stage of my cosplaying, I buy everything I can afford. Here’s what that included:
Because my hair is red right now, I did spend time touching up the color with Overtone colored conditioner and then… attempting to curl my hair the morning of Day 1. Lemme tell ya, one of the reasons I started exercising this year is because of how sore my arms feel after curling my hair with my super cheap-o curling iron I got at at TJ Maxx a while ago.
On all 3 days, I did makeup before leaving for the convention. I don’t wear makeup on a daily basis, so this is always a bit of a struggle before a special event. I was trying out a BB cushion for the first time, and that was actually really nice to use (although I may look for an oil-free formula next time), but the real problem was my eye makeup.
I need to practice doing eye makeup. Winged eyeliner? It never matches! And on day 3, I actually ran out of eyeliner in the middle of trying to line my second eye so… I just ditched the eyeliner altogether. This was a huge bummer because the eyeliner is fairly key to helping me achieve the anime eye look…) Speaking of anime eyes, I don’t really know how to apply false lashes, and yet there I was… wearing them to the best of my ability?
Because of the false lashes, I wasn’t able to wear my glasses during days 2 and 3 of the convention; the lashes would push up against my lenses and look ridiculous. There was a lot of squinting and asking Ben to scan crowds and read signs for me.
I had small things happening with my Sailor Mars costume, like the gloves starting to get dirty because I touch things often but they were white fabric. At one point, I realized I was causing pilling on the costume because of how often my bag was rubbing against the fabric, so for day 3, I had to shave off those pills. It was a good thing I had a Tide pen with me because I did have a few small stains on the costume and had to spend a fair bit of time addressing them ASAP.
AND YES THE WIG PANIC WAS SO REAL. I was so traumatized by the whole experience, I don’t know how I’m going to ever attempt to wear a wig again.
Cosplaying Sailor Mars was… a little bit painful, I’ll be really honest. Here were the major pain points:
The heels – Even though my heels are designed to be comfortable, I don’t know how many shoes in general are comfortable after 12 hours on your feet. My feet were KILLING me by the end of day 2 and 3, and I was frequently found taking my shoes off to rest my feet for a bit. On day 3, I became very fond of taking my shoes off in the Exhibit Hall to rest my feet on the cold floor. Ahhh… sweet relief. My feet continued hurting at work the next day because they just had suffered so much and were not done suffering yet.
The earrings – My limited experience with clip-on earrings is that they will hurt your earlobes at some point, either immediately when you clip them on in the wrong place or hours later. My ears ached incredibly by day 3 and they actually hurt for DAYS after the convention ended. Those little clips clamping onto one spot on my skin for hours and hours on end did not make my earlobes happy.
The tiara – You may be familiar with this struggle if you’ve worn a hard headband, but the tiara was DIGGING into my temples and it was extremely painful. I frequently was moving the tiara up so that my temples could get a break from being crushed. It was especially tricky when I was wearing the tiara with the wig, but I could’ve sworn that at one point, my head was visibly dented from where the tiara had me in a vice grip.
Despite the pain from my costume components, cosplaying was one of the best experiences of my life. All the pain and effort and time was worth it every time someone recognized my character and lit up or asked me for a photo. Call me vain but I really loved taking photos with people who were fans of my character or my costume. And if none of that was worth it, meeting that young girl and her dad on Father’s Day easily made everything worth it. I will cherish that specific memory for the rest of my life, and it will guide my future cosplay and convention experiences going forward.
Weird Things That Happened
One thing I wasn’t expecting at all was how many people would recognize that I was a Scout but not what planet? In fact, I think I heard almost every single planet name guessed over the course of the weekend, even Outer Senshi names, which really surprised me.
A man came up to me at one point with his phone as he was livestreaming to his audience on Instagram or Facebook. He looked at his phone and as I waved to his viewers, he said, “Oh, no one is giving you any likes!” and walked away. I am very sorry to him and his social media following that my 3 seconds of face time was not like-worthy.
A guy was looking at me with a big smile on his face. “Do you want a photo?” I asked. He nodded and got his camera out, so I handed the fries and chicken tenders I was holding to Ben. The dude’s smile dropped and he said, “Oh, I thought you were eating fish fingers.” I was dressed as Ariel, so I guess he thought it would make for a good photo. Sorry, bro.
As I was leaving the convention center, a man asked me what my cosplay page was. I laughed because it was my first time! In hindsight, I should’ve just pointed him to this blog, since I’ll be sure to document any other cosplay here.
On day 3, I got stopped for photos multiple times as I was trying to catch my Lyft home. Even as I was stepping into the car, someone asked me for a photo. I felt like a freaking celebrity getting mobbed by paparazzi!
Also being handed a leash, that was definitely very weird.
I had such an incredible time, and I absolutely cannot wait to cosplay at a convention again. I’ll be wearing Mars out again eventually, but I am already thinking about my next costume. Of course, Halloween is a ripe opportunity to bust out a costume, too!
Who should I cosplay as next?? I don’t want to spoil my Halloween costume, but it is a character from a popular TV show and that’s all I can say right now!