Here’s a confession: I haven’t played Mass Effect.
Not because I’ve avoided it, but because I’m not that attracted to scifi worlds in video games. I know it sounds weird because so far I’ve only done scifi creations for this series. But why did I then decide to do Liara T’Soni? Well, I like Bioware and Mass Effect has alway seemed like a very interesting world. I also really like Liara’s design and she seems to be a character with an interesting personality based on the videos I’ve watched of her.
If anyone wonders what she looks like, here she is.
How did I approach this one? I decided to do something I normally won’t do with characters and actually attempt to replicate her skin colour. I wanted to have a brief discussion about this as some of my favourite characters are not of the same ethnicity as me. I’ve thought really long and hard bout the different options. Firstly, I could decide to push aside characters who aren’t white but that feels both foolish and I don’t think it’s fair to the characters or their creators to exclude them because of their skin colour. That means that two options remain. Either I go the cosplay route and try to achieve the greatest possible likeness with the character, however, I can already hear some of you inhaling so that you can scream BLACKFACE off the top of your lungs. The other option is to try to replicate the makeup look without adjusting my foundation to try to replicate the skin colour/tone of the character I’m celebrating. I might get yelled at for whitewashing the characters, but if the option is to exclude characters because they don’t look like me, get accused of blackface, or get accused of whitewashing… then I’ll take the whitewashing. So yeah, this is one of the very few times you’ll see my face a different colour than borderline porcelain. The point of these Character Creation isn’t to create an exact likeness but to create a look inspired by their design and that’s the spirit I brought into this.
These three photos aim to capture both sides of my face as well as capturing the makeup in different lights. It’s borderline impossible to create an even skin tone in shiny blue. Especially if you do it by using eyeshadow (baked eyeshadow mixed with water and cream/stick eyeshadow). This took me about an hour and in addition to painting myself blue I tried using black and blue lipstick (really shitty ones bought form Cotton On, they make great shirts but horrible lipsticks) to create her very unique lip look. Sadly it seems the red undertones come through, so if you want to go for a Liara look for Halloween or a convention I’d recommend trying to find a good dark blue lipstick. You’ll also need to be careful with your hairline. You can’t see it in the photos but what I did was twist sections of my hair and pin them back to create a look reminiscent of the scull structure of this alien race. If you are doing this for a cosplay or full costume, spray paint your hair blue or grey to add to that illusion (and put makeup on your neck and ears too). Those dark spots on my cheeks? Her freckles. Here’s the thing, Liara looks like a genuinely nice character. When you take a human and turn them dark blue with black details, they tend to look evil. Or dead. This is me trying to look friendly without smiling. I’m clearly not good at it.
What else did I do? A bit of highlighting and minor contouring to make this look like an actual face and not just dull paint put onto a face.