Character Creator: Abigail (Stardew Valley)

Now, there are two things that make translating Abigail’s look difficult. Firstly, she’s portrayed as pixel art. Secondly, her most characteristic feature is her purple hair.
Thus I decided to exaggerate certain aspects of her look but also kept it close enough to where people would recognise the character if the person wearing it wore some type of costume. Sometimes, it’s very liberating to use a character to draw inspiration from rather than trying to copy their look completely.

Step 1: Pale foundation.
Since Abigail is very fair skinned, I used a foundation that’s a few shades lighter than my current skin tone. For this, I used the BCD cushion from TonyMoly. I also decided to keep the dewy look to give the illusion that it’s a natural skin tone rather than opting for a more matte & fuller coverage foundation.

Step 2: Shape
In terms of highlighter, it took me a while to figure out what to do. Abigail’s face is fairly round compared to the many highly contoured looks we often see today. To draw focus to this without looking too bloated, I used a blend of Too Faced’s Unicorn Tears lipstick and a slightly pink toned lipstick (forgot to write down which one, sorry) as a combined blush-highlighter. It was surprisingly discrete and worked to make my face look slightly round and young without being too distracting. The slight addition of the pink colour brought some life into the look without looking too harsh.

Step 3: Lipstick
Abigail has fairly bright pink lips that look rather natural on her. However, that simply wouldn’t work with my current hair colour and would have made it look weird rather than close to the original. Instead I used a purple toned semi-sheer lipstick that has enough pink in it to work for the look, but that’s also a shade compatible with my hair. For this, I used Revlon’s Colorburst lip butter in the shade 085 Sugar Plum.

Step 4: Eyes
Abigail’s artwork hints at purple eyeshadow and a lot of mascara on the top lashes. The lower lashes are left bare and no eyeliner is used. It took three palettes to get a look I was happy with. I started with some of the original Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion all over my lid to make the colours pop a bit more. I applied the shade Milky Way from the Galaxy palette all over my lid and brow bone as a transition colour, used Serpentina’s Venom in the crease, and covered the lid with Cosmic. Then I went back in with a combination of two of the purple/burgundy shades from the Sleek palette in the outer v to add a bit of dimension (and help blend). Lastly, I used the shade Moon in the inner corner of my eyes to brighten things up a bit. Add two layers of Too Faced’s Better Than Sex Mascara and you’re almost done.
The very last thing I did was to use the shade Venom from the Serpentina palette to fill in my brows. Considering it’s a very pigmented and very very purple shade, it worked surprisingly well and helped make the look feel more like Abigail.
Palettes: BH Cosmetics’ Galaxy Chic (shades – Moon, Milky Way, and Cosmic), Kat von D’s Serpentina (shade – Venom), and Sleek’s i-Divine Vintage Romance 141 (unnamed shades).

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Character Creator: Aela the Huntress (Skyrim)

aela_the_huntress_by_missge-d5ruiu8

Skyrim has an endless lineup of side characters and one of the ones who truly managed to stand out is Aela the Huntress. She’s a Nord and a core member of The Companions, a brotherhood of warriors that the player character encounters early on in the game. If you play your cards right, Aela can become your companion or even spouse. She’s highly skilled in Archery and is mechanically in the Thief class. Aela is a strong and honourable character who clings to her beliefs no matter what. In that regard one should perhaps say that her honourable side is subject to debate.

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Halloween Month: Vintage Themed Costumes

No matter if you’re hosting the party or going to one, you’ll need a costume. Going to a Halloween party without making the effort to dress for it is lazy at best and rude at worst. Even if it’s a very simple costume or just doing your makeup differently, do make the effort.

Firstly, we’ll step through the themes we discussed when doing the first step of the party planning. After that, we’ll go through a few different ideas.

Murder Mystery
The Murder Mystery theme is really easy to dress for. Usually, the Cluedo characters are based on colours and you can create new combinations to suit the number of guests and the genders of the participants. If you’re the host, pick an era to set it in so that people look like they’re all in the same decade. I’d recommend using Agatha Christie as an inspiration, so Murder on the Orient Express might be a good place to start, Miss Marple another. Cluedo itself is set in the 1920’s, I believe. So for this setting I’d go for 1920’s or 1930’s costumes. The colours used for the pieces in the game are red, purple, blue, green, yellow, and white. You can of course expand on that selection.

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Character Creator: Harley Quinn

I wore the completely wrong shirt for this look and thus I look like a fucking mime.

wpid-20151006_200615.jpgHarley needs no introduction. If you haven’t heard of Harley Quinn then you haven’t lived. So given her iconic status and that everyone and their aunt seem to have done a variation of Harley, what was left to do? See, almost everyone decides to portray her as this sexy sultry but kinda cutesy character. I wanted to bring out Harley’s grim side. The side that has no patience for your shit, the crazy part of her that doesn’t hesitate to kill. Playtime is over.

This is the Harley who doesn’t have time to spend on drawing perfect diamond patterns all over her cheeks, or care about symmetry.

I was heavily inspired by the Joker’s look from The Dark Knight, especially in regards to the roughness. There’s something that’s a little bit off of every component of this look and that is intentional.wpid-20151006_200605.jpg

It is a very simple take on the look compared to most that’s out there. Add a white crayon all over your face (I used NYX’s Milk) and blend it out so that you still have the look of a mask. There needs to be a marked difference between this colour and your skin colour. I decided to use a lipstick with an orange undertone to brighten this thing up  just a little bit. I did my lips the way I usually did and then took the winged eyeliner approach to the edges. Since my mouth is distorted in these photos it’s difficult to tell but if you know how to do a winged eye, you’re covered.

In regards to the left eye, which is the one seen in these photos, I drew a very rough diamond shape over pretty much 40% of my face. Distort the edges and keep it looking uneven and borderline unfinished. This requires a bit of work with building up the shadow to look really black but with a good product it becomes a whole lot easier. I just used a black eyeshadow on top of the white crayon.

For my right eye, I simply closed my eye and drew a straight line from the inner corner of the eye and right across my eyelid wpid-20151006_200556.jpgtowards the temple. Then I filled in the part below the eye itself. For a bit of variation to this look, I covered the eyelid and parts of the lower lash line in red metallic shadow. It goes on like a metallic film over your eye once you build it up enough. It can also be used as a regular eyeshadow.

Now, as I said above I did this to see if I could do something new with the character. I feel that it was an unusual take but it’s not the way I would do this character’s look if I were to dress up as her for an occasion.

Character Creator: Domino (Marvel Universe)

Domino isn’t one of Marvel’s best known characters and has mainly had low-medium roles. She’s a mutant born out of a government experiment, an excellent marksman, often mercenary, and has the ability to influence probability fields. Meaning she’s one lucky lady.

wpid-20150909_133933.jpgShe has mainly been a part of the X-men story lines but has also been associated with SHIELD and Deadpool. You’ll usually find her operating under some form of alias. In popular media, wpid-20150909_133949.jpgshe’s had cameos in some of the Marvel Cartoons and have made appearances in some of the video games related to the universe. I’m really hoping this character at least gets a cameo in one of the Marvel movies, but nothing to that effect has been announced.

Random pieces of information about Domino: she’s afraid of chickens, is extremely fit but not superhuman, is multilingual, and the black mark around her eye is not a tattoo but rather a part of her mutation.

This is one of the few characters I’d consider cosplaying as. Tight black outfit, guns, corpse paint. I could do that.

Her typical trademarks are her pale skin, jet black hair, and the black mark around her eye. I decided my skin was pale enough as it is, so I stuck to the eye makeup. In terms of lips, I’ve seen her portrayed with black, blue, and red lips so I went for red since that was the colour I was already wearing. It is surprisingly difficult to turn large parts of your skin into opaque blocks of colour, which was the same problem I ran into with Liara. This time I outlined the area with a pencil eyeliner, sketched it over until I had medium coverage and then used a black matte eyeshadow to build it up to full darkness. The outline isn’t perfect, but one of the problems with Domino as she’s portrayed by Marvel is the fact that the shape of her dark patch tends to change. So I wasn’t entirely certain which version to go for and thus ended up with a hybrid. I did a simplified cat eye on my other eye and added on mascara on both eyes. I actually really enjoyed creating this look, it’s like a classical vintage makeup style but with an obvious added twist. I’d definitely consider recreating Domino’s look for a Halloween costume or cosplay event.

I’m really really happy with the fact that I was able to create such a solid black area around the left eye, if I were to wear this to an event or something, I’d clean the edges up with a q-tip. I’d also do foundation afterwards because man does that eyeliner and eyeshadow for some reason stick to your fingers (despite me using a pencil liner and a brush for the eyeshadow), so there’s a lot of fallout. I’m also happy because I didn’t know a lot about Domino before I started Character Creator and it turns out she’s actually a really cool character that I’d like to see more of.

Character Creator: Faith (Mirror’s Edge)

This was a challenging one.
Mainly because I couldn’t find my liquid eyeliner and thus had to use a pencil liner, which was a disaster.
Anyhow, Faith and Mirror’s Edge.
This is one of the Story Trailers that was released for the game and it has a different art style than the actual game.

Mirror’s Edge was one of those games that seemingly came from nowhere and revolutionised gaming. This was in 2008 and thus before ACII and it is fair to say that this was a significant factor in making parkour cool. Before we got fed up with it. It’s a first person action-adventure game that is set in a rather dystopian but sun drenched future.
Fatih herself is a ‘runner’ a sort of courier who carries messages for resistance groups that can’t use the 1984 style communication systems in this dystopian world. She has a bit of a dark past, because you can’t have a protagonist who hasn’t experienced painful events. Read More »

Character Creator: Scout Harding (Dragon Age Inquisition)

Out of all the NPCs in the Dragon Age universe, Scout Harding has become one of my favourites.

wpid-20150821_194744.jpgScout Harding is the Inquisition’s head scout, crucial to their operations away from their stronghold, and one of the cornerstones of the Inquisition’s daily operations. She’s the kind of character where you go ‘yeah, she’d make a great colleague’. She’s competent, friendly, looks out for her fellow scouts, and has a sense of humour. Additionally, she’s one of the few female dwarves that are actually given a decent amount of screen time. I can think of three others in the entire franchise. I also like that Scout Harding is truly responsive to the main character and how she responds to the main character will depend entirely on how you treat her. You’re given the option to flirt with her and she seems to enjoy the banter even if she thinks it a bit odd at first. But given that in the video she doesn’t really appear to be using makeup, why did I chose her for Character Creator?wpid-20150821_194723.jpg
I used this picture for reference. What you see in the picture are distinctly marked eyes and for a scout, this serves a practical purpose. By the gods do I hope that this is an example of thoroughly good character design from Bioware and not just a lucky coincidence. Before the invention of sunglasses, some cultures such as the ancient Egyptians used kohl around their eyes to protect them from the sun. For a scout, this has to be very useful as she often travels in areas with extreme sunlight and her eyesight is crucial to her job.

I used light makeup otherwise, with a nude lip balm and lightweight foundation with a high SPF (again because if the character had access to this, she probably would have used some form of sunscreen). I used a very dark eyeliner (Essence Kajal Pencil in black) and made sure to stretch it out a bit further than I usually do. Perhaps a dark brown would have been closer to what Harding is wearing, but this for some reason felt like the better option. Harding doesn’t seem to be paying attention to her eyebrows from a cosmetic point of view and man did that feel refreshing to not have to do anything with mine for Character Creator for once. I’d actually wear this look, it feels very practical and didn’t take too long to do. I’d probably bush my hair before leaving the house though.

Character Creator: Abbie Mills (Sleepy Hollow)

“That’s one way of putting it. Another way would be to say that he was killed with an axe by a man with no head, but that would make me sound crazy.”

Abbie Mills (Nicole Behari) is one of the lead characters in a little show called Sleepy Hollow. Think of it as Supernatural meets the renaissance fair. It’s brilliant. If you haven’t seen it, you really should check it out.

What’s so special about Abbie? She’s a very nuanced character who seems very much like a real person. She’s a workaholic, has an awesome sense of humour, deals with every problem except the ones that hurt too much, cares deeply for her friends, and isn’t willing to put up with any of your bullshit. She’s intelligent, creative, sarcastic, and someone you’d want on your side when the apocalypse begins.Read More »