With the recent Salt Lake Comic Con Fan Xperience, we’ve all had a lot of opportunity to focus on what makes great cosplay. Which superheroes are most popular to recreate with makeup art? What movies are being released soon to inspire cosplayers? How much money and time did people spend on their elaborate costumes? I am reminded of the fall comic con of 2014 in which a duo was dressed as Jareth the Goblin King and Sarah. Their costumes were nearly identical to those of the movie, complete with incredible wigs and makeup. Mindblowing stuff, really, especially since I can barely put together an everyday outfit that goes beyond a unisex t-shirt and old jeans.
So imagine full-suited cosplay that didn’t actually involve any costume pieces — aside from, perhaps, a good wig.
Argenis Pinal (@argenapeede) — a body painter, makeup artist (MUA), MAC freelance artist, and Paul Mitchell educator based out of California — has made an incredible name for himself in the makeup world as the king of comic book transformations. His full-body paint creations are stunning and painstaking (each takes several hours at a time), combining airbrush detailing and traditional beauty makeup. The end results look like 3-D comic book superheroes come to life right before your eyes. His attention to detail and love of the art have set him apart from other body painters, and his fame continues to rise.
He even creates partial body art on himself, complete with high-quality wigs or hair pieces and fashion contact lenses to finish each look perfectly.
Katrina Castanon (@luvekat), also based out of California, is another force to be reckoned with. She focuses on body paint, fantasy, and special FX work. Her primary style is pop art, usually zombified, but she also features Marvel- or DC Comics-inspired makeup on herself.
Zombie Joker Babe is probably one of my favorite characters she’s created thus far, although it’s remarkably difficult to narrow it down since her work is so flawless, creative, and well thought-out. Even her simpler work, such as her Elf on a Shelf re-creation or an incredibly adorable Halloween scarecrow, is perfection, going beyond what even another professional MUA could create.
Finally, rounding out some of the top superheroes of makeup is Lianne Moseley (@lustredust), an MUA and painted cosplayer based out of Calgary, Alberta. From comic book heroes to cartoon characters to iconic movie characters (she makes the cutest C3PO you’ve ever seen), Lianne seems to do it all. Creating artwork on herself and models, she is an up-and-coming artist whom you’ll want to keep your eye on.
I love her black-lined comic book style that still maintains a level of realism you don’t necessarily see from other artists. Take, for example, Sassy ’90s Rogue (just writing those words makes me gleeful).
With artists taking makeup to the next level every day, it’s no surprise that they’re starting to take over the world of cosplay and comic book heroes. However, I hope they remember the most important key: “No capes!”