Manga or Anime Makeup Tips and Tutorials

Manga or Anime?

In the West most people recognize anime, although they may not know what it is or what it is called.

It's an animation style originating in Japan, and of which comic books called manga are largely illustrated with.

There is where some of the confusion between anime and manga comes in, a anime is the art form, while manga is the comic book itself.

Either way, those residing in Western countries usually don't differentiate between the two, and consider them the same; with the exception of fans of the art of course.

But anime has gone beyond being an art form to becoming a cultural phenomenon in Japan, which includes not only certain ways of dressing, but also unique makeup looks. Those makeup looks are what we're going to explore in this article.

The look is mostly outrageous, so Halloween parties, cosplay and special events are the most likely use of this makeup style.

Manga or Anime Makeup

For the sake of the readers of this article, I'm not going to attempt to differentiate between manga and anime the rest of the article. I'm just going to use the term manga from now on to identify what we're talking about so the terminology doesn't get distracting.

Just be aware the term manga is being used interchangeably with anime from now on.

We're also not going to focus on the characteristics of the animation and illustration, but rather on how it has influenced makeup choices and designs for women.

Manga Makeup Designs

There is one manga makeup look that dominates the genre, and that is eyelids that are made to look like big eyes when the eyes are closed. Usually there is little else that is included with the makeup, with the occasional exception of some lipstick to accentuate a certain look.

Normally that will be applied in that narrow manner to give the appearance of pinched lips. In other words the inner part of the lips have lipstick on them but the outer part doesn't.

But that's only something done once in a while, as is the inclusion of regular lipstick.

But overall, other than lipstick and a little color on the cheeks, little else is added to it doesn't take away from the makeup presentation on the eyes.

Having said that, the major influence of manga on makeup is the large eyes associated with the art style. That more than anything has influenced how women apply manga to create the desired effect.

Manga, Halloween and Cosplay

Manga makeup is a fantastic choice for a Halloween look, or one that could be applied for cosplay or another type of costume event. It's just creepy enough when done in a certain way, and in Western culture, to provide a jolt of shock to those encountering it.

As you'll see below, manga makeup is something that is somewhat disturbing to those that haven't seen it before, but it's also a lot of fun when thinking of shocking some friends when you close your eyes and they see these giant eyes looking into their own.

That's because you can't see what's going on until the eyes of the one wearing the makeup are closed. Now you know why it's so fun to try manga makeup out.

I've seen some ladies that have attempted to create a manga look by covering over the entire eye. That really doesn't work because you still need to close your eyes to create the big-eye look, and the crease from where your lids and lashes meet is difficult to hide. That usually results in a caved in look. Better to do it on the lids of the eye and above for the best look.

Manga Eye Makeup

With these first two photos of manga eye makeup, I wanted to contrast a couple of things to give you some ideas on how you may want to design your giant eyes.

The major point is the bottom lashes of the two eyes. Notice in the bottom photo how long the lower lashes are, giving it a very different look than the top image.

(Technically you could say it's the top lash of the real eye that we're talking about, but I'm referring to how the eye looks when closed, and so how it looks after being placed as the bottom part of the lash in the makeup.)

To me, the top manga eye design looks better because it appears more natural and the eyes look more real. The bottom photo shows far too much lash for what most women would look like, and it also takes away from the focus of the big, round eyes.

Both of them look great, but remember when you close you eyes to show off the look, your top lashes will suddenly become the bottom lashes of the makeup eye, and that can look strange, as you see below, when the lashes are that long.

If you like the bottom set of lashes, go for it. But i think the top lashes look much better.

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Pink Anime Eyes

Next we have a set of pink anime eyes, which look very different from most others I've come across.

You get the sense that you're looking at a doll of some sort from a horror movie when viewing this look. It would be great for a scary Halloween costume. Those pink cheeks provide an ominous addition to the scary looking manga eyes.

Below that you see another set of red manga eyes, this time created to create the effect of being angry. It does a great job of doing that, and shows that even with similar colors and styles, you can design a completely different feel to your manga makeup look.

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Manga, Anime Video Makeup Tutorials

One thing I discovered when looking for some cool anime eye makeup designs was most people chose to use blue as the predominant color choice. You'll see that in the video tutorials below, although there is the exception of green as an eye color.

You can differentiate by the way you place your lashes, or what type of lashes you create or use. Another way you can set yourself apart is by the placement of the fake brows way up on the forehead. The size, shape and placement create a very different look.

Oops. I keep on switching back and forth using the words manga and anime. Just remember for the purposes of this article and how it applied to makeup, they're being used to represent the same thing.

Anime/Manga Halloween Makeup

Anime Eyes with MAC

Lady Gaga, Hello Kitty Anime Eyes Makeup Tutorial

Big Brown Manga Eyes

Manga works great for women of color, as you can see in the awesome big, brown eyes below. The color obviously complements her skin tone, and the inclusion of the two brown hues and the whites of the eyes help them to stick out even clearer.

Another strong element is the good use of lashes for the bottom of the eyes. It looks fantastic, and you feel you're really being look at from those eyes.

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Black Panda Manga Eyes

This set of black panda manga eyes was from a photo shoot which included a bamboo setting, which was appropriate for the content. In case you didn't know, bamboo is the primary food source of the panda bear, generating a lively outcome to the image.

But for our purpose it's those wonderful eyes we want to see, although going along with the panda theme is the white accessory on her head, powdered face, and black lipstick.

It's a good example of how to use manga makeup to complement a specific theme.

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Manga, Anime Makeup Designs

Well there you see a wonderful coterie of manga makeup designs to inspire you for your own anime eyes.

You can go with the eyes themselves and be a winner at a party, or could use them to work with a particular theme you may have in mind.

Whatever it is doesn't matter as long as the eyes look fantastic, as anime has taken on a life of its own, and is used in a wide variety of scenarios which include many characters we're all familiar with.

Just put some great manga eyes together and build the rest around them. You'll be sure to delight and startle those who are fortunate enough to see your great work.

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Comments 4 comments

PoeticPhilosophy profile image

PoeticPhilosophy 3 years ago from Canada

That is crazy, if I saw someone in person like that I would've been like wtf.. But now your post got me prepared for it haha.


belleart profile image

belleart 2 years ago from Ireland

This is amazing!! I absolutely love it :)


Anna 2 years ago

Thanks for featuring my work, it means a lot :D ~ Luxurychoccie


anonymous 20 months ago

I don't want to live on this planet anymore

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