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Let me tell you about Homestuck cosplay

Updated on December 25, 2014
Myself cosplaying Kanaya at Arkansas Anime Festival wearing Mehron CremeBlend Stick. Horns have a tin-foil base with yarn wrapped and painted outside.
Myself cosplaying Kanaya at Arkansas Anime Festival wearing Mehron CremeBlend Stick. Horns have a tin-foil base with yarn wrapped and painted outside.

I've known many people who refused to cosplay a Homestuck character just because of the complexity or upkeep of the costume. While each character's standard T-Shirt is available in the What Pumpkin store, it's not so easy to get your hands on things like God Tier outfits and certain troll horns. While they've recently added several pairs of lightweight fabric troll horns to the store, not all trolls' horns are available yet.

Additionally, there's been much debate as to how to achieve the appearance of gray skin in trolls, or green skin in cherubs.

Which of the two do you prefer?

See results

Fifty Shades of Grey... and Green.

One of the most popular methods of changing skin color is to use makeup like Ben Nye or Snazaroo. These are removable creme paints that come in a variety of colors, but there are tons of brands out there!

When ordering makeup, you'll need three things: the makeup itself, the translucent powder, and the water sealer. It's not the cheapest option, especially if you cosplay often, but it's the most natural looking. The makeup provides the color, the translucent powder keeps your makeup from rubbing off on everything, and water sealer makes sure everything doesn't wash off from accidental contact with water or sweat.

You'll still need makeup to cover your face, but many cosplayers prefer to wear a zentai suit to minimize the upkeep associated with tons of makeup on exposed areas. A zentai suit is a pantyhose like material that covers the whole body, including the face. Obviously, you'll need to cut that off (and hem it so that it doesn't fray!), unless you're Slendertroll. A common mistake made when ordering a zentai suit is that many people order glossy; do not order glossy! You want a matte or glossless suit, and make sure that it matches the shade of makeup you use.

If you're willing to put the effort into powdering and sealing your makeup each day of the convention, then go for the creme; it's natural looking and you won't have any irritating seams that comes with wearing a zentai suit.

If you'd rather have something quick and easy to put on that doesn't require any of the daily maintenance, a zentai suit is what you need.

There are so many different brands! Which do I choose?

Creme Makeup:

I first heard of Graftobian when one of my friends mentioned that it was the only creme makeup she could wear because of her sensitive skin. Upon further inspection, it has a wide range of shades and hues, and is apparently so comfortable as to be unnoticable. Unfortunately, it's extremely expensive, costing at least 200$ per unit.

Ben Nye is the most widely renowned makeup brand among Homestuck cosplayers. I have no personal experience with it, but I heard that it goes on like a second skin.

My preffered brand is Mehron, which comes in a portable stick. It applies smoothly and, though it comes off with water, doesn't come off easily or accidentally.

Zentai Suits:

I personally have no experience with Zentai suits, but I've heard good things about Mr. Zentai, Costume OK and Zentai Suit Store.


Though I prefer to make my own lipstick with the crayon method, Portland Black Lipstick Company sells a wide range of colors.

If you're on a low budget, you may not have the resources to get either a zentai suit or makeup. Perhaps you just don't want to deal with the hassle of either, but you don't want to seem like a slob. Remember, not everyone's a cosplay elitist. In my experience, choosing not to change your skin color is perfectly acceptable and no one will think less of you for it.

When crafting troll horns, consider this:

Until very recently, you couldn't buy troll horns in the What Pumpkin store, and Hussie doesn't allow the sale of amateur created merchandise. This left cosplayers with the only option of making their own horns. There's a variety of materials, and as such, there's no singular way to make a pair of horns.

When making horns, there are two factors to consider when choosing materials: weight and durability. This is where many come to an impasse, as the most durable materials are generally heavier and the lightest materials break easily.

  • Clay is a popular choice since it's so malleable, but many horns will break or crack in the drying process. This requires lots of additional work, and may not look like you want in the end. Clay also makes horns for anyone larger than Terezi heavier than is comfortable.
  • Paper Mache is an incredibly light medium, but doesn't shape well. It's often lumpy, and too much force will bend or break it completely.
  • Wood is durable and lightweight, but requires one well versed in woodworking. Not for amateurs.
  • Thermoplastic is lightweight, durable and malleable. You can generally only get it online or in craft stores, however.
  • Craft Foam is incredibly lightweight and isn't as troublesome to make into complicated shapes, like Vriska's or Eridan's horns. On the flip side, it's very breakable and incredibly messy to work with.
  • Yarn, while being literally impossible to repair if broken, is the simplest way to create horns if you've already got a skeleton (ex. clotheshanger wire or paper mache). It also adds a unique, ram-like banding.

Each of these requires different construction, which I may write a tutorial for in the future. I'd highly recommend experimenting to find one that makes you the most comfortable.

Some people install their horns into a wig, but most use screws to attach them to a headband. Do not attach your horns with glue - even hot glue; they will come off at some point, and it'll usually be when you're wearing them so that they can fall and smash to bits on the floor.

A Bro cosplayer who kindly allowed me to take his picture.
A Bro cosplayer who kindly allowed me to take his picture.

In here you keep an array of humorous and mystical ARTIFACTS, each one a devastating weapon in the hands of a SKILLED MAGICIAN or a CUNNING PRANKSTER.

As a last note, remember that any cosplay can be improved with the right accessories! It can also help establish which period in time the character you're portraying is in, which is especially prevalent in Homestuck.

No sober!Gamzee is complete without a set of blue and green stained clubs, and every Roxy needs a martini glass.


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