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Female to Male Crossplay Makeup Tutorial

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By Vilya0   |   Watch
Published: October 25, 2013
© 2013 - 2020 Vilya0

Here is the way I do my crossplay makeup! It came from a lot of trial and error, and from reading tutorials and adapting the techniques. In the same way, this tutorial can give the general guidelines (or at least I hope it can), but know that everyone is different and may require a different makeup to achieve the desired look and that it’s up to you to experiment. I would say the best way to know where you need to put shadows is to look at yourself in the mirror while under an overhead spotlight; the natural shadows you see are the ones you need to recreate. Also keep in mind your character, his age, traits and complexion, and the colors you are wearing; not two of my crossplays have the same makeup.

Always take pictures of yourself when experimenting, otherwise you’ll only see yourself in the mirror and think you look awful (I still do everytime). Pictures give you the objectivity to judge your work instead and see how you can improve. Drawing over pictures of yourself in Photoshop can be good practice too!

Don’t forget to apply your makeup in a light similar to that of the convention center or photo shoot emplacement where you are going, as to correctly gauge the shadow intensity needed.

I don’t talk about highlights in this tutorial because my skin is already too pale as it is, but if you have darker skin or are wearing a darker or unnatural color in body paint, the places you can lighten are the brow, the nose line and the chin. With the body paint, I recommend using very dark of the same color on the eyes and medium dark for the other shadows.

This is personal but I am a firm believer against the use of eyeliner and mascara in crossplay (except if you’re doing stage with it, then by all means go ahead). Unless your character would wear makeup himself, I feel you shouldn’t look like you’re wearing any, otherwise you’re harming your credibility. This is why I prefer to keep to natural colors and undefined applying.

This tutorial may not be enough for those with very feminine features. In this case, prosthetics may be needed for a successful look.

I’d be happy to answer any questions or to go into more detail or theory. :aww: And I’d love to hear from anyone who tries it out! :D

(Please note that I am in no way an expert in makeup; disagreeing with any of my statements is perfectly valid. :))

EDIT: I've been asked about the eyebrows a lot: I don't literally lower my eyebrows by covering my own and painting new ones, I merely add more under my own and towards the nose. The covering technique can work as well, of course, there are a lot of ways to go about it. ...Sorry if that was confusing.

Image size
1024x4769px 2.37 MB
Adobe Photoshop CS2 Windows
anonymous's avatar
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Paper-Piper's avatar
Paper-PiperHobbyist General Artist
I like to crossdress a lot, but the most I've been able to do was wear 'masculine' pants (and borrow grandpa's shirts) and hide my hair under a hat. 
TheDragonoyd1847's avatar
You should make a MtF tutorial too! (If that is even possible).
Vilya0's avatar
Vilya0Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
That's not really my area of expertise, sorry! But there are plenty of talented MtF cosplayers out there who might be able to help you! David chan cosplay and J.Hart Design are shining examples.
FrozenStarNova's avatar
FrozenStarNovaHobbyist General Artist
Aaah thank goodness for this~ My semi-formal is tonight and this made me feel much more confident in my looks :D (I'm wearing "guy clothes" instead of a dress)
Vilya0's avatar
Vilya0Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
That's awesome! So happy to help! :D
ThePharaohOfThieves's avatar
omg this is a life saver!
Vilya0's avatar
Vilya0Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Happy to help! :)
XweeProductions's avatar
XweeProductionsHobbyist General Artist
Since I'mma be cosplay this noodle right here I Dunno Either 

I needed this and I thank you for making it. Heart 
Vilya0's avatar
Vilya0Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Happy to be of help! :aww:
DerpyTigerMoon's avatar
DerpyTigerMoonHobbyist General Artist
HOLY HECK- that's amazing, don't even know the character your cosplaying (because I'm a loser), but I'm going to watch you anyway because your work is outstanding.
Vilya0's avatar
Vilya0Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thank you so so much! :D
Mary-Guartana's avatar
Mary-GuartanaHobbyist Writer
This was so incredibly helpful! Thank you so much! <3
Vilya0's avatar
Vilya0Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thank you! Happy to help! :D
CreativeUsermeme's avatar
CreativeUsermemeStudent Digital Artist
Dude this is so helpful for transmasc people too thanks
Vilya0's avatar
Vilya0Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Very happy to help! :D
cranboy's avatar
cranboyHobbyist Digital Artist
does this work for FTM trans people looking to present themselves masculinely?
Vilya0's avatar
Vilya0Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I've had many FTM trans coming to me saying it helps them. :)
blerghblerghbleeergh's avatar
If it works for cosplay, it's going to work for FTM people, especially if you pair it with a binder/masculine outfit/etc etc etc
LizzieFlower's avatar
LizzieFlowerStudent General Artist
Vilya0's avatar
Vilya0Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Very happy to help! :D
SnowyStarGuardian's avatar
SnowyStarGuardianStudent Filmographer
Vilya0's avatar
Vilya0Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thank you! :D Glad this can help!
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