Tutorial: How to Make Costume Scars With Only Makeup

How to create realistic scars for cosplay

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If you don’t want to use liquid latex or rigid collodion, you can create scars by simply drawing them on with makeup. This method is ideal for scars that are very close to or on top of senstive areas (like the eyes). It can also be used to draw on old scars that would not have a raised or indented appearance on the skin. It works great for simple anime scars.

Since this method only uses makeup, there aren’t any limits to where you can place the scar. Wherever you would normally use makeup is fair game.

How to create simple scars with makeup

All you need for creating these simple scars is three or four different shades of foundation or concealer and some setting powder (or setting spray). You’ll want one shade that is lighter than your skin tone, one that is darker, and one that matches. You can also include another shade with some pink undertones. I find it easier to use cream-based makeup for this, however, you can use multiple shades of powder eyeshadow if that’s what you have available. I got this palette with different skin tones in cream colors so that I had many different shades available.

  1. Make a line (or shape) for your scar with makeup that is lighter than your skin tone. When doing this, I will make a line that is thicker in the middle and tapers at the end.
  2. Use makeup that is darker than your skin tone to surround the light scar. Make a thin border around the light color with the darker colored makeup. You don’t want this to be too thick or it will be difficult to blend.
  3. Use foundation in your normal skin tone around the light and dark scar. Then surround the dark layer with a neutral layer that is about the same shade as your skin.
  4. Lightly squiggle the three colors to blur the edges. You don’t want to completely blend the colors together, but make the borders between them wavy and blurred for a more natural-looking, healed scar. At this point, you can also add in some pink tone into the middle, lighter layer if you want to.
  5. Blend the outer color into your skin tone. Now you just have to gently blend the outer layer to create a seamless transition between the scar and your face.
  6. Use a translucent powder to reduce the shine and set the makeup. Once you’re happy with the look, go over it with a matte setting powder. This will help to prevent any shine from the cream makeup, and it will work to keep the makeup from smudging too much.
step-by-step simple makeup scar
Creating a simple scar with just makeup.

If you plan on wearing this for a long period of time at an anime convention, you might want to bring supplies to touch it up occasionally. The setting powder helps it stay in place a lot, but it’s not a perfect solution. To remove the scar at the end of the day, simply wipe it off with any makeup remover that you would normally use.

Emily Joice

My name is Emily, and I have been cosplaying since my very first convention in 2008. Over the years, I've experimented with all different kinds of cosplay costumes, especially loving the process of creating props and styling wigs. I also delved into cosplay photography, and love exploring how to optimize costumes so they look excellent in photos. Most of the photos you find on this site were taken by me over my years at anime conventions.

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