Cosplay4Everyday: Elsa


Welcome to a new occasional feature I’m adding to the blog.  I’m calling it Cosplay4Everyday, and it’s all about letting your geek flag fly discreetly when you’re at work, at school, or out and about.  The point of this is not producing complete and total character transformations like you’d do at a Con or for a costume party, but taking quiet inspiration from our fictional heroes as we go about our day in a way that’s not going to make the Muggles freak out.  This can be accomplished in many ways– through makeup, hairstyle, and wardrobe.  My look today was inspired by my totem Disney Princess (ahem, Queen), Elsa from Frozen.  It’s not an all-out look.  For one, I’m brunette, and not feeling my inner blonde today or any day since approximately the mid-90’s, so I worked with my natural hair color.  I went for the overall shape of the hairdo and Elsa’s enviable computer-generated makeup palette.  We’ll start with the makeup, since that’s what I did first.

Stuff You’ll Need:

  • Shimmer eye shadows in lavender, plum, and ivory/white.  Unlike the YouTube makeup gurus, I’m not going to tell you which expensive MAC shade that only comes in a huge pricey palette to buy, I’m just going to give a guideline, because most of my stuff came from the bargain bin, and it works just as well.  I WILL let you know what I used, if you’re so inclined, and there are some products I really like.  There does need to be a contrast between the pale, pinkish lavender and the deeper plum color but they should be in the same color family– cool purples, not warmer red-toned ones.
  • Crayon and liquid black eyeliners.  I’m not a fan of pencils because I have sensitive eyes, but the twist-up crayon type is awesome and even works on my wet lines without making my corneas swell out of my sockets.
  • Brown brow pencil (I used a glittery gold one because I couldn’t find my brown, but don’t try this at home unless you’re an expert blender).
  • Mascara (black, black, ALWAYS black, and for this look it should be a fairly new tube, unless you want to spend hours trying to glue fakes to your head only to have them come spidering down your cheek later).
  • Light ivory foundation (lighter the better) and concealer (if necessary)
  • Cool pink blush (NO peachy tones)
  • Lipstick in a cool raspberry shade (frosted, and NOT pale).  I didn’t have an exact match but found Lancome’s Mirage (pale frosted pink) with a light overlay of Clinique’s Pink Chocolate (cool raspberry, but matte) blended together to make the perfect color.  (If I have high-end stuff, it’s usually lipstick.)
  • The palest shimmer highlighter you can find.  I used ELF’s Shimmering Facial Whip in Spotlight, which is basically white, but bear in mind that this stuff is VERY runny and a little goes a long way.  You’ll wanna shake it a bit before using, and then blend it a bit in your fingers before applying.

Okay, got all your makeup together?  Good.  Let’s do this.

  1. Go ahead and do your foundation and concealer (if you need it) first.  I didn’t set mine with powder because I didn’t want a matte look– nothing about Elsa is matte, she is all shimmer and glow.  Only use powder if you absolutely must, but other than that, just slap it on in your usual way.  Remember to use it on your entire eyelid area as a base for your eye shadow later.  If you have a more pigmented skin tone or a tan you’ll want to blend like crazy with a big fluffy brush.
  2. Cheeks are easy.  Elsa doesn’t wear much blush.  Stick to your contour line under the cheekbone and blend well (use your fingers if you’re using cream blush, a medium size fluffy brush if using a powder type).  Elsa also has a little bit of pink right at the end of her nose (and I thought I was the only weirdo who put blush on her nose!)  Just a dot, right where you’d get sunburned first.  Blend, blend, you don’t want to look like Rudolph.  (Major admission time:  I use a lipstick as a blush.  I just prefer the consistency.  And the one I used today was from the Dolla Holla Tree.)  Now give yourself a big smile in the mirror and apply the shimmer highlighter to the apples of your cheeks, and blend.
  3. Now begins the hard part:  eyes.  I’m a total klutz with eye makeup and usually don’t wear it, but this look is super easy if you’re good with makeup and totally doable if, like me, you suck at it.  First off, go ahead and coat your lids with the lavender shade (the lighter purple).  Go heavy as you like;  this is your primary color.  I used a lilac-y tone from Hard Candy’s “Pinking of You” palette– second from the right.  Don’t use those little foam brushes that come with.  They fall apart, they don’t give you enough color, they’re not at all precise, they just SUCK generally.  Especially if you’re clumsy at all.  Use a nice rounded brush, a real one, and just go to town.  Next, break out your plum shade (the darker purple).  I used one from a Dolla Holla Tree palette, so it doesn’t even have a name, but it’s darker than the ones in the Hard Candy set, which are all very similar once they’re on, and you want that contrast.  Using a small angled brush, you want to kind of push this darker color onto your lid at the inner and outer edges.  Don’t get any on the bridge of your nose, and don’t sweep out like a cat eye or smoky eye, that’s not what we’re going for.  Make sure to leave that nice light lavender area in the middle of the lid; Elsa has it and it will make your eyes look brighter.  Blend gently with the rounded brush, then with the same brush dip into that dark purple and sweep it into the crease with a windshield-wiper motion.  Just go as high as the bottom of the brow bone– stay in the crease.  Blend again, and maybe add some more lavender to the center lid if it’s not popping now after you blended.  Finally, it’s time for our ivory cream shade.  I used the white color from a New York Color three-pan set called NY Spotlight.  Use this in the highlight area across the brow bone from the crease color to the brow itself.  I used a flat bristle brush, but the brush isn’t really important with the highlight color.  Dab a bit from the inner corner to the bridge of your nose as well– it will make your eyes look farther apart (as a cartoon, Elsa’s are set kinda wide).  Blend.
  4. Eyeliner time!  First do your bottom wet line with the crayon liner (I used Rimmel’s Exaggerate in Steel, which has a nice bit of shimmer and makes your eyes look wider rather than closing them in).  That’s all you do to the bottom.  It’s a good idea to use the crayon on your upper tight line as well, right up against the lower edge of the lashes.  It will  make your lashes appear darker and eliminate the need for more than one coat of mascara unless you’re just feeling super mascara-y today.  (I never do;  I sort of hate mascara.)  Now it’s time for the big guns:  ladies, get out your liquid liner.  VERY VERY CAREFULLY (really I cannot stress how carefully), draw a thin line on the upper lid, starting at the outer corner, RIGHTUPAGAINST the upper edge of your eyelashes.  Do NOT overdo, but don’t make it look like a wimpy Charlie Brown smile either.  Keep your hand steady, and don’t go all the way to the inner corner, just about two thirds of the way.  Allow it to set for a few seconds, then apply a little more lavender shadow and blend.  You don’t want the liner to be too bold, Elsa’s look is very demure.
  5. Mascara.  If you want more than one coat, comb your lashes before adding a second.
  6. Pencil in your brows.
  7. Finish off with lipstick– you’ll want to use a shimmery one, so don’t bother with gloss, as it will kind of leach the color.  I used a blend of two shades.  My light frosted pink (Mirage) was TOO light.  It looked like Pepto Bismol shook the glitter.  I tempered it by dotting a matte dark raspberry shade (Pink Chocolate) over it and then rubbing my lips together as you do.  The result was perfect.

Voila!  Your makeup is done.  Now it’s time to mess with your hair.

Stuff You’ll Need:

  • Comb
  • Brush
  • Small hair tie
  • Hairspray

Got all that?  Okay.  Down to business.

  1. Brush out your hair as normal.
  2. Back-comb the hair around your face to give you a little more body.  Work from the back of the strand you’re working with rather than the front;  this is not the 80’s.
  3. Once you’ve finished the teasing, gently brush the front of the back-combed hair so it doesn’t look like a rat’s nest while maintaining that lift at the roots.
  4. Start French-braiding at the back of your head, not the front.  If you have varying lengths of hair, this still doesn’t have to be tricky;  just leave them loose for now.  You want the strands to be fairly thick, so use large hanks of hair when you start adding from each side.  Once you’ve got all the hair into the braid, flip said braid to the front of your left shoulder and continue braiding normally to as close to the very ends as you can get.
  5. Finish off the braid with the hair tie.  You can add a little ribbon if you want to, but it’s not mandatory.
  6. Fluff out the free-hanging part of the braid a bit for volume, since Elsa’s is super-thick.  Fluff as much as you can without completely destroying it.  If pieces of hair start falling out of the braid around your face, that’s okay.
  7. Using the brush, direct any hanging tresses around your face back onto your head in the general direction of the braid.  Like I said, this is perfectly okay, as Elsa has plenty of wisp action going on at the front of her hair.
  8. Once you have the front arranged to your satisfaction, finish off with a spritz of hairspray.

BOOM!  You’re all done:


You might want to wear something in shades of blue with this look.  I have on a blue-patterned over black smocked top by Connected Apparel (worn with jean capris and bronze beaded Guess ballet flats).  You can go all out and wear snowflake jewelry (or blue topaz like I did).  Since my Elsa is based primarily on the hair and makeup rather than the clothes, get creative with how you want to express her wardrobe.  Think like this:  If Elsa worked where I do/went to my school/went to the movies/went to the club/whatever, what would she wear out of my closet?  Crystal blue is awesome, and rosemaling is totally allowed.

A bit of a better view, since the lighting in that shot sucked:



Anyway, hope you enjoyed this little tutorial.  If you want to request a character for me to help work into your everyday life, shoot a comment at me below.  I might even consider overcoming my fear of video if you think it would be more helpful!  Oh, and follow my blog on Facebook!


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