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Cosplay Makeup: The Sith Awakens

Cosplay Makeup: The Sith Awakens

With the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens looming ever nearer, I’m sure many of us are thinking: what are we going to wear the to theatre? With such a rich history and diverse characters, the Star Wars universe offers fans an endless supply of inspiration for cosplay. You can go the traditional route of replicating a particular character to the letter, or if you’re like me, you want to create a look that’s just for you. I am going to show you the steps I take to transform into my original Sith character and how you can use them to create your own.


What You Need:

  • Eyeshadow primer
  • Nude, red, and black eyeshadow
  • Liquid liner
  • Pencil eyeliner
  • Mascara
  • Water or alcohol based facepaint (e.g. Ben Nye Aqua Color)
  • Eyeshadow brushes
  • Thin liner brushes or paint brushes
  • Makeup setting spray
  • A very steady hand and patience

Before I really dive in, a little bit of history about this look…

My love for the Sith and Dark Jedi was truly cemented by playing the Knights of the Old Republic games from Bioware. One of the most interesting aspects of that game is that if you play as a Dark Side user, your visage becomes ever more ghoulish as you progress. Sith look and want to be intimidating. This is a core aspect to keep in mind when creating your Sith look.

My other inspiration was the somewhat Kabuki style of face adornment seen in the Night Sisters from the Clone Wars. This is the same group from which Asajj Ventress hails and their look gives you a lot of options to play with.


The first step is to prep your face. Apply all of your foundation and concealer and then top that with setting powder. Now is also the time to add your contouring, which you can learn more about from my previous tutorial here.

Once that is applied, put on your eyeshadow primer and layer your nude eyeshadow on your lids from lash line to brow bone until everything is a consistent color. Take a finer point brush and begin to apply your red shadow by slowly working in into your crease, continuing the line into a sweep towards the outer corner of your eye brows. Use the same technique to blend in your black eyeshadow along the same path.


If you find your lines looking too harsh, you can blend in some of the nude shadow to soften them.

Next, take the same red eyeshadow and trace it under your eye, right up to the lower lashes. You can take an angled brush to extend it into sharp lines that jut out to the sides as well. I also like to add a bit of black eyeshadow under my eyes at this point.


The next step is to add your liner. My preference is to use liquid liner on my top lid and pencil for my bottom waterline, but you can use whatever you feel most comfortable with. This is also a good time to put on mascara, it will help define your eyes further.


Now for the truly fun and challenging part: the face tattooing. You should know that your design can be as simple or complex as you would like. Mine is something I’ve been toying with on and off for years, so absolutely feel free to experiment.

Another thing to note is that there are two good options for what to use for this step. For me, I was able to use a water-based makeup, which means it is a solid until you activate it by dripping some water on it and it will dry as you paint it on. It’s relatively cheap and easy to use. However, if you intend to have this makeup on for many hours, tend to sweat on your face, or have oily skin, I recommend the extra money spent on an alcohol-based paint. It has intense staying power and is not easily wiped away. It is activated with 99% alcohol and removed with alcohol. (By wiping it off with the alcohol, not drinking it. Believe me, I wish it were the other way around.)

Pro Tip: Paint brushes work just as well as cosmetic ones for this portion of the application.

Once you have your makeup of choice, slowly start painting in the design on one side of your face. This will serve as the guide map to mirror it on the other.


For this tutorial I tried a few new embellishments to my original design for fun.


I also naturally have a beauty mark on my right cheek and decided to incorporate it into my design.

The next step gets much harder and will require patience and practice. Take your time replicating the pattern on the other side of your face.


One bit of good news is that if you mess up on the second side, you can always go back and add to the first side to help it better match. I cannot stress enough that this is not a look to try and slap on a few minutes before leaving the convention floor.

Moving to the lips, I took my black eyeliner and used it the same way you would a lip liner. (Yes, it’s safe.) I then layered the water-based paint over it and patted on some black eyeshadow to help it stay put.

Pro Tip: A layer of eyeshadow in a complementing shade is a great and effective way to seal unusual lipstick colors.

You can also use black eyeshadow over your face design to help set it or give you a more matte finish.


The final step is to spray your entire look with a setting spray. You can use any brand you like, but I recommend doing research on those best suited to your skin type.

Now throw on a wig, maybe some crazy contacts, and you’re ready to do battle with Jedi scum! And don’t forget the Sith Code:

Peace is a lie. There is only passion.
Through Passion, I gain strength.
Through Strength, I gain Power.
Through Power, I gain Victory.
Through Victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall set me free.




Enjoyed this tutorial? Want to know more? Got a suggestion for the next one? Leave us a comment below!

Convention cosplay shot courtesy of Justin Davidson Photography
Night Sisters credit:

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