“They say even the proudest spirit can be broken… by love”- Other mother
The film Coraline absolutely freaked me out as a kid and even more so as an adult. My friends know if they want to scare me all they have to do is mention black buttons for eyes- it just makes my skin crawl. However when it comes to easy cosplays, this is pretty dang easy and thankfully I have a lovely friend (Anneliese) who allowed me to turn her face into my living nightmare. Anneliese is an incredible artist and you should check out her instagram: @ayamechan26
If you know how to do base make up and paint circles you can easily achieve this look. As I mentioned in my post last week, on cosplay makeup for Luna from Sailor Moon, before doing a character transformation I like to make an inspo board. This board features pics of the Other Mother, similar makeup looks and the colour palette I was working with.
The products I used as follows: 1. NYX Highlight & Contour Pro Palette, 2. Urban Decay Gwen Stefani palette, Urban Decay Vice Palette, 4 Custom Inglot Cream Concealer palette, 5. NYX HD Finishing Powder, 6. Face & Body paint in White, 7. Face & Body Paint in Black, 8. Hourglass Vanish Stick in “Blanc” and 9. MAC Pro long-wear foundation in NC15
1. Start with the base
You need to keep in mind the Other Mother is pale, lifeless, a literal demon who will STEAL YOUR CHILDREN AND EAT YOUR SOUL- sorry my fear was coming out for a second. Keeping your face pale and void of colour is crucial to the Other Mother look. I started by colour-correcting some of the redness peaking out on Anneliese’s face. I used my custom cream concealer palette I received as a birthday gift from Inglot, and took the green colour with a concealer brush to cover her “reddest” areas. To then combat the green I took the peach colour from the same palette and covered that green up- MAKE SURE YOU SET YOUR COLOUR CORRECTING WITH TRANSLUCENT POWDER BEFORE CONTINUEING!
To my aspiring makeup artists out there, you may notice that my concealer palette has chunks removed. This is because I take out product using a pop stick or the end of a makeup brush and put it on a mixing tray or the back of my hand. When dealing with cream products this is how you keep your products hygienic and avoid spreading bacteria to clients.
Anneliese has lovely thick brows, however the Other Mother has very thin/90s eyebrows. If your brows are thick also, there are a few ways to work around this.
- If your brows are blonde, all you need to do is cover them with foundation and they should be hidden pretty well, if not continue on…
- If they are medium/dark brows but are quite close to your eyes, you can just cover them up with a thicker/stick foundation as you will be painting over them with black paint as part of the buttons. This is what I chose to do on Anneliese today.
- If they are medium/dark brows but further up from your eyes, you’ll probably need to glue them down- watch this space for tutorials on how to do that but in the meanwhile there is plenty of info online about how to glue down your brows.
I chose to use Anneliese’s brows as part of the buttons and so I covered her brow bone with my Hourglass Vanish Stick and buffed it in with a buffing brush. Not only did this pale out the beginning and tale of her brows (the parts that won’t be covered by the buttons), but it also helped to pale out Anneliese’s face- as I am 2/3 shades lighter then her. I know, it scared me too see how much paler I am then her too. I then took my Pro-long wear foundation from MAC in NC15 and buffed it in using a Real Techniques stippling brush. I did not conceal under the eyes as I’ll be using the shadow of her under eyes, to add dimension to the buttons. I then set her face with NYX’s HD Finishing Powder.
2. Contour and sketching out
Now while I said the Other Mother is void of colour she isn’t void of features so yes, we still contour. Taking the cool-toned brown shade from my NYX Contour palette I carved out Anneliese’s face using the “3” shape talked about in my post “How too… Grunge”.
Even if your skin is warm-toned use a cool-toned brown to contour, by using a cool-toned brown you’re keeping your skin looking dead but dead with definition. Warm-toned browns are too “bronze” and “sun kissed” for Other Mother.
I then used the pale shimmer shade in my NYX contour palette to highlight the tops of the cheekbones, top of the lip and the centre of the forehead. You want to use a white highlighter, not a gold or a peach, remember she is void of colour.
I then took my MAC Pro Long-wear foundation and a small eyeliner brush and sketched out the circles of the buttons on Anneliese’s eyelids. Starting from her lash line I drew a circle that curved over the top of her brow- so that the button would cover all her brow aside from the 1st 1/4 and the last 1/4. You don’t have to sketch out these circles, I did to save time in the long run, so I wouldn’t be going backward and forward with black paint between the eyes.
3. Starting the buttons and creating eyebrows
Taking my Black Face & Body paint I filled in the circles I had sketched out, it was important that Anneliese didn’t open her eyes until the paint was dry, to avoid it being smudged. If you’re doing this on your self, you’ll have to take this one eye at a time.
You can buy Face & Body paint from your local art supplies store or Party goods store.
While the black on Anneliese’s eyes was drying I slowly and carefully drew out some thin black eyebrows using that same paint. To make the eyebrows look proportionally correct you want them to start in line with the center of your nostrils. I then just curved the brows so they were parallel with Anneliese’s natural brows. This was my first time drawing in new brows, so there are more detailed tutorials on how to do this on YouTube.
4. Finishing the buttons and beauty mark
Taking the matte black shade “Blackout” from my Urban Decay Gwen Stefani palette, I patted over the buttons, using a flat packing brush, to avoid future creasing. I then took a small buffing brush and the cool-toned brown shade “Anaheim” around the edges of the buttons. This simulates depth and shadowing around the buttons, making them appear more 3D.
Then taking my white Face & Body paint and a thin detailer brush I drew out little outlines on the top and bottom of the buttons. These lines create highlights in the buttons and replicate the rim of a button. I then drew 4 curved arrow-heads to simulate button holes. Returning back to the black Face & Body paint, using a pro detailer brush, I dotted out a beauty mark on the left of face, just above her lips.
Taking a cool-toned red from my Urban Decay Vice palette (shade “714”) I filled in Anneliese’s lips. Again, the Other Mother is pale and cool-toned so using a cool-toned red would be better then a warm-toned red.
The reason I asked Anneliese to model for me is because she has short hair, like the Other Mother. If you have a short, black wig then it doesn’t matter what kind of hair you have but I didn’t have the time nor the funds to get one- again this whole series is about working with what you have, or with few supplies.
I parted Annelieses hair to the side, like Other Mother’s and then straightened it. I then sprayed her hair with black hair spray, gently brushing it out so it didn’t look matted from the paint. Voila hair & makeup is done!
Costume and Props
Costume and Props for this cosplay are pretty straight-forward. You want to find a little square box and pop two big, black buttons in it with some white thread and the scariest looking needle you can find. My little sister likes to sew so these were things I found in her sewing box, if you don’t keep around a little sewing/repair box, black buttons and thread are easily found at craft stores, Big W, fabric stores, etc.
In terms of the costume there are two distinctive looks the Other Mother wears, the cream turtle neck and the black-polka dot dress. Anneliese owned a black turtle neck and grey cardigan so that’s what she wore as a replica of the turtle-neck outfit. We then paired it with some black pants and black ballet flats. This costume for Other Mother can be easily replicated with clothes of a similar palette, these cosplays are all about the makeup so if you nail the hair and makeup the point will get across.
Despite this being my literal walking nightmare, this look was fun and really easy to create. A big thank you to Anneliese who let me paint her face and accidentally scared some children on her way home. Watch this space for more easy makeup cosplays!