Even if you don’t play, we’d be willing to bet that you’ve probably heard of Dungeons & Dragons. The multiplayer game has been a favorite of die-hard gamers, fantasy lovers, and cosplayers since it first came out in the ‘70s. Now, it’s getting the Hollywood treatment—and we at NYX Professional Makeup can’t wait to see our favorite fantasy characters brought to life on the big screen. In honor of the upcoming flick Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, we enlisted the help of NYX Professional Makeup artists to create cosplay makeup looks inspired by the game’s most iconic characters. Ahead, learn how to rock your DnD cosplay makeup seven ways and discover the best NYX Professional Makeup products to help you get the job done.
What Kind Of Makeup Do You Use For Cosplay?
What you need for your cosplay makeup will, of course, differ depending on the character you’re looking to recreate. Some, for example, require cosplay face paints and glitter; others you can easily do with products you (likely) already have on hand. That being said, there are a few products we’d definitely recommend putting in your cosplay makeup kit. Find our best makeup for cosplay below.
1. White Eyeliner
White eyeliner is incredibly useful for cosplay makeup looks. When applied to your lower lash line and inner corner, white liner can make your eyes appear larger (a great way to enhance fantasy makeup looks). As for which eyeliner to use, we recommend our Jumbo Eye Pencil in the shade Milk. The creamy, blendable formula is the ultimate multi-tasker and can be used as eyeliner, cream eyeshadow, or primer for powder eyeshadow.
2. Neutral Lipstick
If your character doesn’t have brightly-colored lips, you can complete your cosplay makeup look by defining your pout with a neutral lipstick. Try one of the nude shades in our Lip Lingerie XXL Matte Liquid Lipstick lineup, such as Undressed (a cool, dusty rose ideal for lighter skin tones) or Low Cut (a deep, reddish brown suitable for darker skin tones).
3. An Eyebrow Pen
If your cosplay look involves wearing a wig, you’ll want to match your brows to it as best you can (especially if your wig color is significantly lighter or darker than your natural hair). You don’t, however, have to dye your arches to get a good match. A tinted brow pen, such as our Lift & Snatch! Brow Tint Pen, allows you to add color and definition to your arches without a long-term commitment.
4. Waterproof Eyeliner
Whether you’re wearing your cosplay makeup for an event or for fun, you probably want to make sure your look lasts. As such, we recommend defining your eyes with a long-wearing waterproof eyeliner, like our Epic Wear Waterproof Eyeliner Sticks. Available in 27 bold shades (in both matte and metallic finishes), these classic eyeliner pencils deliver up to 36 hours of smudge-proof, fade-proof wear—making them a can’t-miss addition to your cosplay eyeliner collection.
5. Cream Blush
Multi-tasking products are especially useful for cosplay makeup because they give you the versatility to create different looks. That’s why we recommend adding Wonder Stick Blush to your cosplay makeup kit. Each dual-ended cream blush stick comes equipped with two complementary shades—one for adding color and one for defining. You can use the hues separately to create a subtle flush or together to sculpt your face.
6. Pressed Powder
Keep your skin looking matte and smooth all day by setting your base with a pressed powder, like Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Mattifying Pressed Powder. This non-drying, non-cakey pressed powder provides sheer coverage and helps absorb excess oil. It’s available in 10 sheer shades designed to coordinate with our iconic Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Foundation, plus a translucent shade and a skin-brightening peach hue. Wear it alone or use it to set your foundation—the comfy formula won’t transfer, smudge, or interfere with your makeup.
7. Makeup Setting Spray
Last but not least, you’ll want to snag a setting spray to help keep your makeup in place all day. Try our Matte Setting Spray (it’s America’s #1 makeup setting spray*). The breathable formula helps control shine and provides long-lasting hold for your makeup without settling into fine lines. Just spritz your face generously once you finish applying your cosplay makeup for up to 16 hours of transfer-resistant wear.
*Disclaimer: L’Oreal calculation based in part on data reported by NielsenIQ through its Scantrack Service for the Makeup Spray sub segment for the 52-week period ending January 1, 2022, for the US xAOC market according to L’Oreal’s custom product hierarchy. Copyright © 2022, Nielsen Consumer LLC
7 Dungeons & Dragons-Inspired Cosplay Makeup Ideas To Try
Now, onto what you’re really here for: our DnD-inspired makeup looks. What we love most about these looks (besides the fact that they’re super cool) is that you don’t have to be a top cosplayer to execute them. A few products (and a little time) are all you need to transform into your fave fantasy character. Find seven Dungeons & Dragons-inspired cosplay makeup tutorials for beginners below.
1. The Bard
The defining characteristic of a Bard is creativity—they’re artists. Our cosplay makeup look captures that artistic energy with graphic blue eyeliner, hand-drawn music note details, and a hint of shimmer. Here’s how to recreate it:
Step 1: Line Your Upper and Lower Lash Lines
Using our Jumbo Eye Pencil in Blueberry Pop, line both your upper and lower lash lines. Then, at the outer corner of either eye, create a defined, dramatic wing by extending the liner toward the tail of your brow. If you need an in-depth explainer on how to do winged liner, our article Eyeliner 101: How To Apply Eyeliner Like a Real Pro breaks it all down.
Step 2: Brighten Your Crease
Next, reach for the Epic Wear Waterproof Eyeliner Stick in Chill Blue. Use the pencil to add an icy accent around the inner corner of your eye, creating a curved line that extends above your crease. Stop before you reach the center of your lid and blur the end for a softer effect.
Step 3: Draw Music Notes at Your Outer Corners
As we explained earlier, the Bard is an artist—most often, a musician. Emphasize this characteristic by using a fine-tipped liquid eyeliner (such as our Epic Ink Liner) to draw mini music notes around your outer corners, above and below your wing. How many musical notes (and what kind) you draw is up to you, so let your creativity flow freely.
Step 4: Finish With Dark Lipstick
Finally, tie your artsy look together with a striking, dark matte lipstick. We have a few different shades in our Lip Lingerie XXL Matte Liquid Lipstick collection you can choose from. If your skin has cooler undertones and you want something to complement that, try a cool reddish-pink hue, like Strip n Tease. For warmer skin tones, we recommend Deep Mesh, a vampy red-brown.
2. The Barbarian
Barbarians are known as fierce warriors. Embody that fighting spirit with our Barbarian-inspired look, the focal point of which is a deep, dark smokey eye. We recommend coloring in your lids with the Jumbo Eye Pencil in Black Bean and smoking it out with a blending brush like our Pro Blending Brush to create a dramatic, smoked-out wing. Then, add dimension by tracing along the perimeter of your black eyeshadow with the Epic Wear Waterproof Eyeliner Sticks in Deepest Brown. Blend once more to blur any harsh lines and create a seamless transition from black to brown.
3. The Sorcerer
Embrace your inner sorcerer (or sorceress) with this enchantingly shimmery cosplay makeup look. Here’s how it’s done:
Step 1: Color In Your Lids
First, color in your lids from the lash line to the crease with a shimmery cream eyeshadow. Our pick: the Jumbo Eye Pencil in the pale gold shade Frosting. If you prefer cooler-toned makeup, opt for the shade Cottage Cheese—it’s a delightfully chilly white hue.
Step 2: Highlight Your Nose and Eyes
Next, we’re adding highlight. Use the same shade you used on your lids to draw a “C” shape around your eyes, from just above your brow to the top of your cheekbone. Blend well with your favorite face brush, then add a touch of highlight to the bridge of your nose and blend with your finger. The effect should be glowy and soft—like you’re lit from within.
Step 3: Add Spellbinding Hand-Drawn Details
Here’s where the magic happens. Use a white eyeliner pencil, like one of our Epic Wear Waterproof Eyeliner Sticks in the shade Pure White, to draw enchanting details on and around your eyes. Some shapes we love for this look include lightning bolts, swirls, and graphic accents like thin lines, but you can customize your designs to your liking. Once you’ve drawn them in white, go over your designs with bright eyeliners (we love the shades Cosmic Yellow and Blue Trip) to add dimension and color to your magical look.
4. The Paladin
Paladins are inherently good—in the Dungeons & Dragons universe, their goal is to vanquish evil. They’re also fierce warriors. Our Paladin-inspired cosplay makeup look captures their essence with a graphic, black and silver smokey eye. To recreate it, you’ll need just three products: our Epic Wear Waterproof Eyeliner Sticks in the shade Gunmetal Gaze (a dark, glittery grey) and Silver Lining (a bright silver), as well as a Jumbo Eye Pencil in Cottage Cheese. First, you’ll want to color in your lids and line your lower lash line with Gunmetal Gaze. Then, trace around the perimeter of your liner with the silvery Jumbo Eye Pencil as if you were creating a (reverse) smokey eye. Blend the two silvery shades together, then accentuate your inner corners with Silver Lining to make your eyes pop.
5. The Druid
Wild, spiritual, magical: These are the qualities of a DnD Druid, forest dwellers who wield nature magic. Our Druid-inspired cosplay look utilizes woodsy hues (think greens and browns) to evoke the magic of an enchanted forest. Here’s how to nail the look:
Step 1: Fill In Your Brows
First, give your arches some oomph by filling in sparse areas with a brow pen, like our Lift & Snatch! Brow Tint Pen. Use the pen’s thin tip to draw fine, hair-like strokes wherever you want to add volume, depth, or definition. If you’re not sure which shade to pick, opt for one slightly lighter than your natural brow color—this will help keep it looking natural.
Step 2: Apply Your Eyeshadow
Next, use the Jumbo Eye Pencil in the shimmery-green shade Matcha to fill in your lids from the lash line to the crease. Once you reach the outer corners, extend the shadow upward and outward to create a subtle cat-eye effect.
Step 3: Add Graphic Liner
Next, tight-line your upper lash line with the Epic Wear Waterproof Eyeliner Stick in Emerald Cut. Once you reach the outer corner of your eye, extend the line and proceed to trace the outermost edge of your eyeshadow. Done correctly, the emerald green eyeliner should almost completely encircle your lighter-green shadow (and form a gorgeously-graphic wing). Complete your mod look by tracing the entirety of your lower lash line with our Epic Wear Waterproof Eyeliner Stick in Deepest Brown.
Step 4: Finish With Lipstick
Last but not least, fill in your lips with a rosy nude lipstick. We’re partial to Lip Lingerie XXL Matte Liquid Lipstick in the shade Xxpose Me, but any nude-adjacent pink lipstick will complement this earthy look beautifully.
6. The Rogue
The Rogue is cunning, tricky, and stealthy—they’re the ultimate trickster. We bring life to this mischievous character with bold makeup in playful purple and pink hues. To recreate it, you’ll need our Jumbo Eye Pencil in the shades Eggplant (a deep, moody purple) and Donut (shimmery lavender). Start by using the darker purple shade to color in your lids and darken your crease. Leave the center of your lids bare (we’ll come back to this later). At your outer corners, extend the dark purple shadow upward and outward to create an exaggerated wing shape—the more dramatic, the better. Then, color in the bare spot on the center of your lid with Donut and blend to soften any harsh lines. Add a generous amount of Wonder Stick Blush to the tops of your cheekbones. Lastly, complete your Rogueish cosplay makeup look with Lip Lingerie XXL Matte Liquid Lipstick in the fierce fuchsia hue Xxtended.
7. The Red Wizard
In Dungeons & Dragons, Red Wizards are powerful beings capable of harnessing the power of the weather. Our cosplay look brings this elemental magic to life with dark smokey eye makeup accented by silvery hand-drawn lightning bolts. Create the smokey effect using our Jumbo Eye Pencil in Black Bean. After smoking out your shadow, draw lightning bolts around and beneath your eyes with our Epic Wear Waterproof Eyeliner Stick in the shade Silver Lining (the more, the better). Finally, fill in your lips with a crimson lipstick, like our XXL Matte Liquid Lipstick in the shade Untamable.
Next: To keep your Dungeons & Dragons-inspired cosplay makeup in place, setting spray is a must. Learn why in our article Why Setting Sprays Really Work.