Well, I’ve finally got decent photos of my Liara T’soni costume and/or cosplay taken. It’s all there for you and the internets to see right here.
It’s been a fun journey. We’ve learned and grown, experienced both pain and happiness. Is this the end of Liara? Most likely. I can’t stand doing the makeup – I didn’t even do all the makeup for these photos (I just painted my face blue and I quickly tried to photoshop out the seams. I mean, really quickly). I have to thank my husband for all his patience and skills, for the times when he was applying liquid latex to my skin, to the times when he just smiles and agrees to take my silly little photos.
This costume, in ‘real life’ and online, has gotten a lot of puzzled looks. Some have sneered, others have ignored, and then there are those that laugh and smile. And that’s part of the reason why I do what I do.
To get thin edges for a headpiece, use a makeup sponge or a paintbrush to paint the edges around your ultracal cast. Paint one thin layer all along where your edge would be (wear the headpiece would be touching your skin). Let this layer dry BUT not set (so no more than 7 minutes) and repeat this process a few more times. You want the edges to be thin, but not so thin that it rips. You can see in this photo that there are tiny rips in one section, but I still had to trim this piece to fit my head, so it’s all good. Then after your final layer has dried (but not ‘set’) pour the latex into the rest of the mold and follow the same process as before. This time I only waited 20 minutes until I poured the latex out (and when I poured it out, I used a sponge to ‘scrap’ off the excess from the back of the neck to help keep it thin). A shorter wait time meant that I had a thinner headpiece (which was so much lighter!). I would have experimented I think with the time before…but if you read my comic, you know that my latex stage was a wee bit rushed.
Try using a textured sponge for painting. Make sure you use a latex based paint, else you will get cracks! I mixed my paint to try to match my makeup colour and then after painting the headpiece with the paint, I dabbed some makeup along the edges of the headpiece. I did my best to blend the makeup in with the paint colour. Originally I would apply some makeup to my headpiece after putting it on, but I decided to do this ahead of time, to try to blend it in more. And then I will go about trying to match my makeup to the colour of the headpiece.
When and if you decide to wear your Asari headpiece/costume to, say, a convention, and you are travelling to a location and need to bring all of your Asari getup with you…please, please TRIPLE CHECK that you have everything. Nothing is worse than preparing to get all decked out like Liara and, after carefully packing your headpiece and taking up precious luggage space with your Asari shoes… and gloves and stockings and liquid latex and sponges and cotton balls and spirit gum and baby powder and latex sprat… after doing all this and arriving at your destination, nothing is worse than discovering that you do not have two crucial things; blue makeup and contacts. Woe was me who experienced this last weekend – I had planned to wear my Liara T’Soni outfit again, after making new and improved gloves and a headpiece, but it was not to be. I swear this costume is cursed, as every time I have tried to wear since the VGL concert, unfortunate circumstances have prevented me from doing so. But I WILL wear it, again, someday, for something, I hope, in the future. And finally get decent pictures.
(a big thumbs up to a guy out there at PAX who said he liked my Asari ‘gettup’ – I was caught in the rain on the last day of PAX and one of my bags were soaked through so I had my Asari head lying upside down on a plastic bag along with various other items, letting them dry out. It felt really awesome to have someone recognize what the headpiece was, even without it being right-side up or with me wearing it and the rest of the costume. PAX proved again to be awesome in every way!)
…it feels like I planted little Asari headpiece seeds in a garden and have just harvested the crop.
My my, don’t they look…pretty ugly, when they haven’t been cleaned or trimmed or painted or looking as if they were a crude sacrifice of rotting alien scalps torn from the dying heads of Asari…quite unpleasant indeed.
So, not including The First headpiece that was constructed, it took me three tries to get a satisfactory headpiece – one that is thin, light, strong and all in one piece (I had a wee bit of an accident with one headpiece as I became impatient and pulled the latex out of the mold before all the tentacles had completely dried). I am in the process of painting this final headpiece, which I’m still hemming and hawing about wearing to PAX. I think it will be the last time I wear this costume.
I’m not sure what to do with the other headpieces now. I will save them for the future and maybe paint them based on new (or returning?) characters in Mass Effect 2.
I know what you’re thinking. You want to make an Asari headpiece for a Mass Effect costume and you’ve read my mini comic tutorial. You made a couple of phone calls around town and gathered up the weird and wonderful supplies. But you can’t help but wonder if this tutorial actually works; is it possible for a fan of Mass Effect, using a guide made by another fan, to make an Asari latex headpiece, or was the result of my Liara latex endeavour just a fluke?
Ladies and Gents, I proudly present HMWSG X’s Asari latex headpiece!
Didn’t she do a fantastic job!? I did a wee bit of tweaking with the photo (as she rushed the headpiece application for the shot) but WOW. Talk about awesome. Look at all the photos here! AND she documented her process. Holy cow! And she even made a Tali’Zorah nar Rayya costume to boot!
So if you want to make a headpiece…it can be done! It has been done and it shall be done again! HMWSG X and I sent message back and forth, talking about supplies, art techniques and frustrations, so if YOU have any questions, any issues, hey, just ask! Drop me a line at kris[atsymbol]tatterhood.com. I’m not a professional, but I’ll be sure to answer your question personally.
And if you want to learn more about latex and prosthetic and all that jazz, check out The Effects Lab.
Right now I’m working on another headpiece (because those buckets of slush latex aren’t going to use themselves!) so soon, soon, I promise, I will post actual pictures of my Liara T’Soni costume. (But check out other MassEffectfans in costume in the meanwhile). I’m trying a few different techniques so might be adding a new page to the mini tutorial.
I just realized that I never took any photos of the actual headpiece itself so here is one final page to the Blue Girl collection. This realization happened when I woke up and discovered that people other than my Nana or a lone wandering lost soul had paid a visit to my site. To those who have come (mainly from the Mass Effect Forums) I am honoured by your visit and thank you for your comments and emails. I can only hope that you found the costume/comic informative, pleasing or inspiring. I wish I had taken better photos of the full Liara ensemble; maybe one day I shall try to arrange a ”photo-shoot” and get some decent photos that are not taken when I am feeling and looking rather tired and grouchy (due to sitting down for 3 hours for makeup, 45min on the sky-train to the concert, 2 hours at the concert and 45 min back on the sky-train).
I am currently working on two other costume/mask projects that are not related to ME, but I am hoping to tackle one (or two!) more Mass Effect costume in the future. Tali’Zorah is the next costume in mind but an ultimate costume goal would be a completion of Wrex. I have Krogan ‘blueprints’ laid out, the only problem is that it would be expensive, and heavy. We shall see; I’m not sure why I make them because I don’t really attend that many conventions and I don’t really “cosplay” (I “just dress up”).
I’ll just have to hope that a costume designer position opens up for a production of Mass Effect: The Musical! Family fun for all with songs like ‘Even Earth Isn’t Safe’, ‘We Will Hold the Line’, ‘Basso Profondo: My Secret is Out’ and ‘Big Stupid Jellyfish,’ With Colm Wilkinson as Wrex performing his famous song ‘40,000 For a Whole Set.’
And so ends the ‘Blue Girl’ comic. I really loved Mass Effect – definitely one of the best games out there, with fantastic music and a rich storyline. Making the costume was a great experience (though I don’t know when I’m going to wear it next!). I think I managed to pull off a pretty convincing Liara T’Soni. Hopefully this “mini comic tutorial” gave you a idea of how (slush) latex masks are made. If you want to read the comic in its entirety, just click here. Try making a latex mask yourself, it’s fun, easy and cheap! Well, maybe not those last two things. And sometimes not the first thing.