Becoming a Sea Witch

This past weekend I attended Wizard World Chicago Comic Con and brought out my Ursula cosplay for the second time ever.  This post is a makeup tutorial for that character.  (I’ll write about my convention experience later.)

My original plan was to make a reference for myself so I could apply it more quickly next time.  Then it occurred to me that others might enjoy seeing this, too.  So here’s a step-by-step guide of my makeup application.  I’ve also embedded a video at the end of this post.  It’s less detailed than this write-up; think of it as “visual bullet points.”


0a supplies

  1. Elmers glue stick
  2. Mehron Paradise Makeup AQ
    • Start with one purple and one white
    • Cut each in half.  Switch one piece from each to end up with two pots of a blended light purple.
  3. Eyeshadows
    • Purple, violet – for contours
    • White – for highlights
    • Silver – for highlights, lids (high)
    • Blues – for lid
  4. Liquid eyeliner pen (black)
  5. Lip liner (black)
  6. Lipstick (red)
  7. Eyelashes
    • Long, purple ones for the top
    • Regular lashes for bottom

Application prep

1 clean face

  1. Good skin care during preceding days, including moisturizing.
  2. Put hair back and out of the way.  Put on wig cap if planning to wear one.
  3. Wash face with soap and water.
  4. (optional)  Apply foundation primer to create smoother surface for makeup application.

Step-by-step makeup application

Here is the makeup application broken into general steps.  When applying, I also go back to previous steps to tweak along the way – and remember to blend!

Seal eyebrows with glue stick

I’m still not very good at this, so I’m just going to put some links to references here:

Apply purple body paint as base

2 purple base

This should be applied to the entire face, neck, shoulders, ears, and any other skin that will be or may become exposed.  Avoid the lips; I’ve found that the lip color shows up better when applied directly on skin.  Mehron Paradise Makeup AQ is water activated, so I use a small spray bottle of water and spritz it directly into the paint.  I then use a wide, flat paint brush to apply.

Add highlights

3 highlights

I use white face paint on the eyelids and under eyes.  This makes a nice base and helps color to really pop once it’s applied on top.

White and ivory powders, i.e. eyeshadows, are used as highlights on:

  • sides of the forehead (just inside the temple)
  • middle of nose
  • cheeks (apples and cheekbone)
  • chin (very circular at tip)
  • jawline

Add contours

4 contours

Generally speaking, add contours for each highlight to give your face shape and dimension.

Use purple & violet eyeshadows to contour:

  • hairline
  • temples
  • sides of nose (up into eye underbrow area)
  • point of nose
  • cheeks (underside – shaped like a rollercoaster)
  • jawline (underside)
  • chin (almost circular around the highlighted tip)

Draw eyebrow guideline

Use the eyeliner pen to draw the basic shape of the eyebrow.  (This is a guide for the eyelid color.  Full eyebrows can be drawn in later.)  Add white eyeshadow up to the drawn eyebrow line.

Apply lid color

  • Bright blue on inside and outside (lower) lid and under eyes.  I bring this up to about my natural brow line, which would be the eyelid fold on Ursula.
  • White in the middle of the lid.  Blend. This gives dimension to the shape of the eyes.  I have a flat, Asian face, so this is especially helpful!
  • Dark blue on what becomes the character’s lid fold.  For me, this is about where the natural eyebrow sits.
  • Gray or silver on the inside and outside of the upper “eyelid” area under the character’s eyebrow.  (Actually on the forehead.)

Lips, lashes, and lines

Lips: apply black lip liner and red lipstick.  Blend for ombre effect.

Apply eyelashes.

  • I start with the bottom lashes.  While they do make lashes designed to be worn on the bottom lid, I felt they were too subtle for the character I was trying to create.  I used standard lashes and turned them upside-down.
  • I love, love, love my top lashes.  They are long and purple!  Buy them at Elegant Lashes

Using the eyeliner pen:

  • Apply to lash lines (top and bottom) to help hide the edges of the false lashes.
  • Draw in the eyelid fold line (between blue and gray).
  • Draw / fill in rest of eyebrow.
  • Add beauty mark.  (I forgot here, but added later for the final look.)

Add contour on boobs

8 boobs

Even if you’re well endowed, adding a little shape doesn’t hurt. Ursula has a very full figure. Once you put on the flat paint color all over, natural shape gets lost anyway.  Add the contours.  Highlights, too, if you feel like it.

Finished Look


Add wig and jewelry.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture in the same space / lighting since my wig was in a different room.  So this is an awkward picture taken in the car on the way to the convention.

I hope you found this guide interesting and maybe even helpful.  Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.

Oh, and as promised at the start, here’s a video version of the above:

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