Last Minute Cosplay – By Jaimie Wearne

Allow me to set the scene. It’s 8pm Saturday night, day 2 of the convention. You’d decided not to cosplay at this con but all day you kept running into friends in their awesome outfits and slowly the urge starts creeping up on you. You had run out of time to finish your latest costume but surely there’s something you can re-wear. Your mind starts racing through all the options, this one needs repairing, that one’s probably too revealing, you wore the other one last time.
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Then it hits you, the ‘simple’ one! It’s fairly straightforward, easy to wear and a relatively safe character. A handful of people might recognise you but not many will jump at the chance to get your photo so you don’t have to worry about looking A+ a solid C will do the trick.

It’s decided! You find the jacket, the pants and the shoes but where are the accessories? You know you still have them, put them some place ‘safe’ where you wouldn’t forget them. Then the cold realisation washes over you, they’re in one of … ‘The Boxes’. Even the most organised cosplayer has at least one storage box just jam packed with miscellaneous costume parts. Every time you look at it you tell yourself you’ll go through everything and organise it….next time, you’re too ‘busy’ right now.
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Opening the box wont be pretty, you’ll end up with costume bits EVERYWHERE. Maybe you don’t really need the accessories? No, then your costume wont be complete, don’t be lazy, you can do this! Into the boxes you dive, flinging aside spare wig caps, jewellery, one glove (that’s no good where’s the other one?), some elf ears, oh there’s the spirit gum.

Eventually you emerge victorious, accessories in hand! Now you only have to iron everything and style the wig. Oh god the wig…the one you just pulled off your head and stuffed into the bag last time you wore it. It can’t be that bad right?
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Out of the bag comes a sticky, tangled mess, knots the size of your fist, bangs all out of place. You’re not sure if even WD-40 will be able to fix this sucker but you’ve come this far. Whipping out your wig head, you chuck on some tunes/ the next episode (or 6) of that show you’re watching and get to work!
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Come 11:30pm and there you are. Covered in wig fibres, hairspray coating your hands and forearms, iron cooling down next to you but you’re done! Everything is ready to go for tomorrow and you’re feeling pretty good. You go over everything in your head just to double check you haven’t forgotten anything before dragging your tired butt to bed. Setting the alarm for way-too-early o’clock so you have enough time to get ready in the morning.
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The next morning your alarm goes off and you resist the urge to throw it into the sun, is this all really worth it? You stumble into the shower and just give yourself a quick rinse (no one likes con-stink), there’s no time to wash your hair but it’s okay you’ll be wearing a wig anyway.
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Then (not always but often) comes make-up. Depending on how you feel about makeup this can either be really fun or a stressful battle with the gods who seem determined to force you into a clown mask when all you want is to be is kawaii as heck!

First comes contacts, for the everyday wearer this is easy (the freaks) for everyone else it’s a terrible, scratchy, watery endeavour, where your eyes are desperately trying to resist the foreign objects you’re forcing into them and you’re silently (or otherwise) screaming at them to calm the flip down and accept defeat! Many tears and scratched corneas later (who needs eyes anyway) you FINALLY you get them in.
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As you lay out all your makeup products, primer, foundation, concealer, powder etc it hits you, you have no false eyelashes….You probably could go without them but then the look wont quite be complete! You fought so hard to get the contacts in and they always look so much more effective with falsies. You struggle with this thought for a while before thinking bugger it I’ll just run over to the shops. Jump in the car and fang it down the road.
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Only to find the shops are closed….F#%&! Whipping out your phone you check the opening hours, you’re 10mins too early. Not too bad so you decide to wait, it’s annoying but it could be worse.

So there you are sitting awkwardly in the car, flicking through social while daring people to judge you as they walk past. Finally the shopping centre doors open, you jump out of the car as casually as you can before slinking over to the beauty store.
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Slipping inside the shop girl gives you the ‘hi, how are you today’ before giving you a weird look, ruuuude. She’s that very typical mainstream type of pretty, so you mumble something about conventional beauty standards under your breath and salt your way over to the makeup section. Looking over the eyelash options you grumble about how expensive these tiny bits of flippy plastic can be. Selecting the most comfortable yet dramatic style you can afford you turn to go up to the counter to pay.
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Then realisation hits. You’re out in public with messy oily hair, dark under eye circles, no makeup and brightly coloured eye enlarging circle lenses, of course she looked at you funny, you look creepy as heck!
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Self conscious and feeling kinda guilty for judging her, you shuffle back over to the counter. Should you make a comment or just pretend there’s nothing odd going on? You opt for option 2 and politely (if not a little awkwardly) pay for your items before legging it out of there before anyone else can see you!

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Back at home you waste no time in polishing up your face. Taking a moment to thank all the Youtubers and drag queens who taught you how to beat a face before fighting your hair into a wig cap. Then finally, FINALLY it’s time to put on your costume!

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At this point it all starts to feel worth it, you slip, wriggle and zip yourself in. Then you turn to the wig you battled with last night…sitting there all shiny and fresh…mocking you. The final challenge! Can you get it on without ruining everything?

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You negotiate it onto your head as carefully as you can, pinning it into place before it gets any ideas and tries to go rouge. Brush it out one final time and…you’re done! That’s it, you’re ready to go! And only 45minutes late! You run around chucking everything you might need into a bag, eye drops, makeup, wrist band/ entry pass, wallet, phone, charger, keys, lets go!

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~Based on a true story.