Are you ready to bring your original Zabrak character from Star Wars to life? One of the most important parts of your costume will be the horns. In this tutorial, I will show you how to apply cosplay horns to your head securely and comfortably. I will also provide some tips on using makeup or bodypaint to blend the horns into your skin and complete the look so they look as real as can be. So whether you are a beginner or a seasoned cosplayer, this tutorial is for you!
On my shop, I sell a wide variety of Zabrak Horns. Here’s a few of my best selling sets. They are all made from a lightweight but durable resin, which means they’ll last for years to come and countless events.
For Unpainted Horns:
To paint these horns, you can use any basic acrylics. I like high pigmented paints such as Liquitex, since they don’t require as thick of layers to get good color and don’t mask the texture of the horns. Simply paint your base layer, then lightly brush your accent layer on top, trying to only hit the highest parts of the horns to accent its texture.
To hold the horns on, you can use either eyelash glue, liquid latex, or spirit gum. If you’re going to be wearing them for a long period, doing a lot of physical activity, or just want a more secure hold I recommend using Pros-Aide — it’s a medical grade adhesive safe for your skin.
With all prosthetic adhesives, the best method for applying the horns is to clean the area of skin where you want to glue them down with a bit of alcohol or cleanser. Then apply a thin layer of glue to the horns and to the skin. Allow the glue to get tacky (less shiny) before pressing the horns into place. Try and get it right the first time since any additional readjustments will weaken the glue.
You can also use a bit of liquid latex to help “blend” the horns into your skin, if you’d like. Simply use a pointed make-up sponge or disposable brush to apply a thin layer of liquid latex to the edge of the horns. Repeat this several times until the latex has hidden where the horn and skin meet and created a nice smooth gradient.
Once you have your horns in place, the rest of the make-up design is really up to you. If your make-up look is not that intense, you can use your normal make-up. Eyeliner pens and liquid eyeliner are great for making smooth and sharp lines, just be sure to set your make-up quite well with setting spray or powder to make sure it doesn’t budge.
For more intense looks, especially ones where your entire face is painted, I recommend using bodypaint. Water-based paint is a great, cheap, beginner option for good coverage, minimal risk of reactivity, and ease of application. You can use a make-up sponge or brush to apply it. Here is a link to the Wolfe brand color palette I use. It’s one of my go-to brands for quick and simple bodypaints.
If you want a longer wear-time, a slightly more translucent (and therefore realistic) looking color, or need it to be water proof, alcohol based paint may be a great way to go. My favorite is EBA Endura.
Alcohol-based paint tends to look better applied with an airbrush. You can still hand-apply it and get a good coat but I recommend practicing ahead of time! It being semi-translucent means that areas of overlap tend to be darker in color than the other areas, making getting an even coat challenging.
That being said, an airbrush set-up doesn’t actually have to be that expensive. Check out a beginner set-up here.
I highly recommend investing in an airbrush set-up if you are going to be bodypainting frequently or painting large portions of your body. It will save you a ton of time and get you a much more even, consistent coat.
After every wear, clean the residual glue and make-up off of the horns. You can use your normal make-up remover to remove any stray make-up, or just soap and water. Please do not scrub or rub the horns too hard because this can damage the paint job of the horns.
The horns don’t need any special storage considerations beside keeping them together and out of extreme heat (the resin can melt).
If there is any damage to the paint, you can use basic acrylics to touch it up, or you can use the make-up that you are using on your face. For any large damage, please feel free to message me with questions!
- Remember that you can layer different types of paint (except for cream and grease paint). So you can do a base of alcohol or water based bodypaint and then do detail work with your normal make-up.
- Take pictures of all of your looks so you can easily replicate things that you like and suss out things you didn’t!
- Don’t be afraid to use the horns in different patterns and different orientations to find a style that you like and that works for your character,