The two most common and least toxic types of makeup are water based pancake and grease pancake. Slightly pricier, but very comfortable to apply, are the water-based cream makeup and liquid makeup from Mehron. Grease pancake is extremely messy to clean up and smudges easily when you perspire (if the makeup doesn’t nail you, the layers of dark costuming will). The water-based pancake is far more convenient.
To get the best coverage, clean your face before applying any makeup, using either unscented baby wipes or a light coat of Noxema. Some people prefer to put down a layer of Barrier Spray (available where theatrical makeup is sold), while others simply leave their faces clean or put down a very fine layer of the Noxema before beginning. Barrier spray and Noxema both make cleanup easier down the road. Let your face dry thoroughly before continuing. Some long-time makeup-race players often recommend doing your makeup in front of a fan, so that you do not sweat at all during the application. Some folks prefer to put on their ears before they do the makeup job, while others prefer to wait until they’ve put on everything, so as to not get hair white and so on, on the ear tips.
Using a high quality makeup sponge, apply a careful, even coat of black to your face. Be sure to work the makeup into the hairline, to have a proper, seamless effect once your hair is done.
Use a setting powder (also available where you buy theatrical makeup) to make sure the coating stays on as long as possible.
Add a lipstick that matches your skin color for good coverage (and keep it with you for touch-ups when eating and such).
As a Dark Elf, you are required to have white or silver hair (including all facial hair and eyebrows). The most common method is the use of Hair White concentrate in a bottle found, you guessed it, where theatrical makeup is sold. You may also want to consider using white hair spray (some people use a base of Hair White and touch up with white hairspray to ensure full coverage). However, spray alone is very costly in the quantities you’ll need, and is guaranteed to make your hair a solid mass. A third alternative would be to use a wig and spare your hair the abuse in the first place.
The efficient application hair white concentrate is a bit tricky. First, you should wash and condition your hair, then towel it dry until it’s just damp. Apply the Hair White concentrate to a comb and brush through your hair. Do not pour the hair white onto your head unless you like being referred to as the Dark Elf with the Amazing Technicolor Head (multiple tones of white hair looks rather foolish). One you have an even coat applied, use a wire bristle brush or a detangle comb to work it through your hair for 2-3 minutes.
Check your hair for “fossil factor.” If your hair is still stiff, then continue the brushing technique. Once your hair is manageable, use a hair dryer for a minute or so to speed up the setting process of the concentrate. Use a brush and hair dryer in tandem until your hair almost feels normal. You will greatly reduce “hair stress” by using this method. This process is STRONGLY recommended for anyone who has hair beyond should length. If you are having trouble with an even coating, over-spray your brushed-out hair with a light coat of white hair spray.
The removal of hair white is simply to thoroughly wash and condition your hair. You can leave hair white in overnight without causing permanent damage, but as a Dark Elf, plan on washing your pillowcases after every event!
Elves are required to have pointed ears. If you are playing a Dark Elf or Stone Elf, you'll want to acquire ear tips in either black or white (this will eliminate the tedious process of coloring regular ear tips). If you can only find the flesh toned ones, buy a thick permanent Sharpie marker to color them in for use. When applying them, you should use spirit gum or liquid latex. It is relatively painless to remove latex by simply peeling it away from the skin. Spirit gum has a specialized remover - buy it, use it! You should also clean and moisturize your ear tips with baby oil. This prevents the drying and cracking of the latex.
However, there is nothing more annoying than losing an ear in combat. When using either product: Apply a light coat to the inside line of the ear tip where it will sit on your ear, let it sit until slightly tacky, and then place it on your ear and hold it there firmly until it adheres. Try to keep the liquid latex or spirit gum away from your hair, as it’s harder to clean up.
You should also consider touching up your makeup job, especially your face, at points during the event. Nothing looks sillier than a Dark Elf with flesh-toned spots! Covering of your hands (via gloves or makeup) and other exposed parts of your body is highly recommended to complete the effect properly. You should also try to completely clean up at least once per day during an adventure weekend to avoid the toxicity effects.
We would suggest using baby wipes or a small quantity of baby shampoo for the initial cleaning, followed by skin moisturizer around the eyes and nose. A hot shower should eliminate the random spots you have missed.