San Diego Comic-Con is always a hot bed of creativity and the 2017 convention was no different!

The sprawling exhibition floor supplied attendees with an interest in make-up effects many opportunities to indulge creatively. Weta, always a fan favorite with epic displays, was offering opportunities to get a Middle Earth makeover with ear-tip applications. CFX Masks encouraged Con goers to try on their elaborate silicone masks for instant transformation.

As you walk the exhibit floor be sure to keep your head on swivel while passing The Walking Dead booth. Actors in full zombie make-up lunge at chain link fences trying to get a taste of geeky brains. Brave fans could walk through immersive Walking Dead experiences inside the convention center.

Outside the Con was a second Walking Dead experience. Doors with walker arms reaching out with the words: “Don’t Open, Dead Inside” and a giant decomposing hand provided the back drop to many selfies taken over the four-day Con.

In addition to all this, a Horror Cosplay Meet Up took place Saturday evening. An informal gathering in the park included costume contests and trivia with prizes.

Speaking of brains, education and inspiration was on the mind at the Cinema Make Up School booth. Demos by students attracted large crowds during the day, and fans of Face Off were able to meet and greet with Ve Neill. When asked about seeing cosplay of make-up she created Neil responds, “They look like they’re enjoying what they are doing. I’m excited they’re trying to emulate my work.”

Frequently cosplayers state they learn from shows like Face Off; Neill agrees saying she too learns from watching contestants, stating necessity is the mother of invention. “[Contestants] come up with the coolest ways of using the products that I would have never thought about.”

While the booths and other activations (where people actively participate with products) are fun and cutting edge, the real stars of San Diego Comic-Con are the attendees in costume. One person on the floor, Brian Messick, was exhibiting a creative use of products. For all four days of Con he made-up himself and his two friends. Ben Nye creams, clay, hot glue and latex were the ingredients to his DIY cosplays. Even his Andorean antennae were painted sprinkler hoses from the hardware store. While painting Nero’s tattoos (from Star Trek) on his friend, Messick said, “Keeping him awake early in the morning was the hardest part.”

Early mornings were a trend among cosplayers this year. Colin Tongue went through great lengths to pull off his cosplay. A striking Darth Maul stands out from the crowd, body painted from waist up, complete with prosthetic horns. “I started at 2 a.m. to get my eye contacts in.” Tongue would then go to Cinema Secrets in Burbank for a special appointment at 4 a.m. Upon completing his body paint he then embarked on the drive to San Diego.

Nicole Rupersburg and Kyle Donovan always try to outdo themselves and this year they have done just that. Mashing up characters from X-Men and Disney, their Mystique and the Beast was an instant hit. “Kyle warned me we may stand around for hours taking pictures.” And they did! Using Make Up For Ever blue body paint their application “took about seven hours and most of that was make-up time.” Complete from head to toe, to tooth and nail, this stunning look was worth every minute.