including character latex & fx contacts lenses
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As there are many different things I want to discuss about make up this page many seem quite long.
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* Please note all images are copyrighted by various people and companies! *
You can go to just about any stores around Halloween time and you will see many different types of "creme" make up. The better quality ones you will find at your party stores and even better yet your Halloween speciality stores. These colors are very easy to apply and blend. You can use a sponge, fine paint brush, or q-tips to apply.
You can get a special "injury" or "bruise" set of colors to make realistic colored bruises, cuts & gashes. (see how to make brusies, cuts & gashes section of this page!)
You can also get a "flesh" set of colors, these are very useful when applying latex appliances (such as adding horns, latex scars-cuts-gashes-bolts-etc, using liquid latex, fx face wax, etc.) you can use the "flesh" colors to blend the edges to your natural skin tone.
Just remember to apply baby powder or colorless finishing powder to the area(s) where the make up is applied. This will "set" the make up and help it from smearing, running and coming off.
* Water based (they come in a Palette like water color paints, and you use them the same way with a little water and a small paint/make up brush)
This type is great for detailed make up fx, such as viens, lines, wrinkles, eyeliner, etc.
There are different companies that make the water based make up but, one of the best ones is Wolfe face art & fx, they carry a large variety of colors including metallics, neon, and air brush.
* Air Brush
If you are applying make up to actors/actresses in a haunt or Halloween Event you may consider using air brush make up. You do need to have a air brush gun and compressor. This is an easy way to get full coverage weither you are covering a face or whole upper body. Not only can you apply one solid color but with some creative talent you can create the most detailed creatures you can imagine!
Make Up Tools:
Weither you are using a round or triangle one, you can use these to evenly apply your base coat of color to your face or body. The triangle sponges are great for applying shadows, highlights, or a another color. The fine edges of the triangle sponge are great for blending specific/smaller areas.
* Stipple Sponge
This is a must have for applying "fake blood".
On a paper towel pour a dime sized amount of "fake blood". Take the stipple sponge and tap into the blood, then tap a couple times onto the paper towel. Now tap onto the area of your face/body that you want a scraped or open wound look. To get a scraped look place the stipple sponge on one side and slide across the "injured" area this will leave streaks.
* Paint/Make Up Brushes
Different sized paint & make up brushes are a must in every make up artist case. You can obviously make different sized lines as for eyeliner, viens, around lips, old age lines/winkles, drawing, fake tatoos, etc. I love to use very fine artist brushes for doing detailed designs around the eyes.
I always have these in my Halloween make up case! These are the best things for blending your colors together. Great for making shadows. For example, if you had black around your eyes (so if you closed your eyes you would just have dark sockets like a skull) to get rid of the distinct black outer edge using a q-tip you could go around the outer edge of the black softly blending it outward making it a much better and softer look.
How to make:
* Extra Hair (facial) or fur:
For characters in which you need more facial hair for example, an old person in which to add gray or white hair, beard, moustaches, monster, werewolf, creepy person, troll, animal, etc., you may want to add hair. You can get synthetic FX hair at online special fx make up suppliers, around Halloween time at your local party store or a Halloween speciality store. I like to use Cinema Secrets fx hair and I can usually purchase it locally at Halloween time. Keep in mind you can also use the hair from Halloween wigs.
To apply the hair to your skin use liquid latex or spirit gum. To use spirit gum, apply spirt gum to your skin (before any make up) and tap with your finger to make tacky, once sticky apply hair. The spirit gum will stay sticky.
To use liquid latex, apply liquid latex to skin (before any ake up) and let dry. Take indivual hairs or a small section of hair and dip into liquid latex then apply to latex area on the skin and hold a few seconds to let the latex dry. Of course using liquid latex will stay a light color and you can use a "flesh stack" creme make up to change that color into your natural skin tone or use what ever color of creme make up for your character.
To make veins you need make up colors in red, purple and blue. A small/fine paint or make up brush. Using the small brush select one color and make vein lines, kind of like making lightning bolts, there is no wrong way to make them as veins go all over your body in every direction. Smooth out some of the outer lines of your viens with a make up brush or q-tip, this will give your vein the apperance of going deeper under the skin. The sharper the outer line is the closer to the surface of the skin your vein will look. When done with one color, start with the next in the same way making sure to over lap (streaking across) some of the different colored veins. Make sure to brush baby powder or translucent powder over the veins when done. *Another way to create veins for legs if you can see them under the costume is take a pair of panty hose (whatever color) and using either colored markers or fabric paints (which have a fine tip to draw with) make your veins on the panty hose just be careful not to get marker all over your legs.
To make wrinkles with make up, use a couple of make up colors a shade & two darker than your natural skin tone. Then using a small/fine paint or make up brush make thin lines horizontally across your forehead, on the sides of your eyes, by your mouth, and on your cheeks.
* Creating Cuts, Bruising, Scrapes and Road Rash:
* For Bruising:
First start out by using either your finger or a stipple sponge to apply the yellow color to the desired area. (applying to the whole area you want bruised)
Use a tapping motion to apply the color and on the edges, blend outward.
If you are making a regular bruise I use the purple next, starting out light then making some dark lines/areas in the center of the bruise. When you are creating a regular bruise you can also apply a blue or green color to your bruise before applying the purple.
When you have the desired size and look, lightly brush some baby powder on your bruise this will set the make up so it won’t smear or come off as easily.
* To make a Bloody Bruise or Road Rash:
After applying the yellow color, lightly apply a red color again using your finger or stipple sponge in a tapping motion and blending in some areas.
Next using the same applying technique add a purple color. You can also use a toothpick to apply the purple to make veins in your bruise.
If you want a real dark bruise apply some black. (Sparingly)
Now either by using fake blood or blood gel (thicker), squirt a quarter size amount onto a paper towel, or waxed paper. Dip the stipple sponge into the blood a dab on the paper towel once or twice then dab on to your bruise (for a road rash look) or take the sponge and slide it across the bruise (for long scrapes).
To make your road rash bloodier, take a toothpick and get a lot of blood on it and let the blood drip down onto your bruise creating a drip.
* For Scrapes:
Using the colors yellow first, red second, and purple last. Use a stipple sponge and streak colors one at a time over the area of intended scrapes. Brush lightly with baby power.
Using the same technique of scraping apply the blood with the stipple sponge, again using a toothpick if drips are desired.
* For Cuts & Gashes:
Using your finger apply one layer of “flesh latex” to the desired area you would like your wound. Let dry.
Apply another layer, and let dry. Use your fingers and pull/pinch the middle of the latex and by pulling it outward rip a hole into it, then peel it back to create your cut. You can apply more layers of latex to make the sides of your cut thicker and taller making the cut look deeper.
Using “skin color" (available in a stack of different skin tones so you can blend them to match your natural skin tone) blend the outside of the cut to your skin color or for a different look use the yellow, purple, and red to give it a bruised look.
Next using a cotton swab apply a red color onto the inside of your cut and apply lots of blood!
Don’t forget to use a toothpick to get the blood dripping down from your cut!
* Rotted or Colored Teeth:
There is a product called FAN-tastic Teeth FX that is like a "nail polish" for your teeth. It dries in less than 10 seconds, easy to apply, will not harm teeth or existing dental work, will not come off when drinking regular or alcoholic beverages, odorless and tasteless, can be used on nails as well as teeth, developed by Dentists, and is non-toxic. To remove you simply use a napkin or tissue and using your finger nail gently wipe or scratch off. This comes in a variety of colors and even black light reactive colors.
Really completes your make up and costume.
* Sunken in Scar Mark:
Use Rigid Collodian/Scarring Liquid which is a clear solution used to create scarring effects when applied directly to dry skin. When painted onto a small area, it wrinkles the skin as it dries. Repeated applications will deepen the effect (let dry between layers). Collodion is removed by peeling off. Purchase at Halloween stores locally or on online through ebay, Halloween or theatrical make up stores.
* Chipped/Dead Character Finger Nails:
If you want to have the look of broken, chipped, or dead finger nails, try this.....
One way is buy some artifical nails that you can either glue on or attach with double sided tape, with a pair of small scissors (little nail scissors work best) and cut small chunks out making sure not to leave any sharp points on the tips. You can use a finger nail file to slightly round the edges so they are not sharp but still look like it. Paint with tans, browns, yellows or some red for blood. Leave dark streaks with either dark brown or black for a zombie look.
You can use either liquid latex or fake skin (from your local party store around Halloween time). If using liquid latex paint a couple of layers onto the palm of your hand, allowing to dry between layers, then using your finger roll into a ball, dip into a little bit of liquid latex and place onto skin allow to dry (you can use a hairdryer to speed up the drying time) apply another layer to seal the edges. Then color.
If using fake skin just take a small piece and roll into a ball then apply to the skin and color the same way as for the liquid latex method. Try adding some fx hair to the wart.
* Fake Blood:
He is a real simple recipe for fake blood but it WILL STAIN!
Just mix white corn syrup and red food coloring together to make FAKE but editable BLOOD. To get a "true" blood color rather than using the regular red food coloring use a food color gel or paste such as "wilton" brand. These are available in many different colors and tones of red, a deep burgandy works nice.
If you want different & more recipes for fake blood, just search it on the internet you will find tons of them!
I use a blood "gel" usually the Cinema Secrets brand again I can get it locally and it is a good brand. The blood "gel" is thicker than the ones that say "fake blood" so, if you want drips that won't just run all the way down your face, use the "gel" since it is thicker your "drips" will stop faster. Also, the "gel" won't completely dry up and crack off it will stay sticky and shiny, just be careful not to scratch it and smear it!
Using Woochies, Latex & Foam Appliances:
My foam appliance I wore to HauntCon 2006. Notice the contacts! * What are they?
They are really soft and flexable "living masks" and accessories such as ears, horns, cuts, bugs, etc., that you attach to your skin, mainly your face using spirit gum or medical adhesive. They are made out of thin latex or soft foam.
Whole Face ones are just that, they go over your whole face (or most of it). They may have pertruding cheek/skull bones, chins, strange or scary creatures and monsters, robot parts, muscles, alien look, etc.
Medium and Small ones usually come in the variety of noses, ears, chins, cuts, bites, nails, saw blades, safety pins, stiches, open wounds, maggots, worms, broken glass, eyeball, piece of flesh ripped off, pertruding forehead and more. These all come in a variety of sizes, lengths, types, etc..
* To Apply:
On whole face ones you want to brush the ahesive you are going to use either spirit gum or medical adhesive along the whole outer edge of your face piece you may also want to brush some in various parts along the edge of where your mouth, chin, and nose are to make sure your piece stays in place while talking, drinking, eating, etc. Just be very careful not to get the adhesive too close or into your eyes as this will cause serious injury and/or blindness! Wait a few seconds for the adhesive to become tacky then apply to your skin.
For the medium and small ones just apply the adhesive to the outer edges again wait a little bit for the adhesive to become tacky then apply to your skin.
* To Color:
If you are using a basic latex appliance that is not real expensive you can use pretty much any creme make up to color it. If you are using an expensive latex piece or a foam applicance you want to use GREASE mask make up! The grease make up will keep your appliance soft and won't dry it out! Available in a variety of colors. If you spent a lot of money on a appliance you want it to last more than a couple of years right?
If you are applying a cut, gash or open wound of some kind, on the outer edge of the piece use a "flesh" colored make up set and by either matching one of the colors or by mixing a few of the colors together to create your skin tone and cover the outer edge with that color to blend in and make it look realistic. You can alway add more reds, purples, yellows and fake blood to get the look you like or are striving for.
You can apply a variety of colors to any piece just practice blending colors and look on the internet for different pictures of creatures and monsters to help your characters look come alive.
Remember after coloring to apply/brush some baby powder or translucent powder to you appliance to "set" your colors so they won't smear.
* To Remove:
Using a q-tip dipped into either spirit gum remover or medical adhesive remover (depending on what adhesive you choose to use) and apply to the edges of your appliance. When you get an edge becoming loose be careful not to pull on to too hard you will rip your appliance. Simply add more remover underneath the loose edge and work loose slowly. Yes, if you have a whole face appliance this can take quite a while but, spending the time is worth not ripping it to shreds!
After you have completely removed your appliance from your skin, look to see if you have any adhesive left on your appliance. If so continue to apply the remover with a q-tip to the area where it remains gently rubbing until it is all removed.
Then you may choose to either keep the make up on your appliance for the next time you wear it or you can use "baby shampoo" to gently wash it. If you wash it make sure you rinse it very well and let dry for a day. Either way when done place in a zip lock storage bag and put in a safe place making sure not to place anything on top of it.
Accesories for completing a character:
If you search the internet for "Latex Horns or Prosthetic Horns" you will come across different Halloween or Costume companies that make horns you can attach to your forehead with either "glueing"(see the "Using Woochies, Latex & Foam Appliances" section of this page) or with a thin plastic "string". They range in price as they also do in variety, sizes, and shapes. If you really need a horn or a pair for your character do some searching on the internet you will be amazed at the variety you will find. One custom company I have ordered from is Gypsy Roses They have some cool styles!
If you want a "believable" and complete character I really think this is a must have! You can get "theatrical" contact lenses. They come in a variety of colors, sizes, themes, if you want them to cover the eye like a normal contact or cover the whole eye, they also range in price depending on how detailed the picture or color are and how large they are. Again there are different companies to buy from online I have one listed on my "where to buy props & products" page. Keep in mind if you are planning on going to a "Haunt" convention usually one of these companies are there in the vendors area selling pairs of these contacts at a awesone discounted price usually starting at $40 - $50 a pair on up.
These appliances are made out of either latex or foam latex. They are applied with spirit gum or medical adhesive. Most companies that you will purchse the ears from will include instructions for applying and removing them. These will range in price depending on the material they are made of, the size and the detail put into them.
There are different companies that make tails for your characters. One company that I know makes and carries different types is . I have not done too much research on tails as I have not had a costume yet that needed one. As soon as I learn more I will add the information here.
* Bugs & Worms:
If you are creating a character that is either a monster, zombie or something dead, you may want to try adding some maggots, spiders, worms, roaches, etc. to your face make up effects or to your costume.
If adding to your face even if you are also using a latex/foam appliance, liquid latex, or just doing your own make up, you can add these to any of them ( BEFORE ADDING ANY MAKE UP TO YOUR FACE OR APPLIANCE ) by applying a little bit of liquid latex, available at your local party stores around Halloween time, to the worm or bug and also to your face/appliance. When it slightly starts to dry and gets a little tacky press the worm or bug to your face/appliance. If you wish to hold it in place a little better you can take a small brush or q-tip and add some more liquid latex to the edges for a better seal.
A nice effect is having worms/bugs coming out of open wounds!
* Keep in mind you can always get plastic worms and other items at your local fishing store *
* Real Buried Clothes for Zombie or Dead Character:
If you want clothes that have the perfect look for your zombie prop or costume here is a link to make zombie clothes by actually burying them. Keep in mind this method does take about 3 months, but look awesome!
The link is to Skull & Bone's web site, and while your there check out the rest of their site, it is a great one!
To view the distressed clothes page click
* Use baby powder over regular foundation make up (the lightest you can find) for a zombie white face. Especailly if your skin is sensitive, this works great!
* Use a black eyeliner (or any color) for creating lines, whiskers, freckles, warts, or detail - this makes it real easy to do fine lines for effect and shading.