Halloween – Special Effect Make-up Tips
Your Halloween costume may require some make up to complete the desired look so we thought we might give you a helping hand on how to create some special Halloween Make-up Effects and what products to use.
These are pre-formed body parts, which can be attached to your skin, to enhance a particular look. The most obvious example is a witchs nose but there are also false eye effects (such as might be used for Quasimodo, Hunchback of Notre Dame, and injuries, such as stakes stuck in skin). Some come ‘ready-to-wear’ but most require a bit of effort with spirit gum and make-up – they can be most effective if you take time in preparation. Take a look at our ready to wear Halloween scars
Liquid Latex is an excellent material for torn skin, scars and other such effects, . The two problems with latex are that it is best used on a hairless skin surface (or things can get painful come removal time) and if you are working on a latex piece that needs building up, each layer has to have time to dry (keep a hairdryer handy), so some forward planning is essential. Also be aware that some people can be allergic to latex, so do a patch test beforehand if necessary.
Latex is a natural product which will eventually break down. Most of the liquid latex supplied by ourselves comes in bottles of sufficient size for most individual projects, but although larger quantities can be found at hobby stores, ensure you store them carefully or you may end up with a solidified rubber brick!
Liquid Latex is ideal to use for Zombie look where it looks like your skin is peeling away. Just before the latex dries completely gently pull bits away to form flaps of skin. Use some water based make up in the ‘hole’ it makes to give the effect more depth and make it look more -er- lifelike.
At a pinch, you can also use liquid latex to stick on beards and moustaches, but we recommend you usethe proper product for this job – spirit gum – as it is water soluble
An exceptionally useful product for bad skin effects, especially Freddy Krueger. It comes as a solid block in a sealed bag. The bag is put into boiled water and the gelfix melts to a liquid. Remove the bag from the water with tongs or suitable gloves. Cut a corner of the bag and as the liquid cools, squeeze the contents out onto the face, hands or wherever, spreading it to cover the desired area. As the liquid gels, it becomes more like latex and can be puckered and manipulated to create a pock-marked or burn-victim style surface. This can then be made up as required, although some gelfix-style products do come pre-coloured. The great advantage with this product is that it washes off with hot water.
Derma wax works in a similar way to nose / face putty, enabling you to build up an effect on static, non-moving skin. It differs from putty in that it is slightly more flexible. For Halloween it is often used for wounds where, having applied a small shaped mound to the skin, you create an indentation, which, once powdered, can accept make-up and blood to create the damaged area.
Face putty can be used to form a scar before your dressing up event and then it can be fixed into place with liquid latex.Use small amounts of tissue paper under the putty, to give some height.
This usually comes in stick form and is used to cover eyebrows, so others can be drawn in. This is useful with characters such as Cruella or Maleficient, or to create more evil, slanted brows for a witch or demon. If your brows are not too thick, you can get away with soaping out brows as an alternative.
Useful make-up accessory which can be used for everything from Dr Evil, nemesis to Austin Powers, to Scary Clowns and Space Aliens. The cheapest caps tend to be made of a plastic material, whilst the more professional are made of latex. They are more effective because they are thinner and more flexible, but being thinner, they also need to be handled with more care. Ideally, as heads differ, your cap may need to be cut to size allowing for the hair it is concealing and a comfortable fit around the ears. It is then stuck down with spirit gum and painted and powdered as required. If you have a lot of hair, an alternative is to cut holes in the cap, pull through sections of hair and dress or colour them as required for your character.
Probably regarded as essential for your vampire or zombie impression. In the former case, vampires generally tend not to be messy eaters, so less is more. Zombies (and, for that matter, werewolves) tend not to be so fussy, so you can go mad (so to speak). Be careful though several of the blood products sold for Halloween will not always easily wash out of clothes (we have yet to see a successful Halloween edition of those stain-removal commercials), so be careful where you use it, especially if you are in our
Halloween hire costumes.
We stock the Snazaroo range of face and body paint. Always test a small area of skin before applying to a large area of your face or body.
Top Tips For Face Painting
- Value your paints & brushes. Do not leave them lying around where people can get hold of them. Keep brushes clean.
- Never paint someone with broken skin or a cold sore. Do not paint people who have colds. Infection can be spread. You can always paint a hand or a foot instead. Wash your own hands between each person. Always have plenty of tissues on hand for keeping your hands clean. Wet wipes are very good for wiping off mistakes and smudges. Make sure they are hypo-allergenic
- If you need to cover a large area, such as a base, use a sponge and not a brush. Keep one sponge or brush per colour. When using a sponge, use as little water as possible. Once covered, pat the coloured area to have a nice smooth even coverage. If using a brush, use as much water as you need to make the paint flow easily on the face.
- Apply 2 thin coats rather than 1 thick coat which may crack. Always wait for the 1st coat to dry before applying the 2nd. Always try and work from light to dark paints.
- Do not make the design up as you go along. Plan the face before you start and keep the image in your head. Changes can always be made once you have finished.
- The make up will act like a glue. Use puffed rice or wheat to form a walt, just cover the puffed rice with tissue and paint over. Large noses etc. can be made by using cotton wool soaked in the paint and then covered by tissue and painted over again. Whilst a ghostly effect can be obtained by giving a dusting with flour (make sure your subject closes their eyes), talc might also work (and reacts better if the make-up gets wet). Glitter dust can also be put on to give the finishing touches to fairies, princesses or butterflies.
- Stencils and facial tattoos are available to purchase if you do not feel confident painting free hand.
How To Make Someone Look Old
Many Halloween costumes look better when some make up has been applied, and one of the most popular Halloween costumes being ‘dead people’ as a dead bride & groom, or zombies require a sunken complexion. If you are wearing one of our Halloween wigs you may find that the colour of the wig actually drains your face of colour anyway and a base colour may not be necessary.
After applying your base coat (if required), using a clean make up sponge that has had as much water squeezed out of it as possible and some black face paint. Suck in your cheeks to emphasise your cheekbones and put black make up in the hollow areas. Use your fingers to blend the colour in. Do not overdo the black, you can always build it up if you have not used enough.
Then look at the other areas where your face naturally hollows, or wrinkles and emphasise them with the black make up. For smaller areas, you may need a make up brush, or pencil (an eyeliner works well). Make sure you blend well.
Next, use some pink make up around the eye sockets, and then put some more black on towards the outer edges, this will make the eyes look sore and sunken.
Use fine lines vertically around the mouth to complete the look.
There, you have aged 20 years in 3 minutes. This is a very basic way of ageing someone, and yes, you can do lots more, but we wanted to give you an easy way of creating a simple Halloween effect.