A quick guide on how to apply latex prosthetics from DystopiART My tips on applying latex and spirit gum, and how to get scary and realistic gore effects to delight your friends and shock strangers ╰(◣﹏◢)╯
**Before we get started**
Check for latex allergy!!
Before I start this guide I want to stress the importance of doing a latex allergy test before you start using latex products and liquid latex, just a small area will do, I tend to do any skin tests on my forearm or elbow-pit (cubital fossa is the actual name for that if you were curios)
It’s the actual latex protein which people can be severely allergic to -it is the part that makes it so elastic. Therefore, products which are stretchy, like balloons and gloves, are more likely to cause an allergic reaction than products which are solid.
Its likely you would know if you are hypersensitive to latex (which can be life threatening) but you could still be allergic even if you had no immediate reaction -and you don’t want to find out the day after you have had it all over your face and celebrated all night. So i would recommend you test a day or 2 before if possible to make sure you are all good with it.
Other safety tips
- Latex wants to wax you –liquid latex loves to stick to anything and hair is a favorite even the little ones you cant see and didn’t know you had, latex knows and will find them for you… If you can shave or wax an area beforehand (still wait a bit before applying to avoid sensitivity) that’s great cause otherwise it will attempt to give you a rather stingy and ineffective beauty treatment.
- Eyebrows, hairline, mustache etc -If you aren’t looking to make a visual statement about beauty conformity in the media and the social pressure of “the norm” by losing random parts of them I recommend you use a liberal coating of Vaseline to protect it as the latex wont stick.
- Latex is still liquid cause its suspended in ammonia –if you have used it before you will know that it really stinks, most of that is due to the ammonia fumes, these can also build up so to vent it out a bit before use -shake the bottle well and keep it open for 5-10 minutes- always use it in a well ventilated area, and try not to breath the fumes directly over the source. Also it should go without saying but don’t eat or drink it -its neither a meal or a snack
- Careful near the eyes –again this should be obvious but please be careful around the eyes with liquid latex (and special effects glues/solvents), apart from pain and possible blindness if you actually get it in them, too much product near an eye and you’ll get all the fumes in your eyeball! Which would not only sting like crazy but also make your eye water and your makeup more difficult. So keep it light and precise near the eye and tilt your head back until dry- I would just keep away from them if you haven’t ever used the product before .
- Treat your skin right -Make sure its clean and I like to have moisturised beforehand too but don’t use anything oil based, don’t put liquid latex in open wounds or rashes I personally would always just place a piece somewhere else but i have heard that if its a small area you can cover with a plaster, then fx wax over it all, then pva layer over that and then latex
Applying latex prosthetics
Well done on making it this far! I’d recommend reading through the whole applying section first before you try it so you have everything and yourself ready! If you have never used liquid latex before I would suggest you test and play with it a bit before you try to attach a prosthetic so you are familiar with it and can get the best results from the piece
Prep the prosthetic:
I send my prosthetics powdered with cornflour to stop the fine edges sticking to themselves in transit and degrading, so for best results give it a clean before applying taking care not to damage the edges which will be delicate
- A tip from mask making -prepping with citric acid can give you a better bond between dry latex and wet latex so i find it useful to clean the back with a couple of drops of lemon juice in a pinch
Make sure you are choosing a suitable safe area! You can either put the liquid directly on to the underside of the prosthetic or follow image steps to give you a guide to paint on your skin.
- You can use the same technique whether you are using spirit gum or liquid latex
*I have used extra powder to show on the photo- you just need a barely visible guide
Applying your latex/spirit gum:
- Don’t use a paintbrush as the latex will ruin it, you can use makeup sponges, foam, cotton buds
- Always use a dabbing or rolling motion, brushing will pull up the latex
- Place the piece lightly where you would like it and then push the edges down from the center out.
- Use a paintbrush to roll over the latex outwards to get the fine edges
You can lightly apply latex to any edges or snags to make sure you have a good seam, you can do this for either method if you need to -but you cant hide a join with spirit gum.
- Try to avoid touching any excess latex with your hand as it will take on texture and also try to stick to you.
- Let it all dry completely before moving to the next stage
part 2 updating right now
So that’s it, hope it was informative for you at least, if you like this piece and want to buy one of my prosthetics for yourself you can check out my ebay store or my etsy shop if you want to know more about DystopiART you can checkout my other strange dystopian artworks, celebration cakes, or commission something new @DystopiART.co.uk