Horrific effects, general tips for latex Halloween makeup, This is part 2 on A quick guide on how to apply latex prosthetics from DystopiART
I am an artist and long time enthusiast – not a professional ‘make up’ artist so these are my tips that I have picked up along the way -so you to can get better results and achieve those scary and realistic gore effects for yourself to delight your friends and shock strangers ╰(◣﹏◢)╯
**Before we get started**
Check for latex allergy!!
In case you have come from an outside link -before I start the second part of this guide to decorate latex halloween makeup 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
Gore It Up!
So you have taken all of the safety precautions, applied your piece, and let it dry fully. But how are you going to make it look like something and what can you use to get a realistic affect? If like me your ‘horror kit’ is full of lots of different bits you have picked up along the way its difficult to say what you should have but my standout favourites are these so I will just use them for this walkthrough -other brands would probably work just as well for you
- Do you effect makeup last –Personally I like to apply the latex peice and then get changed once its past the tacky stage but you do still need to be careful not to touch it, or you can just do all of it after you have got the rest of your costume on either way dont do things like fake blood and detailing until the end cause at best you’ll end up with fake blood inside your clothes.
- Don’t undo all your hard work –No Rubbing! The latex still wants to ruin your plans and if you apply your makeup like this on the seam you will definitely lift up the edges, they will also then be dirty and not stick down again, so keep it to dabbing and rolling around the prosthetic, if you are very careful you might get away with a light blend with a fingertip.
- Keep it consistant –Try to use the same backgrond technique accross the piece to its outer edges and at least an inch perimeter this helps the blending effect and hides any seams.
- Try your products first –like the latex itself you should really test it on your skin first, you should also text it with some dry latex to see how they react- for example I have used some fake blood products that will turn the latex bright pink!
- What the hell is blood paste? –Probably one of my favourite things to use for gore, it’s basically a very sticky congealed blood, you can use it direct on the skin for a congealed blood effect and I also love to use globs of it in wounds to give a fleshy effect- its great stuff.
- Dont have special products! -Dont panic you can just add stuff to fake blood to make it seem coagulated like biscuit or breadcrumbs -works realy well but you dont want anything with bits in (oats seeds etc) or you can add flour, i do find this can change the colour as well though. You can also make your own fake blood in a pinch there are loads of recipes and methods so it’s worth a google.
You can either apply a skin tone foundation coat for a fresh wound or a base colour to start blending in the wound , I’m going for a gnarly, jagged old wound so I’m actually going for a white base coat.
I have used very heavy makeup to demonstrate so its clear what I’m doing- you would vary the thickness this to suit your desired effect but some general rules apply:
For an effective finishing touch you can recreate a bit of blood splatter! please make sure you are in a suitable area as you probably don’t want to flick blood on your carpet, at your mother, over that needlepoint you stole etc.
- Use a stiff brush with a flat top
- Dip it in the blood
- Hold it near the top and pull your thumb nail along the bristles to flick the blood off in a spray
- You can vary how much blood you use and how far away you do it to mimic different splatter types
So that’s it, hope it was informative for you at least, if you like this piece on incorperating your latex halloween makeup and want to buy one of my prosthetics for yourself at any time of year 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