Category Special Makeup Effects for Stage and Screen


GM Foam/Monster Makers Foam/Burman Foam

A typical batch of foam latex consists of:

■ 150 grams of high grade latex base

■ 30 grams of foaming agent

■ 15 grams of curing agent

■ 14 grams of gelling agent

There are other ingredients and quantities that can be added for different foam characteristics, but this is a good place to begin. As I mentioned in the text, this operation is time and temperature sensitive as well as humidity sensitive; opti­mal conditions would be in a room 69-72°F (20.6-22°C) with 45-55 percent humidity. I am based in Colorado, so I have humidity (rather, the lack of humidity) to contend with, as well as a higher elevation air pressure that also affects what I do. The "optimal" conditions are based on mixing at sea level; I’ll show a sched­ule for both sea level and high altitude, though most of you will probably be working at lower elevations.

Foam latex can be cured in molds made of a variety of materials, including Ultracal 30, dental stone, fiberglass, epoxy, silicone, aluminum, or even steel, and should only be mixed and cured in rooms with good ventilation; foam latex gives off unpleasant and unhealthy fumes.

Weigh the first three components—the latex base, the foaming agent and the curing agent—and add them to the mixing bowl. It would be great if you have an accurate digital gram scale. Weigh out the gelling agent into a small cup and set it aside. We won’t add that until we’re almost done mixing. If you’re adding pigment, put a few drops of your color into the bowl, too. Then place the mix­ing bowl into position and you are ready to begin. This first description will be a 12-minute mix. A timer that will count down is a plus, but if you can tell time and count, a clock or a watch will suffice.

1. For the first minute, mix the ingredients on speed 1.

2. For the next 4 minutes, whip the ingredients on speed 10. This will froth the foam and increase the volume (and lower the foam density) in the bowl. Gil Mosko, GM Foam’s founder, says to not be a slave to the schedule. All mixers run differently, and many conditions can affect how the foam will rise in the mixer. Once you understand how foam latex works, you will be able to adapt to any situation.

Whipping the latex to a high volume lowers the foam’s density, which will result in a lighter foam and creates a foam that can be difficult (near impossible) to pour. This foam is more apt to trap air when transferring it into molds; this can be especially true when injecting the foam. All three latex manufacturers have a flow enhancer that makes it easier to pour high-volume foam with little or no effect on the gelling process.

What the high-speed mixing does in addition to creating high-volume foam is de-ammoniate the latex. Too much ammonia loss and your foam will gel too quickly; not enough ammonia loss and your foam might not gel at all. It might seem like you need a degree in chemistry to run foam (it certainly wouldn’t hurt), but that is why there is a mixing guideline to follow, so you don’t have to know specific pH values and other scientific-type stuff. Simply understanding the function of the ingredients and the stages of the process should be enough information to do some experimentation. Such as:

■ The foaming agent is a soap that bonds to the cells of the latex, lowering the surface tension of the latex and allowing it to froth and rise more easily.

■ The curing agent contains sulfur to help vulcanize—strengthen and add elasticity—the latex;

■ The gelling agent creates a reaction that changes the foam from a liquid into a solid.

Okay, back to the process:

3. Now, turn the speed down to 4 for 1 minute. This stage will begin to refine the foam, breaking up the biggest bubbles.

4. Turn the speed down to 1 for the last 4 minutes to further refine the foam. When there are 2 minutes left, begin adding the gelling agent and continue mixing until 12 minutes. It is critical that the gelling agent be mixed well, and depending on what mixer you use, the methods of assuring that the gelling agent is sufficiently mixed might vary.

5. At 12 minutes, turn off the mixer, remove the bowl, and you are ready to carefully fill your molds. Once the foam has gelled (you can tell by gently pressing on the foam; it should give a little, and bounce back) you can place the molds in the oven and heat them until the foam is fully cured.


This recipe is the general one recommended by GM Foam at sea level. I suspect Monster Makers and Burman would concur. Check with each manufacturer to be certain.

I have had good results with these times, but I have also had disastrous results with these times; a movie I did recently in Colorado required numerous foam appliances, and the following mixing times worked beautifully every time and


has become my high-altitude schedule with a KitchenAid mixer. It is a 9-minute schedule instead of a 12-minute schedule:


Speed 1


Speed 10


Speed 4


Speed 1


Speed 1—add gelling agent



The oven you cure the foam in should be capable of reaching 185oF (85oC). Small molds will most likely need only 2-2% hours; larger molds might need three to four hours. However, if the mold is thin—say, %-inch (5 mm) fiberglass—it can be baked at a much lower temperature for a longer period of time—140oF (60oC) for four to five hours. Even thicker gypsum molds will benefit from lower temperatures and longer times; for one thing, it’s less stressful on the molds, and you’ll get the added benefit of softer foam (without having to deal with a high – volume, nonpourable foam from the mixing stage). Monster Makers suggests trying a typical gypsum mold at 140oF (60oC) for 10 hours and comparing the feel of the resulting foam with foam run at a higher temperature for a shorter time using the same mold.

Once you determine that your foam is fully cured, turn off the oven and let the mold begin to cool. If you try to cool the molds too rapidly, they will crack and break; you do not want to rush the process! When the molds are still warm to the touch, you can carefully demold your appliances; they will come out more easily when warm rather than if you let the molds cool completely. Carefully pry the mold halves apart and help remove the appliance with the use of a blunt wooden tool (so you don’t scratch the mold’s surface detail), powdering as you go to keep the thin foam edges from sticking together.

After you’ve removed the appliance from the mold, it must be gently washed in warm water containing only a few drops of dishwashing liquid (I use either Ivory or Palmolive soap) to remove any residual sulfur from the curing agent. Repeat this procedure until there is no more visible residue in the water, then rinse until all the soap is gone, and gently squeeze out the water; you might want to use two towels to press the appliance between, then allow it to dry completely on the lifecast so that it will maintain its shape. When your appliance is com­pletely dry, it is ready to paint and apply or be stored in an airtight plastic bag for future use.


Just as there are different recipes for foam latex—though I only provided one in this appendix—there are also a number of gelatin recipes. Some include Sorbitol, some don’t; Sorbitol will add to the tear strength of the gelatin. I’ve seen a recipe that added Elmer’s Glue (white school glue), presumably for strength and stability; however, the more glue you use, the less elastic the gelatin will become.

Here’s Matthew Mungle’s recipe:

■ 100 grams sorbitol (liquid)

■ 100 grams glycerin

■ 20-30 grams 300-bloom gelatin (the higher the bloom, the greater the tear resistance; the gelatin you can buy at your local supermarket has a bloom factor of 250-275)

■ Flocking or pigment for internal coloration


1. Mix the ingredients together in a microwave-safe bowl and let them sit, preferably overnight.

2. Heat in a microwave for approximately 2 minutes, mixing several times. Do not allow the mixture to bubble or foam, because that’s an indication that it’s about to burn. It will change color and leave undesirable bubbles in your finished appliance.

3. You can either fill a mold and cast your appliance, or pour the gelatin into a form and let it cool and cure for later use. Powder when it’s fully set.

Now Kevin Haney’s recipe:

■ 21 grams sorbitol (liquid)

■ 20 grams glycerin

■ 9-11 grams 300 bloom Gelatin

Up to / gram (/ tsp.) zinc oxide powder (zinc oxide will cause the opacity of the gelatin, as well as the tear resistance, to increase)

■ Flocking or pigment for internal coloration


1. Mix the ingredients together in a microwave-safe bowl and let sit, prefer­ably overnight.

2. Heat in a microwave for approximately 2 minutes, mixing several times. Do not allow the mixture to bubble or foam, because that’s an indication that it’s about to burn. It will change color and leave undesirable bubbles in your finished appliance.


You can double or triple this formula. Very small or large batches aren’t as easy to mix up as a medium-sized one.

Thea’s recipe:

■ 80 grams sorbitol (1/s cup)

■ 80 grams glycerin (1/8/ cup)

■ 40 grams 300-bloom gelatin (1/8 cup)

■ Up to % gram (/ tsp.) zinc oxide powder



The weights are different but the volumes are actually the same on all 3 ingredients.

Add flocking to desired effect, about % tsp. or less if mixing colors. Add cosmetic pigment in your choice of flesh color. (You can also use cake makeup ground up finely.)

In a microwave-safe bowl, mix most of the sorbitol and glycerin. Leave a small amount of the sorbitol out so you can mix the zinc oxide into it before adding it all together.

Slowly add the gelatin to the sorbitol and glycerin mixture. Then add the zinc oxide mixed in the small amount of sorbitol and some flocking. If you are adding flesh pigment or red blood pigment (you can use any color), mix the pigment into a small amount of sorbitol before adding to the batch. Heat it in the microwave for another minute or two, stirring frequently, but be careful it doesn’t bubble over the container.


Any of preceding above recipes will work for making the base gelatin for a foamed version of gelatin. You will notice that Kevin Haney’s recipe is about % of the other two, so take that into account.

■ 160 grams (/ cup) glycerin

■ 40 grams (1/s cup) 300-bloom gelatin

■ % gram (% tsp.) zinc oxide

■ % gram (% tsp.) tartaric acid

■ % gram (% tsp.) baking soda

The tartaric acid in Cream of Tartar is what adds volume to egg whites when they’re beaten. Baking soda reacts with the heat and with the tartaric acid to create carbon dioxide.

1. Mix the ingredients together (minus the tartaric acid and baking soda) in a microwave-safe bowl and let sit, preferably overnight.

2. Heat in a microwave for approximately 2 minutes, mixing several times. Do not allow the mixture to bubble or foam, because that’s an indication that it’s about to burn.

3. Add the tartaric acid and stir briskly.

4. Add the baking soda and stir again briskly, then let the gelatin mixture rise for about 30 seconds without stirring, until it stops rising.

5. Stir the foamed gelatin to refine it, heating a little if needed.

The foamed gelatin is ready to be poured into a prepared mold.


Mixing up a batch of bondo is about as easy as things get, but you do need to be mindful of working with Cab-O-Sil®; it is extremely light and will get airborne easily.

■ Pour Pros-Aide® adhesive into the container you will be using to mix bondo.

■ Carefully spoon a small amount of Cab-O-Sil® from its container into the Pros-Aide®.

■ Slowly stir with a small craft stick (popsicle stick) until the Cab-O-Sil® and Pros-Aide® are thoroughly mixed.

■ Add more Cab-O-Sil® and stir.

■ Repeat until it reaches the thickness that you want.

■ Cover to prevent the bondo from drying out.

If you are making bondo for 3D transfer or bondo appliances, you can add flocking or pigment along with the Cab-O-Sil®.


If you’d like to try your hand at something a little different than simply stretch­ing the skin and stippling on latex, here are a couple of recipes you can try for variety in your repertoire.

Premiere Products

PPI’s Green Marble SeLr ® is one way to approach subtle aging, but achieving the finished result also requires subtle painting. To turn Green Marble SeLr ® into an aging material, you must use the concentrate and not the spray; added to the Green Marble SeLr® is Attagel, a very fine clay powder used as a thixotropic agent in cosmetics.

Ratio (oz) of Attagel to Green Marble SeLr ®:

■ 1 oz. to 3 oz. heavy ager on most skin types

■ 1 oz. to 4 oz. medium-heavy ager

■ 1 oz. to 5 oz. medium-light ager

■ 1 oz. to 6 oz. light ager on most skin types

A 1:6 Attagel:Green Marble SeLr ® ratio will work as a fine-line wrinkle texture when used very lightly. Without affecting large wrinkles, this 1:6 formula changes the texture of the skin, which is excellent for subtle, closeup aging. The applica­tion technique works the same as with latex for stretch and stipple.


Depending on the thickness and placement of the ager, some areas of the face may crack or flake. This usually happens around the mouth, but repairs can be done quickly and easily using any of the following three methods:


Paint 99 percent alcohol in the direction of the wrinkles.

■ Apply Telesis® thinner and/or acetone (faster) with a brush. Then apply only Green Marble Selr ® (use a brush, sponge or spray).

■ Reapply some of the original ager material.


This technique is useful when you don’t have time to do a thorough repair. Temporary patching media include:

■ Oil-free sodium-based moisturizers

■ K-Y® jelly

■ 99 percent pure clear aloe.


The best removal technique to dissolve Green Marble materials involves the use of isopropyl myristate or IPM gel, massaged with the fingers, into the skin. In addition, the finger-massage technique works exceptionally well around the eyes and is more comfortable for the actor.


I made up that name (at least I’ve never seen or heard it anywhere else before), but I didn’t make up the formula; it comes from Richard Corson. It’s a mixture of Pros-Aide® adhesive, acrylic matte medium (I use Liquitex liquid), and either pure talc or Cab-O-Sil® to thicken the mixture slightly. Too much of either talcum or Cab-O-Sil® will cause the mixture to remain white after it dries. You want it to dry relatively transparently so that it can be used over set foundation for a more natural aging technique.

Try mixing Pros-Aide® and Matte Medium 1:1 by volume. Thinner mixtures will result in finer wrinkles, whereas thicker mixtures will produce thicker, deeper wrinkles. Because Pros-Aide® is part of the solution, it will dry somewhat tacky, so it will need to be powdered.

Dick’s Ager

Years ago makeup pioneer Dick Smith created a latex wrinkle stipple formula that almost everybody has used at one time or another. It’s a mixture of high-grade foam latex base, pure talc, pulverized cake makeup foundation, gelatin, and water. Yum! Here’s the recipe from Richard Corson and James Glavan’s book, Stage Makeup:

■ 90 grams (100 ml) foam latex base

■ 10 grams (5 tsp.) pure talc U. S.P.

■ 6 grams (2 tsp.) loose powdered cake foundation (or pigmented powder)

■ 2 grams (У2 tsp.) Knox® unflavored gelatin (or 300-bloom gelatin if you have it)

■ (3 Tbsp.) boiling distilled water

■ Acrylic gel medium (for medium stipple recipe)

■ Pliatex Casting Filler from Sculpture House (for heavy stipple)

Once this mixture is prepared, it must be stored in a refrigerator between uses. Because it contains gelatin, it must be heated until it liquefies for application. This recipe can be modified to create a light wrinkler, medium wrinkler, or heavy wrinkler. When you need something that will have a bit more sticking power, mix 1:1 Pros-Aide® and foam latex base.

Light recipe:

1. Mix talc, powdered foundation, and gelatin in small mixing bowl.

2. Add 3 Tbsp. boiling distilled water to the powders. Be sure to use distilled water; some tap water will change the pH of the latex and cause it to curdle. Add the water 1 Tbsp. at a time, stirring after each, until the mixture is smooth.

3. Strain the latex through tulle or cheesecloth to remove lumps.

4. Slowly add the dissolved powder mixture to the latex, stirring quickly to avoid lumps.

5. Pour the mixture into 2 oz. or 3 oz. jars (plastic or glass); label them, including the date.

Medium recipe:

Combine the light recipe with either 60 grams of acrylic gel medium or 50 grams of gel medium and 3 Tbsp. of Cab-O-Sil®.

Stir small amounts of the light stipple into the gel medium until they are thoroughly mixed.

Pour into small jars and label with the date.


Combine one part medium recipe by volume with one part Sculpture House Pliatex Casting Filler.

Pour into jars and label with the date.

should all be refrigerated after pouring into jars and sealed. Application of these formulas follows the same procedures and steps as for regular latex stipple.


I’m not sure what H-1 through H-9 were like, but H-10 is pretty cool. H-10 is a mixture of Gaf Quat and moustache wax heated and blended, then mixed with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol); it’s used to flatten hair around the hairline for bald cap applications. Here’s how to make it:

1. Heat 1 part moustache wax with 1 part Gaf Quat until both are melted. If you use a microwave, be careful not to overheat; the Gaf Quat will bubble and expand. Heat gradually.

2. When both the wax and the Gaf Quat are mixed completely, slowly add 1 part alcohol (all parts are by volume, not weight) until thoroughly mixed.

3. Before the mixture sets up, pour it into a small container with a lid.


The H-10 can then be applied with a small dental spatula, old toothbrush, or your fingers. This stuff will hold hair in place in a typhoon; it’ll sure as heck keep hair in place for a bald cap application.

PAX Paint & PAX Medium

I know pax is Latin for peace, but does anyone know what PAX stands for other than perhaps Pros-Aide®/Acrylic MiX? Works for me, but I’m just guessing. Whatever the acronym, it’s good stuff and has been around for a while. It can be purchased in ready-made colors matched to William Tuttle and RCMA foundation shades, but it’s really easy to make yourself, too.


PAX paint can be used directly on the skin, but is best used for painting appli­ances prior to application. Use good judgment regarding use on someone’s skin. To make your own opaque, flexible PAX paint, mix Pros-Aide® and acrylic art­ist paint (e. g., Liquitex) 1:1. Because it is a mixture of acrylic paint and a strong prosthetic adhesive, it can be somewhat stubborn to remove, so be careful about using it near sensitive areas of skin, such as around the eyes. PAX Paint can be altered and modified for considerable versatility by doing one or more of the following:

Whether you use PAX Paint, PAX Medium, or both, it dries with a bit of a shine and remains a bit tacky to the touch. It is a good idea to powder it with a translucent setting powder.

This page intentionally left blank

Brush®, 24-25, 29, 118, 318

[1]Vincent J-R Kehoe, Special Make-Up Effects (Focal Press, 1991).

[2]Richard Rickitt, Designing Movie Creatures and Characters (Focal Press, 2006).

[3]Tyra and James Arraj, Tracking the Elusive Human, Vol. I (Inner Growth Books, 1988).

[4]Tyra and James Arraj, Tracking the Elusive Human, Vol. I (Inner Growth Books, 1988).

[5]Tyra and James Arraj, Tracking the Elusive Human, Vol. I (Inner Growth Books, 1988).

[6]Sarah Simblet, Anatomy for the Artist (DK Publishing, 2001).

[7]Sarah Simblet, Anatomy for the Artist (DK Publishing, 2001).

[8]Atlas of Anatomy (Taj Books, 2002).

[9]Sarah Simblet, Anatomy for the Artist (DK Publishing, 2001).

[10]Sarah Simblet, Anatomy for the Artist (DK Publishing, 2001).

[11]Avard T. Fairbanks and Eugene F. Fairbanks, Human Proportions for Artists (Fairbanks Art and Books, 2005).

[12]Henry Gray, Anatomy of the Human Body (Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 1918; Bartleby. com, 2000, www. bartleby. com/107/).

[13]Wikipedia contributors, "Stretch marks," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http:// en. wikipedia. org/w/index. php? title=Stretch_marks&oldid=165987535.

[14]Wikipedia contributors, "Stretch marks," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http:// en. wikipedia. org/w/index. php? title=Stretch_marks&oldid=165987535.

[15]Wikipedia contributors, "Stretch marks," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http:// en. wikipedia. org/w/index. php? title=Stretch_marks&oldid=165987535.

[16]Mayo Clinic Staff, “Age spots (liver spots),” www. mayoclinic. com/health/age-spots/ DS00912/DSECTION=2.

[17]Wikipedia contributors, “Freckle,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en. wikipedia. org/w/index. php? title=Freckle&oldid=166224174.

[18]Wikipedia contributors, “Melanocytic nevus,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http:// en. wikipedia. org/w/index. php? title=Melanocytic_nevus&oldid=166037601.

[19]Wikipedia contributors, "Birthmark," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en. wikipedia. org/w/index. php? title=Birthmark&oldid=164696060.

[20]Postiche; Dictionary. com, WordNet® 3.0, Princeton University; http://dictionary. reference. com/browse/postiche.

[21]Wikipedia contributors, "Hair," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en. wikipedia. org/w/index. php? title=Hair&oldid=166373232.

[22]Wikipedia contributors, "Hair," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en. wikipedia. org/w/index. php? title=Hair&oldid=166373232.

[23]Wikipedia contributors, "Hair," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en. wikipedia. org/w/index. php? title=Hair&oldid=166373232.

[24]Wikipedia contributors, “Scar,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en. wikipedia. org/w/index. php? title=Scar&oldid=165002945.

[25]Wikipedia contributors, “Scar,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en. wikipedia. org/w/index. php? title=Scar&oldid=165002945.

[26]Avard T. Fairbanks and Eugene F. Fairbanks, Human Proportions for Artists (Fairbanks Art and Books, 2005).

[27]Avard T. Fairbanks and Eugene F. Fairbanks, Human Proportions for Artists (Fairbanks Art and Books, 2005).

[28]Avard T. Fairbanks and Eugene F. Fairbanks, Human Proportions for Artists (Fairbanks Art and Books, 2005).

[29]Avard T. Fairbanks and Eugene F. Fairbanks, Human Proportions for Artists (Fairbanks Art and Books, 2005).

[30]Avard T. Fairbanks and Eugene F. Fairbanks, Human Proportions for Artists, (Fairbanks Art and Books, 2005).

[31]Avard T. Fairbanks and Eugene F. Fairbanks, Human Proportions for Artists (Fairbanks Art and Books, 2005).

[32]Avard T. Fairbanks and Eugene F. Fairbanks, Human Proportions for Artists (Fairbanks Art and Books, 2005).

[33]Karen T. Taylor, Forensic Art and Illustration (CRC Press, 2001).

[34]Wikipedia contributors, "Secondary sex characteristic," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en. wikipedia. org/w/index. php? title=Secondary_sex_characteristic&oldid=166755262.

[35]Karen T. Taylor, Forensic Art and Illustration (CRC Press, 2001).

[36]Karen T. Taylor, Forensic Art and Illustration (CRC Press, 2001).

[37]Karen T. Taylor, Forensic Art and Illustration (CRC Press, 2001).

[38]Karen T. Taylor, Forensic Art and Illustration (CRC Press, 2001).

[39]Karen T. Taylor, Forensic Art and Illustration (CRC Press, 2001).

[40]Henry Field, The Races of Mankind (C. S. Hammond and Co., 1946).

[41]Henry Field, The Races of Mankind (C. S. Hammond and Co., 1946).

[42]Karen T. Taylor, Forensic Art and Illustration (CRC Press, 2001).

[43]Wikipedia contributors, “Epicanthal fold,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http:// en. wikipedia. org/w/index. php? title=Epicanthal_fold&oldid=166374872.

[44]Patsy Baker, Wigs & Makeup for Theatre, Film, and Television (Butterworth-Heinemann, 1993).

[45]Patsy Baker, Wigs & Makeup for Theatre, Film, and Television (Butterworth-Heinemann, 1993).


The best preparation for simulating skin diseases some sort of alien crud that nobody’s ever seen and look at the section on surface anatomy and skin, and you might come up with some ideas.


These two materials are absolute essentials for an artist’s kit. Skin-safe silicones are two-part (A-B) components that are mixed 1:1 by volume and can be applied directly to the skin, sculpted into a wound, burn, or the like, powdered, and then painted. These silicones set up in minutes and can feasibly be peeled off and used again later. There are three that I know of on the market currently, from Alcone, Smooth-On, and Mould Life, called Third Degree, Skin Tite®, and Sculpt Gel, respectively.

Gelatin is easy to use as an out of the kit material.

Подпись:Подпись:SKIN CONDITIONSПодпись: FIGURE 9.35 Skin-Safe silicone. Photo by the author. Подпись:It needs to be heated so that it will melt and can then be applied directly to the skin; make sure that it’s not too hot. It will burn if it’s heated too much. You can also damage the gelatin itself by too much heat. Warm it just enough for it to melt. Blisters, scars, and the like are easy to create. When the gelatin is set, powder it to remove the stickiness. If you’re using gelatin blood,


powdering it will remove the glossiness that wet blood would have, so don’t powder blood.

Before applying gelatin, apply a layer of Top Guard® or Pros-Aide® as a barrier layer to prevent perspiration from causing the gelatin to loosen. Refer back to Chapter 6 for more information on working with gelatin.


After reading this chapter, you should now know more about:

Подпись: ■ ■ Подпись:Подпись: ■Подпись: ■Making bondo and its use as a prosthetic transfer material

How to make and apply a bald cap and some other uses for the different

types of bald cap plastic material

Making built-up ears and noses out of latex or plastic cap material

What Tuplast is

Using nose and scar wax

Making scars with rigid collodion

Tattoo and creature texture stencils

Why you should take an airbrush class

Making and using 3D prosthetic transfers

How to incorporate electrostatic flocking into your work

Applying latex age stipple

Collecting reference images for creating trauma, wounds, burns, and skin conditions

Working out of the kit with skin-safe silicone and gelatin

You will find some discrepancies among makeup artists about what is absolutely essential to have in your kit or at least in your possession. I have kits for differ­ent gigs as well as chests, cases, and bags of differing sizes, from countertop oak behemoths to over-the-shoulder canvas on-set bags and everything in between.

Gerstner & Sons of Dayton, Ohio, make well-crafted oak machinist chests that I’ve found to be excellent units for holding many of the items I use. They are available in numerous sizes and configurations, but they can be quite expensive. Harbor Freight carries a machinist chest that is also oak, versatile, and much less expensive than a Gerstner chest. RCMA used to sell nice makeup cases like these; I’m not sure if they still do or not.

Here is a partial list of items you will want to have in your kit; with them you will be armed with the tools to create virtually anything you are asked to create right out of the kit.

■ Makeup case

■ On-set bag

■ Brush holders

■ Brush roll

■ Misc. brushes

■ Latex triangle sponges

■ Orange sponge (porous synthetic rubber sponges might even be yellow)

■ Palette knife (plastic and metal)

■ Tissues

■ Misc. clips

■ Stipple sponges

■ Velour powder puffs

■ Tweezers (several sizes)

■ Hand mirror

■ Small sharp scissors

■ Utility scissors

■ Misc. combs; rattail comb

■ Misc. hair brushes

■ Cotton pads

■ Cotton balls



Cotton swabs (Q-tips®)—round end, point end, flat end

■ Long cotton swabs

■ Bald cap head form

■ Brush cleaner (Parian Spirit) and container

■ Misc. plastic containers

■ 1 oz. and 2 oz. plastic cups for adhesives, etc.

■ Hair hackle


Подпись: FIGURE A.3 Misc. brush holders (these are homemade).
Подпись: FIGURE A.4 A typical brush roll by Crown Brushes.

Drawing mats

■ Breath mints (seriously; I’m not kidding)

■ Purell or other hand sanitizer

■ Work towels

■ Paper mats

■ Makeup cape or cover cloth

■ Misc. spray bottles

■ Misc. hairclips

■ Misc. hair bands

■ Airbrush and compressor

■ Pipe cleaners

■ Misc. tooth brushes

■ Hair-thinning scissors

■ Small blow dryer

■ Misc. curling irons

■ Misc. flattening/straightening iron

■ Disposable lip gloss applicators

■ Disposable mascara brushes

■ Misc. syringes (without needles)

■ Nail clippers

■ Setting powder

■ Ninety-nine percent isopropyl alcohol

■ Telesis® 5 adhesive


Telesis® 5 thinner Telesis® Super Solv®

Pros-Aide® adhesive Isopropyl Myristate Blood

Misc. gelatin Rigid collodion Collodion remover Crepe hair (wool)

Coffee mug warmer Makeup sealer Plastic cap material Latex stipple Misc. creme foundations Styptic pencil Eye drops

Makeup pencil sharpener Disposable razors Shaving cream Skin moisturizer Skin cleanser Telesis® Top Guard®

Ben Nye® Bond Off!

Orangewood stick Misc. craft sticks Toothpicks Tuplast

Skin-safe silicone (3rd Degree; Skin Tite®, Sculpt Gel)

Disposable eyeliner brushes

Misc. eyebrow pencils

Skin Illustrator or Stacolor palettes

Bondo (Pros-Aide® and Cab-O-Sil®)


Glycerin K-Y® lubricant Castor sealer

Latex, vinyl, or nitrile gloves Nose and scar wax

This page intentionally left blank

Nosebleed on Demand

I’ll share one trick I use because it is really effec­tive and quite low tech, as many great effects can be. This gag requires a piece of porous rubber sponge, a piece of latex makeup sponge, a pair of tweezers, and some stage blood. And a performer with clear nasal passages.

1. With small, sharp scissors, form each of the sponge pieces into balls about У4-1/ inch (.5-1 cm).

2. Saturate the porous sponge with stage blood and place it into one of your subject’s nostrils

with the tweezers, just out of sight. You might want to test first to ensure that the sponge doesn’t flare the nostril unnaturally. Clean off any blood with a Q-tip.

Подпись: 3. 4. Place the latex sponge into the other nostril, also out of sight. Make sure it doesn’t flare the nostril either. Because the latex sponge is dense, it will prevent your subject from passing air through that nostril.

The other nostril has a porous sponge that will allow air through as air forces the blood out. You with me?

Your performer will need to be a mouth breather for a bit or the effect will be premature. At the appropriate time—say, when your subject gets punched in the face (but not really) —your subject breathes out through the nose; all the air is channeled into one nostril and blood begins to trickle or run out of the nostril, just as if he’d been actually hit.

Подпись: FIGURE 9.32 Everything in place for the nosebleed effect. Photo by the author. Nosebleed on Demand
Of course, breathing out too hard may expel the sponge, so there’s that to keep in mind.

FIGuRE 9.33

Somebody get a tissue! Photos by the author.


Nosebleed on DemandNosebleed on Demand

Nosebleed on DemandBurns

Tuplast and gelatin make great herpes blisters, burn blisters, and any other sort of gross pus – filled lesions you might be called on to create for a character. Again, you need examples from real­ity for what you are creating. There are forensic books and medical books available as reference with all the pictures you could want and then some. Some of them are listed in the appendix at the back of this book. Be forewarned: Some of the images contained in these books might be quite disturbing to look at and should definitely be kept away from impressionable eyes.


This is definitely the realm of the well-rounded makeup effects artist but not the focus of this book. So this will be merely a glancing blow. Much of what you’ll create to simulate trauma and various wounds is approached from the same direction as much of the work in this book: Know the type of makeup you need to create, research it and gather photos, sculpt it on a cast of the "victim," mold it, cast it, paint it, and apply it. Then add blood. Or pus. Or both. For really excellent "how-to" information on this stuff, it’s hard to beat Tom Savini’s Grand Illusions and Grand Illusions Book II. Tom’s work is as much about special effects as it is makeup effects.


Bruises are the result of internal bleeding, when capillaries near the skin’s surface break:

■ First is redness as blood spills from the broken vessels.

■ Next comes maroon as the blood begins to coagulate, then turns bluish purple over time, maybe even black.

■ As the bruise begins to heal, it will change to a brownish green and then to yellow as everything is gradually reabsorbed back into the body.


Подпись: FIGURE 9.23 Adding different hair after a bald cap application using electrostatic flocking instead of a wig. Photo by the author. This is an easy way to age someone either sub­tly or dramatically. There are a variety of meth­ods for creating age-simulating wrinkles, too. However, trying to age someone in their late teens to late 20s might be ineffective with this tech­nique because for it to work well there needs to be some stretch and pliability to the skin. Young skin is often too firm and taut to stretch enough for the stipple technique to be noticeable. However, combined with more traditional makeup tech­niques of highlight and shadow, and with pros­thetics, aging can be convincingly achieved.

The most common aging stipple technique involves using latex; it can be done in 16 stages, with each stage involving five steps, or it won’t work. Remember that skin stretches perpendicular to the pull of the muscle beneath it. Also, only do those parts of the face that require aging for the particular makeup.


Подпись:Подпись:Temple—pull up above the temple and pull down below to create crow’s feet outside the eye.

Подпись: 6.Подпись: 7.Temple—pull up above the other temple and pull down below to create crow’s feet outside the eye.


Nasolabial fold—lift area away from center of face or have the subject puff area to be aged.

8. Nasolabial fold (other side) —lift area away from center of face or have subject puff area to be aged.

9. Upper lip—have subject puff entire area to be stippled.

10. Chin—with neck arched, pull the side of the chin away from the center of the face.


Latex may have strong ammonia smell, so be prepared to use a fan of some sort.


figure 9.28

Cheek—using a large craft stick (tongue depressor), have your subject carefully reach deep into the cheek inside the mouth and push out. Photo by the author.

11. Chin—with neck arched, pull the other side of the chin away from the center of the face.

12. Cheek—using a large craft stick (tongue depressor), have your subject carefully reach deep into the cheek inside the mouth and push out. This will help tie the nasolabial folds and under-eye areas together.

13. Cheek—have your subject carefully reach deep into the other cheek and push out.

14. Neck—begin with the head tilted back to stipple the throat first.

15. Neck—now with the head turned one way.

16. Neck—now with the head turned the other way.

Again, the steps:

1. Stretch the skin.

2. Apply the latex. It does not have to be applied heavily; apply it thinly. Two layers are often enough.


3. Dry the latex.

4. Powder the latex.

5. Release (unstretch) the skin.

Excess powder should be removed with a small amount of water-soluble lubri­cant (such as K-Y® jelly) on a small brush. To color the latex, you can use RMGP, but it is not absolutely necessary. If you first brush a thin layer of cas­tor sealer over the latex, you can use regular creme colors to paint the latex; if you don’t use the castor sealer, the latex will absorb the carrier vehicle of the creme makeup and result in a discoloration of the latex that won’t match the rest of the skin.

Latex can be used as a contact adhesive and acts as such. If latex dries on the applicator you are using to add age stipple and dries on the skin, when the two come in contact with one another they will bond and you will either pull up the latex from your subject’s face or your subject will have an applicator stuck to her face.

There are several additional techniques for aging that involve latex and other materials, but I list merely some of them here. These provide more extreme effects, each with its own unique characteristics:

Подпись:Latex and tissue

Latex, tissue, and adhesive

Latex, cotton, and adhesive

Latex, cornmeal, wheat germ, or bran and adhesive Green Marble SeLr® and Attagel


This stuff is cool! I mentioned this process earlier in the book, but it bears repeating here. Outside of Los Angeles, these devices are not very easy to find for makeup use. You might want to consider purchasing one (they’re somewhat pricey—over $1,000) and making it available for rental when you are not using it; it is not a tool that is likely to get a lot of regular use unless you also are a mask, costume, prop, or puppet maker, taxidermist, or Furry enthusiast. However, I suspect that having one could inspire lots of uses within the makeup effects craft for both stage and screen. I want one!

The way it works is this: The device is charged with high-voltage electric­ity—70 kv but with very low amperage so that there is no health or safety risk. The principle is that two poles of opposite polarity attract each other and the field lines always hit the surface vertically. So, if a hair (fiber) is charged at one pole, it will fly according to the field lines directly at the opposite pole. Now, presume that the surface at the opposite pole is coated with adhesive; the fiber will embed ver­tically in the adhesive. The flocking gun should be no more than about 8-12 inches (20-30 cm) from the subject.

Varying lengths of flocking material can be used to simulate bottom and top hairs, and depending on the adhesive used, low pressure compressed air can be used to direct hairs in a particular direction or pattern to mimic the reality of growth patterns.

ELECTROSTATIC FLOCKINGПодпись: FIGURE 9.22 Electrostatic flocking can be used for many different applications. Image reproduced by permission of Gernot Minke. ELECTROSTATIC FLOCKINGOne fairly obvious note of caution: During application, which should occur in brief stages when applied directly to a subject’s face and head, keep your subject’s eyes closed and have her hold her breath for a moment, since the flocking can and will enter the eyes, nose, and mouth if they’re open during application.

Making 3D Transfers

The following is not exactly Christien Tinsley’s recipe; Christien’s a great guy, but he’s not going to give away the proprietary for­mula and process for an inno­vation that won him a 2007 Scientific and Technical Academy Award. But it is one that works; Oscar nominee Vittorio Sodano used it for the 2006 Mel Gibson epic Apocalypto and he shared it with me.

You can try your own, too. The technical and creative proclivity of this industry only advances by curious experimentation and discovery, so go experiment and discover.


Подпись: Silicone release (Frekote® 1711) Transfer paper (white or blue) Krylon Dulling Spray Latex makeup sponges Flat straight-edge scraper Modeling clay or modeling wax Q-tips®Making 3D Transfers
Silicone mold rubber Silicone parchment paper.002 mm acetate sheets Small (dental) spatula Pre-colored bondo Scissors

Final Seal or Blue Aqua Sealer

Remember that bondo is a mixture of Pros-Aide® and Cab-O-Sil®; you can color it with a bit of flocking material, pigment, or both—it depends largely on what the end result is supposed to be. With pigment, the appliance may become opaque, but with flocking, there will be translucency and visible variation in the surface coloration.

1. Once the lifecast has been made of the body part needed for the 3D transfer, cast a silicone positive because this is what you will sculpt the prosthetic on.

For silicones, the higher the Shore A number, the harder the cured silicone. For example, Smooth-On’s Dragon Skin® has a Shore A hardness of 10, which is pretty soft. Polytek’s Plat-Sil Gel 10 has a Shore A hardness of —you guessed it—10; also soft, which is why it’s good for prosthetic appliances, but not for this. Smooth-On’s Mold Max 30 has a Shore A hardness of 30, which is fairly stiff and should be sufficient for this process.

2. Sculpt the appliance with either modeling clay (such as Chavant® Le Beau Touche) or modeling wax.

Подпись: FIGURE 9.19 Wound sculpt on a silicone positive. Photo by the author. Подпись:

Making 3D Transfers

When you’re done with the sculpture, put the silicone positive in the freezer until the piece freezes.

3. Carefully remove the clay piece (or pieces) from the sili­cone positive; the silicone will still be pliable even if the clay is very firm from being frozen. Press against the sili­cone to help separate it from the clay, being careful not to disturb the edges more than necessary.

4. Lay the clay onto an 8% x 11-inch sheet of silicone parchment paper (a larger sheet if necessary). Gently press it down with a soft sponge until the clay bottom is in complete contact with the parchment, especially the edges. Make sure you are doing this on a completely flat surface.

5. Retexture if necessary.

6. Build a clay flashing channel and a low retaining wall; you’re creating a box mold. Use foam-core strips or flex­ible rubber molding, depending on the shape you need for the new mold, and hot-glue the wall (low temp so you don’t melt the acetate) so that it won’t leak.

7. Mix enough Hard Shore A silicone to rise % inch (1 cm) above the highest point of the clay. When the silicone has fully cured, peel the clay out of the mold and clean any residue with 99 percent IPA and a Q-tip®.

8. Release the negative mold with silicone release—Mann’s Ease 200 or Ease 800,

Loctite’s Frekote® 1711, or Smooth-On’s Universal Mold Release will each work— and then add the precolored bondo, mak­ing sure to get into every part of the mold.

9. Cut and place a piece of the silicone parch­ment paper across the top of the negative


You can follow the instructions here, or you can sculpt your piece directly on a smooth surface that you can then make a silicone mold of, complete with flashing channel. simply begin at step 6 instead of step 1. Personally, i prefer to sculpt the appliance on a smooth, flat surface.

Making 3D Transfers
mold. Make sure the flat scraper is wider than the mold and then use it to squeegee the excess bondo into the flashing channel, taking care not to press hard enough to remove any material from the negative itself.

10. Now place this mold in the freezer until the bondo is frozen and then carefully peel out the prosthetic and the silicone parchment paper from the mold.


if you use the silicone parchment,
you will notice that moisture from the bondo will
cause the paper to buckle somewhat. Don’t worry, this will not
affect the application of the piece. You might want to try using the
.002 mm acetate in place of the parchment; it will not buckle and you will
get a perfectly uniform contact with the bondo. However, you must properly
release the acetate before using it or you will never get it off the appliance
when you attach the transfer paper. A thin layer of Frekote® 1711 applied
first, followed by a thin layer of Krylon Dulling Spray, will allow the
acetate sheet to easily peel away from the appliance after
you’ve attached it to the transfer paper.

Making 3D Transfers
This is what has happened to the bondo: When the adhesive freezes, it becomes polymerized (becomes plastic) but remains soft and rubbery and still a bit tacky. Why? Near as I can figure it, it’s because Pros-Aide® is a water-based acrylic adhe­sive; when it freezes, the water is drawn out of the acrylic, allowing it to plasti­cize and become rubbery. When it thaws, the water begins to evaporate, leaving just the plasticized bondo. I’m not a chemist and haven’t asked one about this because it’s only occurring to me now as I’m writing it.

11. Allow the prosthetic to dry. You might want to hit it with a hair dryer for a few minutes to help it along. It could take as long as an hour or more to dry if allowed to just sit. It is partly dependent on the size of the appliance.

12. Powder the appliance to remove the tackiness and store it safely covered until you’re ready to use it.

13. When you are ready to use it, stipple a light coat of Pros-Aide® over the surface of the prosthetic transfer all the way to the edges using a small piece of latex makeup sponge or a Q-tip® and let the adhesive dry until it’s clear.

14. Place the prosthetic face-down onto the shiny side of the transfer paper.

15. Press the appliance firmly onto the transfer paper, paying close attention to the edges. This is the most important part of the process.

16. Trim the paper as close to the edge of the prosthetic as you can.

Making 3D Transfers

17. Slowly peel off the silicone parchment (or acetate). If any part of the prosthetic starts to pull away from the transfer paper, carefully press the whole appliance back onto the paper and repeat until the silicone parchment or acetate comes away cleanly.

Now the transfer is ready for application.

18. Make sure the skin is clean, dry, and oil/makeup-free.

19. Carefully position and place the appliance face down onto the skin and press firmly.

20. Wet the back of the prosthetic—the transfer paper—with a moist paper towel, powder puff, cotton pad, or the like and hold it firmly to the paper for about 30 seconds.

21. Peel or slide the paper carefully off the prosthetic. Smooth the transfer with a bit of water and let it dry. Again, you can use a hair dryer to help. Any visible edges can be blended off easily with a small brush and 99 percent IPA.

22. Seal with Pros-Aide® (dry it first, then powder) or powder with translucent setting powder and then seal with Final Seal or Blue Aqua Sealer. Tinsley recommends Final Seal from Ben Nye®. FYI, Blue Aqua Sealer from Reel Creations is water-based acrylic and Final Seal is alcohol based.

Then apply makeup or paint as necessary. Matthew Mungle also uses bondo appliances for his award-winning makeup work, but foregoes the transfer paper route. His process is:

1. Two coats W. M. Creations Soft Sealer in a silicone mold.

2. Pros-Aide® Bondo spatulated into the mold. Dried.

3. One coat of Soft Sealer.

Take some time and try these and variations. Always remember: There is never one and only one way to do anything in our field. Removing bondo appliances is easy using Super Solv®, Bond Off!®, or Isopropyl Myristate, dampened on a powder puff, and so on.


You can use an airbrush to create a spatter or stipple effect if the pressure is suffi­ciently low and you remove both the needle cap and nozzle cap of the airbrush. If you’re painting directly on someone (or even if you’re not), be careful, because the needle point is exposed, and airbrush needles are very sharp and pointy. With little air pressure coming from the compressor, you will get even less by not fully pressing down on the trigger; pull back to let the pigment flow and you will get a spatter. The more air you introduce into the mix, the finer the spatter. Trust me when I tell you that this requires a good bit of practice to master. I’ve been airbrushing since the 1970s, but if I don’t do it for a while, sometimes months, it takes a little refreshing to get the feel back.

This effect can also be achieved very effectively using cut down 1-inch chip brushes. It also cre­ates a somewhat more random pattern as well, though I’m sure that point is arguable. By cut­ting down the brush, lightly swirling it in your color, and then flicking the bristles with your finger, you will flick the pigment.

Moving the brush closer and farther away from your subject and/or using varying pressure will ensure that the randomness of the spatter will continue. Don’t forget to move the brush to new areas, too. This technique is discussed in Chapters 6 and 7 3d prosthetic transfers

Christien Tinsley’s need for time management, ease of application, and continuity in large numbers led to the development of first 2D, then 3D prosthetic transfers, first for the 2001 film Pearl Harbor and then for 2003’s Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. Prosthetic transfers have been used extensively since, on such projects as The Passion of the Christ, Find Me Guilty, The Cinderella Man, Nip/Tuck, Grey Gardens, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Fallen, and many more.


An airbrush is a wonderful tool and can create amazing makeup effects in the hands of a skilled user. Airbrushing is not something you can simply become instantly good at; it requires lots of practice, and it requires the right equipment: a dual-action airbrush that allows you to control both airflow and the amount of pigment mixing with the air, and a compressor that’s quiet, consistent, and allows you to regulate the amount of air pressure, from just a few pounds per square inch (psi)—say, maybe 3 psi to at least 10 psi.

More than 10psi will put almost as much pigment into the air around you as on your subject. You don’t want to get a lot of paint or makeup pigment in the air—that’s the same air you’re breathing, so that’s not really good, and you don’t want much air pressure when painting around someone’s face (eyes, ears, nose, and mouth). Think of sticking your head out the window of a car going 20 mph

Подпись: FIGURE 9.17 Neill Gorton painting a makeup appliance with a cut-down chip brush and spatter technique with Skin Illustrator®. Photo by the author.


(32 kph). Airbrushing requires a controlled environment with excellent ventila­tion. And it’s almost imperative that you have more than one airbrush to use so that you aren’t stopping and starting frequently to refill the brush, clean it, change color, and so on. If you’re working on a show, time is money, and the longer you take. . . well, you get the picture.

If airbrushing is something you’d like to give a whirl, and I know you do, take a class. There is too much to know about how airbrushes work and what safety precautions you need to know to keep a safe and healthy working environment. You’ll find some resources in the appendix at the back of this book.