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Monday, 2 November 2009

Halloween aftermath...

Oooh useful post!

Its in the days following Halloween that reality begins to set in...not only is it now November, but you have a plethora of truly awful pictures of your gruesome visage plastered across social networking sites, and Christmas is creeping up the back stairs to take your bank account from behind…HOWEVER, it does pose an excellent opportunity to review your handy work!

This Halloween my lovely lovely friends threw a late birthday party for me, for which I felt it appropriate to dress up as a pirate and play with my loooong unused FX wax skills. My poor fiancĂ© was the victim (literally) of my zombie makeover, I’ll throw some pictures in at the bottom of this post!

So, there are a few things you should know about FX wax,

1) If you loved mud pies, modelling clay, painting yourself with PVA, finger painting (or anything else that would make your parents wince at its mere suggestion) as a child, then you will love this. Rather than the hard wax that you glue on with spirit gum, FX wax is applied with nothing but body heat and water making really good for amateur use. It turns out to be surprisingly easy to cover too, I had worried that it may be resistant to normal foundation, but I was pleasantly surprised to find otherwise…. For this little experiment I went mainstream and used Snazaroo paints and FX wax, as they are widely available and relatively cheap to procure (though I recommend an online retailer for further savings!), its also useful to note that they do kits with varied components, great for one off’ usage.

2) Cover ANYTHING fabric within 2 meters of you with newspaper, trust me, no matter how neat you are, you WILL get blood cake on your carpet, pine table, curtains, self…..and it wont be coming out any time sooon…mmmmm...butcher kitch….. tasty!
3) Use lots of moisturiser on your victim/self…its amazing how much easier it is to lift paint dye off skin if it was well moisturised before hand…that goes for your fingers too, this stuff will get under your finger nails…I’m still wandering round looking like a gouged someone’s eyes out with my fingernails….
4) Don’t bother using FX wax if you know you’re going to sweat, it will not adhere to your face if its damp….so your bumpy vampire forehead will be on your chin before you’ve danced your first funky chicken…this is defiantly a temperature sensitive method!
5) Try blending some on the back of your hand if you have never used it before, the idea is that you damp your finger with a little water and smooth the edges until they join seamlessly with your skin. A seamless join men as that air cannot get underneath the prosthetic, making it adhere to the skin better. The water, as you will discover, is essential, other wise you end up with a sticky squidgy mess on both you and your subject.

I used blood cake, gel blood, my own foundation, and matt eye shadows to prepare Mel for Zombie-facation, as well as my own homemade blood, which was totally edible (though DOES NOT taste nice) on her clothes and wounds, the recipe for the safe and realistic looking blood is as follows:

1)Add 4 table spoons of instant coffee, a good slosh of red food colouring, a table spoon of gravy granules to a pan with a pint of water,
2)bring it to a simmer
3)stirring continuously add a table spoon of corn flour , mixed with a small amount of cold water (should make a small amount of white liquid) to the pan
4)continue to stir until blood thickens (this will go lumpy if you don’t keep stirring)
5)leave to cool in a glass container (it may stain plastic, and hot burns) overnight. Good for use on people, clothes and props….

Ingrediant re-cap:
gravy granules
red food colouring
corn flour
freeze dried coffe

It took a couple of hours to make Mel up, I started by adding the wax over her eyebrow, and past her eye onto her cheek bone, the at both corners of her mouth and on her top lip. Once this was on and blended I covered her face and the FX wax, using a sponge wedge and my own foundation (No.7 stay perfect foundation in Pale Cream, Boots) to give me a blank canvas. I fixed it with Talc (cheap and pale, a Halloween classic) I then added a layer of blood cake read to the waxed areas with another sponge wedge. This would look unrealistic alone, so I mixed a touch of black Snazaroo paint with the blood cake to make a darker more “clotted” looking colour. I stippled this on with a stippling sponge, but you could use a hog hair brush (gently!) to do this too. Finally I used a ruler (DON’T USEA KNIFE) to put cuts in the wax, to make it look like her eyebrow, the corners of her moth and her top lip were split, then filled these splits with gel blood. I finished the look by giving her red-ish hollowed out eyes, using a matt burgundy/brown eye shadow. Try not to use eye shadow’s with a sparkle for this, you will get a disco zombie, and it just isn’t the same! Finally I lightly drew in raised veins over her face, to make her look “infected”….tasty!

What do you think?? Let me know! I would really love some comments!

I want to hear your stories! Also I’m up for challenges, if you want to know how to produce a look, or just want to test my skills, I would be happy to have a go at it and report back with pictures!


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