Don't leave home without it!

As a filmmaker it is important to always be prepared for any situation that may come up during shooting. Whether you are a makeup artist or just a producer running a small Makeup01Media Pro Poudre Palette Mojave MHP-8film crew having the following items on hand can be a lifesaver. First find a great foundation palette that includes everything from a natural olive to rich brown shades. This is a great touch up tool to match all actors of different ethnicities. Having a versatile foundation palette also allows you to make your subject darker or lighter then they are depending on what the script calls for. Sometimes for a more Sunkist look you can stipple a darker shade foundation on the actors cheeks and forehead. You can use this same technique with a red crème for a sunburned look.

Another must have, which I have kept on hand since special FX makeup classes, is Ben Nye’s Character Makeup Kit. This is a great affordable starter kit with a little bit of everything you might need. Included are liquid latex, stage blood, spirit gum remover, spirit gum adhesive, nose & scar wax (fair), a black stipple sponge, a latex sponge, a black eye pencil and a brush. You can do so many Makeup02different things with these materials I just cannot feature all in one exposition. In my personal experience I have always come to the liquid latex for many different uses. I like to use it for quick scrapes or scabs. You just apply where needed and before it completely dries use a stipple sponge or something else to scrape against it and color/blend as needed. The wax also comes in handy for scaring or even a quick nose change.

The next item on my must have list can be added to the character starter kit or bought separately. Ben Nye professional wheels bruise & abrasions crème is one of the most important pieces to include in your special FX makeup kit. It is great for coloring any kind of wound on set. If you have read Adding Big Time Effects with a Small Time Budget I talk about a shrapnel wound that I had to create for a film. To color the inside and outside of the prosthetic piece I used the bruise and abrasions wheel with effective results. A quick tip: for a fresh bruise use more purple and black and for a healing bruise use more brown and yellow.

The last two items you cannot leave home without are translucent powder and rigid collodion, also known as liquid scarring. Translucent powder will help set any makeup you have applied for a more finished look. It is also great for helping with any glow on the actors.


Makeup03Most times I don’t apply any makeup on male actors, just the translucent powder. As for the rigid collodion, I found this product while working on a film called Outside Paradise. The script called for excessive scarring on a characters arm. You can use many different applications for this effect, but I found this one to be the fastest and easiest. Usually it comes in a bottle or tube as a clear solution. When it is applied to a small area of the skin it is meant to wrinkle the skin as it dries, creating a scarring effect.

All items mentioned in this article are listed below and can be found at my go-to makeup FX store!

Media Pro Poudre Palette Mojave MHP-8
Ben Nye Character Makeup Kit:
Liquid Latex
Stage Blood
Spirit Gum Remover
Spirit Gum Adhesive
Nose & Scar Wax Fair
Black Stipple Sponge
Latex Sponge
Eye Pencil Black
Translucent powder
Rigid Collodion (liquid scarring)

DiSantisPicLauren DeSantis fascination with film started as soon as she learned to work a VCR when she watched and re-watched, The Lion King at the age of 8. She holds a Bachelors degree in Theater Arts from Cal State Fullerton. It was here Lauren focused her interests in special effects makeup under the study of Abel Zeballos. She has since worked closely with Bloodline Films and Libby Blood Films as lead special effect makeup artist/designer, assistant art director and lead costume designer.

Lauren currently is working on her first novel as well as in pre-production for an upcoming feature film that will be produced through Bloodline Films. Watch for more articles from her in future issues of SVN.