Feb 132014
 

Frog Face with Fauxtex

Frog Face Makeup

This frog face makeup is yet another in a series of fauxtex makeup ideas for Halloween or costume parties. It is ideal for people who are allergic to real latex.
Fauxtex is a homemade substitute for latex made with tapioca flour, water, gelatin and solid coconut oil (though the oil is optional). It is easy and inexpensive to make, and is worth learning how to apply in different ways. It can be applied directly to the skin and built up; it can be used as a glue for fur, hair, feathers and even tree bark (as shown below); and it can be formed into shapes that are then applied to the skin and painted.
Camouflage Makeup

Tree Camouflage

The video below shows how I made this frog face makeup, but I will explain it as best I can in writing.
First, I made a batch of fauxtex using 1 cup water, 1/4 cup of tapioca flour, 2 packets of plain gelatin, and 1 tablespoon of solid coconut oil. I colored the batch of fauxtex with green and yellow food coloring while cooking it.
Then I used a Styrofoam head and added playdough (using this homemade playdough recipe)to make a shape that resembled my face. For the eye, I cut a ping pong ball in half and painted it with permanent markers and clear nail polish. I then spread a little oil over the playdough, placed the eye in the eye socket and spooned warm fauxtex on top of the playdough to form the frog face. After the fauxtex set for about half an hour, I put dots of warmed-up fauxtex on top to resemble warty frog skin.
The frog skin was allowed to set for two more hours before I peeled it off and applied it directly to my skin. Since fauxtex is a bit sticky, I used hand sanitizer on my fingers so it wouldn’t stick to my hands.
I used a little bit of warmed fauxtex as “glue”, placed the frog eye over my eye (notice it has a hole so I can see through it), and applied the frog skin over the eyeball and onto my skin. I used more warmed up fauxtex to fill in gaps around the frog eye and to smooth out the outer edges.

The video shows all of the above better than I can explain it. Here it is:

Oct 042012
 

Halloween fake blood

Realistic Fake Blood

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know I work a lot with tapioca flour. Well, last week as I was doing my Zombie BaitHalloween makeup, I realized I was out of store-bought fake blood, so I tried doing a tapioca version instead. It turned out better than the store-bought version.
Just had to share this DIY blood recipe!

Fake Blood Recipe

1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp tapioca flour
5 drops of red food coloring Continue reading »

Oct 032012
 
FX nose

DIY Fauxtex Nose

This post will show you how to use homemade fauxtex (latex substitute) for some simple prosthetic makeup pieces (ideal for Halloween or homemade movies). The hardest part about using fauxtex is timing. You have to allow the substance to cool enough to handle but not enough that it sets before you’re finished with your FX makeup.
First we’ll make a simple nose. This will be a solid nose that you can place directly on your skin. If you want a prosthetic nose to put over your real nose, you can scoop out the center with a warm spoon to make room for your nose inside the prosthetic. Continue reading »

Oct 012012
 

DIY zombie makeup

DIY Alternative to Latex

As promised, here is the new and greatly improved recipe for homemade latex substitute for use in FX makeup. After posting last year’s recipe, I received numerous questions about the uses of the latex substitute. Most of you wanted to know if you could make molds out of the recipe and if it could be saved for use another day. The answer to both questions was no. This new recipe approximates the behavior of commercial latex a lot more. It is still non-toxic and inexpensive to make. And though it can be used for several days, it is still biodegradable and disposable. Here is Continue reading »

Dec 082011
 

Bat Christmas ornament

Angry Bat Ornament

Here is an easy ornament craft you can do with your kids. I call it the Angry Bat ornament (they’re angry because they’ve been left out of the angry birds hype, and they’re swarming the Christmas trees!).
Here’s a free PDF pattern. Feel free to use it any way you want. You can make it as simple or as fancy as you want with paint, feathers, etc.
 
 

How to make a felt bat ornament:

Continue reading »

Oct 042011
 

DIY zombie makeup

DIY Alternative to Latex

Before you start special effects makeup school, practice with Fauxtex!
This is my third year working to perfect a recipe for a homemade alternative to latex, and the results are better than ever!
After much tweaking, I found something that is easy to work with, very cheap, extremely non-toxic, fairly quick to set up, and made from ingredients you can get at a grocery store. No, it does not behave exactly like the more expensive synthetic latex, but it is a good “starter fx makeup” that you can use to practice before going to film school, for creating wound simulation, or to use for fun anytime.
Since tapioca flour has always intrigued me for its rubbery consistency when mixed with a hot liquid, I wanted to use it to give my product a suppleness that not even latex has. Unfortunately, tapioca alone has no “hold.” For structure, I added gelatin (which you will see as the basis for most homemade FX makeups). This combination had both hold and suppleness, but was too tacky, making it a bit tricky to handle with your hands. The addition of coconut oil (which cools to a solid state) gave what I now call FAUXTEX a little bit more manageability without affecting the structure of the FX makeup.
It takes about 5 minutes to make a batch of fauxtex, then about 15 minutes until you can begin to use it either directly on your skin or on a sheet of plastic for later use. After 30-40 minutes, fauxtex can be squeezed out of a decorating funel (or sandwich bag) to make shapes such as bumps on skin, scales, or brains. It can also be shaped further after it congeals by using a hot knife as a carving or smoothing tool. Fauxtex is very flexible and comfortable to “wear” and feels more like flesh than latex. Its flexibility allows you to shape it on a flat surface for later use on a 3-dimensional surface. And, again, it is safe to use for anyone who is allergic to latex.

How to Make and Use Fauxtex

Put cold water in a sauce pan and mix in the tapioca flour, gelatin and coconut oil. Stir until the tapioca flour is dissolved (you can add liquid foundation makeup to add the desired skin color if you want). Turn on the heat and stir continuously until the mixture thickens to a pudding consistency. Cook for an additional minute, turn off the heat and let cool. This video shows how to make and use fauxtex (you can switch between English and Portuguese narration).
 

 
I now make fauxtex with three different structures: one for soft skin; one for moldable, but still soft matter; and the third for somewhat rigid structures such as ears. Here are the three recipes:

Latex Substitute Recipe


Recipe for Soft Skin: 1 cup cold water, 1/4 cup tapioca flour, 1 packet plain gelatin, 1 tablespoon solid coconut oil.
Recipe for Moldable Brains: 1 cup cold water, 1/4 cup tapioca flour, 1 1/2 packets plain gelatin, 1 tablespoon solid coconut oil.
Recipe for Ears: 1 cup cold water, 1/4 cup tapioca flour (or corn starch), 2 packets plain gelatin, 1 tablespoon solid coconut oil.

The first thing you are probably going to ask is “can I use corn starch instead of tapioca flour for all the recipes?” and I will answer “yes, but you won’t get the same skin-like results.” A recipe with corn starch will set up rigid rather than soft. You may actually want this result sometimes–say, for exposed tendons and ligaments–but I think you will like the tapioca version of fauxtex for most FX makeup jobs.

How to Apply Fauxtex

fake breastFauxtex can be applied directly to the skin while it’s still warm, or you can spoon it onto a piece of plastic film, let it set at least 30 minutes, then apply it to your skin. If you are applying a congealed form to your skin, use a bit of left-over fauxtex as adhesive: warm it up for a few seconds in the microwave and rub it on your skin like glue, then apply the fauxtex form onto it. To make shapes, you can either build up the fauxtex a bit at a time, or let cool 20-30 minutes after cooking, put it in a cake decorating funnel and squirt onto a piece of plastic to set. You can also shape it after it’s set with a heated butter knife (for carving or smoothing the surface). One thing that makes fauxtex easier to use than latex is that you can form it onto a flat surface and, after it congeals, it will still conform to a 3D surface such as your face.
Variations: You can make a couple variations on the fauxtex recipes above for scars or fake breasts. Use the first recipe without the coconut oil for fake scars, and (depending on how perky you want your breasts) use any of the recipes above without the gelatin for false breasts (click on the image for instructions).

This research was fun, and I hope you have fun with Fauxtex and save a ton of money with this simple recipe.
PLease “like” and share with friends!

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Video: Fautex Tips and Tricks (learn to make ears, noses, etc)

Oct 032011
 

paint Halloween skeleton hands

Paint Halloween Skeleton Hands

This tutorial is for my great nephew who is dressing as a skeleton this Halloween. He has a black t-shirt and black pants that we are going to paint with white paint to look like a skeleton, but what will he do with his hands and face? Paint them skeleton-like too.
This tutorial is for the hands. You will need a dark makeup pencil or Halloween paint and a white makeup or paint. Then, wherever you feel bones sticking out (such as your knuckles) paint them white. Connect the knuckles with skinny white “bones.”
To make Continue reading »

Sep 292011
 

flesh-colored slime

Make skin-colored slime

It’s almost October, and you know what that means. Halloween costumes, Halloween treats, Halloween makeup, spooky anything and everything!
In my weeks-long hunt to discover the recipe for latex, I came across a very simple recipe for slime. This video shows how I took the recipe for green slime and turned it into flesh-colored slime.
I invited some kids over for the experiment, and one of them kept hunting for a way I could possibly be related to her. She decided she needed an aunt with whom Continue reading »

Mar 042011
 

Zombie effects makeup

Make Zombie FX Makeup

This zombie makeup uses a variation on my Homemade Latex Substitute recipe. The same ingredients but a different method so the end result is much more “gummy” than the standard fauxtex.
In the regular recipe, you will add all the ingredients into the pan and cook. In this recipe the GELATIN is added AFTER REMOVING THE PAN FROM HEAT. You will then have to stir in the gelatin for a good five minutes to completely dissolve it in the gummy tapioca mix. Once you don’t see any more granules, let the mixture sit TWO HOURS to cool and set. Apply with a plastic knife as I did in the video below.
You may also try adding stuff to this makeup, such as toilet paper for a different texture, or peas stuck right into the makeup for a different kind of bulk. Experiment. Come back and show us your stuff.

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