Professional make-up artists use liquid latex to create scar tissue, wounds, monster masks and other special costume effects for theatre and movies. Unlike masks sold in costume stores, a customised liquid latex mask takes on the shape of your specific face and facial features. You can later paint the mould or add other materials and details to create an especially realistic character mask.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Bald cap
- Vegetable oil
Sit up in a chair while applying the latex to ensure the mask will look natural and fit properly. Your face shifts weight when lying down.
Put on a bald cap to prevent hairs from getting caught in the latex. Close your eyes and keep them closed while the mask is being made.
Coat your entire face with regular lotion wherever you plan to apply latex so small hairs won't get caught. Coat areas with heavier hair, such as beards and eyebrows, with vegetable oil. If making a full head mask, coat the bald cap and the back of your head and neck as well.
Brush a thin, even layer of liquid latex all over the face except for over and inside the nostrils. Cover the eyelids if necessary -- if making a mask with eye holes, it is unnecessary to coat the eyelids. Leave the ears for last.
Coat the face/head a second time when the latex appears translucent. Repeat the process six more times, then lay strips of gauze over the latex while still tacky to make the mould stronger.
Apply additional coats of latex until you no longer see the weave of the gauze through the latex.
Sit still for as long as possible while the latex dries, then carefully peel it off.
Tips and warnings
- Have a helper apply liquid latex on your face, since you will have your eyes closed most of the time.
- If adding liquid latex scars, wounds or other details to the mask, apply them before removing the mask from your face.
- Before applying liquid latex to your entire face, test a small amount on your arm to verify that you don't have a latex allergy. If no rash develops, use the product on your face. If you develop a rash, choose a non-latex product.
- Stay completely relaxed and as motionless as possible while applying latex. Do not talk or change facial expressions.
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