Further Media Makeup & Postiche – Week 5 (Semester 2) of Year 2 Makeup Artistry & Special Makeup Effects

After a great deal of research and working hard to deadlines it was a weight off my shoulders this week to hand in tasks 1, 2 and 3 of the assignment brief (to research different genres of the makeup industry coupled with differing portfolios).

The class watched a clip from Les Miserables to gain ideas of how the differing looks were created. Our tutor has a friend who actually worked on this musical and created the makeup for the prostitutes. As we were going to be shown by the tutor exactly how her friend created the prostitute images together with what products in our kit are good to use I felt really excited. Most students would feel very anxious if they were suddenly asked to work on a musical or film, however it can be much simpler than we imagine as the makeup designer informs artists precisely what products they would like used and very often the products in our kit are up to date and used constantly thereby giving us the experience required.

The demonstration given was that of a grubby, dirtied downcast prostitute from the 18th century. Using a volunteer model (class student), the first step was setting the hair in bendys after correctly sectioning and taking each piece up correctly and neatly. With regard to the makeup, first and foremost the base had to be created which entailed a light coverage of white greasepaint (dabbing lightly with a sponge). A full application to the face was not given as a prostitute would have applied it very quickly and not very precisely. This could be blended in with a buffing brush if wished.

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Next, the eyebrows were defined with brown paint using a thin eyeliner brush. Using the same shade of paint, the eyelids were buffed over with an eye shadow brush very deftly. Using a red shade of paint, the apple of the cheeks were coloured using a stipple brush, containing both high and low points as it would not just be one colour. Using a brown powder mixed with a little sprayed water, this can be built up (the more water the more translucent the mixture is) to create a translucent effect. After dampening a sponge, this can be dipped into some colour and dabbed onto the neck, ears, the hand (pulling over the nails to get the nails dirty) and the arms to give a mucky look. Some colour was then taken away with the use of a wet wipe. A layer was then given to the face with the dry sponge (not adding anymore colour).

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11Baby powder was used as a setting powder over the face to hold the greasepaint. With an uneven sponge, using a dark brown shade of paint, a second layer of ‘muck’ was created over the hand and arms, the neck/chest and also the face. Grey powder was buffed underneath the eyes which gave a tired look. Going over any areas with a stipple brush such as the forehead and chest with brown paint gave extra dirtiness and realism.  Using a stipple sponge dabbed into wound filler, this can give the effect of broken capillaries by dabbing onto the skin. Alternatively, it can be scraped across the skin to give a scratch. Bruise gels can be used to give the same effect.

Furthermore we were shown how to use collodion which creates a scar on the skin. I have seen this previously briefly on a YouTube clip; however I have not yet tried it myself. To do this you must find a soft area of the skin such as the cheek and push the skin together in a roll, painting a strip of collodion in between the rolls, then pushing the skin together firmly and blow-drying. After it is repeated three times (three layers of collodion), you get a fantastic result and a very realistic indented scar.

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13Collodion can be put on the lip also by pushing the lip together and painting down the middle. My tutor added in wound filler to make it look like a split lip. A product that I had not heard of was tuplast which creates a plastic like texture on the skin. A blob was put above the lip so that it looks like a cold sore (very effective) and bruise gels or grease paint can be added around the edges to make it look sore. Another great tip which I have never heard of or seen is to use a sugar puff (the cereal!) and stick it (using pros-aide) to the side of the nose, covering it in pros-aide to look white and nasty. It is then blow-dried before being coloured in red paint. This gives the look of small pox.

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One final makeup effect was creating severe teeth decay. The teeth had to be fully dry by wiping with a tissue before makeup could be applied. Using skin illustrator mixed with alcohol (this is alcohol activated makeup which stays waterproof and can only be removed by using alcohol), the mouth had to be kept open whilst the teeth were brushed in a yellowy shade before using reds and browns.

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Overall, the final result was fantastic. This proved to be another enjoyable, informative and constructive lesson which again has been noted for future reference. This type of makeup application is typical of Halloween/fancy dress requirements which potential clients will request in my future career. Once again, I feel that my skills and knowledge have been enhanced due to another great lesson.

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