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How to Use Makeup for Halloween Special Effects

Updated on September 27, 2010
halloween makeup,wallyir, morguefile.com
halloween makeup,wallyir, morguefile.com

If this Halloween your ultimate goal is to attain dramatic effects you can't go wrong by using alcohol based makeup. After all, alcohol makeup is what professional makeup artists working for movie makers use to create those special effects seen in many scary horror movies. Whether you want to realistically resemble a zombie or you want to create some gory effects to your skin, your Halloween makeup kit should include alcohol based makeup.

One of the main advantages of this type of makeup is that it holds up well should you sweat. Indeed, alcohol based makeup is water proof  and many hold well even after being in the rain. Another advantage is that this type of makeup can be used along with an airbrush to create dramatic effects. However, alcohol based makeup also has many disadvantages and there are important consideration to keep in mind.

Some alternative products for special effects

Woochie by Cinema Secrets FX Complete Accessory Makeup Kit - Burn and Scar, Multi, One Size
Woochie by Cinema Secrets FX Complete Accessory Makeup Kit - Burn and Scar, Multi, One Size

Burn & Scar Effects kit includes burn scar prostheticx x2, blood gel, flesh latex, injury stack, stipple sponge, makeup sponge, and stir stick.

 

How to Use Alcohol Based Makeup for Halloween

One important consideration is to be wary of some alcohol based products. Some products can be cheap and not be too safe to use. Always read the ingredients contained within and watch for cheap products sold in Halloween stores. A good idea may to shop around and look for stores where the professionals like to shop. A good line of products is Skin Illustrator manufactured by Premier Products. 

There are different types of alcohol based makeup. Most of them are alcohol activated products which come as a dry cake in a palette or makeup pan. This means you must mix the alcohol in order to activate the makeup. Some must be mixed with the standard 99% isopropyl alcohol while other may come with some Iso-gel, which is a  alcohol product under the form of gel. Finding 99% isoprpryl alcohol may not be easy. At times, it may need to be special ordered from retail pharmacies. 

Another quite important consideration is to watch for skin reactions. Not everyone may tolerate alcohol based makeup. If upon applying the makeup to a small area (test a small area just as you would do with a hair coloring kit)  your skin burns or stings, it is a good idea to try to use another makeup alternative. Those with sensitive skin may suffer from redness and irritation following the application of alcohol based makeup. 

Once you have purchased a good quality makeup and ascertained that you do not develop any skin allergies or reactions, you may start working.  Start by first applying a thin layer and then work your way to the whole area. Blend different colors together if you are looking to attain special effects.

You can use different tools when applying an alcohol based makeup. One choice is to simply apply the makeup by dipping a brush in alcohol or the makeup may be entirely dissolved with alcohol and then applied by using an airbrush. The use of sponges is generally not recommended as they tend to eat up a lot of makeup allowing it to go to waste.

While it may be tempting to keep alcohol based makeup overnight, you should not do so as this will very likely cause your skin to dry. Even though you may have worked hard on applying the makeup and creating special effects, it is best to remove all traces of it and reapply it the next day. Many special alcohol activated makeup products however are meant to last for days.

If you must remove alcohol based makeup keep into consideration that water or water based products will not work. In order to remove  the makeup effectively you must use alcohol (however this may cause further drying up of the skin), soap and water or special makeup removers. It is good practice to apply a moisturizer after removing any alcohol based makeup.

Disclaimer: Alcohol based makeup can cause skin irritation and reactions. The reader takes full responsibility for the use or misuse of such products. Always read product labels and instructions carefully and report reactions promptly. 

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