Category: SFX makeup

Easy, Latex Free SFX Cuts Tutorial Another tu…

Easy, Latex Free SFX Cuts Tutorial

Another tutorial for Halloween! This one is for simple cuts using only paint – no latex, wax, or even fake blood. Steps are below the cut to the cut (get it? ‘cuz it’s a… *ducks tomatoes*). I used costume paint from Party City for these, so they should be accessible for all regardless of budget or experience!

Colors needed for cuts : black, red, white, (maybe blue)

1. Draw a line of red and blend it out where you want the cut. 

2. Draw a thin line of red. (You can stop here for a scratch that doesn’t break the skin.)

3. Carefully draw a line of black on one side of the cut. 

4. Get some white on the edge of your brush and dab it along the cut, opposite the black line.

5. Go over the line again with your bright red. If you want, you can extend it to show bleeding. 

That’s it! From there you can experiment with size, color, etc. In the picture below, I started with black on the middle cut and added the red on top (makes it very defined). For the one on my hand, I made the edges less defined and used blue instead of red to create the line from step 2 (it looks more like a rope burn).

Following the same steps also works for larger cuts. 

Steps 1-2 have one difference: Leave a clean, thin outline around the cut instead of blending out the red. This gives the impression of raised skin.

3. Add your black to one side; if your cut is jagged, remember that the black still goes on only one side of those edges.

4. Tap on the black with your finger or use a brush to blend it into the red just a little. Then use a tiny bit of white for highlights.

Painting Horns Tutorial


As requested! The tutorial steps are under the cut.


I don’t make many tutorials so this was also an experiment in using gifs (which was not particularly successful, so sorry if they’re hard to see!).

I used a cream based makeup for this because it’s inexpensive (what you’ll find at most Halloween or party stores) and easy to blend. If you want your horns to last through a Halloween party, however, you will need some quality barrier spray. Cream makeup will not survive sweat or bobbing for apples.

1. Outline the shape you want using white eyeliner. If the outline is messy that’s ok; you can wipe away stray marks and we’re filling in the middle anyway. (Hint: To make both sides sit evenly on your face, hold a pencil/brush against your nose.)


2. Fill in your outline. If you want them bigger or smaller, now’s the time to expand the outline or use a q-tip to wipe away excess.


3. Draw a circle wrapping around the base of your horn. Use a brown that’s several shades darker than your skin so it stands out.


4. Blend it out, but not all the way. You’re spreading out the paint to create a shadow, which helps the illusion of raised/sunken skin. The circle you drew should remain darker than the skin around it. ONLY blend below the horn and slightly to the side.


5. Draw two lines under your circle, leaving space between them. This shows where the horn is “embedded” under your skin. Don’t make them higher than the base of your horn – you can see me make that mistake in the image below.


6. Mistakes are easy to fix. Wet a q-tip and erase the spot, or, as shown, dab some foundation on top of it and blend. You can also go back in with the brown and darken the shadow closest to the base of the horn, or use white to erase stray brown marks from the horn itself.


7. Add grey shadow to the base of the horn, right against the brown base, to show depth where the horns meet your skin. Add another shadow on the inside curve of your horn, depending on the shape: mine curve inward, so I painted grey on the sides closest to my nose.


8. Brighten the outer edge of your horn with more white (if needed). Outline the horns in black.


9. Clean up your edges and any mistakes with a q-tip or extra paint, then set the whole thing with powder and/or spray. Embellish as desired!


[Both horns visible in top image if you want a front view!]



Venetian Mask Tutorial

Bring the Venice Carnival to Halloween! Tutorial steps under the cut.

Optional Prep: Use primer to even out your skin and help the paint stick where it should.

Step 1: Paint your face and neck white. Make sure you powder between layers. I used a cream paint, so it took quite a few layers to get the color even.

Step 2: Use a brighter color across your eyes, taking up about an inch over your brow and under your eyes. Don’t drag the brush – pat it on. Otherwise you’ll streak the white.

Step 3: Use a darker shade of your color in the middle, across the bridge of your nose, over your brows, and under your eyes. Blend it into the lighter color.

Step 4: Create eye “holes” by painting black around your eyes. Follow the line of your brow and nose as guidelines. 

Step 5: Paint the lighter color along your jaw line over your face, and the darker color under your jawline to define it.

Step 6: Use the reverse side of your brush to create guidelines on your face.

Step 7: Follow your guidelines with metallic gold (or color of your choice). Then outline your eyes with gold; if you have thick brows like mine, taking the gold up into your eyebrows helps disguise them.

Step 8: Paint your lips with the darker color. The shape is important here to get the mask effect: you need to underpaint them, like drawing a heart over your actual lips.

Wrap a scarf around your head, add a fancy hat, and you’re off to the ball!

Tis the season – for tutorials?

Halloween is coming! I’m thinking of doing a couple tutorials for makeup. Is there a particular look you want to see, or a technique you’re interested in? I can do:

– gore with latex and/or wax (slit throat, deep injuries, burns, frostbite)
– gore with only paint (scratches, scars, bruises)
– colorful fantasy makeup (fairies, mermaids, elves)
– crossplay
– classic monsters (mummy, witch, demon, etc.)
– sculpt, mold, apply small appliances (horns, scars, etc)

Three-eyed Fortune Teller

Three-eyed Fortune Teller

MUA/Model: @madmusemakeup
Prosthetic by Locked in the Cellar (This is the first time I bought a prosthetic for a specific makeup and my God, it was so much easier why have I not done this before)

Full disclosure: Images have been edited to blend out the edges some and adjust the color of the eye to match the lighting.

Tattooed Fairy

Tattooed Fairy

Details: Another fairy design! (Yes the beard-like thing is supposed to be there, it’s part of a cosplay.) I don’t like this one as much; I think the forehead design overwhelms the rest. I do like bringing the design down onto the lip because it helps balance things out and changes the face forms a little more. 

Blue fairy

Blue fairy

Playing with patterns and colors. I’m hoping to put together a series of designs I can apply quick and easy for a variety of fantasy makeup.

So I heard it’s Mermay…

So I heard it’s Mermay…

Makeup details: This all started with cosplaying APH France and the constant struggle of making a blond beard look realistic. With a merperson, I thought it could be interesting to give them a goatee with “kelp” since I’m better at working with latex than hair.

I like the coloring a lot, and the shading. The browns, yellows, and greens work very well for a freshwater merperson that could blend in with a river. What I don’t like are the scales. I didn’t want to use the fishnet stocking trick, but now they look even more painted on. This is partially because the makeup shifted so much in the heat. If I do this again, I’ll use a different paint and change the shape of the scales.

I edited the photos to play with my eye color, sharpen the teeth, and adjust the color levels. Good practice all around, and I had fun getting to the final outcome!

Yzma from The Emperor’s New Groove

Yzma from The Emperor’s New Groove

Makeup details: I had the best time cosplaying Yzma! It’s true that villains have more fun. I went very cartoon-y with the lines and experimented with water-based makeup (Mehron’s Paradise paint) and an airbrush. Overall I’m very pleased with the face, and the makeup didn’t budge so I will definitely be using Paradise for future cons. I do want to make the lines softer and neater next time, and I need practice with the airbrush (the gloves cover how spotty my arms were).

As usual, @wasuu/ did an incredible job; I’m especially loving the bubbles for the potion and the Aztec background for the walls.

Last but never least, @nocturnevulgaire makes the best Jack Sparrow and Yzma is always on the look out for strapping young men.