Special FX makeup tutorial turn off the lights.

Special FX makeup tutorial

As the demand for video based scenarios is ever rising, it is important that the team here at dynamic stay on trend and up to date. One of the behind-the-scenes techniques I have yearned to know more about was special FX makeup. We’ve seen this used in countless films, and now makeup artist Chloe Bower has visited dynamic to show us how to achieve this effect ourselves so that we can apply the techniques on film shoots.
After Chloe talked us through the steps to the art of creating a realistic injury, I gave it a go with project manager Julia as my model! If you’re wondering how to create the effect, never fear. I will walk you through a quick 11 step process below.

What you need:

For our makeup kit we have used the site www.redcarpetfx.com.

Step 1:

Clean the area in which you are going to apply the makeup. For this example we focused on the right side of the face. Our aim was to create a small cut with a bruised eye.

Step 2:

You then start by building up the bruised area with the yellow paint from your bruise wheel. Apply this generously around the area. For fresh bruises apply this sparingly.
If you want to achieve the effect of an older injury the yellow represents old and fading bruising so build up a large base of this colour. As we are creating an injury around the eye the yellow would become less prominent the further away you get.

Top tip: Always have a makeup wipe at hand to keep your fingers and brushes clean and reduce mixing up the colours!

Step 3:

To add depth to the bruise you then need to start applying your green paint. Apply this sparingly as this again ages the bruise. To apply this you are best using the tips of your fingers and thumb to dab it on top of the yellow paint to achieve a more natural look.

Step 4:

You now need to apply the darker colours. These are used to show where the face has been most impacted. For the purposes of this example we are focusing on bruising around the eye. The eye is a very sensitive area so naturally a bruise would be quite intense. Start by building up a thin base of the brown paint covering the eyelid and the corner of your eye – still using your fingers to dab and blend the colours in with the yellow and green base.

Step 5:

Using your flat lip and eyeliner brush you can then start to add a bit of detail. Adding a line of dark brown directly above the eyelid immediately darkens the eye and intensifies the injury. This can be even more exaggerated by doing the same towards the corner of the eye.

Step 6:

Now it’s time to add some realistic texture. Using your stipple sponge you can now start to dab the dark brown colour onto the bruised area. This texture gives the effect of broken blood vessels and really adds realism to your injury.

Step 7:

By this point you should now be happy with your bruised eye. You may want to go back through the previous steps to add more detail and intensify the injury.

Top Tip: Use your fingers to blend the colours carefully throughout the previous steps.

Step 8:

You can now move above the eye and start to work on the head injury. Again, yellow needs to be your base for the cut as skin naturally reacts with bruising when injured so this helps to achieve a realistic look.

Step 9:

Using your pro precision smudger brush you now need to drawn a thin line across the area of yellow. This would never be perfectly straight, so whilst keeping it quite neat you do want to make sure that you’re adding a few dips and rough edges.

Step 10:

Using the same brush you then need to stir the fresh scab blood so that you get a thick and smooth texture. For this, you need to ensure that you have a lot on your brush as it is best applied in one clean sweep. Once you have the correct texture, scoop a good pea sized amount onto the end of your brush and apply the blood across the line you drew in step 8. You should have enough on your brush to create a drip of blood at some point on the line.

Top tip: Use your fingers to very carefully smudge the blood at the edges. Remember that you’re going for a realistic finish so the injury would never be neat and tidy!

Step 11:

The final step is to ensure that you are happy with the overall finish. Once you are, you can then apply the finishing powder to set it all in place.

Top tip: The finishing powder is really useful if you have gone overboard with any of the bruising as this will tone the colours down slightly.

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