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American Horror Story Coven Cordelia Burn Makeup

7 Days of American Horror Story Makeups: Day 3 (Coven)

I absolutely love using FX gelatin and I have so much fun with any makeup that I can use it with. I couldn’t think of what to do for the AHS Coven season and I almost went with Papa Legba (because who doesn’t love a good ol’ Haitian Voodoo loa?) but then I remembered Cordelia and her blinded eyes and I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to use some FX gelatin as melted flesh. There are so many stages of injuring and healing that Cordelia’s eyes went through, but I liked the fresh chemical burns the best.

Products I used:

  • FX Gelatin 
  • Mehron Bruise Wheel
  • Snazaroo white face paint
  • Sub Zero Primal Contact Lenses

Mixing the Gelatin

You can buy Premade FX gelatin or you can easily mix up a batch of your own. If you search online for a recipe you’ll find a thousand different variations but the recipe I use is 1 tbsp Knox gelatin powder, 1 tbsp glycerin, ½ tbsp of water. I mix the gelatin and warm water, add the glycerin, then microwave in short bursts of about 5-7 seconds. You don’t want to let it boil, just get it all melty.

Applying Hot Gelatin to My Face

American Horror Story Coven Cordelia Burn Makeup - Step 1

I really do not like applying boiling gelatinous liquids to my face and I was trying to think of a way to avoid this. I probably could have used parchment paper and dripped some random clumps around, waited for it to dry, then glued to my face, but I figured applying directly to my face would look more natural so I did just that. I tried to wait for it to cool a tiny bit but it hardens quickly so it was still pretty hot when I put it on my skin. I let it drip all around my eyes and cheeks and got as much as I could on there before it set.  

Irritating the Skin

American Horror Story Coven Cordelia Burn Makeup - Step 2

I probably should have put the red, irritated base down before I applied the gelatin but I do everything in a fly by the seat of my pants kind of way so it went on after the gelatin. I stippled the Mehron bruise wheel light red all over my cheeks and forehead, getting it in between the dried gelatin. It went on fine and didn’t seem to matter too much that I applied it after the gelatin was already on there.

Shadowing and Highlighting the Melted Flesh

American Horror Story Coven Cordelia Burn Makeup - Step 3

My melted gelatin flesh didn’t really look like much of anything after I added the irritated red color so I needed to give it a little depth. I used a thin makeup brush and outlined most of the gelatin pieces with some Mehron bruise wheel darker red. I also stippled a little of the darker red onto my eyelids and under my eyes to get them really red and damaged looking.

Even with the shadowing, the melty skin still didn’t look how I wanted it to and didn’t look even close to the reference picture I used. Her fresh injuries are much whiter and raw looking so I added some Snazaroo white face paint to the highest points of the gelatin. I dabbed it until it was just a hint of white and that seemed to help the fake flesh stand out a little more.

Blinding the Eyes

American Horror Story Coven Cordelia Burn Makeup - Step 4

I have a pair Sub Zero Primal Contact lenses so I popped those in to get a damaged eye look going on. I say “popped in” but what I actually mean is “struggled immensely and wiped off a good deal of my makeup”. I’m not so great at making lenses stick onto my eyeballs. I had to add a little Mehron red back over the areas that were wiped off from all that digging around in my eyes.

The Final Results

American Horror Story Coven Cordelia Burn Makeup
American Horror Story Coven Cordelia Burn Makeup
American Horror Story Coven Cordelia Burn Makeup

What I Learned

The reference photo I was using had flatter burn marks with less drippy flesh but I have too much fun with gelatin and I wanted to see some skin peeling off my face. That said, I think I should have gone for a more even coverage with the gelatin so the whole area around my eyes was totally bumpy instead just a few separate raised sections. The gelatin was hardening quick so I should have worked with smaller areas at a time, heating the gelatin in separate batches.

My end result didn’t look like my reference photo but I started doing my own thing with it and I’m pretty happy with the result. I always love using my coloured contact lenses and playing with FX gelatin, even though I tend to hurt myself with both, so I mostly just like this makeup because it was so fun.

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