For the Cult season of American Horror Story I was about an inch away from grabbing some Model Magic, digging out the bald cap I bought a while ago, and creating the honeycombed scalp from that season’s promo photos. At the last minute I decided I would try one of the creepy clown masks the cult members wore and dove in with only the vaguest of plans. I’ll say it now, I do like this makeup, but not because it’s particularly well done, just mostly because it cracks me up and makes me ask myself “what have you even done?”.
Products I Used:
- Liquid latex
- Cotton balls
- Face cast
- Glue stick
- Baby powder
- Pros aide
- White Snazaroo face paint
- Black, red, yellow, blue mehron face paints
- Palladio black liquid eyeliner
- Black eyeliner pencil
- Grey and brown eyeshadow
Molding the Prosthetics
I’ve seen various YouTube makeup artists use flour and liquid latex to make these beautiful, perfectly smooth, flawless prosthetics using nothing but a nicely mixed little batch of flour and liquid latex. No. I mixed the flour and liquid latex and I think I used way too much flour so it started hardening almost immediately. I just threw three lumps on my face face for a chin and two eyebrows, pushed them around a little, and walked away in awkward shame.
I figured that was a ruined experiment for sure but when I came back a day later the shape was basically what I wanted so I tried to salvage it. These pieces were totally bumpy so I pulled apart some cotton balls, dipped them in liquid latex, and gave the prosthetics a much smoother shape than what they previously had. I also used three cotton balls on each cheekbone and created some puffy cheeks as well. These pieces still turned out pretty weird once they were dry the next day and I was sure this makeup was going to be scrapped halfway through.
Protecting my Eyebrow Hairs
Before gluing the prosthetics to my face, I coated my eyebrows with a glue stick, waited for them to dry, coated them a little more, and patted them down with some baby powder. I’ve gotten pros aide, eyelash glue, and spirit gum in the little hairs around the ears before and no thanks, I definitely don’t want any adhesive in my eyebrow hairs except a plain ol’ glue stick.
Glueing the Prosthetics to my Face
There was literally no step throughout this makeup that I was not whispering “Wtf? No.” to myself. Like, right through to the end and beyond. But at a certain point I was committed and I just rolled with it all. I used some pro aide to glue the prosthetics to my chin, cheeks, and eyebrows. The yellow of the dried liquid latex and the odd shape of these pieces just glued to my head was pretty comical, but I really didn’t think this would turn out.
Patching the Prosthetics
I cannot seem to get a prosthetic to ever come out with thin edges or lay flat on my head so for these ones, I dipped a little cotton into some liquid latex and plugged up any gaping edges that wouldn’t stick down to my face. I dried it all with a blow dryer to hurry the process along and my cotton and latex patch trick actually worked pretty well.
Painting a White Base
I was hoping beyond hope that after painting my whole face white these prosthetics would blend in slightly. I’m still a super newb and never know what I can expect with a new technique. I loaded some white Snazaroo face paint across my face and the prosthetics and realized the latex pieces need much wetter paint that the rest of my face because they soak the moisture in. Painting those pieces was definitely a different experience from painting my skin.
Sketching a Mouth
I sketched out where all my teeth would be with some black paint and added a squiggly line with red paint to map out where the lips would be. I shaded the tops of the teeth with some grey eyeshadow to create some depth into the gums.
Filling in the Mouth
I mixed some red and white paint to get a pink shade for the gums, added that color in around the teeth, and filled the lips out a bit with more red face paint. While I had my red paint handy, I added some red accents to my nose and chin, following my reference photo and closely (and helplessly) as possible. I added some white and yellow to each tooth to give them an old, yellowed hue.
More Mouth Details
Mouths and teeth are my facepainting enemy so I kept adding different layers of color to try to get this thing looking like an actual mouth. I outlined the lips with black liquid eyeliner, added some white paint as a highlight to the lower lip, and heavily shaded inside the mouth and all around the gums with black face paint and grey eyeshadow. I used some brown eyeshadow to shade each tooth on one side as well as the areas closest to the gums.
Adding Some Clown Personality
I was trying to follow my reference photo so I added a blue patch above one and and some blue lines underneath the other eye. I added a puzzle piece to one cheek and filled it in with some purple, red, and blue face paint. My prosthetics were pretty bumpy and my lines ended up being quite erratic.
Turning the Clown Evil
I painted one eyelid fully black, outlined the other with black paint, and used an eyeliner pencil on both lower waterlines. I drew in some angry brow furrows with black paint and then added the one black eyebrow and the vertical black line from the mask in my reference photo.
A Few Final Clown Accents
I veered away from my reference picture at this point and sketched in a few more puzzle pieces. I filled them in with various colors and then outlined all my puzzles pieces with black liquid eyeliner, adding a few more black line details into the lips. The clown mask I was copying had a colorful, curly mohawk but Ijust went with a messy top bun as my evil clown ‘do.
The Final Results
What I’ve Learned
This makeup wasn’t even close to the reference photo I used in terms of detail but I’m somewhat happy with the overall shape I achieved with the prosthetics. I need a lot more practice making prosthetics with both gelatin and liquid latex as well as a lot of work getting my edges thin enough to blend into my face.
In AHS Cult, the mask actually has little stitch marks on the puzzle pieces that weren’t in the reference photo I used. If I’d had gone with a reference photo with those details, this makeup may have turned out even messier. The paint job on this makeup is pretty sloppy, due partly to the fact that I was having trouble painting on the prosthetics with glycerin based face paints and party to my overall lack of fine detail skills. I might have had slightly better luck if I had used thinner brushes for the detail and possibly even a different type of paint.
I’m not very impressed with my end result but I loved seeing the transformation of my face shape using the prosthetics so I did enjoy doing this makeup quite a bit. I’ll definitely be working on getting better at making gelatin and liquid latex prosthetics and painting everything with much more care.