Liquid latex is an awesome SFX product and you can do all kinds of amazing realistic effects with it. But what if you don't have it? Maybe it's not available for you locally, maybe it's outside of your current budget, or maybe you're even allergic to it. Don't let that stop you!
A lot of video tutorials use liquid latex for fake wounds, but you really don’t need it to create some cool effects. There are plenty of ways to make fake wounds with stuff you probably already have lying around your house.
Since I first started learning SFX makeup, I’ve spent a lot of time on the Interwebs trying to figure out how to make fake wounds without liquid latex and I’ve come across some neat and wacky tricks. Some tutorials I’ve passed over because I didn’t really like the end result but the tutorials I’ve included here all look pretty cool and are great inspiration for trying some fake wounds without using latex or any other special SFX products.
First, Let's Get Bloody!
A lot of fake wound tutorials do use fake blood but this is also something you can do yourself and don’t need to buy from a store. There are a ton of different homemade fake blood recipes out there and you can follow any one of those or even come up with your own. I’ve added a video with a super quick and easy recipe for fake blood using only a few basic ingredients.
- Red and blue food coloring
- Corn syrup
Now that you have your blood situation sorted, let's move on to making fake wounds without latex!
1. How to Make Fake Wounds with Toothpaste
- Dark red lipstick
- Black and pink eyeshadow
- Ketchup or some kind of fake blood
When I came across this tutorial I was just like, “What? Toothpaste? How?” But after watching the artist apply it, wait for it to dry, and paint over it I thought, “Yep, I guess that would work”. I had to include this tutorial because while toothpaste wouldn’t be my first choice as an SFX makeup product it totally did the trick for this artist. It also makes you realize that just about anything can be used as an SFX makeup product.
2. How to Make Fake Wounds with Vaseline and Baby Powder
- Baby powder
- Water colors
- Pen or lip liner to outline
- Fake blood
This fake wound tutorial uses baby powder and Vaseline to create a fleshy paste to build up and around your wound. This is the same kind of idea as using flour and Vaseline to make homemade scar wax just with a more baby fresh scent. Adding the little bits of cotton is a nice touch give the wound a bit more of a ripped and shredded flesh look.
3. How to Make Fake Shattered Glass Wounds Using Glue Stick
- Glue stick
- Red and pink eyeshadow
- Red lipstick
- Lip tint
- Black mascara
I added this tutorial just to show the glue stick technique but the full shattered glass makeup is a little added bonus. The artist uses only makeup products to add the red irritation and the fake blood. I know there’s a million different fake blood recipes out there but I actually had never thought to just use glossy red lip products before.
4. How to Make Fake Wounds Using Ink Pen (and Glue Stick)
- Red, black, blue pens
- Glue stick
Using only a handful of school supplies, you can create a pretty bloody, gore-filled fake gouge in your flesh. I almost didn’t include this tutorial because have you ever had a pen ink leak on your hands? It’s a disaster. I can only imagine the mess this tutorial creates. I *did* include it though because it’s creative, amusing, and looks pretty realistic. If you don’t need to be wandering around on snowy white carpets and you only have a glue stick and a couple pens on hand, then this tutorial might work for you.
5. How to Make Fake Wounds Using Your Everyday Makeup
- Red and black eyeshadow
- Red lipstick
- Red lip gloss
Using only the most basic beauty supply products, this artist creates some pretty convincing cuts and slashes. She lays a base with some eyeshadow to give a little bruising and irritation and then adds some bloody red gloss with some red lip colour. This is a super simple technique but her results are wonderfully effective and subtle.
6. How to Make Fake Wounds with Eyelash Glue and Toilet Paper
- Eyelash glue
- Toilet Paper
- Red and brown eyeshadow
- Red/brown lip gloss or fake blood
I have seen so many eyelash glue and toilet paper fake wound tutorials. It’s probably the most used fake wound trick out there without using liquid latex or any other SFX products. I chose this tutorial in particular though because the artist doesn’t do just any old open wound but instead creates a cringe-worthy ripped apart eye makeup. I really love the end result she gets and it’s all done with such simple products.
7. How to Make Fake Wounds Using Face Paint
And here's a second fake wound tutorial by the same artist:
- Red, brown, yellow, white, & black face paints
If you already have some face paints and don’t need an actual 3D flesh wound effect then either of these tutorials are great. The artist uses only face paint and, with the right highlight and shading, gives the illusion of a deep wound. Upon close inspection, a face paint won’t have that genuine, bloody, torn up appearance you might get with other techniques. However, it’s lightweight, won’t fall off, and if you’re wearing it for a long time you won’t feel it attached to you like you would with a 3D effect.
A Couple Fake Wounds I've Shared Using These Techniques
I now finally have some liquid latex in my tiny arsenal, but I have tried many of these techniques (or mix-matched versions of them) myself while I was waiting to buy the latex. You can check out a couple on this site like the Chelsea Smile Makeup and the Werewolf Attack Makeup, but there's likely more random attempts on my Instagram feed as well.
Now, Go Make Some Fake Wounds...Without Latex!
These fake cuts and wounds are all created without any liquid latex or scar wax and most of them don’t even use fake blood. If you don’t have a certain product used on one of the videos you can mix and match all the products these artists use until you come up with a technique that uses only the items you already have. If you’re learning SFX makeup, not having a full makeup kit should never stop you from practicing your craft.