When deciding how I was going to create Freddy Krueger style burns all over my face I considered a few options. I was going to attempt to sculpt some patches of burned skin and create gelatin prosthetics but I figured that would be creating more work for myself than necessary. I also wasn’t sure if I would like the end results. I considered using liquid latex and cotton balls but I always get frustrated with the sticky mess so I try to avoid using a ton of liquid latex whenever I can.
I settled on attempting to form the burn scars with FX gelatin because I always find gelatin so easy to work with and it’s fantastically forgivable. If something doesn’t look right with FX gelatin, you can just melt it back down to a gooey liquid and try again. I didn’t intend to wear this makeup for a long time so the FX gelatin was a good choice, but it definitely would not have held up for any extended wear.
Products I Used:
- FX Gelatin
- Face Powder
- Mehron Bruise Wheel
- Black Eyeshadow
- Eyeliner Pencil
Making Your Own FX Gelatin
You can buy premade FX gelatin and it comes in a variety of colours but I find the stuff so easy to make that I just whip up a big batch and let it live in my fridge until I need it. There are different variations on the FX gelatin recipe but I personally go with one part glycerin, one part gelatin, one part water, and just a drop or two of liquid foundation if I want my gelatin to be flesh colored.
Mix these ingredients together and microwave your concoction for about 5-7 seconds at a time until it has just melted. Be sure to not let your mixture boil or it may ruin your batch. And be careful, the melted gelatin will be hot!
Mapping Out the Burns
I was about to melt my gelatin and get to work when at the last minute, I thought it might be a good idea to have some kind of plan for where the gelatin was going to go on my face. I studied a few images of Freddy Krueger’s lovely scar patterns and used a white eyeliner pencil to map out some basic shapes. I did this pretty quick and messy and didn’t plan to follow the outlines exactly but they gave me a better idea of the overall direction I wanted the burns to go.
I don’t know if it was necessary but I also blocked out my eyebrows with a glue stick to give them a little protection from getting too much gelatin glooped in there. Gelatin isn’t horribly sticky like liquid latex though so this step probably wasn’t required.
Applying the Gelatin
BE CAREFUL! The gelatin can get very hot when you melt it. Test it on the back of your hand before applying it to your face and keep in mind that there are a lot of areas on your face that are going to be much more sensitive to heat than your hand.
I used a small sculpting spatula to apply to gelatin but any small wood or metal utensil would do the trick. I used my spatula to drip the gelatin along the lines I mapped out and moved it around to blend some of the edges into my face. The gelatin cools down and becomes difficult to work with very quickly so I probably reheated my gelatin about 20 times before I was finished. To avoid reheating the same gelatin over and over and potentially ruining a batch, I worked with small amounts, adding more premade gelatin in as needed.
Adding Some Kruegery Details
Freddy Krueger has a much creepier face shape than me so I also used the FX gelatin to make my nose bigger and longer and to give my eyebrows an angrier expression. I did this by adding small amounts of gelatin to one spot at a time and allowing each layer to dry before building the features up with more gelatin. I added some of the gelatin over the edges of my lips as well but I should mention that even the cooled gelatin is still super hot feeling on sensitive areas like your lips and neck.
Setting with Powder
I was a little worried that my gelatin burns looked just way too wacky but after dusting everything with some face powder and a big makeup brush I noticed the shapes I was going for were much more apparent. The powder also tones down the shine of the gelatin and makes everything look a lot more like normal flesh.
Accenting the Burns
Using a small lip brush and the darkest red from my Mehron bruise wheel, I added some dark red highlight to the deepest part of each burn crevice. I had created way more nooks and crannies in my melted Freddy face than I intended when applying my gelatin but it worked out well because it added a lot of extra detail to the end result.
Shading the Burns
I started shading up from each dark red accent with the lighter red in my Mehron bruise wheel but I found it was adding way too much red to each section. I began just pulling out the dark red from each little spot it was applied to and adding more dark red to the deeper corners where needed. I probably could have made those deep crevices even deeper with some black but I decided not to risk it and stick with just straight red for my Krueger burns.
Hairline and Eyes
Let me just point out that I really don’t plan my makeups and I wing almost everything I do, down to the last second and the last detail. I wasn’t sure what the heck I should do with my eyes because Freddy Krueger’s eyes are just creepy and plain. I decided to fill them in with a light layer of black eyeshadow, darkening the inner brow and eyelid creases with more black. I added a little eyeliner and mascara as well.
I decided against using a bald cap for this makeup and I also did not have a Freddy Krueger hat, because as I said, winging everything is fun and exciting and it’s just what I do. I realized I couldn’t just have my burns end at the top of my forehead so I added some more dark red crevices around my hairline and blended them out into my hair as much as possible.
Obviously Freddy Krueger doesn’t rock the bleach blonde high ponytail but maybe he stumbled into a wig shop, maybe he got some follicle implants, we don’t know his life outside of terrorizing teens while they sleep. I don’t have any Tooth FX around so I googled how toxic eyeliner is, discovered it was minimal, and added some grime to my teeth with a black eyeliner pencil. I only kept this on my teeth for a few minutes so, kids at home, I don’t actually recommend ingesting your makeup products that aren’t specifically mouth safe.
Final Results of This Freddy Krueger Makeup
What I Learned
Every makeup I do, I say I will plan things out more, and then I don’t. I like to fly by the seat of my pants and I realize way too late that something could have been prevented or improved with a little forethought. I won’t even say I won’t do this in the future, because, oh yes, I definitely will. I live on the edge.
However, a glaring oversight with this makeup was that I should have either just found a Freddy hat or tried my luck with a bald cap. Some proper mouth safe tooth FX would have been a welcome addition to the makeup as well because it felt very odd and gross to have eyeliner on my teeth, wondering if I was poisoning myself at every moment.
The FX gelatin wasn’t as issue for this makeup but if I had planned to go anywhere with this look or wear it for any extended period of time, the gelatin definitely would have come loose and started falling off in some spots. The forehead and cheek areas were pretty secure but creating any exaggerated expressions made a few sections come loose around my mouth and neck. I was able to glue them back down with spirit gum and it wasn’t an issue for the amount of time I wore this makeup. It could have been annoying to wear this to a convention or event and have to whip out your little bottle of spirit gum every time you laughed or grimaced too hard.