I really love sculpting and casting gelatin prosthetics so I wanted to try doing this goblin makeup as an excuse to wear an entire face full of gelatin. I’m always so excited to see how drastically I can change the shape of my face with just a few pieces of gelatin.
Product I used:
- Face cast
- Plaster of Paris
- FX gelatin
- Fake nails
- Super glue
- Elmer’s Glue stick
- Pros aide adhesive
- Mehron Paradise AQ Basic palette
- Karity matte eyeshadow palette
- Kyerivs Elf ears
- CamoEyes Solar Eclipse contact lenses
Getting an Idea of the Face Shape
Using my face cast and some clay, I very roughly shaped out a chin, mouth, and nose. Most of the time, when I’m sculpting something, I have very little idea of what I actually want it to look like until I start pushing the clay around. Sometimes I’ll just play with the clay to see if an idea is even doable before I decide to commit to fully sculpting and casting that thing. I liked the shapes I was getting with the nose and chin and thought I could probably make a decent goblin face happen.
Sculpting the Facial Details
Once I know (or am pretty sure) I’m going to sculpt something that will become a prosthetic I keep smoothing the clay out until it starts to actually look like the facial feature I’m going for. I actually removed the chin piece from my face cast before sculpting the nose because I knew I’d be casting everything separately and wanted to give myself plenty of room to be messy with my plaster.
Once I have the shape totally smoothed out I add any details, like moles, wrinkles, pores, nostrils, or whatever else. I’m pretty new to sculpting so I don’t really add a ton of detail but I do try to add a little more each time I sculpt something new. For the goblin prosthetics, most of my detail came from adding little balls of clay to the sculpt and smoothing the edges down to form moles.
Creating a Plaster Cast
To keep my clay from dripping everywhere I create a clay barrier around the piece I am attempting to make a mold of. I usually don’t make the barrier big enough and the clay gets everywhere anyways but it definitely helps to give the mold a more convenient shape.
I mix the Plaster of Paris with 2 parts plaster and 1 part water, lubricate my clay with a little Vaseline, and slowly pour the plaster over the clay, making sure the plaster gets into every little detail, nook, and cranny of the sculpt. The clay sometimes only takes a few hours to dry but I usually try to let it sit overnight.
Casting the Gelatin Prosthetic
Once the clay is dry I gently pry it off the face cast. The clay usually slips right out of the mold but I always have to scrape it off my face cast. I mix up some homemade FX gelatin with 2 parts Knox gelatin powder, 2 parts glycerin, 1 part water, and a tiny drop or two of liquid foundation to give the gelatin a fleshy colour. I heat this in the microwave with 5-7 second bursts until it’s completely melted but not yet boiling.
I then pour the gelatin into my clay mold, tilting the mold around to get some gelatin around the sides and hopefully get some thin edges. I put the mold back on the face cast and with the help of all my dish towels I balance it awkwardly at an angle that will keep the gelatin in the mold and not running down the sides of the face cast.
The gelatin usually dries pretty quickly, especially if you pop it in the fridge, but I like to give it a couple hours to be on the safe side. If my prosthetic comes out wacky it’s super easy to melt the gelatin back down and recast it.
Cutting Up Some Creature Teeth
I used some fake nails to make the goblin teeth by cutting them up into little triangles of varying fang shaped sizes. I poked them all into the clay while I was sculpting the lips to make sure they were the right shape and size and then removed them before making the plaster mold. After creating the gelatin prosthetics I glued the teeth back on with a tiny bit of super glue.
Preparing My Face
I used an Elmer’s glue stick to cover my eyebrows so I wouldn’t get any Pros Aide stuck in them. I gave each brow a couple coats and then sprayed my whole face with Mehron Barrier Spray. I was hoping this would make it a little easier to remove the prosthetics later but the Pros Aide was still a difficult, sticky mess to remove.
Gluing on the Prosthetics
One at a time, I coated the backs of the prosthetics with Pros Aide, let it dry for about 15 seconds so it would be a little tacky, and then stuck each piece to my face. I tried to be careful with lining the prosthetics up and getting them positioned correctly on the first try because once they’re pressed down to your skin they’re not getting adjusted to any different angle.
The edges on the top of my eyebrow prosthetic weren’t thin enough and that edge would not stick down smoothly to my head so I used a little bit of cotton coated with Pros Aide to act as a plug between my skin and the edge of the prosthetic. This trick seems to work for me whenever I have any gaps between my skin and the gelatin. Ideally I will just get better at creating perfect edges in my prosthetic and not need this step.
Painting the Teeth
I started by painting the inside of the mouth completely black with Mehron black face paint. I used yellow, brown, and black paint to give the teeth a gross, gobliny kind of look. Throughout this makeup I kept going back to the teeth with more white or more yellow because I felt like I just couldn’t get them to be the right shade of rotten.
Painting a Green Base
I actually didn’t really know what color my goblin skin was going to be until the moment I started to paint my base. I used a damp makeup sponge and alternated between yellow and green Mehron face paints all over my face, chest, and prosthetics.
I really like the mottled effect I got by using two different colors and dabbing all over with the sponge. Some areas were more green, some were more yellow, and some were just blended into different combinations of both. I tried to keep the lighter yellow colors on the areas I wanted to highlight and the darker greens near where I wanted more shadow.
Chipping on Some Skin Texture
With a new season of American Horror Story coming up, not to mention it being the season to bring all previous seasons together, I thought it would be appropriate to try doing a makeup from each of the past seasons. For the first season, I obviously had to go with Tate Langdon’s skull makeup. It’s a fairly simple makeup until you get to the wickedly detailed vertebrae design on the neck, and I really wasn’t sure how I was going to even attempt that.
I used a firm paintbrush, loaded it with wet face paint, pulled the bristles back, and let them go over different sections of my face to create a more realistic flesh texture. I love the look of tiny dots of a flesh color over a base because normal skin is never one perfectly smooth color.
Because I don’t have an airbrush, this trick is pretty handy for adding some tiny dots of color to accent your flesh tones. My flesh tones in this case were splashes of green, yellow, and brown. In retrospect, I think I should have flicked some white paint into my cheek and forehead areas for some added highlight.
Adding a Bunch of Big Ol’ Goblin Moles
To be honest, I totally forgot I had sculpted moles onto my prosthetics because I had cast the pieces a few days earlier. I noticed my moles when I started to look at adding details and quickly painted them with a combination of brown and black.
I had meant to create extra moles for the rest of my face with FX gelatin so I ran back to my kitchen, half goblined up, grabbed my trusty container of gelatin from the fridge (I always have a little stash of premade FX gelatin lurking in there), melted some in the microwave, and dripped little drops of gelatin onto a piece of parchment paper. After a quick 5 minute drying period, I painted them the same brownish black as the rest of my moles and glued them around my face and chest with some Pros Aide.
Shadowing the Eyes and Mouth
I used the brown shade from my Karity matte eyeshadow palette and heavily darkened around my eyes and under the protruding goblin brown. I lightly shadowed the tops of the prosthetic brow, the bridge of the nose, and around the prosthetic lips with a little more brown. I used the green to add a lot of shadow under my eyes, focusing on giving this goblin some significantly dark circles.
Goblin-ing Up the Ears and Hair
I had a set of Kyerivs elf ears so I painted those green and glued them to my ears with a dab of Pros Aide. I didn’t really paint any detail into these because I knew my hair would be covering most of them. I positioned some of my hair over my eyes and gave it all a good, swamp worthy backcombing.
Goblin Eyed Colored Contacts
I popped in my Solar Eclipse CamoEyes contact and was startled at the different a change of eye color can make. I absolutely love wearing colored contact lenses and will use any excuse to wear a pair. I find them kind of uncomfortable to wear for too long but I’m definitely getting a little better at popping then into my eyes without creating a big teary eyed mess of my makeup.
Final Results of This Goblin Makeup
What I Learned
I really loved the end result of this makeup but there are definitely a few things I wish I could have fixed. The edges of my forehead piece were super noticeable and if I focused more on getting perfectly thin edges while I created the gelatin prosthetic I could have hopefully avoided such a thick line across my forehead.
I also didn’t really like how the teeth looked at the end. I just couldn’t get a good tooth color going. I think I added too much yellow to them and didn’t focus enough on blending the different colors within each tooth. I also think I would have been better off with making teeth out of polymorph plastic instead of fake nails because these teeth were pretty flat and thin.
Overall this was a wickedly fun makeup and I absolutely loved creating those prosthetics. I enjoyed playing around with the different painting techniques to create realistic skin textures and really want to practice more with painting textured flesh tones.