My journey into SFX makeup has been like a blind jump into a dark pool of unknown depth. For now, I’ve been watching every SFX makeup tutorial video and cosplay tip compilation I can find, and they have been in no logical order. I’m trying to gain a little more direction in what I want to learn but at this point, I’m basically just a 6 year old wreaking havoc in an unsupervised craft store. Between losing myself in the Pinterest abyss and the YouTube rabbit hole, I have been saving links to photos and videos of everything I love. Face wounds are always a blast and a Google image search led to a photo of this Werewolf attack makeup and I wanted to try it for myself.
I had recently attempted a Chelsea Smile makeup using tissue paper and eyelash glue so I decided to just go for it and apply the tissue paper trick to what I saw in in this lacerated face (aka Werewolf attack!) makeup photo.As I said, I’ve been a directionless child running around with a new toy, so I got excited and just made up my own steps….let the glueing and painting frenzy commence!
I started out by outlining some slash marks across my face with a pink lipliner pencil and applying eyelash glue to my lines, one section at a time. Then I tore up strips of tissue paper, scrunched them up, and stuck them to the glue marks. In retrospect, these could have been done with more care and finesse because my ridges came out too high and thick.
I coated the tissue in liquid foundation and brushed a layer of Elmer’s glue along the edges, hoping they would blend into my face. I thought this might give a liquid latex effect, making these tissue paper wounds appear to be part of my face. This step did blend them to my skin a tad but left me with rock hard flesh coloured ridges sticking out of my face.
Once I had the wound structure set, I used Snazaroo black face paint to put a little depth inside the wounds and then I dabbed a bit of red face paint over top to give it a more fleshy, bloody colour.
My next painting step was another immediate regret.I dabbed a wet sponge into the red Snazaroo paint and tried to “irritate” the edges of my wounds. Instead, half my face turned bright and I looked like I was having an allergic reaction. I toned this down with a little more foundation, and at this point I shoved everything aside and went straight for the fake blood.
I’ve read from a few sources that bad effects will often get drenched in fake blood and the artist will just hope for the best. I didn’t want to do this but my edges were pretty bad so I tried to give the wounds some bloody gloss I have without going too crazy. I think my huge wads of tissue paper were just sucking up every drop of moisture I fed them so I probably could have poured an entire jug on my face and it would have looked conservative.
At the end of this Werewolf attack makeup, there was so much of it that I wanted to rip off and redo but at the same time, I’m happy with it because I can see really valuable lessons I’ve learned as I progressed through. I thought you might want to try this makeup effect yourself, so I searched for a tutorial that went along with the picture I used and found Ellimacs doing a beautiful job of ripping apart this poor girl’s face:
What I Learned
Going forward, I vow to use liquid latex instead of Elmer’s glue. The Elmer’s glue was too stiff and difficult to work with. I will also avoid gluing a huge wad of tissue paper to my face when I only needed tiny strips. I think that starting small and building the wounds up would have provided much better results.