Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Easy Witch Makeup Tutorial with Ben Nye Pro Color Airbrush and Camera Ready Cosmetics

Ben Nye Pro Color Airbrush Death and FX Series
Halloween is approaching fast and what better excuse than this to play around with our new range of airbrush colors from Ben Nye and with many amazing products purchased from Camera Ready Cosmetics, our favorite online store in the world with its ever increasing selection of pro brands at an amazing price, the best customer service you could wish for, and fairly priced world wide shipping out of their Texas, USA head quarters. Please notice that despite of what I just wrote, this post is not sponsored by either company. I just genuinely love these brands and I am happy to spread the word about them in any way I can. So now that we have established that, let's dive in with some more details on how to create the look you see in these photos and video...

Pre made foam latex prosthetics are a fast, easy and inexpensive way to create incredible looks with a super professional finish. You can apply them to great effect even without a lot (or hardly any) experience in SFX makeup. All you have to do is make sure you have the right products and tools, which will not cost that much considering the level of the results you will achieve. Of course I am using a kit with a compressor and several airbrushes here, but please know that you can perform any of these steps with regular brushes, it will just take a little longer. 
Safety disclaimer: please test all of the products you will be using to make sure you or your model are not allergic to the materials. Please be very careful when working with an airbrush without the needle cap. Also remember never to spray directly on open eyes, or on the ear and nose canals. Have the model hold their breath while you spray around the nose.

Prep the prosthetic by carefully cutting out extra latex pieces that are left in by the manufacturer (such as over the eye and mouth openings). Be mindful to leave as much as the thin edges as possible attached to the mask. Prep the skin with a skin protector such as Kryolan Pro Shield before attaching the prosthetic, and protect the eyebrows with Kryolan Eyebrow Stick smoothing the wax over the brows with a flat spatula.

Apply Pros-Aide glue to the nose area inside the prosthetic, then apply that to the face first and use as a reference to place the rest of the application. Brush a thin layer of Pros-Aide directly on the area of the face that will be covered by the foam latex, then blow dry it on low heat until the glue is clear. Now you can place the rest of the prosthetic. The Pros-Aide will remain tacky and allow you to move the latex around if need be. Just be careful to lay the thin edges without having them fold under themselves. Correct placement will take some time, so be prepared. Once the prosthetic is in place, use more Pros-Aide along the edges to make sure they are flush against the skin. Once this last layer is dry, fill in any gap or discrepancy with Pros-Aide cream, and smooth everything down using a spatula. When the Pros-Aide cream is dry, you can brush a layer of clear powder along the edges to get rid of any tackiness (Pros-Aide will stay tacky indefinitely unless powder). 

Once the prosthetic is on, you will need to seal it with a layer of straight Pros-Aide, or you can use Pax Paint, which is a Pros-Aide based paint, to also lay a base color. This will be necessary of the latex might start to break down from the colors you will apply on top. Either way, the whole prosthetic will need another dusting of clear setting powder to set, and then you will be able to paint. There are several ways to paint the prosthetic to stunning effect. I chose to use a flesh tone base coat of Pax, then several layers of spattering and then some mottling, lowlights, highlights, veining and yet more mottling to break up the final effect. Like I was saying, applying these layers with an airbrush is definitely faster and easier for me, especially with the special Spatter Cap by Harder and Steenbeck which makes spattering super fast, clean and easy, but you can also use traditional brushes to achieve the same results. As far as colors are concerned, I have often used PPI's alcohol based palettes for these kind of jobs before, but this time I decide to try out Ben Nye's new range of water / hybrid based colors created especially for airbrushing, called Pro Color. There is an especially large selection of colors for special effects. The lines are eloquently called "Death", "FX" and "Classic", and within them you can find pretty much any color you might need for a great SFX paint job. Because of the water based composition, these colors are also more pleasant for the model, and can be sprayed on the eye area without any fear of irritation. The color tonality and pigmentation is fantastic, as you can expect from a legendary brand such as Ben Nye. 

The order in which you lay the colors is pretty much up to you and to the final effect you wish to achieve. You will inevitably find yourself going back and forth and adding a further layer with a technique (such as spattering, for example), long after you thought you were finished. Every artist has its own technique, but the rules are far and few in between. At the end of the day, what really matters is what works. Once you are finished painting, you will need to seal your paint job. Ben Nye is also the maker of Final Seal, an industry staple and one of the best makeup sealers around. Of course this is also ready to be applied with an airbrush, so that is just what we did. If we had used alcohol based paints we would have probably chosen PPI Green Marble sealer, which can be used after each layer of alcohol paint in order to protect it from the subsequent layer, as it basically prevents the new alcohol being applied from breaking up the alcohol in the layer previously applied.

To remove the prosthetic, loosen a hidden edge with a bit of PPI's Telesis Super Solve, then gently pull the latex off the face dusting the skin underneath with clear powder with a fan brush as you pull away. Use Super Solve to remove the residue of glue, then a good makeup remover for the rest, and proceed to restorative skin care. 

I hope this video and text might be of use to some of you makeup artists who are taking your first steps in the amazing SFX world. Whichever style of project you will embark on this Halloween, I wish you a fun experience and a wonderfully creative time.