Sunday, 5 October 2014

Halloween makeup: reptile

My second Halloween makeup is something a bit more unusual, a reptile isn't something I'd say was an obvious choice for a Halloween costume, in fact far from it, but something you could still have a lot of fun with.

I began sculpting a horn last month, unsure whether I would make it as a single piece or as a pair. Whether they would be for a devil makeup, or a goat but by the time the sculpt was finished I'd decided to go in a different direction altogether.

Halloween makeup tutorial, sfx reptile, devil horn prosthetic, face paint
I went for a colour scheme I thought could be a bit more fitting to the occasion than the obvious greens and yellows. I was keen for this not to be a full face makeup but focus on the horn with other elements to tie it together. To really carry this off at Halloween I would probably slick back my hair with a wet look product and paint some of the same scale patterns in patches on other visible skin. I would also consider reptilian contacts which is an easy way to create a strong impact.

Onto the method for creating this makeup:

1 A lot of the time spent on this makeup was actually done before the day of application. The horn had to be made in advance which required sculpting in chavant, a non-air drying clay and casting in liquid latex. Latex is not the material I would usually ever choose for appliances but is an easy to use and affordable one so perfect for little tests on myself or occasions like Halloween.

2 Once the latex horn had set and I had cleaned it up, I coloured it with paints from a couple of Illustrator palettes. These are alcohol-activated so will adhere to the rubber but are also waterproof so won't come off without re-activating with alcohol.

3 First step with the makeup was to block out my eyebrows. I usually favour using soap for this but for speed and convenience I just used a Pritt stick. Once this had set I applied a pale base. Much like the Disco skull this was done with the Illamasqua Rich Liquid foundation in 115.

4 I then placed the horn where I wanted it to be and marked the edge in place so I could paint all other details in and apply that last. As I was doing the makeup on myself it would have been trickier to work around the horn.

5 Using red and black Aquacolours by Kryolan I marked out the rest of the design and then strengthened the lines. I did all the shading with pigments by L.A. Minerals which were nice and easy to blend. I also used some of the same black shade lightly around my eyes.

6 When I was happy with all of that it was time to apply the horn, I used Pros-Aide which is a prosthetic glue and works best as a contact adhesive. This means I applied a thin coat to both the underside of the horn and to my skin. I let this go clear which meant it was set but still tacky (it always remains tacky) then pressed the horn onto my skin to form the bond.

7 To finish the look I would have usually taken the time to disguise the edge of the piece but decided that wasn't really necessary for a simple Halloween makeup, so instead I added a little texture detail with a dotting effect which I added to all the "scales" and taking that up onto the latex piece as well to blend it in with it's surroundings slightly better. This helped a great deal because the colour of the horn was quite different to the paints I chose so just adding some of the red I used on my face helped disguise it.

What I used:
- Chavant clay
- Kryolan liquid latex
- PPI Illustrator palettes
- Illamasqua Rich Liquid foundation
- Kryolan Aquacolours
- L.A. Minerals pigments
- ADM-Tronics Pros-Aide

I really hope this was an interesting read for anyone interested in makeup and special effects, if people are interested I could maybe start a tutorial series on here for basic things such as sculpting or casting cheap pieces and working with other affordable materials?

If you didn't see my first Halloween makeup post do check that out, especially as it explains a little more on what paints I choose for what circumstances.


  1. This is absolutely terrifying! I bet it took a long time to put together! I've never tried a halloween make up!


  2. That's good and perfect for Halloween. I am hopeless at any sort of face painting so I bet my boys would love it if I could do this!

  3. Oh wow you are so talented this looks so scary but amazing!

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