SFX makeup: 5 Kit essentials to start on your Halloween makeup look


By Redzhanna Jazmin

SFX makeup: 5 Kit essentials to start on your Halloween makeup look

With October 31st slowly creeping up on us the stakes are high; what are we going to be this Halloween? Not that it matters, really, considering the COVID-19 cases are back on the rise and none of us should be going anywhere, anyway. That said, there’s no better reason to get into your spooky gear than to spend a lovely night in your lounge taking pics for the ‘gram.

So, if you want to take the drama up a notch this year and give all of your poor Instagram followers a good scare, there’s no better way to do it than with a little SFX makeup. What, you don’t know where to start? Well, here are a couple of essentials to get you going.

Whether you want to invest in a few SFX basics or just use what you probably already have, there’s something for everyone. We’ve looked around and compiled a few essentials for a very basic SFX kit for you that works as a perfect starting point to build on.

SFX Essential #1: Liquid latex


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This is the holy grail of SFX makeup—liquid latex is an incredibly versatile product that you can use to build up gory prosthetics with not much else than a bit of tissue paper or cotton wool! And, as an added unrelated bonus, you can use it to neaten up the edges on your DIY manicures.

Beware though—this product is not suitable for those with latex allergies; instead, you could opt for silicone alternatives which are more hypoallergenic or makeup wax. Both alternatives make for more realistic prosthetics but will run you a pretty penny.

SFX Essential #2: Face and body paints


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These come in different forms—you could opt for water-activated paints which work great but don’t fare so well in rain or sweat. Alternatively, there are alcohol-activated paints which are great against rain and sweat but can be drying (because of the alcohol) and cannot be used near the eye. Also, you’d need to buy some 99% isopropyl alcohol to activate the paint.

Finally, there is the option of cream/grease makeup paints which are safe to use around the eyes, pretty resilient against sweat and rain but also smudges and rubs off on clothes rather easily. Either way, getting yourself a palette with a good selection of colours such as the Mehron Paradise Makeup Palette—likely a worthwhile investment for your DIY kit.

SFX Essential #3: Fake blood


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To break it down, there are two main kinds of fake blood to invest in; the first is regular fake blood, which is nice and versatile when in doubt. You can easily make your own on the go with little more than corn syrup, red and blue food dye and cornflour or you can buy it!

The second kind—scab blood—is a great investment. Scab blood such as coagulated blood gel or artificial blood is perfect for looks where the blood needs to look ‘aged’ like in zombies or wounded victims. It can be used in and around the mouth and can be used to create realistic scabs and blood clots.

SFX Essential #4: Petroleum Jelly

Any old tube of vaseline will work, but it’s an important step in making any of your gruesome cuts and wounds look super realistic!

SFX Essential #5: Disposables/applicators

This includes cotton wool, cotton buds, makeup sponges, tissue paper and cheap brushes. Cotton wool and tissue paper are widely used to help create and shape wounds, cuts, burns or anything you can imagine.

Makeup sponges will help you shade and colour in the DIY prosthetics and make everything a little more realistic looking. Finally, brushes are easily ruined by SFX makeup so don’t invest lots in them—instead use things you’re okay with ruining.

If you decide you’d like to build a more comprehensive kit, watch the tutorial below from Glam&Gore to help you out as well as a compilation of great tutorials to teach you the basics—from basic cuts to prosthetics to realistic scars.

So, you want to be some iteration of mangled/undead/grotesque this Halloween but don’t want to have to invest in a kit for one costume? Never fear—you can create the same kind of looks with things you probably already have.

Substitute liquid latex for lash glue (yes, you read that right)—and layer with cotton wool, tissue and regular makeup to make scars and wounds. Check this tutorial out to find out how it’s done. Alternatively, you could also use regular school glue as seen here.

As expected, eyelash or school glue prosthetics won’t be as realistic as liquid latex or silicone as you won’t get the same amount of blend but it’s pretty close in a pinch. If in doubt, you could slather it in fake blood and no one will be the wiser. Happy Halloween!

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