The summer holidays are almost behind us and with that is the return to school, college and further education. If like so many you are about to embark on your special FX make up course and feel a little unsure where to begin, then you have come to the right place!
As industry professionals, we understand the importance of a good special FX toolkit, but with such a vast array of brands spanning the industry it can be almost impossible to know which products are essentials and which brands fall short of the mark.
To help you out on your journey, we have put together a four-part mini-series on everything you will need to know to make a success of your career with confidence; This week we are looking at Special FX make up!
Imperative to any special FX kit, wax is the key to transforming what you envision in your head into reality. Allowing you to distort and exaggerate regular facial features to allow for complete creative freedom, this is by far one of the most crucial parts of any beginner’s kit!
Red Carpet FX Recommends:We love the Ben Nye Nose and Scar Wax for an easy to work with product that is ideal for those gory details! This product comes in a variety of popular skin tones making it really versatile for a range of people, and works best when applied on top of a little adhesive such as spirit gum, and dries clear for a realistic finish.
Buy for as little as £6.49...
Other Great Brands:There are plenty of fantastic options when it comes to special FX wax, from the more budget brands such as Mehron through to the more premium ranges from Kryolan – we sell a bunch of great waxes, so take a look at our selection to see which suits your needs the most.
No special FX toolkit is complete without a good quality fake blood! We can’t stress enough the importance of this particular product; trust us you will find yourself reaching for your blood more than you think, particularly crucial for the more hard-core looks!
Red Carpet FX Recommends:When it comes to fake blood you will find the market is saturated with options, but our favourite has to be the Clink Street FX range. This ultra-realistic product is non-drying for long lasting efficacy, and has a unique formula meaning that unlike many competitor brands the consistency remains realistic for hours! Comes in an aged dark shade and arterial bright, but you can’t go wrong investing in both!
Prices start from as little as £5.75 – great quality and affordable too!
Other Great Brands:Kryolan offer a great range of dark and light blood to imitate both external and internal bleeding that would make a great option for those looking to splash out for a more luxury brand. Other great options are the Ben Nye thick fake blood or Mehron professional blood range that offers coagulated, venous and arterial blood.
Scab Or Clotted Blood
If you are trying to create an effective aged blood look, then finding a good quality scab or clotted blood will allow you to get the realistic gooey consistency reminiscnent of an old injury. They are a key part of any special FX artists toolkit, and can be used to finish off the perfect gruesome look!
Red Carpet FX Recommends:For a super realistic and fast drying product the Kryolan Fresh Scratch Effect blood is our go-to product. This kind to the skin product offers a realistic wound effect that applies easily and dries quickly making it ideal in a fast paced setting. An industry favourite, we love the quality of this no-stain blood!
A 15ml pot of this will set you back just £9.90 and a little goes a long way!
Other Great Brands:We also love the Ben Nye Fresh Scab for a more affordable option that is a popular choice and one of our biggest sellers! Clink Street also offers a very affordable option with their great Clotted Wound Filler, so there is something for all price ranges here!
Perhaps one of the most important ingredients in any special FX look, liquid latex is a critical component of your kit, and offers versatility when creating your desired looks. This is a multi-purpose product and is a must-have for beginners and professionals alike!
Red Carpet FX Recommends:Our favourite has to be the Ben Nye liquid latex, not only is there a great range, with your classic through to a stipple consistency and even one for sensitive skin, but this holy grail product offers a realistic option for all your prosthetic needs and it’s affordable to! One drawback is that the Ben Nye has a strong smell of ammonia, so if this is something you would rather avoid then check out our other favourite brands below!
Top Tips From Red Carpet FX’s Favourite Film, Fashion and Media Make Up Artist Pamela Clare
For those of you who don’t know Pamela Clare or as she likes to be known PC, let us introduce you! PC has worked in the industry for many years, working on films, TV, fashion and also as the principal lecturer in various levels of make up artistry and SFX make up.
When it comes to special FX and make up, there is no one we trust more to give sound advice, so we are going to be sharing some of PC’s most valuable tips across our mini-series, starting with her top tips for those embarking on their make up artist journey:
"When starting out in the make up industry firstly have a realistic approach - things are not always going to be easy. When you have qualified, start to build up your social media with real images, use Instagram to put images of client makeovers (obviously seek approval from your client before posting any images), or using friends and family; before and after are a great way of clients seeing how good you are. The whole art of being a professional make up artist is working towards working on a status professional in other words once you start being paid for work you are becoming a professional make up artist.” – Pamela Clare (PC)
PC’S TOP TIPS:
- Have a good standard make up kit well presented with clean products and well-groomed brushes.
- If you are lucky enough to land a job working on set for TV or Film make sure that you are prepared for long days, early starts and extremes of weather, freezing conditions and 5am starts etc.; the golden rule is never ever complain about being tired, this is tantamount to career sabotage - everybody on set is tired so NEVER COMPLAIN, be helpful and keep smiling!
- Always research your products first, get recommendations from senior make-up artists for the most suitable products for your job. In essence, research, research, research and be prepared - do not go to a paid or unpaid job without knowing the expectations of your client.
Stay tuned for part two of our special FX mini-series coming up later this week, where we delve into the second half of our list of essential products and look to PC for more expert advice!