I’ve just wrapped on a film shooting out in the desert and canyon country north east of L.A., where I had the privilege of working with Makeup Department Head, Tracy Richards, and Special Effects Makeup Artist Kris Kobzina, and Makeup Artist Grace Lee. The last few days of the shoot involved car and motorcycle stunts and chases across a dry lake bed. The “baddies” were made up of a gang of roving gypsy-like outlaws, made up in Dia De Los Muertos stylized skull makeups. Kris and I even got to play a couple of them.
Getting the gang’s look down and keeping it there was an involved and ever evolving process, repeated over several days. The long days and intense heat made application, as well as removal, a challenge. Tracy’s arsenal contained greasepaint, and the team attempted several looks using some. But the paint proved to be thick, hot, and prone to smudge, even when powered and sealed. For quick outlaws, like Kris and myself, we used a mixture of Aquacolor and Liquiset applied with a brush and sponges. We then airbrushed the makeups with TEMPTU Airbrush Clear Matte Sealer to set them. The more elaborate makeups were done with an airbrush, using alcohol based colors. Details were then applied with cream makeups on small brushes. TEMPTU Airbrush Clear Matte Sealer was used to set these looks as well. While this technique held up the best without smudging or cracking, it did prove tedious to remove, even with the help of Isopropyl Myristate, makeup remover, and even PAX remover. We realized this was because each makeup started with a layer of Sweat Stop. The makeup grabbed onto this and stuck to the skin. By the end of the shoot, Kris realized we needed a layer of Dermashield put on first, so the makeup would adhere to this barrier, and not the skin and Sweat Stop. Once Dermashield was used, cleanups were a snap, using Isopropyl Myristate and moisturizer. Lesson learned.
Brian Kinney, Guest Blogger & Makeup FX artist working in Hollywood