How to use Liquid Latex

As a makeup fanatic, Halloween is undoubtedly one of the most exciting times of year. I’m always blown away by the creativity of other makeup artists and bloggers that I follow on social media, and I love scouring Pinterest and YouTube for inspiration to create my own looks. When I went to Halloween parties as a child, I’d always be the weirdo who went all out (a headless man carrying a paper-mâché, blood-splattered head was my go-to look). No half-hearted cats here. Nowadays, not much has changed. I still jump at the chance to go to a fancy dress party and take my costume choice VERY seriously.

Liquid latex is an ingredient that features in most Halloween makeup tutorials. It has seriously upped my fancy dress game, and I use it without fail every year. I thought it might be helpful to do a quick, step-by-step post on how I use liquid latex to spruce up any Halloween costume, because it’s far easier to use than it looks.

The best thing about creating looks with liquid latex is that you only need 3 ingredients to get going, and they’re all dirt cheap. Liquid latex, a regular toilet roll and a small brush that you don’t mind ruining (a cheap paintbrush will do fine). This tube of latex cost me £1 at Tesco, and in previous years I’ve ordered it from Amazon for around the same price.

Step 1:

Separate one piece of toilet roll so that you have two 1 ply pieces. The thinner the pieces the more realistic your fake skin will look.

Step 2:

Break each piece of 1ply toilet roll into rough sections. There’s no need to be neat with this – you’ll need different sized sections to match the different areas of your face (or arm, or leg, or chest, etc etc).

Step 3:

Decide what shape and where you want your wound to be. The possibilities here are ENDLESS. Check out YouTube and Pinterest if you’re lacking ideas. A favourite of mine is a nice skinless area around one eye, as in the below image. Click here to read a tutorial on this Zombie Prom Queen look.

Step 4:

Once you’ve chosen your wound, paint the liquid latex directly onto your face in the desired shape. To create the Zombie Prom Queen, I painted a rough circle around my eye area (avoiding the eyebrow and eye). For a simple bullet or stab wound, just paint the latex on in a circle or line. Again, there’s no need to be neat!

Step 5:

Layer your pieces of toilet roll onto the latex to cover the entire area.

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-15-07-33Step 6:

Apply more liquid latex over the toilet roll, still keeping to your desired shape, and then apply more pieces of toilet roll on top. In other words, repeat steps 4 and 5 until you have around 4 layers of toilet roll.

Step 7: 

Leave the latex to dry. This won’t take long. You’ll know when it’s dry as it will go all hard and crispy – delightful.

Step 8:

What you do next depends on the wound you’ve chosen to create. If you have a large area of missing skin, like my Zombie Prom Queen, you can simply peel back the inner edges of the latex to give the illusion of peeling skin (SO GROSS). If you’re creating a bullet hole or a gash (couldn’t think of a better word), use nail scissors or tweezers to make a hole/slit in the latex, and then peel it apart.

Step 9:

This is where the magic happens. The makeup part. Use your normal foundation to colour the areas of skin and any red/purple/black/green/brown makeup to fill in the gory areas.

Step 10:

Add the finishing touches – fake blood! Be generous with it and allow it to naturally drip down your face (rather than painting it on) for maximum disgustingness.

Happy Halloween! Use the tag #makeupwithmartha if you give liquid latex a go for the first time this year or if you’re already an experienced SFX junkie – I’d love to see your looks.