How To Use A Halloween Prosthetic

Reel F/X Prosthetic: Evil NoseHalloween prosthetics are fake wounds, severed body parts, false noses, etc. They can really make a costume stand out. But they can also spoil your holiday if you use ones that interfere with your freedom to party. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your creative daytime ideas without hindering your night fun.

Ever noticed how many of the Sci-Fi films limit themselves to changing the shape of the alien’s forehead? That’s because they know it’s the easiest and cheapest way to alter the appearance without interfering with movement.

One way to accomplish that is to limit your prosthetic to something small on the head. That can be a fake bullet hole in the forehead or a large faux gash or just a pair of devil’s horns.

The cheek is a favorite spot of novices to apply a prosthetic and there are advantages to that. It’s easy to see and you have a soft, wide surface area to work with. But prosthetics are not makeup. They can interfere with movement. Also, the piece is much more likely to come off when you eat or drink if it’s on that area of the head.

If your costume really demands a nose prosthetic be prepared for some inconvenience. Large ones interfere with drinking and eating. Who wants that? Small ones are prone to fall off. But a securely fashioned and correctly shaped nose prosthetic can work.

An extra nostril is pretty gross, especially if there is green goo coming out of it. Yuck. A split nostril (easy to make with a little formed latex and a black marker and some stage blood) is another way to go. The idea is to keep it small and simple.

By contrast, ears are a convenient place to use prosthetics. They don’t experience too much motion though there is some when you move your jaw. They also provide a very easy-to-use shape to hang things on or to add fake parts.

Fake pointy Spock ears have now been vastly overdone. Not to mention it’s been years since a Star Trek movie or TV show was made. But classics like hanging fleshy parts, made nicely gory with stage blood, never go out of style. Huge (fake) gashes are another favorite that never gets old. It’s Halloween, after all.

It should go without saying that you want to avoid anything that could harm yourself or anyone else. It should, but some people get a little too into their costume idea and need reminding.

For example, never strap an ankle to your thigh. Yes, the ‘no leg look’ can be ghoulish. But if done for anything longer than a couple of minutes you are looking at hindered circulation and that can be dangerous. You can lose the limb permanently if the tissues start to die from lack of oxygen.

Reconsider that hard plastic (or, god forbid, metal) Captain Hook appliance. You don’t want to gash anyone and it just means one less hand for you to work with, anyway.

Let makeup complete your prosthetic look and you will have no need to create one that reduces your party fun.

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