How To Use Halloween Makeup

Vampire Makeup KitClown faces, skulls, vampires, kitties and a thousand other makeup designs are possible for the Halloween holiday. But makeup can be a real chore to apply. Here are some tips from the Hollywood pros to make your face-decorating safer, less work and more fun.

Use quality makeup and facial products. All contemporary department store makeup is designed to be healthy for your skin. But things like spirit gum, heavy green or black face coverings, or (yikes!) dyes can cause problems. Stick to well-made products from trusted manufacturers that are specifically meant for Halloween and you can’t go wrong.

Test for allergic reactions on small portions of the face, neck, shoulders, arms and hands. Each of these sections can react differently to different compounds. The skin is a different thickness in each area, has different kinds of hair and varying pore structure. Apply and allow to dry for an hour, then remove it and look for any undue reddening and bumps.

Similarly, avoid using any makeup that causes eye or lung allergies. Spirit gum is particularly noxious to some, since it sits right under the nose and around the mouth. Any eye shadow or facial cream that produces tearing should be discarded.

Pancake or base is usually the first to go on. It helps create an even ‘canvas’ for your face and permits easier makeup removal later. Theatrical pancake has been used by stage actors for generations and the quality and usefulness just keeps getting better and better. Apply lightly with a sponge then powder.

Cream-based makeup is perfect for creating an overall color for ghosts, devils and more. It feels somewhat like grease paint (a very old type of thick makeup), but is much easier to remove and better for your skin.

For those all-important highlights, a tube stick is perfect for highlights, lines and small special designs. Use them sparingly. Never substitute an ink pen, magic marker or similar device. Not only will you have to scrub forever to get the material off, but it’s unhealthy for the skin.

For overall body painting, buy makeup that is specifically labeled as body paint. Apart from the need to easily remove it later, and health issues, it will spread more evenly without permanently staining skin or clothes. Speaking of health, always leave patches around the body unpainted. Air has to pass in and moisture out for the body to regulate itself properly. Some makeup can hinder that function.

Mustaches, fake eyebrows and more are applied with adhesive. Spirit gum is traditional, but can be difficult to remove. Here again, be sure to buy a quality product and you will protect your skin from harmful compounds.

Latex is best reserved for those who have more experience. Skin tearing, ammonia used in manufacture, and more can cause problems for the novice. Latex prosthetics are another matter. They are formations made from this special rubber-like material and attach to the skin with adhesive, rather than cover it like a second skin. Different considerations apply.

Use makeup the way the pros do and you’ll have a safe and fun Halloween.

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