They don’t make applying prosthetics and special effects makeup look easy on shows like Face Off. Even some of our favorite makeup artists on YouTube, like Madeyewlook, Glam & Gore and Alexa Poletti, fly through the application process like magic.  Luckily for you, we’ve taken the time to break it down to the basics.  You won’t need a degree from wizarding school to show off a realistic wound or to transform yourself into any character or monster imaginable.

What it all comes down to is that practice makes perfect.  Take your time, be patient and know you can always go back in to fix things as you go.  And when in doubt, cover your mistakes in lots and lots of SFX blood.  Watch our quick video tutorial or jump down below because we’ll walk you through the process of applying any pre-made prosthetic step-by-step.

Applying a Prosthetic Supplies

Before getting started you will need to gather the following supplies:

  • A latex prosthetic of your choosing
  • A medium fluffy makeup brush
  • Disposable makeup sponges
  • Spirit gum (or other skin safe adhesive)
  • Liquid latex
  • Makeup sponges
  • Translucent powder

Applying a Prosthetic Step 1

Start by applying a layer of spirit gum (or adhesive of your choice) directly onto the skin where you will be applying the prosthetic.

Apply a thin layer of spirit gum onto the prosthetic.

Applying a Prosthetic Step 2

Allow the spirit gum to dry until tacky.

Place the prosthetic into place.

Applying a Prosthetic Step 3

Seal the edges with more spirit gum.

Hold the edges in to place until set.

Applying a Prosthetic Step 4

Apply a thin layer of liquid latex around the edge of the prosthetic.

Allow the latex to dry completely.

Apply another thin layer to help blend the edge with the skin.

Applying a Prosthetic Step 5

Powder over the latex with translucent setting powder.

You are now ready to start applying makeup to finish the look.

Prosthetic Possibilities

Here a few of the looks we’ve put together using prosthetics over the past year.

If you’re going for a realistic wound, make sure to have plenty of reference photos handy because sometimes, less is more.

We’d love to see all the wounds and characters you create using prosthetics!  Share your finished masterpieces with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #WHCdoesSFX.