Top Tips for SFX Makeup – by Terri Pinnell
Based in Dublin, Terri Pinnell is a fully qualified makeup artist and beautician who specialises in special effects makeup. She has worked on a number of features, shorts and series, including Portrait of a Zombie, Stitches and the RTÉ Storylands Winner, Zombie Bashers. Here she shares her top tips for special effects makeup for film.
1. If you are making fake blood on a budget and using food colouring always add a drop or two of green it will make it darker, red on its own tends to come out a bit pink on the skin.
2. If you are doing a big makeup, always have warm towels on standby when removing it. Leave it on the face for a minute the steam alone will help lift the makeup.
3. Always always do a patch test when using heavy duty products like silicones and latex.
4. Do not get silicone in the hair. Use Vaseline to protect surrounding hair.
5. Have a good oil base remover on hand.
6. Get some picture references for any characters you have to come up with, you could have a completely different idea in your head to the directors.
7. Sugar snacks keep everyone happy when you are working long hours, so have a few of them on hand and heat packs keep you warm if you are shooting outside for long hours.
8. If you need more time with a makeup don’t be afraid to say so, don’t feel like you are holding everything up. It will be better in the long run to produce a good makeup rather than a quick one.