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Top Tips for SFX Makeup – by Terri Pinnell

Terri FaceBased 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.

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