When it comes to special effects makeup, liquid latex is one of the most versatile products you can add to your kit. However, using this best selling product can be a bit of a challenge for beginners. That's why we partnered with SFX Artist @Caykeface to share three of her favorite ways to use liquid latex.


First, let's talk about what liquid latex is. As you probably guessed, liquid latex is a liquified rubber that is skin-safe and contains ammonia to prevent it from solidifying before use. As a result, it has a rather potent smell, so we recommend using it in a well-ventilated area. It is available in a variety of shades to resemble various skin tones and several popular colors including red, white, green, blue, and yellow.

It is great for sealing modeling wax, can serve as an adhesive for body glitter and lightweight prosthetics, and can be used in a mold to create prosthetics. One of the most popular ways to use liquid latex is to apply it directly to the skin to create a "second-skin". Once it has dried, the elasticity allows it to move and flex like real skin, and it may be manipulated to create effects like aging, blisters, and wounds.

PRO TIP:

If you or your client have sensitive skin or are sensitive to the smell of ammonia, Ben Nye offers a formula that has less ammonia. Be sure to perform a spot test on the skin before using liquid latex since some individuals are allergic to latex.


Tips for Working with Liquid Latex

Now that we've discussed what liquid latex is, here are a few important tips to keep in mind while working with it:

Application Tips

It is important to keep plenty of disposable applicators handy because liquid latex can be extremely hard to remove from brush bristles and other porous surfaces. Applicators like disposable wedge sponges and q-tips are popular choices. Be sure to shake the product well before using.

Removal Tips

Removing liquid latex can be a tricky feat if you've applied it to a larger area or if you have applied it on top of body hair. To remove smaller sections of liquid latex, soak the area in warm and soapy water or apply a towel that has been soaked in hot water and gently peel it away. For larger areas of those that are harder to remove, consider using a product like Ben Nye Bond Off. Once you have removed the liquid latex, be sure to cleanse the skin and moisturize.


Start with clean dry skin and use a disposable wedge sponge to apply a thin layer of liquid latex to the area where you want to create the blistered effect. Allow it to dry. This will take a minute or two, but you may speed up the process using a handheld fan. It will become translucent as it dries.

Repeat the layering and drying process two to three times. Once the final layer has dried, use a spatula to gently tear open holes into the liquid latex, and push the opened latex on top of itself. Since it is still tacky, it will stick to itself.

Next, add some color! Using eyeshadows or your favorite paint (cream-based, water activated, or alcohol activated), color the skin you’ve exposed to be whatever color you want. For an extra gory or realistic wound, add your favorite SFX blood.


Start with clean dry skin and use a q-tip to paint the liquid latex into the shape you want the cut to resemble. If you want the wound to be a larger open wound, apply the liquid latex to a wider area of your skin.  

While the liquid latex is still tacky, rip up small pieces of tissues and lay them down flat on top of the latex, and leave a gap in the middle where you want the cut to be. Let it dry, and then repeat this step at least two to three more times. Set with a powder to remove the shine.

Next, use a spatula to tear into the latex and gently pull it open to form the cut. Add eyeshadow, fake blood, and other products to finish the look!


If you want to take your wounds to the next level, consider adding fake maggots! These little liquid latex critters are an easy way to enhance a zombie look or to simply add a bit of fear factor to the wounds you learned how to create using the tips and tricks above.

First, paint a few circles of liquid latex onto a stainless steel mixing plate, and allow them to dry. The diameter of the circles will be the same length as the maggots you are creating.

Once dry, gently peel them off and place them into the palm of your hand with the sticky side (the side that was facing the stainless steel palette) facing upward. Roll them up, and voila! You have a maggot!

The last step is applying your fake maggots. Use a small dab of liquid latex to adhere it to your wound, and you’re all set!


More Tutorials

Feeling inspired? Watch the video at the top of this blog to see the step by step tutorial, or visit our YouTube Channel!  If you have any more questions, we are here to help! Click here to reach out to our Beauty Advisors.

If you follow this or any of our other SFX Tutorials, don't forget to tag @camerareadysfx on social media!


Need something specific to create your SFX Halloween looks? Shop Camera Ready’s extensive collection of top special effects brands here. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Contact our Beauty Advisors for a comparable alternative, or to see if we can order the exact product you need.


About Camera Ready Cosmetics

Camera Ready Cosmetics was founded in 2003 by Makeup Artist Mary Erickson. She dreamed of having a pro makeup showroom where artists could play with professional products without the typical makeup store attitude.

Today, our team of beauty industry veterans work together to curate the best quality products on the market. We partner with brands who respect the industry and formulate products for true working artists. You won’t find CRC in high-end malls, and we don't wear matching brush belts.

If you want to play with products for a few hours and buy nothing, that's okay ... come in and play! Our store is your playground.


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