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9 Things You Can Add To Your Prosthetics To Give Them An Edge

Prosthetics can instantly change the way you look entirely, whether you are transforming into a character like a vampire, werewolf or zombie or just applying gory wounds. There are a few things you can add to take your look to the next level, add extra gross factor or just make the effect more convincing.

1. Blood

It’s an obvious addition if you are applying wound prosthetics, but also consider using blood in other areas. A little blood in the hairline or coming from the nose, mouth or near the eyes (not in the eye itself) can give a disturbing effect. Remember that there are different types of blood for different looks; as well as our standard Special FX Blood, we also stock Zombie Blood which is darker in colour and suggests that the fluid is old or infected. Our makeup palette also has a dried blood colour which is great for creating blood effects that won’t smear or run. Try mixing different styles of blood to give more depth to your makeup and don’t use too much – theres no point going to all the trouble of applying a prosthetic then covering it in buckets of the red stuff. Keep it subtle, less is more.

Torn Face Prosthetic
Try using different types of blood to give your makeup more depth

2. Dust

If you’re creating a crusty zombie, add dust and grit to the hair, clothes and even to the skin to suggest a feeling of age. It’s a creepy effect that makes it look as if the walker has been rattling around old derelict buildings for years. Fullers Earth is a type of finely ground clay that is ideal for this; add a little water here and there and it will create lumps that will cling to the hair and clothes and make your zombie look especially grimy.

Dusty Zombie
We added dust and cobwebs to our zombie to make him look like part of the furniture

3. Dirt

Adding mud to your makeup and costume is an easy way to dirty down clothes to get that old, worn look, and you can also use a range of household products to get the same effect that won’t dry out and fall off with wear (see the video below for tips on how to age your clothes). Adding dirt to wound prosthetics suggests that the something happened in the real world; if you’re trying to simulate an accident outdoors chances are those wounds wouldn’t be clean.

4. Hair Gel

As well as adding gel to the hair to make it look lank and greasy, you can also add a little to your prosthetics to make them look especially nasty. Try putting a little hair gel in wound prosthetics (preferably yellow in colour) – it will add moisture and will give the impression of body fluids and will really make your application stand out.

5. Leaves

If you are creating a zombie or someone who has been beaten or wounded outdoors, stick a few scraps of leaves into the blood and onto the skin so it looks like your model has been lying in the dirt. Dried herbs also work well as miscellaneous debris that would stick to the skin.

6. Glass

If you are applying wounds to an actor that are supposed to be the result of a car crash or a bar fight, adding fake glass is a great way to give an extra dimension to your makeup. Sili-Glass is a clear silicone rubber that looks like glass but is completely safe – ideal for using in prosthetics. Never use real glass.

7. Shrapnel

There are many objects that can be added to wound appliances to make them look particularly gruesome. Fake knives, scissors and screwdrivers are al favourites, but also consider smaller objects that can suggest that the wound truly penetrates the skin. Scraps of wood and blunt metal work well and our Shrapnel Wound Prosthetic is specifically designed for the addition of a small piece of debris.

shrapnel wound prosthetic
Adding a little shrapnel can bring a lot to your effect

8. Tattoos

If you are trying to make a wound on an arm or leg look convincing, consider adding a tattoo that starts on the skin and flows over into the wound area. You can buy good quality fake tattoos online and you can also create your own using alcohol activated paint. If your model already has a tattoo why not try incorporating it into the makeup; apply the prosthetic on the tattoo and use a makeup palette to paint the tattoo back in over the appliance. Its a great way of fooling the brain into thinking that the wound must be real.

9. Hair

Applying hair to werewolf prosthetics take your application to another level. Crepe hair can be bought cheaply online and is very versatile as it can also be used for adding eyebrows back onto prosthetics that obscure them (zombie brows for example, although people are used to eyebrow-free zombies). Buy slightly different tones of hair and mix them together – maybe even a few white strands too – to get a more natural look. See the video below to watch our werewolf prosthetic transformation complete with crepe hair.

If you are using a prosthetic that covers the eye entirely like a swollen eye appliance, you can cut individual hairs from false eyelashes to glue them into place and make a far more convincing look.

Got a makeup FX question or comment?

We love hearing from Nimba Creations customers, Cosplayers, Actors, Movie Makers and Makeup FX artists at every stage of their career. If you’ve got a question or comment about our products, Makeup FX or want to show off your lastest creation you can contact us via our Facebook Page.

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