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Special FX makeup is the makeup we see on a daily basis in movies and on TV that is used to make changes to someone’s appearance in a severe or slight way. Whenever you see a witch with a big pointy nose or a zombie with a hole in their face or a fairy with pointed pixie ears, this is done through the use of special FX makeup and some very talented makeup artists. 

It is also the way that wounds and burns are created, so the next time you see any puss covered cuts or gun wounds on actors in a hospital show, you will know that the work that has gone into the process has been an intense one. 

The special skills of special FX makeup

Special FX makeup can be challenging and take extreme patience and skill to use. Some of the more complex makeup looks that we see on our TVs and in films can take hours and hours to do with actors sitting patiently in their chairs before filming as makeup artists get to work. 

Is it for me?

Getting into special FX makeup can be a great skill to try out for the more artsy of you. The skills it will give you in art, makeup and general patience will be like nothing else you have tried and be a great way of getting into doing makeup for films and TV if that something you are interested in.

A great example of an actors who has played a role that have required intense special FX makeup is Naomi Grossman who went under extreme special FX makeup for her role in American Horror story Asylum where she played the character Pepper. 

It is never too soon to start a new hobby or develop a new skill, so why not special FX makeup?

There are a huge range of special FX makeup tools and some of the most common materials used include silicone, latex and even rubber. In more complex characters robotic parts may also be used to help create their characters. 

Special FX makeup has been amazing in transforming the way we see characters portrayed, as the years have gone by we have seen the advances in this industry with makeup effects becoming more and more realistic. 

Of course, there is the alternative option of CGI, which you may assume is what is used mostly these days, but makeup, and the effects that can be done with it, is still just as common. 

There is also the use of prosthetics, which is a kind of make-up used to create special effects in a different way. Prosthetics is used by life-casting, sculpting or moulding to create a look that changes an actor’s natural face almost completely, whereas special FX make-up is done to alter someone’s appearance in a smaller way, including adding scars or wounds. You can normally still guess who the actor is if special FX makeup is used, for instance.  

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