Special effects makeup is so much fun to do and learn. There are also so many instances where you can use it. From holidays like Halloween and events like Comic-Con to makeup tutorials and fun videos, all the way to making it a speciality in your MUA career. Everyone that does special effects makeup today started with a fascination for the art and the dedication to try things out and keep workshopping their technique.
While you can absolutely go to school and learn top tricks and techniques, it isn’t actually necessary. If you only want to learn special effects makeup for your own enjoyment and to do your own makeup, then you can and probably should try it right at home.
To help guide your home-based learning efforts, however, you’ll want to use this guide:
1. First Up, Get the Goods
While you can get good results from homemade special effects makeup and cheap materials like liquid spandex, if you are serious about learning the craft, you’ll want to splurge on professional special effects makeup. You will get the best results doing this, trying new things will be less finicky, and you’ll have a lot more fun as a whole. There are also many prosthetics and other products that just can’t be replicated with a homemade paste.
2. Second, Master Blending
One of the most important parts of special effects makeup is blending. You need to know how to seamlessly blend those cuts, prosthetics, and even your eyebrows so that everything looks natural. If you only ever want to do it yourself, then this is a relatively straightforward skill that you will use again and again. If you hope to turn this skill into your career one day, ask all your friends and family if they’ll be your model while you practice on different skin types and tones.
3. Find Great Tutorials
There are so many tutorials online full of helpful tips and tricks. Start by following those videos to the letter to try to replicate the results you see. For the best results, however, you’ll want to try to master the techniques themselves so that you can then start mixing and matching your efforts to create your very own custom look.
The only way to get better is by doing. That’s why you’ll want to practice not just different looks but different techniques over and over. A great way to encourage good results is to have looks you look up to. You can find the portfolio of the top MUAs out there and work on recreating their work or, at least, using their work as a benchmark for yourself. Create dozens of bullet-hole prosthetics. Create cuts at every stage of healing. Go big and bold with creature design. You need to do this often, always be on the lookout for new techniques, and love what you do.
5. Go Wild and Have Fun
Challenge yourself and have fun while doing it. Go nuts with the inspiration or challenges and really put your own imagination to the test. This is how you’ll make your own mark and establish your own identity as a makeup artist. This, in turn, can help you stand out on social media or even help you kickstart your career.
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