DIY zombie makeup

DIY Alternative to Latex

As promised, here is the new and greatly improved recipe for homemade latex substitute for use in FX makeup. After posting last year’s recipe, I received numerous questions about the uses of the latex substitute. Most of you wanted to know if you could make molds out of the recipe and if it could be saved for use another day. The answer to both questions was no. This new recipe approximates the behavior of commercial latex a lot more. It is still non-toxic and inexpensive to make. And though it can be used for several days, it is still biodegradable and disposable. Here is the new recipe:

How to Make Fauxtex

The two main ingredients for Fauxtex are tapioca flour and plain gelatin. The tapioca flour gives this compound the rubberiness of flesh, and the gelatin gives it “hold.” It’s like mixing skin and cartilage. 🙂 Here’s the thing about making fauxtex: there are many variations in the proportions of tapioca flour to gelatin to water. I’m still playing with this latex substitute, but here are two recipes and what happened with them:
1 cup water
1 packet of plain gelatin
3 Tbsp tapioca flour
A glob of water-based skin foundation (optional)
This recipe took a few hours to set up, which gave it more “working time.” You have to wait a couple hours before you use it, and you can spread it and shape it for an hour or two after that before it gets too “set.” The disadvantage is that you can’t make FX makeup right now with this recipe.
1 cup water
2 packets of plain gelatin
4 Tbsp tapioca flour
A glob of water-based skin foundation (optional)
This recipe has to sit only 20 minutes before use, and after that you have about 30 minutes to work with it before it gets too “jelled” to work with.
Either recipe can be used for filling molds while the mix is still very warm. Use the second recipe for molding prostheses if you want to use the prosthesis the same day (e.g. a nose or ear). Another cool thing about fauxtex is that you can add detail to it after it has set completely by carving it or smoothing it with a warm knife!
Fauxtex will not last more than a few days. If it is left out on the counter, the edges will dry to a crust in a day, and the rest will shrink and dry hard in about a week. Fauxtex will last longer in the refrigerator, especially if it is covered.
This video shows me cooking up a batch of Fauxtex:

I have not experimented using fauxtex with a glazing agent (such as an acrylic clear coat). This of course would make it toxic and non-biodegradable, but you could potentially use it for making more permanent prosthetic pieces by sealing it.
Stay tuned for videos on how to make a bald head/brains, a nose, and hairy monster hands.

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