Sunday, January 29, 2023

Gear Talk: Makeup Touchup

When wearing a mask, there is bound to be some areas around the eyes that show the skin beneath ... plus your eyelids. Unless you are going to be wearing sunglasses for the entire time, you are going to need some makeup to blend your skin color to that of the mask and provide as seamless a transition as possible.

But... you need to prepare. You need to experiment and test.


Where Do I Test?

It would not make sense to continually apply makeup to your face, try on the mask, clean up and repeat. Also, you need to make sure that you are not allergic to the makeup. The best proxy for the skin around your eyes is your inner forearm. You can apply multiple color swatches and the match up the best one, or if you need to blend two colors, you can figure out the best process on your arm that you will (eventually) apply to your face.


On your arm - you can use any mild dish detergent (like Palmolive or Ivory) and a sponge to clean off the test swatches.

On your face - use cold cream first. Clean with facial tissues. Follow up with some Maybelline Eye Makeup Remover (blue cap) on cotton pads or eye makeup remover pads and finish up washing with facial soap (like Dove) and water. 

On your mask - pull the mask inside-out and use any mild dish detergent on a damp sponge to clean off any makeup. Rinse the sponge and clean any soap from the mask. Pat away any excess moisture and let air dry.

What Do I Use?

I like Mehron products. I've had great success with them. The three I use are Celebre, Celebre HD Foundation and CremeBlend Stick. A little goes a long way; they provide excellent coverage, last a long time, and are very easy to remove (from the face and from the mask). Kyrolan products tend to be a little more gummy and harder to apply.

The products are very creamy and you may be tempted to use a barrier spray to keep everything in place. I would say that if you have had a history of prior eye infections or clogged eye pores (called chalazions), avoid the barrier spray; let your skin breathe - removing a chalazion will often involve a visit to an ophthalmologist and if your tear duct becomes clogged or infected, you will need to visit an ophthalmologic plastic surgeon. Having a history of eye infections, this warning comes from experience.

With that said, I've been using just plain Mehron makeup and scrupulously cleaning my eyes after every application. I'm very happy to say that I have not had any difficulties for over 15 years!

I've built up my Mehron products over several years and I think I have everything I need to match the tone of almost any realistic mask. (I'm still working on the perfect match for a CFX "Jae" mask). Here's my inventory:

Mehron Celebre HD

Medium Dark 0 Dark 1 Eurasia Chinois
Medium Dark 1 Dark 3 Eurasia Fair 
Medium Dark 3 Dark 4 Alabaster
Medium Dark 4 Medium 4


Mehron Celebre

Black Medium Ebony Medium Tan


Mehron CremeStick

Burgundy American Indian Sable
Dark Egyptian Red  

How Do I Apply?

If you're planning to wear contact lenses, put those in first (but that's another blog post!)

Using a circular motion, gently rub your index finger into the makeup, then apply from the inner corner of your eye of the lower lid, moving across to the outer corner. Make sure that you apply a thin, even layer (going back to add makeup as needed) and completely cover you lower lid area. You may also need to apply some makeup directly to the edge of your lower lid as well.

Next, add some more makeup to your index finger and fill in the inner corner of your eyelid - top and bottom, and a bit on the side of your nose in that area as well.

Again, add more makeup to your finger and close your eye. SLOWLY and GENTLY wipe the makeup across the lowest portion of your eyelid (nearest the eyelashes) from inner to outer corners. Keep repeating until your entire eyelid is covered. I repeat - take it slowly and gently - you're not in a contest to see who gets it done fastest!

Last step - apply the makeup on the skin below your eyebrow.

Repeat with the other eye; if all is done properly,  your eye area should now resemble that of a racoon!

And now you can put on your mask!

Monday, January 23, 2023

Gear Talk: Whose Side Are You On?

My testing with different masks has uncovered that the "double nip" problem does occur to varying degrees on different masks with different sized sculpted bibs - in general, longer bibs have less or no problem, with wider (but shorter bibs) exhibit the issue.

(For those of you coming in cold to this post, the "double nip" issue occurs when wearing a half (or full) silicone torso with a mask worn OVER the torso). Depending on the thickness of the shirt - and whether it's patterned or not - you can see two sets of nipples - one from the mask, and another from the torso)

My first thought was to find something temporary that could fasten over the flatter set of nips and prevent them from showing under clothing. While silicone prosthetic adhesive DID work to keep a bandaid in place, it DID NOT prevent the nipple from being seen. I needed something that would basically flatten the area out and provide a smooth surface.

Hmmm .... what could provide a flat surface AND stick to the silicone mask (or torso)?

Then it hit me ... 

I was asking the wrong question... because I was addressing the wrong side of the equation:

What could provide a flat surface AND stick to the clothing being worn OVER the mask and torso?

This made the solution a lot simpler: clear, plastic surgical tape (1-inch), bandaids (1-inch) and cotton pads (the ones without any ribbing or texture on them).

The actual solution will depend on what mask you're wearing. 

  • A large bandaid on the clothing over the flatter nipple may work; 
  • You may need a few pieces of surgical tape in the area (half-overlay each piece to create a "layer", and you may need more than one "layer" for the coverup (this is my favored solution). The first application should be done horizontally; the second application vertically. Shift each additional "layer" 45 degrees from the prior "layer". This will create a "star" shape that is thicker in the middle (directly over the nipple) and thinner around the edges.
  • For stubborn nipple exposure, a trimmed cotton pad (under the bandaid or surgical tape) may be required.

Make the "patch" large enough to more than cover the nipple all the way around. You want to be able to move around, and if your clothing moves more than the silicone beneath it, if not, you risk exposure of the second nipple and ruin the illusion.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

A Proportional Response - Part III - Video Review

When preparing for the video, I decided to use a different mask - just to see how a larger bib would lay on the torso. 

Remember - my GOAL here is to properly adjust the head-body ratio when wearing a mask.

The "Double Nip" issue does occur when a wider sculpted bib is shorter than the chest area of the torso. For the Metamorphose "Clark", there was a bit of overlap, but it can be somewhat circumvented if you wear a patterned shirt, pullover, etc. I am going to test if a bandaid with some additional silicone prosthetic adhesive will work to cover one set of nips and allow a wider range of clothing.

Speaking of clothing ... if you decide to wear a buttoned shirt, make sure the sleeves are wide enough to cover your (newly larger) biceps and triceps. Slip one arm in normally halfway - pointing downwards - and then point your other arm upwards and pull the sleeve halfway onto the other arm. You can then adjust the sleeves and body of the shirt as needed.

The polo shirt I used on the initial try-on was a bear to get on as the shoulder area was twisted and the additional friction caused by the larger arm/shoulder size overall and the silicone itself; another test here will be using some talcum powder to help get the shirt on.

So here's the video - enjoy! And as I said, any questions, please ask!