Make me deathly pale!
October 27, 2009 7:13 PM   Subscribe

DeathFilter: How can I make my arms, chest, and neck look paler without getting white stuff everywhere?

My Halloween costume this year is Death from Sandman. I'm mostly set except that my skin is still moderately tan from summer. Is there anything I can apply that will make my skin lighter without being horribly messy? I'll be wearing a black tank top and black jeans, possibly putting on and taking off a jacket and gloves, and I have to drive to a party, so there will be a lot of opportunities for smearing/getting on everything. I'm imagining some type of powder, possibly, or a non-oily makeup that could be set or sealed--is there anything that fits that description?

I'm mainly worried about making sure my face blends with the rest of my body. Ideally the resulting skin tone would be similar to this girl's. This face/chest contrast is what I'm trying to avoid. Googling and the AskMe archives have yielded nothing. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Bonus points: best quality brand of colored hair spray?
posted by Captain Cardanthian! to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Best for this is white cake makeup, like what clowns use -- not the greasy stuff, but the pressed powder kind. The greasy kind is opaque (and thus better for mime/clowning), but the powder stuff is translucent and very nice on the skin. It makes you pale without making you white -- and you can dilute the effect with water. You can get it at theatrical costume/make-up stores. You'll also want good make-up sponges for application.
posted by jb at 7:25 PM on October 27, 2009

This is it - first hit for white cake make-up. I didn't know if I had the right name; I got some when I was 15, which was a while ago.

It's probably what the girl in your link used - she used it on her arms and neck as well.
posted by jb at 7:27 PM on October 27, 2009

My first thought was liquid latex, and then I stumbled across this article about body painting techniques when looking for a link. There's a lot of good info there about a variety of methods, and liquid latex does sound like a good option. Have fun!
posted by katemcd at 7:29 PM on October 27, 2009

Best answer: Oh - you were also asking about smearing - my experience is that it's not that bad. It will rub off the palms of your hands, of course, so you'll want gloves. But I have used both black and white and find that you would have to be actively rubbing against something to get it off. It certainly wouldn't smear all over your clothes.

That said, because it's basically a water-soluble (or suspended, not sure which) powder foundation, it washes right off with soap and water at the end of the night.
posted by jb at 7:33 PM on October 27, 2009

Secondary advice: Smear yourself with talc or cornstarch after applying the foundation; it'll set the makeup & make it less likely to smear or rub off. Just don't inhale.
posted by opossumnus at 8:43 PM on October 27, 2009

Er, & by 'smear' I mean 'dust lightly, preferably with a brush.' That might not have quite gotten across. :D
posted by opossumnus at 8:43 PM on October 27, 2009

Best answer: Yeah, seconding the water-based whiteface, like jb said. You probably don't need to paint your palms, just the tops of your hands. To set it, just spray a light coat of hairspray over the make-up! Hairspray works miracles.
posted by drinkyclown at 9:10 PM on October 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Sweet! I'll go to the local costume shop and try to get some tomorrow. Thanks, guys.
posted by Captain Cardanthian! at 10:46 PM on October 27, 2009

They also make a colorless powder makeup for setting/sealing makeup of all colors.
posted by TedW at 5:34 AM on October 28, 2009

My favorite thing to use is watercolor paint. I use the cheapie Crayola set for kids (where the pallette comes with 6 or 7 colors) and there is usually a white in there too. Add a few drops of water and swirl until it gets to your desired thickness. For all-over application, you'll want a make-up sponge instead of a brush. It goes on easily, dries fast, is non-toxic and it stays on fairly well. Plus, when you're done, it just rinses right off. I haven't painted my arms/hands, but I have done my whole face and it stays on pretty well (as long as it's not too sweaty/rainy) and is easy to re-apply. If it *does* flake or rub off, it doesn't stain, which is a plus. My sensitive skin can't tolerate the grease paints or heavy make-up, so I always use this method (here's an example of the eye make-up that I did for a Halloween party this week:

Hope this helps!
posted by giddygirlie at 12:14 PM on October 30, 2009

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