Help me not have really lame mime makeup
October 23, 2012 10:52 AM   Subscribe

How do I get vivid red and black makeup over thick white makeup?

My super quick costume this year is going to be a mime, and I've messed around a bit today with the thick white Ben Nye paint I've had for a few years, the sealing powder, and various red & black eyeliners and cheap Halloween makeup "crayons". Even though the white is very thick (like paste), I can get that to go on all right, but the black and red always gets mixed up with it and turns pink and gray. I understand that the powder should seal the white so I can paint over it, right?

I hardly can do my own normal makeup and don't have an inky black eyeliner like they show in these videos:

If I buy something wetter and darker, would I get the coverage I want? I don't mind buying one or two more products, but if I do, what? And how do I avoid mixing it with the white? Should I instead buy a creamier white like the guy in the first video is using?
posted by artifarce to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Can you do the red and black first, and then fill in around with the white?
posted by fancyoats at 10:56 AM on October 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I don't know if this is how professionals do it, but when I was an evil clown for a haunted house, I wouldn't put a base coat of white paint under everything - I'd fill in each color area, treating white like a completely separate color, and then touch up the edges.
posted by muddgirl at 10:58 AM on October 23, 2012 [4 favorites]

You're on the right track.

First: Halloween makeup crayons are terrible. Terrible, terrible, terrible.

Second: the fact that the white is so thick might be why the red and black are getting mixed up with it. On preview, what fancyoats and muddgirl said.

Third: definitely use an inkier black eyeliner. For example: this collection from Sephora
posted by RainyJay at 11:01 AM on October 23, 2012

When you are done with the white, squeeze your eyes shut and spray it with stage makeup fixative. (Thrifty hint: it's just hairspary.) Let it dry and apply your black/red colors. Spray again.
posted by 8dot3 at 11:01 AM on October 23, 2012

The other thing to do is use little-kid facepaint for the base (white) layer. I have done full body body color with the Snazaroo brand and it's water based but stands up to grease pretty well. I've seen the brand at art & craft stores.
I'd still hairspray it though.
posted by 8dot3 at 11:11 AM on October 23, 2012

I painted a sugar skull design on my wife for a Halloween party this past weekend. We bought some Snazaroo face paint and some small paint brushes. Once we had the white layer down, we used talcum powder all over to set it and had no blending issues at all. We used black eye shadow to set the black areas as well.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:14 AM on October 23, 2012

Best answer: In my high-school-church-youth-group mime days*, we used professional clown white makeup, with regular ole baby powder to seal it. Then cheap drug store eyeliner to draw tears and things on our cheeks, and red lipstick (think Wet and Wild). I don't remember us having the issue that you're having with the black eyeliner on the white makeup. We sharpened those suckers to a fine point and drew all kinds of vague Christian symbols on our cheeks. We did have to layer on the lipstick to make it stay, though. I think we used the baby powder to set it too, and then did a top coat. (And then we went through industrial-sized tubs of cold cream to get it all off. And make sure you moisturize first).

*can't believe I'm bringing this up in a public forum
posted by donajo at 1:07 PM on October 23, 2012

Best answer: I am not a professional, but I have been known to consort with them. Your answers are as above:

1) If possible, don't layer.

2) Use proper clown/mime makeup for your red and black. Ben Nye doesn't just make white.
posted by tsmo at 3:01 PM on October 23, 2012

Best answer: real clown make up is available, use baby powder to "set" white, and powder again after adding each color. my son was a clown, in more ways than one.
posted by misspat at 6:29 PM on October 23, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks, all! I got a little lazy on adding details, but did manage to apply everything to plain skin (not over white) and to heavily powder everything as if I were a vacuum salesman. It all turned out great and lasted the night.
posted by artifarce at 6:22 PM on October 26, 2012

Response by poster: (I think all the answers would have worked, but I'm just marking as best answers the ones I actually confirmed for myself)
posted by artifarce at 6:23 PM on October 26, 2012

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