Please help me not be a solar panel.
July 6, 2017 10:17 AM   Subscribe

I'm shooting a dressy music video in the hot, hot desert. What can I do (without the benefit of a dedicated makeup person) to keep myself from looking like a sweaty, shiny mess and/or Marcel Marceau?

I'm both directing and starring in the video in question. For most of it, I'll be wearing a velvet suit in the pounding sun of the Mojave on a July afternoon. I already sweat like a human steam room when wearing just shorts and a T-shirt, so naturally I'm concerned about my pores running riot during the (all-day) shoot. What super-basic things can I do and/or buy to help pull this off? I live in L.A., so I have access to professional-grade cosmetics and materials if necessary, but I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. (I will have a friend/PA and a producer to help apply the stuff.) Thanks for any tips!
posted by mykescipark to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Can you bring a pop-up sun shade or market tent, that kind of thing?
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:41 AM on July 6, 2017

You need shade for all talent and the photographer in the desert, at the very least an easy up tent

I recco a shade fabric that stops 90% UV. You can clip it to or drape it over a pop up. It helps a lot. This is what we camp under at Burning Man.

Because portable air conditioners are not really that great, you can rig something together with Ice and fans as a cooling station

they make cooling vests with pockets that you slip gel ice packs into... if that's too bulky, keep some gel packs in a small cooler and use on neck small of back and feet.

A giant golf umbrella helps a ton when not under the other shade.

obviously stay hydrated.

everybody is going to be excited and that makes it easy to be stupid in the sun
posted by bobdow at 10:45 AM on July 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

On the makeup front, you'll probably want an oil-reducing primer like Becca's evermatte or Boscia's white charcoal primer. Then choose a matte foundation as well, if you are using foundation (but if not, you can still use those primers without foundation on top). On top of any other face makeup you're wearing, you will definitely want to powder your skin with a mattifying powder (a pressed powder will be easier for touchups), and add a setting spray on top like Urban Decay's de-slick spray (applied liberally) - this will help keep the makeup from melting off and also feels cooling, if you want to spray on set.

In between takes, I'd suggest blotting your face either with napkins or makeup blotting sheets (you can get these from any drugstore), depending on how sweaty you are (napkins for more sweat, blotting sheets for just oil). If you are wearing makeup like foundation/blush, just dab it up and down on your skin, don't rub to avoid disturbing the makeup. You might also apply more powder to soak up some of the oil, but I'd play that by ear based on how you look in a mirror (so bring a mirror to check) - you risk possibly getting too "cakey" looking, where you build up too many layers of powder and the makeup becomes apparent on your skin. If you're not wearing any actual makeup other than what's intended to mattify your skin, you could just wipe your face between takes of all sweat/product and then re-apply a layer of mattifying powder that will help absorb sweat temporarily.

If you are wearing other makeup: I'd skip any highlighter (you'll be glowing enough already) and use water-resistant products for your other makeup. So things like waterproof eyeliner/mascara, long-lasting liquid lipsticks, etc.

Oh, and don't forget to reapply sunscreen every hour or so, possibly more if you are wiping sweat (and therefore also your sunscreen) off your face! There are powder sunscreens you can apply that will provide sun protection while also absorbing oil.
posted by jouir at 11:27 AM on July 6, 2017 [3 favorites]

The good news is that humidity in the Mojave is really low, so sweat will evaporate off of you very quickly. This also means that evaporative cooling will help some, so a spray bottle of cold water might help, or at least feel nice.

Holding your hands in icy water may sound unpleasant, but it's a good way to reduce your core temperature, because you have a lot of veins right at the surface of your wrists. Drinking cold water also helps.

It sounds like you'll want to disrobe between takes, so figure out how to do that quickly, possibly with assistance.

Order some aluminet, the tightest weave you can get (ideally "desert festival") and throw that over your shade structure. This is better than normal shade cloth (although that'll help if it's all you can get).
posted by adamrice at 11:43 AM on July 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

Certain-Dri roll-on on your forehead.
posted by zippy at 2:41 PM on July 6, 2017

Blotting frequently can help a lot with keeping makeup from running in heat and sweat. If you're using cloth, you want something with a texture that's more like a handkerchief or bandana, not like a regular towel, since that would be more likely to wipe off the makeup.

Please be mindful that working (this definitely sounds like work) in that kind of heat has the potential to be extremely dangerous, so follow good safety practices to avoid heat illness, and make sure that other people you're working with do the same. There's even a phone app to help. You're describing wearing something that's equivalent to wearing full-body personal protective equipment, so treat it accordingly. Spend time before the shoot building up acclimation to the heat, and plan for frequent breaks with rest, water, and shade. Plan for what you'll do in case of emergency, so you can do a great job safely.

It's possible to rent fairly large tents that allow for good air circulation, or even air conditioning, if buying for a single event doesn't seem feasible. Make sure you've got enough room for everyone involved to rest in the shade comfortably at the same time.
posted by asperity at 1:54 PM on July 7, 2017

Alternatively: green screen?
posted by asperity at 1:57 PM on July 7, 2017

« Older Choosing labels for vintage clothing   |   Best activities/exercise to avoid feet and leg... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.