DIY Stickers for Your Face
January 7, 2020 3:23 PM   Subscribe

I want to make a removable adhesive mask that, to a casual observer, closely resembles makeup or face paint, similar to this, or this. What's the best way to make this happen without messing up my face?

Mardi Gras/Carnival season is just around the corner, and I have a nifty idea to make a rather intricate masquerade mask that will stay on my face without the need for pesky straps and ties.

I'm looking for a material that meets the following requirements:
- Affordable/accessible materials (I would not like to spend more than $10-20)
- Relatively easy to cut
- Available in a matte white finish
- Medium bond adhesive
- Easily removable
- Relatively thin
- Ideally reusable, but I'm okay with a one-time use option

Ideally, I would just make a temporary tattoo using specialized temp tat printer paper, but because I need the mask to be all-white, I don't think that's an option.

I'm leaning towards this removable cricut vinyl, but I don't know how well it will adhere to or remove from skin.

Another option is using a combination of some non-adhesive material and spirit gum/eyelash glue. I'm not opposed to this, but I want to see if there are other alternatives.
posted by chara to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I would order this premade mask product you show here and overpaint it in the color of your choice before you peel it off the ground it is mounted on. You would want fluid acrylic which comes in a variety of colors and textures for a wide range of combinations. Golden brand fluid acrylic is one great brand with a fluid acrylic range. A color called unbleached titanium resembles white person's skin tone, and you can modulate the color to match your skin tone with these three earth colors: yellow ocher, burnt sienna, and burnt umber. Take a sponge roller and roll on the paint for a flat texture. Also, finger nail polish has a wide range of colors with a cap in the brush for easy application.

I hope this is helpful information, good luck with your project.
posted by effluvia at 7:33 PM on January 7, 2020

ps, there's even interference colors in the acrylic range that shift color according to light direction which would be cool for a mask.
posted by effluvia at 7:34 PM on January 7, 2020

What about using white silk medical tape or kinesiology tape since they’re designed to stick to skin? Can you cut the mask in pieces that would fit within a 2- or 4-inch width? If the medical tape is too transparent or you don’t like the texture of either of the tapes, perhaps you could paint the pieces? What if you stuck the vinyl to the tape? That would allow you to cut wider pieces as well.

The sticker vinyl I’ve used, especially the removable kind, doesn’t seem like it would stay on by itself, particularly on highly-mobile areas of your face. The adhesive might also irritate your skin!

Good luck, and let us know what you come up with (if you want)!
posted by ohkay at 11:03 PM on January 7, 2020 [2 favorites]

Slightly sideways, but:
You could go another route and make the mask from a '3D' paint, the type that is squeezed from a small bottle. I'd take these steps:

- Make a design in your favourite drawing software. Print it at the correct size for your face.
- Lay it on a table and put a sheet of baking paper over it.
- Trace the lines with the 3D paint, making sure all paint lines are connected.
- Let it dry. Carefully peel the baking paper off. I'm assuming it will come off... maybe try this first. If it doesn't work, try plastic.
- Use skin glue, the kind that's used for attaching fake facial hair for performance purposes, to attach it to your face.
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:40 AM on January 8, 2020

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions so far (effluvia, I appreciate your skin tone inclusiveness!)

I should note that the mask that I’ll be making will look more like this than a traditional masquerade mask.
posted by chara at 4:54 AM on January 8, 2020

Along the same lines as ohkay, I would look at various medical dressings (either transparent as a base or white to cut directly), that have been designed to adhere to skin. You don't have to be limited to a strip of tape too, Tegaderm, Saniderm, Durapore, Medipore, etc all come in larger sheets and rolls too.
posted by yeahlikethat at 6:25 AM on January 8, 2020

Best answer: Silhouette makes a white temporary tattoo paper. If you have access to a silhouette or cricut, this would be a really straightforward print-and-cut! If not, you could print the outline and cut out with scissors.
posted by assenav at 7:49 AM on January 8, 2020 [3 favorites]

(Cricut removable vinyl won't stay on your skin long and will rip all the little baby hairs out when it comes off)
posted by assenav at 7:50 AM on January 8, 2020

Best answer: vinyl is too thick to adhere to the subtle contours of your face. People make masks like this by using puff or acrylic paint on mesh, and then you'd just need a body adhesive, which can be bought almost anywhere.
posted by FirstMateKate at 7:53 AM on January 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

The first link doesn't have any photos of the product in use, which makes me think it doesn't work very well. Most medical adhesives don't have a lot of stretch and are designed for tougher skin than the face. Maybe you could let liquid latex makeup thicken enough / layer it for something that you could peel off and reuse (and attach to your face with small amounts of eyelash glue)?

The second link has options that float over the face with a few semi-hidden attachment points - I think something like this + eyelash glue is a better bet and gives you a lot more options for materials since they won't need to flex as much (a thicker vinyl, maybe?). Not sure that will work with the example in your follow-up, though, you might need to have a few separate pieces.
posted by momus_window at 10:04 AM on January 8, 2020

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