Liquid Latex: Dos and Don’ts

Have you ever been dead scared looking at a necrotic at the time of Halloween? Was the dead tissue in the wound still hanging out, the bruised area is swollen indurated, and there’s an overall soreness to the eye?

Well, wasn’t it a relief to know that all of that wasn’t real but hyper-realism effects? Perhaps that’s how everybody gets acquainted with this interesting product – liquid latex. Are you training to be an SFX makeup artist or aspire to be one? 

Then, you need to check out this product’s basic dos and don’ts.

Things You Should Do When Working with Liquid Latex

Latex is a fun product to work with. But to ensure safety and make the most of it, you need to know certain things about the product and do the following –

    • The liquid form of latex is a mixture of latex with ammonia. So, expect to inhale an unpleasant smell the first time you open the bottle cap. That’s normal, and you will adjust to the smell over time. 
    • To minimise the unpleasant smell, apply the latex in a well-ventilated room, not in a stuffy one. 
    • The correct way to create a realistic effect with the product is not to apply a lot of it in one go. Layer, layer, and layer! Each layer should be thin and used only when the previous one has thoroughly dried.  
    • If you’re creating a special effect on a person’s face, ensure you do not place the product near the eyes. Ammonia is harmful to the eyes, and you want to be careful with it. 
    • Again, if applying on the face, be gentle and allow air in between. The ammonia, being strong, can lead to watery eyes. 
    • Depending upon the area of application, make sure there are no hairs. Shave them out, or else the hairs will stick and lead to a messy and painful situation. 
    • To prevent the latex from harming the person’s skin, moisturise the area well with Vaseline. 
    • If eyebrows are also involved, remember to apply a coating of eyebrow plastic followed by two coats of sealer before applying latex. 

Things You Should Not Do When Working with Liquid Latex 

    • Do NOT smell the latex too closely, even out of curiosity or for fun. Also, do not wave the latex bottle under the nose as the ammonia could cause a nosebleed. 
    • If you’re combining the latex with gelatin, do not use a hair dryer to accelerate the drying process for each layer. It could cause the gelatin to melt, thereby burning the person’s face! 
    • In any case, Do not apply latex to a person’s hair! That is because the latex will bond to the hair. If the scenario is bad, you might need to spend long hours in the shower, using copious amounts of soap to help the latex slide off. But, in worst-case scenarios, you might need to shave off the head completely. In either case, moisturising the scalp is crucial to ensure quick repair of any damage. 

Wrapping Up

Finally, the extent of the hyper-realistic effects and the safety of the persons involved will highly depend upon the quality of your liquid latex. Ensure that the one in your artist toolkit is sourced from a reliable supplier offering a cruelty-free product with low ammonia levels. 

Doing so will help you breathe life into the wonders in your head!

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