Costume Makeup – The Basecoat

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 20,681
    Makeup artist Emily Bodak demonstrates how to apply the base coat for cat face makeup.

    Emily Bodak

    Hi, I'm Emily! Costume and character makeup are awesome, you can become your most favourite things! Don't hold back, imagination is where it's at!

    Emily Bodak: Hi, I am Emily at Masters Costumes here in Arlington, Virginia. I am showing you how to do cat face makeup techniques.

    In this particular demonstration we are starting with a cat nose and muzzle prosthetic and we are going to show you how to utilize that to create the cat skull structure. The difference between a person s skull structure and a cat s skull structure, obviously the muzzle is the super key factors, so we have achieved that using a prosthetic and we are going to accentuate that with makeup.

    Also using makeup, we are going to widen the bridge of the nose, we are going to accentuate the brow and we are going to pull the cheeks out and use highlights to make those look like they are more prominent.

    Basically, we are trying to superimpose this image on to this image, so hopefully when she is done she will have the optical illusion of looking like a cat, lion, tiger whatever kind of feline cat you are going for.

    Right now we have a very clean face, the prosthetic has a layer of castor sealer on it because the castor sealer provides the moisture supply to a latex prosthetic which is very important to have a consistency with skin and prosthetic and with makeup to adhere the same to both pieces.

    So, we are going to keep it really simple at first, a really good plan to make this easy on yourself is to go with a fantastic color that is actually not too far from your skin tone. So, today we are using kind of a brown, Heather is a little bit olive so we are going to be doing kind of brown and yellow palate. Later we are going to show you how to incorporate other effects if you are going to be like a black cat or a spider cat something like that, but to keep the makeup usage down to a minimum, its good to stick with a very basic color palate that is similar to your own skin.

    So, the base is what we will start with. What we have here is a cream makeup which does require powder to set it will stay perpetually wet the way that any type of cosmetic that you were -- during the day a foundation or something will, you are going to have powder just like that.

    We will do a demo with water base makeup as well, the kind that you would paint a kid s face with that will dry and set and does not require powder. We will show you some techniques to make that stay a little bit longer too.

    Cream makeup is a wonderful way to go, because once powdered its going to stay, it s not going to slid off, it s not going to rub off on to your costumes or if you touch it with your hands it s not going to come right off.

    So, we are going to start with that, obviously apply before the powder on to a clean surface, its okay to put it over top of the castor sealer. Now, what we are going to do is we are going to provide highlight here and then shadow.

    But first we are going to apply kind of thin base, so this is just nice kind of brown color. This is going to be good for lots of different kinds of cats what I am using is the latex sponge which is going to hold the color really well.

    You can get these at your theatre supply store, when you get the prosthetic they also sell this usually at drug stores you can get a pack of these. Obviously using your fingers it is a good technique as well. So, between the two of these we can really get a lot of coverage. When you are working on a prosthetic the castor sealer is going to be spreading the makeup, spreading the cream based makeup around a lot easier.

    However you don t want to pull or tug, you don t want those edges to come up at this point because it will be little bit harder you are going to have all the makeup off and the castor sealer so that you can reapply latex, be super gentle with it.

    If it does come up a little bit once again, if you clean it you will be able to just seal it again with the latex. It s really not the end of the world. But being gentle is always in everybody s best interest since we are working on the face.

    So, I am starting with everything that s going to be showing. If you are going to have some kind of elaborate mask or hair piece on then you won t have to extend the makeup all the way. So make sure that you try on your costume and see which parts are going to be very prominent and those are the parts you want to concentrate on with the makeup.

    Having a base is going to make it lot easier for us to blend in the effects. It just gives us something to start with is the base. Right now we are not worrying too much about highlight and shadow because we are just trying to cover.

    Not specifically we really want the skin and the prosthetic to appear the same color right away. You are always going to see a little bit of line between the prosthetic and the skin, but if you use these products correctly then it will really, really, really help to make it look very natural like an extension of your face.

    Obviously if we were doing a black cat, we will be doing a black base. Even if you are consistent color, you do want to go with highlight and shadow for the sake of realism.

    Light is going to hit the face in a way that pronounces certain parts of it and you can use highlight and shadow with makeup to manipulate the way that light catches the effects and really, really change the way that you look which is really what we are doing today.

    We are trying really hard to change the way that we look with the makeup. I do find it easier to do it with my fingers if I am going on the edge of the prosthetic. It is a lot more controlled so if feel comfortable with that free, if not then the sponge will work fine.

    I am going a little bit with that the airbrush design there. Usually there is not a really any way to get that design off it s already on there, and if it s not the design you want then you can paint over it.

    We continue covering the face with this base, you wanted to basically look all in the same color, so just keep applying until all the parts of the your face that are going to be showing are covered. Next we will show you how to add a couple of different effects to get the most out of your cat face.