Introduction: Age Yourself!
Usually people want to use makeup to make themselves look younger, but you can do the opposite as well! Using only a few items, you can make yourself (or someone else) look decades older.
Step 1: What You'll Need
You will need:
- liquid latex
- non-latex cosmetic sponges
- translucent or no-color powder
- a powder puff or brush
- OPTIONAL: alcohol-activated paints such as the Skin Illustrator series or water-activated paints such as the Wolfe Brothers palettes, or liquid foundation and brown eyeliner in a pinch
Step 2: Setup
Working with latex can be messy, so set up a clean work area. Wear an apron, or clothes you don't mind getting latex on, and put down paper towels on your work surface. I find it easiest to pour a small amount of latex and dump out some powder onto a tray or plate so you're not fussing with bottles while trying to apply. Plug in your hairdryer so it is ready to go.
Step 3: Stretch the Skin
Start by stretching the skin you are going to age. Most makeup artists work with a partner when doing a stretch and stipple so they can stretch the skin and apply more efficiently. When working on the face or other areas with lots of contours, it's best to work in small, one-inch sections.
I've aged my hand, and I handled the stretching simply by making a fist. Wrinkles will pull the opposite way of the angle you are stretching the skin. For example, if you stretch the skin vertically, horizontal wrinkles will form. You will often want to create layers of wrinkles going both ways. Refer to the face chart I've included for which direction to stretch the skin on the face. It's ok to ask your model to stretch and hold their skin while you apply. For the lower cheeks, have your model place a spoon inside their cheek, against their teeth, with the curved side of the spoon facing out in order to stretch the difficult-to-hold skin there.
Step 4: Apply Latex
IMPORTANT: ONCE YOU BEGIN APPLYING LATEX, YOU MUST KEEP THE SKIN STRETCHED UNTIL AFTER YOU HAVE POWDERED. DO NOT LET GO OF THE SKIN.
Using your non-latex sponge, stipple a thin, even layer of latex over the stretched area.
Step 5: Dry the Latex
KEEPING THE SKIN STRETCHED, use your hairdryer to dry the layer of latex completely. You will want to use the cool setting so as to not burn your skin-- it's the air and not the heat that dries the latex.
Step 6: Powder
Liberally powder the now-dry latex with your translucent or no-color powder. Dust off the excess and now you can release!
Step 7: Repeat
Repeat the application process all over the area you want to age. This is a tedious process! Make sure you set aside plenty of time. Depending on how old the character you are creating is supposed to be and how old the actor you are aging is, you will want to apply between three and eight layers of latex. To further enhance wrinkles, squeeze and pinch together the skin.
Step 8: Painting the Skin
If you want, you can paint the skin to further age it and make it look more realistic.
Paint the skin entirely with either a pale liquid foundation or a pale flesh color from your FX palette.
Using a toothbrush or spatter brush, load your brush with brown paint and draw your thumb back along the bristles to splatter your hand. Try this with several different colors and try moving the brush closer and further away from the skin to create realistic-looking age spots. You can also achieve this effect using different colors of brown eyeliner if you don't have any paints.
You can also enhance the recessed areas of the wrinkles with brown paint or eyeliner.
Step 9: Finishing Touches
Don't forget all the small details to make someone appear old. Traditional beauty makeup can be applied over the stretch and stipple makeup. Ben Nye makes a silver and a white paint to age hair. Apply to eyebrows and hair with a clean spoolie for white or gray hair. A pair of cheap reading glasses adds another dimension of believability.
Step 10: You're Old!
Congratulations, you're old! You've artificially aged yourself a number of years. Here are some examples of great old-age makeup that was done using the same techniques I've shown you here.