For Halloween this year I wanted to go as a snake girl from a 1920's freak show and a key part of the costume was creating a realistic scale effect. After experimenting with several products I found that liquid latex created the most realistic look, was the easiest to apply, and held up the best throughout the night. While this instructable will show how I created my snake girl effect, I encourage you to think of how to use this technique to create your own mermaid, dragon, alien, or whatever.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

The materials I ended up using were:
-Liquid Latex
-Cream Based Face and Body Paints
-Loose Powder Foundation
-Iridescent Powders

Based on your own needs or aesthetics you may choose not to use some of these materials or experiment with some of your own. Some things to consider are the look you are trying to create, how much area you are trying to cover, colors you want to use, and cost of these materials. When I decided what worked best for me, I knew I did not want to cover my entire body in bright green scales. Instead wanted the scales to be more subdued, but still noticeable from a distance and cover different parts at different consistences. I also knew I wanted to wear this costume on other occasions.

I choose Maximum Impact Green Liquid Latex  (available online at http://www.liquidlatex.com/liquidlatex.html ) which is sold for large applications since the smallest size is 16oz. There are a variety of other types and brands on the market that might suit your needs better. Unless you are covering yourself head to toe, you will probably not need much, after the one full application and several small applications I still have well over half.

If you do choose to experiment with other materials, please try to use products made for use on skin and test them on a small area before applying heavily to make sure you don't have an allergic reaction. While people with latex allergies probably know not to mess with liquid latex, you might still react poorly to certain products, even those made for that purpose, and might break out or get a rash.

The tools I ended up using were:
-A Small Cheap Paintbrush or pencil
-Foam Make-up Applicators
-Bobby Pins and Hair Ties
-A Razor
-A Mirror
-An Extra Set of Hands

Again, based on your own needs you may need less or more tools as you see fit.

I got my latex at Amazon in a small bottle for ten dollars, I'll let you know how it goes! <br>
Wow, the pic looks great and very informative instructable. I get my Liquld Latex from http://www.liquidlatexstore.com/ they have ammonia free Liquid Latex that comes in a huge variety of colors and sizes to choose from.
Your instructable is very well written and clear. I can't wait to try it. THANKS
If you have the time and patience when removing, use a q-tip dipped in vegetable oil (or olive oil for face) and just kind of slide under the edge of the latex. I'd imagine it to take longer, but it works great and isn't at all uncomfortable. Plus leaves your skin soft and moisturized!
Where does one buy colored liquid latex?
You can also try Liquid Latex Fashions. They have the only ammonia free liquid latex in a variety of colors and sizes to choose from including fluorescent, neon, metallic, pearl and solid colors. Not only is the latex ammonia free, but it's also made with FDA approved ingredients making it safe for use on the face and body. They also offer 4oz, 8oz, 16oz, 32oz and gallon size jars<br><br>http://www.liquidlatexonline.com/
I bought mine at this website: http://www.liquid-latex.com/. When I bought mine a year ago the smallest amount was 16oz, though they now sell a 2oz size as well. They have lots of great colors to choose from.
YAY! combine with fangs and articulated wings, and I can finally be the dragon girl that I tried (and failed) to create with carboard and lots of staples when I was ten :D
i simply love love it.. i tryed it to and used Diamond FX metalic green for the creme based paint, since i don't have that and do have the Diamond fx. It was a great great great effect to. ( i used metalic and seagreen and have to say, a little neon hahahhaha) scared the hell out of everybody!)<br>thank you so much!!!!! i realy love it!
I would love to see pictures if you have any! I tried to write this so people could make their own choices with products and applications. Also, to cut down on the neon, loose powder foundation on top of everything helps tone things down a bit.
Your paint job looks terific, just a word of warning though. If you or someone around you has a latex allergy this could cause a hugh problem. <br>I have patients that can't even be in the same exam room with a box of latex gloves on the wall. They go into respirtory distress. <br>Also if it starts to itch, you notice red, or raised skin it is most likely an allergic reaction so be careful.
Very cool! The fangs were a nice touch too. =)
This is incredible! you are very creative!
omfg this is amazing thank you so much! 'm so gonna do this for my argonian character! lol 5 freakin stars!! :D:D
&nbsp;Yay!!! Elder Scrolls fan!!! &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Love the scales!!!
Oh my holy freaking yes I&nbsp;am SO&nbsp;doing this technique next year. And possibly for a convention. Or if I just feel like dressing up like my naga character... or just randomly... *eyeballs her leftover liquid latex*<br />
&nbsp;I LOVE this. &nbsp;I am absolutely going to do this next year. &nbsp;Thanks for the really clear instructions and photos!
So you paint on each scale individually then and color them with makeup after?&nbsp;&nbsp;Time consuming, but I imagine its well worth the effort!&nbsp;:D<br />
It does take longer than your average make-up job, but with a little help it isn't that bad. It only took my friends and me an hour or so from start to finish.<br />
Awesome effect.&nbsp;It looks really cool!<br />

About This Instructable




Bio: I am learning to teach and teaching to learn. A student of education, specifically art of the visual sort, hoping at the very least. Been ... More »
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