Introduction: Substitute Latex Prosthetic Makeup

About: My favorite quotation is: “All you need in order to accomplish something great is a good idea and not quite enough money.” – Anon I live by that theme, and the ideas just keep coming.

This instructable is meant to show how you can use my homemade latex substitute recipe for everything from a Zombie look to a bald head, to random prosthetic protrusions.

Fauxtex (faux latex) uses ingredients that are easy to find in most countries--especially South America--is inexpensive, and is good for "last minute" special effects makeup ideas.

The Venom character above took about 1 hour of prep the day before--for making the teeth and tongue--and on the "day of" took two hours to put it all together. The two hours included cooking up a batch of fauxtex, making moulds, allowing the moulded pieces to solidify, applying the special effects to my face, final makeup, and video-taping the whole thing. A huge time saver over using real latex.

All this to say that this substitute for latex is accessible in cost, comparable in results to movie-quality makeup, and easy to use. It is also non-toxic (for those who are allergic to latex) and even edible (think of the possibilities!).

If you ever get a chance to use it, please come back and post an "I did it" with photos.

Just one negative: IT WILL NOT KEEP for multiple uses.


1 cup water
3 packets of gelatin (or 3 Tbsp)
1/4 cup of tapioca flour
1 Tbsp solid coconut oil (if you can't find it, leave it out. Do not substitute)
Sauce pan

Long piece of silk
Red, black and white roving
Soapy water

Fake Nails and 1 Fat Straw
White nail polish
Contact Cement

Black face paint
White face paint
Red food coloring
Blue eyeshaddow

Step 1: Venom's Teeth and Tongue

The teeth and tongue were made a day ahead. I actually made two sets of teeth: one out of fake nails from the Dollar Store, and the other using fat straws. Both were cut into pointed shapes and painted with white nail polish (again from the Dollar Store). I liked the effect of the straw teeth best for Venom, but next time I will use twice as many teeth and cut them in several different lengths. These were a little too skimpy and even for a villain.

The tongue is a tricky piece of felted art. You may want to check out my video on "nuno felting on steroids" where I use a car buffer to do the hard work of felting over a piece of silk. This tongue is exactly that: a strip of silk felted with red, black and white roving (wool fibers). It's a good piece to use for learning how to felt, as it doesn't really matter that it ends up twisted. Actually better if it does. :)

See minute 2:00 in the video for details.

Step 2: Fauxtex Recipe

I have three variations of Fauxtex:

1 cup water
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1 Tbsp solid coconut oil (optional)
Gelatin (1, 2 or 3 packets)
Skin colored makeup (optional)

The variation comes in the amount of gelatin added to the recipe. The less gelatin, the longer it takes to set, but the more "flesh-like" it is in the final effect. The recipe with one packet of gelatin to one cup of water is good for the face where the user is going to be talking a lot or making a lot of facial expressions. The one with three packets per cup of water is good if you are in a crunch to get the makeup in place. The recipe with two packets of gelatin is a good in-between.
I would suggest experimenting with the 3 packets of gelatin first. It is super easy to mould in a short time (takes about 20 minutes to set). It is also less sticky to handle, though it's always good to keep a bottle of hand sanitizer available to put on your fingertips to keep the fauxtex from sticking where you don't want it to.

You can use any indented object as a mould. Play dough is perfect for making custom moulds (as you see in the video). Other ways you can shape fauxtex ahead of time: spread it on a sheet or squeeze it through a snipped sandwich baggie onto a flat piece of plastic to make brains. When it's gelled, simply lift the shape and apply to your skin with some warmed up fauxtex as glue.

Step 3: Putting Venom All Together

Once you have your teeth, tongue, and prosthetic pieces made, putting it all together goes fairly fast.
Be sure to clean your skin and pat dry. Warm up some left-over fauxtex in the microwave for 5-7 seconds (any more and it will be too hot to apply). Use the melted fauxtex as glue to attach the prosthetic pieces to your skin.

To smooth everything out or re-shape the prosthetic pieces once they're on your skin, heat up some water in a cup and use it to heat a metal knife which is used to smooth out and shape the fauxtex further. Wipe off all excess fauxtex from your skin with a warm, wet washcloth. If you don't, it'll feel all crusty and uncomfortable.

Let the applied prosthetics set for ten minutes.

Paint over the FX makeup with any kind of face paint or makeup. Be sure to paint the inside of the Venom mouth before adding teeth. To add the teeth, just stick them into the fauxtex jaw extensions. No need for glue.

See video minute 4:53 to see how this all happened.

Step 4: Venom's Outfit

For the Venom outfit in the picture above I used a black jumpsuit and painted a white spider on it using washable Halloween makeup.

Step 5: Removing Fauxtex

I must confess, I think I prefer the look of this half-torn Venom makeup to the intact version. : )

The only trick to removing this latex substitute is to use a lot of warm water. Pull off any large pieces and toss them in the trash. What remains must be treated delicately. Warm water and patience will help the removal process go painlessly.

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