Burn Makeup With Liquid Latex




This is a great effect that can be used to look a bit like decaying flesh. It makes a great base for a zombie costume.

The shine will not be very apparent, my camera flash makes everything look shiny.

* Liquid Latex
* Red, black, brown, and (optional) light orange/yellow paint
* Popsicle stick (to spread the latex with)
* Tissue paper
* Vaseline
* Fake blood (from a home made recipe or costume shop)

Scar gels and waxes can be on the expensive side, so I like to use as many easy to find materials as possible. I personally think paints produce a better looking effect than store bought sets.

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Step 1: Creating a Base

WARNING: Before doing this project, drop a small amount of liquid latex on your skin and wait 5 minutes to test for allergies.

1.  Rub a bit vaseline around the area of skin you'll be working on. This will prevent hair ripping out when you remove the latex.

2.  Pour a thin layer of liquid latex on your chosen area and blend it in with the popsicle stick. Wait a minute or two until it is  dry, and add another layer.

3. Before the second layer dries, strip the tissue paper into thin sheets and layer them on the latex. Feel free to add small amounts of latex to different or drier areas.

5.  Make sure the paper looks a bit blended in with the latex. Wait for everything to dry.

6.  Gently tear excess paper away from the skin. Remove any paper that is not well attached to the latex.

Step 2: Skin Effects

Something I like to do is to outline two or three small oval shapes on the tissue paper, and tear off the latex inside the lines until my skin is exposed. Filling this area with a small coat of latex creates a shinier and fleshier burn.

Painting a burn is really trial and error, where you can experiment with colors to find your favorite look.

1.  Pour a bit of each paint type onto a plate. Using some wadded up tissue paper, blot the red paint on your base coat. Follow up by blotting any other mixture of paint over the base coat. Here I've used black, red, light brown, and a few drops of fake blood from a costume shop.

Step 3: Finish

Pour some of the fake blood over the latex. Then, using extra paper or a cloth, pat away some of the blood. This gives the burn a nice effect without going overboard with blood, which tends to make it look fake.

Remember the note about tearing holes in the tissue? The holes are where you would want to add the least amount of paint and the most blood. It ends up looking more like a pale water burn. 

For removal, simply peel away the burn from the edges and gently lift away. Since we used liquid latex, you should be able to save this burn and re-attach it using spirit gum. All you'd have to do is re-add some paint around the boundaries of the latex so it blends in.

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15 Discussions


5 years ago

How do u get it

wduck is right, unflavored gelatin is a great alternative to liquid latex. Mix about four tablespoons of powdered gelatin to one or two tablespoons of milk, and microwave the mixture for a few seconds until it just melts. It'll be really hot, but if you let it cool the gelatin will harden and you'll have to reheat it.


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

I was wondering the same thing. I think you can, but i hear that gelatin works better.


7 years ago on Introduction

So awesome! I did a trial run on my hand earlier today to kind of get an idea where I want to go with it for my costume.


These are some examples of burns I've created using this technique :) I used toilet paper though, and liked the ending result x) The instructable really helped! C:

Burn makeup with Judith.jpgBurn makeup with Ulrich.jpgBurnt face from woods.jpgBurnt hand.jpg

7 years ago on Introduction

Awesome Instructable.... I made some chages and did it myself and am chuffed iwth the outcome. Many thanks :)


8 years ago on Introduction

Wow, that looks really good.

Question, what kind of paint did you use; poster paint or face paint?

1 reply

8 years ago on Introduction

awesome! def going to try this...also try to post pics too :) nice work!


That looks totally awesome. I wish I could paint that good! Maybe I can find a friend, because I really want to try this :D


8 years ago on Introduction

A really good tutorial, I wonder why nobody comment this before. I'll try it for halloween and post pictures.

1 reply