Homemade FX 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.

NOTE: There is an improved recipe for latex substitute on my site now--see Fauxtex.

Here is a cheap alternative to real latex FX makeup. I used it for a Zombie costume and wanted to show you how to use it in a Beauty and the Beast mask.
My standard Halloween costume for the past few years has been a tongue-in-cheek Beauty AND the Beast outfit (I paint my face to look like a Beast and then put on a princess dress for the Beauty part). This year I've decided to combine Beauty and the Beast in my face as well.
To do that, I spent weeks testing out different homemade concoctions that would behave like latex makeup and finally came up with a homemade "latex" recipe using tapioca flour. Cheap, easy, quick, and useful in various proportions of flour to water for making fake skin, scars, breasts, etc.
For this Beauty and the Beast FX makeup Instructable, I used:
* 6 1/2 LEVEL Tbsp tapioca flour
* 1 cup water
* Liquid foundation makeup
* Fake eyelashes
* Blue food coloring
* Various beauty makeup products


Step 1: Make Tapioca FX Makeup

In a saucepan, measure out 6 1/2 tablespoons of tapioca flour (which you can get in the health food section of most supermarkets).
Add one cup of COLD water and stir until all the tapioca flour is dissolved into the water. Tapioca flour behaves like cornstarch, so if you stop stirring, it will start to clump on the bottom of the pan.
Add several squirts of liquid foundation to give the FX latex an initial skin tone.
Turn the heat on to medium low and stir constantly until the tapioca mixture turns into a gummy mass. This takes about two minutes.
You now have homemade FX makeup.

Step 2: Prep Your Skin

Before you apply this homemade FX makeup, you will need to wash your face to remove all oils.
I applied a liquid foundation to my skin after washing using the same color that I put in the tapioca recipe so my face would be uniformly colored.
The 6 1/2 Tbsp tapioca to 1 cup water ratio used in this I'ble was nice and firm, but slightly difficult to "attach" to my skin (as opposed to the 6 Tbsp/cup that I used in this Zombie makeup), so I painted my forehead with liquid bandage for added stickiness.
If you are going to cover your eyebrow with the FX makeup, be sure to put a piece of scotch tape over it.
Also, before you paint yourself with liquid bandage, pull your hair out of the way! Any hair that gets caught in the liquid bandage will be lost when you remove your makeup later.

Step 3: Apply FX Makeup

Apply fake eyelashes. I applied fake eyelashes on my "Beauty" eye before putting on the fx makeup (but that's because I was doing it all myself and I needed glasses to apply the eyelashes. If you have someone helping you, you can do that later).
Once the tapioca recipe has cooled, you can apply it directly to your skin with a plastic knife. Since it sticks to your skin, if you use your hands to apply it to your face, it'll be a battle to get it from your hands to your face. So, use a plastic knife and just press it into your skin, pressing the edges down firmly.
This part takes a little patience, but the payoff is great. Work it, work it, work it.
Once the makeup is on like you want it, give it a good dusting with a powder foundation or more tapioca flour to "cure" the surface of the FX makeup.

Step 4: Paint the Beast

Now it's time to get gory and paint the "Beast" side of your face.
I used blue food coloring and a toothpick to draw veins on the FX makeup. To soften the veins, I powdered over it with a mixture of tapioca flour and powdered skin-colored makeup.
I added a dark circle under my Beast eye with black eye shadow, and painted some blood here and there with Halloween fake blood (that I got at Goodwill).

Step 5: More Makeup

Now just go to town with an assortment of makeup to add a contrasting Beauty to the other side of your face. Sparkles are a must!
You don't have to spend a lot of money on makeup for this. Almost everything I used I bought at The Dollar Store.
Have fun.

Step 6: Photoshop Your Makeup

Last, but not least, photoshop the heck out of your FX and non-FX makeup to enhance the contrast between the Beauty and Beast side of your costume.
Add a gross animated worm in photoshop

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    20 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Here is one i did with Latex caulk and wet toilet paper:) and some grease makeup and fake blood.

    DSC_5405 (Small).JPG
    2 replies

    4 years ago

    Where can I buy tapioca flour? Or are there any good substitutes for that? Local grocery stores? I've never seen it.

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago

    It's usually found in health food stores or in the health food section of regular supermarkets.
    Best of luck!

    I'm wondering, since you don't specify, if this sets up after a period of time or if it remains soft? If it does solidify how long does it take after removing from the heat source?

    3 replies

    oh, you could probably just store it in a big tupperware. But take some extra tapioca flour and hand sanitizer to use on your hand when working with it so it doesn't stick to your hands. Mostly PRACTICE beforehand so you know you've got the right consistency!
    Have a blast!

    Thanks for the question. This does not set up once you take it off the heat. You have to cook it to the consistency you want, then let it cool. It feels very much like flesh when you apply it. But this is only good for a day's worth of fx-ing. The "pudding" eventually dries out if left out in the open. It cannot be peeled off and reused another day. However, it's cheap and easy enough to make a new batch when you need it.
    Good luck!

    Can it be put in a baggie or such to help it keep moist?

    I'm asking because I may be assisting with several makeups at an event and I'm looking for a way to make this in a good sized amount and transport it to the place of the event. (there is no kitchen at the event location).


    7 years ago on Step 6

    This is good, and I'm basing this statement a bit on the fact that I'm looking at one photo...........but the "beast" side looks like makeup. Good effort, though!!

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    You're right. Is there any way to remove my request to put it in a contest (digital photo)? I hit the wrong button... : (

    Brilliant gross effect and a great instructable. Thank you for posting. I am so going to freak out my kids. Mwahahaha!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    OMG, puppy... that is the grossest make-up job ever!

    Excellent job!!! ;-D


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Nice work! Looks so real! Thanks for sharing! Have a splendorous day!