How to Create Realistic Cuts - Quick & Cheap

Introduction: How to Create Realistic Cuts - Quick & Cheap

About: I create and teach makeup effects and prosthetics for a living. I love The B52's, good sarcasm and boring things like history, science and Radio 4.


Hi from Stuart @

This tutorial shows you how to create great incision effects using scar wax. Scar wax is a great material for low budget effects, but is often used incorrectly or not to it's full potential.

One of the biggest issues is the colour that it comes in, and it suits few people in it's original form. While it is of course possible to add makeup after application, too much will obscure the translucency of the material which is one of it's main benefits.

This tutorial will take you through how to colour and apply it well, as well as how to deal with water based blood on a wax surface. If you like this, be sure to check out my sites:

- Free articles & an ecourse:

- My Blog:

- AWESOME latex ecourse:

Thanks for checking my video!



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    19 Discussions

    You probably won't read this but I just want you to know. You are a true inspiration to me! Seeing someone like you working on like the greatest tv shows even for this kind of stuff just inspires me. Plus I cringe every time you cut the wax. Lol. Anywho thanks a lot. Peace - Sam

    I was going to use some "Scar Putty" I found at the Halloween store. Once i used it though, it looked like torn skin. I was wondering how to make it more solid so i can put colors into it.

    2 replies

    Don't you want a torn-skin look?  

    You mix the colours into it as a wax paste - not sure what you mean when you say you need it more solid so you can add colours into it.  Could you email me a pic so I can see what you mean?


    I mean your wax holds together so well. I want solid stuff so I can actually shape it rather than have it stick. But here's the problem: it's so darn sticky that it is impossible to apply to my hand or anywhere. I've also found another way to make my own fake skin: Dental wax. It's used on braces so that you don't get your lips cut while you have them on.

    I wonder if I may use other type of paint to colorize the wax. I have various types of paint but none for characterization purposes. Would it be ok to use a classic oil colour set, watercolors or pastel color sticks to achieve a good skin tone on the wax?

    4 replies

    As the stuff itself is made of wax, ideally only oil based colours will disperse correctly.  Water based colours most likely will remain in little clumps as they will not merge with the oily wax.  I'm sure castor oil based pigments will work ok.


    I have one last issue concerning this method; I bought a thing called Nasenkitt/Nose Putty by Kryolan. It is really hard, it takes some time to heat it up in hands to make it formable. I wonder if you by chance stumbled across this product and know if it is possible to add something to it to soften it pernamently (I am afraid that after application this on the skin it would be too hard and would eventually brake or come off)
    PS. When it comes to colouring my oil colours works well enough, thanks for advice :)

    Try mixing Vaseline into it.  For a large quantity, you could heat it up in a pan to melt the wax and add vaseline to the whole pot of wax rather than soften each mix every time.


    Thanks a lot. I don't know what oil are my oil colours based on but I'll give it a try anyway as soon as I get my hands on wax.


    Yes and no...

    The skills of cosmetology usually end up in salons and beauty parlours and you can end up on a road taking you away from film stuff (which is phenomenally difficult to break into). 

    That is not to say knowing about that will not be useful, it's just that a large amount of the work usually happens in a workshop away from the performers...the application bit is a tiny percentage of the job.

    There are FX done by makeup artists but full on FX is a separate field which bears little resemblance to conventional makeup.  If you want to do straight/conventional makeup then I would say it is worthwhile (maybe legally necessary for insurance) if you spend all day every day working on human skin.

    I answered a similar question in Yahoo! it here:;_ylt=ArjzkI98mDSMv69U7vQ_d1AhBgx.;_ylv=3?qid=20110821202919AAAyIAe


    Fantastic tutorial man! This is the best tutorial I have ever seen on this subject by far! Keep up the good work!

    Great tutorial but when you made the cut I got distracted imagining the frowny face telling me the instructions. eheh Thanks heaps for this.

    1 reply

    Thanks Stacci

    ...but how do you know I have a frowny face?

    I mean, I's just I didn't know anyone was hiding there when I shot the video! He! He!