Recent Posts

Brand Campaign Ideas
Creative Brand Experience Ideas

Removing your Special Effects Makeup

Removing your Special Effects Makeup requires patience and persistence. It’s all fun and games until you need to take it off, whether its the classic panda eyes or fighting the urge to just rip off your prosthetics; don’t do it!! We have come up with a guide to help you best remove your makeup at the end of a long day OR night!

 Removing face paint is suuuuper easy, just wash off with water! Some Face paint colours/brands can stain the skin, in this case you can use soap or makeup remover and after a couple of washes it is sure to be gone. Soaking the skin in shaving foam for 5-10 mins and rinsing pulls out all pigment. (A tip from Makeup Artist Magazine, all the way from Hollywood’s finest!)

HINT: If you don’t want to buy a skin barrier cream, using a base of sunscreen before face paint or makeup it can create a barrier between product and skin making for easy removal and less skin irritation for those with sensitive skin.

The removal of most special effects makeup and prosthetics is all fairly similar, however there are a few different products out there. Every artist will have different preferences to which product they think is the best but we personally believe it depends on the clients skin not always the product.

You can use – Isopropyl Mristate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Shaving Foam, Water-proof Eye Makeup Remover. (over view of each product outlined further below)

When removing a prosthetic with any product it is important to TAKE YOUR TIME as you do not want to cause any discomfort or skin irritation for your client.

TIP: To make your removal life easier you can use a hot damp towel (we recommend microwaving it but check that its not too hot!!) and holding this over over your face and the prosthetic to help soften the pros-aid and loosen up the prosthetic especially if you have used bondo. We suggest holding this to the face for 5-10 mins and letting the steam/ heat work it’s magic. Repeat until the makeup feels like it’s lifting off. You will find if you have been wearing the makeup all day or sweating in it, it’s far easier to remove.

Start around the edges with a cotton bud to lift up the edges so that you can get your removal product of choice under the prosthetic taking your time and letting it soak as you go.
Keep moving around the prosthetic to avoid rubbing in the same spot for too long!
Always try to get your prosthetic pieces off in ONE piece even if you know that it will never be used again.
Don’t rip or pull at your prosthetic piece; they are medical grade adhesives!

Brief Review of Removal Products


Myristate is a mix of Isopropyl Alcohol (which is a propane derivative) and Mystic Acid (which is a naturally-occurring fatty acid)

Myristate is easy around the eyes and mouth making it a comfortable choice for facial removal and is a synthetic oil which for some may cause breakouts due to oily skin or if you are already prone to acne.

Isopropyl Alcohol: 

Isopropyl Alcohol 99% (also known as rubbing alcohol)

Whilst Isopropyl alcohol, we believe, is the fastest removal method always check for allergies and avoid the eye area, as it has a strong smell/vapour and can cause discomfort such as a stinging burning feeling in the eyes if it gets too close.

Shaving Foam:

Any shaving foam does the trick for removal and the reason I like using it is how much nicer it feel on the skin, great for larger areas where you can just lather yourself up into a slippery mess and just peel the prosthetic’s off. It is definitely the messiest removal method but if you want to avoid the iso and myristate then here you go!

Cooking Oil or Olive Oil:

Any cooking oil or olive oil will breakdown latex prosthetics and glue – just make sure you soak well and use the steam method first which is mentioned above.

Water-proof Eye Makeup Remover:

We have used Neutrogena Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover to remove prosthetics and left over tacky glue from my skin and it works miracles. However, for the amount you will need, it is alot more of an expense than getting myristate or iso in bulk, so maybe save that for your own makeup applications.

Don’t hesitate to let us know of any other tricks or products you have picked up over the years! We are always leaning and trying new things!

Check out some of our application and removal process below – for the test makeup of Orc (for Dark Avenger 3 commercial).

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIN
  • Pinterest
Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.