Halloween makeup that won't rub off on things

I am trying to put together what could be an amazing costume, but it would require grayish white makeup on my hands. This will need to be matched in color to the outfit I will be wearing, which will be spraypainted to the same color.

In my experience with makeup (very limited) this would rub off on everything I touch. I have heard of powders you can apply after putting the makeup on to “set” it. Would they work? Is there a special kind of makeup I need to get?

What did they use in that awful reality [sic] show, Black/White? I don’t seem to remember the particpants leaving traces of their makeup on the things they touched. No doubt it’s a bitch to remove such makeup, but it seemed to have been pretty durable.

Hit your local theater supply store and talk to the staff. They can help you out with the specifics of what you need.

Pancake makeup is rather tough to shift. :smiley:

  • former theater makeup geek in uni

Judging by the results a friend of mine gets when she does facepainting, you need Kryolan Aquacolor makeup and their setting powder or spray, or even stronger, is their “fixier” (note the spelling) spray. The fixier, in particular, makes the makeup a lot harder to rub off.

Another possibility, would gloves of some sort be an option? You could either paint the gloves on the outside with the same paint used for the rest of your costume, or you could put the makeup on your hands, and then put transparent gloves on over it. It might not be quite as impressive as just the makeup, but it would be very much easier.

You’ve been correctly informed. The mystery powder is talcum powder (aka baby powder).

A beginner’s mistake that many people make with grease paint is not setting it. Grease paint not set with powder is messy and comes off on anything it touches.

If you go to the theatrical supply store and get gray greasepaint, get a big powder puff as well. When you’ve finished applying the makeup, dust your hands and face with talcum powder that you’ve dumped liberally on the powder puff. (Ever wonder why old time actresses were shown using a powder puff?)

It’s important that the powder be applied lightly and evenly, rather than just dumped out of the bottle onto the skin.

A cheap alternative to a powder puff is a thin cotton sock: dump a whole container of talcum powder into it, then tie off the open end. The sock should be thin enough that the powder clouds out of it when it’s shaken. Tap it over your face and hands and let the powder drift onto the makeup. Don’t touch the makeup with the sock, or you’ll smear it and get makeup on the sock.

When makeup is set properly, you can rinse the powder off with water and the makeup will look smooth and even with no sign of powder left. You can rub your finger over the makeup and it won’t smear or rub off unless you use a lot of pressure. Use cold cream to remove it.

The folks at a good theatrical supply house should be willing to give you a demonstration on how to apply and set makeup.

I used to be a clown. Really. (Some people say I still am.:D)

Thank you! That is exactly what I was looking for! I was only really thinking about my hands as they will definitely have to touch things, but now that I have a method that is supposed to work I would like to use it for my face as well. You said you were a clown, so I take it that you used bright colors. The powder isn’t noticeable over those colors? I am going to have some bright red on my face.

I hadn’t heard of this show, but from your statement I am getting a terrible idea that I know what it is about. They didn’t actually do this did they? Was it on FOX?

OK, now I’ve got to ask. Gray arms, gray costume, red face…Are you dressing up as a macaque, Flight? :smiley:

No. Use plenty of powder, make sure it gets everywhere the makeup is, let it set a few seconds, then lightly toss water on those areas and lightly pat the water off with a towel. The excess powder will be gone, and the colors will be bright and solid.

When done right, the makeup should be part of your skin, and take quite a bit of rubbing to come off.

The use of several different colors calls for care when using the sock full of talcum powder. It’s very easy to pick up a bit of red, say, from one area and deposit it on a white area. That’s why you should avoid actually touching the skin with the sock, or use a powder puff.

I always used gloves, so I rarely put makeup on my hands. In stage work, makeup is often applied to the back of the hands, but in my (admittedly limited) experience, it’s rare to apply it to the palms and insides of the fingers. I suspect it would be hard to make it really durable for the “working” surfaces of the hands. If you need full coverage for the hands, gloves may be the best way.

That’s why I urge you to spend some time testing and practicing the method, as well as refining your makeup design. As a beginner, you may need several hours to get it right. For instance, different areas of your skin make take the makeup differently, requiring slight variations in your method of application. Hair on the back of your hands or a beard can get tricky. An hour before you’re supposed to make your appearance is not the time to be pulling out the grease paint for the first time. Playing around days or weeks ahead will give you the experience and confidence to get it right on the day.

Good luck, and post some pictures of how it turns out!

Why don’t you just get tattooed?

I also used to do some clowning (the kind using makeup, not the kind in the back of a classroom.) Commonsense got it right. But we also would apply a layer of baby-oil to our skin before putting on any makeup. It reduced the amount of color that would leech into your skin, expecially from the red. Nothing like walking around for a day or two afterwards, looking like you have the world’s worst chapped lips, because that’s where the red makeup went.

Good advice, TOC. It’s been almost 30 years (OMG!), but now that you mention it, one of my clown instructors did mention the baby oil. I don’t recall using it much myself, but I only got made up a few times a year for a few years.

Another thought: At many parties, there is greasy food available to be eaten with the fingers (pizza, chips, etc.). It seems quite likely that this could smear off grease-based makeup on your hands. So that’s something to consider.

Yes, there will be. I think I may have to go with gloves. It needs to look like I don’t have them on though. Can grease paint be applied to latex? Perhaps if I had thin gloves I could apply it to the back so it matchs the rest of the costume and the inner palms would just be the easy white of the gloves.

Also, is there any problem with grease paint over a bald cap? Do you expect the edges of the cap would be particularly noticeable?

Thanks again commasense. This is a rather ambitious costume, I only wish I had thought of it a month ago. I plan on practicing with the paint ahead of time to get a feel for it. It looks like the torso part of the costume is too late to get, so I will be painting that part of me as well. I am going to have to put down a towel before sitting on anything aren’t I?

I’m afraid that my experience doesn’t extend to applying grease paint to latex gloves or skull caps, so I can’t offer any advice, just suggest testing it out and asking the theater store staff for help.

Likewise, I’ve never tried to apply makeup to a whole torso, so I don’t know how that’s going to work. But I imagine it’ll be time-consuming, expensive, and tedious, and will require a lot of help. I think you might be better off looking into some of the spray-on makeups that are available now. Unfortunately, I have no experience with them, so I can’t offer any advice.

Although I don’t want to put a damper on your fun, maybe you should save this particular costume for next year, and try something a little less ambitious this time, rather than do a half-assed job. Doing it badly this year will sort of kill the novelty if you want to try to get it right next year.

What exactly is this great costume idea, anyway? We promise not to tell any of your friends, and we may be able to come up with simpler alternatives.

(And Chronos is absolutely right about greasy foods making a mess of makeup. No fried chicken when wearing grease paint!)

Yeah, I am thinking it might have to be next year as I do not have the time to put into it this year. Too bad, but hopefully next time. Oh, and here is what I was going for.

Yes, they did: pretty impressive makeup jobs, pretty convincingly transracial. And they hugged and kissed and were completely naturally active; made no attempt not to touch anything. MUCH better fixed than powdered grease paint. I’ve worn my share of powder-set greasepaint, and it will come off with minimal abrasion; you will leave streaks. The makeup on *Black/White * was much, much more firmly set.