Using liquid latex to enhance your Halloween costume has never been easier. Latex used to belong strictly to the domain of the Broadway or Hollywood professional, but as Halloween has become a bigger producer of profits and made its way into the big league of semi-secular holidays, you can now find abundant supplies of liquid latex not only at Hollywood costume shops and party supply stores, but even at Walmart, Walgreen’s or your local grocery store.
Liquid latex is especially useful for manipulating the appearance of skin. Indeed, if your costume involves some kind of aging principle—such as making yourself look older or haggard—you really can’t even begin to think about seriously Halloween costuming without it. Nothing is better for creating wrinkles or that saggy skin look that really adds just the right touch of flavor when you are going out on Hollywood as an old person, a zombie or a witch.
Simply buy some liquid latex either in one of those small bottles with the brush attached to the lid, or in a larger jar which you can then apply with a small paintbrush. Whatever part of your skin you want to add wrinkles to must be stretched, as far as possible for the best effect. Smooth the latex onto the skin in a moderately thick coat. As soon as you release the skin back to its normal, unstretched state you will have wrinkles! The more latex you use, the more pronounced the wrinkles will be.
But that’s not all. Wrinkles are one thing, but this is Halloween we’re talking about right? You want to bring that skin into relief. If you are a zombie or some kind of mutant or an old haggard witch, you’ll want to add to the effect by tinting it. Although there are plenty of expensive coloring paints available on Halloween stores, save yourself a few bucks by investing in simple food coloring. You can mix and match the food coloring to create just the hue you’re looking for. If a witch, you may want a greenish tint to your new skin. If a mutant, maybe a nice reddish-orange nuclear glow. Experience for yourself to find out what looks best.
Liquid latex is pretty much safe to use on any part of your body, but there are still a few safety and health tips you need to know. For one thing, be careful when applying latex to any part of your body where you’ve got hair. This especially applies to places such as around your eyebrows, back of the hand, mustaches, etc. When you go to remove the latex you will find that hair likes to come with it. Using liquid latex can be considered a very inexpensive, albeit equally painful trip to the wax man.
More importantly, always start by applying a small amount of latex to an equally small area of skin. Let it dry and sit for a few minutes, up to a half hour. Some people have a reaction to liquid latex that results in painful itching and burning. If this results, do not tempt fate by applying more. If you wish, you can try another brand since there are various little differences between how liquid latex is produced and you may not necessarily be allergic to all of them. In extreme cases, of course, some people are severely allergic and the reaction will be far greater than merely itching and burning. If this happens, immediately call 911.
Also be sure to read the directions carefully because some liquid latex is not designed to be applied directly to the skin. Typically, however, the kinds of latex sold among Halloween supplies are all okay for this kind of application.
The really cool thing about liquid latex and Halloween is that you can experiment with all kinds of effects. The more you put on and the thicker it dries, the more experimentation can be done. You can build up deformities, create wounds, change the shape of your face. Halloween without liquid latex nowadays simply isn’t Halloween.