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Bruised and Sliced


By: Melissa Krimsky – Graveyard FX


Its no surprise that now-a-days gore has become something that requires LOTS

of blood to satisfy audiences, and with the addition of CGI to horror flicks, the

need for hours in a makeup chair for prosthetic applications has been cut down.

But what about indie films? Photo shoots? Local Haunts? Those that don’t have

the funds, time, or NEED for CGI? I learned everything I know about SFX Makeup

through books, movie watching and watching other artists work. I have not yet

converted to GELFLESH, but will eventually convert as many people are allergic

to latex. Throughout my time with the mafia I will be treating all of you horror-

loving readers to how-to makeup sessions, the latest happenings in the SFX

world, spotlighting movies for their SFX work, and of course, talking the latest up

and comings in the SFX world and the artists who make it what it is. While I’m a

newbie to the craft, I’m learning more every day, and I will also be bringing those

experiences to you, what’s it like to be a freelance artist? What’s it like to be NEW

to this world? What’s it like to work on movie sets, haunts, etc? And everything in



For my first article, Ill be treating you guys to a very simple, yet VERY effective

and fun how-to. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE make sure that whoever you will be

trying this makeup on is not allergic to latex products. Take a small amount of

latex and dab it on the forearm, if for any reason it itches or burns, remove the

product with soap and water and stop what you’re doing.


Finished Product:




What You need:





-Latex (I use Ben Nye, and you can buy it in “natural” color as well

as “clear”. There is also a “sensitive skin” option through Ben Nye.)


-Black and Red Aqua Color (or a similar black face/body paint: I use

Kryolan Aqua Color in Black 071 and Red 079) Aqua Color is a Glycerin

Based makeup used primarily for face and body painting. A little goes

A LONG way, and all that’s needed is a moistened sponge or brush and

voila! If you do not have access to aqua color, you can easily find black

face/body paint through places like Spirit Stores or even grocery stores

around the Halloween season!


-Bruise Wheel. (I use Ben Nye Master Bruise Wheel.)


-A brush for use ONLY in the latex, once a brush is used in latex, its

pretty hard to strip and re-use for anything else. You can also use

makeup spatulas to apply latex.


-Two fine tipped brushes for shading, painting and applying blood and

also a blush brush to be used with your finishing powder.


-Loose finishing powder. (Can be found in the makeup aisle of any store)




-Paper towels, a cup of water, and a paper bag/something to cover your

work surface.


-Fake Nails. (Optional)


-And lastly, BLOOD! You don’t need a lot, I use FX Blood as well as fresh




Now that you have everything you need, set everything out, and wash your hands

thoroughly. Whether its you, or someone else you’ll be applying this makeup on,

make sure the area is washed and dried. NOTE: Regardless of what TYPE of latex

you chose, it will dry clear so don’t worry about that glob of pale pink, yellowish

stuff on your hand. You can apply this makeup on ANY of your fingers (OR TOES!) If you’re wanting the broken nail look to go along with this, find the nail that matches the finger you’ve chosen and have fun with it! Crack it, cut it, hit it with a hammer, it’s your creation. Once you’ve gotten your nail cracked the way you want it, apply it as noted in the directions, with the nail glue and wait for it to dry and set. Be careful, nail glue is sticky and because of the cracks and crevices you’ve now made, the liquid is likely to seep through, grab a brush and use the end to help hold down the nail and set it. But what if the nail breaks or parts of it crack off? THAT’S OKAY! It will just make it look cooler. The beauty with SFX makeup is that a “mistake” can actually MAKE the makeup.


Once your nail is set the first step is to uncap your latex and take the designated latex brush, dipping it into the latex and applying to the skin. With latex, a little goes a long way, and its completely up to you how you want your “cut” to go. Think about your injury.  How did you get it? Was your finger slammed in a car door? Was it bitten? Was it hit with a hammer? Put into consideration the method of how you injured yourself. Once the latex has begun to dry (it will turn

a yellowy color and begin to blend with your skin), take your toothpick and carefully run it along the middle of the latex line you’ve made.



This is the part that requires you to be tedious and careful, but don’t worry if you tear some away or part of it doesn’t rip down the middle (as seen in the picture), leave it alone and when it comes time to apply makeup, it’s an easy fix.


Now you have your cut, and a cracked nail, its looking a little funky right? That’s

okay, its supposed to. Take your finishing powder and blush brush and lightly dust

the cut, this will help take away some of that shiny look and help set it. Next up

comes your black aqua color and a fine tipped brush. Wet the brush (if its required, paints that come in bruise wheels or other costume shop type makeup’s don’t require you to use a wet brush), pick up some paint on your brush and run it along the inside crevices of your cut, this will give it depth and make it pop! Also dab some along the side of your finger and near the nail. Repeat the same actions with the red aqua color/paint.



Next comes your bruise wheel. This is where you get to be creative with this

injury. Use purples and dark reds to give it depth as well as color along the finger

nail and side of the finger to give the illusion of swelling, and bruising. Blend along the edges of the latex to help them pop and give it more of an illusion that your skin really did rip from your fingernail and down your hand.



Lastly, comes your blood! Take your other fine tip brush and dip it into the blood (or fresh scratch!) and run it along the inside of the cut and along the cuticle and side of your finger.  Once you’ve got that done, dab some blood along the edges of the cut.  It’s even okay to drip some outside of the cut towards the bottom of your hand, this is your creation so have fun with it, you can never have too much blood. The cuts I’ve made are thinner, but you can definitely make them larger and extend them (or shorten them) however much you’d like.



I hope this was fun and easy for you guys! It takes a little bit of practice and playing around but once you’ve got the hang of it, it’s a very fun and effective injury to use and play jokes on your friends and family!


Staff Writer and Resident Goo Expert

Melissa Krimsky