October 12th, 2020
In the fourth in our series, Victoria Rose Spicer, a second-year student studying hair and media makeup at South Essex College in Grays, attended a Casualty Makeup Masterclass with film and TV specialist Vicky Voller which was hosted at PAM in West London.
I visited pro store, Precious About Makeup (PAM), in Acton, West London, earlier this year to attend a Vicky Voller masterclass focusing on how to do casualty makeup on camera. I learnt so much including how to make a Pro Bondo mould, a black eye and bruising.
Before attending this event, I did some research on Vicky’s impressive career. Now working across makeup, hair and prosthetics, she began as a hairdresser before joining the BBC Hair and Makeup Department and eventually becoming a makeup designer. Vicky has also worked freelance on the medical drama, Holby City, for 11 years as well as working on Jonny English, Friday Night Dinner and Horrible Histories. I really look up to Vicky because of her impressive career doing such a wide range of makeup for different people.
Pro Bondo Pieces
To create a Pro Bondo piece, you first need to drop a bit of release and seal into the mould and around the edges and wait around 30 seconds for that to dry. Next overfill the mould with Pro Bondo and scrape along the edges with a card to get rid of the excess. To make sure the piece is completely dry, leave for at least 48 hours in a plastic pot or overnight in a dehydrator at 30 degrees Celsius. Vicky advised to never leave the piece somewhere cold as it can freeze and to match different skin tones you can mix different coloured Pro Bondo.
After your piece is completely dry, clean the skin with IPA then gently stamp the mould onto the skin. Peel the mould off and use IPA to melt away the edges. After the stamp is on the skin it’s time to colour using Illustrator paint mixed with a splash of IPA. Ensure you don’t make the scar a symmetrical shape and to keep the colour translucent. Trauma is always more prominent on bones so take that into consideration when colouring and use a bit of Red 3 Glazing Gel on the scar to make it look more bashed up. If you think you’ve done too much lightly dab with a wet wipe but always consider the camera shots so that you can still read it in a midshot. Make sure the client knows not to remove it themselves, as ripping this off can also take a layer off your skin and cause irritation.
It was really interesting learning about how to make these as I wouldn’t have a chance to cover this in college. This really simple and quick effect made such a big difference to the face making it look even more authentic.
For a black eye, Vicky explained that the first thing to do is take the colour out of one eye using concealer. You could also take out the rosiness and even add a wash of grey. I had never heard of doing this before but it made such a big difference and was so simple. Use a grease palette with IPA and small sponges and go over the colours already present in the eye. Next add Red Glazing Gel with a small brush and dab over with your finger. To make the eye look more realistic use M.A.C Half Red lip liner in the lower eyeline and stipple Perma Blood around the eye. To make the black eye look older and not so fresh, use powder. Make sure to add layers and textures and to break the shape up so it looks real. Often injuries such as black eyes are one colour but build up colour with lighter shades first so that it doesn’t look like a shape on camera. Another tip Vicky told us was to not always copy pictures that are found online as they often will look fake on camera.
Third Degree Injuries
For a third degree cut, mix some red crepe hair into the silicone before placing the mix onto the skin and taking the edges away with a spatula. Next cut down the middle of the silicone making a flap of silicone skin going all the way through. Another really useful tip Vicky gave us was to use water on your hand to touch the silicone without it sticking and to make the cut look more realistic use your finger or a ragroll to make texture. Then coat the silicone in Prosaide to make a better surface for the fake blood. After powdering, add a dark colour down the slit and congealed blood over the top. To ensure your blood doesn’t bead, you can add a bit of fairy liquid before putting it on the skin. To make the cut more realistic use a black sponge and Perma blood to create light scratches. Vicky demoed this on her model’s arm and it was amazing to see how much she changed it so quickly.
For big areas, use a paint brush or toothbrush with a flicking movement. However always practice on a tissue before going onto the skin. By practicing you will get the main more pigmented paint off the brush making it more realistic on skin. Vicky used an Illustrator palette with IPA to get the colours red, blue and black then flicked them onto her model’s arm using a paint brush. You could also use Egyptian Magic to make a shiny, sweaty look.
I would like to thank everyone at PAM for making me feel so welcome and especially Vicky Voller for everything she taught me. She gave me a great insight into what it is like to work in the industry and I learnt a lot of new skills at this workshop which I will take with me to use on my college course and beyond!
I would also like to thank Warpaint Magazine for inviting me to this event. It was another amazing opportunity for me to learn more about the industry I hope to work in and I learnt many valuable skills.
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