Make-up Artists often count on one another for technique tips, resource information and product recommendations. Although there is a lot of information on the Web, MUA’s have shared their knowledge on a peer-to-peer basis since the time when there were only few reference make-up application books and *gasp* no Internet. So, we asked Cat and Niko to share with us the contents of their FX kit and share with us why they’d recommend the products they use.
Cat: We recently stopped by the MUD Burbank campus to give the students a lecture titled ‘What’s In Your FX Kit?’ and went over our FX kit necessities as well as our favorite brushes, tools and paints with the students.
Niko: We always stress the importance of over packing for any make-up job. You must always be prepared for anything. You never know what you will be asked to do on set, schedules change last minute all the time. It is better to have all of the basics packed and ready to go in your kit at all times. Below is a list of our FX kit necessities that we always keep in our kits.
We always carry a little bottle of latex and a jar of 3rd degree with us at all times. You can create almost anything with these two items- they are great for quick or unexpected FX that you might have to do on set from aging to injuries. Having a variety of different colors of dirt is great to have as well. Depending on the location you are shooting, the color of dirt and dust will change. Having different shades will give you a more realistic look. We also keep wax paper pallets, gloves, neutral set powder, thickened pros-aid cream, glycerin for sweat and a tear stick packed at all times.
We also recommend carrying small bottles of Spirit Gum, Pros-aide and Telesis 5. Pros-aide 1 is our favorite go-to glue because of its bond strength and price. However, it is important to have other glues such as spirit gum (which is the gentlest glue) in case the talent you are working on has an allergic reaction. Telesis is also great to use for quick fixes because it bonds instantly without having to wait for it to dry.
We keep a variety of different bloods with as well. They range in price, color and consistency to fit the look we need to achieve and the shot the director wants. Our go-to bloods include Fleet St. Drying Blood and Drying Past. The blood dries in place without cracking so it will not smear and ruin continuity. My Blood is also one of our favorites for a fresh, wet blood look.
We always have a few RMG wheels, basic cream colors as well as some alcohol palettes. The Ben Nye Bruise Wheel and Death wheels are my favorite go-to cream colors for FX. Alcohol activated palettes such as Skin Illustrator are our absolute favorite colors to use on set because we know they will last all day without smearing and can paint any kind of prosthetic. If we know we are doing a specific FX heavy project we will pack other paints such as water based paints and alcohol based air brush paints. Kyrolan, Wolf and Mehron Paradise colors are our favorite water based paints that are great for doing large surface areas fast.
The important thing is making sure you pack products that are multi-functional and work on a variety of materials/ skin types to save room in your kit. I find it fascinating to look through other make-up artist’s kits, I always learn about a new product and pick up a cool tip! Keep searching, practicing and experimenting with different products and find ones that work for you.
Mark your calendars! Niko and Cat will be back at the Burbank campus with the rest of the local season 6 Face Off contestants on March 11th for lecture covering their experience on the show.
Keep up with this fantastic duo on their professional studio pages: DYADMUFX