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HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT MAKEUP FOR YOUR HAUNT

June 16th, 2021 | Blog

Tagged Topics:

WHAT’S IN THIS GUIDE?

  • Tips from real pros that will save you money and a headache
  • The different types of makeups and applications
  • What fluorescent colors are approved by FDA and which you need to stay away from
  • Price vs Yield

Makeup can have a significant impact on your haunted attraction. It affects the image you are trying to portray, impacts your visitor’s experience and it can also get very expensive.

In this guide, provided by pro FX makeup artists, we will arm you with tips about the different types of makeup to choose from, different applications and how to make the most out of your makeup with the least investment.

THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF MAKEUPS AND APPLICATIONS

When it comes to application of makeup it is generally applied by airbrush, sponge or brush. The fastest way to apply makeup is with an airbrush especially when looking for covering larger areas or a larger number of actors. On the other hand, brushing or sponging makeup can be time consuming (although many artists became very fast at it) and thus we recommend it primarily for smaller applications or when applying makeup around eyes and face or detailed work.

The makeup most commonly used in the haunt industry falls into the following categories: water based liquid makeup, cake makeup, silicone based creams, alcohol activated palettes and alcohol based makeup. Most of the water based and cake makeups are not water and sweat resistant and thus we would not recommend them for the professional actors and haunt attractions. If you still insist on using them you can use products such as EBA’s ProSeal that can provide an extra seal to the makeup. For more durable products, we recommend alcohol or silicone based makeup. These types of makeup are typically water and sweat resistant, dry fast and last throughout the event.

With all that said, the ideal makeup would be the one that can be applied by airbrush, brush and sponge and that would be sweat, water and smudge resistant. But is there such a makeup available? EBA (aka European Body Art) manufactures EnduraPro makeup that can meet all those criteria. It is highly pigmented and thus it provides enough coverage and opacity to be applied by airbrush, brush or sponge. It also dries fast and provides completely water, sweat and smudge proof makeup. If you were looking for the one makeup that does it all, the EnduraPro would be it. EBA also manufactures silicone based creams and alcohol activated palettes that both dry fast to a water and sweat proof finish but cannot be applied by an airbrush.

PRICE vs YIELD

Price is a primary concern of most makeup buyers. Although price is important, it can also be very biased and confusing when comparing one brand to another. The true measure, when shopping around for makeup and comparing costs, is a combination of price and the coverage the makeup provides (pigmentation).  In other words, the more pigmented the makeup, the more actors you will cover and the less makeup you will use. On the other hand, thinner make up, or less pigmented makeup, may initially cost less, but in the end, will cost you more as you go through it at much faster rate.  This is the true measure when it comes to the price vs. value when comparing makeup. EnduraPro by EBA us the most pigmented makeup in the industry providing the best overall value.

COVERAGE

As we already mentioned before coverage or pigmentation of the makeup can have an impact at the true value or cost of the makeup. There are many additional reasons why we recommend brands that provide makeup with increased coverage. Makeup with higher pigmentation will cover faster and thus you will not only use less product, you will also work at a faster rate. Most of the haunts we interviewed have at least 10 actors or more wearing makeup.  Using a thin makeup will require more makeup layers it will also take a lot longer to apply.

Next, using more layers to achieve the right coverage affects the durability and performance of the makeup. The more layers that are used, the more the makeup tends to smudge or crack, which affects the durability and performance of the makeup. Good makeup should provide enough coverage with just one layer or pass. Additional layers applied on top of each other increase the chance of the makeup coming or peeling off.

Finally, highly pigmented makeup can not only provide a better value in the long run, it can also be thinned down when needed and lasting you even longer! Going the other way is impossible.

DURABILITY

In the haunt industry it is essential to use makeup that will last on your actors throughout the event. Faded, cracking, runny or smudged makeup does not only look bad but it can also impact the experience of your visitors. When shopping for makeup we highly recommend sampling the makeup and run a few tests first. A good makeup should withstand sweating, high humidity and water.  At the same time it is important that the makeup can be removed using non-irritating removers. Alcohol based makeups, such as EnduraPro by EBA will endure any of the above mentioned conditions yet it can be removed using EBA Vapore moisturizing remover or by mixing baby oil and rubbing alcohol (baby oil works great as a moisturizer).  Although there are other products on the market such as “Hybrids” which advertise easy removal by soap and water, we find that these products also come off very easily with sweat and water. In that case you may as well use water based makeup with a sealer over it. In our experience, there is no middle ground; makeup either lasts or it comes off easily. Additionally, makeup that tends to wear out during performance can get costly as you will end up using more makeup for touch ups and more of your artist time to re-apply it.

PAY ATTENTION TO SAFE INGREDIENTS

When shopping for makeup it is very important to make sure that you look for products that are made with only FDA approved ingredients. This can be easily found and verified on www.fda.gov. The first and very obvious clue is to look at the list of ingredients which should be listed on the product. The other clue, which does not require looking at the product label, is to check out the fluorescent line of colors offered by any particular brand. If you see yellow or green fluorescent colors offered by any brand out there stay away from that type of makeup. Although fluorescent yellow or green colors are highly desirable for haunts with black light settings these colors are not approved by the FDA. Companies using such colors are most likely bending the rules with other ingredients as well. This can have a huge impact on your business. It only takes one actor or customer to have adverse reaction to the makeup and the consequences for your business can be severe. According to www.fda.gov, “only the following fluorescent colors are approved for use in cosmetics, and there are limits on their intended uses: D&C Orange No. 5, No. 10, and No. 11; and D&C Red No. 21, No. 22, No. 27, and No. 28” As you can see, green nor yellow pigments are listed under this category. Please, think twice before using makeup that contains non-approved pigments. Ultimately, your business is responsible for usage of such makeup.

SUMMARY

Overall, the type of makeup, coverage, durability and ingredients matter. There are many products on the market, but finding the one that meets all of these needs, may take a little more investment upfront, but will save you time, money and space in your makeup kit.