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Prosthetic makeup (also called FX prosthesis) is the process of using prosthetic sculpting, molding and casting techniques to create advanced cosmetic effects. Prosthetic makeup was revolutionized by Dick Smith in such films as Little Big Man.
The process of creating a prosthetic appliance begins with lifecasting, the process of taking a mold of a body part (often the face) to use as a base for sculpting the prosthetic. Lifecast molds are made from prosthetic alginate or more recently, from skin-safe silicone rubber. This initial mold is relatively weak and flexible. A hard mother mold, typically made of plaster or fiberglass bandages is created overtop the initial mold to provide support.
Once a negative mold has been created, it is promptly filled with gypsum cement, most commonly a brand called "Ultracal-30", to make a "positive" mold. The form of the prosthetic is sculpted in clay on top of the positive. The edges of the clay should be made as thin as possible, for the clay is a stand-in for what will eventually be the prosthetic piece. Along the edges of the mold, "keys" or mold points are sculpted or carved into the lifecast, to make sure that the two pieces of the mold will fit together correctly. Once sculpting is completed, a second mold is made. This gives two or more pieces of a mold - a positive of the face, and one or more negative mold pieces of the face with prosthetic sculpted in. All clay is carefully removed and the prosthetic material is cast into the mold cavity. The prosthetic material can be foam latex, gelatin, silicone or other similar materials. The prosthetic is cured within the two part mold - thus creating the beginning of a makeup effect.
One of the hardest parts of prosthetic make-up is keeping the edges as thin as possible. They should be tissue thin so they are easy to blend and cover giving a flawless look.
- Brad Pitt: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
- Many actors in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, notably John Rhys Davies and various actors/stuntmen portraying orcs.
- James McAvoy among others in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
- Nina Bott: Stern TV fat makeup (before and after; makeup process).
- Jennie Bond: Posh Swap: Jennie Bond (makeup process)
- Vicki Butler-Henderson: Celebrity Swap.
- Samantha Fox: Race Swap and makeup process.
- Julie Goodyear: Age Swap and makeup application.
- Doug Jones in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
- Rebecca Loos: Gender Swap and makeup application.
- Kelly Lynch: [Mr Magoo] (various disguises, the old lady and makeup application, the balding man).
- Larissa Meek: Average Joe Hawaii (plus makeup application and unmasking)
- Jack Nicholson: Jack Napier / The Joker in Batman (1989.
- Melinda Messenger: Celebrity Swap. (The makeup application for Melinda)
- Caroline Palmer: The Sun photoshoots (fat and race swap).
- Katie Price (a.k.a. Jordan): Jordan Gets Even and makeup application.
- Linda Robson: Celebrity Swap. (Linda’s makeup application)
- Melena Scantlin: The completed makeup and the reveal scene and the makeup process.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger: as iterations of the Terminator in The Terminator and its sequels Terminator 2: Judgement Day and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.
- Carol Smillie: Gender Swap and makeup application.
- Lea Thompson: A Will Of Their Own; Back To The Future Part II and Back To The Future (including makeup application).
- Tyra Banks - ABC News: Tyra Banks Experiences Obesity Through Fat Suit - showcased on her eponymous talk show on 4 November 2005
- Shock Rock artists such as Gwar, mushroomhead, Slipknot and Lordi
- Rick Mayall: Drop Dead Fred
- Prosthetic Makeup competition: National Prosthetic Makeup Competition
- Amitabh Bachchan: Paa
- Shahrukh Khan: Ra one
- Ron Perlman: several times in his career, but most notably as Hellboy
- Tommy Lee Jones: Harvey Dent/Two-Face in Batman Forever.