How to Use Rigid Collodion

Thứ bảy - 27/04/2024 01:13
Rigid Collodion, also known as "scarring liquid," is a chemical cosmetic used to craft fake scars and injuries. It's commonly used in theatre departments, on film sets, and at haunted houses to give wounds a super realistic look, and it's...
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Rigid Collodion, also known as “scarring liquid,” is a chemical cosmetic used to craft fake scars and injuries. It’s commonly used in theatre departments, on film sets, and at haunted houses to give wounds a super realistic look, and it’s one of the industry standards when it comes to special effects makeup. That said, Rigid Collodion is some serious stuff. Misusing Rigid Collodion can permanently damage your skin if you peel it off by hand, put it on sensitive skin, or leave it on for too long, so don’t break this stuff out unless you’re going for a hyper-realistic look.

Method 1
Method 1 of 4:

Staying Safe

  1. Step 1 Work in a well-ventilated area to avoid any noxious fumes.
    Either go outside or crack a few windows and turn some fans on. Rigid Collodion has a really robust smell and most people find it fairly unpleasant.[1] It can also irritate your lungs if you inhale too much of it, so don’t do this in a bathroom mirror with the doors and windows closed if that was your plan.[2]
    • Rigid Collodion is strong. If you’re preparing for a film shoot or performance of some kind, put the Rigid Collodion on right before you head out to perform and take it off as soon as you’re done.
    • You cannot leave Rigid Collodion on overnight. Also, do not apply Rigid Collodion to the same area more than 1 day in a row without professional supervision.
  2. Step 2 Check for allergic reactions by applying a small drop on your skin.
    Some people are allergic or hyper-sensitive to Rigid Collodion. To make sure it’s safe to use for you, test it on a small, inconspicuous portion of skin before you get to work on the wound. Unscrew the cap on the bottle and dab a little bit under your thumb or on your forearm and wait a few minutes to make sure it doesn’t cause you any pain.[3]
    • You should feel your skin tightening and drying out almost immediately after applying it. Your skin literally contracts when it’s exposed to Rigid Collodion, so this is normal. It may feel a little uncomfortable or strange, but it shouldn’t actively hurt.
    • If it stings, burns, or itches, remove the Collodion immediately with spirit gum remover or isopropyl alcohol and then rinse the area thoroughly. Seek medical attention if you have trouble breathing or the pain doesn’t subside after the Collodion is removed.[4]
  3. Step 3 Choose an area for the wound where the skin isn’t sensitive or taut.
    Your cheeks, forehead, arms, hands, and stomach are all fair game. Keep the Rigid Collodion away from your brows, nose, lips, or neck. So long as there isn’t a lot of hair and the skin isn’t super tight, you’re in the clear.[5]
    • If you’re curious about whether a potential location will work, put your finger on the skin and flex your muscles or move your face. If you can feel the skin stretching a little bit as you move, it will work.
    • It is dangerous to apply Rigid Collodion to your eyelids, mouth, or nose.[6]
    • Rigid Collodion will strip your skin of any hair it covers. It’s fine to put it near or around hair, but keep it off of your eyebrows, hairline, or especially-hairy portions of your arms or legs.
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Method 2
Method 2 of 4:

Designing the Wound

  1. Step 1 Draw the scar out with eyeliner for a cut or scrape.
    Use a pencil eyeliner for scars left by cuts, scrapes, or incisions. Go for a liquid or felt-tip eyeliner if you want a fresher-looking cut with a softer texture. Look in a mirror and sketch out your wound by applying the eyeliner directly to your skin. You can draw an erratic, scraggly line for a messier wound, or sketch a thin, straight line into your skin for something like a quick knife cut. You can use multiple colors if you want a more dynamic-looking wound.[7]
    • Use brown or mauve if you want a deep scar that’s totally settled in the skin.
    • Layers of pink and purple eyeliner are great if you want the wound to look fresh.
    • Red is perfect if you want the wound to look like it’s actively bleeding.
    • The Rigid Collodion is going to re-shape your skin. It will look a lot different once the Collodion dries, so don’t worry if the wound doesn’t look super realistic right now.
  2. Step 2 Use grease paint to add colors for burns, scrapes, or dripping blood.
    This is the best bet if you want to craft a burn, bleeding wound, or infection. Use a thin paintbrush or cotton swab and dip it into a small amount of your paint. Then, slowly drag the bristles against your skin where you want to apply the color. You can use a single shade of paint to give the wound some subtle color, or blend multiple colors together for a brighter, dynamic wound.[8]
    • You can use eye shadow instead of grease paint if you prefer. This is great if you want a softer-looking burn, scratch, or infection.[9]
    • Various shades of red are perfect for bleeding or burned skin. Browns and purples are great for bruising.
    • Unless it’s a cut, wounds are rarely symmetrical or even. Use various strokes in a multitude of directions to craft a realistic injury and don’t focus on making it look perfect.
  3. Step 3 Skip paint or makeup and use the Collodion alone for wrinkles and old scars.
    Rigid Collodion on its own will make your skin appear darker. It will also give your skin a rough, dried-out texture. Don’t apply any makeup or paint before applying the Rigid Collodion if you want to add wrinkles or really old scars that won’t stand out a ton.
    • If you aren’t sure whether you want to add color or not, test out the way the Rigid Collodion will look with and without color on an inconspicuous part of your body.[10]
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Method 3
Method 3 of 4:

Applying the Collodion

  1. Step 1 Brush the Collodion over the wound with the built-in applicator.
    Unscrew the cap of your Rigid Collodion and pull it out to access the application brush attached underneath the cap.[11] Dip the brush into the Collodion if it isn’t already loaded up. Then, slowly brush the Collodion over the scar that you drew or painted. Start anywhere on the wound and cover each brushstroke 2-3 times before moving on to the next part of the wound.[12]
    • There’s no way to remove a portion of the Rigid Collodion without ruining the rest of your work, so just take it slow.
    • You will feel the skin tightening and drying out as soon as you apply the Rigid Collodion.[13]
    • You can use a thin paintbrush if you don’t want to use the applicator that came with the bottle.
  2. Step 2 Continue applying the Collodion until your wound is entirely covered.
    Reload your brush periodically whenever you feel it drying out on your skin. Continue working your way over the scar or wound and cover each section 2-3 times. If you’re covering a wider portion of skin for a burn or scrape, work in horizontal or vertical strips so that you cover the area entirely.[14]
    • As the Collodion dries, it literally shrinks your skin by pulling it inward. This will create a small indentation in your skin that should almost perfectly resemble a scar.
    • The direction of your brush strokes will not impact the look of the skin once the Rigid Collodion is dry. So long as you cover every part of the skin you want to look injured, you’ll get the look you’re going for.
  3. Step 3 Wait 2-3 minutes for the first layer to dry and see how it looks.
    Give the Rigid Collodion a few minutes to dry out. It dries pretty fast, but give it at least 2-3 minutes just to be sure. Then, check a mirror and inspect the skin to see how your wound looks. If you’re happy with it, great! You’re finished.[15]
    • Once it’s dry, that indentation in your skin will be locked in place and you won’t be able to stretch or move that skin. If it feels a little funny at first, don’t worry—you’ll get used to the sensation.
    • The more layers you add, the deeper the wound will look. If you’re going for something lighter or less noticeable, stop after 1 application.
  4. Step 4 Spread additional layers over the wound for a stronger texture.
    If you want the skin to look more damaged, repeat this process by covering your skin in a second layer of Rigid Collodion. Brush the liquid Collodion over the wound the same way you did before. Wait another 2-3 minutes and inspect your skin again. If you still want the wound to be more noticeable, apply additional layers as needed.[16]
    • Typically, 2-3 layers is going to give you a striking look. In most cases, this will be more than enough.
    • Some people apply up to 8-10 layers for super noticeable, eye-catching wounds.
  5. Step 5 Use a light powder foundation to soften the shine of the Collodion.
    Grab a powder foundation that’s slightly lighter than your natural skin tone. Load up a clean makeup brush or cotton pad with your foundation and dab it over the area where you applied the Rigid Collodion. This will take some of the shine out of the Collodion and make the wound appear more real.[17]
    • You can use translucent powder instead of foundation if you don’t want to mute your colors at all.
    • You can apply colored grease paint or makeup on top of the wound if you’d like. Most makeup artists don’t do this, though. Putting paint or makeup on top will make your colors brighter, but it will probably look less realistic. It may be a good option if you’re going for a campy over-the-top look.
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Method 4
Method 4 of 4:

Removing the Rigid Collodion

  1. Step 1 Spread spirit gum remover over the Collodion to wipe it off.
    Spirit gum is a skin-safe adhesive that makeup artists use to attach prosthetics.[18] Spirit gum remover, which is typically used to remove spirit gum, also happens to be the best option for taking off Rigid Collodion. Simply pour a dollop into a cotton ball or pad and wipe the area repeatedly using soft, repetitive strokes. Once the Collodion is flakey and soft, gently peel it off of your skin.[19]
    • You can buy spirit gum remover online or at a costume shop.
    • You can peel the Collodion off slowly with your fingers without spirit gum remover, but this will remove a thin layer of skin cells. It will get the Collodion off, but you may irritate or damage your skin. You’re better off not doing this unless you’re in a bind or want to take it off fast.[20]
  2. Step 2 Wear the Collodion away with isopropyl alcohol if you prefer.
    If you don’t have spirit gum remover, grab a bottle of isopropyl alcohol. Anything 99% or higher will do the trick. Pour some alcohol into a cotton pad and rub your skin repeatedly to break up the Collodion. Once it has broken apart, peel off the pieces with your fingers.[21]
    • Isopropyl alcohol can irritate your skin and dry it out, so use the spirit gum remover if you can.
  3. Step 3 Wash away any makeup or residue from the Collodion.
    Wash your skin with soap and water to remove any makeup or residue after you’re done taking the Collodion off. A lot of the makeup should peel off with the Collodion, but this washing your skin should get any stubborn color out. You can use a cleanser or makeup wipe if the soap and water won’t do the trick.[22]
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  • Rigid Collodion can actually scar your skin if you keep it on for too long or apply it to the same section of skin multiple days in a row. Always remove the Collodion after you’ve finished performing, filming, or trick-or-treating.[23]
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  • Do not put Rigid Collodion on any hairy parts of your body, since it may tear the hair out.[24]
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  • Keep Rigid Collodion away from your nose, mouth, and eyes. It’s a strong chemical agent, so only put it on parts of your skin that aren’t sensitive.[25]
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Things You’ll Need

  • Rigid Collodion
  • Applicator brush or paintbrush
  • Eyeliner (optional)
  • Grease paint (optional)
  • Paintbrush or cotton swab (optional)
  • Powder foundation
  • Makeup brush or cotton pad
  • Translucent powder (optional)
  • Spirit gum remover or isopropyl alcohol
  • Cotton ball or cotton pad
  • Soap

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