Prosthetics Makeup

Prosthetics Makeup

When you think of prosthetics, are you thinking of Avatar or Nanny Mcphee? Walking dead or gentle aging?

Special effects make up covers all these elements. It’s such a vast area of works, and with so many materials, the possibilities are endless.

That is why there is a difference between a hair and makeup artist and a special effects artist. You need to understand that the two are very different.

At CBMA Makeup school we focus on the work that a prosthetics make up artist will be doing, in connection with special effects – eye bags, false noses, cuts and scars, and pro bond pieces.

If, after the prosthetics makeup course, you have a real talent or passion for continuing into prosthetics, we then try and find you a placement on a film that has a prosthetics department.

Module Skills

  • An understanding of different material: gelatin, foam, latex, silicone.
  • Learn to sculpt and texture and blend.
  • Filling moulds.
  • How to sculpt and create prosthetic facial features.
  • Applying wounds and the importance of colouring.
  • What adhesives are used and when they are used.
  • Removing gelatine pieces correctly.
  • Dressing wounds with blood.
  • The importance of research.
  • Explaining texture in prosthetics.
  • Ageing.


The best part of those two weeks was being able to get messy and learn a different kind of make up skill. Since those two weeks I’ve wanted nothing more than to pursue a career in prosthetics and special effects!

Read more makeup course reviews

Module Syllabus: Prosthetics Makeup

Week 1

Day 1

  • Discover different prosthetics materials (i.e. gelatine, foam, latex, silicone) and tools.
  • Learn wound sculpting, texturing, blending and moulding, using plastilene and silicone (flood mould).
  • Sculpt, texture and mould your own wounds in plastilene and silicone.

Day 2

  • Students will learn how to heat gelatine properly in the microwave.
  • How to fill their own silicone moulds using the scrape method.
  • Demonstration how to apply gelatine prosthetic and how to colour it and blend it into the actor’s skin.
  • Students will applying and colour their own prosthetic wounds.
  • Students all get life casts

Day 3

  • Refine second sculpts from what they learnt.
  • Show the students how to apply colour and a dress a wound with blood and how to remove gelatine prosthetic safely.
  • Student’s life-cast each other’s faces, with supervision, stressing the importance of safety.
  • Explain how to talk and deal with people who are nervous, the importance of touch and reassurance
  • Learn how to mix plaster properly and fill their own head casts.

Day 4

  • Demonstration how to open their life cats properly and how to clean up their plaster heads.
  • Students to apply colour to their wound prosthetics and how to dress with blood realistically?
  • Explanation of the importance of using proper reference material when creating and making – up prosthetics, realism.
  • Students start sculpting new wounds, improving the edges.
  • Students start sculpting noses or subtle prosthetics on their own life casts.

Day 5

  • Students to stick on wounds and colour them.
  • Students sculpt noses, blocking out, the sculpt first on their plaster life- casts, “blending edges” of prosthetics properly.
  • Explanation – the importance of texture in prosthetics. The cutting edge, how to edge up correctly.
  • Creating keys/ touch down on their plaster life casts.

Note: the above syllabus is illustrative of a typical module. It may be subject to change at any time.

Week 2

Day 6

  • Finish off edging up the noses.
  • “Walling up” moulds and pouring their plasters.
  • Make a two piece plaster mould of their nose sculpts
  • Applying your second sculpted wound to each other.
  • Demonstration – getting rid of edges, colouration, blending into the skin and colouring the actual wound and dressing with blood.
  • Different ways of painting/ making up prosthetics.
  • Clips on DVD of various films – how to achieve the effects with photographs of all the stages

Day 7

  • Sculpting eye bags on the flat.
  • Opening plaster nose moulds – cleaning out.
  • Filling the plaster nose moulds with gelatine correctly.
  • Applying the prosthetic noses
  • Intrinsic colouring of gelatine

Day 8

  • Demonstration – gelatine eye bag application and safety round the actors eyes
  • Fill eye bag moulds with gelatine (scrape method).
  • Apply eye bags to each other.
  • Colouring, ageing and removing them properly.
  • Demonstration – how to make bald caps with cap plastic.
  • Making bald caps.

Day 9

  • Old age stipple demonstration, upper eye lid and lower eye lid, neck and forehead
  • Age your hands with colour first, then old age stipple over the top in layers.
  • Make bald caps

Day 10

  • Decide what you would like to do regarding prosthetics for the day.
  • The opportunity to cover things again or create new prosthetics for the day.
  • Sculpt new improved eye bags or cheeks and mould again.
  • Apply new prosthetics to each other and colour them.

Note: the above syllabus is illustrative of a typical module. It may be subject to change at any time.

Prosthetics Makeup Course Photos

Here’s just a small selection of photos of students and work from our prosthetics makeup course module.

If you’d like to see more, take a look at our full prosthetics makeup photo page.

Please complete below form if you would like more information about our 4 month Hair & Makeup course