Saturday, April 17, 2010


One of my Makeup Artist friends was hired to do a Music Video where she had to paint black eyes on the members of the group. Because of the sweat factor the makeup was a nightmare to keep in place and needed constant retouching, so I thought I’d mention alcohol activated makeup.
Alcohol activated makeup (AA Makeup) uses a special polymer base which readily dissolves in alcohol, but not in water. It is an extremely valuable tool in effects cosmetics. If needed, makeup can remain in tact for days. It is completely waterproof making it ideal for aquatic makeup or scenes shot in the rain.
It is highly opaque to the level that it is beginning to see regular use as a concealer; replacing thicker heavier oil-based makeups. It applies very thin and is flexible, allowing the makeup to resist cracking. It blends simply by re dissolving already applied makeup with additional alcohol.
A few grams of makeup base can last for years of professional makeup applications.
AA makeup is most commonly supplied as a dry cake in a pallet or makeup pan. 99% alcohol must be purchased to activate the product.
Lower concentrations of alcohol, such as 93% are ineffective at dissolving the makeup. Additionally, there exists a product called Iso-gel manufactured by Telesis which is a gelled alcohol suitable for use in applying AA makeup. Its higher viscosity helps to prevent it from dripping, and has a significantly reduced odor.
AA makeup may be applied by brush dipped in alcohol, or the product may be entirely dissolved into alcohol and loaded into an airbrush. Urethane foam wedge sponges are not as recommended as a large amount of makeup can go to waste in the center of the sponge.
AA Makeup can be removed with additional alcohol, soap and water, or any of a wide array of makeup removers. Overuse of alcohol as a makeup remover is not particularly recommended, as it can cause excessive drying of the skin.
So next time you need a product that will withstand sweat and/or water make sure to purchase some AA makeup.