This technique has come from working with Marvin Westmore, who first introduced me to it. Marvin shared with me many techniques from his career and I am truly grateful for the information. I have found this very helpful in my career, especially on location. The products are usually available everywhere, and most items will be in your kit. I find making enough of the material and storing in wide-mouth plastic jars is helpful for continuity.

With these common products—in the right combination—you will have some great “transparent” coloring for sunburn, bruising and capillary effects. Ideal for direct use on the skin and all types of prosthetics, such as foam latex and silicone.

You will need the following: K-Y Jelly or similar type of cellulose lubricant; flocking in blood red, blue and bruise colors; yarn fiber in capillary colors; Illustrator palette or any of your favorite AA palettes, Premiere Products Inc. Skin Illustrator Glazing Gels, brushes and dry cake blushers.

  1. Scrape a bit of dry cheek color into a mixing cup or onto a wax paper palette. Add K-Y Jelly to it and mix thoroughly. This will provide the tint you desire. You may use this without flocking for your effect.
  2. Flocking may be added at this stage to intensify overall color.
  3. For bruises, I will have several colors made in this fashion to stipple on, in a bruise pattern. You may do a little coloring with your AA palette or bruise wheel first—or use your AA palette over the “jelly” tint. You might like to add some of the Skin Illustrator Glazing Gels to the mix as well.

Mixing K-Y Jelly with dry cheek colorStippling the bruise patternFine-tuning the lookFor a sunburn effect, I use a little dry bronzer. Make sure it’s not a shimmer type, as that looks more like a beauty make-up. La Femme makes some good sunburn-effect dry cheek colors and are inexpensive.

You may or may not want a tinted jelly for broken capillaries. But it can be helpful if you are creating a skin condition such as rosacea of even lividity.

To create broken capillaries:

  1. Cut acrylic yarn fibers into small lengths.
  2. Use any pigmentation mentioned earlier to color the K-Y Jelly or use in its transparent form.
  3. Mix in your fibers and apply.

You will need to manipulate the fibers with a brush or a cotton bud to help them form into a natural pattern. Now you’re all set to build these realistic effects, for a low cost, when you’re stuck on location.

Ready to mix in yarn fibers for broken capillariesApplying the "capillaries"Final touches for broken capillary look