Reusable fake beard?

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#1 Xiaomo on 2 years ago

I've been attempting to make a fake beard for my Miguel (El Dorado) cosplay, but I'm having some trouble with the latex.
The steps I've used are:
-Create small bundles of hair, stuck together with a tiny amount of PVA glue
-Attach the bundles to my face with liquid latex, working from the bottom upwards

This seems to work great for the lower layers, but by the time I reach the top, I end up with the latex showing on top of the final layer of hair and it makes it look really messy.
I've tried using less latex but then the hairs don't stick.
Does anyone have any ideas as to how I can make it look less messy, or even a different method to make the beard?

#2 CapsuleCorp on 2 years ago

Either use a pre-wefted facial hair appliance (a real fake beard or mustache, where the hairs are wefted onto a netting backing) or try hand-laying the hair every time. Most makeup artists do one or the other but don't do anything in-between. If you need something consistently re-usable, buy a facial hair appliance and trim it to the size and shape you need. It's a bigger cost up-front but it is genuinely reusable.

Hand-laying hair, though, is a makeup technique most artists use for realism. It is NOT re-usable. You will throw the hair away when the day is done. A few inches of crepe braid is, however, cheaper than an appliance, and most goatees don't really use very much of it at a time. Google tutorials for hand-laying hair since there are tons of them.

I have made my own facial hair appliances by using latex to apply the hair in layers to a scrap of tulle, but I'm not sure I'd do it for a small beard. Works great for sideburns, which need to be dense, and would probably be okay for a longer beard where the layers of hair hide the latex, but a short goatee...? I guess it wouldn't cost much to experiment with it. Pretty sure I found the method here in the Makeup subforum, if the search function is working.

#3 Xiaomo on 2 years ago

Thanks! I'm actually interested in the hand-laying technique! I'm not bothered about losing the hair, I only wanted it to be reusable to ease application in the morning. But after some googling, I think that technique could be -relatively- quick with a lot of practice (I hope so anyway!) so I'll give it a go.

#4 CapsuleCorp on 2 years ago

It really is. When I first learned, I usually budgeted myself an hour to do all my makeup, including the hair, and now I can pretty much lay on a goatee for Sanji or Law in like...ten minutes.

I prefer it to reusable appliances just because...honestly? I've never had to re-apply the hair throughout the day. With appliances/prosthetics, they tend to peel off from the motion of the mouth (talking, eating, etc) and have to be re-attached constantly throughout the day. Hand-laid hair just stays there, it's so great.

#5 Indiana Jolly on 2 years ago

In the past when fashioning a beard or mustache I'd use crepe hair and apply it to my face in layers using spirit gum. That of course was the method for a one time application. If you want to use it again and again, I would suggest use a thin grade mole skin that has an adhesive backing. Apply the hair to the sticky back of the mole skin and then use spirit gum on the soft side to stick to your skin. After it's been worn it can be removed and you would just have to remove any excess/caked-on spirit gum from the mole skin before it's next use. Just an idea.

#6 Sweet Loretta on 2 years ago

Stan Winston School for Character Arts has the most professional method for laying hair. This methos is not reusable. If you want a reusable beard I suggest Burman Industries brand.