Old age makeup is the act of creating a more elderly version of a model/client/actor with the help of makeup. This is known as a more realistic type of character development makeup. Since the effect being created is a reality, some believe that old age makeup is harder to achieve than say, monster makeup. Since monster's aren't real we are left to our own imaginations where anything goes; however old age makeup isn't like that, so the standards and exceptions are much higher. Excellent old age makeup is achieved when you cannot detect whether it is makeup or an elder person.
To obtain realistic old age makeup, three dimensional makeup is recommended. Although it can be done without the use of three dimensional makeup, the features of elder skin is hard to portray two dimensionally, especially since the biggest struggle is to make it look as real as possible. Three dimensional aspects such as wrinkles, crows feet, nooks and crannies, and lines of the face are to be created using a product that adds to the model/client/actor's natural face such as liquid latex or wrinkle stipple.
In addition to the 3d aspects of old age simulation, shadowing and conturing is also a very useful technique. Conturing is all about manipulating the face, which is exactly what we are going for with old age makeup. With elders; deep, sunken in cheekbones, along with defined forehead wrinkles and undereye bags are not uncommon. These all can be easily done with a sweep of grey-toned brown powder in desired areas. To achieve realistic looks, shadowing and three dimensional aspects are recommended.
Since we are recreating a natural aspect of life, references are a must. Looking and noticing the lines on the face, where they are, the size and shape of them, and how they look can help you a lot. You never want to add wrinkles or lines to a part where they wouldn't typically be, using a reference can help avoid that mistake keeping it as realistic looking as possible. You'll always want to have a reference photo with you for old age makeup. To increase the realism in the simulation, you can also look at the elder generations of the person who you are doing makeup on. This will help give an idea of how the model /client/actor will age in the future, hence giving a truly realistic look.
Old age makeup isn't just about adding wrinkles and lines, its about the illusion that the face has changed and aged over time. Think about the process that the skin goes through over the years; skin loosens, skin tone changes, lines and bags are formed, teeth might fall out or change colors, and skin dries out. Old age makeup is responsible for simulating all aspects that time does to the face.
Since we are attempting to achieve a realistic look, it is crucial that we work with the face of the model/client/actor. A common tip is to ask them to scrunch up their face to take note and accentuate the natural contours of their face. Doing so will allow you to get the most realistic look possible It is always important to take notice and work with your client's face
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