When it comes to special effects makeup (or SFX makeup), products can fall under tiers ranging from Easy to Difficult. While Rigid Collodion isn’t difficult to use, I would place it in the Difficult category purely because you must know the hazards of using this product.
Rigid Collodion can give you lasting and impressive scarred looks, but we want to make sure those looks don’t become permanent. So for this SFX Basics, I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about Rigid Collodion so that you can incorporate SFX looks into your cosplays!
What Is Rigid Collodion?
Realistic looking scars can be incorporated into cosplay with the use of Rigid Collodion, also known as scarring liquid. The medical field typically uses this clear, flexible solution to cover actual scars. Theatrical or SFX Rigid Collodion is a non-flexible version that pukers the skin when applied, which gives the illusion of a light or dense scar.
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How Rigid Collodion Works
Rigid Collodion tightens the skin when applied. As the solution drys, it shrinks, pulling the skin inward– thus creating a scarring effect. You will start to feel Rigid Collodion working on your skin almost instantaneously.
Using Rigid Collodion For SFX Makeup and Cosplay
This SFX product can be used to intensify cosplays that call for scars in their typical look such as the Joker, Harry Potter, or Katarina from League of Legends. Rigid Collodion is also great for simulating wrinkles or severed fingers.
Before applying, map out where you want your scar to go. Use a mauve lip liner for a fresh cut look, and use a nude or natural color lip liner to simulate an older scar.
The more layers you apply, the more dramatic and deep your scar is going to look. When administrating Rigid Collodion, wait for the first layer to completely dry before applying the next. Rigid Collodion works best in less mobile areas such as the cheek, forehead, or nose. While you can opt to use this SFX product in areas such as the sides of the mouth (i.e. for a Joker cosplay), it won’t last as long and will start to peel as the day goes on. When you’re satisfied with your scar, I also advise coating the scar with a finishing powder to eliminate the shine.
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Before using this product, make sure to test it on a small part of your skin. If it starts to hurt or irritate your skin, stop using it, remove it, and lay down Barrier Spray for protection. Never put this on or near your lips or eyes, and always make sure to work in a ventilated area because it has a very strong odor.
Rigid Collodion can create actual scars if it’s not properly removed. This will generally only happen if you peel off heavily applied collodion or if you use the product in the same area multiple days in a row. Just like a real scar, if you pick at it you have a higher chance of damaging your actual skin. So be sure to remove this stuff the right way.
Which leads us to:
How To Properly Remove Rigid Collodion
Removing Rigid Collodion is just as easy as applying it. However, you will need a couple of extra tools, which should cost you less than $10.
You will need:
- Spirit Gum Remover
- Cotton Balls
Spirit Gum is an adhesive used to connect prosthetics to your face or other parts of your body. To remove those prosthetics, you simply use Spirit Gum Remover to safely lift the prosthetic from your face. This product is made for SFX products, which is why it’s the simple solution for removing Rigid Collodion as well. Simply pour Spirit Gum Remover on a cotton ball and wipe away your scar creation until it peels off. This ensures safe removal of your SFX look and you won’t be left with any real scars.
You can see how I use Rigid Collodion (and how I remove it) in my upcoming Harry Potter scar video tutorial coming this week for a visual look at how to use this product!
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Harry Potter Scar SFX Tutorial