Frends Beauty Blog

Should You Use Alcohol Activated Makeup?

Should You Use Alcohol Activated Makeup?

If you're interested in special effects makeup or you need a type of makeup that absolutely will not budge, you should take a look at alcohol activated makeup! This type of makeup can be a useful tool in the arsenals of both makeup hobbyists and professionals.


What is alcohol activated makeup?

Alcohol activated makeup only dissolves in alcohol and not water, unlike most other types of makeup. You will typically purchase it as a dry cake in a makeup pallet or pan, and you must use 99% alcohol to activate it. Lower concentrations of alcohol won't work, so make sure you only use 99%. This makeup is waterproof and can last on the skin for days. As such, removing it can be difficult.

There are many brands that offer alcohol activated palettes to choose from. Skin Illustrator is one of our favorites!

How is it applied?

The two best options for application are to use a brush coated in alcohol, or to dissolve the makeup into alcohol and load it into an airbrush. Your own level of skill should decide which option you choose. Because it can be difficult to remove, you don't have much room to make mistakes, so choose carefully! 

Alcohol activated makeup that is properly applied will coat the skin in a thin, flexible layer. If you choose to use the brush method to apply the makeup, you should consider buying brushes specifically for this makeup, as the high concentration of alcohol will be rough on brushes. T

The best method of removal is to use more alcohol to dissolve the makeup on the skin so that you can scrub it off. Fully removing the makeup may take some time and the skin may be stained for a few days, but no gain without pain, right? 

Is it right for me?

As appealing as it may sound, alcohol activated makeup should only be handled by people who know what they're doing. If you're interested in using it, you should educate yourself by watching YouTube tutorials, speaking to makeup professionals, and even taking a few special effects makeup classes. 

Alcohol activated makeup is a good choice for special effects makeup artists and people participating in cosplay. While anyone can enjoy its use with enough practice, you should determine whether you truly need to use it. The high concentration of alcohol needed for the makeup can irritate your skin, so this makeup is not appropriate for daily use. If you need to create special effects, like wounds and tattoos, through the use of makeup or you need a makeup that won't budge in water, then alcohol activated makeup might be what you need. Alcohol activated makeup is also used by many people to cover up tattoos. Most of your other makeup needs can be handled with regular makeup.

If you do determine that you'd like to use it, pick a palette with a variety of colors and shades that will fit all of your special effects needs, and make sure you practice and learn how to use it before your next shoot or event. With just a little time and practice, this can be one of the most useful types of makeup in your kit! 

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