Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Process Of Face Casting

Hello lovelies,

how have you all been? I've been pretty fantastic and very busy with school and D. A lot has happened since the last time I've posted. I'm about half way through Cosmotology! I started taking clients doing manicures, pedicures and facials at school. I was quite nervous to begin with but I love it now. Plus getting paid to do something at school is pretty great. lol. I LOOOVVVEEE facials. We do anything from basic steam facials, to microdermabrasion, and facials that deal with electrical currents. Fun, I know! I have also been preparing for my State Skills USA competition in April.

I wanted to go fairly big with this next fantasy look. Something that will make the other competitors nervous. (I'm horrible, I know) So I figured prosthetics would be the way to go with this next competition. But first I needed to do a face cast of my model. I had never done a face cast before this and honestly I was very nervous to do this because I was afraid I would block her airways. But after 2 weeks of research I found a way I was comfortable doing. I hadn't originally thought of writing the process of it here but it hit me right as I was pouring the plaster into the cast. But I just had to share. :]

                        Supplies    Needed
-Saran Wrap
-Spirit Gum/Prosaid
- Petroleum Jelly
-Makeup Remover (optional)
-Trash Bags
-Bowl of warm water
- Hair Gel (optional)
-1lb Alignate
-7C water
-Plaster bandages

Step One

If this is your first time I suggest doing A LOT of research. The supplies can be pretty costly to create prosthetics  and it really would suck to have it mess up because we missed one crucial step and have to re up your supplies. I did a form of a client intake with my model, basically I made sure that she was not claustrophobic in any way. Explain to your model that the only part of their face that will be exposed is their nostrils for about 25-30 minutes. Also you will be using an adhesive to keep plastic over their hair so it is advised to do a patch test on your model especially if this person has never used Spirit Gum or Prosaid. Plus Having a friend or family member there to assist you make it SOOOO much easier. My best friend Dez helped me this time.

Step Two

Before you go pouring on your Alignate mixture you need to make sure he/she is wearing clothes that can get messy. Since we did this at school we did it in our black uniform scrubs and apron and we got MESSY!! Draping definitely helps avoid a big mess.  Bella, (BAY-AH) my model has long thick hair so Dez pulled her hair back into a tight ponytail and used gel to tame any fly aways. Next I applied Spirit Gum along the front of her hairline to her ears. Once it became tacky Dez and I carefully laid Saran Wrap on top of it and pressed until it was secured.  If your model is wearing any makeup, kindly ask them to remove all makeup. Since Alignate will stick to everything, you must use some kind of layer of protection over the eyelashes and to the brows or they will peel off with the mold. Vaseline, Petroleum Jelly or even Nivea's softening lotion will help keep lashes and brows intact.

One pound of Alignate will create one face mold with enough left over to probably cast a finger. lol. You will mix your Alignate with 7 cups of water. Now the tempetature of the water is crucial when mixing with Alignate.  Warm water will cause it to set within 3-5 minutes. Me and john did a trial run using warm water and it set way before we were even done using it. Cold water is ideal when casting the face because it will dry withing 10-12 minutes giving you time to work out any air bubbles and into smaller places like the nose.

Step Three

The Alignate I received changed 3 different colors when I was mixing. Lavender to begin with, then hot pink and finally white when I was ready. Since we had to stir such a large mixture we mixed it until it was a very very light pink before we started to apply it to her face. We started applying to the eyes, using our thumbs to push the alignate into the inner corners of her eyes where air bubbles can easily form. Next we moved to the cheeks and that is where we encountered a problem. Girls started crowding and were making her laugh. You want your model's face to be perfectly relaxed. Constant smiling or laughing will not create a sufficient mold. If anyone is around that will distract or mess around with your model  politely tell them to walk the hell away. :P  I told Dez to avoid her nose because I wanted to go in carefully and mold the nose just to make sure she could still breathe. When working around the nose use SMALL SMALL amounts of the mix and carefully go over the nose. By now I'm sure your wondering why I'm not mentioning the use of a straw, well that's because I didn't use one. I have read/watched numerous people who say not to use a straw and I can now see why. Straws distort the shape of the mouth.

Once the Alignate began to harden, we cut our  strips of plaster bandages and got a bowl with warm water. Carefully dip your strips into the water, avoiding any folding. If it does fold gently pull it apart. Layer the strips over the Alignate and rub evenly. Once again avoid layering on the nose, you will obstruct the model's air flow.  The plaster takes the longest to dry so we used 2 blow dryers on low to help cure it. Remember to talk to your model. Let them know what your doing, how long it should take for this and that to dry and always ask if they can still breathe. lol.

Once the plaster bandages have dried, dim the lights. Your model has been sitting in complete darkness for 25-30 minutes when your remove the cast bright lights can be too harsh on their eyes.  Since we couldn't dim the lights in the class room because It was client day, I carefully walked her into the classroom and dimmed the lights. Have him/her lean forward with yours or their hands on the cast, letting gravity work its sweet magic. Having him/her make funny faces helps release their face.

Step Four

Now you may have noticed the nostrils are still open. With that little bit of extra Alignate you didn't use, Mix up a small batch and fill in the nostrils through the plaster bandages and smooth it in and remove excess from the inside. Once that has hardened layer one or two bandages on it and allow it to dry. Always lay your negative mold in a bucket with sand or gravel, or anything that will allow it to lay even. Sitting the cast straight down will cause it to roll because of the nose. Personally I used a small Pyrex bread pan. It worked perfectly.

Next I mixed my plaster 1:1 and carefully poured it into my negative mold. The plaster will create a positive mold of the face. Once all the plaster is poured into the mold lightly vibrate the mold, I don't want to say shake because you're barely moving it. Any who this vibrating movement is to bring air bubbles to the surface and pop.  Now your play the waiting game for anywhere from 24 hours to 4 days. I had to wait about 3 days for it to dry.

Step Five

Removing your mold it fairly easy. Using a box cutter, carefully cut the plaster bandages until your feel it release from the Alignate. After removing the plaster, you can easily slip the Alignate off revealing your perfect positive mold. From here your will sculpt your look and so on and so forth.

I am thinking about Following up with another post that will show the sculpting and other processes.  I hope this helped someone.


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