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Unread 05-06-2010, 02:45 AM   #1
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Lightbulb What techniques can you use to make yourself look dirty?

I had a topic about dirtying up a costume, now what about me, myself?

What kinds of make-up techniques can i use to make it look like I've been working with oil and grease and possibly been in the dirt a little bit.

A friend suggested tiny amounts of hunting camouflage paint just smeared on for grease.

I mean I don't want to look like a zombie, only like I've been "getting my hands dirty" doing tons of hard work. And I don't exactly feel like holding off on bathing for a costume.
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Unread 05-07-2010, 01:10 AM   #2
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Maybe shoe polish for grease. Your skin would be suffocating all day, though.
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Unread 05-07-2010, 09:51 AM   #3
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I might suggest gel eyeliner. It wouldn't feel as gross but it's very pigmented. Maybelline and L'Oreal both have versions.
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Unread 05-07-2010, 10:41 AM   #4
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For oil and grease, black greasepaint would work. For dirt, I recommend you get some flat brown eyeshadow (make sure it isn't glittery) and use that. I worked at a haunted house last year and we used that and it worked beautifully.
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Unread 05-07-2010, 11:46 PM   #5
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And there is such stuff as theatrical dirt and grease.
But sure a nice matte brown eyeshadow - look for one like Mehron that has a creamy feeal but is dry powder.
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Unread 05-08-2010, 12:00 AM   #6
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Like Sweet Loretta said, you can use character powders by Ben Nye: here. They're all extremely effective and look like what they claim to recreate. Though if you intended to use it on a costume they do wash out of clothing, even when heat set, so its not really a permanent fix. Though I don't see it being too much trouble to re-dirt yourself if need be.

For grease, its a rough thing to recreate, grease paint will be too opaque, since oils and lubricants for machinery are often slightly transparent. Vegetable oil works well for clothing and doesn't ever really come out.
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Unread 07-18-2010, 06:28 PM   #7
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I remember burning a cork with a lighter and smearing that on faces in gradeschool for plays. It used to be used for blackface back in the day.
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Unread 07-18-2010, 07:54 PM   #8
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Ever consider actually getting dirty? Few things look as filthy as actual, well, filth. Go change the oil in your car, maybe lubricate the chain on your bike, rummage through the garage or attic, and run around a baseball diamond all while in your costume. You'll genuinely look like you've been hard at work and dirty!
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Unread 07-19-2010, 04:03 PM   #9
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I agree with the matte brown shadow (non shimmery) and grease makeup.

Also, if you can, Ben Nye sells "fake dirt" that you can use and is safe to apply on the skin and hair (though I'm not sure if it will stain your clothes).

It comes in different colors; Charcoal Powder (black), Plains Dust (brown), and Ash Powder (light dirty taupe brown).

Here are some links, but these are not the only site you can purchase from; make sure to google to find the best price/fastes & cheapest shipping to where you live.


Hope that helps
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Unread 07-20-2010, 05:39 PM   #10
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I love adding a little charcoal dust (going along with the cork thing Jia said). Can buy that stuff in chunks.
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Unread 07-20-2010, 07:40 PM   #11
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I agree with Altrus: get really dirty. Get some earth (yes, the same you use on your garden) and play with it for a while.
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Unread 10-18-2013, 08:09 AM   #12
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Honestly I just use a combination of brown and black eyeshadows, putting blobs of them on my face and stuff, then smudging them with my fingers it works...

If you want to look really greasy, put a lot of foundation on your desired area (make sure it matches your skin) then it should melt at somepoint if you don't add power giving you a natural greasy look
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Unread 10-18-2013, 02:32 PM   #13
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For grease, depending on where you're going to have it on you, you might try mixing some dark eye shadow into a little bit of Vaseline or similar carrier ointment. Grease, depending on it's age, can either be about the consistency of Vaseline or if it's old grease it will be a bit more clay like which you could probably achieve with adding a bit of cornstarch to the Vaseline. Also, not all grease is black. Some kinds of mechanical and automotive grease are dark brown, reddish brown, and even varying dark shades of green. I grew up in a machine shop and there was a lot of that crap there.
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Unread 10-20-2013, 07:16 PM   #14
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Something a friend of mine showed me was to use liquid foundation much darker than your natural tone for a dirty look. But I think the suggestions of using eyeshadow are just as good, particularly if you're looking for a more oily/greasy look.
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Unread 10-20-2013, 07:18 PM   #15
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Something we used in theater for making our faces look dirty was actually baking cocoa, and it works well.
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