How to Use Rigid Collodion

Rigid collodion is also known as “scarring liquid,” it is a chemical cosmetic used to make fake injuries and scars. The use of rigid collodion is common in the department of theater, haunted houses or film sets to give fake wounds a realistic look. It is said that rigid collodion is a serious matter when it comes to the makeup of special effects. If you do not use the rigid collodion in the right way or misusing this chemical can damage your skin. If you leave it on for a long time, apply it on sensitive skin or peel it off improperly, you will likely damage your skin permanently. So do not put it on your skin until you need a hyper realistic appearance of a scar or wound.

Following are some safe methods for the usage of rigid collodion.

1. Work in a well-ventilated area:


Work in a well-ventilated area -

To avoid any kind of noxious fumes, you need to work in a well-ventilated place. Either open the windows and turn on your fans or go outside to use this chemical. Rigid Collodion has a strong, robust smell. It’s smell seems fairly unpleasant to many people. If you inhale it in a large quantity, this can cause a serious irritation in your lungs. Never use it in a bathroom with closed doors and windows. Rigid Collodion is a strong chemical. If you want to apply it for some kind of performance or for a film shoot, apply it just before your performance and try to take it off as soon as your act is done. You should not leave the Rigid Collodion on your skin overnight. Keep in mind that rigid collodion should not apply over the same area more than one day specially without any professional supervision.


2. Check for allergic reactions:

Check for allergic reactions -

You can check if your skin is sensitive to rigid collodion by doing a patch test. As some people’s skin are sensitive or allergic to strong Rigid Collodion, you can check your skin sensitivity by applying a small drop of this chemical on your skin. Test it on an inconspicuous portion of your skin just before you start working on the fake wound. You need to remove the cap of the bottle and take some of the product on your thumb or your forearm, dab a little bit and wait for a few minutes to check if it is causing you pain. If it doesn’t cause any pain then proceed its usage for your makeup look.

  • Your skin will become dry and tight immediately just after the application of this chemical. It is quite normal, as when Rigid Collodion is exposed over your skin, it literally contracts the skin making it feel uncomfortable. It feels a little strange but it should not hurt the skin.
  • Remove the Collodion immediately, if it is causing burn, itches or if it stings. You can use an isopropyl alcohol or spirit gum remover and then rinse the area with normal water thoroughly. Ask for medical help if you feel difficulty in breathing or if the pain doesn’t reduce even after the removal of Collodion.

3. Choose an area where the skin isn’t sensitive:

Choose an area where the skin isn’t sensitive -

You need to choose an area where your skin is not sensitive or taut to create a fake wound. Your forehead, cheeks, arms and hands are fairly not sensitive. Try to keep the chemical away from your lips, nose, brows or neck. 

  • If you feel curious about your skin or whether your desired location will work, place your finger over that area of your skin and move your face or flex the muscle. If you feel that your skin is stretching, then it will work for you. 
  • It is extremely dangerous to apply Rigid Collodion to your eyelids, nose or mouth. 
  • Rigid Collodion will strip off your skin. So try to avoid its application over the skin with hair like eyebrows and hairy portions of your legs or arms. You may apply it near or around the hairy region. 

4. Designing the Wound:

You can use following tips to create an artificial wound or scar over your skin. 

Draw the scar out with eyeliner -

  • Draw the scar out with eyeliner: Take a pencil eyeliner for creating cuts, incisions or scrapes. If you want a soft texture with a fresh looking cut, use a felt-tip or liquid eyeliner. Stand in front of your mirror and draw the wound with eyeliner directly on your skin. If you want a deep scar, use mauve or brown. Red color is perfect if you want to make the wound look bleeding.

Use grease paint to add colors -

  • Use grease paint to add colors: If you want to create a look of dripping blood or burns, then use a cotton swab or a thin paint brush. Dip it into a paint and drag slowly against your skin. If you want to create a brighter look or a dynamic wound, try a blend of multiple colors. Grease paint can be replaced with good quality eyeshadows. Eye shadow helps in creating a softer look of wound or scar. 

Use Collodion alone for wrinkles -

  • Use Collodion alone for wrinkles: If you want to create a wrinkled skin or an older looking skin, you can opt for Collodion alone. Rigid Collodion will make your skin darker. It gives your skin a rough and dried texture. If you are interested in creating wrinkles, do not apply any paint or color before putting Rigid Collodion over your skin. 

5. Applying the Collodion over the wound:

Applying the Collodion over the wound -

Unscrew the bottle of Rigid Collodion, take a brush and dip it into the Collodion. Apply its layer over the scar or wound that you created by using paint. Apply 2-3 layers of Collodion on a single wound. As soon as it starts drying, you will feel a tighter or stretched skin. You can not remove a portion of Rigid Collodion without ruining your entire work, so you need to apply it slowly and accordingly. 

6. Use a light powder foundation:

Use a light powder foundation -

You can use a powder foundation to soften the shine of Collodion. Try to pick the shade that is lighter than your skin tone. Load up a makeup brush with powder foundation and dab it over your artificially created wound. If you don’t want to suppress your applied colors, then you may use translucent powder instead of powder foundation.

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