I've been throwing Halloween parties for several years now, because I love Halloween. Each year it's a challenge figuring out what my costume should be, as it is for many people. For most of my parties, I've had a theme. Themes have ranged from "Tim Burton Movies" to "Space", from "Animated Disney Characters" to "2012: End of the World". With having recently moved, gotten married and having been quite busy overall, my wife and I decided to make this year's theme "Halloween". With that theme, we're able to use various generic Halloween decorations from previous years, and actually throw a "Standard Halloween Party" which was great fun and easier to decorate for.
With the generic Halloween theme, I was presented with a challenge I haven't had for several years, I can be anything I want to be and I'm not limited to certain criteria. I initially wanted to do a classic Halloween character, like Frankenstein or Dracula... but I ended up doing something that might not fit into any theme. I decided to go as Mrs. Doubtfire this year.
Mrs. Doubtfire suited me for several reasons. Not only would this choice be timely, as Robin Williams passed away this year, but I love old age makeup and the costume element wouldn't be too complicated. As I said before, I wanted to throw a party that wasn't as complicated as previous years with decor, and that applied to my costume as well. In the past I've created my entire costume, this year Goodwill provided my costume. All that was left was for me to generate Mrs. Doubtfire's face...
I wasn't about to buy a mask, because that's just not my style. I like to make masks especially since I know how. So I set about making my Mrs. Doubtfire facial appliance. Here's how it went...
I've had a bust of my head and neck for several years, so I went about sculpting my old age face onto the bust. Once I got the sculpt looking enough like Mrs. Doubtfire, I proceeded to cast the sculpt in plaster. Once that dried, I pulled the plaster mold off my face (with some breakage to the mold I had to fix) and cleaned all the clay off.
I had recently purchased Pro Gel to create my mask with (it's apparently like Platsil Gel 10). Pro Gel is a 2-part silicone that once mixed I would pour into my mold, having to then wait only a few minutes for it to dry. It dries translucent, so ideally it would be tinted skin color and poured. I didn't have the tint but hope to buy some to use the next time I do this. After the Pro Gel dried, I pulled it out of my mold and laid it onto my bust (all of these photos can be found below FYI). I trimmed up some of the silicone and applied a base coat of paint. I have typically used liquid latex for my mask making, but after using Pro Gel I'm not sure if would go back to latex as Pro Gel worked so well!
Once the day of the party arrived, and I was ready to get decked out as Mrs. Doubtfire, I set aside just over an hour and a half of time to apply my face. I had cut the face appliance into more manageable pieces, as a single piece would weigh heavy on my face. If I wasn't to glue a 1-piece appliance well enough it would slowly pull the whole mask off as the night went on. So cutting the piece into 4 separate pieces was ideal and easier to apply.
I applied my nose first, then my cheeks, chin and forehead. In general my face perspires very well... so I was nervous this new method of mask making for me would not work well. Thankfully I also purchased Telesis Adhesive 5, which is a silicone based adhesive that works specifically well with the silicone appliance and sticks to my face amazingly. I applied the Telesis to the individual appliance pieces as well as my face, then adhered the two. It was a beautiful thing seeing the face take shape. I've never done a face like this before and I felt it came together really well. Once the entire face was applied, I applied my paint (which I need to get more silicone appropriate paint next time). I then got dressed, slipped my wig on, layered my Goodwill jewelry, put my glasses on and voilà, I was Mrs. Doubtfire!
The guests slowly arrived and it was fun to see them react to my Mrs. Doubtfire "Helloooo." A couple of them had no idea it was me until they either heard my voice or someone said, "It's Keith!" It was also fun to see what everyone else dressed up as when they didn't have a theme to follow. There were so many great costumes. All in all, Mrs. Doubtfire came together in a few days time and I was quite pleased with the results. Excited to try my hand at other designs using these new products.
-The Media Buff
p.s. Check out some of my past Halloween costumes here.