I have a bit of a love hate relationship with scar wax, on the one hand you can create some pretty cool looking things with it. If you’re not making a prosthetic then scar wax offers you that chances to really sculpt in detail that you just don’t get with things like liquid latex, but, as I found out the first time I used it, it’s not always the best choice.
What is scar wax?
Scar wax is basically a special fx wax that can be attached to the skin, blended, moulded into shape (scars, cuts, bullet, wounds, noses…) and painted.
Sometimes it’s called nose and scar putty, but in general scar wax and nose putty are a bit different, nose putty tends to set more (although not completely) than scar wax does, so you wouldn’t want to be using scar wax to make noses, or nose putty to make scars.
- Relatively cheap
- Quick to use (compared to making a mould of the same thing and running it)
- Can create realistic looking scars/wounds etc
- Long working time (it never becomes not pliable)
- Minimum amount of equipment required to use (compared to making the same piece as a prosthetic)
- Can create a good blend
- Can be made at home with basic ingredients
- Less chances of allergic reaction than other mediums (like liquid latex)
- Eternal working time – it never “sets” (I know this is also a pro, but the fact it doesn’t set becomes a pain during wearing)
- Easily comes off areas that move
- Hard to use – it’s sticky, it’s hard to blend
- Reacts to heat – so if your model is going to be dancing all night for halloween chances are it’s going to react with the heat and sweat and fall off or lose shape
- Reacts to cold – can become brittle if it’s cold, the edges can start to lift, or it can start to crack.
- Hard to blend with the skin
- Hard to apply makeup without some kind of cover (Fixative A, Liquid Latex…)
- Can’t be reused
War! Wax! What is it Good For?
Photos. That’s what it’s good for. I did this exorcist look with scar wax, and it came out really cool, for restructuring parts of the face, creating the gashes, scar wax gives that seamless look that you just couldn’t get with other mediums without making prosthetics. The photos came out amazing and that’s really where scar wax shines, but even just wearing it for an hour while doing photos a lot of the wax had started to come up at the edges.
For photos you have much more control over the environment and can keep the heat nice and low so you’re scar wax doesn’t start to melt and the model doesn’t start to sweat, and not so cold that the scar wax becomes brittle and starts to lift up at the edges or crack, you have more control over how much the model is moving the area the scar wax is applied to, and the ability to stick things back down nice and quick when they start to lift up.
For anything where your models going to be moving round a lot, like halloween parties, fancy dress, TV or films, I wouldn’t risk using scar wax because from my experience it just doesn’t have the staying power. The only thing I’d use scar wax for is for looks that are just for photos.