makeup monday: mystique

This weekend I transformed a model into a magnificent movie mutant, Mystique. There have been many versions of the character throughout X-Men comic book history, but my friend and client chose movie Mystique, which meant lots of body paint and fun texture application. (Both the Rebecca Romijn and the Jennifer Lawrence incarnations of Mystique posess very similar skin, hair, and scales. My model, Mackenzie, is 5’11”, so she more closely evoked Rebecca than JLaw.)


Prep Work:
First, I sought the advice of an amazing cosplayer I follow online, BelleChere, and she just happened to have recently shared her body paint product recommendations. Taking her advice to heart, I ordered Wolfe FX Hydrocolor Makeup in two different deep blues, one matte and one metallic. We picked up some red spray hair color at a party store to brighten up Mack’s hair just a bit, as it was already a great red hue.

I then used navy blue and bronze Sculpey clay to create individual scale and ridge shapes based directly on the face patterns of movie Mystique. I hoped to keep them pliable for versatile application, but ended up opting for fired pieces. They don’t stick well at all unbaked, as it turns out.


For the rest of the body scales, which could be much larger and needed to cover more surface area, I cut free form shapes out of textured felt. All pieces — both Sculpey and felt — were affixed using liquid latex. LOTSA liquid latex, y’all.


I scheduled this, my first full-body FX makeup job, for the entire day in case we couldn’t get it done in the 5 hours anticipated. Good call! It took about 7 hours total with latex adhesive dry time. We started with clean skin (only pasties and tiny underwear otherwise, same as the movie actresses’ costumes) and immediately began applying blue creme makeup to areas that wouldn’t get texture, while affixing the first several scales to Mackenzie’s face.

Little by little, I rendered every visible bit of the subject a brilliant blue, with scales up her sides, arm, and chest. Her hair got slicked back with pomade and hair spray before being brightened with the red spray.


Shimmery dark blue Sephora eyeshadow was used to fill in around the eyes, in which Mack wore yellow contacts she purchased for the costume. I accentuated her eyes with black kohl liner in the waterline and full black lashes on top.

I finished off the entire look by dabbing on the metallic hydrochrome makeup over all textured areas, fading into the smooth matte areas.


We found some perfect Nine West sandals online, in precisely the right blue, so the feet would be protected but creating the illusion of being barefoot.


How’d I do, guys? I’m thrilled with how she looked, especially considering this was my first time attempting such an elaborate look. Can’t wait to show you all the other Halloween makeup looks I’m helping create this year!


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