Getting younger

I have found and watched several aging classes but all seem to be for getting older with some rare mentions of beauty makeup. I need to drop about ten years for my current cosplay. It does not need to be sturdy as it will be posed shots not action, not wet and not hot or cold. I just need some down and dirty basics for lift and smooth. Links would be appreciated.


  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    De-aging can be a real challenge.  Aging is easier since you can easily add prosthetics, gray the hair, add wrinkles, etc.  With de-aging, you must rely on more subtle methods like darkening hair color, evening skin tone to remove blemishes added over time, adding a bit of color to the cheeks, etc.  This is not an area I have much experience in, since I've only really had to make people look older, not younger.   They do make some skin creams that work a bit like rigid collodion, that tighten the skin as they dry.  They can be used to remove puffy eye bags and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.  That could be one thing to look into.

    I'm curious if anyone has good tips for de-aging.

  • @Darrell Green In addition to the advice shared by @Chris Ellerby you can also use tape, artfully hidden within your hair, to subtly pull your skin back and remove facial wrinkles, and I can't overstate the value of good lighting. That will go a long way toward eliminating the shadows caused by wrinkles. Another great trick is to use gravity to your advantage. If you're looking up at your camera, gravity will pull your skin more tautly and remove some wrinkles too. Good luck!

  • I just got back to the forums pretty late tonight and excited to see the tips. Thank you. I can likely use all of these. The primary pose is, conveniently, the subject looking up as he climbs a hill toward camera. 

    My hair will be colored, as will facial hair and I can certainly use the application of the blemish coverage to make an even skin tone. Lighting in this shot is supposed to be low light sunset and washes out the original actors color but I believe I may be able to use a full face base as you mentioned in order to "tan" to the actor's skin tone and get the even tone in the process. Curious if I can find some product similar to the colloidian base mentioned and then full coverage the skin tone (tan in this case) over it, to smooth it further.

    I will post any products or processes I use but I think the tape will also be much easier than expected due to this pose containing a bandana. I would hazard a guess that since the upper hair is covered, I might get away with pulling back on my hair with some form of tension similar to using tape. I will try to find a how-to for the tape.

    The only thing I have found as a day-of tip is to stay hydrated and avoid diuretics. No specifics yet.

    These were my favorites so far:

    Kenneth Calhoun @Kenneth Calhoun did a short additional beauty makeup in his process of transfers ""
    and mentioned the other side of the industry being beauty makeups, so I am rewatching that session as well as the aging course with Bill Corso,

    Again, Corso's course had mentions of the aging/anti-aging process but the main course was about forward aging. He does a great beauty makeup portion near the beginning of the course but his actress is looking particularly young, even without makeup which is likely why she was used for the forward aging process.

    This build's target pose to match is here (below). I think the dark hair, olive to tan skin, bandana, lighting and posture allow me to use all tips listed. If anyone comes across anything, even as a possibility, I am willing to try it and post results. Again, thank you for the guidance.

  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    Great tips Matt, Especially the lighting. 

    Good diffused lighting is super important to prevent wrinkles or other forms on the face from casting shadows.   Those shadows create visual cues for depth, which can add to a subject's perceived age.  Having a good fill light (bounce or otherwise) can help bring up the value of shadows on the face, and visually smoothen things.  This is especially important when working with harsh directional lighting.  Even on an outdoor shot (as you are targeting) some kind of fill or bounce is usually used, especially for medium shots and close-ups.

  • I was thinking of how to create reflectors (suggested above) vs buying them and found they are dang cheap either way. But the idea of diffused lighting removing facial wrinkles and shadows brought to mind cloudy or overcast days as better possible shoot days. It took very little internet searching to find that the use of cloudy days as diffusers and reflectors is common practice. I swear I learn new things daily. I live in Oregon and not far from the coast. This may very well have changed my plan of waiting for sunny days. I am pretty sure I can get full windshield dash protectors at the dollar tree. They have them in full reflective silver. But I saw the ones for photography are round. Do the round ones focus as well as reflect? Like really piling the light onto the face or similar targeting? I am a photo noob and have not used them.
  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    The round bounce reflectors are mainly round due to how that type of structure folds up.  Silver bounces are great, but sometimes they are too bright, so having white is handy too.   You could use a large white piece of foam core for that or even a bed sheet.

    I'm sure there are some good videos on YouTube about using bounce cards/reflectors/etc to help fill in shadows.  Just be aware that many videos may show a reflector/bounce used as a key light, rather than a fill light.  And what you need is to reduce normal shadows (coming from light above the subject, like the sun) with a soft fill coming from below, but not enough to cast any new shadows.

  • I just got into 

    Stop Motion Animation Part 3: Camera, Lighting & Software

    so this is making sense. Thank you.
  • Does the gold reflector actually create a sun color effect? @Matt Winston @Chris Ellerby  If so, is that enhancement still available on overcast days when using the gold reflector? I am wondering if it could add some skin tone like a portion of what I am missing in this comparison split picture?

  • Darrell GreenDarrell Green ✭✭✭
    edited January 13
    I am not against makeup adjustments but don't want to overadjust if in combination with a bounce reflector's properties.
  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    The gold reflector gives you a warmer look, but it's not very natural, and can throw off your colors depending on the situation.

    In this case you are matching against a final photo that has been color corrected and treated, so you'll want to do the same with your photo too.  Using the curves and color balance filters in photoshop you can get much closer to the target.  I also suggest making your photo layer in photoshop a "smart object" that way any filters applied to it are non-destructive.

  • Thank you. This makes complete sense. I hadn't thought about how it would also change the colors of my costume, not just my skin. And your estimation of the levels of digital color grading is spot on. In this scene they attempt to create a cloud covered sunset lighting but in fact the sky has very few clouds and the boat in the distance is sitting in full sun while Jack uses his scope to watch the scene. The very reason the bandana shifts from green to gray to green within seconds. Thanks again. I will take a silver and a white for day of.
  • Update on the search for youth effects makeup: I am seeing some pretty amazing wrinkle and scar coverage/removal using a product called dermaflage. It seems to be a colored silicone filler that comes with a textured applicator. It is fast, under 2 minutes per location. I have not tested this yet but it seems that the independents are testing it and it seems to work to hide scars and deep wrinkles. Definitely interested in not only trying this but questioning if this technique is something that is already being done by one of our instructors. The company brags that this started out as an fx Hollywood application. As an onsite, day of, getting younger tool, I am very intrigued. My guess is this is silicone like that used in fx but being applied directly to skin. Likely some kind of two part quick set involved. Any backstory or insight from the pros? I am looking at this thinking I could drop crows feet and laugh lines to gain a good 10 years on day of shooting cosplays of younger characters.
  • I have not tried the dermaflage effects makeup posted above but have tried the silicone patches in combination with moisturizers and can attest to the smoothing of skin and wrinkles for temporary results. I am speaking of the sheets of silicone that you stick to your skin and then peel off. Because I am cheeky and cheap, I now use window cling jelly decals that seem to be made of the same silicone as the cosmetic patches. I just take my christmas tree or pumpkin gelly window cling and cut it to the shape I want for crows feet or under eye. I apply a moisturizer first snd then lay on the patch about an hour or 2 before I need to do my cosplay effects makeup. It certainly works to take away about 5 years or more of aging but only lasts a few hours because the skin will again lose that moisture. I am hoping to try the dermaflage or other skin smoothing effects soon and will post. Here is a pic of my window clings that I have already tested with great temp results (cannot attest to safety and would suggest purchasing the made for skin version):

  • Darrell GreenDarrell Green ✭✭✭
    edited January 23
    OK, I found a really good demo for dermaflage by a film industry effects artist. This looks to be a very good anti aging tool for wrinkles and scars but I think I would push it further and use this in combination with rigid collodian to complete my ear transformation tests if regular cover makeups do not hide the collodian I used to reshape my ear. But for purposes of this thread, this looks to be a must have for dropping a decade on the day of shooting.
  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    dermaflage sounds like a great option!  

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