Revenant Bear Grease Replacement

Darrell GreenDarrell Green ✭✭✭
edited March 2022 in Costumes & Cosplay
I am in process of a Revenant cosplay build and came across the following as I was searching for why the leathers looked so dark:

"The Revenant costume designer, Jacqueline West, explained that it was so important to Iñárritu that his actors keep warm the way that their characters might have in the early 19th century, that he kept the production’s wax applier, Karen Durrant, beside him at all times.

“Whenever anything needed more layers, more patina of the bear grease, she would put it on right there on the set,” West said of the concoction, which was more waxy in nature, and made from a secret recipe that would not go rancid, but reflect light in a certain way. In fact, “When we went to the South Pole,” West said, “we actually gave her a Native name—‘Walks with Black Wax.’”  " from

@Matt Winston I see the word "secret" in front of "recipe" and I feel I need this pro tip to enhance my costume. Any chances that the Winston crew can shake hands, kiss babies and pick up this mystery wax formula from an undisclosed location and provide it here in class?


  • While I don't have any insider info, here's what I would do.

    Look into making a mixture of beeswax and an oil, similar to how beard waxes are made.  I'd also look into non-spoiling oils so the costume lasts.  You could even mix in natural scents like pine, leather, smoke, to add to the impact of the costume, but I'd be careful to stick to pleasing scents and not go too heavy with them.

    Lanolin may also be an optional additive/base.

    Then you could mix in oil-friendly pigments to get the color and saturation you are after.

    You can run small tests on scrap fabrics to fine-tune your mixture.

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