Photo by Stewart McKenny at Armageddon Sydney 2011
Photo by JudasNZ at Wellington Armageddon 2011

PAX attempts

I knew PAX to be essentially tinted glue, tinted medical adhesive grade glue. It is used for skin not just appliances, I just spoke to a Hobbit actor who recalled his days of PAX on LotR so… we both sighed about IM and how we each had lovely care packages in which it was contained 😉

Anyway, I am not part of the regulation of make up artists in the US or anywhere for that matter so DO NOT DO THIS TO SOMEONE ELSE! Unless you have their permission and everyone is fully aware of what it actually is.

Prosthetic Aide and Liquitex was the original formulation and used on Latex appliances. Why? Aside from durablility and endless colour options the chemical composition does not degrade the latex. It offers a lot of protection in fact. Cake make up may contain petro chemicals which will break down latex pretty quick smart.

PA is an acrylic based glue used for medical prosthetics. So it is water mixable when uncured but water-resistant at least when cured.


My first foray was for Galadriel up there back in 2003. I hadn’t got the tone right because I didn’t realise how red my hair had turned (it was two years into methotrexate therapy which is notorious for making hair grow back differently after it all falls out). And it was too late. It was better when I wasn’t surrounded by so much greenery 😉 The stage had red curtain from memory so my hair toned down visually.

Anyway. This wasn’t PAX but a much easier to remove alternative. J&J Clean and Clear moisturiser (still available) with some acrylic paint. The moisturiser is about the only one you can do this with as it is meant to not deliver a deep dose of oils or anything to young skin. But it does carry the pigments and thins them out nicely.


For Samara I used a very similar mix with a little Liquiset added in. And a little PA as I used it to hold the appliance on my head.

Full PAX

For Shaak Ti and Darth Tykhi it was full on PAX. And I wanted to tear my skin off. Also that is the same colour paint in both cases. Convention lighting can do weird things to colour.

In all cases I used a filbert style brush, foundation brushes are a kind of this shape (rounded paddle shape) and lots of careful layering. PAX takes a while to dry and it goes very tacky when it is close to dry. You need to powder to set at just the right moment or you get powder patches.

You can go swimming in the stuff.

As for wanting to tear my skin off? It’s like wearing an extra full layer of skin, dermis, epidermis and subdermis. I felt very very claustrophobic. Especially the paint around my thighs. The paint flexes but not as much as skin.

So recommended? Only if you absolutely have to and if PAX is genuinely cheaper than the newer alternatives. Which it may be where you live. Here PA is exceedingly expensive.

Cons: difficult to remove once cured (really hot bath with lots of soap, you will be sweating) some rubbing alcohol and if you can Isopropyl Myristate. This makes the glue break down permanently and gums it up so you’ll need your own towel and facecloth etc. at an hotel.

It’s messy to work with and tidy as you go. The slow cure and water solubility while curing makes it easy to transfer to everything. Also it’s glue.

Pros: it stays put. Stays put. Unless you say lie on the carpet and lean on your elbows and then you might transfer some from essentially scrubbing it off.

If you are using latex appliances it’s a once stop no wories about matching shop! It’s fantastic for painting detail over AA paint as you can wipe it off with a damp cloth when you make a mistake but once cured grips like a limpet!

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