Darth Maul "How-To" Make-up Instructions
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The following text & pics were sent to me from Graham Holt, the owner of these instructions, for more information he can be contacted at toothpasteboy@hotmail.com

For opening night of Star Wars the Phantom Menace my friend Luke Bash wanted to go as Darth Maul, so he talked to me (Graham Holt) and his friend Ann Ngyun to see what we could do. After 2 days of preparation on my part and 3 and a half-hours of application by Ann and myself we finally finished and it looked pretty darn good. I did the horns and Ann took care of the make-up part. I have seen several of the Darth Maul masks that will be in costume shops this year and I was basically not impressed. These were big rubber things that are very difficult to see out of and hot to wear. This doesn't make any sense at all because the original is face make-up that can be replicated without too much trouble and it looks better than a mask. I will break up this "how to" into three sections, first safety, then the horns, and then the actual make-up. Pictures to go along with this "how to" are available at (set 1) (set 2) (set 3) This "how to" will also be on my homepage at http://www.geocities.com/collegepark/library/3776/makeup.html check there for the latest revisions of this "how to" (if I make any). If you are interested in special effects make-up please visit S.C.R.E.A.M. the Student Club for Realistic Effects Animatronics and Make-up.

Darth Maul is a trademark of the Lucas Company and they have all the copyrights, I didn't make up the character and I don't claim to, I just did an amateur make-up and am sharing it with you all.


When doing any kind of make-up the most important thing is safety. You should never hurt yourself, but more importantly you should never harm the person you are applying the make-up to. Many people are allergic to many different substances and it is your responsibility to find out if the person you are applying the make-up to is allergic to any of the materials that you will be applying to them. The first thing you should do is to ask them if they are allergic to anything, this applies to both the make-up and what you will be using to remove the make-up. Once you get this information you should test all products on them that you will be using, just to make sure that they don't have an allergy that they don't know about. For a test area use any place but the face, an upper arm seems to be a good choice since if a rash breaks out it can be covered by a shirt.

If you run into an allergy don't give up, there are other ways of achieving this make-up other than the one outlined here. You can use a different adhesive, one designed for make-up and not super glue. DO NOT USE SUPER GLUE OR CRAZY GLUE OR ANY OTHER "INSTANT" GLUE TO AFFIX HORNS. That would be a very bad thing to do so please do not do it. Do not get any red make-up in or really close to the eye as the dye in it can cause infection. If you need an idea for an alternate material let me know and I will try to help. Please use caution with everything that you use. Especially liquid latex as the ammonia fumes from it can make you dizzy, use it in a well-ventilated area. While there isn't anything real dangerous involved I have to say that by trying this make-up you are doing it on your own accord and you must be completely responsible for it as I take none of the responsibility. In other words "try this at your own risk". Be careful.

The Horns

Depending on the costume that you are wearing you might not need horns, if the costume consists of a hood that would cover up the horns anyway you might opt to skip this part all together. However if you are a purist like my friend then you have to have the horns and might even be willing to shave your head to get them (like my friend). The horns that I made are made out of liquid latex, applied with spirit gum, and colored with rubber mask grease paint, although I think that any oil-based make-up might do. The process that I used to make the latex horns is as follows.

The first thing that I did was to create a horn out of clay; you could also do the horns with wax if you are more comfortable with wax. It should be roughly Darth Maul horn shaped (you can find many pictures of Maul on the net but the reference that I used was on the extra large Taco Bell cup). I got it as close as I could and put it to my forehead to make sure that it set right on the face. Once this was achieved I put it on a paper plate (flat side down of course) and stuck it on good with some spirit gum (if you don't stick it down good enough you might have trouble later with the mold). You should flare out the base a little so that it blends in with the plate (this is what you will use to stick the horns on with). I then added detail lines with a toothpick (do this lightly), check a picture closely and you'll see what I mean. After the lines were in I smoothed them out a bit with my finger to kind of blend them in but not too much so you can't see the lines.

Once you have everything the way that you like you can start to prepare the mold. Get some petroleum jelly and put a light coat over the clay or wax and the area right around the base. This will allow the clay to come out of the mold a little easier but be careful because if you use a thick layer of jelly you will lose some detail. Next you need to build a wall of some sort around the horn, I used old clay that I have for that sort of thing but you could use anything as long as it is watertight. The wall needs to be a little taller than the horn let's say about a half an inch for good measure and it shouldn't be terribly close to the clay at the base let's say at least a quarter inch away but more is better.

Once the wall is in place you can begin mixing your plaster. I used plaster of Paris which is the cheapest you can get and it worked fine but if you have better plaster or want finer results then use whatever you have. Mix the plaster with water until it feels right, mix it with your hand and add a little water at a time until it is just right. It will flow and be smooth, probably the same consistency as squishy mud, it's hard to explain but you should know when it's right (I know that's a bad thing to say but that's how I describe it). Anyway, once the plaster is mixed, pour it into one corner of the mold and let the plaster creep around the rest. After you have the plaster poured, gently tap it on the table to try and get rid of air bubbles. Let this dry for at least 4 or 5 hours, over night if possible.

Now it's time to prepare the mold for casting. Raid the kitchen for some dishwashing soap and put some in the mold and slosh it all around giving it all a good coat. Pour the excess out back into the bottle and let the mold dry for a couple of hours. You are now ready to cast. Get some liquid latex (this is available through online stores, look for stage make-up places, some costume shops carry this too. It's ammonia based so if you are allergic to this then use rubber gloves) and pour some into the mold. Don't fill it all the way however, just less than half should do. Now slosh this around to get everything covered especially that lip that was created by the flared clay. If there is a lot of latex in the bottom pour it back into the bottle or it will take forever to dry. If it is taking to long then you can use a hair dryer to force it dry (just watch the fumes when you do this).

After the cast is dry you can remove it from the mold carefully. Pick at one of the edges and powder it as you go. Powder everything...a lot. Powder the inside, the outside, powder your sister, everything, this keeps it from sticking to itself. You now have a horn. I only had enough time to make one type of horn but the real make-up had several different shapes of horns, so again if you are trying make it as accurate as possible then you might want to make several different types. Don't forget that you also need those little horns on the tempels. After you have the horns then you can color them with an oil-based make-up.

Application of the Horns and Make-up

OK, in the application of Darth Maul the first thing that I did was to apply the horns that I had prepared. These were set in place by me, and Ann told me if they were properly aligned, when they looked just right I powdered around the horn and applied some spirit gum onto the powderless area (I highly suggest having a third person help you as this made things a lot easier on me). After making the area tacky with my finger I applied the horn. (NOTE: Spirit gum is made tacky by repeatedly tapping it with your finger, it gets really sticky so things can stick to it. Spirit gum is also alcohol based so it can be removed with alcohol). This was repeated with all of the horns; loose edges were secured with more spirit gum.

Ann went and drew an outline of where everything should go with a black eyeliner using the taco bell cup and several other pictures from the web as her guide. Once the outline was in place we started filling everything in. The make-up that we used was from a Ben Nye color pallet that I bought a few years back but any good quality oil based make-up would be fine. The colors are of course black and red but I don't think that the scan came out perfect and it looks like pink but believe me it was red. Ann did the front and I did the back. She did all of the detail in the front with a brush and I did the back of the head with my fingers. Powder often and powder a lot so things don't get smeared along the way, powdering "sets" the make-up so it won't smear. Be sure to go far enough down on the neck so you don't see any natural skin (I guess I didn't go quite far enough). Also be sure that you don't switch the colors and get red close to the eyes as the dye in reds can cause infection. (NOTE: Powdering, you can use talc or baby powder for this, simply put some powder on a powder puff and cover the area with it. The oil in the make-up will absorb the powder. If the powder is totally absorbed then ad more powder until it stops absorbing. Once it has stopped absorbing powder you can take a moist sponge and get the extra powder off or you can leave it and the body's natural oil will absorb the rest. We had to take pictures so we went ahead and sponged it.)


This was a wonderful project that was right at my current level and was a lot of fun to do. I'm sure that if you try it you will enjoy it as much as I did even if you don't get to see someone shave his or her head or if you do it to yourself. This would be tremendously difficult to apply to yourself and I don't suggest trying that unless you are really experienced in make-up and applying appliances to yourself on the back of your head. Although you could do it yourself if you left out most of the horns, still it would be difficult. I wish you luck with the project and would love to hear your questions, comments, and suggestions with the project. I can be contacted at toothpasteboy@hotmail.com


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