Make-up and Hair
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Makeup and Hair:

Tips and Techniques for Getting the LOTR Look

As we've been discussing costumes it has become obvious  that while we're talking costumes... makeup and hair are a part of recreating the look from Lord of the Rings. So, we're opening this section.  Problem.... someone is going to have to adopt this section and help organize it if we are going to share the knowledge of all we are discovering.

Makeup / Hair Index

Full pages and sub-sections

Elven Faces
Arwen Makeup
Hobbit Feet
All About Ears
Elven Hair
All About Wigs
Removing Eyebrows
5 O'Clock Shadow
Beard Stubble
Foam Gelatin Recipe

Quick notes

In Other Sections


Makeup notes

The Hobbit ears were made from slip latex, only the Elven ears were gelatin...

from the official web site... these are video interviews:

Interview details

  • Scan of article from the “Makeup Artist” magazine.  About 15 pages of pictures and text.  February 2002.
    • 'A variety of materials were employed to create Lord of the Rings' diverse character make-ups. Foam latex was used for everything from Hobbit feet to armies of Orcs, Goblins and Uruk-hai, although Lurtz, the lead Uruk-hai, wore silicone prosthetics, as did Gimli the dwarf and various old-age characters.'
    • 'Most prosthetics, from Saruman's noses to the Elves' pointed ear tips, were cast in gelatin, which held up well in the mild New Zealand climate - especially after modifying the original recipe. ... "It's exactly the gelatin that people eat, but the recipe we developed makes our pieces as flexible as silicone but extremely durable - they would last a full day's shoot with little maintenance if we kept the actor's blood temperature down. The pieces only slipped or sweated in the really tight studio shoots, under massive amounts of lights. We could not have achieved the level of prosthetics we did, considering our relative skills with foam latex, without gelatin. " '
    • '...coloring the gelatin pieces to maintain their fleshlike translucency demanded a deft touch. "We used really fine washes with acrylic paints, as well as some tatooing inks," Acevedo says. "Most pieces were tinted 20% lighter than the actor's skin tone, and we would paint them to match their actual color, once it was applied." '

Hobbit Feet - Big Hairy Feet

Chemistry and Lord of the Rings

Review by Smokering from a lecture by Norman Kates (sp?) at the Hamilton Museum in New Zealand, late June 2002.  It covers quite a bit on detail and anecdotes on ears and feet as well as .

Hands on Hobbit feet descriptions

Human blood recipe

The recipe from the Norman Kates at Hamilton Museum lecture "chemistry and Lord of the Rings"

  • One cup of golden syrup
  • Two teaspoons of red food coloring
  • One teaspoon of yellow food coloring

The Dirt

The recipe is very close to blood.  Can't use local mud because it needs to be sterile.  from LOTR: The Making of the Trilogy

  • Corn syrup, to keep it from drying out
  • Umber or other "natural earths" - need to match the local color of the mud
  • Fuller's earth - for goopyness

All buckets of mud had a "sell-by" date and had to be kept in the refrigerator between takes because the sugar will cause it to go bad.

Elven makeup

Bits on Latex and it's uses

How to apply a beard

Fun make up and skin links...

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Elven Faces | Arwen Makeup | Hobbit Feet | All About Ears | Elven Hair | All About Wigs | Removing Eyebrows | 5 O'Clock Shadow | Beard Stubble | Foam Gelatin Recipe

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This page was last updated 04/22/08