Blanche Macdonald


Oscar Duo, Howard Berger & Tami Lane at BMC!

Blanche Macdonald Makeup School Highlights

Blanche Macdonald Hair School Highlights

Can I have your autograph please? There was no shortage of Howard and Tami fans as Academy Award-winning makeup legends Howard Berger and Tami Lane took to the Blanche Macdonald stage and demonstrated their prowess in special effects makeup! It was a full of day of demos and lively discussion from casualty character to ageing makeup using Silicone Prosthetics, questions and answers about all things makeup filled the room and inspired our guests. Included were topics such as where to buy product and tools, budgeting for feature films, working on trilogies and what it means and takes to be a success in this ever-changing, innovative industry – no subject was left unaddressed. Howard and Tami’s overflow of knowledge and wisdom left everyone excited and ready to push their craft to new heights! Thank you Howard and Tami for an awe-inspiring Signature Series event!

Howard Berger and Tami Lane at Blanche Macdonald Centre

Gold bouillons of advice, encouragement and wisdom from Howard and Tami:

"Makeup artists are the most important people on set – we can fix ANYTHING! On set, other departments come to us when they need something repaired."

"Show not only your schoolwork [make up creations] in your portfolio but also include your personal work. This shows dedication and a desire to develop your craft."

"Being a makeup artist is half doing makeup and half being attentive to the talent: Assist their needs, build a rapport, get involved. That way they will trust you and have confidence in you and your work."

Tami's most challenging project: Lord of the Rings – she had to apply full-body ‘birthing’ makeup for 10.5 hours which took an additional 4 hours to remove and then did it all over again the next day!

"Always carry straws for actors who drink hot beverages so that their makeup doesn’t melt or peel away from the steam."

"Teamwork while on set – ‘My success is your success, my failure is your failure'."

Students and industry guests also received some great tips on FX and prosthetic application processes as well as advice on where to purchase various products and tools in Canada and US.

Howard & Tami: Makeup Demo on Casualty Makeup
Model: Alyssa


  • Sea Breeze toner
  • 99% alcohol
  • Water
  • Powder puffs, Q-tips, brushes
  • Water transfer paper
  • Pros-Aide Adhesive
  • ‘Pros-Aide’ Transfer Prosthetics
  • 3rd Degree - silicone modeling material
  • Sculpt Gel- silicone modeling material
  • Skin Illustrator, Reel Creations
  • Tattoo Colours
  • Kryolan - Rubber Mask Grease Paints
  • Pressed powder colors
  • Thick Blood


  1. Tone skin with Sea Breeze on powder puff.
  2. Prep transfers:
    • Wipe transfer with a bit of alcohol to remove powder.
    • Stipple small amount of Pros-Aide onto outer surface of transfer (this will be top surface, not facing skin). Skin-side has Acetate adhered to it.
    • When Pros-Aide has tacked (dried), apply piece of water transfer paper that fits to size of transfer (shiny side to adhesive!). Trim to size.
    • Peel away acetate backing, exposing adhesive side of transfer to apply to skin. Apply transfer to skin. Press onto skin to adhere.
    • Use puff with water to blot transfer paper to slip paper from transfer (similar to a temporary tattoo)
    • Use 99% alcohol to stick edges down, and blend edges into skin.
  3. Paint:
    • Tattoo colours: Alcohol-activated ‘ink’ palettes, used as transparent wash colors to build ones into skin. Variety of application techniques including airbrush. Tami and Howard used brush application, and scratch and stipple (spackle) from stiff brush. Used to build bruise and irritation tones into the skin.
    • Tami also used RMG and powder shadows around Alyssa’s eyes to bruise and shade those areas, and Thick Blood on a bent mascara wand to create scratches above Alyssa’s eye.
    • 3rd degree: Pull equal parts of A and B material onto a palette. Mix well to activate gelling agent. (approx. 4 min. to set)
    • Spatulate onto skin area where desired and mold to create an effect. Tammy used this product to create a burn on Alyssa’s right cheek/jaw area.
  4. Sculpt gel
    • New product, similar to 3rd Degree, but has a ‘c’ part. (acts as a softener, better movement)
    • Pull equal parts A and B, and less of C (to create desired effect) onto a palette. Mix well to activate.
    • Apply to skin with a spatula, sculpt as desired to create an effect. (approx. 4 to 5 min. to set) Howard used this product on Alyssa’s neck, on the left side.

Howard Berger and Tami Lane applying casualty makeup

Howard & Tami: Makeup Demo on Silicone Ageing
Model: Justin


  • Bald cap
  • Silicone age prosthetics:
    • Neck
    • Chin
    • Upper lip/nose
    • Left cheek
    • Right cheek
    • Forehead
  • Telesis Silicone adhesive
  • Pros-Aide adhesive
  • Matthew Mungle Spirit Gum
  • 99% alcohol
  • Acetone
  • No-color powder


  1. Trim the flashing on prosthetic pieces to allow for better handling.
  2. Apply bald cap to actor to cover and protect hair.
  3. Fit neck piece first, adjusting for proper fit before adhering. Holding piece in place, apply Telesis Adhesive to both the piece and the skin (hold half up, and pull back other half [like a flap], glue) and adhere to skin, smoothing down to avoid air pockets.
  4. Smooth edges and be sure there are no folds in them. Blend off with acetone, or with alcohol on the face.
  5. Chin piece is next, fit first, then adhere, stretching edges to avoid wrinkles. Nose/upper lip next; take care in these areas because of fumes from products around eyes, nose. Then cheek pieces, one at a time, blending into nose. End with the forehead last.
  6. Forehead piece: adhere from center, across brow bone and over brows, gluing around brows and into the crease of the eye. Roll these edges down w/ Q-tip and scant amount of 99% alcohol. Blend with Q-tip.
  7. After all are applied, carefully finish edges, taking most care around eyes and mouth. It's best to stipple on top of edges in these areas with Pros-Aide adhesive to blend into skin.
  8. Powder edges that will stick (ie. eye crease, lips)
  9. Paint:
    • Paint with tattoo colors, either through airbrush spatter painting or with cut down chip (stiff) brush to get fine speckle.
    • Pattern/texture.
    • Start with red tones
    • Blue tones
    • Greens
    • Ochres
    • Browns (age/liver spot tone)
    • Highlight skin tone, break-up and blend other colors into skin.
    • If there happens to be a nick in the silicone, it can be filled with Gelatin.
    • Shade in eye socket area, to create depth and subtle darkened area around eyes.
  10. Wig application:
    • Fit wig to actor’s head.
    • Lift lace edge and apply/tack MM Spirit Gum.
    • Lay lace back into adhesive.
    • Eyebrows (hand-laid hair)
    • Apply Pros-Aide Adhesive, allow to tack (dry to clear)
    • Take small amount of blended hair and trim to create a growth pattern (directionally out and away from bridge of nose).
    • Apply into adhesive, taking care not to drop loose hairs into actor's eyes/nose.
    • Once adhered, remove excess, trim to length and style.

Howard Berger and Tami Lane applying 3D Silicon Aging Makeup

You can also read and download the above makeup notes from the Signature Series Seminar Event with Howard Berger and Tami Lane below! Simply click on the image below to read the notes in a Journal Style format or click here to download the notes.



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