Learn How to Pull off (Painfully) Realistic Acne with This SFX Makeup Tutorial

We're always on the lookout for great realistic makeup tutorials, but this might be the first one we wished -- wasn't so realistic.

The filmmakers of the short film It's Not Custard, written and directed by Kate McCoid, have put together a tutorial that shows you how their very talented makeup artist Arabella Clarke pulled off the realistic facial acne makeup using materials that are both easily accessible and inexpensive. In fact, they've uploaded two different supply lists: one that'll run you about $455 and one that's about $55. If you're a professional makeup artist, you'll find pro materials like Skin Illustrator ($125) and Sculpt Gel ($55), but if you're less experienced and/or on a tighter budget, you can get damn good results using inexpensive things like wax, eyeliner, and oat flakes.

You can watch the video tutorial below, or, if you want a written step-by-step, check out their post here.

It's Not Custard is currently on Indiegogo raising money to fund production and post-production -- and, of course, all of the SFX makeup. Check out their campaign here.

Video is no longer available: vimeo.com/110764457

What special effects makeup tricks do you know? What do you use for acne? (For SFX makeup and/or your real-life skin condition.) Let us know down in the comments!     

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Your Comment


Not gonna lie, kinda looks more like leprosy than acne...

November 24, 2014 at 6:11PM

Jordan Mederich
Documentarian / Filmmaker

What on earth? This "acne" looks a little more like someone's skin being seared off with a hot iron or a flame thrower.

November 26, 2014 at 11:58AM

Felix Klein

It would've been great if they didn't use a Teleprompter for the pitch, to instil confidence.

November 26, 2014 at 12:31PM

Rean Combrinck
Film Maker

For sure! We said a lot more in the pitch video that got cut for length reasons. The prompter was to keep us on point and avoid waffling. :)

November 27, 2014 at 3:29AM


I hate it ... no I mean I really hate it when lesson are given with music only .. hate it. Something as important as this should be taken very seriously. I am not interested in style of video when it comes to learning. A very good lesson has been lost to someone who wants to have fun. hate it!

November 27, 2014 at 4:28AM, Edited November 27, 4:28AM

Richard Hendricks III
Producer, Director. editor. Owner of a Home/Garage Studio. T

So sorry to hear that Richard!
We do take this seriously and also know that people don't have a lot of time in their day.
We recorded our tutorial with sound however it took over an hour to complete so we whittled it down to a bite size 3 minutes with quick how-to tips. We have a full step-by-step guide on our website which goes into further detail. :)

November 27, 2014 at 7:38AM