Technique: Fake Tears

I know this took forever to post.  Following my Jingizu experiment, I had a request for the technique.  Now, this look is NOT Jingizu, but this gives you the basics of getting that just-been-crying look.  If you wish you can use an actual product like Mehrons Fake Sweat and Tears, or you can just use Glycerin, found in any pharmacy’s first aid section.  I use it to make my own mixing medium, and don’t mind using it on myself.

Either way, DON’T apply it to the lower waterline, or too close to the eye.  Try a spot test on the inside of your elbow to make sure that straight Glycerin won’t be too strong, and cause a bad reaction. It never has with me, but better safe than sorry.  Most setting sprays and such(MAC Fix +,  etc.) are primarily Glycerin and Water anyways.

Start with  whatever your look is.  For simplicities sake, I used gold on the lid, some liner, and nothing else.

Next, apply dark pigment(Hard Candy Asteroid) wet to the areas you want the densest tear tracks.

I like to design these types of looks with some kind of narrative or action in mind.  If you cry looking down, the tears will take a different path down your face than crying looking up, or away, or laying on your back.  So if you angle your tears out diagonally, it will look appropriate for laying on your back and “crying”, but will look odd from normal angles.  Having studied my own body memory, I know I tend to look down, tilt my head to the side, for the most part. So I have a few diagonal tears, but most of them follow a more straightforward track.

Next, using a fairly wide eyeliner brush(Sicara Pointed liner brush),  transfer mixing medium to the top of the tracts.  Pull it downwards, adding more medium.  We want it to be fairly fluid, although not dripping.  Layering this will help prevent your pigment deposits from being too harsh, while allowing you control over the path of the tears.

Add more mixing medium(or water) as needed to set the trails, and blur the pigment.  Add a few less harsh tear tracks elsewhere in the eye.

Next, using straight glycerin(or fake tears) apply the teardrop at the end of the trails.  Glycerin is thicker than water and won’t drip down the face, if you only use a little.  It doesn’t do well for tear trails, although you can pull it upward a little bit.

Trace over the tracks for a glossy look that won’t dry down the way water does.

Add a bit more water/mixing medium to the track, and brush it to connect it with the beads.  If desired apply more pigment to the lashline, before adding that medium.

Voila!  Instant melodrama!


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Susan
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 11:52:13

    Wow, great job. But so so sad looking. : (
    Thusly great job!!


    • dolcearia
      Apr 01, 2011 @ 12:12:45

      Thanks! It’s a technique, in the arsenal. I can cry on command, so I don’t have too much reason to use this, but I like playing with how it’s done. The boyfriend has teased me many times for crying to “test” a mascara’s waterproof wear, or to figure out the most realistic “tear tracts” for various angles of the head. I’ve been having fun toying with more FX oriented makeup. As odd as it is intentionally creating tears, or corpsifying myself, it can be a drastic change from my usual “bright colors softly blended with a dark crease” formula.


  2. Ruth
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 14:30:25

    Alternately, one can just jab themselves in the eye with liquid eyeliner, which is the only way I ever get black tear trackmarks – but never intentionally. xD


    • dolcearia
      Apr 02, 2011 @ 08:35:11

      Yeah, I have sensitive eyes and skin, and I’d prefer to avoid the inevitable eye infections from brush-poking. Besides that, it’s more fun figuring out other ways to get that effect!


  3. Susan
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 16:34:17

    Oh Ruth! That’s funny! I mean the way you put it. Well, you know what I mean….


  4. eRiN
    Apr 03, 2011 @ 00:06:58

    I totally used this tutorial today to win a contest!!! Well, I didn’t do it exactly like this cuz I was in a hurry, but the basic concept was entirely due to this post ^.^;

    Autism Awareness Challenge

    I love posts like these for learning new techniques, keep em coming!


    • dolcearia
      Apr 03, 2011 @ 04:00:49

      Congrats! Your look came out beautifully! I have to admit-I LOVE special effects oriented techniques. It’s hard to get up the motivation to use them, but so much fun to do! I spent three hours yesterday trying to give my cheeks the texture of a sea sponge, with liquid latex, for a project of the boyfriends. SO much fun.


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