colorchaos (colorchaos) wrote,

Common Troll Makeup: Observations/Pros & Cons list

Please note that this list is NOT an application tutorial.
It is an in-depth look at the properties of troll makeup that I have used and/or that is commonly recommended.  

Makeup covered:[Pros-Aide] [No-Tack Pros-Aide] [PAX paint] [Ben Nye]

        Firstly, there are really only two families of makeup here: that which is commonly known as ‘PAX’, and ‘Ben Nye’.

PAX is split up into three categories; genuine PAX paint, No-Tack Pros-Aide, and regular Pros-Aide.

         What I am calling ‘genuine’ PAX paint is pre-mixed bottles of Pros-aide and the acrylic paint colorant sold under the title ‘PAX paint’. The drawback of them is that they are A) difficult to find and B) very limited in color. What is usually referred to as ‘PAX’ by cosplayers are No-Tack and regular Pros-Aide that is mixed with acrylic paints by the cosplayers themselves, although they are not marketed under the ‘PAX’ name. This is how I will be referring to them in the rest of the post with the prefix ‘genuine’ denoting the pre-mixed variety.

        The primary different between regular Pros-Aide and No-Tack Pros-aide is the viscosity and stickiness of each.  Both are medical adhesives which you can use in a manner similar to spirit gum for attaching latex prosthetics to your face, and both are mixed with acrylic paint in a 50/50 ratio for cosplay applications. Both also require the use of a setting powder to remove residual stickiness immediately after application. 

Pros-Aide/No-Tack/PAX/All Varieties

Pros of all varieties:
  • - Absolutely will not budge or smear once dry and set
  • -Requires only setting powder as setting layer (Compare to Ben Nye)
  • -One bottle can be used to obtain many colors (Simply change what acrylic paint you are using, craft store paint can be found for 1$)
  • -Completely waterproof
  • -Will not smudge on clothing, should wet PAX get on clothing it can be removed (even after it has dried) with rubbing alcohol.
  • -Coverage will last longer than Ben Nye, should require none or very minor touchups.
  • -You can leave it on overnight, and it will be the same tomorrow morning. (This may not necessarily be recommended, however a pair of us have done this with no negative effects.)
Cons of all varieties:

  • -Must mix your own colors
  • -Removal can be intimdating to first-time users
  • -It is difficult to apply/remove from awkward locations (eyelids, inside your ears)
  • -Difficult to apply ‘on the fly’ (IE at con)
  • -May give some people an uncomfortable feeling of their skin being 'unable to breathe'

Regular Pros-Aide


  • -Thickness ensures opaque coverage with only one layer
  • -Dries to a white if no acrylic paint is added


  • -Thickness may be unsuitable for areas where you require freedom of movement (Think of your finger joints, or face muscles that move a lot)
  • -Stickier than No-Tack Pros-Aide when dry [unset]

No-Tack Pros-Aide


  • -Less tacky than regular Pros-Aide once dry [unset]
  • -Approximately 1/3 the viscosity/thickness of regular Pros-Aide, making it more suitable for areas that require freedom of movement


  • -Contains a yellow tint, will dry to a yellow tint without added acrylic
  • -Thinness may require multiple layers to achieve desired opacity (keep in mind that doing so will also restrict freedom of movement)

 ‘Genuine’ PAX Paint


  • -Pre-mixed


  • -Difficult to find
  • -Limited color palette


Ben Nye is a makeup brand that produces many various types of theatrical makeup. It is also the most commonly recommended makeup for Troll cosplays. I am much less familiar with Ben Nye makeup than I am with Pros-Aide, however. Edit: Indulging-Inaccuracy tells me that the most-rec’d line is the Crème Colors one (as well as that being what was used during my hybrid application testing for AX), although a few people have been known to use Cake Foundations. She’s also telling me I should include something known as primer, although I have no idea what that’s about. (I don’t use any under my PAX, and the amount of Ben Nye used was so small we didn’t need it. As such, I cannot give you any primer comparisons.)

Ben Nye Makeup (General, although mostly applies to the Crème Colors line)

Ben Nye Pros:

  • -It is available in many locations offline as well as online
  • - It comes in pre-mixed colors as well as color palettes
  • -It has the most freedom of movement and is possibly the most comfortable to wear
  • -It is suitable for application to areas that are sensitive and difficult to apply PAX to (As long as they don’t rub  against things, so, eyelid area, inside the ear) as well as being easier to remove from those areas
  • -Easier to apply ‘On the fly’ (IE At con. But don’t expect it to stay on)

Ben Nye Cons:

  • - Should use a primer before putting on the color.
  • -Large swathes require two layers of setting, ‘setting powder’ as well as a spray liquid ‘final seal’.
  • -Despite setting, it is prone to rubbing off very easily. This produces a ‘chalk-like’ dusting over dark clothing.
  • -It will smudge everywhere. Everywhere.
  • - You will need to buy a separate set of Ben Nye for each color you need. (It is still possible to mix Ben Nye colors if you are really picky.)
  • -May require multiple touch-ups over the course of the day.


[    Setters will be covered in another, much shorter post, since this one is quite long already, and there is really only a couple setters to discuss.

     Removers will be discussed at a later date when I have made more comprehensive studies of them. For the time being, rest assured that taking a shower and using a rough textured sponge/loofah or even your hands with persistent (but not painful!) scrubbing will generally get most of the PAX off. Also, under no circumstances attempt to peel PAX off like you would hot glue or white glue off a surface – you will peel off the topmost layer of your skin, causing you to look somewhat sunburned. *Firsthand experience*]


Tags: homestuck, troll cosplay, tutorial

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