Body Dirt Effects Makeup

Body dirt effects makeup is a great way to create effects ranging from a light dusting to falling in the pig pen.

I have used charcoal powder the most for casualties with smoke inhalation or burns.  I have even added charcoal powder to clothing to add to the singed look.

Most recently I applied a mud look for a movie.  The main character had covered herself in mud to be camouflaged and hide form her opponent. (think Arnold Schwarzenegger in Predator (1987))

Now here is a little warning for you.  I was not the first makeup artist to work on this movie (mostly this means I need to copy exactly what the other person did for continuity).  Mud Makeup is great.  These body dirts are made for this job and come of easily.  

One Problem.  The previous makeup artist did not use Dirt Makeup for this special effect look.  She used PAX paint. 

Now PAX has its place.  It is a great product when used properly and removed properly.

This was not the case.  The poor actress was covered LITERALLY head to toe in pax paint and sent home to was it off on her own.  So special removers (as PAX needs to be removed with these).

She was forced to scrub off her skin over three days to get it all off.  

Knowing this I was sure to try out all the products on myself and ensure they cam off with soap and water.  

I did learn a few things when experimenting, however.  If you mix body dirt with any kind of grease (like sunscreen or cold cream) it will be MUCH harder to get off and you bath tub will look like this!!!! (but it still does come off.) 

Two different kinds

Dirt special effects come in fine loose powders or as a liquid in a bottle that will need to be shaken before each use.

It comes in several different shades with names like Muddy, Red Clay, Filth, Grime or Charcoal.

Liquid Dirt special effects makeup fills creases, wrinkles and pores for that dirty, greasy, sweaty look. It dries shiny and is smudge-proof and lightweight.  It will not crack or fade.

Powdered Body Dirt Effects makeup

Powder Dirt special effects makeup is more common and easy to find.  They are lightweight and more sheer.  The various colours of these powders create the natural look of dust, dirt and ash for various special effect looks. 

There are a few different ways to mix things up. 

Apply the powder with a baby wipe to get that ground in, lived in dirt look.

You can also apply powders with a sponge or brush for more control over placement and concentration. 

Liquid Body Dirt Effects Makeup

Liquid dirt makeup will give you a quick wash of dirt. 

For a thicker mud look you can do a few things. You can apply liquid body dirt mixed with dirt powder to get intense coverage. Or you can spray on your liquid dirt and pat powder dirt overtop where you need more coverage.  This mud will stay all day but make sure to blend and watch out for brush strokes. 

Try using a few different colours to create variations in the look and consistency of your dirty person. No one would be one colour or evenly covered.


For a short lived real true muddy look try adding powdered spa grade clay with either liquid or powdered body dirt. This will give you a thick mud to work with. Keep in mind that it will dry, crack and move (especially in the joints of the body). 

Body Dirt comes off easily with soap and water but if you find yourself without, you can use AmazeFX cream cleanser with a baby wipe or paper towel to remove most of the product.  99% Alcohol works as well but can be harsh and drying on the skin. 

This makeup will come off even faster with a layer of skin barrier on first.  Products like Krylon Pro Shield Barrier Foam or Top Guard.

Body dirt Effects makeup is not just for looking dirty. Charcoal and Ash Body Dirt are  great for 3rd degree burns, blast injuries or smoke inhalation.

Where to buy

IllmanFX Body Dirt (Powder) - Kit

Get Red Clay, Grime, Charcoal, Filth and Muddy in convenient 10g sizes.

An extremely light-weight, sheer, silky FX powder that is formulated to create realistic effects in character makeup. The realistic colours of these ultra-fine powders create a natural look of dust, dirt and ash for special effect performances.

The FX Powders have a loose consistency that can easily be applied for just the right touch to enhance a character’s makeup. Paraben-free, suitable for all skin types.

Made In Canada

IllmanFX Body Dirt (Liquid) - Kit

Red Cly, Grime, Charcoal, Filth, Muddy in convenient 2oz bottles.

This Body dirt fills creases, wrinkles and pores for that dirty, greasy, sweaty look. The smudge-proof and lightweight texture is long lasting without cracking or fading. Use alone or with FX powder to create a variety of “dirty” makeups. Easy to use, dries with a glossy finish, absorbs excess oil and doesn’t clog pores.


Made in Canada

IllmanFX - Amaze FX

AMAZE was developed as an alternative to 99% alcohol as a remover of special effect and water base makeup from the skin. AMAZE penetrate and removes makeup from the skin and at the same time moisturize it.


“AMAZE” works immediately to soothe and supply skin with a wide complement of antioxidants and skin-identical ingredients it needs to look and feel its young, healthy best. It instantly dissolves regular and water-proof makeup, eliminates buildup in pores and cleanses the complexion while minimizing irritation. Formulated with Aloe Vera, Green Tea and Chamomile extract which replenish vital moisture to hydrate, soothe and soften, reduces inflammation and help reinforce a healthy barrier function. Suitable for all skin type.

Made In Canada

ILmanFX 99% Alcohol

99% isopropyl alcohol is most commonly used to activate detailing pallets for a less vivid colour effect. Using Body Impressions Activator will yield a stronger more vivid colour. 

Made In Canada

Note: Although 99% alcohol can be used to for cleaning it is widely recommended that 70% alcohol is more effective for disinfecting and cleaning. This product can also be used to remove some special effects makeup such as alcohol activated paints, body dirt and many other makeups that are activated by or contains alcohol.