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- 01/26/2021

THE CAMOUFLAGE: between technique and art

HPC Today

Clowns, theatre actors, singers: art has always gone hand in hand with beauty and youth, with a make-up of the face that makes it happy, dramatic or simply beautiful.

And with the cinema, the art of make-up was enriched with sophisticated techniques and a real school for minimising defects or transforming a face. At the beginning of the 20th century, Hollywood became the film and make-up capital of the world, and the first commercial products were developed, including the famous Max Factor “pancake”, which became part of cosmetics history.

A new concept spreads: pigments supported by a fat and easy-to-use excipient which is now widely used (camouflage), decided not in beauty salons but in doctors’ offices.

This is a special, permanent make-up to conceal serious skin anomalies: chromatic alterations (angiomas, haematomas, vitiligo) or surface alterations (scars, pigmentary deficiencies due to trauma, congenital structural anomalies). The application technique is highly specialised and individual, based on a careful study of the subject and using products specially formulated to create a covering but natural make-up that lasts at least 24 hours and is not removed by water, sweat or altered by the sun. The application technique follows two criteria: coverage and fixing and colour correction. From the study of the problem, the appropriate technique is chosen, possibly combining several cosmetics. Thus, a ‘scale’ of colours can be used to correct colour tones: green covers the red of erythema or couperose, yellow acts on the purple of angiomas, while brown covers the pinkish-white of scars and vitiligo, purple is also used to counteract the yellow of elastosis or keloid xanthelasms, while dark spots of various kind, including sun spots, are treated with white.

Camouflage products are mostly thick creams or sticks, which are fluidised before use by heating, applying them and allowing them to solidify before fixing. Colouring techniques are accompanied by real levelling operations, for example by filling in depressions or smoothing out scarring.

The products are rigorously tested for skin innocuousness and the application tools (sponges, brushes, spatulas…) require the skilful and creative hand of a specialist, somewhere between a make-up artist and an artist. The results are exceptional and, above all, the emotional impact of having a new face, smooth and without traces of a trauma that often affects life, in a society where appearances play a priority role in human relationships, is exceptional.


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