Steve Biggs' StevoSeal
Over the years, two great products have proven themselves to be excellent makeup sealers. Kryolan's Fixier Spray and Ben Nye's Final Seal. There's just one problem. They are both flammable. This means they can only be shipped by UPS ground. It means you can't take large quantities on an airplane and it means we can't ship it overseas.
To solve that problem Steve has created a new product concept called StevoSeal.
Think of it this way. Suppose you take an alcohol based sealer, remove all the alcohol and grind up all the residue into a fine powder so that it can be dissolved once again. It's kind of like a dehydrated sealer, but instead of taking out water you take out the alcohol. Now it's light weight, safe for air transport and best of all, it's not flammable. The only hazard might be the fine powder, but it's inside a bottle so you're not going to handle that.
So, this is how it works. When you receive the bottle, you will notice that it contains a very fine powder. There's no liquid, just the super fine powder. You then add some 99 percent isopropyl alcohol that you purchase locally at a good mom and pop drug store. You can use a lesser grade of alcohol if you want, but the 99 percent will give you the very best results. You should fill the bottle to about half way.
Why do you fill it half way? Because that gives you some shaking room. Replace cap and shake until all particles are suspended in the solution. Set aside and wait for several hours while the particles dissolve into the alcohol. Shaking occasionally will help speed up the process and allow all of the powder to dissolve. Once dissolved add more alcohol until the bottle is full. Shake again. Your StevoSeal is now ready to use.
Once dissolved you can use the mixture just like you would any other alcohol based makeup sealer. Sometimes you might get a little syrup at the bottom. This is OK. Eventually this will dissolve into the alcohol.
But wait there's more.
Some of you have already figured out that the advantage of StevoSeal is you can control the strength of the sealer. Suppose you only put in half of the required alcohol. Would you now have super strength sealer? Of course.
Maybe you want to add a little pigment to make a strong waterproof makeup. Good idea, I say. There's nothing stopping you from making your own waterproof makeup or temporary tattoo ink.
Can you use a super concentrate as a clear adhesive? I don't know yet, the product is too new and doesn't have a history, but I'm sure my many clever makeup artists can come up with some very clever uses for such a basic chemical.
One Final Note.
The question will come up, is StevoSeal superior to the Fixier Spray or Final Seal? The quick answer is no. Those excellent products are made with chemicals that are not available to we mere mortals. I still recommend and use them. Make sure you keep them in your kit. The advantage of StevoSeal is the transportation issue. The airport is the wrong place to find out you can't take your thirty dollar jug of sealer on the plane. I'd say to keep a reconstituted bottle of StevoSeal with you all the time so that if you get called on a last minute job you don't have to leave your sealers at home.
About the Isopropyl Alcohol.
Whatever you do, please don't use isopropyl alcohol that you find at the paint store. Please get pharmaceutical grade alcohol at your local pharmacy. Often you have to pay a few bucks per pint. Sometimes a grocery store will accidentally buy the 99 percent and they'll put it on sale for a dollar a pint. The 99 percent stuff is hard on the skin, so consumers prefer to have rubbing alcohol, which comes as low at 70 percent. You can use the lower stuff, but your sealer isn't going to be as strong. Water doesn't hurt anything, in fact water and alcohol will dissolve into each other.
Not all pharmacy's will carry 99 percent pure alcohol. Only a few. I've found the older, mom and pop type store will have it in abundance. Big box stores are unlikely to have it. It's best to call around before you drive around town.
Once again, please get pharmaceutical grade alcohol, this is safe for use on human skin.
Directions: Fill container halfway with 99 percent pharmaceutical grade isopropyl alcohol that you obtain from your local drug store. Replace cap and shake until all particles are suspended in the solution. Set aside and wait for several hours while the particles dissolve into the alcohol. Shaking occasionally will help speed up the process and allow all of the powder to dissolve. Once dissolved add more alcohol until the bottle is full. Shake again. Your StevoSeal is now ready to use.