HOW TO – Fluorescent face art (highlighters and blacklights)

Craft & Design
HOW TO – Fluorescent face art (highlighters and blacklights)

Jesse writes –

“You should give this a try! Glowing makeup? Sorta, its highlighter! It works great when your playing lasertag. Nate totally went beyond the prerequisit level or cunning when he made a mobile way of doing the effect…”Link & Glowing veins with a head-mounted UV blacklight.


  • Ultraviolet Acquiescence – Link.

14 thoughts on “HOW TO – Fluorescent face art (highlighters and blacklights)

  1. Archvillain says:

    Don’t do this without incorporating UV eye-protection into the outfit – UV LEDs have extensive eye-damage potential. When they first came out, distributers wouldn’t even deal with you unless you signed a disclaimer that you wouldn’t sue over damaged vision. Most of the light from UV LEDs is invisible, so it’s hard to realise when your eyeballs are being over-exposured.

  2. ceBlaze says:

    I did that in my hair in college (I had a crew cut). The great thing is, the highlighter gets in your skin and hair, so if you wash it off, ITS STILL THERE, but only appears under black light. You can hide in plain sight for a week, then you go to the club, and your art shows up when the black light comes on!

  3. natetrue says:

    I contest the claim that UV LEDs can harm your eyes. The light they put out is 395nm, which isn’t even actual UV (“near-UV”), and nowhere near the damaging UV spectrum. And they definitely don’t put out as much UV as consumer blacklights, and there are no warnings on those about eye damage.

    Unless you’re a hypochondriac, in which case they most likely cause cancer.

  4. saehn says:

    natetrue, I think Archvillian is correct. Check out this link, it refers specifically to 395nm LEDs. This guy appears to know his LEDs.

    “In any case, never look directly at the LED without eye protection – not even for a minute. Symptoms of UV exposure may not appear immediately; they can be delayed by 30 minutes to several hours. They can include a burning or “sand in the eyes” sensation, and a hazy look around light bulbs and other bright objects. Mild cases are self-correcting within 24 to 36 hours; however if despite my warnings you still stared at the LED from close range for more than a few minutes, it might not be a bad idea to see an eye doctor and tell him you’ve been exposed to UVA radiation.”

  5. natetrue says:

    Sure, trust the guy with a web address versus the guy who wore this LED rig for 8 hours and didn’t experience any ill effects.

    You get more UV radiation standing outside on a cloudy day than these LEDs put out.

  6. saehn says:

    Guidelines on Limits of Exposure to Ultraviolet Radiation of Wavelengths between 180 nm and 400 nm (Incoherent Optical Radiation), Health Physics, Vol. 49, No. 2, pp 331-340, 1985. –

    Do you think I’m trying to be a killjoy or something? I’m just saying being careful, this is potentially dangerous stuff. Who wants to damage their eyes for a costume?

  7. Archvillain says:

    You are confusing the dangers of the wavelength, and that you have worn it and not noticed side effects does not really count for much – UV can be like that, but more to the point, the next guy to do it might unwittingly use LEDs a hell of a lot more powerful. Intense light of any wavelength can be damaging, but normally you’ll see how blindingly bright a light is and instinctively close your eyes. UV LEDs however are not like daylight with the UV only occuring alongside the visible, LEDs can bypass this safety mechanism because you perceive them as a lot dimmer than they actually are. Producing less net light than a consumer UV tube is just not relevant if the consumer tube is radiating it everywhere while the LED may happen to be one with a tight focus, placed inches from the eye.

    The point is simply that if using this (neat) effect, just be aware of the specs of the light sources you’re working with and work accordingly. Since it’s a costume, just make eye protection part of the costume – problem solved. No biggie.

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