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Post-Mortem Cosmetology

Accomplishes recreation of natural form and color by:
- Replacing color in the skin that was lost through the settling of blood, and the loss of blood during embalming
- Counteracting color changes in the skin caused by the graying effect of HCHO
- Covering discolorations in the skin
- Accenting positive facial features
- De-emphasizing negatively appearing features
- Compensating for artificial funeral home lighting

Coloring Methods

Internal and External Methods

Internal Method

involves the use of arterial injection solution that contains a dye. Arterial fluid may have dye in it, or embalmer may add it. Tjhe dye imparts a pinkish color to the skin

External Method

coloration through the application of cosmetics to skin.

Cream Cosmetic

semi-solid consistency

Powder Cosmetic

solid substance in the state of fine, loose particles, produced by crushing or grinding

Liquid Cosmetic

fluid colorant in which pigments are dissolved or suspended

Classification of Cosmetics

- Transparent
- Translucent
- Opaque


having the property of transmitting rays of light through its substance so that a body situated or behind it can be distinctly seen. Can include: liquid, cream or powder


somewhat transparent; transmitting light but not causing sufficient diffusion to eliminate percetion of distinct images. Can include: liquid, cream or powder


not transparent or translucent; not allowing light to pass through. A concealing cosmetic. Can include: liquid and cream

Transparent Liquid: Pros

- Doesn't cake or clump on skin or hair
- Doesn't rub off easily
- Doesn't give pasty appearance
- Dries quickly
- Easily removed from hair

Transparent Liquid: Cons

- Limited color choice
- Doesn't cover discolorations
- Dehydrating if alcohol based
- Doesn't cover wax well
- Can collect in deep pores and appear darker than rest of skin

Opaque Cream: Pros

- May help prevent dehydration
- Choice of thickness (light or heavy)
- Covers wax
- Mixes with wax

Opaque Cream: Cons

- Can look pasty
- Can color hair
- Clumps
- Rubs off easily
- Needs powder application to dry
- Stains clothing

4 Cosmetic Colors Needs To Match Skin

- Dark Brown
- Yellow
- Red
- White

Pigments of Skin

differences in the amount of melanin produced by cells, distribution/size of pigment granules within melanocytes influence skin color


a hereditary absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes


the pigment that give the blood color. Blood can also affect the color of the skin. Bright red, oxygenated blood gives skin a pinker look. Darker, non-oxygenated blood can make the skin appear bluish


the yellow pigment of the skin


uneven concentrations of melanin appearing as a dark spot, usually on the face. It is not considered a discoloration that needs covering

Variations of Complexion Colors/Racial Classification

- Yellowish
- Brownish
- Reddish

Variations within Complexion Colors/Racial Classification

- Light
- Medium
- Dark
- Darker

4 Basic Factors That Affect Normal Complexion

- Age: duller and grayer skin as texture changes from smoothness of youth to coarser skin of the elderly
- Climate: abundance or lack of sunshine will change melanin concentrations of the skin
- Health: degree of redness of the complexion is affected by the quantity of blood in superficial capillaries
- Genetics: complexion is determined in part by the genes we are born with

Blood Discolorations

the escape of blood into the intercellular spaces due to trauma or hypostasis

Pigmentary Discolorations

- Jaundice: Yellow to Greenish
- Addison's Disease: Bronze
- Decomposition: Green
- Arterial Injection Fluid: Gray
- PM Stain, Contusion, Hospital Markings: Purple
- Dehydration: Yellow-Brown

Changes in Skin Moisture Content

- Sallow appearance of emaciation
- Light and medium browns as an indication of dehydration; as the loss of skin moisture content continues...
- Darker browns, typical of desiccation of the tissues


complexion cosmetic in designer cosmetology. A basecoat, applied to the skin as the first layer of makeup


cheek color, usually a cream or powder applied to the cheek and other warm color areas to impart natural-appearing color

Lip Color

cosmetic used to color lips; usually a stick or cream


cosmetic used to darken eyelashes

Eye Shadow

colored cosmetic, usually in powder form, applied to upper eyelid


cosmetic in liquid, cake, or pencial form applied as a line where the eyelashes join the eyelid

Eyebrow Pencil

cosmetic in soft, solid or powdered form applied to give color to the eyebrows

Methods for Applying External Cosmetics

- Gloved hand
- Brush
- Sponge
- Puff/Pad
- Spray

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