My Father’s Make-up Kit

A few days ago, I received in the mail a small, flat-rate box from my dad, who lives in New York City. Inside was a letter, which was handwritten in pencil on yellow legal pad paper, along with two clippings from the New York Times (one, about high-wire artist Phillip Petit and the other, about a Summer Festival of Indian Dance) and an article from Money magazine about personal branding.

Also inside was a 3-inch long prosthetic nose.

The nose was loosely wrapped in a yellowing, 3” x 8” strip of paper on which the directions for its application are printed.

Batson’s professional WOOCHIE NOSES,” reads the heading (tag-line: “Light, Comfortable…the Great-Looking Ones”).

This is all this company does. They make fake noses: clown noses, witch noses, werewolf muzzles and other fine proboscis products.

After doing a little research, I discovered that, following the death of founder Paul Batson in 1989, Batson’s Woochie Nose Company sold to the far less charming-sounding Cinema Secrets, Inc. Therefore, I may now be the owner of a rare, fake nose.

I’ll tell you why I needed the nose in just a minute (No, I am not on the lam.).

The nose was just one of many interesting items in my father’s make-up kit. As a kid, I remember above all else the wonderful greasy smell of its contents. There were tins of “pancake” make-up in various shades of beige and tan and white, sticks of grease paint, spirit gum, sponges, brushes, powders, pencils, fake mustaches, sideburns and more.

Here it is:

In case you’re wondering, he used this kit for plays and sometimes commercials, and later for Halloween (on himself and us kids).

Dad’s make-up kit showed me how I could present any face I wanted to the world. They were all me –clown, witch, werewolf—and yet none of them were me. I loved what it stood for. And I loved its owner.

Still do, of course.

Before I forget, I will tell you– I’m reading a scene from Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand, playing both Cyrano and his love, Roxane (using a strategically placed ladies’ fan when she speaks). It’s a speaking assignment for my Toastmasters club. That’s what the nose is for.

More importantly, you never know when you might need to apply your own latex nose. So, I’ll close with some IMPORTANT APPLICATION TIPS as directed verbatim on the original Batson’s professional Woochie Nose instruction sheet.

You’ll want to pay close attention here.

  • MAKEUP CHARACTERISTICS. Some wearers just want to know “how do I attach the nose?” This section deals briefly with makeup because that has much to do with how the nose looks after it’s on…
  • APPLYING MAKEUP. It’s easy to apply makeup to nose before putting it on (except scalloped edges) and almost impossible afterwards. Apply makeup sparingly with small piece of moist kitchen sponge, using just enough to tint it to desired color…
  • To remove the shine and set the makeup, pat on powder (talc is fine), press it onto makeup, and remove excess with a powder or complexion brush. Noses seem more lifelike if touched, here and there, with dry rouge or blusher applied (a little at a time) with a large soft brush…
  • IF YOUR WITCH HAS A HAIRY WART…After applying makeup to nose, begin inside piece and sew through wart several time with black thread, leaving long loops on the outside. Cut loops to make straight “hairs.”
  • WEREWOLF NOSES…Darken nostril area of your own nose first so it won’t show through nostrils of Werewolf nose…A very little honey or pancake syrup on end of nose will give it a moist shine.

HELPFUL TIPS*: If your witch wants additional warts, Batson’s professioinal Stage Warts can provide the finishing touches. *Batson’s Burn Scar & Wound Effect often adds a distinctive touch to witches who stand over a hot cauldron all night. Woochie Witch noses are also available with chins, as a set.

Hand-crafted in U.S.A. by Woochie Studio Labs.

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2 Responses to My Father’s Make-up Kit

  1. Danny Stein says:

    Hi, I saw your post about your fathers Makeup kit. Very cool old kit.
    And yes, we did purchase the Woochie line years ago – actually from the people who first purchased it from Paul Batson after his death.

    And I do think as a company, we do have a lot of charm! Please check us out and let me know if I can be of any help with any of your theatrical makeup needs. We have everything in our store in Burbank Ca that you would need to Create fantastic looks for Halloween or any time of the year. You can also check some of our Cinema Secrets line and the much improved Woochie line on our website at http://www.cinemasecrets.com

    Thank you
    Danny Stein
    CFO/Co-Owner
    Cinema Secrets Inc.

    • Dasi says:

      Hi, Danny! Glad to hear that you’re carrying on the Woochie legacy. And, by the way, anyone who sells rubber noses (read: fun) for a living is okay in my book. Wishing you a happy and profitable Halloween– :o)

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