Officially, it is a bodypaint. It is nothing like the textile latex you often see online. Technically, liquid latex is just that: liquid latex (rubber) that has not been hardened yet ("vulcanized"). It contains an small amount of sulfur and ammonia to keep it liquid in the bottle, but when applied on the skin those ingredients will vaporize and then the latex will dry up into an elastic and strong solid substance that remains sticking on the skin.
Dried up latex is experienced as a comfortable wear: it is a perfect fit on the body and blocks loss of warmth. The latter is also a point of relevance when people would be physically very active (in a warm environment, like a club scenery): the body would not be able to cool down well enough. Luckily, that is of no concern during a Liquid Latex session. The body is not fully covered with liquid latex and we will be working in a steady environment with proper ventilation (which is also required for the vaporized sulfur and ammonia).
Liquid latex is applied with a foam brush. Applying liquid latex has to be done in layers: the first layers set the main contour lines. One single layer of liquid latex remains transparent after drying up so multiple layers are required in order to get the proper color.
So, we start with applying the first layer of liquid latex. The shapes will be drawn roughly. Then we have to let the first layer dry, which takes about 20 minutes on average.
Then a second layer will be applied: now the shapes will be filled thicker and lines will be refined with more detail. Again, this layer has to dry up for 20 minutes.
This process of adding new layers repeats until the desired color and layer thickness has been reached. When the last filling layer has dried up, the final detailed lines of the shapes will be drawn on the body. When they have dried up and are considered to be good enough, you are ready to shoot!
As you can see, applying the latex is a very time consuming process. It can easily take 5 - 8 hours, due to all the layers and drying moments in between. So when you wish to participate in a Liquid Latex session, make sure you have reserved the whole day for it!
When you are allergic to latex, ammonia or sulfur then you should not be participating in the Liquid Latex. I have never met a person who has such allergies but apparently they exist, so if you are one of them then please find another theme/project that might be more suitable for you.
Applying the liquid latex takes hours, but its removal is done within minutes. It's very easy to peel off the liquid latex. Do mind though, that if you have a lot of body hair it can be somewhat unpleasant to remove the latex. It is like a wax: the hairs get stuck in the dried latex and when you peel off the latex, you are also pulling all those hairs along with it.
I always use a body oil as the base, which is firmly applied on the whole body before the liquid latex is put on. This eases the removal of Liquid Latex afterwards and gives the body a great shine! If you have more questions, feel free to contact me. You can use the contact form for this, if you like.