Unleash Your Inner Zombie...
By Meghan Sitek
I am a Multi-Media Makeup Artist and my favorite genre is Special Effects Makeup, and with it being October, it’s all I think about!
Movies like Predator, Friday the 13th and Evil Dead were just a few of the films that gave me my first itch for Makeup. I enjoy sharing this passion and I thought it would be fitting to give some tips on your next October Makeup Adventure.
For those that go the extra mile for Halloween or get into any other October festivities that involve the transformation of a creep, here are a few tips for unleashing your inner zombie or whatever freak you desire!
If you don’t have the time or want the convenience of a Makeup Artist, I’m your girl!
Don't Be Afraid - Experiment
Many people won’t go near face paints, prosthetics, or even a specific character because they think they will fail at the makeup. Trial and error is the best teacher but you’re reading this to know the how to’s before you start, right ;). My advice is to practice before the big day so you aren’t frustrated if something isn’t turning out the way you planned. Get dirty and play. Practice makes perfect.
To achieve the most realistic believable look you’ll want to invest in these inexpensive tools:
*Sponges - you can use the white wedge cosmetic sponges for blending and applying an overall color (make sure to check if they are latex, you should test on your skin first).
Stipple sponges are used to create textured effects. They have an open weave texture that can be used for blending in prosthetics, mock beards, broken blood vessels and gives your canvas a convincing texture.
Various sized brushes will be used for detail work. Make sure to use synthetic brushes with crèmes or anything liquid!
Fingers are a great blending tool for special effects, and they’re free! If you will be sharing your makeup it would be best to use a palette or even a plate to put your product on so it doesn’t get contaminated.
Be sure to sanitize/clean your tools after each use, it’s a breeding ground for bacteria. This goes for your daily brushes as well. Understand, not everyone has the time to clean their brushes after they use them, especially when you’re the only one using them but they should be cleaned at least once a week…think of how often you wash your hair, it is the same concept.
Then there is prosthetics (creating an advanced cosmetic effect) for the most daring macabre creatures! The most common kind of prosthetic for the common ghoul that is in most stores is rubber latex (others include: foam, gelatin & silicone). The hardest part of prosthetic makeup is keeping the edges as thin as possible so they are easy to blend giving it that seamless look (see Tip #1). To help achieve this flawless look you’ll need an adhesive and remover (Spirit Gum/Pros-Aide), Liquid Latex and Rubber Mask Grease Paint. I could go on about this process all day long but I would then be writing a book, so let’s just stick to the key elements.
Become A Painter
Your face is a canvas so…yes, you essentially are a painter. There is an array of different face and body paints you can use; here are a few brands I make use of (you get what you pay for): Temptu, Mehron/Paradise, Ben Nye, Kryolan, Snazaroo…they can be water-based or (good for sensitive skin and beginners) oil/latex/grease based (lasts longer and more versatile-you will need a special remover for these so stick with the water-based for the kiddos). Beginners usually forget to add contours to their face/body.
Don’t be afraid to mix colors to provide more depth and dimension like adding highlights and shadows (study your own face). I would have a paper towel or washcloth on hand for any quick cleanups. Airbrushing is a whole other ball game and investment. I would advise beginners to work with brushes before you introduce yourself to this tool.
Set Your Makeup
Most people don’t realize that if you are putting any type of liquid on your face/body you should be setting it with a powder (baby powder, translucent loose powder-best, compressed powder…) this helps your makeup from running or creasing. This is especially important if you will be wearing makeup for an extended period of time. You should be doing this with your everyday makeup, as well.
Added Accessories & Ideas
Now if you have the extra money, and want to blow people away, here are some extra, added bonuses to dazzle your fellow zombies, vampires or ghouls. Crazy contact lenses, teeth stain (comes in different gross colors), finger extensions, fake blood is always a necessity for the grotesque, use bruise & monster wheels, rip up clothes & get them dirty, wear a nappy wig, use wax to create effects like bullet holes, gashes, a broken nose…!
Here are a couple stores you can find these products:
-Halloween Outlet stores (in store)
-Norcostco in Minneapolis (in store/online)
-Twin Cities Magic and Costume Co. in St. Paul (in store/online)
-FX Supply.com (online)
-FX Warehouse.net (online)
-Mostly Dead.com (online)
Whether working on a soon to be zombie, bride or an actor, I enjoy working with people and different makeup looks. I like the transformation and the feeling I can give someone with just a few strokes of a brush. If you are interested in any other advice, tips or want me to be at your next event contact me at email@example.com or check me out on my website www.meghanleeartistry.com, weddingwire.com and on Facebook under the business page Meghan Lee Artistry.
Photography courtesy of Meghan Lee Artistry and Burt Edwards Photography. All rights reserved.