There is no time like Halloween for makeup artists to show off their special effects skills. Makeup artists are always looking for ways to promote themselves and Halloween makeup allows artists to push the boundaries.
Every year, makeup is increasing in popularity as a way to enhance, or forgo, a costume. Whether it is adding green face paint to a witch costume or using a latex appliance to add realistic cuts and bruises, makeup has opened up a whole new world for the Halloween experience.
Branching into the world of special effects allows professional makeup artists to separate themselves from doing simple and straight beauty applications. The best part about special effects is that it takes very little effort to get started. Many top cosmetology schools are adding special effects classes to their extra curriculum and retail starter kits for their students.
Start with the most basic tool, color. As with all makeup application, utilizing the right colors is key. With the popularity of zombies and vampires at an all-time high, it is a safe bet to start with very light, cream colors with a gray tone. A cold dark purple would not hurt. Do not forget black! Many manufacturers produce stacks complete with multiple colors for completing various characters. Look for these in a five-color stackable as they are great for complete looks.
When makeup artists are ready to take it to the next level, they should enter the world of prosthetics. Latex appliances are a great way to mix up a quick, horrific look. Makeup artists can jump into foam if they need set-ready makeup. These pieces come in all types of sizes and designs – from a bullet hole to a full-face zombie. The beauty of using these pieces is simplicity and realism. With little effort and spirit gum adhesive, artists can increase the look of any character tenfold. If these latex pieces are treated right, they can be used many times over. Utilizing these tools and getting familiar with them always puts artists in a place to show off their talent and build a larger client base.
Of course, it would be careless to discuss this style of makeup without diving into fake bloods. There are a few basic types of fake blood, ranging from thick blood that dries quickly to thin blood that runs and drips. There is mouth blood, blood capsules, colored blood, eye blood, and much more. It all flies off the shelf when clients and consumers are looking to enhance their Halloween attire. Many of these items are used every day in films and television shows around the industry.
One important point, as with any type of makeup, is to account for potential cross contamination. Switching back and forth between many tools and colors while working on multiple clients presents the common risk of contamination. To avoid this, there are two very important tools that professional makeup artists should have in their makeup case. The first tool is a stainless steel metal spatula and palette, which is used with a brush or sponge to apply the makeup. The second tool, a professional brush cleaner, is used to fully and quickly
When clients see what can be done, or what they can do with special effects, Halloween and special effects makeup can put artists on a completely different level.
Maurice Stein has over 25 years of experience as an artist and is the founder of Cinema Secrets Cosmetics in Burbank, Calif. Founded in 1985, Cinema Secrets quickly grew into an empire by combining a makeup training school, full service salon, special effects and prosthetics studio, theatrical costume shop, and beauty supply emporium. His signature makeup techniques have adorned countless celebrities, as well as three United States Presidents. His dedication to the industry, as well as his relentless mission to broaden public awareness about healthy makeup application, has earned him the label “Maestro of Makeup Education.”