Holiday Treats: Team Demon Fabulous Makup Challenge

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"Success is never owned, it is rented and rent is due everyday" -Rory Vaden

 

Our makeup team at the Devil's Attic, (http://thedevilsattic.com) "Team Demon Fabulous" won several awards this past haunt season. That being said I do not want us to rest on a laurels and fall behind on our skills. I read the above quote on some silly Instagram post but it really rang true to me. Makeup challenges are a good way to keep skills up and test our creativity beyond horror based makeups. We have done challenges in the past so I thought it was time to do another. I opened up the challenge to all members of the makeup team, past and present.

 The makeup challenge we came up with was Holiday Treats. No rules other than a due date were handed out which gave everyone over three weeks. Artists could do anything as long as it was inspired by holiday treats in some way. For anyone that has seen or followed my work I don't really ever do bright and cheery things, not even in beauty makeup. At least doing bright and cheery things is not what I am known for. I could have turned the holiday theme on it's ear and made it something dark but I wanted to challenge myself. I wanted my makeup to screamed "Christmas"!

 The idea I came up with was a gingerbread person and peppermint with a day of the dead twist. Adding in some day of the dead elements I thought would live'en it up a bit, pardon the pun. I had to be careful not to go to far into "Day of the Dead" and loose the look of the Holidays. Doing more of a beauty eye and a more circular shape to the nose would keep it from going to far in the direction of a skull. After sketching it out I was able to see how to execute this look.

Rough Sketch of my Makeup

Rough Sketch of my Makeup

(artist portions)

Before I get to my makeup I first want to showcase the amazing makeups of Team Demon Fabulous. Kelsey Eisenhut had been with me since the beginning when I first started on the makeup team. When I took over the makeup team in 2015 she quickly became my right hand.  I was sad to see her leave when she had to move to Indianapolis after the 2016 season. She is still a member of the team and she never shies away from a challenge.

Here is what Kelsey had to say, " When we were issued the challenge of Christmas Treats I was so excited and immediately a thousand ideas started dancing around in my head, not unlike sugar plums.

Often I find that my main problem when designing a makeup is too many ideas, making it hard to create continuity and cohesion in the look. In this particular situation I was able to find a solution that allowed me to use as many different ideas as I wanted because what is more open concept and eclectic than a gingerbread man.

I knew there was a possibility that another artist would pick the same theme so I wanted to make sure I made it my own by bringing in not only makeup but also 3d crafted elements as seen in the gum drop buttons and candy cane bow. I also wanted to make sure I brought in enough different candy elements to make it recognizable without overcrowding the canvas.

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I was lucky enough to find a photographer that was willing to photograph my look, the wonderful David McKenna and the final product is something I hope Santa would be proud of!" Kelsey also used a pair of Primal Colored Contact Lenses in "Lizard King" to make her look pop.

Photo: David McKenna  Model and Makeup: Kelsey Eisenhut  

Photo: David McKenna

Model and Makeup: Kelsey Eisenhut  

Photo: David McKenna  Model and Makeup: Kelsey Eisenhut

Photo: David McKenna

Model and Makeup: Kelsey Eisenhut

Phoebe Conrad was with Team Demon Fabulous for the last two years. She was the youngest person we've ever had on the makeup team and was a great addition. Phoebe was always eager to help out when needed and kept the haunt in healthy snacks. She is leaving us to go to Cinema Makeup School and to live in Los Angeles.

We wish Phoebe all the luck out in California and this is what she had to say about her makeups,  "My 2018 holiday makeup challenge submissions are Crisp Kringle and Reba Ribbon! Inspired by the classic holiday candies Crisp Kringle chocolate bar and hand made ribbon candy. Two of my favourites growing up!

Model: Alicia Carper  Photo and Makeup: Phoebe Conrad  

Model: Alicia Carper

Photo and Makeup: Phoebe Conrad  

Model: Kyle Howell   Photo and Makeup: Phoebe Conrad

Model: Kyle Howell 

Photo and Makeup: Phoebe Conrad

Lauren Bradley was with us for the 2016 season. She was such an asset to the team and we were all upset to see her go. She always added a bit of her own flare to her makeups and her snarkiness always added a nice dry sense of humor to the team dynamic. We were all sad when she left. 

Lauren doesn't usually like to talk about the makeups she does but had this to say, "I’m closing at work and I literally have no time to write why I did what I did in a nice manner but I chose the sugar plum fairy for obvious reasons. My team was fantastic. I made the bodysuit with rhinestones, holographic glitter, and puffy acrylic paints. I got glitter all over Clay and Alex's house and I felt pretty bad about it but they didn’t seem to care. I made the sugar plums with some recipe I found online. They were pretty cute and tasted like apple pie, but unfortunately contained no plums because I didn’t have any and was on a time crunch. They also had edible glitter, so that’s neat I guess. Andrea also let me borrow her bioglitz for the eye makeup and I’m in love. Enjoy."

Photo: Andrea Gabriel   Model: Alex Hepfinger  Makeup and Costuming: Lauren Bradley  

Photo: Andrea Gabriel 

Model: Alex Hepfinger

Makeup and Costuming: Lauren Bradley  

 Photo: Andrea Gabriel   Model: Alex Hepfinger  Makeup and Costuming: Lauren Bradley

 Photo: Andrea Gabriel

Model: Alex Hepfinger

Makeup and Costuming: Lauren Bradley

I have wanted to work with Kesley Moorefield as a photographer for sometime now. I have done her makeup as a model but her beauty photography is some of the best I have seen so I was excited when she agreed to shoot this look. Kesley brought in model Kerragan Fleming for this look. I started off by painting Kerragan's face brown in the shape of a half skull. I then airbrushed in some highlights and lowlights and adding a light dusting of metallic gold airbrush paint to give that golden brown look. After doing the eye makeup I still felt it needed some shimmer so I added a lot of gold and bronze highlighter. I then roughed in some white around the border of the gingerbread to mimic icing then topping it with iridescent highlight to give that sugary look.

Photo: Kesley Moorefield  Model: Kerragan Fleming

Photo: Kesley Moorefield

Model: Kerragan Fleming

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To give the makeup and extra ordinary look I cut out the teeth and peppermints on her cheeks from glitter card stock. The peppermint design on her lower jaw and neck probably took the longest getting the lines all straight measuring it out using my knuckles for spacing. I then hit the white with silver metallic airbrush paint and the red with a metallic lilac to highlight it. EBA Performance makeup (http://www.europeanbodyart.com) makes a ton of really great metallic airbrush paints if you are in the market. I capped off the bottom of the peppermint with a spider web like scoop pattern to subtly bring in the traditional spider webs used in day of the dead designs. The finishing touches were an awesome green wig courtesy of Lauren Bradley and red out X-Ray lenses from Primal Contact Lenses (https://us.primalcontactlenses.com/) to mimic the look of red hot candies and maybe add a slight bit of creepiness. I even added some gold flake for a bit of holiday flare.

Photo: Kesley Moorefield  Model: Kerragan Fleming

Photo: Kesley Moorefield

Model: Kerragan Fleming

I am supper happy with the way my makeup came out and the amazing job Kesley did. Team Demon fabulous also turned in some amazing work and I am super proud of them. Going forward into 2019 I am excited to hopefully keep these challenges going, keeping brushes in our hand and pushing our creativity. I am looking forward to the challenges the 2019 season will bring us and meeting those challenges with this amazing team of artists head on. We don't own our success but we have signed the lease and are ready to make payments!

 

Happy Holidays to All!

Matt Goodlett

SFX Makeup Manager, Team Demon Fabulous

Disney Villains: TDF Challenge

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Once you are on the Team Demon Fabulous makeup team I will always consider you as a member of the team as long as you leave on good terms. My second year as the makeup manager at The Devil’s Attic ( http://thedevilsattic.com ) was when I felt I started to slip into my groove. It was also when I came up with the name Team Demon Fabulous (TDF) for our makeup team. That same year Lauren Bradley joined our team. She came in as more of a beauty makeup artist but I had seen her do some more avant-garde looks which I loved and I knew she would do well. She far exceeded my expectations. She was only with us the 2016 season and we were sad to see her go.

Lauren came to the team with a makeup challenge. The challenge she laid out was that we would all do Disney Villains. There were really no rules other than that. You could do it straight up like the character or let the character inspire you in any way you wanted. This was a challenge issued to all TDF members, old and current. Unfortunately due to busy summer schedules two of our current member could not participate. That said everyone else was in. Portia Greene even came back for this challenge. Portia was hired early spring of 2017. She did makeup for a few events with us and even when we opened up for one night in June for the Mid-West Haunters bus tour. Unfortunately for us she got another full time job and had to leave before our season started. That all said she is still TDF.

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With all the players in place people started to pick their characters so we didn’t have any overlap. Some were picking more obscure characters I had to look up. That said, no one had picked Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty. I have always wanted to do a Maleficent makeup so this was the perfect opportunity.  She kind of embodies the aesthetic I like. I love things that are dark and beautiful and a bit macabre which fit Mal’s look perfectly. Team Demon Fabulous consists of fairly attractive women and then there is me. I figured they were going to be doing makeup on themselves but I knew I could not pull off a Maleficent look, nor did I want to. The first thing I needed was a model. Alex Hepfinger is a model I have used in the past and I knew her face had all the features I needed. Plus she is great to work with and is usually game for my strange ideas.  

The only camera I own is the one on my phone which is a good camera but not for this. Misha Kidwell was awesome enough to offer up his skill and studio to help this Maleficent come to life. Having a great model and photographer I decided it would be good to have an equally awesome hair stylist come in and help. I hadn’t worked with Caleb Yeske in a while but he agreed to come on and do hair. Now with a great team in place I really had to deliver on my end of the deal.

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First up we have Lauren’s look which is only fair since this is her challenge. I am so happy that Lauren wanted to include her haunt family in this challenge. When she first came to the team in 2016 I was worried she wouldn’t get into it. After a really bad injury earlier in the season I was afraid we were going to lose her. Lauren is a perfect example of not judging a book by its cover. She may not look like it but she is a tough badass. That season we had "big bad" male actors dropping like flies for far less injuries yet Lauren never missed a beat. I have never seen the Emperor’s New Groove so I had never heard of Yzma. She ended up doing an Yzma/Kris Jenner hybrid which I thought was hilarious. I had asked everyone to write something about their makeups for this blog and in true Lauren fashion this is what I got, “Hahaha you know I'm not one for sentiment or even offering an explanation for why I do the things I do. It's the element of mystery, confusion, and wtf. Pull the lever, sweetie.”

 

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Kelsey Eisenhut was one of the first members of Team Demon Fabulous and the only member of the team that was on my team for my first year as manager when we were just “The Monster Squad”. She is also one of my best friends. Kelsey unfortunately moved away to Indianapolis the summer of 2017. With the 2 hour commute we unfortunately lost her to distance. She also happened to pick one of the villains I was not familiar with. Madam Medusa from the Rescuers was perfect for her. I will let Kelsey explain her process in her own words, “When we were issued the Disney Challenge I was excited and nervous all at the same time. On the one hand I love Disney and especially Disney Villains as is evidenced by my full leg sleeve. On the other hand I knew I would be performing this makeup on myself and that made me nervous. All issues of vanity that any person deals with aside, a fact I never talk about as a makeup artist is my terrible peripheral vision. I have a very hard time doing a full face on myself due to my inability to fully see out of the corners of my eyes. I have lived with this face for 29 years now and so I do know my face fairly well but it is still an issue for me. With this fact in mind I try to focus on looks focused more in the middle of my face and less on the sides. I have always loved Madame Medusa from The Rescuers and because I am into the obscure thought it was the perfect choice. Knowing my subject and the issues at hand I chose to do a "young" version of Madame Medusa. This would keep me from having to change the shape of my face with excessive contouring which is one of the things I find hard to see with my limited peripheral vision. I knew by going this route I could focus on her iconic makeup, hair, and jewelry keeping the character recognizable while also working around my downfalls.”

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I have always liked the way Portia Greene’s mind works when it comes to her creative makeups. I sought her out for our makeup team nearly a half year in advance before the season even started when I found out Lauren was leaving us. She has a way of adding beauty and horror together which is the aesthetic I like in our haunt makeups. When she picked the Queen of Hearts from Alice In Wonderland I was very curious to see what direction she would go given that she looks nothing like the character. Here Portia explains the inspiration she took, “I took a lot of liberties with my look. I wanted to create a queen turned war general who gives “No Fucks” now.  I used Latin across her face as a war paint saying Cor Comedenti which means Heart Eater. Since Latin is considered a romantic language I thought it was fitting.”

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Last but not least we have Mary Proctor. I love Mary and I am so glad she is on my team. She wasn’t a makeup artist before asked her for the 2016 season. She had such outside the box way of thinking when it came to her weekend burlesque looks I wanted to see what she could do in the makeup room. She is now my second in command and is constantly surprising me with her talent. Mary picked Cruella Deville from 101 Dalmatians. If you know Mary you know this makes sense. If Mary’s not wearing black,  she’s wearing some kind of animal print. I will let Mary explain her look, “I based my look off of 6ix9ine, Post Malone and just sound cloud rappers in general. I believe that humor plays a very important role in art and I try to represent that what I do when I can. I love taking an idea and turning it on it's ear In a funny way.  I learned a lot through this challenge and had a lot of fun too. Can't wait for more so I can keep learning and having fun with my friends” 

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Back to my makeup look, I knew I had to keep the essence of Maleficent but still make her mine. I didn’t want to do a straight up interpretation. First thing to go was the red lips. I just felt while the red lips are iconic they brought to much life to her face. I wanted to focus more on her extreme cheekbones. I also didn’t want to use stock horns because I didn’t want it to look like the movie. I thought I could just make my own horns. Unfortunately that didn’t work out. I had never made papier-mâché horns or anything for that matter and I really underestimated the difficulty level. It took forever to get them the shape I wanted them but I thought they would work.  Leaving them out to dry the night before the makeup I thought I could just paint them in the morning. With the heavy rains that night I guess there was so much moisture in the air that they just fell like a soufflé. With a whole photo-shoot team in place I didn’t have time to try it again. I ran to a local costume shop. I was hoping they would have ram horns or something so it wouldn’t look so “officially licensed” but they were sold out. The next closest thing they had were gazelle horns but they were too small and had no presence. I ended up having to pick up actual Maleficent horns. To make the officially movie licensed horns more custom I tipped them in gold and dusted the rest of the horns with the same paint outside the studio before we shot. With the paint still drying the store bought horns were then placed on Alex's head backwards. This gave it a more evil aggressive look as oppose the horns being swept back. They may not have been our horns but we made them ours.

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Maleficent also has the glowing yellow eyes in the animated movie. Alex has beautiful blue eyes which not only wouldn’t match the character but would get lost in the purplish, bluish undertones of the grey paint I had mixed from EBA Performance Makeup ( http://www.europeanbodyart.com/ ). I decided to use these awesome amber toned contacts from Primal ( https://us.primalcontactlenses.com/ ) which were called the Piranha II – 920’s. After looking them up they actually do look like Piranha eyes which are strangely beautiful for such an ugly fish. I then cut a cheek stencil so I could give her that super over exaggerated contour. I may have gone a bit overboard with it but so are Maleficent’s cheek bones. While showering the morning of the makeup I got the idea to do this super glittery black skin from the neck down. I thought it would look beautiful and Maleficent is a fairy after all. 

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I really love not only how my makeup turned out but how everyone’s looks came together. I really wish during haunt season I could have 7 makeup stations and have us all just churning out hyper detailed haunt makeups. Don’t get me wrong, we do pretty amazing with a four person team and I am always happy with our haunt looks. A boy can dream though can’t he? We won’t have another challenge until probably after haunt season but I am looking forward to the next one and seeing what everyone creates. I am so lucky to be surrounded by such wonderful creative artists and getting to call them team mates.

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Transworld 2018

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Transworld is very much in a way like Christmas to haunters. I look forward to it every year and get very excited about it. Then in a weekend It’s over and similar to Christmas you're left kind of dulled by all of the excitement. For those that don’t know, Transworld Halloween and Attraction Show is the biggest haunted house convention in America. Given how Americans celebrate Halloween probably the biggest in the world. This year I had two out of three artists from my makeup team “Team Demon Fabulous” which is the makeup team for the Devil’s Attic haunted attraction in Louisville, Kentucky Mary Proctor and Rebecca Rhodes (www.thedevilsattic.com) going with me. Seeing as how I was the only makeup artist from our haunt that went last year having almost my full team with me was exciting. Hopefully next year Phoebe Conrad will join us and we'll have the whole team.

This year I was set to do a makeup demo for my favorite makeup brand European Body Art: Performance Makeup. They are such a cool company and everyone that works with them are awesome. I was originally  slated to do my demo sometime on Saturday. When I confirmed my demo time on Thursday the day before I would be leaving I found out I was instead doing my demo on Friday morning at 11am. This wouldn’t be an issue if I were riding alone but I was riding with three other people. We generally leave Louisville Kentucky around 9-10am which would be too late to get to Saint Louis in time. Luckily everyone was able to leave with me earlier. That said I didn’t anticipate how long it would take to get registered once we got there.

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My artsists and friends Mary and Rebecca  (who was also my model for the demo) could see how frustrated I was and kept me calm. Once I got in and set up I was a few minutes late. I hate being late for anything so to say I was flustered would have been an understatement. From the demo stage I asked Rebecca to grab my airbrushes out of my bag.  When she couldn’t find them I realized in all of the rush I had left them in the car. Not only was I late, I was unprepared. Luckily Alden Silvestre with European Body Art (EBA) had a spare which saved me the 20 minutes of running back to my car.

After looking like a slacker who showed up a few minutes late without his most important tool I was able to get started. We have a Reagan character from the Exorcist at our haunt. One night after doing her makeup the actress put on a bubblegum pink care bear pajama union suit to stay warm before we opened for business and she would be in a night gown the rest of the night. I loved the contrast of the pink against the greens, browns, and deeps reds of the makeup. I also loved the juxtaposition of the creepy makeup and the cute pink pajamas so that is the look I wanted to recreate on Rebecca. At the haunt we can’t afford to use prosthetics every night. What we do is build everything on the actors face in cotton and latex. While the latex is drying we work on other makeups. I knew I wouldn’t have time for latex to fully dry in that time frame so I used molding wax for the scars. While it is faster and looks better wax would not hold up to the abuse of an actor in a haunt. In a convention setting it would work perfectly though. Not as perfect as prosthetics but I had expected to be able to walk the floor before my demo and pick some up. All in all I was very happy with the way it turned out and being the actress she is Rebecca really sold the look with her go to line being "Have you seen mommy?" With all of the pictures people wanted with her I am sure her and the makeup are all over the internet.

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Nix Herrera and Myself

Nix Herrera and Myself

The next day Mary was asked to act for Heather Henry’s company High Noon FX. She would be popping out of a very realistic silicone body all day in full body paint. I will post a video of her performance at the bottom of the blog. That left Rebecca and I to wander the convention  floor. We saw all kinds of cool and inspiring things. The best for me though was talking with people I have met in years past who’s work I respect and are just good people like Jessica Mellow, Stephanie Masco and Alana Rose Schiro to name a few. The more I walked around the more I wanted to do another demo. When we stopped by the EBA booth to pick up some makeup I mentioned to Alden I wanted to do another makeup if there was time. Come to find out Nix Herrera who I look up to was going to be doing makeup for them all day the next day. I couldn’t be upset, I got to do my one and I was happy for that opportunity. After we walked around a bit more we stopped back by because Rebecca “needed” to buy more makeup. Nix came up to me and said he had heard I wanted to do another makeup on Sunday and that he would split the stage with me and we could do demos at the same time. So not only would I get to do another makeup but I would be doing it with someone I look up to.

Mary Proctor in makeup by Heather Henry of High Noon FX

Mary Proctor in makeup by Heather Henry of High Noon FX

Myself and Nix Herrera sharing the EBA demo stage.

Myself and Nix Herrera sharing the EBA demo stage.

Rebecca Had brought this dress made by a company called Western Evil. It was a white collared black Wednesday Addams style dress. On the front of the dress is what at first glance looks like Disney’s Magic Kingdom logo, only it’s not. The spires are crosses on fire and where it would say “Magic Kingdom” it says “Tragic Kingdom”. I let this be my inspiration for my Sunday demo. I love adding social commentary into my makeups and the first thing that came to mind was Banksy’s Dismal Land. I framed Rebecca’s face in black and brought the forehead down into a peak like Mickey Mouse. I had Rebecca do her black hair up in space buns to resemble mouse ears. I gave her face a very dead and sickly look using washes of white, with fluorescent pink, deep reds and deep purples. I then dripped the black down her neck to bring in a street art feel. I topped it off with a crudely drawn dollar sign on her forehead and bruises on her knees. I won’t explain the piece totally so you can draw your own conclusions but I will say it was about big business and corporate greed. Over all I was very excited with the way the makeup turned out. It’s probably one of my favorite horror style makeups I’ve ever done and I am so thankful to Nix for letting me share his stage.

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All in all this was another amazing Transworld. It always energizes me for the haunt season among other things. Whether you are an actor, a makeup artist, a scene/prop builder, costumer whatever you will be inspired. If you can leave this convention and not be inspired you might be in the wrong industry. Now I am looking forward to haunt season and I am ready to dive in. Then on November 1st I will be looking forward to Transworld.