Billie Eilish: Team Demon Fabulous Makeup Challenge

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On my friend and team  member's birthday we went out for chips and margaritas. We were  talking about music and about the type of music I had been into lately. I had  been listing to things that were basically pretty dark in subject matter but  that if you didn't really pay attention to the lyrics sounded kind of innocuous.  She lit up and started telling me about Billie Eilish and about how her songs were often beautiful but the lyrical content could be a bit gothic in  nature. When we parted ways that evening I pulled Billie up on Spotify and gave  her a listen on my way home. I really liked the breathiness of her often times  haunting voice and lyrical content.

After listening for a couple days I got this idea.  Team Demon Fabulous, the makeup team from the Devil's Attic ( http://thedevilsattic.com/darknessfalls/ ) hadn't had a makeup  challenge in a while and I thought a Billie Eilish theme would be a good one. I  have always been inspired by music in my art and I wanted to see how the team  would interpret her music. Billie  herself has said she doesn't like to explain her songs too much because she  wants the listener to be able to make up their own narrative which was perfect  for us. The only rule I gave was a time limit and to just be inspired by Billy  Eilish. After issuing the challenge to the team I quickly realized I had no idea  what I was going to do.

The songs I had been listening to I loved but  they didn't speak to me visually. That said I had been listening to the same 5  songs on repeat. I opened up my playlist to all of her music and found my inspiration song  almost immediately. When "All Good Girls go to Hell" came on I knew that was the  inspiration for me. I saw a dark demonic figure plainly standing with a very  sweet and innocent looking girl in my head. I didn't really have more than that though,  but that was enough to get started. The next day scrolling through Instagram it  really all came together.

I saw a painting by an artist named Natalie  Shau titled "Wendigo". The painting was amazing and was a heightened version of  what I already had in my head. I posted the image to my Instagram story simply  saying "Vibes". I didn't want to give to much away as it was for a challenge.  The painting got me thinking about the story of if all, and the seduction of the  devil. The painting "Wendigo" was a good first step but the story needed more.  Days later completely unrelated I came across another image titled "Secret Date"  which played into the whole seduction idea but also the resistance. As it turns  out that painting was also done by Natalie Shau. The third painting I was using  for inspiration was "American Gothic" by Grant Wood. To me that image speaks to  them being equals and living long lives together and embracing the temptation. 

Inspiration image by Natalie Shau "Wendigo",  "Secret Date" and Grant Wood's "American Gothic"

Inspiration image by Natalie Shau "Wendigo",  "Secret Date" and Grant Wood's "American Gothic"

Now I had to build a team for this photo shoot to  create these images. The first person I asked was photographer Donovan Cole. He  shoots a lot of fashion and editorial type stuff and I knew that's how I wanted  these images handled. He is young but has been churning out a lot of amazing  work. Given the demon makeup I knew I'd be doing I didn't want it to look like a  monster photo shoot and a photographer without vision may have taken them in  that direction. I knew Donovan could keep the images on track. I kind of figured  I would be the model for the demon makeup especially since in past challenges  most of the team has been their own models so I figured it was time for me. For the "Good Girl" I needed a model that  could really pull of the sweet and innocent look as well as the demon's equal.  Working on Steve Squall's film "Mujō" I met actress Olivia Duff who plays the  lead Meta in the film. My job when meeting her was to paint tattoos on her that  are specific to the character. I knew she had the perfect look and as an actress  would be able to pull off the story in these photos.

Mujō promo photos by Steve Squall featuring Olivia Duff with Tattoos by me.

Mujō promo photos by Steve Squall featuring Olivia Duff with Tattoos by me.

With my team in place I was ready to get started,  or so I thought. As I was doing makeup for a fashion show designer Andie Kaye  came up to me saying she had seen the Instagram story where I had posted the  "Wendigo" painting and she wanted in on whatever I was doing. I never posted I  was up to anything but somehow Andie knew. When she referred to the image as  Persephone I knew I had to have her involved. In Greek mythology Persephone is  the wife of Hades and they ruled the underworld together. With that I knew Andie  got what we were doing and I brought her on as a stylist.

Before I get into our actual photo shoot lets  look at the amazing work of Team Demon Fabulous;

Being the go getter that she is Kelsey Eisenhut was the the first to turn in her look.  Here is what she had to say about her makeup,  "When Matt announced we would be having another challenge I was so excited. I always love the interpretation aspect of the challenges and I might be the tiniest bit competitive. However, I found myself thrown for a loop when the genre of the challenge was announced. I had no clue who Billie Eilish was, what her music sounded like, what her personal style was, or what she looked like. I have never gone into a challenge before so ill prepared so I found myself in a very uncomfortable position.

My first step was to take a deep dive into the music, videos, and interviews of Billie. As I was researching the other team members were quickly reserving the songs that they were going to base their looks around. Although it is not a rule that two artists cannot use the same inspiration, I like to keep myself away from the pack. All the big hits got scooped up quickly so I found myself going further and further down the rabbit hole until I hit the song “Hostage”.

From the opening scene of the video and the first few beats I knew I had found my inspiration. I listened to the song and watched the video around 40 times over the next two days letting the words, music, and feelings sink in. The song has some obvious visual characteristics called out that I knew I wanted to use, gold leaf and gold fingers, but I also wanted to make it mine. About the 35th time I listened to the song and idea started to form.

The thing I found most striking about the song and video was the internal struggle, a struggle I myself have felt. She describes the struggle to want to love and be loved but in the process being self-destructive by being mean and pushing her lover away. I wanted to create something that at first glance was beautiful but upon further inspection showed signs of a fight. At first look you see the gold and the beauty but if you take a closer look you see the busted lip and the bruised eye.

Although I had no idea who Billie Eilish was coming in to this challenge I dug in deep and found something I could truly feel to create this look. Plus I came out with some great new songs on my Spotify playlist!"

Photo: Gingerkat Photography   Model: Jacy Inskeep  Makep: Kelsey Eisenhut      Lauren Bradley didn't pick a specific song,  well... I'll let her explain, "I was inspired by Billie as a whole for this shoot. these are a few of the photos that turned out. it was done with film so we don’t know what happened to the black and white pics of pancake (the tarantula) on my face. if those didn’t turn out i’m gonna do a different shoot with her bc she deserves to be a star. Danny used expired film for a moody creepy effect and that’s what i was looking for."

Photo: Gingerkat Photography 

Model: Jacy Inskeep

Makep: Kelsey Eisenhut  

Lauren Bradley didn't pick a specific song,  well... I'll let her explain, "I was inspired by Billie as a whole for this shoot. these are a few of the photos that turned out. it was done with film so we don’t know what happened to the black and white pics of pancake (the tarantula) on my face. if those didn’t turn out i’m gonna do a different shoot with her bc she deserves to be a star. Danny used expired film for a moody creepy effect and that’s what i was looking for."

photos by Danny Bloom  Model and Makeup Lauren Bradley  

photos by Danny Bloom

Model and Makeup Lauren Bradley  

 With having a 4 person team of all very busy  individuals it was hard o find a date we were all available. There was literally  one day that we could do the photos on so we got it all pulled together pretty  quickly. We debated on having a floral backdrop for extreme juxtaposition but  decided against it due to it being a bit distracting. Billie uses a lot of flat  color back drops in her music videos so we opted to barrow a nice pink back drop  from my good buddy Danny Alexander. Given the subject matter pink was the  perfect color which also made the blues in the makeup and Olivia's blue eyes  really pop. Andie pulled a few things from her wardrobe for Olivia to wear  including her own prom dress.

Sketchy Tank design 

Sketchy Tank design 

As far as the makeups there is nothing wrong with red devils or demons I just didn't want to do what was expected. I wanted something dark, very dark. The original idea was just to paint myself all black with black contacts, black horns and a black hood. After some thought I just felt that was too much and a lot of the details would be lost. First I scrapped the black hood for a black suit playing off of the phrase "Trust no Suits", based on a Sketchy Tank design meaning to not trust corporations or really anyone in power. I started off applying some Woochie ( https://www.woochie.com/ ) latex horns to my forehead. I still painted my face all black using Woochie water activated makeup as a base. I then airbrushed EBA Performance ( https://performancemakeup.com/ ) makeup starting in purple and then building to the lightest blue before white to give it a glowing effect. I used a chip brush to flick on some EBA alcohol activated makeup from their encore chrome pallet to break up the color and also give it some glints of shine. I used the Anastasia Beverly Hills Aurora high light pallet on the super light points and my horns. I pre-painted my nails the night before using EBA's Autopsy pallet. I applied the nails after my face and neck makeup were completed. I then added wax around the cuticles to give them a more monstrous look.

Prepainted Nails

Prepainted Nails

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I had originally planned on using a pair of  lenses from Primal ( https://us.primalcontactlenses.com/ ) that were mainly black  with some blue accents. with the makeup already being so dark I changed my mind  last minute and went with Primal's White Walker Lenses. The lighter lenses  really popped surrounded by all of the darkness in the makeup. With the way the  makeup seemed to glow the contacts looked amazing and almost took on a glow  like the Night King in Game of Thrones. Ideally I should have done Olivia's  makeup first. Unfortunately Olivia couldn't get to the shoot until a bit later  so waiting to do her makeup first before I did mine would have put us getting  out much later. Due to the timing of everything I had to have all of my makeup  applied before Olivia got there which I'll admit caused a few  issues. Not Olivia's fault at all, this was just the only day we could all make work. Getting us all there around the same time was like threading a needle in a hurricane.

When Olivia arrived I had a bit of a problem  applying the makeup not just because of the nails but the wax around my cuticles. Because of where  my brushes would rest when I used them they kept sticking in the wax. I  couldn't paint the wax yet which would have cut down on the tack due to fear of  transfer of black paint on Olivia's face which was suppose to be a clean look. Looking back I probably should have powdered them. Once I found my grove working with the nails I was able to do a clean  understated makeup. The idea was to make her look very sweet and innocent. I  really wanted to play up the pink blush on her cheeks and even added a bit on  her nose for a bit of whimsy.

Doing Olivia's makeup in nails and wax cuticles.

Doing Olivia's makeup in nails and wax cuticles.

Wearing a white dress shirt the nails caused  another issue. I didn't want to wear the white dress shirt while I was painting  myself black. The problem was with the nails on I couldn't button my shirt or  tie my tie. Andie pretty much had to dress me which wasn't embarrassing at all.  This also made using the bathroom impossible which once everything was ready I  had to do and couldn't. Using the reference images we worked through the story that fit with  the idea and lyrics of the song. The first look was more her introduction to  Lucifer. Olivia was wearing Andie's vintage looking lace prom dress which was  perfect and soft for this uneasy introduction. From there we moved to more of  the forceful seduction. Not necessarily being seduced by the Devil but more the  idea of being bad and giving into temptation. Andie had Olivia wear the dress  off her shoulder to denote the idea of giving in. For the last look she has  given into the darkside but we still wanted her to look like "the Good Girl".  Andie had her in a darker dress which was still sweet looking and I darkened the  eye makeup slightly. Olivia posed as an equal to the demon, accepting her  darkside having given in.

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I showed Andie the unedited images and she pointed out from a story telling perspective it would make more since to flip the first to images.  She thought that Lucifer would start with a forceful seduction which would lead to their reluctant embrace. I respect Andie's opinion so I wanted to give it some thought. After thinking about it for a bit I started to see that she was right. I flipped them and I give you "The Persephone Switch".

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Donovan really knocked it out of the park with  these images, making everyone's hard work shine. I believe in getting people  involved for the jobs that they do. What I mean is to get people for what they do,  not what you want them to do. Everyone really did a great job on this and not  one of them could have been replaced. I am also very proud of Team Demon  Fabulous. It is so cool seeing different interpretations on the same subject matter. I am pretty sure this is why Billie and other artists like  her don't like to spell out exactly what their songs are about. Everyone  consumes art differently and it's not really up to the artist to tell you how  it's suppose to make you feel.

So Billie, what do you think?


 

Illustration by J. Lopez @jdotcreative

Illustration by J. Lopez @jdotcreative

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.