Abstract Makeup Challenge

Right on the heels of the Mandarin Duck makeup challenge from my last blog makeup artist Bethany Hood issued another makeup inspiration challenge. When the image was sent out I was waiting on my oil was being changed. My first response was “No”. Having just done the previous challenge less than a week prior I thought I’d sit this one out. The oil change took forever and I just kept looking at the inspiration image. The more I looked at it the more I loved it and knew I had to do it.

What I saw in the image was a duality of being, living with your demons and the struggle within. Along with the stark color contrast of just black and white. For some reason going from “No” because I didn’t have time, turned into full body paint because I’m a glutton for punishment. I wanted to mimic the shape of the inspiration but instead of hands I wanted bodies. One pose I wanted somber and withdrawn while the other I wanted a primal scream. I knew model Bec E. Bien was the perfect model. I have body painted her before and I know how expressive her face can be and she just went for it. When asked to scream she let it out like a pro. That’s not just a pose she is actually screaming her lungs out and I think it adds to the authenticity. Every scream was followed with a smile and a slight giggle. Also, the amazing Matthew Tyldesley had just done her hair and it was perfect. We wanted it a bit manic so we put some sea salt spray in it and messed it up a bit. I just hope we didn’t mess up Matthew’s work too much.

Working with Danny Alexander is always a treat. I knew what I had in mind and how I saw it laid out. Danny has an amazing way of figuring out what is going on in my convoluted head and interprets it. I didn’t want the makeup edited as it was a challenge but I knew having all three figures on there would be a difficult in the time frame. Danny didn’t shy away from it and just nailed it. The one edit I did ask him to do was the nipples. The only pasties I will use for body paint are “Monster Pasties”. They are pretty amazing. They take paint like skin and are seamless. I didn’t have any and I had no time to order them.  I actually painted over the areola and blended it out. If it weren’t for the shadowed sundial effect of the lights you wouldn’t have seen them. There is only so much makeup can do. I am extremely happy with what we were able to pull off in such a short amount of time.

Contentment in Captivity

During Antonio's first photography workshop it was already a thought that we may do them quarterly. After the success of that class it cemented that idea. The first class was a "not so basic" lighting and editing class. We wanted to do something different for the next class, something with a little bit of a "wow" factor.

The idea was to do the hair and makeup, shoot the images, pick the images and then edit them together. That's right, edit them together because the next class would be how to create a composite image. Quite a large scale project to do in a class only three hours in length. We knew we had two models and a mannequin dress form. Antonio knew he wanted one of the models head's on the dress form.

Knowing that it would be silly to just throw a head on the mannequin with no story, we decided to meet over tacos and brainstorm.  The first idea was more for an 80's look. I was excited about doing that makeup and thought it could look really cool. However, the more we talked about it the more it didn't make sense with two models and the composite. In a moment of grasping at straws, I, having worked at a haunted house, blurted out "We could just have one model sewing the other model's head on to the mannequin's torso."

With that, Antonio's eyes lit up. HIs mind is just as twisted as mine and he suggested adding a pigs heart attached with wires to a car battery and the macabre list went on. Needles to say, we scaled back a bit. This completely changed the makeup look that would be needed for the workshop. Joey piped in to say "And Matt can do the severed head makeup." When I rattled off the idea that wasn't something that even crossed my mind. Now I would be doing not one, but two, beauty makeups and a severed head. Oh, and to prove that I am a glutton for punishment, I then suggested adding an eye patch and scar on the model that would be doing the sewing. Managing the makeup and spfx staff for the Devil's Attic haunted house for two years definitely helped in my ability for that amount of makeup application to be completed in such a short amount of time. 

We could have stuck with the 80's makeup but we took a different a route that just seemed to make more sense. We wanted it to have a Frankenstein/Addams Family/Nightmare Before Christmas kinda of feel. Our hair stylist, Michelle, said she was going to make a bride of Frankenstein inspired wig for Katya (our head model). We then brought in Francis Lewis to make a dress for our other model, Alexis, in the style of Wednesday Addams. Knowing we couldn't go with a stock eye patch, I embellished one with hot glue, cut up plastic plates, a plastic skull and black spray paint.

The class went off without a hitch. We had such an amazing team from top to bottom. it was amazing to see it all come together and to work seamlessly in such a short amount of time. Three hours is not a lot of time to accomplish something of this scale. Normally that's how long the hair and makeup alone would have taken for something of this caliber I am super proud of what we accomplished and created, I can't wait for the next one!

Photo: Antonio PantojaAntonio Pantoja - Photography and Cinematography
Makeup/SFX: Matt GoodlettMatt Goodlett, MUA
Hair: Michelle Villareal
Stylist: Frances Lewis
Model: Katya Estes
Model: Alexis Gibson
Hand model: Rachel White
Lighting: Joey Goldsmith
Behind The Scenes: Gary BarraganGary Barragan Photography
Behind The Scenes: Misha Kidwell
Assistant: Justin Sinkler

Special thank you to my sponsors:

Tyler green with Wonderband Systems https://www.wonderbandsystems.com/ - The Wonderband made makeup application so much more efficient. Plus it just looks cool.

Crown Brush https://www.crownbrush.com/ - I can't say enough about this amazing company. They are awesome and their brushes are all I will use now.

European Body Art http://www.europeanbodyart.com/ - By far my favorite makeup for body paint and special effects. Such an amazing product.

Moo. https://www.moo.com/us/ -The only business cards I will carry. The quality is amazing as is the customer service.