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Sonoma County Gazette
Halloween Makeup

Halloween-inspired Looks

Get creative with Regular Make-up

Sep 27, 2017


By Elise Bigley, owner of Lips ‘N Lashes

The Magic of Special Effects 

half skull faceWhen you think of special effects makeup, you probably think of the Hollywood fake blood and gore, or maybe television shows like The Walking Dead that transform regular people into gruesome zombies, but special effects, or SFX, makeup is actually a lot more than that.

You might not realize, but anytime you see a character on screen that looks dirty, sunburned or sweaty, that is the work of a special effects makeup artist. The same is true of characters who look older, younger, scarred or otherwise altered from their normal appearance.  

Everyone likes to experiment with interesting and fun Halloween makeup looks, but it can be really intimidating to try to follow the complicated tutorials you see on Pinterest or YouTube (this is even true for the pros, trust me!). 

SFX Makeup is For Everyone, Not Just the Pros

mermaid scalesWith so many videos and tutorials available, it can be kind of overwhelming to attempt to find a look that you think you can do. This is why I always make it the primary goal to keep my makeup style simple and achievable. 

No matter what your skill level is, I want you to feel like you can follow along and recreate the look you want. I use everyday makeup products and avoid using the more expensive or advanced tools like liquid latex, silicone or prosthetic moldings to make it easier for you to follow along with my tutorials for easy Halloween makeup looks. Use this link to the “mask” tutorial on my website:

Every Look is a Work of Art 

severed headThe main thing I want everyone to take away from this article is that there is no wrong way to be creative. Even if your finished look isn’t exactly the same as mine, you should be proud of what you’ve created because it is art. In my opinion, all makeup, whether it’s special effects or an everyday look, is a work of art on the canvas of your face. 

At the end of the day, I think it is extremely important to remember that you shouldn’t compare what you’ve created to what other people have created. You would never try to compare Rembrandt to Andy Warhol, after all. How could you? They were two amazingly talented artists, but their styles were completely different. The same principle applies to your creativity. Just because it might be different than mine or someone else’s, doesn’t mean that it is somehow “less.” Makeup should always be fun and joyful! 

bad guy with cigarIf you are ever struggling to replicate a specific look, however, I will share one of my favorite artistry secrets with you…Take a lot of pictures. 

It might sound silly, but this trick can be really helpful for judging where you can add extra depth, shading or color to parts of your look. This is because how we view makeup with the naked eye is quite different from how it looks in a photograph. So, when you’re practicing your Halloween makeup, I recommend finding good lighting and taking photographs after each major step to help perfect the look you’re going for. 

This Halloween, you should absolutely go for that crazy costume idea you’ve always wanted to try. Remember that there is no wrong way to create. You don’t need 17 years of skills or expensive special effects tools to transform yourself
into a spooky, wonderful work of art! All you need is a little bit of faith in yourself and a sense of adventure.

If you want to get to learn about all kinds of makeup looks, you can find me on the following social media platforms:




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