Saturday morning, Coven FX hosted a FREE makeup demo @ Loft Ensemble specifically geared towards haunt makeup artists. In the world of pro haunts, makeup and FX artists are expected to plow through dozens of actors a night. This requires different techniques than prepping talent to be photo or screen ready. It’s fast and dirty, with no room for OCD. With years of haunt experience from Fright Fest and 17th Door, three of Coven FX’s artists showcased two looks for a five minute makeup, as well as a 15 and 30 minute makeup.
Not only did I get to attend the workshop and learn a hell of a lot from some very badass women, but my face also served as a canvas for a full ghoul transformation. Angela worked her magic on my face for the 15 minute segment. I’ve worn prosthetics, I’ve been covered in gunk and goo… but I have never had makeup applied via airbrush. It is fast, and light, and also felt really fuckin’ weird at first. Sort of like being in the backseat of a convertible, huffing paint and having a mild asthma attack, simultaneously. I tried to play it cool, I mostly failed. I got used to it after a minute and breathed slightly less erratically. I couldn’t see the progression of the makeup, but the crowd looked at me with disgust and I wasn’t quite sure what they were seeing. I had no mirror, just their faces to go off of. When Angela put a couple of drops of Mouth FX onto my tongue and had me swish it around… the reaction when I opened my mouth again was pretty much an overall tone of disgust and awe in the room. I still had no idea what I looked like, but I was starting to feel a bit like Quasimodo.
Haylee applied some Ampro Pro Styl to my hair, and dolloped some goo oozing out of my ears and nose for a final touch. Now I felt like a glob. When Angela handed me a mirror and let me take a look at myself for the first time, an involuntary “ewwwww” fell out of my mouth. I do not shy away from heavy amounts of makeup and prosthetics on Halloween, but this was probably the first time my reflection looked so entirely foreign to me. Yellowed teeth and decayed skin leered back at me from the hand mirror. I was grotesque, I was hideous, I was ugly AF. Angela, brilliant work! And I especially can’t believe she was able to accomplish that level of detail in 15 minutes.
Miranda went through two five minute demos for some assembly line style ghouls, showcasing exaggerated contouring and details for talent that lurks in the shadows to pop out at haunt guests. Haylee ran the 30 minute makeup, incorporating prosthetics and more detail, using techniques that would be used on a featured character with more light to show off those details. Each makeup built upon the five minute ghoul base, adding color and details as more time allowed.
The ladies were all super cool and super knowledgable. The intimate setting allowed the audience to freely ask questions throughout the process and lent this sort of cool town hall vibe to the whole thing. It was an open discussion and even though I was there as a ghoul, I learned a lot. Follow Coven FX and jump on the opportunity to attend a demo next time they host one. Thanks for having me, Coven!