Gore to the Floor – Halloween Makeup with Nights Out Sheffield
Halloween! Nowadays Sheffield's students are more terrified by the prospect of rocking a less than horrid look than being munched on by a gang of ravenous zombies. Enter, shambling, stage left, Sheffield Makeup Blogger Phee (her of fab makeup blog Phee's Makeup Tips), who's got a gruesome twosome of Halloween looks inspired by Hollywood's most thrilling makeup artist…
It's no secret that Halloween is my favourite time of year, for a makeup addict there's nothing better than being able to wear any look you could imagine without anyone batting an eye. Lots of people – me included – draw inspiration for their Halloween costumes from films or TV series and if you're not off out braving the cold in your costume it's most likely you're going to be watching a Halloween classic on TV. So many of us enjoy re-creating these looks, but how many of us know who thought them up in the first place?
Obsessed with all things hairy and scary, makeup artist Rick Baker – better known as the Monster Maker – has created some of the most iconic and recognisable creatures on the big screen. Here are a few of his most famous monsters:
The Exorcist (1973)
This was the first major movie that Baker worked on, after being invited along to assist by top makeup artist Dick Smith. While most people probably remember the girl possessed, Regan, it’s the ageing make-up of Father Merrin that steals the show for Baker and for makeup geeks. Watch some of the incredible behind the scenes makeup tests from the film here.
An American Werewolf in London (1981)
Director John Landis gave Baker almost total control over the special effects makeup in American Werewolf. Even though Baker admits that he cringes at some of the make-up now, he won an Oscar for his work on the film, the very year that the award for Best Makeup was created. Can't argue with that!
Everyone's seen this video at some point, right? After seeing American Werewolf, Michael Jackson requested that Landis and Baker work with him on lead single, Thriller. Baker had the idea of a zombie musical, which turned out to be popular with the team, and well, you know the rest. The dancers in the video were hired just three days before shooting, making it impossible to do any tests, so Baker and the makeup team appear in the video themselves as more 'believable' zombies.
The Ring (2002)
After seeing the original Japanese version of this film, Baker knew the whole thing could be hell of a lot more terrifying. Speaking about the process that he went through to create the zombies in the film, he explains how he was told his original tests were "too much". Just imagine if he hadn't been told to turn down the scary!
All of these looks took meticulous planning and lots of special effects make-up, but Rick Baker hasn't forgotten those days he spent tucked away in his room practising with grease paints. His recent collection with makeup giant MAC shows that all you need to create an impressive look this Halloween is the right colours and some time to practice. Having spent many a Halloween faffing around with scar wax and liquid latex I couldn't agree more, so here are two looks you can create with products you've probably already got.
Anyway, if you're prepping for The Uni's blood curdling Halloween special It’s all in the detail with a good skull makeup, so you want a fine brush for some precision application. If you’ve not got a fine liner brush, artist brushes will do the job just as good. As well as black and white, make sure you’ve got a brown too to add some dimension to the teeth and where the white creates the impression of a flat surface. You can use makeup or facepaints for this look.
Scary Tarts Look [Thriller Zombie]
I based this living dead look of the Thriller zombies. It’s all about the use of light and dark colours to give you that sunken look. Use darker colours for anything you want to look pushed back – like the eyes and the cheeks – and lighter colours for anything you want to bring forward. There’s no time for brows with the living dead so grab a glue stick (non-toxic & water based!) to block out your own.
Currently studying Spanish at The University of Sheffield, Phoebe splits her time between uni work and writing her blog Phee’s Makeup Tips. For more looks the living – rather than the living dead – would wear you can find her on her website and on her twitter .
Part of Exposed's Nights Out Sheffield Takeover.