BY KAT LAPELOSA
Halloween is one holiday where it’s normal, even encouraged, to be something you’re not. So, for the top beauty bloggers and nail art influencers in the business, it’s their busiest, most creative time of year. Vocativ analyzed conversations around #HalloweenMakeup and #HalloweenNailArt to discover which makeup and special effects pros the beauty-obsessed were flocking to the most for spooky and sweet inspiration.
Those willing to turn these Halloween looks into ghoulish realities turn to YouTube stars like Promise Tamang and Alex Faction. Their legendary tutorials provide viewers with the steps necessary to transform into popular characters like Frozen’s Elsa, classic vampires and werewolves, and even celebrities like Miley Cyrus. It’s normal for profiles like Tamang’s to see anywhere from 2 million to 13 million views per video.
What may seem like a quick YouTube tutorial is just part of the lengthy process some makeup artists undergo to achieve the “wow!” factor. Artists need time to experiment with different makeup and nail art supplies, and spend hours filming and re-filming to achieve flawless and easy-to-follow tutorials. Between test shots and supply management, some of Australian PhD student Kiana Jones’ tutorials can take up to four hours to put together.
To create this chopped-finger look, Jones starts by taping down two of her fingers, then applies flesh wax with a clear makeup adhesive to make nubs. Small metal spatulas serve to smooth out and blend the wax. She creates a fake bone and uses tools like paintbrushes and toothpicks (dipped in Vaseline, to produce smoother results) to add lifelike elements such as knuckle lines, cut marks and natural-looking skin texture.
Additional yellow, pink and red paints make the skin look bruised and mottled, and Jones cuts up acrylic nails to give that shattered/torn nail look. Thicker gel blood is the last and most gruesome element to be added, finalizing the creation.
Twentyone-year old aspiring makeup artist Tagen Crossley has been experimenting with creative looks since she was 12. She’s working towards making her passion a career, and gets a handful of clients around Halloween.
Her Tumblr page highlights her best work, thoroughly transforming her everyday self into skeletons or zombies with gaping wounds gory enough to make any Walking Dead fan cringe. Crossley says she even creates molds and prosthetics from scratch, perfecting the look she sets out to achieve.
Many of the experts behind the accounts work as makeup artists, or specialize in special FX styling for films, television and photo shoots. Victoria Raven, a makeup artist from Whitley City, Kentucky, shares particularly garish looks she’s prepared in time for Halloween.
Some though, like Stephanie from @halloweenmakeupideas, just create these different looks for fun.
Crossley provides a few tips for those looking to wow their Halloween squad:
“Plan out what you’re looking to do, even if its just a small idea. Try and sort out what you will need before you try putting it all together. It can get really frustrating when you’re trying to pull off really in-depth makeup and you realize you ran out of certain supplies. Research and look online for tutorials and how-tos. And take your time! I can’t tell you how many times I have messed up my makeup because I was trying to rush through it!”