Have you heard of the QC Makeup Student Showcase? It’s an impressive gallery that features the amazing work of some of QC’s most talented students!
We asked Nathan Johnson, our Executive Makeup Artist here at QC, to pick just a few outstanding showcase entries and share his thoughts. Read on as Nathan celebrates and critiques these work samples.
As artists we should always be growing. We should be able to look at our own work with a keen eye and make decisions as to how we could make it better the next time. That is how we keep ourselves from being lazy and staying at the top of our game. Today I selected some amazing work from the student showcase. It is all beautiful, and we will celebrate that, but I will also point out some finer details. Ones that could use improvement so we train ourselves to get better with each application. My notes below are not a criticism, they are a celebration of great work and a challenge to work even harder.
Carly has done some extraordinary SFX work here. The skin appears to actually be totally peeled back in a way that completes the illusion of the bone coming straight through. The blood placement perfectly hides the areas where the prosthetic was attached. I think this deserves an A+ for creativity and it is almost perfect as far as application.
Here are a few tips that will take it even further. To add reality to the crevice where the bone broke through, apply black at the bottom of the crater. This will make it look deep and frightening. Along the inner edge of the torn skin, apply varying shades of burgundy, deep red and purple. This will show the bruising and trauma that an accident of this nature would have. In the crevice and in a few spots here and there, maybe on the bone itself, add some thick blood. This will add gunk and gore that look like hunks of flesh and congealed blood. The sculpting is top notch and with a few finer details this would be movie ready. Keep up the amazing work!
Hannah has done a stunning smokey eye. The blending in the eyes is spectacular. The highlight along the cheekbone really opens up the features, and the ombré in the lower lip adds great interest. Smokey eyes can be difficult because there are so many ways to do them and they rely on so many technical skills. For a great smokey eye, you have to be precise, symmetrical and have a masterful ability to blend, all of that is present here. Well done!
Now let’s look at a few details that would take this makeup from great to AMAZING! The only tiny detail I would correct in the eye makeup is the symmetry of the outer corners. If you look close, you can see the black comes out further and to more of a point on the photo right side. Simply blend the photo left side to match. In the cheeks, the blush could be applied with a lighter hand, a touch more symmetry and blending. With bold eyes and lips, a soft cheek really sets the makeup off. Too much cheek makes it look overdone. It is a fine line. I would also ask for the same symmetry in the lips. The cupids bow and slope of the upper lip is different on each side. The highlight on the lower lips could also have a touch of symmetry. There is a lot to be celebrated in this make up and the next one can be even better!
This is a beautiful makeup application by Manty. I am quite taken by the collision of classic meets modern and masculine meets feminine. The work on the skin is perfection. The depth of color and the overdrawing of the lip is rich and sultry. The eyeshadow work is gorgeous. I think this work is spectacular and thought-provoking, which is a mark of great artistry.
Here are my suggestions to take this magic one step further. First, I recommend blending that crease shade just a hair more into the shadow on the lid. When you look at the head on image 3, there is a sliver of highlight where there should be depth and the smallest touch of blending would have perfected that. Next, curl those lashes and add more mascara! Here we have a stunning eye application and it is almost impossible to see the lashes. If they are super fine, add a few individuals! A touch of curled lash will add a whole new layer of magic. On the lower lashline, I think a touch of blending would have made that drop shadow perfection. Right now, it ends harshly below the pupil. If you took a clean angle brush and just swept it back and forth a few times it would have faded into perfection! My one final note is on the lip. In image 4, you can see the only uneven blip in the lip liner (photo left center on the lower lip). Smooth that out! Again, this is a demonstration of high skills, but a few small touches could turn it into a revelation!
Being an artist is not just about the work you do at the time. It is about studying it after and pushing yourself to create something even better next time. Carly, Hannah and Manty all did incredible work, but there is always room to grow. The same is true about every makeup I have ever done. When we stop pushing ourselves, our artistry dies! If you develop a critical eye for your own work, you can become your own best teacher. Challenge yourself every time! Never stop learning. Never stop growing!