Thank you to everyone who participated in QC’s Mermaid Makeup Contest, Deep Sea category. Below is Nathan’s critique of the three finalists. Click here to view Nathan’s critique on the Sparkling Surface category finalists.

Here’s what Nathan was looking for:

Effort: The winner of each category will demonstrate the diversity of their skill, technique, and imagination by creating a detailed and captivating look. Although the makeup is fundamental to the contest, the more visually stunning the look is, through tasteful use of the hair, costume styling, and accessories, the more points will be awarded in judging.

Skill/Technique: Higher points will be awarded to students who demonstrate the use of polished makeup skills, detailed application, symmetry (when it is supposed to be symmetrical), and a diverse use of techniques.

Photo Quality: A good quality image is essential. The photograph should be clean and crisp. Higher points will go to images that look like they could be on the site of an influencer, or in a professional portfolio. Avoid images that are blurry, messy, or have cluttered or thoughtless backgrounds (e.g. messy bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.). Any images that are not a realistic version of the artist’s actual work will be disqualified (e.g. anything more than gentle retouching, including blurred skin, visible or over-retouching, filters, etc.).

Fun/Originality: I expect to see joy, wonder, beauty, and horror! Have fun every step of the way!

Story: A few sentences about your character, and the story behind him/her, can do a lot to sell your image. Don’t fall into the trap of telling what you did with the makeup, instead tell the story of who this person is. The stronger your story and concept, the more precise and clear your application will be.

Final note: Mermaids are one of the most popular forms of fantasy makeup in the internet stratosphere. Try to delve into your own imagination, and not the images and how-to’s of others for inspiration. Copying someone else’s how-to or slightly modifying the same make up that has been done a thousand times before, will not show your creativity, skill, or imagination. Anyone can copy a makeup look, but it takes a true artist to actually create something original that others will eventually want to copy. Challenge yourself to make something brand new, in doing so, you’ll truly awaken your inner artist.

Finalists & Scoring

Artist: Cara Sawtell

Story

It’s the 1700’s – A woman has been left to die out at sea by her husband after she caught him with another woman. The legend states that the sea is cursed with the rage of jilted lovers and thus, she has begun the painful transformation in to a Siren, awaiting the day the can get her revenge on her former lover…

Score

  • Effort: 10/10
  • Skill/Technique: 6/10
  • Photo Quality: 10/10
  • Fun/Originality: 9/10
  • Story: 10/10
  • Total Score: 45

Comments

This is an arresting image. I really appreciate the diverse use of technique. The reshaping of the brow is magnificent. The contour along the hairline, cheekbones, jaw, and neck are divine. I love the addition of the tasteful touch of scales. This is a perfect example of how a tiny touch of something tells a whole story. I think there could be a bit more symmetry in the look. The brows go up at different angles, the outer corner of the eye shadow goes up at different angles and has a different depth of color, the glitter on the inner lid is different on both sides, the line of glitter at the top of each side of the nose is asymmetrical, and the contour in the mast of the face is not symmetrical. I think your concise story is a great addition, but this image leaves me with unanswered questions. Why are her scales and eyes bleeding? I understand the blood from the mouth, but as an artist, sometimes we need to know our image says enough and edit some of those extra additions that don’t further the character and story.

Artist: Jelena Olshevska

Story

I had a dream, and in this dream I fall inside an ocean stream.
The world I saw was new and dark, but in the end there was a spark,
A glowing mermaid whispered to my heart:
“Life is too short to not make art.”

Score

  • Effort: 10/10
  • Skill/Technique: 10/10
  • Photo Quality: 10/10
  • Fun/Originality: 10/10
  • Story: 6/10
  • Total Score: 46

Comments

It is undeniable that this application is exceptional. Every aspect of it, from the highlight and contour, small details, and extraordinary characterization all earned perfect 10’s. There is not a single negative to be found in this work. This is a stunning example of world-class body painting. The only thing that prevented the win was the story. A poem is great, but it did nothing to further her world and take us deeper into it.

Artist: Steffanie Anastasia

Story

With only 10% of the world’s oceans explored, the creatures you find in the deep depths of those waters may haunt you – if they don’t eat you first…

Score

  • Effort: 10/10
  • Skill/Technique: 10/10
  • Photo Quality: 8/10
  • Fun/Originality: 10/10
  • Story: 9/10
  • Total Score: 47

Comments

It takes a lot of practice and professionalism to uniformly change the tone of a person’s skin. I commend you on the superb application. As I mentioned in the contest guidelines, I am not a fan of overused techniques, like the fishnet style scales—unless they are reinvented or done exceptionally… and in this case, it is exceptional. The lip is applied with great precision. The contour on the nose is exceptional and it restructures the face. The light eye application is nothing short of editorial and the use of the white liner and mascara adds an unearthly touch. I would have loved if the two large jewels were symmetrical and you had committed to a background. The amazing image loses some of its magic when you see a plastic blind behind it. I think it might have been a good idea to leave off that shell. Sometimes editing one thing makes the image stronger—and being that you already used the cliché fishnet technique, it might be good to leave off the other cliché. Excellent work.

Congratulations to Steffanie for winning the 2018 Mermaid Makeup Contest Deep Sea Category with her creative deep sea creature look!

Steffanie wins Tarte’s limited-edition Pro Cruelty-Free Lashes from their Be A Mermaid & Make Waves collection, Tarte’s Rainforest of the Sea Eyebrow Palette, and two bottles of special effects blood!

Thank you once again to all the artists that submitted entries for this contest! And to the three finalists, you should all be very proud of your work!

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