Thank you to everyone who participated in QC’s Halloween Makeup Contest: Trick category. Below is Nathan’s critique of the five finalists. Click here to view Azzi’s critique on the Treat category finalists.

Here’s what Nathan was looking for:

Effort: Higher points will be awarded to those who combine diverse skills with incredible imagination to create a detailed and captivating horror look. Makeup technique is fundamental, but the more visually stunning the final image is—through the tasteful use of hair, costume styling, props, and accessories—the more points will be awarded.

Skill/Technique: 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 will be awarded higher points. There are no rules in horror, so don’t be afraid to change, refine, and create new techniques.

Photo Quality: A good quality image is essential. The photograph should be clean, crisp, and appropriately lit. Higher points will be awarded to images that look like they could be in a horror magazine or media feed. Points will be deducted for images that are blurry, messy, or have cluttered or thoughtless backgrounds (e.g. messy bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.). This doesn’t mean that you need an expensive setup, it just means you need to clean the oils off your camera lens or to borrow a better phone or camera. Incredibly gentle retouching is acceptable, although your makeup should be doing the perfecting on its own. Blurred skin, visible or over-retouching, and filters will result in a loss of points or disqualification.

Fun/Originality: Create a makeup look that is original and from the deepest recesses of your imagination. I expect to see wonder, terror, beauty, and horror! Have fun every step of the way! If you copy or tweak an influencer’s existing work, you will be disqualified. You are an artist—don’t copy. And I can promise you, everyone in the industry has seen enough of the well-shadowed skeleton teeth, the typical sugar skull, the ventriloquist’s dummy, and all the other over-done and constantly copied tutorials. Originality is difficult, especially in a social media driven world, so accept the challenge to create.

Story: A few sentences about your creation and the story behind him/her/it 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 or what this person or creature is. The stronger your story and concept, the more precise and clear your application will be, and the more points you’ll be awarded. In the past, amazing makeup artists have lost the contest because they refused to tell a story. Don’t let that be you.

Finalists & Scoring

Congratulations to our finalists and everyone who took the time to enter. Remember, winning is nice, but putting the effort into your craft and learning from the process is far better. There were so many incredible submissions this year, it was hard to even settle on the top five. The final determinations came down to the expertise in the work and the uniqueness of the look. Unfortunately, some really spectacular images were disqualified because they were slight variations on famous social media how-to videos. My advice to everyone reading this: if you want to be an artist, stop copying. You are unique and creative. What is inside you is more than enough. There is no better moment than now to let yourself shine.

That being said, let’s celebrate Cassie, Romane, Charley, Kaysey, and Tamara.

Artist: Cassie Stephan

Story

Teeth that will shred anything that comes close. Eyes to make you hypnotized, and my presence will make you fall to your knees. I shadow these lonely fields and capture my prey when unexpected. Farmers that work late into the night have told stories about the scarecrow that lives in these fields and takes you by surprise. Once you go to work, there’s no coming home…

Score

  • Effort: 5/5
  • Skill/Technique: 3/5
  • Photo Quality: 5/5
  • Fun/Originality: 5/5
  • Story: 4/5
  • Total Score: 22

Comments

Cassie’s work really captures the spirit of Halloween. The art direction and composition of this photo are superb. Small details like the maggots on the forehead, the textured skin, and the contact lenses put it over the top in the best of ways. If I were to offer one bit of advice, I would recommend making the teeth smaller. Huge pieces of plastic, look like huge pieces of plastic. Perhaps if you decided to create row after row of smaller teeth, the realism of the look would have carried through to the mouth. This is really a beautiful submission. Congratulations.

QC Makeup Academy Halloween Makeup Contest - Trick Category Finalists - Charley Whittingham

Score

  • Effort: 4/5
  • Skill/Technique: 2/5
  • Photo Quality: 5/5
  • Fun/Originality: 4/5
  • Story: 5/5
  • Total Score: 20

Artist: Charley Whittingham

Story

“Plastic Kills”

A report backed by Sir David Attenborough states that our plastic waste is killing people every 30 Seconds. Britain alone exports 650,000 tonnes of plastic waste a year to places such as Malaysia and Indonesia. And, reportedly, throws away two double-decker bus-loads of plastic every 30 seconds.

Plastic is killing our wildlife, destroying their habitat, and OUR environment. Yet, there’s still not enough being done to stop this travesty. If it affected our mother, father, brother, sister, friend, and neighbor, would we act faster to resolve this?

The reason I chose to create this look is because I am very passionate about how plastic pollution is affecting our incredible world. I referred to real life images of animals in danger due to our plastic waste to create this look.

All plastic used in this image, was collected from our beaches. No animals or humans were harmed in the making.

#SaveOurWorld #Plastickills

Comments

This makeup carries a very timely message. In terms of morals, sadly, this is more reality than fiction. Everything about the image, from the plastic waste, to the manner in which the model has been carelessly left amongst the rubbish and rubble (as if her life was of no significance), adds to the impact.

The subtle makeup on the face conveys death perfectly. I only wish the wounds had more thoughtful precision. The throat, for example, seems to suggest both strangulation and a slit, but neither really comes through. The wound on the stomach is so stuffed with plastic, that you cannot tell if there is anything there other than some blood and plastic. If these wounds had some dimension and clarity, the image would have struck the gut more powerfully.

Artist: Kaysey Fairbrother-Marsden

Story

Flesh Eater: This beauty lures in males with her stunning features, but quickly turns on them and eats their flesh. Inspired by the film Jennifer’s Body.

Score

  • Effort: 5/5
  • Skill/Technique: 5/5
  • Photo Quality: 4/5
  • Fun/Originality: 4/5
  • Story: 4/5
  • Total Score: 22

Comments

This is a fine example of body painting art. Paint and powder effects rely on highlight, contour, and illusion to have any impact. Kaysey did this masterfully.

With the addition of a facial prosthetic, she was able to transform the features beyond the capabilities of paint and powder alone. The work is riddled with detail. The transformation created with the hair is masterful. Small details are incredibly powerful.

For years and years, we have seen the half-face makeup looks. Although there is nothing wrong with it, I would have preferred to see a more novel approach. Perhaps the flesh-eater half could have been consuming the opposite half as if the transformation burned across the face. Perhaps there could have been something more than a bloody line dividing the two applications. I don’t want to take away from the splendor of this, I simply wish it had a more unique twist.

Artist: Tamara Dixon

Story

Grandma jack-o-lantern

Score

  • Effort: 5/5
  • Skill/Technique: 4/5
  • Photo Quality: 3/5
  • Fun/Originality: 4/5
  • Story: 1/5
  • Total Score: 17

Comments

I am obsessed with this submission. I have seen variations of the jack o’ lantern person before, but this is unique on so many levels.

First, the use of Grandma is epic. The work with the scar wax/third degree is very good. It is smooth and nearly disappears into the skin. A touch more smoothing on the edges would have hit perfection.

Tamara’s work has a visceral effect. Matching the innocence of loving Grandma with such a gory effect, she has created a compelling image. Sadly, it lacks a story. Had you put a touch of effort into crafting the smallest story and put some thought into composing an image to enhance the story, you would have received 24 points—and won.

Artist: Romane Castelnau

Story

This Devil will make you regret your sins.

Score

  • Effort: 5/5
  • Skill/Technique: 5/5
  • Photo Quality: 5/5
  • Fun/Originality: 4/5
  • Story: 4/5
  • Total Score: 23

Comments

Romane demonstrates a tremendous amount of technical artistry in this submission. Not only are we seeing a beautiful application of color, but we are also seeing prosthetics, a bald cap, and handcrafted elements to reshape features. At first glance, one may view this as a face mask that was glued on from top to bottom. But that is part of the magic of the work because it is so much more.

Most impressively, it has been applied with precision, symmetry, and balance. The story is short, more of a statement, but it represents the image and leaves an impact. The photograph is high quality. I simply wish there was a little less shadow in the eye sockets.

It takes mastery to blend the flashing of a prosthetic into the skin, and Romane achieved it here. A touch less mood in the lighting would deliver the punch while allowing the viewer to really see just how much skill and technique went into this masterpiece.

Congratulations Romane!
In the comments below, I’d love to hear from contestants (finalists or not), what you learned in this process, from creating the work, being chosen or not, guidance from the finalists feedback, and how you might learn from that to ensure you make it to the top five next time. 
QC Makeup Academy Tutor - Nathan Johnson - Digital Signature

Congratulations to Romane for winning the 2019 Halloween Makeup Contest: Trick category!

Romane wins a Ben Nye “Primary Creme Palette”, a Skin Illustrator “Hurt Box Wound Palette”, a bottle of Skindinavia “Makeup Finishing Spray”, a set of 5 latex prosthetics, an injury wheel and an RMG bald cap wheel, and two bottles of special effects blood.

We wish to thank all the makeup artists once again for their contest submissions! And to the five finalists, you should all be very proud of your work.

Looking to enroll in some of QC’s courses? Learn more about each course here!

Author Nathan Johnson

More posts by Nathan Johnson

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Tamara dixon says:

    Thank you for the opportunity to enter and be a finalist. Next time I will make sure I put a story behind it.
    I’ve taken away judges comments and learn what I can do better next time.

  • Thank you so much for the insightful feedback, this contest was such a great opportunity to showcase my work and get a professional and constructive critic on it.
    I’m so glad the judge was able to see all the details and how much work I put into this piece. I handcrafted most of the prosthetic by creatic molds (ears and horns) and sculpting directly to the face with wax (nose, cheekbones, chin and mouth). I am extremely grateful, and still can’t believe I won! Thank you.

Leave a Reply

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]