Thank you to everyone who participated in QC’s Halloween Makeup Contest: Treat category. Below is Nathan’s critique of the five finalists. Click here to view Michele’s critique on the Trick 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 fantasy 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 diverse use of techniques, will be awarded higher points. There are no rules in fantasy, 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 glamour 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 and beauty! 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 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 refuse to tell a story. Don’t let that be you.

Finalists & Scoring

Artist: Enrica Falanga

QC Makeup Academy Student

Story

I was inspired by the Halloween Pumpkin Lanterns. I’ve never carved one myself but I always wanted to. I always liked pictures of lit pumpkins in total darkness showing their creepy and imperfect grin. I wanted to portrait that creepy grin on my look complete with my very own imperfect smile. The fire within the lantern is also [for me at least] that spark that is inside each and one of us, our strength that shows even in the darkest times. Makeup is part of that spark.

Plus, I never really got out of my comfort zone to try this sort of makeup and I wanted to try even though I didn’t have any particular SFX products. I had this particular red tree sap [that’s right] that I crushed to get that rough texture around the eyes and mouth as an experiment.

Score

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

Comments

I just love this. The Jack O’Lantern makeup is very common and often overdone, but this is a totally unique variation and it’s just captivating. The black and orange create a stunning contrast that grabs the attention. The careful white accents add dimension. The use of the sap is genius. This is a wonderful tribute to both Halloween and the tradition of face painting. There is a lot of creativity and skill present here. The image is portfolio ready. I do wish there was more of a story and less of a description.

JenniferHarlow-2020-Halloween-Contest

Artist: Jennifer Harlow

QC Makeup Academy Student

Story

The Sirens bewitch everybody who approaches them. There is no homecoming for the man who draws near them unawares… For with their high clear song the Sirens bewitch him, as they sit there in a meadow piled high with the moldering skeletons of men, whose withered skin still hangs upon their bones.

Score

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

Comments

Siren’s and mermaids are a favorite when it comes to Halloween submissions, but this one is a masterclass. With every aspect perfectly and thoughtfully composed, the photo is stunning. There are so many skills at play here, from flawless prosthetic application to detailed dimensional coloring (see the forehead, as an example). I am rarely a fan of crystals and pearls in makeup because they are often over and misused, but not here. They are used in a way that creates texture and that turns their typical use on its head. The story is well told and draws me right into the world (and it’s not a world I want to be in)! Top-notch!

Artist: Kristen Ward

Story

I have always loved Storm from X-men. Her abilities and confidence are so alluring and to see someone who looked like me have such a powerful position in comics and movies always made me feel like I could be a superhero. I took my favorite color and messed the two together and bam!, a storm worth watching!

Score

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

Comments

I love this reimagining of Storm. I think it is a vivid and fresh take and I would love to see it come to life on screen. This is a masterpiece. It’s so beautiful, in fact, it looks more like “comic style” fine art than a makeup application. The interplay between colors on the face is so dimensional. I think the lightning coming out through the eye while the big storm builds on the heart and chest is a great visual metaphor. I do wish I was hearing her story, rather than the reason behind its creation.

Artist: Romane Castelnau

Story

Skyhe a hacker who has hidden within the shadows to find a global conspiracy that she once encountered. Her body sleeve enhanced to make her the perfect weapon of justice!

Score

  • Effort: 5/5
  • Skill/Technique: 5/5
  • Photo Quality: 5/5
  • Fun/Originality: 5/5
  • Story: 4/5
  • Total Score: 24

Comments

This is fresh and fun. In one stunning image, there is a beautiful demonstration of skill in both beauty and special effects. (Beauty makeup, bald cap application, transformative face paint, tattoo work, not to mention, “killer” fashion styling). The work of this nature requires extraordinary precision. The lines are crisp, clear, and clean. The color-use is superb. The bald cap and hair placement are HD quality. And, the smokey eye is STUNNING.

This takes me into the worlds of Mad Max, Alita, and all the other great post-apocalyptic fantasies. If she burst through my door, I would know I was either going to be saved or be obliterated…and I’d definitely hope for the former. The more you look, the more you discover—but it doesn’t make the mistake of overwhelming the viewer…that’s great art. To my eyes, this is perfection.

Artist: Sophie Kraynak

QC Makeup Academy Graduate

Story

A girl lives in a world where she feels like she is being controlled by a voodoo doll. One day she wakes up and she IS the voodoo doll.

Score

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

Comments

Nothing annoys me more than basic copy artistry. The Voodoo is by far one of the MOST overdone how-to copies. BUT, this variation has given it a unique spin that made me fall in love with it all over again. They say the devil is in the details, well, the addition of the stuffing pouring out of the seams took this from “tired” to “terrific”. Honestly, many things in makeup have been done before, but it’s how we craft it to make it our own that creates magic. I love this. The skin is pristine, the illusion is epic. The smokey eye is radiant. I think the tiny detail of the stuffing on the tip of the nose is tipping over the edge into artistic ecstasy. Great work.

There was a lot of great work this year. Congratulations to all who entered. The difference between the winner and the runner up was the smallest of details…and in some cases, it was simply the lack of a story. I am so proud of you all and wildly impressed.
xoxox
QC Makeup Academy Tutor - Nathan Johnson - Digital Signature

Congratulations to Romane for winning the 2020 Halloween Makeup Contest: Treat category!

Romane wins an Anastasia Beverly Hill “Norvina® Mini Pro Pigment Palette Vol 2”, a Violet Voss “Bright Vibes Neon Pressed Pressed Pigments Palette”, a Fenty Beauty “Two Little Mattemoiselles”, and a QC Makeup Academy “Pro Stainless Steel Palette and Spatula”.

Congratulations to Jennifer for winning the student prize of the Treat Category!

Jennifer wins a Fenty Beauty “Killawatt Foil Freestyle Highlighter Palette”, and a pair of Museum of Icecream x Sephora Collection “Rainbow Sherbet Lash”.

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 Corina Wan

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