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Special Effects Makeup

Special effects makeup challenge article, Apr 28 2021, Feature Image

Makeup Challenge: Creating a Special Effects Makeup Look Using the WRONG Hand!

By From the Experts, Makeup Tutorial, Special Effects Makeup, Tutorials & Tips No Comments

Want to challenge yourself this upcoming weekend? Try creating a unique special effects makeup look using ONLY your non-dominant hand!

Gabrielle Rivera Attempts This Special Effects Makeup Challenge

Gabrielle Rivera is a graduate of QC Makeup Academy’s Master Makeup Artistry Course. Since one of her biggest niches is special effects makeup, she naturally jumped all over this challenge!

In the following video, Gabrielle attempts to recreate an SFX face chart originally created by Lauren Sullivan. However, she was tasked with completing this application only using her right hand. As a natural lefty, this would obviously prove to be quit the task!

So, how did Gabrielle do? You’ll have to watch the video below to find out!

Want to see more of Gabrielle’s makeup work? Check out her Instagram for some seriously awesome content!

Why Gabrielle Nailed This Makeup Challenge

As you’ll see in the video, Gabrielle does a surprisingly great job at creating a full SFX makeup application using her non-dominant hand. If you’re wondering how this is possible, there’s actually a very simple answer.

(No, it’s not because she practiced a million times beforehand. We pinky promise!)

The truth is, it’s all due to the professional training Gabrielle already has under her belt. Although she wasn’t able to use her dominant hand, Gabrielle still knew exactly what she was supposed to be doing. You see, when you learn the fundamentals of makeup artistry, you’ll know how to apply them correctly – regardless of which hand you use.

Sure, the application might have looked a bit more polished and precise had Gabrielle used her left hand. But the fact that she didn’t and it still turned out as amazing as it did is a true testament to Gabrielle’s educational background and skill!

Special effects makeup, glass all over female model

Become a Special Effects Makeup Expert Through QC Makeup Academy

In QC’s 4-unit Special FX Makeup Course, you’ll discover:

  • Safe and sanitary application for special effects makeup;
  • How to identify and work with common skin disorders;
  • The art of applying aging makeup, bald caps, and working with fake hair;
  • How to work with prosthetics;
  • The steps to creating a unique SFX and/or fantasy character;
  • How to create realistic gore/wound effects;
  • The critical components of starting and marketing your own MUA business;
  • And so much more!

What are you waiting for? Become an internationally-certified special effects makeup artist in as little as 3-6 months by enrolling with QC today!

special effects makeup tutorial rainbow clown gabrielle rivera feature image

Special Effects Makeup Tutorial: The Rainbow Clown

By From the Experts, Makeup Tutorial, Special Effects Makeup No Comments

Want to challenge yourself this month? We’ve got a special effects makeup tutorial that we think will do the trick! Follow along with QC Makeup Academy graduate, Gabrielle Rivera, and see if YOU can recreate her rainbow clown design!

Gabrielle Rivera Breaks Down Her Special Effects Makeup Look…

Gabrielle is a graduate of QC’s Master Makeup Artistry Course. In addition to traditional makeup, she also specializes in special effects makeup. Check out Gabrielle’s Instagram for more incredible content!

Today, Gabrielle teaches us how to recreate her rainbow clown SFX design. Follow along by watching the full tutorial below!

Want to see how far Gabrielle’s skill-set has come, thanks to professional makeup training? Click here to watch her recreate her very first SFX look, using the skills and knowledge she has now!

QC Makeup Academy’s Special Effects Makeup Course

In this 4-unit course, you’ll learn all about:

  • Safe and sanitary SFX makeup application;
  • Identifying common skin disorders;
  • Building your special effects makeup kit;
  • Aging makeup, bald cap application, and using fake hair;
  • SFX makeup for trauma;
  • How to work with fake blood;
  • Creating original characters;
  • Client relations and starting your very own business;
  • And MUCH more!
QC's Special FX Course starter kit

What to Expect

Once enrolled, you’ll receive both a physical AND digital copy of your course materials. Plus, we’ll even send you a FREE starter SFX makeup kit! Your course curriculum will be broken down into textbook readings, instructional videos, quizzes, and tons of assignments! As a result, there’ll be plenty of different ways for you to learn!

Looking for real-world experience? Practical assignments will give you loads of hands-on experience working on models. As a result, you’ll know what to expect in the field and be ready to jump into the industry right away!

QC’s Special Effects Makeup Course is 100% online and self-paced. This means you’ll get to train from the comfort of your own home, on your own schedule. Moreover, there are NO deadlines or rigid class schedules to follow!

You’re likely going to want your mentor to be a true industry expert. After all, why wouldn’t you? We completely understand and wouldn’t have it any other way! When you enroll with QC Makeup Academy, your assigned tutor will be a working SFX makeup artist with years of experience!

After each unit, they’ll even provide you with extensive audio feedback. Importantly, this feedback will help both you and your tutor track your progress and help you to grow.

The best part? Once you graduate, you’ll become a designated (and officially certified) International Special FX Makeup Professional (ISMP)! QC Makeup Academy will even mail you a physical copy of your certification. As such, you can proudly display it in your home, your business, and in your professional resume!

Ready to get started? Enroll in QC’s Special Effects Makeup Course today and graduate in as little as 3-6 months!

airbrush makeup article feb 26 2021 feature image

4 SFX Airbrush Makeup Techniques to WOW Clients!

By Airbrush Makeup, Makeup Tips and Tricks, Special Effects Makeup, Your Makeup Career No Comments

Airbrush makeup is always an excellent service to add to your beauty business. Not only is it a hot commodity among clients – it’s considered a rarer service. This all means that you’ll definitely be able to stand out from the competition, increase your bookings, better your reputation, and boost your income!

While airbrush makeup is well-known in the bridal and editorial world, it’s also a staple in special effects makeup, too. So, how can you take your airbrush game to the next level? First, you’ll obviously need to master the basics. Once you’ve done that, you can then advance your skill-set by learning some truly awesome SFX airbrush techniques.

What are some of the techniques we’re talking about? Let’s have a look!

makeup artist pouring product into airbrush makeup machine

4 SFX Airbrush Makeup Techniques You Need to Know

1. Working with Stencils

Stencils can be used on the body, the face, or even particular areas such as the eyebrows. Typically, they’re made from sheets of plastic or thick paper. However, as you gain more experience, you can dabble in creating your very own.

When used correctly (and carefully), stencils offer a quick and easy way to add fine detail and flair to your SFX airbrush makeup design. If creating a character, eyebrow stencils are a popular way to completely reshape the arch, thickness, and overall look of the person’s brows. Just made sure you completely block out their natural eyebrows first!

Pro Tip: Not sure how to block out eyebrows? QC Makeup Academy’s Master Makeup Artistry Course will teach you everything you need to know!

2. Using Brighter Pigments and Unconventional Colors

Typical airbrush makeup applications will tend to rely on natural, traditional colors. But when you step into the world of special effects, airbrush makeup often maximizes its full potential when brighter, bolder pigments are used.

You’ll also have the freedom to work a lot with unconventional colors. You’ll quickly discover that it’s surprisingly easy to change a model’s skin tone to a deep purple, a brilliant blue, or a stunning green when using an airbrush machine (just to name a few examples).

Cady Heron really put it best when she said, “The limit does not exist.” 😉

Pro Tip: Just remember that when working with heavily pigmented makeup, it’s always easier to layer darker colors over lighter ones.

model with bright blue makeup on face and fingertips

3. Creating Patterns

One of the most effective ways to make your SFX airbrush makeup POP is by creating some sort of pattern on the model’s skin. For example, with an airbrush machine, adding spots of varying sizes is an effortless process. Another idea is to apply airbrush makeup over a pair of lace tights of fishnet stockings, in order to create precise lines and detailed designs.

Pro Tip: Creating character makeup? You can also use airbrush makeup to develop signature patterns that are 100% unique to and consistent with the character!

4. Combining Airbrush Makeup with Different Techniques

If you truly want to dazzle your clients and leave them in awe, show them the full extent of your skills by combining airbrush makeup techniques with other fundamental techniques you’ve acquired throughout your training!

For example, why not use airbrush makeup to create a stunning, intricately-detailed makeup look – and then add some traditional eye makeup by hand? Alternately, how about combining airbrush makeup with prosthetics?

The point is, SFX airbrush makeup is a game-changer in-and-of itself. But once you realize that it can be combined with all the other techniques you know, too, there’s no stopping the kinds of looks and designs you can create! You gain access to an untapped level of creativity explored in very few other areas of makeup artistry.

Pro Tip: Never worked with prosthetics before? Learn this (and so much more) in QC’s Special FX Makeup Course!

model with different makeup techniques applied on face

Want to delve deeper into this, as well as learn even more about airbrush makeup? QC Makeup Academy’s online Airbrush Makeup Workshop will get you professionally trained and ready to work on clients in as little as 3-6 months!

Here are a few other perks to enrolling in this 3-unit program:

  • Get digital AND physical copies of your textbooks!
  • Expand your learning experience through instructional videos, quizzes, self-assessments, and more!
  • Practical assignments will give you hands-on training – which you’ll do with the airbrush makeup starter kit included in your course materials!
  • Your tutor will be a industry expert in airbrush makeup, with decades of experience!
  • Get a full 2 years to complete your program (but feel free to finish sooner, if your schedule permits it)!
  • QC’s self-paced online learning environment allows you to train from home, on your personal schedule – meaning no deadlines!
  • You can connect with your fellow peers and begin building your network by joining our Virtual Classroom on Facebook!
  • Upon graduation, we’ll mail you a physical certificate that demonstrates that you’ve been properly trained in airbrush makeup!
special effects makeup video gabrielle rivera feb 25 2021 feature image

Recreating My Very First Special Effects Makeup Look! [video]

By From the Experts, Special Effects Makeup, Tutorials & Tips No Comments

Want to work as a special effects makeup artist? QC Makeup Academy’s Special FX Makeup Course will teach you everything you need to know AND give you a professional certification – all within just 3-6 months!

QC Grad, Gabrielle Rivera, Recreates Her Very First Special Effects Makeup Look!

Gabrielle Rivera is a graduate of QC Makeup Academy’s Master Makeup Artistry Course. She now works as a professional MUA, with a specialization in special effects makeup. Check out more of Gabrielle’s work on Instagram!

Today, she’s here to recreate her first ever SFX look, done back in 2013. Let’s see what changes she makes now that she has reputable training and years of in-field experience under her belt!

Want to learn more about Gabrielle’s credentials? Check out this blog article wherein she discusses her experience working as a special effects makeup artist for a haunted house!

QC’s Special FX Makeup Course

In this 4-Unit program, you’ll learn all about:

  • Safe and sanitary makeup application;
  • Identifying and working with common skin disorders;
  • Aging makeup;
  • Bald cap and fake hair application;
  • Creating trauma makeup and special effects;
  • How to work with fake blood;
  • Handling SFX prosthetics;
  • How to work with clients;
  • Marketing your services;
  • How to start your very own business;
  • And MUCH more!

Once you enroll in this course, you’ll receive direct digital access to your textbooks, instructional videos, templates, quizzes, and assignments. You’ll also receive a physical copy of your course materials in the mail. Alongside these course materials, QC will also send you a FREE starter special effects makeup kit!

You’ll have a full 2 years to complete the course – although you can easily complete it in as little as 3-6 months, if you’re able to devote 1-2 hours per week on your studies. Upon graduation, you’ll receive an International Special FX Makeup Professional (ISMP) certification.

This means you’ll be able to show off your SFX training to all of your future clients and potential employers!

special effects makeup artist creating wound effect on client's hand

Additional Perks of Training with QC

Here are just a few more reasons why you should enroll in the Special Effects Makeup Course and become a QC student:

  • All of QC’s courses are offered online, so you can train from wherever works best for YOU!
  • Our self-paced learning environment allows you to work at your own pace – meaning NO deadlines or schedules to follow!
  • QC has been a pioneer of online learning since 1984 and holds an A+ ranking with the Better Business Bureau!
  • We have over 270 raving reviews on our Facebook page alone!
  • Your assignments will provide you with tons of real-world, hands-on training!
  • Our certifications are internationally-recognized!
  • QC’s competitive tuition rates and low monthly payment plans work for practically EVERY budget!
  • Plus, we offer a new promotional offer for both new and existing students every month!
  • There’s a full community of peers and tutors to connect and network with in our free Virtual Classroom on Facebook!
fantasy makeup design
special effects makeup article feature image

Special Effects Makeup for Film

By Education, Special Effects Makeup No Comments

Special effects makeup for film is a behemoth in and of itself. It takes the right training, practice, and dedication to truly master it. After all, it’s a whole different ballgame than SFX makeup for, let’s say, the stage. Special effects makeup for film not only needs to be subtler; it must also be realistic and consistent.

If your dream is to do makeup for Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and horror movies, we won’t mince words: you have a lot of work ahead of you. Luckily, QC Makeup Academy’s online Special FX Makeup Course will teach you everything you need to know! With the help of your expert tutor, you’ll hone every last skill needed to not only work as an SFX artist in the film industry – but truly thrive!

film cre

4 Critical Lessons You’ll Learn in QC’s Special Effects Makeup Course

Believability

Film is far less forgiving than theater. In theater, there’s a considerable distance between the actor and the audience. In order to bridge that gap, the actor’s makeup will often be exaggerated. This way, even the people in the back row can see it. A perk to this is that the actor’s makeup can also afford to have a couple little mistakes or inconsistencies here and there. Chances are, the audience will be too far away to notice.

On camera, though, people absolutely will notice. Typically, special effects makeup for film needs to be realistic. The goal is for the audience to suspend disbelief – if even for a single second – and truly believe for a moment in time that the actor really is this character you’ve created. If it’s obvious that the wound, blood, or character design is fake, the audience will be pulled out of the experience.

Continuity

Continuity is another major detail when it comes to special effects makeup for film. A single scene will often be shot dozens of times, from multiple different angles. A 10-minute scene might take hours to get shoot. Often, you’ll be on set for long periods of time, and you’ll need to be ready at any moment to be called in for touch-ups. Sometimes, once the movie has wrapped, actors will even need to come back to re-shoot particular scenes.

One way or another, your job will be to make sure that actor’s makeup looks EXACTLY the same from one take to the next. Take photos of the actor’s makeup for every scene, as well as after any alteration is made to the look. When waiting on set, continue to keep an eye on the action. If you need to jump in, touch up, or fix something, you’ll want to make sure it aligns exactly with how the makeup looked in the scene (prior to the director calling cut).

Movie watchers are sticklers for continuity errors, so do everything you can to prevent them from finding any.

MUA touching up special effects makeup on forearm

Attention to Detail

High-definition cameras will pick up quite literally every last pore on the actor’s face. If your makeup application has flaws, this means the cameras will pick up on that, too. Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to paying attention to detail is the progression of the film’s plot.

For instance, say the actor’s character is in an altercation and gets hit in the face. This fight results in a bruise around their eye. As the story continues, the audience is meant to believe that time is passing the same way it naturally would in real life. This means that the character’s bruise can’t simply disappear, as if it never happened. It also can’t stay exactly the same either.

Instead, you’ll need to age the bruise accordingly so that it looks like it’s realistically healing and fading away.

The Production Process

You can’t just read a script, come up with a special effects makeup look, and then apply it to the actor on the day of shooting. There’s a LOT more that first needs to go into this process!

For starters, with the script breakdown and makeup charts to guide you, you’ll develop looks that accurately coincide with the story itself. Then you’ll need to test of your designs on the actors and extras who have been assigned to you. Keep in mind that your makeup looks will need to work not only from the actor’s perspective, but in terms of wearability and longevity as well.

After that, your makeup looks will need to undergo a camera test. This will help ensure that the makeup transfers properly on camera and looks the way it’s supposed to. Once production advances, you’ll then be able to refer back to the script, makeup charts, and test photos for each actor and each scene.

Other Reasons Why You Should Take QC’s Special Effects Makeup Course

Perhaps the course itself sounds perfect, but the idea of attending in-person doesn’t. With the pandemic, in-person school isn’t exactly the safest, most convenient, or most affordable option right now. Well, we got even better news for you: you won’t have to worry about any of this with QC Makeup Academy!

Not only is our Special Effects Makeup Course done entirely online; it’s also completed at your own pace! There’ll be no need to worry about traveling to get to school or potentially exposing yourself to COVID-19. You also won’t need to move your schedule around to meet deadlines.

With a full 2 years to complete your course, you can learn everything you need to know right at home – and take as little or as much time as you need!

In case all of this wasn’t awesome enough, here are a few more perks to enrolling with QC:

  • Your tutor will be a special effects makeup expert with decades of experience in the industry.
  • After each unit, you’ll receive extensive, personalized audio feedback from your tutor.
  • Assignments include plenty of hands-on training, in order to give you real-life experience with both models and SFX products.
  • You’ll have an entire community of fellow QC students and grads to connect with in the Virtual Classroom on Facebook.
  • QC’s affordable tuition rates are substantially cheaper than you’d find at a brick-and-mortar school – and you’re even offered a low monthly payment plan if you don’t want to pay everything upfront.
  • With an A+ ranking from the Better Business Bureau and over 35 years pioneering the online learning experience, QC Makeup Academy is known for being the best of the best.
male makeup artist working on prop head

Ready to start your career as a special effects makeup artist? Enroll in QC’s Special FX Makeup Course today!

5 Special Effects Makeup Products to Ask Santa For!

By From the Experts, Makeup Reviews, Special Effects Makeup No Comments

Gabrielle Rivera is a QC Makeup Academy graduate, professional MUA, and special effects makeup expert. To see more of her work, visit her Instagram here

Christmas is the best time of year to ask Santa for the beauty products you absolutely MUST add to your makeup kit! If you’re interested in pursuing a career in special effects makeup, I’ve got 5 products for you to add to your wish list today.

The best part? They can all be used whether you’re a beginner or experienced makeup artist, and I guarantee that they’ll help take your creations to the next level!

5 Special Effects Makeup Products You Need!

Teeth are a subtle detail that MUAs can potentially overlook when creating special effects makeup looks. But the teeth are very important!

Imagine that you’ve just spent hours creating a detailed gore look or a mythical creature. Once you’re finished and your model is ready to have their photo taken, they smile… and show off a mouth of pearly whites! While they may seem inconsequential, teeth play a major role in creating a finished look. They have a huge impact on the final product of your design.

So, ask Santa to bring you a Tooth Lacquer palette! This palette will help you achieve the most realistic special effects makeup for your characters (and their chompers). My favorite brand is the Fleet Street Tooth Lacquer palette because it comes with a variety of grossly-pigmented paints! With this palette, I have brought a Leprechaun to life. Not to mention, these lacquers are the perfect finish to any rotting zombie look.

(Hint hint, for those enrolled in QC Makeup Academy’s Special FX Makeup Course!)

special effects makeup artist, Gabrielle Rivera, holding product 1

2. Alcohol-Activated Paints

Another great gift to ask for this holiday season are alcohol-activated paints! What I love most about these types of paints is that they’re long-lasting. They’re also exceptional at creating the most life-like special effects makeup.

One of my favorite alcohol-activated paint brands is the Skin Illustrator palettes. There are over 20 unique Skin Illustrator palettes designed to help artists achieve specific looks. However, a staple in every SFX artist’s kit should be the FX palette. This palette has all of the tones needed to create bruising, cuts, veins, and the illusion of decay.

Some of my other favorite Skin Illustrator palettes are the Grunge and Necromania palettes. They both have a wide range of colors that can be used to create a variety of special effects makeup looks. Another brand of  alcohol-activated paints that you DEFINITELY need to ask Santa for are the ProAiir liquid paints used for airbrushing!

Both of the above brands are waterproof and ensure long-lasting results for you and your clients.

special effects makeup artist, Gabrielle Rivera, holding product 2

Another staple that I always have in my SFX kit are the 3rd Degree silicone modeling compounds. I’ve been using this brand for over three years now and I have never looked back!

The pros of using this compound include:

  • It’s easier to work with this product when compared to scar wax or other modeling compounds
  • It has a quick drying time
  • It allows you to create more realistic SFX textures in the skin

In the past, I’ve done a Freddy Kreuger SFX look. For it, I used 3d Degree in order to create the burn marks, cuts, gashes, and wounds that resemble flaps of skin, holes, and more! Another great advantage of using this product is that you can add liquid paints in order to create custom colors. This is because the compound cures, which helps to create the most realistic results.

special effects makeup artist, Gabrielle Rivera, holding product 3

4. Pros-Aide Adhesive and Cream

Pros-Aide Adhesive is a professional adhesive similar to liquid latex. For beginners, I highly recommend using regular liquid latex first. This way, you can become familiar with working with latex before moving onto any costlier products (as the Pros-Aide brand can get a bit expensive).

Pros-aide is a richer quality adhesive that can be used on prosthetics, or can be used in conjunction with cotton to build your own. I prefer this adhesive when working with prosthetics, as it allows for a smoother blend to the skin.

In addition to Pros-aide adhesive, a MUST-have to pair alongside it is Pros-Aide Cream. This cream adhesive is a thicker adhesive that’s meant to fill in the gaps or edges of prosthetics. The result is a truly seamless blend. That being said, this product can also be used to create scars or textures on the skin.

special effects makeup artist, Gabrielle Rivera, holding product 4

5. Airbrush Machine

The BEST gift you can ask Santa for this Christmas is an airbrush machine. Whether you specialize special effects makeup or regular makeup, trust me: an airbrush machine will elevate your game completely!

Not only do airbrush machines help deliver blended looks; they can save you time as well. Airbrush machines are a great way to lay down a base for your looks, on both small and larger-scale areas. With practice, airbrush machines can also be used to detail looks, and they’re phenomenal for painting over top of prosthetics!

The airbrush machine I use is the Master Airbrush Model TC-320. This airbrush machine is portable, compact, and gets the job done every time. With an airbrush machine, you can use water or alcohol-activated paints, as well as liquid foundation to create glamor looks.

If you ask Santa for nothing else this holiday season, I recommend asking for an airbrush machine. It’ll completely change your life!

Want to learn more about airbrush makeup? QC Makeup Academy has an awesome Airbrush Makeup Workshop that will teach you everything you need to know!

special effects makeup artist, Gabrielle Rivera, holding product 5

The BEST gift Santa can give you this year is the chance to start your dream career as an MUA! Enroll in QC’s Special Effects Makeup Course today and become a certified professional in as little as 3-6 months!