By Hannah Richardson
Don’t worry, its just make-up!
I feel like I have to put up so many disclaimers because this type of makeup is not for the faint of heart or weak stomachs. Special effects makeup is what you might see in movies and artists put so much work in the details that it has you doing double takes and asking, “is that real?”
The realism Racheal Steadman puts in her SFX makeup can be attributed to quality products and practice, practice and more practice.
Steadman has been practicing SFX makeup for three years and has learned what she knows online and from YouTube tutorials by creators like ellimacs sfx makeup and Powdah FX. Steadman said she was always a fan of horror movies and the television show “Are You Afraid of The Dark?” She started off with the basics- tissue paper and latex. Now she carries a huge bag filled with tools, alcohol-activated paint pallets, stage blood, putty latex and more.
This is a hobby for Steadman that really shines in late September and the month of October. She mainly does this type of makeup for family and her children- who must have the coolest Halloween costumes in their class. “With my kids, I don’t have the time to do this professionally,” said Steadman. “This is just for fun.”
We had Steadman and her children, Marcus and Isabella, come by the office Monday for a demonstration. While the bigger type of SFX makeup can take a long time, a zombie bite-mark (or infected bite) on my arm was simple enough and only took 30 minutes. By using latex putty, fake blood, pens to draw on veins, different tools and sponges, the bite was looking like it needed urgent medical attention. At one point, I looked down and almost forgot it was just makeup! The kids thought it was looking pretty disgusting and Isabella said zombie bites were their favorite. They said seeing this was just like what they see on an average weekend, and were pretty unfazed compared to the Times staff (sorry Jerry and Morgan.)
After it was done, I wanted to see what kinds of reactions I would get in town (if you saw me Monday with the mark and were concerned- I’m fine). I got a lot of side eyes and one person, who after staring at me for five minutes, came up to get a closer look.
Halloween is getting closer and closer, so now is the perfect time to try out some SFX makeup to get an “out of this world” costume. Take a page out of Steadman’s book and remember how to get really great at this type of makeup- good materials and practice, practice, practice! Steadman also mention the hardest step to getting the makeup looking realistic is blending, but this is also the most important.