Zombie Makeup Artist Interview‏

Halloween is upon us! And that means that we are looking for the perfect Zombie costume! You can’t just slap some grey face paint on, and paint a red glob around your mouth. You want realism! You want panache! You want someone to be ready to run off at the chance that you are gong to bite him or her…unless they’re into that thing. This article brings you two well-known Youtube personalities that have been doing some amazing things in the world of Zombe. Meet Mel Rose, and Kiana B Jones!

 

MelRose Interview

In our hunt for the perfect Zombie costume we came across Melrose! She is a makeup artist the specializes in dramatic and sometimes scary looks for her viewers. She operates a Youtube channel, and has thousands of followers! She graciously took the time to answer some questions about getting the make up right for your own personal costume.
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1.     First off, give us a bit of background about you and the type of cosmetic work that you do?

My name is Mel, and I’m a young 20 something living in NYC with my boyfriend and pit bull! I started making YouTube tutorials in 2009 to teach the everyday girl how to apply makeup, as well as showcase creepy, easy to do Halloween tutorials during the fall!

2.     What are some of your new projects for the Halloween season?

One of my latest Halloween tutorials was a creepy doll how-to. It was fun to make, seeing as I think ventriloquist dummies are some of the creepiest things around!
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3.    Now the hard questions! What is the best and worst thing about doing gory makeup effects?

Thats a hard one! There are so many more pros than there are cons. I would say the best thing about it has to be the look on peoples faces when they say “Wow, thats makeup?!?!?”! Its a bit rewarding. The worst, definitely has to be removing all of the fake skin! OUCH!

4.    When you think of zombie costumes what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

Torn clothing, rotted skin, lots of blood!

5.    What attracted you to working with prosthetics, and what do you think is the hardest part about working with them?

I was always so interested in how makeup artists created all of those scary creatures we see in movies. One day, I just got up and went to the Halloween store, bough a whole bunch of stuff, and started playing around with them! They can be a bit difficult to work with at times, especially if you’re rushing and don’t use enough adhesive. Those prosthetics can be heavy sometimes, and the last thing you want is it slipping off!

6.   Where do you find the inspiration for your video tutorials?

Usually through TV and movies. As creepy as it sounds, I like to take characters from shows and kill them…. with makeup! I also like to come up with ideas for fun looks that I think would be creepy enough for my viewers to enjoy!

7.   What is your favorite type of zombie to recreate?

A hungry one! One thirsting for that next bite of human flesh! Gross!

8.   What has been the most challenging makeup look to create?

A clown! I know it sounds easy, but its been difficult for me to perfect a clown. Or at least to my standards! If you don’t get the mouth right on the first go, the whole look falls apart.

9.   Next question, and don’t lie. Where you interested in doing zombie makeup before the walking dead came out?

Yes! Just never showcased on YouTube. I used to zombie-fy my boyfriend for Halloween all the time. When The Walking Dead came out, and zombies became cool, I figured it would be fun to show the world.

10. What makes for a really great Zombie costume?

Its all about the little details that count. My biggest tip for a great zombie costume is to add conditioner to your dry hair right before you go out for the night. It will make your hair appear greasy and gross and make it look a bit more realistic.

11. What are some of the mistakes that you see others making when trying to create their favorite shambler?

Lines being too precise! You may think you want all those bruises to be perfect, but really, you don’t! A zombies face is far from perfect, so to have perfectly straight details wouldn’t make much sense!

12. For those just starting out what tools would you say are essential for them to use when recreating a zombie look?

Liquid Latex is my #1 tool to always have on hand when creating a zombie look. Not only is it good for attaching a prosthetic, it can always be layered to create fake skin!

13. After the make up is done, what do you feel really finishes off a zombie costume?

As mentioned earlier, adding a bit of conditioner to your hair really completes that dirty zombie look!

14. When not creating zombie effects. What other makeup looks do you enjoy doing?

During Halloween season, which for me is late August through the end of October, I enjoy creating anything creepy. If people don’t say “ewww!”, its not creepy enough! Outside of Halloween season, I love to create simple everyday makeup looks that anybody can wear.

15. Now that you’ve made it through the hard questions we’re going to go to our lightening round!

A.     Favorite Zombie Movie?

I have to go with the classics and say Night of the Living Dead!

B.     Look to the right. The first thing you see is your weapon in the upcoming apocalypse. What did fate give you?

Samurai Sword!

C.     If zombies surrounded you, what zombie move character do you want to save you?

Definitely Chris Hemsworth from Cabin in the Woods! Cute-tay!

D.    When the apocalypse hits where are you most likely going to be?

Probably at home cuddling with my dog eating pizza!

Melrose can be found at any of her sites listed below.

As we continue on our trek to find the perfect Zombie costume came across a makeup artist by the name of Kiana B Jones. She does amazing work with blood and gore! She was kind enough to take some time away from Zombifying the masses to help us out!
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1.     First off, give us a bit of background about you and the type of cosmetic work that you do?

I started getting into SFX makeup as a hobby last year around Halloween time, and have been into improving my gore makeup ever since. My favourite thing is extremely gory zombies.

2.     What are some of your new projects for the Halloween season?

This year I want to make a nurse zombie for our local zombie walk, and a zombie Marilyn Monroe for Perth’s Vampire Ball.

3.    Now the hard questions! What is the best and worst thing about doing gory makeup effects?

The best thing is that wounds are messy – so if you make a mistake it’s harder to notice, and you can cover up bad jobs with blood, and it will still have a great, shocking effect. The worst thing is trying to find reference pictures..

4.    When you think of zombie costumes what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

Bloooood.

5.    What attracted you to working with prosthetics, and what do you think is the hardest part about working with them?

I really like having the best costume at parties, and the attention that I get when I have something quite horrific. The hardest part is dedicating the night to being uncomfortable – not being able to talk properly, move properly, and having the appliance come away. That’s a reason that I’m trying to use better materials and get better, more professional techniques – so I can create something which can be emoted through and worn comfortably for the duration of the evening.

6.   Where do you find the inspiration for your video tutorials?

I usually play with the makeup and take photos first. Then I will make the ones that get the most attention and requests for video tutorials online.

7.   What is your favorite type of zombie to recreate?

As much gore as possible, but with the twist of having a beauty or pretty element. I want people to be confused about being attracted and yet repelled by something.

8.   What has been the most challenging makeup look to create?

I tried to create a look which had the nose missing – but trying to add on enough material around the nose to build it up, so that it looks like it’s come away, ended up looking quite strange and was a bit misshapen.

9.   Next question, and don’t lie. Were you interested in doing zombie makeup before the walking dead came out?

No, I only started doing zombie makeup last year, but I didn’t start watching the Walking Dead until after I’d done gore makeup for a few months. Before I learnt makeup I was too scared to watch the horror genre, and learning the behind the scenes and how people create effects has made it a lot easier to watch them – they become a study and admiration in people’s SFX abilities, and less about being scared. Yes, kind of. I’ve been experimenting with gore makeup for the past ten years, on a casual basis, but I’ve only gotten serious in the past year. I didn’t start watching the Walking Dead until late last year. Before the past year when I’ve started learning a lot about makeup, I was too scared to watch the horror genre, and learning the behind the scenes and how people create effects has made it a lot easier to watch them – they become a study and admiration in people’s SFX abilities, and less about being scared.

10.What makes for a really great Zombie costume?

I think the person behind it – acting it out and getting into character. And dark, aged blood.

11.What are some of the mistakes that you see others making when trying to create their favorite shambler?

I see people trying to create an angry/sore area of skin around the wound, but instead of making it subtle and blended out, having an opaque red ring around the wound with a sharp edge.

12.For those just starting out what tools would you say are essential for them to use when recreating a zombie look?

I found Nose and Scar wax quite easy when starting out – and using it with a wax spatula tool and Vaseline, it makes it a lot easier. I would advise people to stay away from spirit gum – there are so many better adhesives, in the same or similar price line. I’d recommend Pros Aide.

13.After the makeup is done, what do you feel really finishes off a zombie costume?

Having the clothes dirtied and bloodied, too. Contacts can make a costume cool, too, but make sure you get them the safe way – through an optometrist! Don’t risk your vision for a costume.

14.When not creating zombie effects. What other makeup looks do you enjoy doing?

I’m also into everyday beauty makeup. Currently trying to perfect my “no-makeup makeup”.

15.Now that you’ve made it through the hard questions we’re going to go to our lightening round!

A.     Favorite Zombie Movie?

Shaun of the Dead.

B.     Look to the right. The first thing you see is your weapon in the upcoming apocalypse. What did fate give you?

My DSLR camera.. shiiit. Say brains?

C.     If zombies surrounded you, what zombie move character do you want to save you?

Daryl Dixon, please.

D.    When the apocalypse hits where are you most likely going to be?

Hiding in some isolated town in the middle of Western Australia.

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