Although often painted by the brush of vanity, there is an artistic depth beneath the scratched surface of make up. Make up artist, Amy O’Neill of Make Up Forever, Dublin, explained the elements of make up that are ofen over looked and the creative scope that comes with the job, especially at Halloween.
Make Up Forever specializes in theatrical make up, making Halloween the favourite time of year. While appointments can book out weeks in advance, its well worth the time and money as artist and client come together to create genuinely unique looks. Expect no look book from which to choose your painted face. Instead the artists request prior notice so they have time to gather materials that range from fake scars and horns to hundreds and thousands to a lace bodice used as a stencil. Plaster wax, blackened tooth enamel, wound filler and a variety of fake bloods, from runny to coagulated are just some among the expansive range of product available.
For more abstract or specific looks, a certain amount of research goes into the preparation to ensure the client emerges looking as true to character as possible. Despite the creative fusion between artist and client, Amy admits that there are trends in halloween make up, just as there is in seasonal day-to-day make up. While last year zombies and vampires dominated the chair, this year it’s all about black widows and sugar skulls. Popular culture also has a large impact on the the fancy dress style palette, with the number of avatars and black swans peaking at the time of the movie releases. Similarly, one of Amy’s most memorable endevours was that of a Lady Gaga style skeleton. Rather than having the make up stop at the neck, it continued all the way down the clients torso and arms, resulting in a half body paint, topped off with a bald cap! Body painting can take between three and five hours depending on the intricity of the design.
As well as fantastical theatrics, day and night make up, Make Up Forever are also stockists of DermaColour, a range of products for those with burns or skin defects they wish to disguise and tattoos or black eyes that need covering. When it comes to make up, Make Up Forever has every base covered.
Amy demonstrated the variety of looks available with a two-face look of both glamour and gore on model Katie O’Connor.
Words: Hannah Mullen
Photography: Paris Callan