I have a confession to make; I love special effects makeup. Or what other people would call “SFX.” It might be a little odd, but it’s interesting nonetheless.
When I was sixteen, I was attending high school in South Carolina. I’ve always been artsy, so of course I was in all the arts classes the school offered. Photography was one of my favorites and I learned so much from an amazing teacher. In my photography class, we had a lesson about special effects makeup. I was ecstatic to say the least.
How does special effects makeup fit into a photography class, you might ask? We were learning about editing a certain type of photo. We learned just a couple very basics, like liquid latex and tissues, and bruise coloring.
This was my entry for a contest we had at the end of the lesson, all edited and makeup done myself. I won the contest and had the photo printed on the canvas to display in the classroom. Sixteen year old Devon was excited beyond belief, and that started my love of this makeup style.
For a couple years, I’ve practiced special effects makeup on my own. I watched Youtube videos, followed popular makeup artists on all my social media, and just spent hours and hours practicing on my own.
In 2014, I was introduced to the world of Halloween haunts. I’d had minor experience in one in South Carolina, but this was a bigger deal. Scandia Amusement Park in Ontario, CA welcomed me into the world of scaring. Not only did I learn how to scare people as they walked through a “haunted house,” but I also had the opportunity to practice my beginning makeup skills on other people.
This is my younger brother, one of my favorite looks I’ve done on him yet. Very simple, but when he was in full costume, it was perfect.
Every October since 2014, I’ve spent every single night in the month at this park. My fiancé is the sliding captain for our scarers. Have you seen the monsters sliding past you, dressed in kneepads with sparks flying? That’s what he does, along with a large amount of our friends. So between nights of sliding practice, scare rehearsals, designing the house, and practicing makeup? It’s our busiest month of every year, but I wouldn’t change that for anything.
Left: My fiancé, Gary, and I in costume on Halloween night. Right: Scandia’s sliding team, 2016.
I still have so much to learn when it comes to SFX makeup, but it’s such a huge part of my life now. Do any of my readers work with special effects makeup? I’d love to learn more and see what other artists are working on!