Friday, 27 January 2017

Guest interview: "My hobby is doing special effects make-up!"

This time I talk to Nicole, 14, as she gets to work on us... 

How did you first get into special effects make-up?

I started doing it last summer after I met a girl at my mum's friend's wedding who did it. We became friends on Facebook and I saw her special effects photos and thought, "Ooh, I could try that".

Some people would say it's a very gruesome hobby! What would you say to them?
It's fun! It's artistic! It's creative! I want to be a paramedic and it's made me much less squeamish. Before, whenever I saw something bloody and horrible, I would have gone, "Oh woh woh", but now I'm like, "Oh...okay". It's good being able to watch a film or programmes like Casualty and think, "Ooh, that's fake". You can spot things straight away. I'd love to do make-up for TV. 

So how did you start?
I just got 99p fake blood and researched what I could make myself, like fake flesh out of flour and water with a bit of vaseline. But the blood was BRIGHT red and it was difficult to blend the edges of the flesh, so it looked a bit like having a dollop of cookie dough on your skin! 
But I did a cut and a bullet hole in my brother's cheek with that. Then I experimented with eye shadow, like browns and blues for wounds and bruises, and then I got this box for my birthday with face paints and latex and lots of sponges and brushes and that changed things quite a bit. *Look away now if you're squeamish!*
How hard is it to learn?
It takes time to work out what works and what doesn't and what colour combinations look realistic. I struggled with the very first ones. Even now, it often goes wrong. There's a lot of of wiping bits away, doing it again, wiping it away, doing it again. It definitely develops skills like perseverance and patience!
Where do you get your ideas?
I google YouTube all the time for inspiration. Sometimes you see something and you want to do it but you haven't got the right products, but you've got to be able to improvise, find something that will get the same effect. And you have to be confident – it won't work if you think it won't work!

How long does it take?
Bruises only take about two minutes. The longest I've ever spent doing something was three hours but that was a full half a face. On myself!
How often do you do it?
It's the thing I look forward to doing the most once I've got studying and stuff out the way. It's quite often what I do in the evenings. I just sit there experimenting on myself! I did my friend for Halloween – I did two bloody holes in her neck – and I did my brother's girlfriend the other day.

So, you've finished doing us now. Can we see the results...?
First, my daughter, who would only allow the merest hint of a bruise to be done on her...
Then me, with a right shiner...
And finally, my daughter's friend...
If you like this (or hate it and want a much lighter and fluffier make-up project!), you might like Unbratting the Bratz: Give a doll a makeunder.


  1. Oh Wow! She is so talented at such a young age. I see her involved in big films in the near future! How awesome! Well done!

    Thank you so much for sharing with us on #FabFridayPost

  2. She is really awesome. She make you a scary.... Halloween will be great with her. I like this cool work and also like my Liquid Matte Lipstick for my lip.