The Alaska Crafter column is back! Check it out in its print edition in today's Juneau Empire, or read on for a last minute halloween fix!
Here we are again Juneau, another blustery year gone by and October ushering in the crafter’s most hectic holiday, Halloween. If you’re anything like me you’re aflutter with a mixture of trepidation and excitement brought on by a little thing I like to call procraftination. Yes, the fine art of waiting till the 11th hour to whip together your Halloween costume. I hear you protest, that has never been me! Hah! Even the most dedicated and honed crafter has slipups — some years the Halloween deadline approaches and we all find ourselves sheepishly in the ransacked costume aisle with no supplies, no shipping options and a touch of panic.
Never fear, the Alaska Crafter will help set you back on track! Years of self-inflicted procraftination mean I know every trick of the trade to make it appear as if I did not wait until the last minute to hastily assemble my costume. And this year’s secret weapon . . . makeup.
Makeup can be transformative in a very efficient amount of time, is readily abundant and if you can channel your inner artist a few hours before the big spook night you may just be able to convince your friends and family that you are not a procraftinator, which seems like the best of all possible solutions to never repeat that word again. Ever.
Alaska Crafter’s 6 Steps to Makeup Success
1. Plan: Whether you’re a ghoul, goblin, vixen or vampire, you’ll need a little bit of research to keep you on track. Find an image of your ideal makeup and keep it handy. Map out your makeup beforehand by drawing an outline of your face and the general sketch of the design you’d like to apply on paper first so you have it as a reference.
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2. Supplies: Think of your face as a painting surface like a wall or canvas. For your home you would purchase quality paints and a few nice brushes, and I am willing to bet your face is a bit more precious. So skip the premade Halloween kits of white cream and grease pencils and head toward the makeup aisle. Think of eyeliners as sketching pencils, and use eyeshadow as small paint pots. Depending on your look, lipsticks and lipliners can come in handy for bright reds, cuts and blood, while purple and yellow eyeshadow can make truly realistic bruises.
3. Base: Prep your face just like a canvas. Cream or liquid base provides the best coverage, but in the case of the Halloween kit makeup, can get sweaty and streaky as the night wears on. Follow the cream or liquid base with a powder overlay and you’ll get consistent coverage. For ghouls and goblins try a light-colored liquid makeup base all over with a smooth sponge and then follow with a white or green eyeshadow applied with a larger powder or blush brush. Blue works for a frozen face, and red for a devilish look.
4. Cut in: Once you have an even basecoat, cut in the rough outlines of your makeup. Pull out that makeup plan you previously sketched on paper and use an eye or lip liner in lieu of a pencil. Another option is to use a small angled eyeshadow brush and a powdered eyeshadow. Wet the tip of the brush and use the powder like a small pot of paint. This will give your makeup softer edges and a more artistic look than the clean lines of a pencil.
5. Detail: Now is the time to fill in the outlines and to have a little fun with your look. I like to start abandoning the pencils and brushes and get into the artistic side of things by using fingertips to smooth and shape the contours of the design. Another technique is stippling which uses a stiff brush or textured sponge to make an uneven, coarse or dotted look (like five o’clock shadow or lumpy warts).
Have makeup removal wipes handy in case there are little missteps. Remember, under all the layers is your lovely skin, so any big booboos can always be carefully cleaned and recreated if necessary. For hairy, scary type makeups this is where creeping blood drips and big bruises come in. For fairy type makeups the eyelash applications and glitter dusting happen now.
6. Set: The last step to ensure enduring success is to apply a final coat of loose powder to set the entire makeup. Shake a bit of translucent powder onto a large powder brush and lightly apply this all over your face with a tapping motion. This last step will keep your crafter glow alive and keep you looking as fresh as if your ghoulish self just stepped from the grave.
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