In tandem with our Sugar Skull shoot, we wanted some Zombies. Call me crazy, but after a decade of doing beautiful brides I really haven’t had a ton of opportunities to work on my fake blood skills. Only in recent years has this proven to be a liability on my part- apparently, everyone from CEO’s to ravers wants to look as though they are ready for their cameo on The Walking Dead. Being this close to Halloween and having an epic special effects makeup supply store in town definitely helped us create some undead in a hurry, sans bite marks or axes. Somehow, I talked my darling friend Jessica* into roping her husband into working with us. He’s the real deal- a practiced zombie if you will. Once inside the studio we (hesitantly) got to work on some zombie Halloween makeup. Hesitantly being the operative word here- several times I came quite close to trying to make Michael pretty. Melissa was working right next to me on Chels and kept telling me to knock it off and make him dirty, grungy, scary. Apparently I was the only artist in the room who was on struggle street with this one, but the team rallied and our zombies definitely looked menacing.
However, this small triumph of mine is nothing compared to the sheer joy of two unplanned things that came from our shoot- First, one of our models had to cancel at the last minute, which meant Chief Dude had to become a model! Imagine that- our Rob, our one man in a company of woman, in Bianca’s makeup chair! He even sported the sweet t-shirt I scored for him at the thrift store: Property of the Science Club. Appropriate, right??? When I got home after the shoot he came downstairs very upset- even after a shower his eyeliner remained and he couldn’t figure out how to get it off. Suddenly, he grabbed me and in a deep, raspy voice said “Sookie!” and then tried to Glamour me… I’m dying just thinking about it!
The second moment of sheer joy came in the form of a sweet, blue eyed baby boy. Chris and Alicia just had a handsome baby, and he was in tow with his mama when Chris arrived to do the photography for our apocalypse (huge shout-out to Orange Soda Photo!). Now follow me on this- zombies are cool. Babies are way cool. Get a couple of zombies to eat a baby? Um, YES! Is there ever a more perfect opportunity to earn cool points ever???
Talk about a snack attack!
*Jessica is an amazing, exquisitely talented caricature artist. Sure, we are talking about zombies in this post, but there’s all kinds of holidays fixing to happen and you’ll need some custom art done! Check out her website and get ready to be illustrated!
Somewhere in the middle of July, while I’m still packing my tanning oil and having a 5 pm margarita, bits of orange and black start to show up in stores. I crave summer intensely, but knowing that Halloween is just around the bend sure does soften the blow when I know it’s time to pull out my cool-weather clothes. And since it’s officially the end of August, I’ve checked myself for tan lines and the ‘Co is gearing up for loads of Las Vegas Halloween makeup. Between the Fetish and Fantasy Ball and pretty much EVERYONE having a costume party at the clubs, Halloween 2014 is going to be full of sexy, grisly good times this year.
To warm up our creative muscles, we took on the most perfect of all party costume makeup-the Sugar Skull. Most clubs won’t let you in with a mask, and itchy cheap costumes hardly ever come off as sexy. The Sugar Skull is an incredible way to do Halloween right, and still wear that perfect nightclub dress that makes your bod look to die for. You don’t need to sport a costume with this look because it’s all about the makeup. Because sugar skulls are so colorful and so open to interpretation, it really can be absolutely anything you want! And, if you’re going with a date, he can swank up his own sexy black suit with a simple black-and-white skeleton makeup to match. If you’ve kicked it with the ‘Co before now, you know we’ve done another shoot like this before with our buddies over at Orange Soda Photo. I didn’t have to try too hard to talk them into this crazy plan with us This particular shoot is the first half of a two-part day, so be sure to swing by again for the Zombie Blue Plate Special: Wyatt Snack.
There is a kind of reverence that hair and makeup artists have for all things vintage. Well, maybe not ALL hair and makeup artists. But a lot of us, especially my team. So, when Ron wanted to stage an epic 1930’s Seance session for #30daysgorgeous, we were all over it.
Modern day beauty is wonderful, fresh, and has it’s own very fine points. Anything goes, although I’ll be the first to tell you I just don’t get “high fashion” makeup. You know, the kind where a makeup artist makes the model look “heroine chic” or puts a purple triangle over their eye and calls it art. But, then again, I don’t have to like that kind of makeup artistry, because there’s plenty of other makeup artists out there that do. The hair and makeup styles that we saw from the 1920’s until about the 1970’s were very feminine, very perfect, very finished. Finger waves, (which are making a comeback that we love!), were done on Saturday mornings at the beauty parlor. The hair was set wet, and then she would sit under a dryer for God know’s how long to dry the whole thing, and the style was then finished with a comb-out. We’ve found a few ways around this very long, drawn out process and Hayley nailed Ajali’s finger waves using modern, hot-tool techniques. Of course, the hair doesn’t make sense without the right makeup, so Alana created the doe-eyed look that was quite fashionable, complete with cupid’s bow lips. Because the wardrobe for the 1930’s was quite specific, we asked our girl Iliki over at Style Lush to pull together an amazing look that would really help us nail the authentic vibe we were going for. As usual, she nailed it!
There was much back and forth prior to the shoot, working with two models, two hair and makeup artists, a wardrobe stylist, and a photographer. Everyone collaborating was excited, which also means everyone collaborating pulled different inspirational images. What we decided on was a decidedly aged photo shoot that was quite close to being authentic, but with a few modern twists. But, don’t let that distract you from the real star of the show- The Seance. Ouji board in hand, our two models played out the popular past time, and with a little nudge from Ron, we do in fact have levitation and ectoplasm.
Confession: I have a small obsession with all things Film Noir. Sexy crime detectives, swanky fedoras, trench-coats. There probably isn’t a woman on the face of the planet who at one point or another fantasized about living in the world L.A. Confidential created. Women were sexy and curvy, everything was dark and mysterious. The entire era of the 40’s drips with swagger. There’s only a few shoots I personally did as part of this #30daysgorgeous, but this, this one was one of my baby’s.
You’ve met my pal Ron Dillon before, so no introduction is necessary. But, what you may not know, is that this man knows his lighting. When recreating the that smoky signature look, it’s really all about lighting. I suppose ALL photography is all about lighting, but in particular, it’s quite specific. Now, imagine if you will, carting cases full of camera equipment and two full lighting set ups down a urine-reeking back road known as Dead Girl Alley. Of course, it’s Vegas which means pretty much everything here is shiny and new. And at night, of course. To get the grittiness that we were after, we had to shoot at one of the oldest parts of Las Vegas- Downtown. Just to give you a point of reference, the oldest part’s of our city go back maybe to the late ’30’s, and that’s being generous. Where as modern and updated architecture can be hard to track down in most major cities, finding dilapidated buildings and walls is quite a feat here.
I wanted this kind of Asian feel for our model, and Ron confirmed my instinct by telling me how American’s were fascinated by the Oriental culture in that time period. Our model was Amma, a beautiful woman from Indonesia, and she blew us away. Everything that we wanted our lady detective to have, she embraced, and did it far better than we could have imagined. A little creative wardrobe and of course, signature red lips and roller-set hair, and we have what you see here. In love with this #30daysgorgeous session, a thousand times over!
When Ron Dillon and I first “met” each other a couple years ago over cyber space, it was because I had accidentally emailed the wrong person. Unlike most accidents, this turned out to be a happy one! We exchanged a few pleasantries and nothing more, and then just this past November happened to be at the same bridal show at the same time. It was also right when I was getting up the nerve to do #30daysgorgeous, so of course Ron and his girlfriend Angela were promptly verbally assaulted with the idea of 30 shoots in 30 days. Over tea a couple weeks later Ron and I started to “get” each other’s artistic style, and the idea’s for different styled shoots came fast and furious. I don’t know who’s idea it was or how it ended up coming about, all I know is that some kind of perfect harmony happened when Gimme Some Sugar Bakery offered up their newly established dessert bar. Who had the mother of all up-do’s, who had the most designer dresses, who was blinged out enough to blind a passerby? Marie Antoinette, of course. And naturally, she would want to eat cake.
Over at Couture Bride, Dawn and Annette had the perfect Vera Wang gown for our Marie. Corseted but with clean lines, it was the perfect dress for our model Jess and it fit her so well. If Marie were alive today, she probably would have a bit of a rocker chick thing going on, so a faint purple ombre and colorful make was definitely on the menu. Rachel pulled up Jess’s trusses into Marie’s signature coif, adding color gradually to the tips. Melissa, beyond obsessed, gave Jess the kind of feminine fashion makeup that would have been worthy of a 20th century Queen, with vivid pinks and rich blues. And colorful French macaroons? Well, naturally.
Cruise on over to Ron’s blog for his take on what turned out to be an amazing, bright, awesome shoot!
Which came first, the Lady Gaga zombie or Walking Dead? I confess, I’ve never seen a single episode of the super popular zombie show, but Chief Dude (Rob, the charming guy you talk to when you book) is a huge fan. And so are lot’s of people! The requests for zombie makeup have been coming in thick and fast for the past few years. Two Halloweens ago, we partnered with Pin-Up Bride Planners to sponsor a wedding-industry Halloween party here in Vegas. The order of the day was one dead bride, one dead groom, and transform all the servers and wait staff into zombies. Thankfully for me (Amelia here!), Alana knows her way around a jar of fake coagulated blood and was able to create these gruesome looks. Hayley worked on massive, undead hair and I was allowed to assist with airbrushing the color out of faces and getting sticky with stage blood.
That was just the start- since then, more and more zombie makeup requests have come in. We’ve also had Bianca and Melissa join the team, with their own versions of zombie makeup experience Some of the more recent request have been inspired by the black-and-white skeletal look made infamous by Lady Gaga, and somehow women have even found a way to make the un-dead look sexy- sans blood and gore.
Bianca’s half-dead, half alive steam-punk influenced zombie makeup. It’s delicate and feminine all at once- is it possible for a zombie look to be lady like? We think so.
Alana’s Lady Gaga inspired zombie makeup for a couple- not a detail left behind, right down to the hands. Pretty much the perfect couples costume without all the other cheesy options.
Melissa’s “gentleman’s” skeletal zombie makeup. Paired with some finer black clothing, it’s perfect for the guy who doesn’t do costumes but wants to look the part.
Las Vegas does Halloween right… the Fetish and Fantasy Ball, the costume contests, all the events that bring out the dark, the weird, the curious. And we are no exception- Halloween makeup is our time to break out of the soft pinks and sweet browns into full-on costume makeup. Bianca loves working with latex to create gruesome looks- like the eerie cut smile of the Black Dahlia. Alana imagined what it would be like if the black-and-white flappers captured in the torn images of the 1920’s photographs suddenly came to life and began walking about. Amelia was equally sinister with her take on the Black Widow- a woman who mourns the loss of her (latest) husband as she fingers the jewels he so conveniently left behind. Of course, we enlisted the help of our buddy Ron Miller to capture our creations, and he nailed it.
We had a blast creating these Halloween makeup Las Vegas looks at one of the most eccentric venues in town- the Artisan. From the ceilinged hung mirrors to the gargoyle fountain, high-backed red velvet chairs and dimly lit chandeliers, the Artisan provided the perfect place for three Las Vegas makeup artists and two hair stylists to flex some creative muscle designing sexy costumes for our three belles, Kitty, Angela, and Erin. The theme we designed the shoot around was “Little Black Dress: Halloween Costume” Taking inspiration from a clothing item nearly every woman owns and feels oh-so-sexy in, and taking the fear out of Halloween- the cheesy, over priced costumes that bow the temporary shelves of pop up shops through the city. With some witty accessories and the perfect hair and makeup, a costume inspiringly unregretful was created.
The Black Dahlia “Little Black Dress” Inspired Halloween Makeup by Bianca S. With the right makeup, all that’s needed is a sweet dress, a pearl necklace, and the signature flower.
The Flapper “Little Black Dress” Inspired Halloween Makeup by Alana G. With gray skin and shadowy makeup, all that is needed to complete this look is the flappers token bob wig and a set of sassy garters.
The Black Widow “Little Black Dress” Inspired Halloween makeup by Amelia C. With a low-cut dress and dazzling gothic jewels, the perfect makeup and a mourning veil is all that’s needed for this beautiful widow.
Halloween makeup Las Vegas is the BEST. Between all the parties, especially the Fetish and Fantasy Ball, we get some of the coolest requests!
It seemed appropriate to save these images for today, Dios De Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. What’s that you say? Halloween was yesterday? Well, pull yourself out of that candy-and-cider coma because your about to get schooled, Wikipedia explains:
“Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where it is a national holiday, and all banks are closed. The celebration takes place on November 1, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. They also leave possessions of the deceased.”
History is totally rad, right? I mean, here we were thinking that All Hallow’s Eve ended on October 31 but wait! There’s more! Celebrate the super awesome DoftD and you get two more days of sugar and celebration! Score!
When my girl Alicia over at Orange Soda Photo called me a few months back and wanted to stage her own DoftD shoot, I was all over it. I hadn’t done a makeup application like this before, and I was beyond stoked to bust out my SFX kit in the spring. Alicia was nice enough to help this makeup artist out by sending along some images to get those creative juices flowing, and what you see here is the end-result of my first stab at a Day of the Dead makeup application. Not bad, eh? Oh, and when there’s a sexy beast like Kate modeling for you, your just know whatever you come up with she’s gonna rock.