There are plenty of extremely talented young women who make good money running social media feeds of their fantastic makeup artistry, but they don’t have a patch on the artistry of the women and girls who specialize in horror makeup effects, perfecting and sharing techniques for the grossest, greatest prosthetic-and-paint monster and gore effects.
Both Suarez and Breault (who also teaches at the College of Makeup Art and Design in Toronto) have both noticed a huge influx of women interested in special effects makeup classes. At the moment, they both teach almost exclusively women. Both connect the surge to the rise of social media and makeup blogging. But an interest that stems exclusively from the Internet can end up hurting or misleading a lot of young, aspiring female special effects makeup artists, Breault says.
“I notice a lot of young women want to do gore, they have these images online, but they don’t know the history of effects,” Breault says, who notes that many women coming into the field tend to see special effects as a simple extension of beauty makeup. “They need to look deeper than Instagram, they need to be consumed. Not one girl in my class knew who Rick Baker was and that was sad to me, because if you don’t know makeup’s past you can’t move forward.”
Jones also notices that the more professional the makeup look is on Instagram, the less popular it seems to be. Age makeup, for instance, is the hardest kind of special effects technique to do, she says. But an exceptional age makeup look doesn’t translate to Instagram, where users will just scroll over an image of what they might think is actually an elderly person. The looks that use cheap items like toilet paper and latex and are covered in blood (which makes it easy to disguise mistakes) tend to get the most likes. “People want it to be achievable for them,” Jones says. “It’s always frustrated me, but the looks that are more DIY get more hits.”
The Rising Gore Girls of Instagram
[Hazel Cills/The Muse]