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Published: Sunday, 10/14/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

Makeup artists turn beauties into beasts

BY RONEISHA MULLEN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Carl Graf, a professional makeup artist, puts fake blood on Mary Beth Lengel to make her into a monster. Carl Graf, a professional makeup artist, puts fake blood on Mary Beth Lengel to make her into a monster.
THE BLADE/AMY E. VOIGT Enlarge | Buy This Photo

Makeup artists generally spend most of their days helping clients pretty themselves for special occasions, teaching things like how to create a smoky eye technique and perfecting new makeup looks.

But come October, some Toledo area artists lend their talents to a more frightening cause: transforming Belle of the Ball into The Beast with scary Halloween makeup.

Makeup artists are increasingly finding themselves creating spooky looks as clients seek to put their best scary face forward.

"Halloween has become my biggest time of year, over weddings," said Kristi Sadowski, a Toledo area makeup artist who specializes in makeup application and lessons.

At Face Junky cosmetics boutique in Perrysburg, Carl Graf III expects to work with more than two dozen people for Halloween makeup this year.

Mr. Graf, who specializes in theatrical makeup, usually works with clients for formal events such as weddings and proms. He said people's competitive nature brings out the beast in them this time of year.

"They're are a lot of [costume] contests out here and people want to win," Mr. Graf said. "We're just naturally competitive."

Carl Graf, a professional makeup artist, reacts to the transformation of Mary Beth Lengel. Carl Graf, a professional makeup artist, reacts to the transformation of Mary Beth Lengel.
THE BLADE/AMY E. VOIGT Enlarge | Buy This Photo

Most looks are created with theatrical makeup, which is thicker and heavier than traditional makeup. Where the traditional version is used to enhance beauty, theatrical makeup creates textures and special effects such as scarring, Mr. Graf said.

During a recent demonstration, Mr. Graf used toilet paper, theatrical makeup, and fake blood to create a zombie look for Mary Beth Lengel, an aesthetician at the boutique. Despite the heavy look, Ms. Lengel said her face felt light and cool.

"It's not itchy or anything," Ms. Lengel said. "I tried to do a zombie myself last year and it didn't look as good as this."

The surge in vampire flicks and television shows such as The Walking Dead have made the zombie look one of the most requested, Ms. Sadowski said. The Adams Street Zombie Bar Crawl also has helped put the look at the top of clients' most wanted list, Mr. Graf said.

But not everyone wants to be ugly for Halloween. Face Junky receives a lot of requests for butterflies and a Venetian-like mask. Pin-up girls and geishas are also popular for Ms. Sadowski, but it's the bizarre requests that tend to stick with her.

Carl Graf, a professional makeup artist, puts eyes on the eyelids of Mary Beth Lengel. Carl Graf, a professional makeup artist, puts eyes on the eyelids of Mary Beth Lengel.
THE BLADE/AMY E. VOIGT Enlarge | Buy This Photo

"I had a couple who dressed as end tables. I had to make their faces blend in with the table lamps they were using," she said with a laugh. "I've even taken white men and made them look like Venus and Serena Williams."

This year, the average family is expected to spend $330 on costumes and decorations, according to a national consumer survey by Savers, a thrift and retail store that sells new and used costumes and offers makeup application tutorials.

At Face Junky, Halloween makeup is $65 for the face and $80 from the waist up. Creations by Ms. Sadowski start at $50 an hour. Most looks take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.

Other retailers, including MAC cosmetics, Sephora, and Ulta also offer Halloween makeup application. Creations and prices vary by location.

While most men don't usually wear makeup, Halloween is the one time of year many of them will indulge.

"I get a lot of men who come in for the horror looks," Mr. Graf said. "Zombies, vampires, werewolves."

Kids can get in on the fun too, as both artists service children, creating everything from Justin Bieber and iCarly to fairy princesses and flying ninjas.

"Parents want their kids to look great and they're willing to pay for it," Ms. Sadowski said. "It's the one time of year you can be whoever or whatever you want to be."

Contact RoNeisha Mullen at: rmullen@theblade.com or 419-724-6133.



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