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Macabre make-up

Natanga Smith

Macabre make-up

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As ghosts and goblins ready?themselves to roam the streets on the night of October 31, the Bajan kind, who in recent years have hitched the ride on the Halloween train, are getting all set for the trick-or-treating and costume partying the weekend before.
Some partygoers have even sourced already their masks, vampire teeth, fake blood and gruesome – sometimes sexy – outfits. But there is more. Right here in Barbados, one make-up artist has been devoting her energy to creating “extravagant” faces for Halloween cases and places. Lauren Austin, 24, has had a hand in make-up since she was 15, but only devled into it professionally four years ago.
“I was always really creative and loved changing the look of things; which is why I just recently got into designing and customizing as well,” she said.
Lauren had her own section – Zulu – in the Kadooment band Fantasy 2012.
“I always loved drawing and painting; so it just evolved as I grew up into make-up.”
Lauren has put down her girlie make-up brush and upgraded to the bigger one that designs perfectly plastered visages with exaggerated features and gory-like details.
And with the spooky holiday just around the corner, Lauren has turned her hand to heavier paint and powder, and other materials to assist with her stunning ghoulish techniques.
Luaren isn’t afriad to go under the brush herself. She is her own make-up dummy.
“Most times I just sit at home with a picture I find and try recreating it mostly on myself or friends, and on my husband [Ryan] on occasion – when he lets me,” she said laughing.
Lauren says on average it would take 30 to 45 minutes tops for a regular make-up. But for Halloween, the face application could take 45 to 90 minutes, depending on how dramatic the look is to be.
The artist recently had the pleasure of providing the make-up for Jamaican reggae star Bennie Man.
“The director of the State Of Emergency video saw my portfolio and sent it to Shazelle and her manager Ivan Berry. They both loved my work and a few days after I got a call, and was hired to go to Trinidad for the photoshoot and video shoot of Shazelle, featuring Beenie Man.”
Lauren’s inspiration comes from random stuff, like television, pictures and YouTube videos.
“The first thing I do is wonder if I can do that. And from there I challenge myself. Most of the times when I don’t have the right stuff to do fantasy make-up and dramatic looks, I try with different products because it’s really hard finding the right ones in Barbados.”
Materials used to recreate some looks are liquid latex, fake blood, tissue paper and sometimes paper glue. Some of the eye-catching looks include the baby doll face, half-skull face, the Joker, and the reptilian look.