By Maita Atienza
It takes considerable talent to make someone look beautiful through makeup. But for some, the thrill is to go in the other direction – turning pretty into, well, ugly. Take special effects (SFX) makeup artist Eunice Losantas-Sevalla, who, two years into specializing in bridal beauty realized that she had a penchant for scars and…blood.
Taking a master class in SFX makeup with David Willis of Vida Studios LA/Sydney, Eunice whetted her appetite for the macabre when she was introduced to silicone and latex, bruise and burn palettes, and all sorts of bizarre prosthetics. It was there that she truly appreciated how creating characters was more than just piling on appliques and pouring on the fake blood. The real beauty, I was told, was in making cuts, burns, warts, and other garish effects look real.
I was so fascinated with Eunice’s love of gory effects that I had to see it for myself. I gave her a call and asked if she wanted to get together Rory of citruSnap Photography Studio and I for some playtime. And no sooner than she’d agreed, I was helping her unload a makeup kit of pastes, powders, palettes, and activators.
I sat on the makeup chair as she coated my face part by part in latex and pressed and stretched until she was satisfied while engaging me in conversation to distract me from what was happening. A few taps of foundation here and there and some standard beauty makeup later, she finally let me look at the mirror to see myself. Years older that is!
The fine lines concentrated around the mouth and corners of the eyes were natural and enhanced by very subtle skin discolorations that, I admit, scared me a little bit. I looked over at my fiancé who accompanied me during the shoot and asked him to set up a botox fund so as not to let this happen to me!
Deciding that I was not shocked enough, Eunice pulled off my wrinkles (the nightmare was over, or so I thought) and began on a more gory project on my skin.
As I watched her create a bump on my forehead that I thought was shaped like an eye, I began to understand what excited Eunice about SFX makeup. While ordinary beauty makeup certainly requires some skill, SFX requires a certain mastery of craftsmanship to be believable. I saw how the craft allowed her to think outside the box and outside the normal facial contours that regular makeup artists are accustomed to. Creative freedom. That was the allure of SFX for her.
About an hour later I had gone from old woman to a young woman with severe head trauma after (apparently) taking a hatchet to the head. Looking at the picture now, I realize the only thing unreal about it is that I haven’t died after taking a blow like that. But don’t blame the makeup artist. Blame the model.
Here is one more of Eunice’s work on photographer, Rory Rebustes:
Eunice has a lot to be excited about in her budding career as an SFX makeup artist. She has just recently reunited with her mentor, David Willis, as they put together Halloween Haunts Scream Park near Mall of Asia. With three terrifying mazes and live performances, Eunice promises that the ghoulish characters you will meet will be scary and “beautiful.”
Photography: Rory Rebustes of CitruSnap Photography Studio
Hair and Makeup by: Eunice Losantas-Sevalla