Tag Archives: Special Effects

My Picks For Best Special Effects Makeup Artists on YouTube

With shows like syfy’s hit Face Off growing in popularity and the numbers of people interested in special effects makeup exploding, YouTube has been taken over by up and coming makeup artists offering up their skills and advice. I have personally filtered through the masses of YouTube “gurus” and have found my favorites. Not only are they passionate about makeup, special effects and putting out how to videos, they are also pretty awesome individuals. Below are 3 of my personal favorites that deserve the subscribers and viewer numbers that they have and then some.

LexAlexis Fleming

Alexis or Lex is best known on YouTube as Madeyewlook. She is a self-taught makeup artist, owner of MadeULook LLC and a Type 1 Diabetic. Lex started YouTube when she was just 19-years-old back in September of 2011. It is Halloween all year with this lovely lady. Not only does she put out tutorials on beauty and special effects makeup, she is also a very talented body painter and lends her advice to those that would like to do the same. She does not do a lot of work with prosthetics, she instead uses makeup and body paint to create the same illusions. She does themed looks for pretty much every season and holiday. She also has her own line of brushes and cosmetics. Lex is a real talent and true inspiration for many. To keep up with Lex and her work, subscribe to her YouTube, Madeyewlook, like her page, Facebook.com/MadeULookbyLex, follow her on twitter @MadeULookbyLex and Instagram @creativeboss. To pick up her brushes and other products, visit madeulookbylex.com

An awesome Christmas time makeup by Lex

charlieCharlie Short

Charlie is best known as Pinkstylist on YouTube. He has been a member of the YouTube community since August of 2006. I came across his channel after watching one of Lex’s videos. Charlie is a phenomenal artist and you can tell he really puts a lot of passion and thought behind each and every one of the looks and videos he puts out. He is a wizard with appliances and DIY prosthetics. He has covered some pretty legendary looks from the horror, creepypasta and cinema world like Pennywise, Freddy Krueger, Greta the Gremlin all the way down to some newer film-inspired looks like the witches from Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters. Charlie is a fantastic instructor, he goes into great detail during each and every one of his tutorials. Not only does he put up mesmerizing tutorials, he also takes his finished looks onto the popular video chat site, Omegle to see what kind of reactions he can get. His personality is just as amazing as his makeup skills. To purchase prints of Charlie’s work and to get to know a bit more about him, be sure to visit charlie-short.com. For more of his work, subscribe to his YouTube Channel Pinkstylist, like him at Facebook.com/CharlieShortMUA, follow him on twitter (@Pink_Stylist) and Instagram (@pink_stylist).  

Charlie’s latest video

bunnyBunny Meyer

Bunny is best known on YouTube as grav3yardgirl. She Started posting videos in December of 2010 with her accounts of paranormal experiences and ghost hunting. She has since moved up in the YouTube community as a “beauty guru” doing mainly beauty looks, but she is a huge fan of Vincent Price and classic goth and horror which shines through in each of her videos. Every year around Halloween, she posts DIY costume ideas as well as creepy, beautiful makeup looks to accompany them. Bunny’s talent is not the only thing that puts her on this list, her personality is warm and inviting. She genuinely appreciates her fans and calls them her Swamp Family. Unlike may other YouTube personalities, she does not take herself too seriously and that makes her even more of a joy to watch. She is very crafty, you can pick up her Swap Family Tea Cups in her Etsy store. To see more of Bunny’s work, subscribe to her YouTube Channel grav3yardgirl. Also be sure to like her at Facebook.com/grav3yardgirl and follow her on twitter (@grav3yardgirl) and Instagram (@grav3yardgirl). 

One of Bunny’s Halloween tutorials 

If you are like me and spend copious amounts of time on YouTube during the day, give these three a watch. If you come across more talent that you would like to share, feel free to leave a link to their channel in the comments below.

Interview with Katharine Kellar on Tom Savini’s Special Make-Up Effects Program

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I have been blessed with the opportunity to interview a few really influential people now.  I have recently been granted the opportunity to interview Katharine Kellar about the Tom Savini’s Special Make-Up Effects Program at the Douglas Education Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

For those that do not know about this program, it is a 16 month Associate in Specialized Business Degree Program.  Tom Savini’s Special Make-Up Effects Program offers training in cosmetic make-up, eyes and teeth, animatronics, creature design, sculpting, anatomy, life casting, mold making, character make-up,painting techniques, appliance of prosthetics, air brushing techniques, hair and beard application and pretty much anything you would need to know to become a successful effects artist.


Katharine Kellar Interview:

LBoH: How long has this program been available?

KK: Tom Savini’s Special Make-Up Effects Program at Douglas Education Center (DEC) is now in its 13th year. The program began in October 2000 with 13 students.

LBoH: How did this course come about?

KK: Tom Savini had been approached by various individuals in the past regarding the possibility of starting a special make-up effects program, but none ever materialized for one reason or another. When CEO / President, Jeff Imbrescia approached him, Tom was expecting the same kind of response he had gotten in the past. But, because he had been introduced to Jeff by a mutual friend, Tom decided to give him an opportunity. Tom asked to see a business plan. Jeff put together a 3-5 year business plan that was conservative, realistic, and most importantly, possible. He sent it to Tom. Tom laughed and ignored him. After a few weeks of no response, Jeff called Tom up for a business dinner. When they met, Jeff asked Tom why he never responded to Jeff’s business plan. Tom said it wasn’t worth it. “I spend more on cigars than you’re offering me.” Jeff said, what do you mean it’s not worth it? That’s when Jeff pulled out his ledger paper and put in front of Tom. Apparently Tom had misread Jeff’s business plan. What Tom originally thought was a decimal number turned out to be a whole number.

LBoH: Would you recommend this program for beginners or is it more for students that have a bit more previous experience?

KK: Tom Savini’s Special Make-Up Effects Program begins by teaching a strong foundation in basic special make-up effects and works up. We’ve had students from each side of the spectrum – students who have never sculpted before in their lives to students who are experts. The way that the program is set up our students, regardless of their experience level, are able to flourish. We start by teaching a strong foundation and continually add to their already existing knowledge.

LBoH: How many students are in this program at one time?

KK: Tom Savin’s Special Make-Up Effects Program has anywhere from 150 to 200 students at one time.

LBoH: Have any of your student’s works been featured in a movie or television?

KK: Absolutely! We’ve had quite a few students on Television in recent years. Just to name a few – SyFy Channel’s “Face Off” is a big hit right now. The 5th season just started and we have 4 graduates on the show. Over the course of 5 seasons of “Face Off” we’ve had 10 graduates on the show. We also have a graduate as a cast member on TLC’s Cake Boss. His name is Ralph “Ralphie Boy” Attanasia. We’ve had a graduate on Food Network’s “Sugar Dome.” Her name is Kirsten Cosgrove.  As far as movies are concerned, our graduates have gone one to some of the biggest special make-up effects shops in the industry. KNB Effects Group and Burman Industries to name a few. Brian Hillard, one of our graduates, for example, work don Emmy Award Winning shows, HBO’s The Pacific, AMC’s The Walking Dead, and Breaking Bad. He also lent his talents to Academy Award Winners for Best Picture, No Country for Old Men and The Departed. He also worked on The Hobbit, Django Unchained, and Oz: The Great and Powerful.

LBoH: What do you see happening with this program in the future?

KK: Tom Savini’s Special Make-Up Effects Program recently underwent an overhaul. We recently added ZBrush as well as the popular new course “From Page to Screen.” Digital sculpting has become an important part of the industry. Students utilize cutting-edge 3D modeling programs such as ZBrush to bring concepts into reality. At the end of this course, students will have designed a variety of 3D examples that translate in to industries such as: movie/VFX, video games, illustration, figure creation, concept design, scientific illustration, and jewelry design.  In the From Page to Screen course, students learn all aspects of filming as they relate to special make-up effects by transforming written words of a script to moving images on a screen. Students learn the fundamental business practices for artists, as well as the importance of compromising, collaborating, meeting deadlines, and staying within a budget.


If you are interested in learning more about Tom Savini’s Special Make-Up Effects Program or any other program at the Douglas Education Center, visit their official site, like the Facebook page, follow them on twitter and subscribe to the YouTube channel.

A special thank you to Katharine Kellar for participating in this interview.

Here is a video from the Douglas Education Center on Tom Savini’s Special Make-Up Effects Program:




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