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The Best Halloween Makeup Tips from Knott’s Scary Farm

Halloween is almost here! Buahahahahahaha … that’s my attempt at spooking you out a little bit. Because I have something really special to share, just in time for the most haunted night of the year! How would you like to learn a few Halloween makeup tips from one of the best in the biz? I was able to get an exclusive Q&A from the lead makeup artist at Knott’s Scary Farm Haunt, Denise M. Chavez!

In case you don’t live in Southern California, every year it is the goal of Knott’s Scary Farm Haunt to scare the pants off you! Like, literally. And if you have been and survived, then you know how freaky and realistic the monsters are, thanks to the talented makeup artists like Denise. She’s personally been a part of Knott’s Halloween Haunt for 24 years. She started as talent (Fortune Telling ) in her first years, then moved on as Talent Captain for mazes and was a street monster in Ghost Town for 8 years. If anyone knows scary, it’s her!

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IMAGE COURTESY OF KNOTT’S BERRY FARM.

I asked her a few questions to help you get the most out of your Halloween makeup this year.

Q. What’s the best way to prep your skin for a night of Halloween makeup?

A. I suggest that the best way to prep your skin for a night of FX makeup, would be to wash your face thoroughly with your preferred cleanser (soap and water are fine) and then moisturize with a light toner. Give your skin plenty of time to dry off and relax before makeup time. The makeup will adhere and apply much better if these simple steps are followed prior to makeup.

Q. What are common mistakes people make when choosing their Halloween makeup and/or tools for application?

A. I believe that some of the most common mistakes people make when choosing products/tools for Halloween makeup are that people tend to spend more money on products that they won’t need, when they can make many great Halloween FX applications at home—with common household items such as, fake blood, flesh wounds, scar tissue etc. You can make fake blood easily by using a mixture of corn syrup, red/green food coloring and flour , or chunkier blood by adding coffee grounds or peanut butter to the mix. It’s also safer if the blood will be used in the mouth (there are great recipes available online). And flesh wounds etc. by using school glue (white) and tissue to layer on as skin, tearing and creating a wound, then filling with your homemade blood. The glue acts very similar to liquid latex, an adhesive used quite often in the world of special FX for simulating skin, wounds and prosthetic pieces.

Another mistake people tend to make is buying makeup kits from a Halloween type store. The colors may look great in the package , but tend to be quite waxy (terrible for applying to skin) and lack color pigments which don’t come out looking as deep and bright as professional colors would, however, you would be better off using your own makeup. Sometimes the items in your purse (mascara, eyeliner, lipstick an foundation) can work great for FX makeup and are readily available to make awesome Halloween looks!

IMAGE COURTESY OF KNOTT'S BERRY FARM.

IMAGE COURTESY OF KNOTT’S BERRY FARM.

Q. What are some tips or pieces of advice about actually applying the Halloween makeup?

A. My advice about applying the makeup itself, is to get plenty of practice ahead of time, or for your event or party. Try things out, use different tools, (cotton swabs, plastic spoons, sea sponges etc) to apply your makeup, you’ll be surprised at the looks you can achieve using a different tool to apply the same makeup…and give yourself plenty of time and workspace. Creativity tends to use time quickly and spread out.

Q. Any recommendations on any products that help the makeup stay on longer? What can be done to make it last throughout the night?

A. The best thing you can do to help keep Halloween makeup in place all night is to be sure you wash your face thoroughly before you begin applying your makeup, use clean tools and makeup items to on your skin, and once your makeup is in place, apply a powder (baby powder is ok) lightly with a fluffy makeup brush or powder puff, brush off excess powder from skin, then carefully apply a setting spray if you have it, or if not, use can use your hairspray (pump bottle type) to spray on your makeup to set it. The spray combined with the powder, help keep your makeup looking great all night, even in warmer temperatures.

IMAGE COURTESY OF KNOTT'S BERRY FARM.

IMAGE COURTESY OF KNOTT’S BERRY FARM.

Q. What’s the easiest way to remove the makeup? Any special advice?

A. I’ve found that the easiest way to remove Halloween makeup is to begin with a gentle cloth, such as baby wipes or makeup remover wipes to get the bulk of your makeup off, then, use a gentle cold cream to apply on your skin, rub gently in circles to break up adhesives, fake blood and makeup, wash your face with good old fashioned soap and water. Then moisturize!

Q. What has been your favorite monster to create at Knott’s Scary Farm? Why?

A. I can’t really say that I have a favorite monster to paint at Knott’s because they are all so different from each other and equally exciting to create, but I can say that I have enjoyed very much creating the look of the Ghost Town Bride, for the past 5 years. She’s really great. Her makeup is based in gray, shaded with purples, highlighted with white, eyebrows and “runny-cried” mascara looks in black, and has red lips….so much fun.

Q. Any additional tips or recommendations you’d like to share?

A. My best advice is to have fun doing Halloween makeup. Experiment, try new things, practice on your friends, and have fun doing it. The internet is a great place to find information and photos on previous makeups and techniques and there are even “how-to” videos for learning makeup techniques. It’s great being able to create new looks with the swipe of a brush and a twisted imagination.

There’s still time to get over to Knott’s Scary Farm Haunt! Lots of creepy mazes and monsters to welcome you! Visit their web site for tickets. Make sure you check out what’s going on over on Knott’s Scary Farm Facebook page and Knott’s on Twitter!!

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