Help my daughter become the ghoul most likely to succeed
August 9, 2015 10:48 PM   Subscribe

My 7-year-old daughter is intensely into makeup. She went as Cleo De Nile (A mummy queen with gold lame sandals) last Halloween, and as a Vampire Princess the year before. I think she'd like to learn about special effects makeup. I recently saw a young girl's work who had done some amazing things, including a great looking third eye on her forehead. Is there a particular set of books, or kits, or websites you can recommend?
posted by atchafalaya to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (14 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not sure if there are parental controls available on YouTube, but there are a zillion how to videos there for learning special effects make-up. Sometimes content there that starts out OK ends up not very child friendly. Sadly. So YMMV.
posted by jbenben at 11:26 PM on August 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

When I was a kid I loved THE HELL out of this book, Movie Monsters. It's dated, but (I think) in a cool way. It's got lots of stuff about making movie monster makeups using lipstick and eyeliner pencils and wads of cotton, not getting into complicated latex setups or anything too sophisticated (or messy) for elementary school kids. I think it's the perfect book for a seven-year-old movie monster freak!

I wish I'd known about the book Make-Up Monsters when I was a kid. This forum post has a bunch of sample pages and it looks like another great one for wee monster geeks.

I never thought I wanted to have kids, but oh, the idea of having a daughter who's a budding makeup effects fanatic makes me pine for paths not taken.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 12:54 AM on August 10, 2015 [3 favorites]

There's nothing more special in a child's life, than when she realizes she wants to scare the hell out of everyone using gruesome makeup effects. My eldest did this a couple of years ago, and we had a great time, especially dealing with the consternation of onlookers. "There's a line that should not be crossed!" they'll say, and then you drip and slosh right over it.

Here is one of the books I checked out most from the library as a kid: Dick Smith's Do It Yourself Monster Makeup Handbook. It has been thirty years (sob!) since I've seen a copy, but I remember it having actual stuff-around-the-house recipes for makeup, like cutting the bottoms of egg cartons, that sort of thing.

And I'd point you to New To Makeup Effects which collects videos on how to do particular effects, including making scars using glue sticks, which now I'm thinking I should rummage through the kids' school supplies and try it out.

One thing I'll mention is that 7-year-old skin can be kinda delicate. When we made our kid into a blood and brain-dripping ghoul, we had to be careful. Spirit gum and stuff like that was going to be problematic and rash-inducing. But it turns out you can still do wonderful, terrible things with basic facepaints, eyeliners, red food coloring and overcooked, overthick oatmeal. (For brains, you see, not sustenance.) Your kid will have a blast with just some ways to draw on her face, and some basic guidelines (where to darken her sockets and cheeks for maximum skeletalness), even if you end up not doing actual sticky appliances!
posted by mittens at 3:58 AM on August 10, 2015

I love Klaire de Lys Art on Youtube for special effects makeup! She's been doing a real life Disney series lately that might appeal to your daughter if she's into the princess thing (I especially like her Evil Elsa). Her videos are short, so easy for you to watch to make sure the content is ok- I've never noticed her swearing or saying anything inappropriate.
posted by Mouse Army at 4:14 AM on August 10, 2015 [3 favorites]

She might enjoy watching Face Off, which is basically Project Runway for special-effects makeup artists. (I don't have kids and so don't watch the show through that mental lens, so you might want to preview it to make sure it's ok, but I don't remember there being too much objectionable content, except for the scary/gross/supernatural challenge themes for the week, which I would assume, given the question, she'd be ok with. But they also have plenty of non-scary/non-gross challenges, too.)
posted by jaguar at 7:51 AM on August 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'd also second Face Off, which turns out to be one of the nicest creative competition shows I've ever seen. Everyone is just so excited to be there and learn, there's very little backstabbing/rudeness, and they get some really interesting challenges that stretch them creatively. If I were a kid I would be obsessed with it.
posted by actionpact at 7:58 AM on August 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Seconding Klaire de Lys, she has a wide range.
posted by tel3path at 9:32 AM on August 10, 2015

If you have the time to sort through videos, you can search for any given look on YouTube and expect to get a dozen of decent results. If giving your daughter direct access to YouTube makes you concerned, you can download the videos and let her play them back at her pleasure. There are a ton of sites that facilitate downloading YT videos, if you're not versed in that.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:01 AM on August 10, 2015

Rubies costumes sells makeup kits for several MH characters.
posted by brujita at 10:22 AM on August 10, 2015

If you have no objection to her seeing naked bodies, she might really enjoy some of the body painting videos on Youtube.
posted by timepiece at 12:41 PM on August 10, 2015

The book search keywords you want are "theatrical makeup" and "special effects makeup" there are some really good textbooks you can pick up from amazon fora song.
posted by sexyrobot at 2:29 PM on August 10, 2015

She DEFINITELY needs to watch Face Off if she doesn't already. I've watched every episode and I don't recall anything I'd call kid-inappropriate. Sometimes the final makeups are gross, but you've watched how they came together and that mitigates a lot of the grossness of the blood and guts because you know it's all just rubber and paint. (Even so, I'd suggest watching with her just in case there's anything too scary or whatever. It's a highly watchable show anyway, so it shouldn't be a chore to watch with her!)

Actionpact is quite right that the show is wonderfully free of the usual reality show BS, there's no backstabbing or sleazy hot tub hookups. They very lightly dabbled in that stuff in the early seasons, but at some point they seem to have figured out that the show is actually better when they focus on the work, and the artists being supportive of each other. It's not rare for the artists to pitch in on each other's makeups, if somebody's have a hard time. There are no headgames or undermining, everybody is just there to do their best. Those are great values for a kid to pick up.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:40 PM on August 10, 2015

Made Yew Look is an excellent YouTube channel for special effects makeup and general good advice. Lex is also kid friendly, no swearing, no nudity etc.

Good luck to your daughter, sounds like she will have a lot of fun and there is endless creativity in makeup.
posted by Youremyworld at 5:19 PM on August 10, 2015

We use the "YouTube Kids" app, which is completely safe for my 6.5 year old. She found a kid blogger under the name "KittiesMama" in the app.

She does all manner of EXCELLENT monster high makeup tutorials.
posted by waterisfinite at 9:28 PM on August 17, 2015

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