Face Off Season 7

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Face Off Season 7 Finale: Life, Death and Battling Knights!

Published October 29, 2014 by vfdpixie

It was a long road, and many contestants later, we were left with Cig the monster lover, Dina the ex-cake decorator, and Drew the makeup teacher.  An eclectic trio that consistently improved as the show progressed, and that hard work earned them a coveted spot in the finale.

The previous episode gave a few hints at the surprises in store for Season 7’s last episode.  The final 3 artists were surrounded by swords, suits of armour and coats of arms.  McKenzie revealed the subject for their final spotlight challenge:  Knights!  Like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, good and bad knights ran amok.  In their final Life and Death challenge, the artists had to choose a unique coat of arms and create a good and evil fantasy knight that represented life and death.  The artists had a great time actually pulling a sword from a stone to pick their coat of arms.  They would also have a lot of help with an eliminated artist from this season and a randomly assigned past season’s winner!  The next surprise?  These life and death knights would fight it out in an actual jousting, sword fighting battle!

Drew picked George and was assigned Rayce, winner of Season 2.  His coat of arms included a stag, so he went for woodland, elven creatures inspired by satyrs.  They were to be two warring sets of satyrs.  He was really jazzed that he had Rayce on his team since he was an amazing sculptor.  Mr. Westmore advised Drew on the nose placement of his elven fawn people, and his team went at sculpting and building.  George did a lot of the molding because he was fast at it.  They were doing well until Drew noticed some of the colours Rayce was using on his dark knight.  He wanted the paint job to be a bit more flesh coloured, but in the end, decided to trust Rayce.  On the finale day, Drew carefully placed the antlers on so when the knights actually fought, they wouldn’t tear into any cowls.  In his rush during last looks, Drew started to paint some of the armour the wrong colours, so he had to scramble to fix it.  His final characters were my favourites.  The were definitely fantastical and beautiful.  The judges liked the nice natural makeup on the good knight, and great cheekbones to convey the stag reference.  They loved the “gorgeous” dark knight and felt the characters worked really well together; you could tell they were from the same world with the harmonious style and palette.  The only thing that put Glenn off a bit was the hair on the face.

Dina picked Stella and was assigned Season 3 winner Nicole.  She got the aquatic coat of arms.  She wanted to design her knights with found things from the sea:  a good fish knight who got his armour from a mermaid, and a the bad knight who was reanimated by electric eels.  When Mr. Westmore heard this concept, he was worried that she wasn’t using the octopus that was prominent in the coat of arms.  This freaked Dina out a bit, but luckily, Nicole came up with an octopus that controlled the brain of the crab-like knight.  They would extend the tentacles down onto the cowl.  Stella sculpted a lot of the armour, including a starfish that Dina finished off with her now famous piping bag.  They were scrambling to clean out the molds when Drew, George and Rayce came to their rescue at the last minute.  Nice guys!  The gals would have 15 pieces to apply to the knights.  During last looks, some arm pieces were lifting so they had to add moss to some of the areas in question and tie them down with rope.  Dina’s knights were truly beautiful!  The judges were wowed by the amount of detail and cohesiveness of the work.  Lois adored the dark knight, and Glenn thought the amount of detail was astounding.

Cig picked Sasha and was assigned Season 6 winner Rashaad.  The coat of arms they worked with was one with gargoyles.  His concept involved good knights who protected people from gargoyle-like knights.  Cig knew he wanted Rashaad to do fabrication, since he was a star at that.  Mr. Westmore cautioned Cig against having the knights look too dark, and after looking at his Life character, decided he needed to sleep on it because the sculpt didn’t look right.  The next day, he decided on a human looking knight and a gargoyle.  One look was going to be minimalistic and he knew it was a risk.  I thought his life knight looked a touch too red, but the death knight was amazing.  The judges liked the silicone used on the human life knight and that there were no edges to be seen.  They also liked the contrast between the hyper-real looking life knight and the monster, gargoyle knight.  They thought it was great conceptual work, but felt the good life knight didn’t push the character enough.

The battle was really cool!  With bagpipe players and horses thundering around the arena, the crowd cheered at the sheer spectacle.  Thankfully, all the makeups held up to some brutal sword play, leaps and tackles.  In the end, the judges picked Dina as the finale winner!!  She walked away with a new Fiat 500, $100,000 and a trip to one of Kryolan Professional Make-up international locations! I am so happy she won!  She is the little cake maker that could!  She quit her job to do this, and had little experience, but heaps of talent.  Nice to see someone following their dreams. Congrats Dina, you deserve the win!

Face Off Season 7 Episode 13: Monster Mayhem!

Published October 27, 2014 by vfdpixie

This episode, we found out who was going to be in the finale!  The remaining artists headed to DC Studios where shows like The X-Files and Alias were shot.  They came upon some old-fashioned newspapers with sensational headlines.  McKenzie was there as usual, ready to tell them about their last challenge before the finale.  She told them the newspaper headlines were inspired by movie monsters like Godzilla and King Kong.  Each headline involved a landmark devastated by a creature.  Their challenge was to pick a newspaper and create their own giant monster from that headline.  She advised them not to hold back as this was the last chance to show the judges that they belonged in the finale.  There was also a guest judge:  Clifton Collins Jr., a great character actor that everyone has seen, most recently in Pacific Rim.  He loved monster movies for the nostalgia and the fun.  His advice to them was to be original and pay attention to detail.

Dina picked “Mantis Preys on Paris!”  She wanted to created a female praying mantis who ate so many of her male counterparts that she grew into a giant monster, and to show the judges that she could do creepy.  Dina used plastic globes for the large eyes, and Mr. Westmore liked the face and told her how to shade for detailing.  She had quite a lot to do, and created extensions that added 2 feet to the model’s arms.  She also pulled out the piping bag for spikes on the arms.  After painting like crazy, she ended up with a beautiful giant monster.  The judges loved the teeth and the way she incorporated eye holes in the head’s nostrils.  The head itself was powerful for them, and with all the details, they felt every square inch of the makeup was addressed.  This put her in the top looks.

Cig went for “Yeti Crab Crushes Kremlin!”  His monster was a by-product of Chernobyl that escaped.  He wanted to fabricate a whole suit and start with a basic ape sculpt.  When Mr. Westmore saw his design, he told him it looked like a gorilla in a crab suit.  Cig had a moment where he needed a breather to rethink the sculpt.  He was running out of time, and he needed to sell more crab in the makeup, so he added antennae on the sides of the face.  This made him feel more confident, so he went on to make the suit with couch foam and L200.  He loved his paint job and the end result was a unique face and great overall shape.  The judges thought the face forms and profile worked well.  Clifton liked the fur, shell and shading.  The literal melding of crab and yeti also had a Japanese design and feel.  Cig was also in the top.

Drew got “Giant Sloth Destroys Shanghai!”  He wanted to go big by emphasizing the sloth’s long arms and claws.  He had to make sure the creature didn’t look too cute.  He started layering hair on the arms and then realized it took too much time, so he created a burn on the other arm to look like a war wound.  He was worried that it would look silly.  At the last minute, he thought the hair looked bad and ripped it off to create burns on both arms.  The judges liked his paint textures and felt it successfully met the challenge, but he could have handled the burns better.  They liked that he modified the creature to show gigantism, as well as the head and claws.

George picked “Deadly Squid Destroys Dubai!”  His idea was to sculpt a scary beak in a chest piece.  Mr. Westmore advised him to stay away from muddy colours and use purples and reds instead.  His chest piece didn’t cure properly, so he had to run it in poly foam which is more rigid, but it was key for the makeup.  He had a lot to create with the bodysuit, and it wasn’t quite working out, realizing that he had bitten off more than he could chew.  George wasn’t proud of this makeup and started to throw paint onto the suit which was a little alarming since they had to do their best for this last challenge.  Luckily, he ended up liking his paint job.  I thought it was sloppy looking, but the judges overlooked that because they liked the 60’s feel of the makeup and the profile transition from mouth to shoulder.  They felt the colours were more playful, and Glenn liked the Sarlacc pit mouth.  Lois though it looked like a creature from Dr. Who.

After lots of deliberations, the judges chose Dina as the winner and the first person picked for the finale!  I was so happy.  They thought the amount of work she did by herself was impressive.  Cig was the second person picked.  The loved the throwback nature in his concept.  Drew was the last one going to the finale.  They thought he made smart decisions to focus on the sloth elements and did a successful sculpt and paint job.  That meant George was going home.  They thought he was a great artist but this week just not up to par with his peers.  He was disappointed but proud of his work and intended to  go back to work on his shop and keep creating.  I think the right people are in the finale, but I would have loved to see Stella in that lineup.  We got a bit of a hint of the upcoming finale challenge with swords, armour and a return to the Life or Death theme.  Looking forward to all the surprises they have in store!



Face Off Season 7 Episode 12: “Fairy”-ly Disasterous!

Published October 16, 2014 by vfdpixie

As Drew put it, the “top 5” artists were left to battle it out to the finale.  For the Spotlight Challenge, they went once again to the Universal Studios backlot, where they found the set of the plane disaster from the 2005 movie War of the Worlds.  In the ruins of an actual 747, McKenzie introduced their new subject:  Fairies!  They had to create a beautiful elemental fairy, but this fairy had to be born of a disaster courtesy of Mother Nature.  The gang had to run through the set to find a t.v. monitor showing a natural disaster of their choice in order to create their fairy.

George chose the earthquake.  His fairy lived under the earth’s crust and came out to fix the damage created by earthquakes.  He had a plan for the nose and chin sculpt but wasn’t sure about it.  He felt out of his element with this challenge.  Mr. Westmore advised him to use silicone and scrap the cracked, magma look because this makeup called for beauty, and the lava might look like gore.  George had to make a good casting and mold so that the silicone would look flawless.  He used giant banana leaves for wings and during last looks, realized there was an odd wrinkle on the corner of the prosthetic mouth.  He made it into a crack, and hoped for the best.  The outcome was interesting, and the judges loved his fairy.  The cracked shoulder detail and balance between angular and softness in the face impressed the judges.  The thought the facial prosthetic was beautiful and a good use of silicone.  Lois thought she looked like a fairy from the movie Legend.  What a compliment!  His sophisticated alteration of the nose and chin put him in the top looks.

Stella picked wildfire.  Her fairy spread fire, but also inspired regrowth.  Stella wanted to sculpt flames for this makeup.  Mr. Westmore told her to focus on the paint job and to avoid black.  Her mold of the flames didn’t fill out, so she had to redo the cowl.  She had to power wash her mold to get all the clay out which wasn’t what she wanted.  If her mold got wet, that would lead to air pockets in her cowl.  Unfortunately her flame points ripped right off and she had to patch them frantically.  She was late to start her paint job, but her fairy looked better than expected.  The judges could see her edges but liked the colours of her makeup.  Generally speaking, her fairy fulfilled the challenge, had a good concept and image, but it was not inventive enough and her transitions were too abrupt.  They also felt she should have incorporated wings.  She was in the bottom looks.

Drew got an oil spill.  His fairy cleaned up the aftermath of oil spills and he wanted a high fashion runway look for her.  He took Mr. Westmore’s advice to turn the fairy’s nose up and he took a selfie with him, as did everyone else!  Drew experimented with creating a drippy, oily look, and after trial and error, decided on creating a dress with the drips on it so the model could move freely.  He created some lovely wings with sheer fabric and peacock feathers, and his paint job incorporated the rainbow iridescence found in oil slicks.  The edges on the facial prosthetics started to crack, and they were quite visible. His fairy was pretty but missed some impact.  The judges noticed the edges right away and thought it looked like a Venetian carnival mask.  They wanted to see more oily gloss on different parts of the fairy and darker eyes.  They thought it was disconnected and this put him in the bottom.

Dina went with floods.  Her fairy would bring life back to flooded lands.  Mr. Westmore took her idea of creating sandy looking skin and told her to use gelatin crystals to get that effect.  She also added pebbles and bark into the makeup too.  She used chocolate syrup as part of a concoction to create a workable mud, and painted her fairy from head to toe to ensure a beautiful makeup.  She did a great job, and the judges thought it was “rad”.  They liked all the transitions of a large range of colours and how she used the model’s beauty and captured a lightness to the makeup.   It was dark without being muddy and graceful.  She was in the top looks.

Cig got the avalanche.  He was a little worried as he had never done a beauty makeup before, but he approached it like a beautiful piece of art.  Mr. Westmore reassured him that if he kept it soft, he would be fine.  He wanted to add ice spires in the makeup, and created some great wings out of vaccuformed clear plastic.  His fairy was really beautiful.  The judges liked the use of warm and cool tones in his colour palette.  Lois called it delightful, and they loved the sculpted wings.  They thought he made excellent decisions and sustained consistent harmony with his forms.  He was in the top looks.

The winner was Cig!  He really deserved this win because his fairy was so beautiful.  They thought it “oozed fairy”,  was a well-handled makeup and picture perfect!  The person going home was Stella.  They thought she captured the essence of the challenge, but it was unfinished, and at this point in the competition, she couldn’t afford tiny stumbles.  They were sad to see her go, as was I, but they knew she would do well.

it’s coming down to the wire!  Can’t wait to see who makes it to the finale!

Face Off Season 7 Episode 11: Greek Gods

Published October 9, 2014 by vfdpixie

The artists went to the lab this week as usual, but this time it looked like a coliseum.  For the Foundation Challenge, they had to create one of Medusa’s victims.  Their guest judge was Michele Burke, who has worked on The Cell, is a 6 time Oscar nominated makeup artist, and 2 time winner for Dracula and Quest For Fire.  She wanted them to pay attention to the way they duplicated textures of stone and the expression of fear on the victim’s face.  The prize was a Paasche spray booth worth $2000.  The winner was Stella who came up with a creature that wanted to kill Medusa.  Michele thought it was creative and she liked the use of prosthetics, the fierce expression and her paint job.  Since they had created victims of a Greek mythological beast, the Spotlight Challenge would have them reimagine a Greek god and use that god’s individual powers to create a supernatural fantasy character.  They also had to create a severed head of a mythological monster that the god had conquered.  The guest judge was none other than Scott Wilson, or Herschel from The Walking Dead!  He would know first hand what a severed head should look like, since his character bid farewell to his noggin on the show.

Drew picked Hades, god of the underworld.  He went for a desiccated corpse-like makeup with the severed head of an imp.  He made a nasty neck stump for his imp head which he was happy with, and his Hades was sufficiently gruesome, with a terrible pallor to his skin.  The judges liked the ragged 3 spired crown and this makeup kept Drew safe.

George got Zeus, god of the sky.  He wanted a Renaissance oil painting look, and designed an attractive mediterranean god with the severed head of a titan.  He made some armour by heating L200, shaping it and laying a shiny epoxy over it.  He was at first happy with his face sculpt, but ran out of time and had to scramble to paint the body armour so that it looked like the sky.  The end result was kind of “meh!”.  The judges liked the look of the face but the costume made the character “look like a crossdresser”.  They would have liked him to have used the model’s body instead of covering it up, they felt the facial hair didn’t match, and the armour looked like “man boobs”.  In the end, judges thought the character didn’t match the god’s powers so this look put him in the bottom.

Stella took on Poseidon who carried a sea creature’s head.  She aimed for a seahorse look, and Mr. Westmore told her to overemphasize the gills on the face and mouth of her design.  Her major issue this time was opening her mold.  She didn’t put in pry points which makes opening the casting easier, so with a slow and steady hand, she chipped away until it finally gave.  On application day, she had to cut her face piece so that it fit the cowl and didn’t cover the ears of her character.  I really liked the sculpt of this makeup and the judges like the sea greens and blues she used.  Although the severed head looked like a “Fraggle Rock fish” to Glenn and a potato to Lois, Stella was safe.

Dina got Aphrodite, goddess of beauty and love.  She was going to use the sea element as well and her severed head would be a giant Angler fish.  Mr. Westmore advised her to sculpt larger eyelids to do a good beauty makeup.  Dina really took her time perfecting her cowl and created a truly beautiful character.  The judges loved the detail and symmetry, and they also thought her use of the model’s features was triumphant.  Scott thought that all the details flowed, and along with the great creature head overall good use of colour and shell forms, Dina was in the top looks.

Sasha chose Athena, the goddess of war.  Once again she was stumped.  She thought of using an owl which is associated with Athena, but she had already done that this season.  She finally came up with Athena being turned to stone and controlled by Medusa’s head.  Um, yeah, sure.  Sasha hated the idea, but went with it anyway.  Mr. Westmore told her that she had to make Medusa’s head look alive and not like a Halloween prop since she was basically going against what the challenge called for.  Sasha sculpted snakes for the head, and a helmet out of L200 for her goddess.  Medusa’s head was not looking good at all, and during last looks, she had to scrap the helmet because it didn’t fit over the facial prosthetics.  Her character was not good.  The Medusa head looked like a doll, or as Neville called it “an anime sex doll head”, and Scott thought the stone effect looked like dried clay.  It was unacceptable to them, and didn’t satisfy the challenge because the god being affected by the creature didn’t make sense.  She was in the bottom looks as a result.

Cig worked on Apollo, god of plague, carrying the boiled covered head of pestilence.  He wanted him to be aflame since he rode a chariot of fire.  His flame sculpt started to look like his alien from a past challenge, so he had to tweak it.  He did an interesting paint job, starting with black followed by gold; layering paint to get a great highlight effect.  It looked really regal with the flames.  Neville thought it was a cornucopia of forms which was a good thing, and they all thought it was successful and captured the glorious nature of a god.  The only thing that Lois noticed was the flames on the shoulders which looked like a lady’s puff sleeve to her.  She felt the shoulders should have been broader.  He was safe this week.

Scott Wilson loved all the makeups and took his hat, er head off to all their hard work.  There was only one top look and that was Dina!  She was “head and shoulders” above the others and the judges loved her sculpting, paint job and severed head.

The bottom looks belonged to Sasha and George.  Because of her flawed concept, Sasha went home this week.  The judges thought she was really talented, and she was grateful for the experience and was determined to work on her confidence.  It’s coming down to the final artists.  At this point, anyone could make it to the finale, but I’d like to see Dina, Stella and Cig make it to the end.  We shall see in the coming weeks!



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