Face Off Season 8

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Face Off Season 8 Episode 10: Superheros in the House!

Published March 20, 2015 by vfdpixie

A Face Off first happened this episode.  This week, the artists gathered at the historic Herald Examiner Building that used to house one of the most highly circulated newspapers.  It is now used as a filming location for movies like The Usual Suspects, among others.  It was here that McKenzie told them about what was probably “the most daunting challenge in Face Off history”.  They had to create a superhero using themselves as the alter-ego and model!   They would also have assistants on application day since applying makeup on themselves would be a bit of a challenge in itself.  Seeing their own lifecasts gave them a good laugh and they were all excited for challenge.  Their guest judge would be the one and only Todd Mcfarlane, creator of Spawn!

Darla described herself as an introvert, and wanted to create a powerful guardian angel superhero that was elegant with a powerful silhouette.  She was inspired by the filigree from the Herald Building and used a trace and transfer technique to get elegant designs on her face sculpt.  Her final concept was really pretty and even though she was a little scared because she could feel her paint cracking in areas, she was safe.

Julian designed an anti-hero for himself.  Calling him “The Reckoning”, this character was a human that made a deal with the devil to take over his duties, but wanted to do good.  Instead of the usual devil horns, Julian came up with a crown shape for the head.  He had a bit a of a time issue, so Coach Laura showed him a “speed sculpting” technique.  Other than that, he had no real issues and his devil anti-hero had some interesting horn details.  The judges liked the nice edges he had for a self-applied makeup and he was safe.

Logan loved dragons and used that for his character.  He created a vigilante called Slayer who was a dragon-human hybrid and an immortal assassin.  He also loved flying and incorporated wings by using foam tubes, latex and cheese cloth to create a believable dragon skin look.  His colour scheme was flesh tone and green paint, and his final look was pretty great.  It reminded me of a character from a video game and looked really menacing.  The judges liked the layered wings, and that Logan was really enjoying playing the character.  They loved his concept and thought the technical work was impressive.  Ve loved the colour palette and the wings, and the face sculpt allowed for expression and movement, while Todd liked the message.  He was in top looks.

Emily went with a nature theme and came up with a Mother Nature healer hero.  Her mom, who is a wig maker and her superhero, taught her about wigs, and so she made a huge one in her honour.  She had to use gelatin instead of latex for her mold due to an allergy, but the gelatin didn’t set right, so she ended up using silicone.  She was concerned because of her lack of experience with silicone, but the edges came out perfectly and she had done a test run of her makeup beforehand, so she was ready for painting with alcohol based colours for a translucent look.  She realized in last looks that she didn’t really look like a superhero, but carried on.  Her paint job was beautiful, but the judges didn’t like the big hair because she had done that before.  They thought it looked like a hedge, or “Marge Simpson as Poison Ivy”, and was not appropriate for the challenge.  Todd thought she looked uncomfortable in her skin. Because she didn’t seem to evolve with challenges, she was in the bottom.

Ben was inspired by his five years working as a Marine Corps helicopter mechanic.  He wanted to make a villain of himself, so he went with a superhero that crashed and was rebuilt into a war machine.  He was the last person on Coach Anthony’s team, so he could get full attention from his coach.  He felt a lot of pressure in this position.  Ben created a cool helmet from vaccuform, a skeletal sculpt for a more villainous look, and a black, leathery looking paint job.  His finished villain was really cool and mean looking complete with a blood gag for the mouth.  His tons of fabrication got him a safe spot this week.

Adam loved this challenge and decided to go the comedy route.  His superhero would have his powers by accident, bumbling into some cannon arms, and destroying a city while trying to save it.  He used buckets and vaccuform for the arm cannons, making them larger than life, and took cues from his bright red hair to create a red suit of armour for his character, the Crimson Wave.  I loved the concept and the judges loved the comedic proportions.  Glenn though he hit the superhero note with his design, and Todd really liked the overall character and thought it was action figure ready.  This was my favourite makeup of the night and he was in top looks.

Stephanie also wanted to do an anti-hero, but was stuck for an idea again.  She came up with a half-demon character that would jump out of the pages of a comic, and would be in black and white, but the face details were still foggy for her.  She decided to do a small brow piece and aim for a flawless makeup for her pretty “Doll Face” demon.  Her paint job ended up looking grey instead of black and white, and she thought it looked more like a vampire.  On the reveal stage, the judges thought she could have sculpted the ears better, and Todd thought the mask she fabricated was underused.  Ve thought it looked like her Lost Boys concept and was boring as well as the old lady paint job, and Glenn thought it was derivative.  She was in the bottom looks.

The artists all thought this was the hardest challenge yet, but I thought they all did well.  Because he created mystery with his character and looked like he stepped out of another century, Logan was the winner!  The person going home was Stephanie.  The judges didn’t feel she was inspired for the challenge.  She was happy she had made it this far, and was proud that she was in the final 7, and left looking like a bad-ass demon!

Team Tally:

Team Anthony:  Ben

Team Laura:  Darla, Julian and Emily

Team Rayce:  Logan and Adam

Face Off Season 8 Episode 9: Face Off’s Miss Intergalactic Pageant!

Published March 12, 2015 by vfdpixie

This week, the artists had a cool Foundation Challenge.  They all headed to Long Beach where they found models and bowls of coloured powder.  They had to create a colourful makeup inspired by the Hindu Spring festival of Holi using only their hands.  Dealing with a windy beach, the artists ended up as covered by the powder as their models, but had a blast creating finger-painted and splashed up makeups.  Their judges were the team coaches, and they picked blindly, based on the makeup only.  The winner was Stephanie!  Coach Rayce liked how she transitioned blue and orange and the way it looked in terms of lighting.  Her prize was immunity which made her really happy since she was in the bottom last week, and this win kept her safe.

For the Spotlight Challenge, they had to create their own alien beauty pageant contestant to participate in Face Off’s Miss Intergalactic Pageant.  Their advisor this time was Miss Universe 2013, Gabriela Isler.  She told them that the presentation of the makeup was important and also to make sure the look exuded a friendly attitude.  The artists chose from different galaxies named on pageant sashes which were draped on dress forms.  The winner of the pageant would have a full-page spread in Entertainment Weekly, and their guest judge was senior writer for the magazine Darren Franich, so they were really excited to get started.

Emily picked the Pinwheel Galaxy.  Her concept involved an asymmetrical dress and a pinwheel wig.   She made foam tubing swirls for the dress and just had fun with her design, adding day-glo paint and glitter on her model’s skin.  I loved the colours, but the judges thought the mouth looked slightly injured.  Darren thought the character did tell a story however, and Emily was safe this week.

Ben got the Andromeda Galaxy.  He created an alien with three points on her head and used a four piece mold for the cowl to get a sleeker prosthetic.  His edges were great but it was a lot of work ahead of him as he scrambled to get his three-pointed eye mask on.  I thought the face was too flat in terms of colour or lack there of, and the judges thought some of the details looked stuck on.  Although Neville liked the chin, he also felt it looked like a 60’s Japanese superhero, and they all thought the texture and colour could have pulled it together but something was missing.  He was in the bottom looks.

Logan created a contestant from the Comet Galaxy.  His concept was a beautiful face and chaos in the back.  This put him out of his comfort zone.  The face wasn’t looking right to him, so he worked on subtleties, and created a beautiful alien that the judges thought was brave and original.  Stephanie had the Tadpole Galaxy and designed an alien with a tail feature.  The colours were cool, but Glenn thought it looked like a microwaved peep, and the back and front didn’t quite work together.  They were both safe.

Julian worked on the Whirlpool Galaxy.  He came up with an elongated head and a green colour scheme.  His cowl was indented, so he had to use a foam patch to fix it.  He had also never done a beauty makeup before, so Coach Laura helped him out with it.  He was worried, but the judges loved it.  They thought it was simple and effective with a beautiful face shape, and balanced alien beauty.  Ve liked the eye makeup and balanced cheekbones.  His stellar use of forms got him into tops looks.  (I would just like to add that I thought she looked like a beautiful brussels sprout.  There I said it.  That’s why I’m not a judge on this show).

Kelly picked the Sombrero Galaxy.   Her concept was an amphibious alien that hid from the hot suns of the galaxy.  She at first wanted multiple eyes, but Coach Anthony helped her realize that it would look too spider-like.  She started to panic and felt lost.  They came up with tentacles instead that would wrap around into an updo.  She had a lot of work with the tentacles so they would look defined, and in the end, it was not what she wanted.  The judges thought it was too busy with no focal point, and even though the sculpt was nice, it looked like a mask.  She was in the bottom looks.

Darla got the Sculptor Galaxy.  She wanted a spiral shape at the back of the head, but after consulting with Coach Laura, she moved them to the side of the head as it would be more symmetrical and beautiful.  After she fixed a minor crease in the nose, her makeup was just amazing!  She is finally showing her talent!  The judges thought it was gorgeous and the beauty makeup widened the face to make it pretty.  Darren thought it was glamorous in and old Hollywood way, calling it a space Norma Desmond.  Her classy, elegant and stunning makeup put her in the top looks.

Adam created an alien from the Cigar Galaxy.  He designed a crested head and wanted old Hollywood elegance as well.  He had a lot of appliances to put on the model, and in last looks, he came up with a great way to cool down hot glue with just air from the airbrush.  I loved the head and the judges thought it was a brave design with shapes they had never seen before.  Ve thought it was elegant from the side, and Darren liked the lava and rock look that carried onto the model’s cheeks.  He was in top looks.

The winner was Darla!!!  Yay!!! I was so happy!  Her alien would be in Entertainment Weekly because of Darla’s flawless makeup and application.  Kelly was the one going home.  The judges felt the rough paint and placement of details showed that she struggled to put things together.  I was sad to see her go but she has a lot of confidence and she is amazing, so she’ll get noticed for sure.

Team Tally:

Team Anthony: Ben (yikes!)

Team Laura:  Darla, Julian, Emily and Stephanie

Team Rayce:  Logan and Adam

Face Off Season 8 Episode 8: Stylish and Deadly in the World of Clive Barker

Published March 4, 2015 by vfdpixie

This episode had me champing at the bit when I heard about the inspiration.  The artists headed to the historic Sunset Strip club, the Whisky-a-Go-Go, where bands like The Doors, The Sex Pistols, and The Ramones have played.  It was there that McKenzie revealed their next challenge, inspired by the legendary Clive Barker!!!  She told them that he redefined the silent and destructive iconic horror villain like Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers by making a stylish, eloquent and elegant one in Pinhead. He sent them a video message where he told them that he went to punk clubs for inspiration to create demons and wanted to see something different from the artists; to marry cutting edge fashion and images that are startling and terrifying.

I remember reading Clive Barker novels as a teenager, and marvelling at the richness of his worlds.  Hellraiser remains one of my top five horror movies, and Pinhead is so iconic he is known around the world.  I actually have my own Lemarchand’s Box (it sits next to my golden Dalek).  I couldn’t wait to see what the contestants came up with!

The artists were to choose from several models wearing avant-garde outfits to create a stylish and intelligent horror villain.  The models stayed with them as they designed their concepts, and the guest judge on the reveal stage would be the V.P. of Seraphim Films, Clive Barker’s production company, Mark Alan Miller.

Emily chose the model with a feather vest and gold chain mail skirt.  She created a fallen angel cursed with a cage on his head.  She was inspired by old school string art to create a really cool cage effect on the character’s large triangular head.  That string cage, or webbing as she called it, started to fall apart when she applied it to the model, so in a split second decision, she added feathers instead.   Her villain was really cool with a great iridescent paint job.  The judges liked the paint too, and Ve loved the silhouette.  Neville thought it was iconic and memorable, and even though it didn’t fit the Clive Barker world to Mark Alan, he thought it was extraordinary.  She was in top looks.

Stephanie hit a major road block this episode.  The purple cape, gold dress and golden dangling accessories could not inspire a concept, and Coach Laura tried to help her hash it out.  Mr. Westmore even gave her some suggestions, like adding hooks in the character’s skin and encouraged her to “go for it”.  She was really embarrassed that she had nothing to show him, and frustrated to tears, deciding to just work out the concept the first day and sculpt on the next.  She came up with a seer that had peeling skin and a partially destroyed face, but had to sculpt and mold in one day.  She was really behind and painted with different techniques furiously to hide some lifting around the eyes.  She could only hope to be safe.  The judges thought her sculpt was non-specific and not conducive to the model’s face because she didn’t incorporate her nose and jaw line.  Because her concept was compromised by indecision, she was in the bottom.

Ben’s model wore a silver tutu, a black leather corset and stark white jacket.  He decided to create a demonic fetish model with a black leather corset skull-cap.  He took a lot of time sculpting his cowl, and he ended up being behind with his painting.  He would have to do a beauty makeup in last looks.  His character was really unique.  She had a truly avant-garde, minimalistic look.  The judges loved that the shapes tied into the wardrobe, especially the leather skull, which I thought was super clean-looking.  You could tell he really perfected that detail.  Mark Alan liked the story and the corrupted porcelain doll look, and Glenn loved the head detail and felt it was a brilliant and daring combo.  He was in top looks.

Darla took on a demon.  I really like her, and she has obvious talent, but I think she is losing her stride.  Her character wore a motorcycle inspired leather jacket and pants, so she went with a post-apocalyptic look.  She had a stretched out skin concept that didn’t work, so Coach Laura helped her with that.  The judges thought the character looked like an alien, and I thought the paint was a little flat but she was safe.  I’m glad because I know she can do something amazing-she just needs a boost.

Jamie had a model in a leather and mesh outfit with a whip and created a scorned, black widow type character who lured and killed men.  Coach Anthony helped her with the sculpt to make it more in tune with the Clive Barker universe, and hash out some spider details.  He was worried about the skin texture looking too realistic, and her painting went south when she had trouble matching tones.  The end result was a flat paint job, and the judges noticed it too.  Ve thought it didn’t look like skin, and that it was more alien and less Clive Barker.  Neville thought it looked like a Klingon or Borg character, and the mouth and chin looked like it was melted wax.  She was in the bottom.

Julian’s model wore a gold studded tuxedo-like jacket, an intricate amulet and carried a scythe.  His character would be a demon that killed those who wore the cursed amulet.  Mr. Westmore suggested he sculpt something into the head so that it read more horror than human, so he paid attention to the critique and created a second mouth running along the top of the demon’s head.  He took his time with his sculpt as well, ready to risk time for perfection.  Julian put in black mesh in the eye area of his face piece to hide the model’s eyes, and his character impressed the judges.  Glenn thought it worked within the Barker world and Ve gave it a 15 1/2 out of 10 for creepiness.  Mark Alan liked the jaw line, and Neville thought it was good, but not next generation Clive Barker (I agreed).  Because his character was terrifying up close, sophisticated and intelligent, Julian was in top looks.

Adam created a resurrected South American goddess who killed by gilding her victims.  her outfit was gold, orange and very regal looking.  He had a large cowl in 2 pieces so he took his time molding it, only to have it crack.  He used plumber’s epoxy to fix it, and thankfully, it came out well.  With Coach Rayce’s help, his goddess looked great on the reveal stage.  The judges thought it was original, and would have liked to have seen more gold highlights, but he was safe.

Kelly worked on a vivid green mermaid dress with her model.  Her concept was a woman obsessed with plastic surgery who cut herself, and had a mask to cover the damage.  Mr. Westmore suggested blood dripping from the mouth, and she also created a futuristic surgical fetish mask from vaccuform.  She ran into a problem when her face prosthetic had a bad second skin, making it look shredded, but Coach Anthony told her to go with it as it could work with the character’s mutilation.  It turned out really well, with a bloody, creepy mess of a woman.  The judges thought she was disgusting and sexy.  Mark Alan thought it was sex and violence, and could see the character in an upcoming Clive Barker comic anthology.  The mask was avant-garde, and Ve liked that it was disturbing and the contrasting colours of her red hair and green dress.  She was in the top looks for the story of her perfectly suited character to the challenge.

Working with a quilted vest that looked like a cobra’s hood, Logan created a snake charmer who was a killer immune to snake venom.  He put grids on the character’s arms to catalogue the venoms.  He used a wax based clay to create the sculpt for the arms, and started with the arm application because it was very delicate.  He wanted a sickly look for the “charmer”, and he succeeded.  It was a cool character, and the judges liked how he handled the cheekbones.  He was safe.

The winner was Ben.  His character incorporated pleasure and pain, grace and the grotesque and used a high concept with high fashion.  She was what the challenge asked for:  a glimpse into a future world of Clive Barker.  The person going home was Jamie.  She couldn’t pull her ideas together this week.  I was so bummed because I liked her and hoped she would come up and slay with her talents.  I know she will go on to do well in the industry especially because of her great talent and calm attitude.

Team Tally:

Team Laura:  Darla, Julian, Emily and Stephanie

Team Rayce:  Adam and Logan

Team Anthony:  Kelly and Ben


Face Off Season 8 Episode 7: Queens of the Insect World

Published February 26, 2015 by vfdpixie

With 10 artists left, this week they went straight into a Foundation Challenge that would grant the winner immunity.  At the lab, McKenzie had some elaborate and crazy hats for them to choose from.  They had to create a character inspired by the hat and their guest judge was Lois Burrell, who had filled in for Ve last season.  She wore a cute hat herself, and told them that a hat compliments the makeup as well as the character.  She would be looking for technique, skill and most of all, a clean makeup.

The artists all did a great job, but the winner was Emily who chose a large jewelled hat that looked like an art deco chandelier.  Her character was an asymmetrical goddess that had a dark and light side.  Lois liked the huge amount of work and colour transition, and thought that Emily understood colour, form and shape.

For the Spotlight Challenge, they headed out to the Canyon Ranch where shows like The Office and True Blood were filmed.  This was a unique challenge:  the artists had to create an insect queen and her companion BUT their lab was the outdoors.  Working in teams of two, they had to choose a vibrantly coloured insect and their staged habitat, and create their characters outside.  Oh, and the other catch was to do this with nude male and female models because it was a body painting challenge.  Yikes!!  I personally have never done body painting in my makeup artist career, the closest being bronzing a bikini model before a photo shoot, so I felt for the artists, who had also never done body painting either.  I have friends who do it and it does not look easy.  The mentor for this challenge was season 2’s Nix Herrera, who is a body painting expert.  His advice was to use the whole body as a canvas, and have fun with colours.  The judges would be relying on photos of these creations for the reveal stage, so a lot was riding on proper positioning of the models. They paired up and hoped for the best!

Stephanie and Darla picked the Jewel Beetle.  Their initial concept was to create an insect queen and use the male model as a burnt log.  Coach Laura had to help them with this concept because the camouflage makeup ended up being really difficult.  They went with the male model as the queen’s wings, positioning him behind her.  Darla painted the wings and Nix advised her to make the makeup pop with iridescent powders.  They worried that the male wasn’t showing enough and the rush for time.  The final makeup was problematic.  I thought the posing of the female model was not flattering but the colours were nice.  Ve thought the models breasts were too front and center, and it made the character look too human.  She also thought the wings looked like they were coming out of the model’s neck instead of her back.  Glenn thought the wing paint was superb, but they all thought the second model wasn’t used enough.  They ended up safe.

Logan and Julian created their own version of a Cuckoo Wasp.  Logan was especially freaked out because of the body painting, but soldiered on.  They decided to use the male model as the thorax of the wasp, placing the models butt to butt after Laura recommends that they think out the concept.  Nix told them to create more depth, and their final makeup was really cool!  The judges thought it was a clever use of the second model, and liked all the iridescence and highlights that created a false light source.  Neville thought they made smart, unconventional  choices with the use of the models.   They were in the top looks.

Kelly and Ben worked on the European Hornet.  Kelly wanted to do similar positioning of models, with the male as the thorax, but Ben had other ideas.  He wanted to do a camouflage makeup that would blend the male model into the landscape.  Coach Anthony was concerned this was a boring makeup and told them to change it up to create more interest.  Nix told Ben to be aware of the sunlight as the positioning would change the colours.  The end result was “eh” for me.  The judges thought the camo makeup was successful but didn’t compliment the overall makeup or concept, and the female looked like she had an animal muzzle instead of an insect look.  The artists admitted to not working that well together, and the judges agreed and felt it showed in the final looks.  They were in the bottom.

Adam and Rob worked on the Lady Bug.  They wanted to mimic Adam and God from the Sistine Chapel, with the queen Lady Bug reaching to the male model who was a larvae.  Nix liked the concept but told them to create more depth and make it look less busy.  Rob and Adam switch off so Rob finished the queen’s face, and Coach Rayce told them to add highlight to the larvae, but their final look was not that great.  I thought the queen’s face was too dark, and the judges had no idea what the male model was.  They felt the queen wasn’t elegant, and looked more like a cross between the Cowardly Lion and a Kabuki makeup.  They too were in the bottom.

Emily and Jamie got the Honey Bee.  They made a queen bee and her amorous drone, going for a more abstract look.  Emily wanted to create a honeycomb pattern on the queen for interest and was willing to take the risk.  The judges liked all the details in the makeup, and the honeycomb pattern worked because they noticed and liked that too.  Ve thought the queen’s makeup was one of the best beauty makeups on the show.  Their graphic design and beautiful composition of the photo, along with the lover back story got them a place in top looks.

The winning team was Logan and Julian.  The positioning of the models was difficult to pull off but they did it, and the winner was Logan because the queen really stood out.  Rob went home because he didn’t have a standout contribution this time around.  He was surprised but felt his family would be proud of him anyway.

Team Rayce has 2 artists left!  So far, Team Laura is doing the best, but we shall see…

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