As the night of terror comes to a close, Halloween fanatics are getting frantic in getting their costumes tailored to perfection. But if you’re a costume crammer, maybe you should take notes from professional makeup artist Chyla Guerrero and put the spotlight from your clothes to your face instead.
Chyla is a self-taught professional makeup artist who specializes in wedding, advertorial, and editorial makeup. A graduate of Industrial Design from the University of Santo Tomas, Chyla worked as an exhibit designer before learning how to do makeup professionally. But unlike most makeup artists, Chyla is also gifted in special effects makeup. Below, she shares her experience and even some tips that you might find useful for Halloween.
IMAGE Chyla Guerrero
Hi Chyla! How did you get into special effects makeup?
"I started doing special effects makeup four years ago, also on Halloween season, because I wanted to do special effects makeup on myself and post them online. The year after that, people would already book me to do their makeup for Halloween and the rest was history. I get asked to post video tutorials but I felt uncomfortable since I was used to being behind the scenes all the time."
"But this year, I mustered the courage to sign up for an account on YouTube. I bought a point and shoot camera and learned to edit on iMovie. I didn’t learn to edit movies in college or how to setup lighting for film so I got help from the youth. Believe it or not, a 14-year-old taught me how to edit my movies but I also got help from my friends who are photographers, moviemakers, and YouTubers."
Where do you get your inspirations for each look?
"Most of the tutorial I posted since August were requested by my friends and family members. I started with my Suicide Squad series because of the hype for the movie and followed it up with my Alice in Wonderland series because there were a lot of people requesting for makeup tutorials on the characters."
"If you’ve watched a tutorial from my channel, you’d see that I put my own twist on every character I create: Harley Quinn’s mask got peeled from her face, Mad Hatter is a clown, and Alice is from Zombieland. I didn’t want to float among the sea of YouTubers who post the same tutorials as everybody else. I want to have my own identity and to somehow stand out."
How long does it usually take you to finish one look? Take us through your creative process.
"On a client, I take about an hour or two to finish this type of look. But when I am filming myself, it usually takes me five to seven hours because I still don’t have a spare battery for my camera. So I film for about an hour and then I charge the battery for the next hour. Editing and laying voice overs also cost me about a day before uploading my video on YouTube. But a video doesn’t actually consume just a day or two. It is actually a week-long process of planning, sketching, brain storming, and making props to make a YouTube entry worth watching."
Can you tell us the products you use for special effects makeup?
"For all my Halloween looks, I use mostly face paints and special effects materials from Kryolan. I also use face paints from Snazaroo and colorful eyeshadows and lipsticks from MAC, NYX and Shu Uemura. That is only half of every look I create. The other half are the contact lenses and the wigs I invested in. I think a look will not be complete without those small details."
IMAGE Chyla Guerrero
For amateurs who want to try special effects makeup, can you give us some tips on how to rock a cool look for Halloween?
"Planning is important! I recently filmed a tutorial for one whole day and I ended up hating it and deleting all the clips. My plan was just to let ideas come rolling in while I film. So after that unsuccessful look, I now see to it that I create a board on Pinterest of the ideas I have for every look. I make face charts so I’ll know what to expect while filming a video."
Finally, we’re all curious: how do you remove your special effects makeup?
"A lot of scrubbing occurs after every makeup application! But I start off by loosening up all the paint and makeup with Shu Uemura’s cleansing oil (the only one that really works for heavy makeup, paint, and even adhesives). I then take a warm and damp face cloth and gently remove all the remaining residue. Colors like blue and green tend to stain the face so it will usually take you more time to remove them. [I use] Shu Uemura’s cleansing oil with a cotton pad and wipe it on the stained areas, and then that does the trick."
Main images and photos from Chyla Guerrero and @chylafx on Instagram.