Make-up tips from a pro
Professional make-up aritst Nicole R. Enger discloses the question she hears most
SFX makeup artist Nicole R. Enger of Traverse City, Michigan, has been into makeup and special effects since junior high. With more than 20 years of experience, she’s worked on everything from zombie walks to movies with million-dollar budgets.
When Kathy and Frank Foote bought the Magic Mirror Costume Shop in 2016, they developed a working relationship with Enger, a longtime shopper of the store. Enger has been a valuable part of the operation in spreading the word about the store and as a resource for both Foote and her customers.
“She’s very familiar with the product, and I was not,” Foote said. “I waltzed into the store knowing nothing about special effects makeup or theater makeup, so it was very fortuitous that she was already a customer here and we were able to move beyond that and develop a working relationship.”
Enger not only helps Kathy Foote learn about what her products can do, Enger has also taught how-to makeup classes at the Magic Mirror. Foote gauged interest in adding instructional classes during the Cherry Capital Comic Con during Memorial Day weekend by asking those interested to leave their email addresses and what sort of tutorials they’d like to take.
“Overwhelmingly, it was Halloween makeup,” Enger said. “(Foote) had four pages full of people who were interested in it. … We went from there, we had two classes and people are still kind of asking.”
The two most common questions Enger received were: “How realistic can I make it and how do I get it to stay on?”
“We went over different adhesives and prepping the skin, but it comes down to quality of products,” Enger said. “You can go into a Halloween store and pay a dollar for a tube of makeup, but as soon as it rains or you sweat, that makeup is coming off. I have used Ben Nye since I was in theater. … Yes, it’s more expensive than the dollar tube, but it was last you forever and it stays on.”
In terms of realism, Enger said it’s the little physical details that make the difference. “Like if you’re making a bruise, is it a fresh bruise? If it is, it’s more of a purple color. If it’s an old one, it’s more of that ugly yellow color. Those are things that you need to look at and simulate,” she said.