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Halloween’s just around the corner, which means ghosts and goblins aren’t confined to the silver screen. They walk the streets collecting candy in a seriously spooky display of style.

To help you achieve the hair and makeup needed to help make this year’s costume one to remember, we talked with freelance artist of six years Laura Hart.

Laura has worked as a beauty makeup artist creating looks for bridal parties, print, commercials and feature films. She has even worked with Lou Reed, one of the founders of indie music darlings The Velvet Underground.

“I love making something from my mind, watch it flow through my hands and shine on camera,” Laura said.

Despite an impressive beauty portfolio, Laura’s true passion lies in special effects makeup.

“It allows me to express my creative side along with my passion for art and skincare,” Laura said. “I can see myself in my makeup applications.”

Creating exceptional special effect makeup takes more than a little hocus pocus.

Here are three of Laura’s favorite techniques.

1. “If you don’t want to glue anything to you face or don’t want to have to worry about maintaining something like that for hours, I think good old face painting can go a long way. It can last all day and just seal it with a makeup sealer. There are even waterproof makeup sealers now, so rain or shine your makeup will stay on.”

2. “Rice Krispies make nice scabs. Just glue them on and put some food coloring in to make it colored and mushy.”

3. “Non-flavored gelatin is fun too. Heat it up (not to hot) then make a groovy ‘burn’ with it. Add some red food coloring.”

Special effects makeup isn’t just limited to corn mazes and haunted houses.

“I think the understanding of color theory, lighting, anatomy and physiology are always important for a makeup artist in both the special effects world and beauty world,” Laura said. “Special effects makeup is alteration of a person’s appearance into anything. That means bumps and bruises on (police) shows, aging a person in a movie, making someone look like a new monster never seen before. There is no limitation.”

Laura’s final tip whether you’re painting on a ferocious werewolf mask or a light liner, “Good lighting is a must.”

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