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November 25, 2017

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Attack of the undead celebs! (And how to steal their looks)

This Halloween, makeup artist Zee Clemente teaches us a thing or two


Vegas Undead: Behind the Scenes

Stylist Zee Clemente works on transforming Strip headliner Terry Fator into Frankenstein before a photo shoot at the Greenspun Media Group photo studio in Henderson on Oct. 11, 2011. Launch slideshow »

This is a magical time of year. Forget sleigh bells, reindeer, mulled anything. The most wonderful holiday doesn’t involve a fat man in a fur-trimmed suit. It’s a day when adults and children shed their own identities in favor of characters with a darker gleam in their eyes, a day when we gorge ourselves on bite-sized candy bars, paint our faces, unabashedly wear glitter and splatter fake blood all over our bodies (and our bathrooms). We might even yell, “Boo!” once or twice—unironically.

This is Halloween. And looks who’s celebrating.

In honor of this most honorable holiday, Las Vegas Weekly teamed with Las Vegas Magazine to showcase our sister publication’s undead issue (out October 30) featuring a few of the Strip’s finest performers channeling classic horror characters straight off the big screen. Makeup artist Zee Clemente spent hours transforming cover models Terry Fator and Taylor Makakoa (did you recognize them?), Rio headliners Penn and Teller and impersonator Frank Marino. And while it would take a professional to truly recreate Clemente’s detailed looks, she took some time to give the Weekly tips on taking your Halloween makeup beyond the grave. Don’t forget the scarring.


Starring Frank Marino and Alex Schechter

1. “With Vampira, the key was her eyebrows,” Clemente says. “Your eyebrows are the bottom, and then create two peaks like a triangle.” You’ll also need to cover your own eyebrows. “You could do the spirit gum with some latex synthetic skin or, believe it or not, the Elmer’s glue stick in the purple is washable.” Work the glue into the brows completely using a small spatula, then powder and repeat. “It’s a tough removal. Spirit gum remover helps a lot and baby oil helps a lot.”

2. Part the hair down the middle, and make it very flat on top.

3. Round, round, round lips. “Back in the days it was really round but sharp at the end. That was just the way they did lips back then. It was very classic.” And of course, very red.

4. The Fangs. “The brand I like using the most are Scarecrow brand. Their applications are really easy to work with, and they’re reusable. If you have several parties to go to, you can reuse them.”

Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein

Starring Terry Fator and Taylor Makakoa


1. Clemente says if you don’t have a forehead prosthetic, you can create the same effect with color, shading and liquid latex. Use the latex on the skin to add texture. Then, when it’s completely dry, paint over it using color to fake deep shadows.

2. Create scarring. Use Rigid Collodion, or scarring liquid, and apply about 10 coats. “You literally just put it right on the skin. As it dries you see it tensing and tightening the skin and creating deep scars.”

3. Bolts! What’s Frankenstein without his hardware? Clemente recommends Cinema Secrets brand applied with spirit gum. Give them time to dry, then put about three applications of liquid latex over the edges. Once it’s dry, color and blend.

4. “You can’t do anything without blood,” Clemente says. “For Frankenstein, I used stage blood, ’cause it’s a little bit gooier and gummier.”

Bride of Frankenstein

1. Her hair. If your hair is long enough, use it. “Make sure that you rat it out as big as you can and shape it as big as you can. Lots of hair spray and back combing.” And, of course, paint two white pieces out front and you’re done.

2. Use the Rigid Collodion. Apply 10-12 coats to create the bride’s lovely scars.

3. “Her eyebrows are really important,” Clemente says. “I removed a bit of Taylor’s eyebrows, just the edges. Then just extend them out.”

The Mummy

Starring Penn and Teller

For Penn’s archaeologist look, visit your local costume store or try Clemente’s favorite: Star Costume on Valley View at Desert Inn. “[Teller] was so great,” Clemente says of the shoot for this poster. “Ultimately, I can do whatever I’m going to do, but both of them really got into character. Once I applied, they became that character. The talent needs to do their part, and they definitely did.”

The Mummy

1. “The must-have for anything is liquid latex.” For the mummy, it’s used as an adhesive to make the toilet paper wrapping stick to the skin. “When using liquid latex you want to use disposable brushes. It just changes the density of the brushes.”

2. “I like starting from top to bottom,” Clemente says. But watch any hair when you go for the latex. “You want to avoid the hairline, and you want to barricade the eyebrows by oiling them or greasing them down.”

3. When your hair is properly hidden, it’s time to begin. Apply liquid latex to the forehead and then tissue. As you go, sculpt the texture of the tissue, letting it all dry. Then reapply liquid latex on top of the tissue, and add more layers of tissue to create the mummified skin.

4. Once it’s completely, completely dry, add color and powder. First apply setting powder, then color and then setting powder again.

5. Use medical Tender Tape to cover the head as it won’t stick to hair. Next, Clemente suggests taking a roll of gauze or some strips of fabric and shredding it to create the mummy’s wrapping. Put foundation on it and powder to finish the look.

6. As a final touch, take a big powder brush, load it with a lot of powder, and just pounce it to create dust on the face and body. Clemente says to use different shades.

This story originally appeared in Las Vegas Weekly.

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