Makeup Masterpieces

Dali-inspired portrait (detail) by Cassie Harris. IMAGE: Saxon Photography

Cassie Harris started face-painting her children two years ago and the interest quickly turned into an obsession, evolving from face-painting to movie-quality special effects make-up in the 24 months that have followed.

In that time, Cassie has worked on the Townsville Fashion Festival, Theatre iNQ’s recent production of Frankenstein, and new feature film Landfall, which was shot in Innisfail.

“I follow some Instagrammers and I watch a lot of YouTubers,” says Cassie of her self-taught skill.

“I also spend a lot of time watching other artists and I read a hell of a lot about hygiene and safety to make sure everything I’m doing is up to scratch.”

Cassie’s daughters model her special effects creations on Instagram. IMAGE: Scott Blanch Photography

Cassie said she was surprised to win the Make-Up Award at this year’s Townsville Fashion Festival against many professional MUAs.

“There’s a lot more in my tool bag than the standard beauty tools – I actually carry a fold out toolbox!

“The basic methods of beauty make-up artistry still apply – colour theory and blending – but then there’s also the aspect of making prosthetics and creating illusions. The illusions can be especially tricky, because a lot of the time you don’t really see what you’re working on until you’re finished and the model stands against the black backdrop or you see it in photo form.

“I’m doing a series at the moment about mental health, looking at parental alienation and suicide awareness and some deeper topics. I really like those because they look like oil paintings and it’s only when you look at certain little details like the eyes that you realise it’s a real person. It’s the body painting, the act of transforming a 3D object into a 2D shape and tricking the eye that I really love.

“I hope to exhibit these images somewhere – some will be going into the Drill Hall. I’d really like to get a campaign going with headspace or something like that and maybe teach special effects to young people. Mental Health is just like this work – it’s all on the inside, it is real, even if you can’t see it straight away.”

Follow Cassie’s artwork on Instagram, at @GhoulishFX.

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