Student Showcases Talent For Special Effects Makeup

Photo provided by Tori Dorne

Photo provided by Tori Dorne

Grace Dearing

For Tori Dorne, a sophomore integrated media major, Halloween is more than just candy and costume parties. It’s a time when her makeup talents are in high demand, and liquid latex and face paint consume her free time. 

“I’ve always been interested in [special effects makeup],” says Dorne. “Then, I watched a documentary on Tom Savini my sophomore year of high school, and my aunt was working with a lady who needed makeup done for a Halloween wedding. So, I was like, ‘Might as well just go for it!’”

For nearly five years, Dorne  has transformed herself and her friends into ghoulish characters, learning different techniques and looks along the way. 

“Typically, I’ll get on Pinterest and look up something like ‘torn out eye’ and I’ll see something and I’ll just look at what they did and look at the steps,” she says. “I’ll kind of get how to do it and then I just do my own thing and figure it out myself.”

There is a seemingly endless amount of products to choose from when looking for special effects makeup, but Dorne prefers to use Mehron and Ben Nye. However, this could change depending on the circumstance. Skin type, as well as duration, determines what products Dorne will use on a given individual.

“I know what I can use on my face for [special effects makeup] to work best,” Dorne says. “But you can’t always tell with other people, as well as people won’t let you know how long they’re going to be wearing it because duration is a big part of it.”

A common misconception of special effects makeup is that it is only done around Halloween time, but Dorne says she practices year round. Recently, she had the opportunity to do special effects makeup for an Amazon movie. The demo for Amazon Prime was filmed this past weekend, and if it goes through, Dorne will have the opportunity to do makeup for the full length production. 

Dorne is also involved in 419 Productions. Her  involvement with this class is what initially inspired her to start practicing makeup again. 

“[In 419 Productions], we make a short film that’s 20 minutes and it’s year round. It’s the top film thing on campus to be in if you’re trying to get into movies,” she says.

Although Dorne doesn’t limit her talents to just Halloween, this is definitely the busiest time of year for her. This past Saturday alone, Dorne did makeup for 30 people, charging $10 per person. She also completed a zombie look on herself, which took almost two hours. 

“I had to build the whole zombie burn victim makeup. So you take cotton balls then liquid latex then cotton balls then liquid latex and you have to mold every individual piece out,” she says.

As Dorne continues to perfect her makeup artistry skills, it is likely that her looks will pop up around campus, whether it be an OU student parading around for Halloween or a 419 productions project.