Hallowe’en is Brittany Medeiros’s favourite time of year. She loves make-up.
With a bit of eyeshadow, face paint and water, she is able to transform into a werewolf, a clown, or a zombie complete with melting flesh and an exposed skull.
“I just love doing something different,” said Ms Madeiros, who honed her skills on a three-month course in Canada. “Even if someone tried to do something similar, it would probably come out differently. Every make-up artist brings their own touch to things.”
It can take as long as three hours for her to complete a Hallowe’en character. She regularly practises on herself, posting pictures on Instagram.
“Last year, I did myself up as a clown,” she said. “Then I looked out the window and there was a stray dog in my yard. There were police officers and they seemed to be trying to catch him. I had to go out and talk to them.”
When she appeared in full make-up, the officers didn’t bat an eyelash.
“They just talked to me as though nothing was unusual,” she laughed. “I’ll bet they had a good laugh about it once they got back in the car.”
The hardest face she’s done so far is one where the skin appears to be melting off, the skull beneath it exposed.
“Getting the flesh to look like it was dripping was hard,” she said. “I had to draw the drips at first and then I had three-dimensional flesh that I had to pour on top to create the effect. Heating 3D flesh too much makes it hard to get the drips to fall in the right direction.”
Between her full-time job at The MarketPlace and a handful of regular clients, the 22-year-old has her hands full.
“One of my busiest times is [Bermuda Heroes Weekend],” she said. “Then, I have around 20 clients. I could do more, but I’m only one person. I can work on about five people at one time.”
Many of her ideas come from YouTube; she’s a big fan of Desi Perkins’s work.
As for her own style, she’s a “perfectionist”.
“I never rush my work,” she said. “Everything has to look amazing.”
She’s also true to the craft, never wiping off a face to redo it when something is going wrong.
“That can irritate your skin and then the foundation won’t go back on right,” she said. “Instead, you have to work with what you have and make small adjustments.”
As a child she loved watching her older sister, Tiffany put on make-up.
“She is ten years older than me,” Ms Medeiros said. “Sometimes I’d take her make-up and put on eye shadow or eyeliner but I never did a full face. Then when I reached my last year of high school [at the Berkeley Institute] I got into it more. I thought it was pretty cool. I was working with foundations, eye shadow and mascara.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life when I graduated. So I went out to work. I worked at Glaze and babysat two boys.”
The jobs proved little more than a distraction. Make-up was her real calling.
“My family were very supportive, telling me I should do more with it,” she said.
In April of 2016 she went off to Toronto for an intense programme at the College of Makeup Art & Design.
“I did the advanced course in make-up,” she said. “It was supposed to take a year but my course was condensed. I had school every day for three months.
“I mainly went for the fashion side, basic make-up. We had to know the different decades of make-up from the 1920s and up.”
When she returned home that July she was offered a part-time job at a local make-up company but instead accepted the offer of full-time employment at The MarketPlace.
She charges $60 for a regular make-up session; $75 and up for Hallowe’en and Bermuda Heroes Weekend.
Today, as she’s working, she’s had to say no to clients.
“I am doing one lady who is holding a Halloween party over the weekend,” she said. “Next year, I’m hoping to take the day off and take on more Hallowe’en clients.”
Her advice to anyone interested in creative make-up: “Don’t get discouraged.”
“Starting off you might feel like it’s not going to turn out great,” she said. “You have to trust the process and keep working and building towards what you are trying to get. It does get discouraging sometimes. I would definitely advise people to look through YouTube videos and stuff. I would definitely recommend Desi Perkins’s channel. She does things step by step to show you where to go and how to get there.”
• Follow Brittany Medeiros on Instagram, @_BrittanyMedeiros, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org