Makeup artist Allison Lumley puts the finishing touches on a design she describes as a Shredded Look on her model Krista Bussi

Makeup artist Allison Lumley puts the finishing touches on a design she describes as a Shredded Look on her model Krista Bussi

Nightmares come to life

Little zombies, creepy clowns and assorted superheros will be out in full force tonight. There’s a chance the more authentic-looking ones that turn up on your doorstep for treats will have had some help from professional makeup artist Allison Lumley, of Red Deer’s Main Artery Designs.

Little zombies, creepy clowns and assorted superheros will be out in full force tonight.

There’s a chance the more authentic-looking ones that turn up on your doorstep for treats will have had some help from professional makeup artist Allison Lumley, of Red Deer’s Main Artery Designs.

She’s been busy creating a series of uncanny faces this month in her Inglewood home studio.

Whether it’s ripped skin, deathly pallor or an exposed jaw bone her clients are seeking, Lumley has been making gory effects appear real through her imaginative designs and custom prosthetics.

“I do quite a lot of zombies,” said Lumley, “but it’s starting to steer away from that now. It’s almost been over-done …”

With The Walking Dead TV series now in its sixth season, people start looking for the next unsettling thing — and the latest trend seems to be borrowing from a Mexican tradition.

“I’m getting requests for a lot of sugar skulls now,” said Lumley, referring to the decorative, jewel-encrusted altar decorations for Day of the Dead ceremonies. The annual Mexican family holiday remembers ancestors and helps them on their spiritual journey.

Requests for more usual skull faces continue for Lumley, as well as for scary clowns that will freak out anyone who’s read (or watched the TV version of) Steven King’s It.

Characters from Hollywood movies and comics are perennially popular, especially from The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Lion King, The Corpse Bride, Frozen, Batman, Spiderman, and The Wizard of Oz. This Halloween, Lumley made a couple of clients look like Cheshire Cats from Alice in Wonderland and some as Incredible Hulks, a scarecrow, a glitter girl, as well as the motley crew of requisite zombies.

The latter was her 10-year-old son’s choice of Halloween character, so Lumley did a plaster cast of his face to assist her in creating the look of deteriorating tissue.

The mold was later filled with latex and sculpted to create effects like exposed bone and torn skin.

These sorts of prosthetics are what film and television makeup artists apply to actors’ faces to achieve dramatic effects — but Lumley never took any formal training. She is self-taught, apart some workshops and online videos.

Her fascination with theatrical makeup started with her junior high school production of The Mikado. “I got addicted. I remember doing all these geisha girls …”

She later took hair and makeup classes, along with visual arts, at her Guelph, Ont., high school.

Lumley moved to Red Deer with her first husband in 1995, and worked in the hotel industry for a decade. After remarrying and becoming a mom of five, she sought more flexible work options and a way of using her creativity.

Word spread as she began doing professional effects makeup for clients out of her home on weekends, and painting murals and windows for homes and businesses during the week. Lumley said she’s now as busy as she wants to be. She does kids’ face-painting for birthday parties, festivals and trade shows, and does adult makeup for Mardi Gras, New Year’s Eve and Halloween masquerades — and even off-beat weddings.

“I had one couple who had a skeleton wedding,” she said — not only were the bride and groom married looking like bone racks — some of their guests also got into the macabre spirit too.

Her designs range from a five-minute snowflake or tiger face to a four-plus hour full-body makeup job, including contoured bones and muscles.

Some people really get into dressing up, she said, with a chuckle.

Some of Lumley’s most imaginative designs are done for comic-book fans who wanted something a little different to wear to comic conventions.

Her husband became hideously scared super-villain Two-Face with help from a half-face hand-carved prosthetic. Another client was outlined with black ink-like lines so he looked like a drawing of himself, while a third customer became a comic-book zombie, with Lumley lining intricate depictions of decay on his face instead of using prosthetics.

“I thought I had gotten in over my head on that one,” admitted Lumley, but she was pleased with how it turned out.

Other local makeup artists include Mia Palmer of Mia’s Face and Body Painting and Sharon Morigeau of Little City Designs. While neither create prosthetics, Palmer has painted some gear-driven steam punk characters for a pre-Halloween party her clients were attending earlier this month, while Morigeau’s replicated pixilated faces from video game characters for young clients, mostly at birthday parties.

“I break their whole face into little squares,” she said, referencing photos her clients show her on their smart phones.

Lumley has painted everything from bruised and battered faux-accident victims for firefighter training drills to “baby bumps” — a trend started by singer Mariah Carey, who had her pregnant belly decorated with a butterfly design. The Central Alberta makeup artist also works regularly with local photographers on imaginative requests. It’s funny the kind of family photos some people want, said Lumley, who noted one request was for a photo of relatives dressed up for a zombie tea party.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Erika Fetterly, owner of EFP Studios, recently launched the Let Them Have A Voice campaign. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta photographer’s campaign aims to give youths a voice

An Innisfail photographer is giving a platform to young central Albertans so… Continue reading

Chopped Canada-winning chef Pete Sok is trying to focus on the future as he reopens Boulevard Restaurant and Lounge in the Holiday Inn on Gasoline Alley during the pandemic. (Contributed photo)
Red Deer’s celebrity chef looks past the pandemic with new restaurant opportunity

Pete Sok is reopening Boulevard Restaurant — and betting on the future

The Red Deer Rebels hosted the Medicine Hat Tigers in the first game of the shortened 2020-21 season on Friday. The two teams faced off again in Medicine Hat Saturday (Photo by Rob Wallator/ Red Deer Rebels)
Red Deer Rebels fall to Medicine Hat Tigers on Saturday

Tigers 7 Rebels 2 The Red Deer Rebels have lost two straight… Continue reading

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer reports 25th COVID-19 death

415 new cases identified provincially Saturday

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped save a missing pet recently. The two dogs have more than 80,000 followers on Twitter. (Contributed photo)
WATCH: Red Deer science dogs help save lost pet

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped rescue a missing pet… Continue reading

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta Premier slams vandalism after slur painted on MLA’s office window

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is condemning alleged vandalism at the… Continue reading

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Machin waits to appear at the Standing Committee on Finance on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on Tuesday, November 1, 2016. Executives who engage in so-called "vaccine tourism" show both an ethical disregard for those less fortunate and a surprising lack of business acumen, experts argue. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine tourism is both unethical and bad for business, experts say

Executives who engage in so-called “vaccine tourism” show both an ethical disregard… Continue reading

Edmonton Oilers' Jesse Puljujarvi (13) and Toronto Maple Leafs' Justin Holl (3) battle in front as goalie Jack Campbell (36) makes the save during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, February 27, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
No Matthews, no problem: Minus NHL goal leader, Maple Leafs blank Oilers 4-0

Leafs 4 Oilers 0 EDMONTON — The Maple Leafs knew even with… Continue reading

Leader of the Government in the House of Commons Pablo Rodriguez rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Gummed-up bills in House of Commons: harbinger of a federal election?

OTTAWA — All federal party leaders maintain they don’t want an election… Continue reading

The Pornhub website is shown on a computer screen in Toronto on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Pornhub policies reveal legal gaps and lack of enforcement around exploitive videos

OTTAWA — Serena Fleites was in seventh grade when a sexually explicit… Continue reading

Sean Hoskin stands on a neighbourhood street in Halifax on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Hoskin was diagnosed with COVID-19 almost a year ago with symptoms that still persist. Some provinces have established programs to deal with long-term sufferers but Atlantic Canada, with relatively low numbers of patients, has yet to provide a resource to assist them. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
On East Coast, exhausted COVID-19 ‘long haulers’ hope specialized clinics will emerge

HALIFAX — On evenings when Sean Hoskin collapses into bed, heart pounding… Continue reading

Ottawa Senators goaltender Matt Murray (30) stands in his crease as Calgary Flames left wing Andrew Mangiapane (88), left to right, defenceman Rasmus Andersson (4), Matthew Tkachuk (19), Mikael Backlund (11) and Mark Giordano (5) celebrate a goal during second period NHL action in Ottawa on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Calgary Flames beat Ottawa 6-3 to end Senators’ three-game win streak

Flames 6 Senators 3 OTTAWA — The Calgary Flames used a balanced… Continue reading

Crosses are displayed in memory of the elderly who died from COVID-19 at the Camilla Care Community facility during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on November 19, 2020. The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection is likely to be much higher than recorded because of death certificates don't always list the virus as the cause of a fatality, experts say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Death certificates don’t accurately reflect the toll of the pandemic, experts say

The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection… Continue reading

Most Read