"Drusilla" (Juliet Landau) from 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'
Posted: Friday October 24, 2008
So, you’ve got your cat tail, ears and whiskers all ready for your
feline Halloween costume, but the face make-up is missing something. If
you’re thinking of completing your costume with cat contacts, there are
some safety issues you should keep in mind.
make-up artists need to be cautious of lenses found in retail outlets
or on the Internet. Often the retailers aren’t licensed to carry the
special effects lenses and the contacts may not be manufactured to the
correct standards. According to ophthalmologist Dr. Jonathan Gording,
special effects lenses often have two layers: the inner white layer is
basically a salt, he says, and a dye is applied to the outer layer for
the desired effect. These hand-made lenses are fragile and need to be
inspected for nicks, edge defects or other deformities.
scleral contact lenses (ScCLs), often used for special effects,
increase the risk of corneal erosions under the eyelid due to their
heavier nature, especially if the lenses are poor quality or are poorly
fitted. Any contact lens wearers and their ophthalmologists need to
watch for conjunctivitis and fungal corneal infections.
same safety precautions hold true for make-up artists and entertainment
industry professionals. Gording has worked on numerous television shows
and films as a contact lens special effects expert, from ER to The X Files and Ali to Van Helsing. He insists on set safety from the beginning.
each new production company,” he said in an Ophthalmology Times
article, “I go to the producer and say, ‘These are medical devices.
They can’t be inserted on the set. They have to be inserted in the
trailer, in a clean environment where my lens tech can wash his or her
hands, instead of slapped in by a make-up artist with powders and
paints on their fingers.’”
One of the most important steps in
using special effects contacts is the relationship between the
ophthalmologist or technician and the person wearing the lenses. The
contacts should first be fitted by an optometrist to achieve the right
comfort level. For film or TV productions, once the actor is on the
set, a technician is there with them. The technician inserts and
removes the lenses as well as applies artificial tears every 10 to 15
minutes. Location scenarios such as wind and dust also require the
expertise of someone like Gording, who knows how to deal with irritated
Once these steps are taken for the safety of your eyes,
you’ll be able to get the cat eye look you want—just make sure you
apply eye drops in between soirées.
London-based make-up artist Angela Holthuis and photographer Izabela Habur set a challenge for themselves: Habur
asked Holthuis, a fashion pro, to create “a small story with bold looks
within a small time frame, to test out how far we [could] push
ourselves creatively,” Holthuis said.
Make-Up Artist magazine is now accepting student competition
applications for the 2009 Los Angeles International Make-Up Artist
Trade Show. The themes for this year are Gothic and X-Men Mutants. The competition is open to students of a recognized make-up school and
to those who graduated 12 months prior to the competition. Make-Up Artist will only accept competition entries postmarked by May 22, 2009.
If you like Prescriptives products, you’d better stock up while you
can: On Sept. 17, Estée Lauder Companies announced it will stop
production and global wholesale distribution of the brand by Jan. 31,
2010. The brand will still be sold online at www.prescriptives.com
while inventory lasts.