Nix Herrera, well-known makeup and airbrush artist who is very familiar with EBA is going to answer some questions for us and the makeup he loves to use!
Austin: Tell us about yourself and how you got started with airbrushing?
Nix: It all began as a summer job when I was 17 years old and living in Florida, there was a local haunted house that was built. I went and applied but didn’t get cast until they noticed I looked like one of their characters that they needed a double for, so I ended up getting that part. I had to be painted to look like the double so every day they would airbrush me, and I asked the makeup artist to show me how he worked and got hooked. My interest in it snowballed and here I am 25 years later with the experience.
Austin: So how did you team up with EBA? What’s the story?
Nix: A while ago, maybe 10 or 12 years now, Jaro (EBA’s Owner) had this big setup at a face and body paint convention in Florida. There was a large setup with airbrush tattoos and airbrush paints. I decided to try some of his paints and ran back the next day to tell him he had some killer paints. One of the biggest problems at the time for airbrushing was when we would take the time to do large elaborate makeup designs and then half the makeup would be wiped off when they come back from the set. And airbrush paint was important because it was fast and looked great but was typically super expensive. EBA had an awesome price point so I gave Jaro my card, we started talking, and together we developed a line of colors for the haunted house industry. From there the paints developed into alcohol palettes and a much larger variety of options. EBA actually has a distinct sweet scent to it which makes it immediately recognizable and pleasant to work with.
Austin: What attributes of EBA caught your interest?
Nix: I noticed specifically with the opaqueness of it. It covers super well and flows through the airbrush very smoothly as well. Most other paints I was using before then would clog up but EBA never really “dries” in the airbrush the same way other paints would. Other paints would turn into some kind of plastic-y material as they dry and wouldn’t break down into finer particles like EBA would when re-activated with alcohol. Acrylic paints specifically have this problem. Other paints would also be very translucent and required constant layering in order to get the color saturation done well but EBA applies much more easily and is much more opaque.
Austin: Would you choose pigment-based makeup or translucent makeup and why?
Nix: I always go with the opaque because you can get the best of both worlds. You can always thin out opaque makeup (and get twice as much) but you can never really saturate translucent makeup enough. Buying EBA is like getting the best of both worlds, especially if you use EBA’s Transluz formula to thin out the makeup and make it more translucent, then it’s like getting twice the amount of makeup you’d get from many other brands.
Austin: Is there anything about Endura specifically that you like when working on SFX?
Nix: Definitely the staying power of Endura. You can apply it once and not really have to worry about it on set, even when doing close-ups. The flip side is that it can be hard to remove without having a dedicated remover.
Austin: When working with a larger quantity of alcohol-based paint like EBA, are there any tricks for removing it?
Nix: Definitely just get a dedicated paint remover like EBA’s Unveil or Vapore and the paint will come off.
Austin: Do you ever apply Endura with a brush or sponge?
Nix: You can but recently I’ve used small little henna bottles that look like pump bottles with needle tips. You squeeze the bottle and the paint will come out and recently I’ve been using those to draw lines on actors for scratches or other detail-oriented work.
Austin: If you had to choose 3 colors from Endura that you would never head to a set without, what would they be?
Nix: My absolute fundamental colors would be Black, White, and Brown. This gives you your dark color, your mid-tone, and your light color. This gives you the option for any kind of depth in your work. For Halloween work, I use bruise purple, charcoal, and vein blood. They are more muted colors but work very well for haunts. For more fantasy work, I use fluoro-pink, light blue, and metallic blue. Fluoro-pink really POPS and glows under the blacklight. The light blue mix with fluoro-pink gives you an awesome purple color. And metallic blue is my favorite metallic color.
Austin: So what movies or sets have you used Endura on?
Nix: It’s funny, it’s not what I’ve necessarily done on film but watching movies and being so familiar with EBA makeup, I can tell when they use EBA on actors. Especially the EBA Bloods because of their unique characteristics.
Austin: So what category of EBA paints is your favorite overall? There is the SFX line, Skin-tone line, and Hair&Beard line.
Nix: I actually am the demonstration model for the cover of the EBA Hair&Beard palettes, and my friends always poke fun at me when they buy one of the palettes so the hair&beard is one of my favorites just for that. But the skin tones are something I really enjoy because I often have to hide people’s tattoos. EBA is probably one of the best products for tattoo cover-ups because it is so opaque and covers tattoos super easily. I often have to mix EBA paints to match skin tones but because EBA is so opaque and colors well, you can watch tattoos disappear right under the airbrush. Often times when I apply things like freckles or texture over the skin tones, I’ll spray some Pro-seal over it and it blends the textures together to give a more realistic appearance.
Austin: Thank you for letting us interview you!