Justin Fears, a well known SFX artist in the haunt industry is going to be answering some questions about his favorite SFX makeup and how he uses it!
Austin: Tell us about yourself and how you got started with EBA/Airbrushing?
Justin Fears: It’s been a surprisingly short amount of time. It started almost out of necessity, my wife and I wanted to open a haunted house and we were checking out trade shows and booths and various products. We kept circulating back to EBA based on what we wanted out of our makeup that makes it effective for haunted houses. Living in the Midwest with the humidity and heat, we needed durable makeup that wouldn’t wipe or sweat off. Before we even opened the haunt, I was the guy on the other side of the table intrigued with airbrushing. We researched what we needed for the haunt industry, and when we got our haunt running, we had nobody to do SFX makeup so I decided that would be my thing. We decided to buy the full makeup kit with the Zero G Airbrush case and color palette. And for a full summer we did temporary tattoos, which was my introduction to Endura and airbrushing. EBA has been the focal point of everything we do in the haunt industry since. The products speak for themselves.
Austin: What attributes of EBA caught your interest?
Justin Fears: As we did our Facebook live shows for makeup tutorials, people would ask me why I liked EBA Endura over other makeup brands. Well, it just lasts longer, and you can hold up the bottle and see just how much more pigment is in Endura makeup. So Ednura covers better and covers a larger area. It doesn’t rub off and the colors are much more vibrant, not to mention how good the makeup smells. As soon as we fire up the airbrush our actors say “It’s the smell of haunt season!”
Austin: How many years has it been since you started?
Justin Fears: It feels like it’s been far longer, but it’s only been about 6 or 7 years since I started using Endura SFX makeup. And that’s from the point of knowing nothing about airbrushing or makeup to me being on the main stage and working as the featured artist.
Austin: So we know you like the Endura Alcohol Palettes, and we know you like to use Voda Water-Based makeup, what do you use them for respectively?
Justin Fears: Layers are what sell a character and make the makeup realistic. When I do characters with lots of layers for demos or competitions, I usually do two or 3 base layers. Usually those are Endura airbrush base coats with the Endura alcohol-based makeup. Then I can use Voda Water-based makeup on top of the alcohol base makeup without having to worry about washing away the base coat with more alcohol-based makeup. This way the makeup base doesn’t remove or blotch or blend colors. With the Endura makeup base, you’ll never have to worry about getting back to bare skin and ruining the makeup.
The Voda water-based makeup actually wears very well, almost like an alcohol-based paint. It’s very durable. If I’m doing any kind of face painting or other applications where people don’t need amazing durability, then I’ll use the Voda water-based makeup because, for all intents and purposes, it is still super durable and easy to clean off.
I like to use the alcohol-based makeup palettes for flecking and blotchy colors. I take a chip brush, cut it at an angle and put some activator on the palette, then I’ll flick the brush to throw some particulate of paint on the skin which breaks up the color well and gives it some texture. The palettes are just super durable, they’ve lasted forever. And because you can replace individual makeup pans, you can create your own palettes for any look or application you want.
Austin: What would you say your top go-to favorite colors are?
Justin Fears: Tainted tissue I use a lot to neutralize foam. Foam naturally has a yellowish tinge to it, but the reddish-coral look of tainted tissue can neutralize that and get you a more realistic skin tone.
Anything in the EBA Autopsy palette are my favorite colors. Blood clot and pale dead are awesome for almost any grayish dead/pale characters. Tendon is another one that goes along with tainted tissue, just a lighter version. The spleen color is great for brown/green and nasty applications like zombies and dead characters.
Austin: What kinds of characters do you find yourself doing the most?
Justin Fears: Well looking back at my catalog, we’ve probably done over 100 unique characters so far. And really, they’re not all zombies, they are all pretty unique. We’ve done anything from burn makeup to pinhead horror characters to sculpted alien creatures and everything between.
Just at this last show we did a Cyborg, Chop-Top, and a three-eyed clown. All of which required different makeups, applications, and techniques.
Austin: You said that you chose the EBA Alcohol-Based Palettes when you tried them, what was it about EBA Palettes that you liked for your applications?
Justin Fears: The most important thing I was looking for is Durability. Like I said, in the Midwest, one night could be freezing cold and the next night could be 90 degrees. The makeup we chose had to be durable and usable in all environments. The warehouse that the haunt was in wasn’t great on climate control, so I needed something that would work reliably every time despite harsh changes in environments. As the alcohol evaporates on the palette, we don’t have to worry about drying out, cracking, or anything like that. And the EBA palette makeup would stay on and do what I wanted it to do. So far I haven’t found any other makeup that was that versatile.
Austin: So you mentioned using a brush on the palettes, do you ever use the brush to apply the Endura liquid paints as opposed to the palettes?
Justin Fears: Actually, on the cyborg that I did at the last Transworld show, the blue I applied was actually the EBA liquid paint that I used right out of the bottle. Sometimes I’ll use Endura for airbrushing, sometimes I’ll hand brush it, it depends on the look I’m going for.
Austin: Obviously you are an SFX artist, so you’ll be partial to the SFX paints, but how often do you use the EBA Skin Color line, or EBA Hair & Beard line?
Justin Fears: Well actually, the only line I haven’t used so far is the Endura Hair & Beard line. Funny story, once when I was Talking to Jaro (EBA’s Founder), I asked him why my beard was more gray than his! Turns out that he had used the Hair & Beard to color his beard that day. I told him I needed to try some of that!
I use SFX all the time. From the EBA alcohol-based airbrush makeup, alcohol-based palettes, Alcohol based blood makeup, silicon palettes, tooth coloring makeup, and everything else, I use them all the time. I also use the skin tones quite often, I’ve done tattoo cover ups and all that. I just don’t normally have applications where I use the skin tone makeup very often. That being said, I love the skin tone line because they are amazing colors.
Austin: Thank you for letting us interview you!